Won’t Be Able To Re-coup From This

, , , , | Working | October 6, 2017

(I work at a department store that is infamous for coupons. The coupons can be pretty amazing if used correctly, but they can’t be combined with each other on the same items. This is printed on the backs of all the coupons, and most customers are pretty understanding of this. It should be noted that customers who have the store credit card can earn cardholder-exclusive coupons, that take $20 off a purchase of $50 or more, which have the same rules about combining. One weekend, we have a special coupon that takes $50 off a purchase of $100 or more. It’s always popular, so we get a rush of people. One of the customers in my line gets around $100 worth of clothes, and uses the coupon, and then hands me a cardholder-exclusive coupon.)

Me: “Oh, sorry, these coupons can’t be combined, but you are saving over $50 as it is.”

Customer: “No, I spoke to [Newer Manager] over the phone, and he said I could use them. That’s the only reason I came here; I don’t want any of this otherwise.”

Me: “I’ll go ahead and give him a call just to double-check, then.”

(I call the manager, who has been known to make policy-bending decisions in the past.)

Me: “Hi, I have a customer here who says you told her she could use the $50 coupon and the $20 coupon all at once?”

Newer Manager: “Yep! I remember talking to her!”

Me: “Okay.”

(Because of the way the computer was set up, I had to manually take off the $20 first before I could apply the $50 coupon, since it would only allow one coupon per item. The customer went on her way, happy that she got more than $100 worth of items for around $30. I spent the rest of my shift hoping that no other customers overheard the conversation, and that the newer manager didn’t tell anyone else they could do that. Thankfully, it didn’t happen again the rest of the time I worked there.)

Seeing A Lot Of Red Lights Here

, , , , | Working | October 5, 2017

(After working at a job vetting loan officers for a mortgage broker for a while, it comes to my attention that one of the industry rules that I’ve been enforcing with our subcontractors is incorrect. I thought licensed real estate agents could also originate mortgage loans as long as the loan officer was not also the real estate agent on the deal, which is not true — you cannot be a licensed real estate agent AND originate mortgages, period. A lender calls us out when one of our loan officers does just that, and they cite the federal regulation. I review it, and I learn that my understanding and our enforcement were incorrect. I bring this to the attention of the executives and they say, “We know. Keep doing it the way we’ve been doing it.” I respond in objection, not being comfortable with knowingly going against a federal regulation. The CEO calls me into his office.)

CEO: “[My Name], I understand your hesitation, but this isn’t that big of a deal. The way we’re following this rule is the way they really meant it.”

Me: “But the rule isn’t written that way, and the lender that discovered the issue clearly cares about the rule.”

CEO: “There are a lot of rules out there that aren’t really meant to be followed. Nobody gets hurt by not being too concerned with them.”

Me: “Okay. I have to be honest, though. This rule sounds like it’s in place to protect consumers from fraud.”

CEO: “Let me put it in a hypothetical. Let’s say you’re driving your car out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and you know there are no cars for miles. You come to a red stop light on this dead road. You sit there for a couple of minutes, there are no other cars for miles, and you know it will take at least two or three more minutes for the light to turn green for you. What would you do?”

Me: *through my teeth* “I’d probably run the light.”

CEO: “Yeah, you’d run the light. We all would. There are rules in place, and they’re good rules sometimes, but other times they are unnecessary. And that’s all we’re doing. We’re running a light on an empty road in the middle of the night. It’s not hurting anyone.”

(I submitted my resignation within 24 hours.)

It’s A Deli-cate Matter

, , , , | Working | October 5, 2017

(Our deli has struggled for months with an increasingly bad staffing issue. We are just about to get a new assistant manager. The scheduling on this particular day, a Sunday, is so awful, that our last coworker, an elderly lady, is forced to stay by herself and take care of all the cleaning while still dealing with customers, since we’re not allowed to stay late, and everyone else leaves too early for any major cleaning to be done. As I’m just about leaving, the deli’s phone rings.)

Me: “[Deli], how can I help you?”

Manager: “Hi, can you cook a pizza for [Manager #2]?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but I’m about to leave making, [Coworker] the only one back here, and she’s busy with customers and all the cleaning, too. I really don’t think she’ll have time.”

Manager: “But it’s for [Manager #2]. Can you just write that down?”

Me: “Uh… sure.”

(I put the phone down and relay the request to my coworker, who just confirms that there’s no way she’ll have time to cook and prepare a pizza. As I’m walking to the time clock, I see the manager that requested the pizza. Since she isn’t the one who called for the pizza, I decide to tell her my coworker will be unable to cook the pizza.)

Manager #2: “What? I don’t understand! Why can’t she just cook a pizza? I’m the customer, here. All she has to do is cook it; why is that so hard?”

(Suddenly, the our new assistant manager turns the corner.)

Assistant Manager: “Maybe because they only scheduled THREE people in the deli, all day, ON A D*** SUNDAY!”

(With that, [Manager #2] quieted right down. Suddenly, I had faith that maybe, with a new understanding leader, things might be okay.)

Too Much Plate On Your Plate

, , , , | Working | October 3, 2017

(I work in the dining room of an assisted living home as a waitress. My manager is a super great guy who trusts his employees and is usually laid back. This all changes whenever he has to work the line though, which is fortunately a rare occurrence. One night the head chef calls out sick, so the manager works the line. He comes by me, carrying a stack of 20 incredibly heavy plates.)

Me: “Whoa! Hey, those are really heavy. You should probably limit yourself to ten at a time, at most.”

Manager: “They are not that heavy, and I’m out of plates. I need as many as possible! This saves me time!”

Supervisor: “[My Name] is right; you—”

Manager: “Just because you two have trouble lifting things doesn’t mean the plates are heavy! Now grab your dishes and go!”

(My supervisor and I share a look, but we both silently decide to drop it. We grab our plates from the line and drop them off at the tables. As I’m walking back, I hear an enormous crash and I run back to see what happened. The entire kitchen floor is covered in shattered pieces of ceramic. My manager is standing in the middle of it, staring down at the broken ceramic, completely flabbergasted. My supervisor rushes in behind me.)

Supervisor: “What happened?”

Manager: *sheepishly* “The plates fell…”

Supervisor: “How many were you carrying?”

Manager: *looking like he wishes he could disappear* “Twenty…”

Supervisor: *sighs* “[Coworker], go grab the brush and dustpan, and clean this up. [My Name], go get [Manager] some plates from [Dishwasher]. [Manager], go back to the line and don’t leave until service is over.”

Manager: *muttering while sulking off* “But the plates aren’t that heavy…”

(He wasn’t allowed to carry plates after that.)

Being Weird Won’t Kill You

, , , , , , | Working | October 2, 2017

(I’m a research student, and I am also employed by the university to help prep labs for undergraduate classes and take care of the lab animals. It’s worth noting that I have a fairly dark sense of humor, and occasionally make ridiculous statements that I have no intention of following through on. It’s been a terrible day, and I’ve just gotten even more bad news.)

Me: “G**d*** it! I want to murder something!”

(My lab manager is silent for a few minutes, and I start to worry that I’ve scared her.)

Me: “I don’t actually want to kill anything; I’m just upset. Sorry I freaked you out.”

Manager: “Huh? Oh, you didn’t scare me. I was trying to think what we had that you could kill. Normally I’d have you gas the extra fruit flies from the undergrad genetics lab, but they won’t start that lab for another few weeks. We don’t put any of the lab mice or fish down unless they’re sick and at risk of infecting the rest of the population. We have a couple of plants in the greenhouse that got mites and need to be thrown out. I guess you could shred those, but it’s not exactly cathartic. Maybe you could re-pot the botany department’s soybeans? At least you’d get to stab the potting soil.”

(By that point I was laughing too hard to be upset. Nice to know my manager is so willing to roll with my occasional weirdness!)

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