No Allowance For Such Nonsense

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: SuspiciousAttitude71 | April 7, 2021

Earlier this summer, I temporarily took a job as a roofing salesperson for a construction company. The job description said I was managing a book of insurance agents and realtors, working referrals. In the interview, the boss was adamant that there was no door-knocking —just working relationships and referrals. I took the job and came to learn about week into my hire that they expected five or more hours a day of door-knocking. I could’ve quit right away but I figured I’d give it a go for a bit and just see how things went.

The job was full commission with a small weekly vehicle allowance, and I wasn’t responsible for working a regular schedule. But eventually, my boss started expecting everyone to work a regular schedule and report “at least forty hours” on our timecard app.

I fought with him about it because, as a non-hourly or non-salary employee, there was nothing to report. I got paid only for the work I brought in. Whether I worked eighty or five hours, the pay was the same and there was no contractual obligation to my time.

He got upset that I didn’t just give in and he told me that, because I hadn’t filled out a timecard, they wouldn’t give me my weekly vehicle allowance. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it was a matter of principle; I don’t get paid for time worked, so why do they need to know my hours?

My best friend is a labor attorney, and I asked him what I could do. He said I should just threaten to call the department of labor for withholding wages. So, I told my boss I’d call the department of labor. At this point, I was already in the process of getting hired for a job I really wanted, so I was planning on quitting soon anyway; I figured the company had it coming for all their lies and deceitful nature.

They agreed to give me the allowance. But then, later that day, Human Resources rolled out a policy that said that they would now be paying out the allowance based on hours logged on our timecard app. It was the expectation that we’d log forty hours, and if you didn’t meet forty hours, they would deduct a prorated amount from the vehicle allowance. The policy also said it was retroactive for the previous week. Therefore, I didn’t get my allowance for that week’s pay, as I continued to not log everything. I was a little pissed off about it.

That week, our boss made us work a great many more hours than usual, commuting several hours a day, each way, to a town he wanted us to get some work in. I went into our timecard app and logged my hours for the week — *a lot* more than forty. When the pay came that week, I only got the regular allowance — for “forty” hours. I asked my boss where the rest was, and he said it was a flat rate. I cited the new policy and said he owed me based on the “hours worked” and that I’d be calling the department of labor if I didn’t get it.

They ended up giving me the allowance based on my full logged hours. Later that week, Human Resources emailed the department saying that full commission people were exempt from logging hours and would be receiving the flat pay.

I won. I ended up quitting a short time later, followed by pretty much the whole sales staff.

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Welcome To The Corner Store California

, , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I enter a store and go directly to the corner where I know I’ll find the articles I am interested in. I make my choice and go to the counter. Nobody is there. I wait patiently, thinking the person who should be behind the counter needed a bathroom break or something. No one shows. I yell. No reaction. I try again a bit louder. Nothing.

Fed up, I go up the stairs toward the doors, leaving the things I picked up on the counter. The doors are locked. Now, I’m a bit claustrophobic and the fact that I can’t get out makes me feel like freaking out. I manage to keep my anxiety down by taking action — I usually can stop a full-blown panic attack by diverting my attention if panic levels are not too high — and start looking up the number for the local police station. Google to the rescue! While on hold, I hear something at the door and it opens. The store owner or attendant or whoever has the key enters. I hang up.

Owner: *Accusingly* “How did you get in?”

I’m a tad ticked off.

Me: “Through the door!”

Owner: “Which door? How did you find the back door?”

Me: “I entered through that door.”

I indicate the door she just opened.

Owner: “Well, why didn’t you tell me you were in the store?!”

I’m totally flabbergasted, with a lot of responses going through my head, varying from the less polite to the very much less polite.

Me: “Why didn’t you warn me you were leaving?”

Owner: “You should have told me you were in here!”

Me: “Well, in a minute, I no longer will be. You’ll find the articles I picked on the counter.”

I need to add that I was in an obscured corner in an otherwise open plan shop. No, I did not see her behind the counter — which is placed directly opposite the door — upon entering, but I knew there was usually only one person in the shop and, as I said, I thought she was on a bathroom break. Thinking back, she probably was getting her purse and coat in the back, and as I made a beeline to the screened-off part of the store, we crossed each other unnoticed. I do understand she was a bit shocked finding someone in what she thought to be an empty shop — I was in plain view when she entered –and I probably would have been more forgiving if she was more apologetic and less accusing. To this day, I have never returned and I don’t plan to.

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An Extra Happy Meal

, , , , , , | Right | April 5, 2021

When I was a small child, I would spend part of the summer with my maternal grandmother. One day, we decided to stop by a fast food joint for lunch. This was a rare treat for me, and I was eagerly anticipating that delicious cheeseburger.

We went through the drive-thru and headed home to eat. Upon opening my kids’ meal, I was very distraught to discover that I had the toy and the fries but no burger. I was in tears as my grandmother called the restaurant. She knew the manager since she worked there part-time.

Less than half an hour later, that manager knocked on the door. He was holding a fresh kids’ meal, complete with another toy and fries. I was thrilled. It wasn’t until several decades later that I realized just how amazing that manager was for taking the time to personally deliver a kids’ meal to an upset child. His kind act has never been forgotten.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for April 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for April 2021!

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When Store Policy Is Damaging To The Store

, , , , , , | Working | April 5, 2021

Our store is well-known for having very lenient return policies, and as a department manager, I am the only one who can authorise refunds and exchanges. We also voluntarily abide by a national code of conduct for supermarkets, which means that if an item scans at an incorrect price, it’s free. Given we are not a supermarket and have many items worth over $1,000, this is problematic.

I get paged to the homewares section and discover one of my associates distraught as a customer is tearing her a new one.

Customer: “Thank God, someone with authority! She just charged me $900 for a crystal glassware set, and as you can see here; it is worth $850! That means I get it for free!”

What the customer doesn’t know is that the $850 variant is slightly different. Our sales staff also earn 20% commission on sales of this item, so I understand why she would be upset. The anger in the customer’s voice indicates to me there has been an argument. 

Me: “Actually, you’re pointing to a slightly different version. The one you have purchased has a crystal serving tray, but this one—” *indicates towards the display* “—doesn’t. Hence the price difference.”

Customer: “You p***ks are all the same; you are just looking out for each other. See this?”

She points towards the trolley full of stock in our bags.

Customer: “I will return every single item here if you don’t give this to me for free.”

The customer hands me her receipt and there is nearly $5,000 worth of items there. I attempt to negotiate and haggle at this point, knowing that if I return $5,000 worth of items under “customer request,” I will be placed on performance review and potentially dismissed.

As I’m mulling it over, my associate begins to apologise profusely for the situation, to both me and the customer. My associate all but admits to putting the stock in the wrong place. We eventually settle on refunding the customer $300 and I write it off as “not as described.” 

I consider the matter dealt with, and I send the associate on her lunch break. About twenty minutes later, the customer appears again and finds me on the shop floor.

Customer: “Look, I feel really bad about the way in which I spoke to the lady earlier. I’ve been trying to find her to apologise; I know she didn’t really do anything wrong. Do you know where she is?”

Me: “Yep. She’s gone. I fired her. That kind of mistake is unacceptable here, and she has already left the building. Thank you for bringing the issue to my attention, because it was clear she was going to prevent us from offering the best customer experience here at [Department Store].”

The customer’s face drained of all colour and she left the store. I told the associate what I had said to the customer and she thought it was hilarious. I, however, resigned the next day and took a $15,000 per year pay-cut to a new role, as that experience showed me just how poorly this store thought of its staff.

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Who Is Worse? The Customer Making The Complaint Or The Manager That Accepts It?

, , , , , | Working | April 5, 2021

I work at an antique store. I always ask our customers if they need help finding anything or if they need help with any home projects they’re working on since we paint a lot of customers’ furniture.

My boss calls me into her office.

Boss: “I have had some complaints about you that I feel we need to discuss. I had someone tell me that you asked if they needed help with anything or if they were looking for anything and they said, ‘No,’ and you didn’t try to help them.”

I genuinely thought she was joking. She was not.

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