The Shoe Doesn’t Fit Like A Regional Manager

, , , , | Working | November 27, 2018

(I go shoe shopping with my mom and brother. Earlier in the summer, Mom had two surgeries: a lumbar fusion and a partial knee replacement. She is walking on a cane, but moving very slowly. We get inside and are immediately greeted by a guy that works there. He has my mom sit down on the bench while he runs around and gets her different shoes to try on. This takes a while, since Mom can only try on one shoe at a time, and she has special inserts she has to put in each shoe she tries on. As soon as he is done helping her, he leaves. We all grab our shoes and head for the checkout.)

Mom: “Oh, I hope I didn’t keep him too long after he was supposed to leave.”

Cashier: “Oh, he’s not a worker here.”

Mom: “He’s not?”

Cashier: “No. That was our district manager.”

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Cell You

, , , , , | Working | November 26, 2018

(The place where I worked has closed down. I cannot find a new job, and I start to be under pressure as my savings are decreasing. I decide to just take whatever, and move on from this point. I spot a Halloween pop-up store looking for staff, so I go in and bring my CV, which I give the manager.)

Manager: “Wow, you worked at [Place, which is much better and somewhat related]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Great! Sounds all good to me. The only thing is I’ll need your cell phone number.”

Me: “I don’t have one anymore. But you have my landline here; I usually stay at home and if anything, I have an answer machine.”

Manager: “No, that won’t do. Give me your cell.”

Me: “I can’t. I don’t have one.”

(I deactivated it, to save money, as I was not using it much, as it is the old times of SMS when we are charged per letter and call per minutes only. I leave on that. One week passes with no news from them. Almost two weeks pass, and I start to think I’ll never get a call, as October is advancing. My friends ask me to go out with them, and stay at their place in the next city over after, which I accept. The next morning, someone calls from my place to say I had a call from that Halloween store and to call them back. I think, “Of course. The only day I’m not here they call me.” I still take the number, thinking I got a work offer and that’ll be given a schedule and all, so I call back from my friend’s phone.)

Me: “Hi. Yes, this is [My Name]. I got a call today about a job?”

Manager: “Yes, I tried to call you to come in this morning, but since you would not answer I called someone else in.”

Me: *surprised* “Oh, I was not expecting that.”

Manager: “Look, just give me your cell phone.”

Me: “As I told you when I gave you my CV, I don’t have a cell phone.”

Manager: “Just give me your cell number.”

Me: *now frustrated that the “no cell” still can’t print in this guy head* “I don’t have one!”

Manager: *disbelieving* “Really? What’s [number I called from], then?”

Me: “My friends line, where I’m calling from, in [City]!”

Manager: *after a long and deep sigh* “Look, do you want to work or not?”

(That’s when I put all the pieces together… the guy is not believing me, at all, when I claim to not own a cellphone. He won’t give a schedule, but rather calls unexpectedly, whenever he feels like he needs extra help, and there’s less than three weeks of work left at best.)

Me: “Really, no. Not for you.” *click*

You Gauge While I Rage

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2018

Shortly after I graduate from college, I’m working part-time in retail. I apply for a full-time event photographer’s position online and receive a call back. I’ve had several other interviews that didn’t pan out recently, so I quickly agree, despite the location in question being over an hour-and-a-half drive away, when the position listing had said it was more local. They inform me that they have multiple candidates to interview that day, and would like to meet on neutral grounds in a chain coffee shop.

Being a bit paranoid about traffic and not knowing the area well, I arrive early on the day and read in my car while I wait. About five minutes before my appointed time, I head into the coffee shop. The interviewer is clearly in view, with a laptop and large drink in front of her, and a small placard with her name on it like you’d see on someone’s desk in reception.

I walk up to introduce myself, and she points vaguely behind her without even looking up to see who I am, and informs me that there are two interviews ahead of mine, so I’ll have to wait.

A bit annoyed now that I was paranoid about being so early, I sit down. After half an hour, none of the interviews have started, and staff have pointedly come by to wipe my table down twice, so I get up and order a cold drink. After another fifteen minutes, the interviewer calls all three of us to her table and says we’ll just do some of the interview all together, to save time. She waits until we’re seated, turns her laptop around, and a video starts playing.

I can feel the other two candidates deflating next to me as the video plays: the job listing advertised for a professional event photographer for a new company, but is actually just a newly named branch of a well-known yearbook photography company, who has decided to expand into the market of preschools.

The video is all about their ideal candidate:

“Good with kids!” “Cheerful and punctual!” “Willing to go above and beyond!” “No photography experience necessary!”

The more we hear, the worse it gets compared to the original listing, and the more it sounds like a scam. They don’t compensate for driving time. They don’t compensate for set-up time. There’s a fee that acts as a deposit on the equipment that we apparently have to pay before we start. They pay a flat rate per school no matter how many kids, or how much time it takes. So on and so forth.

After we watch the video, we split up again for individual interviews. By the time it’s my turn, I’ve been at the location for roughly two hours, in addition to the drive to get there. By now, I’m considering whether to leave or stick it out. I decide to finish the interview, and do my best throughout, because a full-time position might still be better than my current job, even if it isn’t what I’d expected it to be. I put genuine effort into the interview, though the interviewer seems distracted and keeps looking down at her watch as we talk.

Towards the end of the roughly fifteen-minute interview, she asks if I have any questions, and I give the usual responses:

“What kind of training do they provide if experience isn’t necessary?” “What kind of equipment do they use?” “What is the deposit fee like?” “Are we expected to do retouching, or just straight photos?” “When can I expect to hear back about this interview, and when would I be expected to start if I receive an offer?”

She glosses over most of the questions, but sticks on the last one. Her expression changes entirely and she finally looks me in the face and says, “I don’t know why each of you has asked that. We’re not even hiring for the new school year yet. This was just to gauge the market.”

And suddenly I feel like screaming. I’m pretty sure my face turns bright red from holding in that sudden surge of absolute humiliated rage. I say that’s all I have, thank her for her time, and shake her hand. I then march straight to my car with my portfolio. By the time I leave, rush hour is starting, and the drive home takes two hours. The minute I get in the door, I find the nearest couch cushion, and finally scream into it.

I’ve never received a call about the interview, and even if I had, I think I’d have told them quite politely to shove the offer up their a**es.

Customers Make Strange Bedfellows

, , , , , , | Working | November 23, 2018

(Our store manager keeps some chairs at the front of the store, for people who want to sit while the rest of their party shops. One day at our morning meeting, he tells us that the regional manager will be visiting next week.)

Store Manager: “And you know how [Regional Manager] always gets on me about the chairs. So, when we hear he’s on his way, we’ll need to get them out of there.”

Coworker: “We should stage an argument. Tell customers to go up to him and complain that the chairs aren’t there.”

Supervisor: “My grandpa can do it!”

(A week later, after the visit is over, at the morning meeting, the store manager tells us about what happened right after the regional manager arrived. It went like this:)

Customer: “Hey, are you corporate?”

Regional Manager: “Not quite, but maybe I can help. What do you need?”

Customer: “I heard they’re having a visit from corporate so they had to take away all the chairs!

(Upon hearing this at the meeting…)

Coworker: “[Supervisor], was that your grandpa?”

Supervisor: *laughing* “No, I swear!”

Store Manager: “So [Regional Manager] says that since chairs are apparently a special thing that we do, we can keep them out. They’re back on the floor.”

(He then delivered a half-hearted admonishment for whoever let customers know that we were having a visit from a higher-up. Since he was clearly happy about the results, it was not super effective.)

Inhuman Resources, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | November 23, 2018

(I work in a small-town location of a very large fast food chain that is known for its signature burgers. I am working an afternoon shift with several other employees and the general manager of the location. A little while after I have clocked in, the fryer station begins beeping very loudly and displays the word “HELP” on its LED screen. After about five minutes, it starts to get a little annoying.)

Me: “Why does the fryer station keep beeping like that?”

Coworker: “Nobody really knows. We think it’s probably faulty wiring, but we aren’t really sure.”

(Suddenly, the general manager storms out of her office and starts pressing buttons on the fryer station to get it to shut up.)

General Manager: *to the fryer station* “YOU DON’T NEED HELP! We’ve talked about this!”

Related: Inhuman Resources

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