Not So Mental About This Rental

, , , , , | Working | June 29, 2017

(I am in college, and I have decided to try getting a part-time job. I see that the store for a national company that specializes in renting moving trucks and trailers is hiring, so I put in an application. At the interview, I am asked if I would be available to work weekends. I say yes, but I need 24 hour notice beforehand. I am assured that it won’t be a problem. I’m told that I am hired and would begin training soon. The following Saturday, I get a call from the manager that he needs me in in 15 minutes. I have not yet received any training.)

Me: “I can come in, but I’m half an hour outside of town. It’s literally not possible for me to make it there in 15 minutes.”

Manager: “Well, if you’re not here then, I’m going to have to mark you down as being late to work.”

(I made it there in, unsurprisingly, a half hour and was marked late. By this point I was already having second thoughts about the job. The manager gives me a pair of coveralls which he claims are clean but have obvious sweat-stains on them, which I point out. He insists that they are in fact clean, despite the visual evidence to the contrary. I end up wearing them. I’m instructed to help another worker do inspections of rental trucks that have been brought in, to make sure that everything is working.)

Me: “I don’t know what we’re supposed to be looking for.”

Other Worker: “It doesn’t matter. Nobody double checks, so we just mark that everything is good.”

Me: “I think I want to make sure that you’re the one signing the checklists.”

Other Worker: “No problem.”

(This is pretty much the only smart move on my part the whole day. After pretending to inspect the vehicles, I am given some other minor tasks that could actually be accomplished without training, then, once it gets dark outside, the manager has me come to assist with closing. After telling me to help a second coworker, he and the rest of the staff leave for the day. Since I haven’t even been given access to the cash registers, much less trained to use them, this means that I am stuck standing behind the counter looking stupid for the rest of the night.)

Customer: “Excuse me; can you unlock the propane line so I can fill my tank?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this is my first day and I haven’t been given access to that yet.”

Customer: “That’s f****** stupid.”

Me: “Yes. Yes, it is.”

(By the time the day ended, I’d firmly made up my mind that I absolutely did not want this job and in the future would absolutely avoid renting a vehicle from them, so I turned in my badge and the “clean” coveralls (which I actually washed and what do you know, the sweat stains came out). Some months later, I found out that the manager and several of the workers had gotten into some serious trouble due to renting out a truck that had had turns signals that weren’t working.)

Ebola Sounds Better Than The Cubicle Farm

, , , , | Working | June 29, 2017

I used to work for a payment collection call center. It was a real revolving-door sort of place, people always quitting, new people always coming in, less-than-stellar corporate policies, all packed into a big cubicle farm.

One day I’m at my desk, trying my best to handle some customers, when I notice a lot of the supervisors and higher-level personnel seem to be gathering and chatting fervently. I assume it’s nothing important and that they’re probably all just getting together to go to the supervisor office to eat candy and laugh at all the normal employees. Yes, they really did that. I return my focus to work.

A few minutes later, I hear loud footsteps. I peer down the room again, and now in addition to the supervisors, there are several firemen. And I can tell they are firemen because they are dressed for the part: yellow jackets, red helmets, and masks. I think one of them even has an axe. I am a little worried about this, but since nobody is saying anything, I just figure it is a burst pipe or something and go back to work.

Later still, the footsteps have gotten louder, and the supervisors and firemen have been joined by police officers. I am now officially worried. Sure enough, we finally get the word that we need to vacate the building. We power down our computers and are herded down the incredibly narrow fire escape into the parking lot.

Here’s what happened, according to one of my coworkers who spoke to an officer. In the office that shares a building with ours, a random guy went up to the front desk and placed a single glass test tube. On that test tube was a piece of sticky tape with one word scribbled onto it: “EBOLA.” Naturally, the police were called, and when the man who brought the tube was questioned, he said it was “the cure for Ebola.” The test tube was obviously empty, but to play it safe, the building had to be vacated for about two days.

Here’s where those corporate policies I mentioned come in. You would think, in a situation like this, we would simply be told to go home. Once we’re all herded into the parking lot, the supervisors explain that we all have to get in our cars and drive to the company’s sister office, an entirely separate cubicle farm, at which we’ll spend the next two days.

There are two problems with this:

  1. The second office is already grossly overcrowded, unable to accommodate the people who are actually supposed to be there. It is statistically unlikely that any of us will be able to even get a computer, much less get any work done.
  2. Nobody knows the second office’s address. The supervisors just parrot “follow us, follow us” over and over, but even if we ask for the address just in case, they refuse to give it up for some unknown reason.

I try my best to follow the enormous line of cars, but the car I’m behind suddenly pulls into a commuter parking lot. I follow them and ask why they stopped. Apparently, she is equally clueless as to where we are going, as is the person she was following. We just sit there for a few minutes, heavily considering just ditching work, but the other driver manages to wrestle the second office’s address from her temp agency after calling them, and we manage to make our way there.

And to top it all off, when we finally arrived, the supervisors didn’t even know we had been gone, greeting us with an emotionless “get back to work.”

A Fan Of (A)Round Numbers

, , , , | Working | June 28, 2017

(Last year our studio head moved away and we welcomed a more organized replacement. Communication between departments improves, paperwork is filed on time, attendance is tracked, and tickets for the spring show are printed and available for sale two weeks before the performance. Under the old studio head we were lucky to get them the week prior. It seems like this year we’ve sold more tickets. This was confirmed:)

Text: “I just ran the numbers. Last year we sold 29 tickets at the desk. So far this year we’ve sold 92.”

Second Text: “So we’ve literally turned our numbers around.”

Racking Up The Problems

, , , , , | Working | June 26, 2017

(I am working at a chain clothing store. A few times a year, a woman comes in and buys several thousand dollars worth of clothing to sell in her own shop in Lebanon. As our company does not sell overseas, and she spends a lot of money, my manager has no problem with this. I am ringing her up, and having dealt with her before, have brought out an empty rack for her to hang the clothes on, which is now completely full from her purchases.)

Me: *taking clothes off the rack as I ring* “So, looks like you’ve got a good haul this time!”

Customer: “Yes, you had a good selection of dresses this trip. My customers will be very happy!”

(At that moment, I look up and see the district manager coming towards me.)

Me: “Morning, [District Manager]!”

(She smiles, then suddenly frowns at me, clearly displeased with something. She passes me to go to her office in the back, saying nothing. The customer and I look at each other.)

Customer: “Who was that?”

Me: “That was the district manager. She’s usually a lot friendlier than that.”

(It suddenly dawns on me that the District Manager never actually gave us permission to sell clothing to people planning to sell it overseas, and I begin to wonder if I’m in trouble. I also realize I’m out of shopping bags, meaning I have to go into the back to get more, which is right next to her office. I excuse myself and go out back. The District Manager is waiting for me.)

District Manager: “[My Name], I didn’t want to say anything since you were with a customer, but you’ve been here for almost two years. You should really know better.”

Me: “I’m sorry. I thought it was fine. [Manager] has never had a problem with it, and she spends so much money—”

District Manager: “Wait, what?”

Me: “I mean, we don’t have an overseas market, so I figured it wasn’t an issue if she sold them at her own store in Lebanon, since we wouldn’t be competing.”

District Manager: “[My Name], I’m talking about the rack. You know I don’t want you bringing out racks of clothing to put out if there are customers.”

Me: *realizing* “Oh! No, those are my customer’s purchases! I brought out an empty rack for her to put her stuff on, since the first time she came here we ended up with a pile on the counter so big it spilled onto the floor.”

District Manager: *surprised* “She’s buying all that?”

Me: “Yeah. She buys a ton of clothes here to sell at her own shop overseas. I’ve got a few other customers that do the same thing.”

District Manager: “I didn’t know people did that.”

(I go back out and finish ringing up my customer, both of us relieved. After I help take her dozen or so bags to her car, I bring the empty rack into the back and knock on the office door.)

Me: “Finished ringing her up.”

District Manager: “How much did it all come to?”

Me: “With the coupons she had, roughly $2,700.”

District Manager: “Yeah, you’re getting a commendation for that sale. And if corporate has a problem with it, it’s their own fault leaving an untapped market. Just don’t bring any more clothing racks out.”

Well That’s Just Gravy

, , , , , | Working | June 26, 2017

(I work at a well-known fast food joint which specializes in fried chicken. We sell potato and gravy as a side to go with our popular bucket meals. On this particular day I arrive half-an-hour early for my shift, so I go and sit down and wait until it’s time to clock in. While I’m waiting I notice a customer, leaving the store with his young daughter, drop a tub of potato and gravy on the ground. The girl’s father panics and immediately goes and summons my manager.)

Customer: “I’m so sorry! My daughter has spilt potato and gravy everywhere.”

Manager: *cheerful and smiling* “That’s okay; don’t worry about it. It’s not a problem, really.”

Customer: “Thank you so much. Once again, I’m really sorry.”

(The customer then proceeds to exit the store with his young daughter. I then notice my manager making his way back to the office without even bothering to clean up the mess left behind by the customer’s daughter. As soon as I clock in, I go to clean up the mess, which has since been walked on by multiple customers over the half-an-hour period it had been left sitting there, getting smeared everywhere.)

Me: *sighs*

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