I Bet A Thousand Bucks That You’re Wrong

, , , , , , | Working | January 18, 2019

(I work at a store that sells lottery tickets. We can pay cash prizes if we have enough money in the till. For loss-prevention reasons, we don’t keep a float and we aren’t allowed to add cash to the tills from the safe. The only influx of cash into our tills is from people buying things with cash. So, if we don’t have enough cash in the till to pay a prize, the customer has to take their ticket somewhere else. Our tills are also swapped out with every shift change, so the time of day is no guarantee that there will be a lot of cash in the till. I have just started my shift, and one of my very first customers has a ticket that has won $200. Because the amount is so high, the machine asks if I am able to pay. I know for a fact that I can’t, so I press, “No”, and the machine returns the ticket and creates a printout telling the customer what their prize amount is and where else they can go to get it. I give the ticket and the printout to the customer and explain.)

Me: “Unfortunately, I don’t have enough cash in my till to pay this, but there’s a [Convenience Store] upstairs that might be able to-–”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t like this. I don’t want to carry my winning ticket around until I can find someone who can pay it. You shouldn’t be selling lottery here if you can’t pay this. You’re supposed to be able to pay up to $1,000!”

(Our training isn’t very thorough, so at the time I have no idea if what she’s saying is true. I ask my colleague on the other cash register if she has enough in her till, but she doesn’t. I flag down the assistant manager to find out if there’s any way we can pay the customer’s prize. He confirms that we can’t add cash from the safe, and reiterates that she can try the convenience store upstairs.)

Customer: “You’re supposed to be able to pay up to $1,000.”

(To my surprise, my assistant manager doesn’t contradict her, and actually seems a bit sheepish.)

Manager: “Unfortunately, we don’t have enough cash in our till.”

Customer: “You should have a float. You shouldn’t be selling lottery if you can’t pay this. You really shouldn’t.”

(My assistant manager just reiterates that we can’t pay it, and eventually she leaves.)

Me: “Are we really supposed to be able to pay up to $1,000?”

Manager: “Technically, yeah.”

Me: “What?! But then how do we get away with that? We need to be approved by OLG, right? If this is a requirement, can’t we get in trouble for not keeping enough cash on hand?”

Manager: “I don’t know.”

Me: “That can’t be right. The machine asks, ‘Can you pay?’ if it’s over a certain amount, and if you say, ‘No’, it gives you that printout. It explicitly gives us the option not to pay. And they give us that machine, so it wouldn’t ask that if we were required to pay up to $1,000, right? I’m going to look this up.”

(When I got home that night, I looked it up. The OLG website said, “Every retailer can pay up to — and including — $50. Retailers have the option to pay up to $999.90 — as long as they have the cash available.” In other words, we can pay up to $999.90 if we are able and willing, but we aren’t actually required to pay any amount higher than $50. I texted my assistant manager this information. The next morning, he called OLG to confirm that this was correct, and then he printed out that webpage, highlighted that sentence, and left it behind the lottery counter, so that if any customer ever made that claim again, we’d have an actual response for them.)

Trying To Be Top Dog

, , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(I am a dog trainer for a large chain store. My boss calls me into the office. We’ve had some tense conversations before, so I’m already on guard.)

Me: “You called?”

Boss: “I see you’re starting a class tomorrow.”

Me: “Yeah, puppy class. I’m excited; they’re so cute!”

Boss: “You have three dogs?”

Me: “Right.” *lists ages, names, and breeds*

Boss: “You’ll have to fix that.”

Me: “Fix … what?”

Boss: “Corporate says you need four dogs to make the class profitable.”

Me: “Oh. I didn’t know there was a minimum. Is that new?”

Boss: “You need to enroll a fourth dog or call those pet parents and have them reschedule in a new class.”

Me: “Okay. I can call up some people who haven’t paid yet. But what if they don’t want to switch to another class?”

Boss: “You cannot run a class with three dogs.”

(She turned her back to me, effectively ending the conversation.)

Me: “Okay.”

(I dutifully call each customer, explaining there is a policy in place that states I must have a minimum of four dogs in a class, and that otherwise I will have to reschedule them for the next one with other dogs. Understandably, they are very unhappy that I am canceling their class. I offer a discounted rate if they’re willing to switch to a class that starts a few weeks later at a different time. One takes the deal, but the other two spend a few minutes each teaching me about good customer service and promising they will never shop with us again. A few days pass and I’m back at work.)

Boss: “[My Name], did I not tell you to transfer those pet parents?”

Me: “Yes, and one did but—“

Boss: “We had to refund $250 in classes, and we received a corporate complaint about your attitude.”

Me: “The other two didn’t want to switch, and if I can’t run a class with three, I obviously can’t run one with two.”

Boss: “I’m going to have to write you up.”

Me: “What?! Why?”

Boss: “You cost us two sales. That is simply unacceptable.”

Me: “No. I’m sorry, but no. I did what you asked. I cannot force people to rearrange their schedules.”

Boss: “Look, [My Name], don’t be difficult. I’m just doing my job.”

Me: “So was I, but now I’m in trouble for it.”

Boss: “Just sign the paper.”

Me: “No.”

Boss: “[My Name], you are being unreasonable.”

Me: “But forcing customers to change their minds is reasonable? Being told to do something I have no control over is reasonable?”

Boss: “You have a minimum number you have to reach. That’s just the way it is.”

Me: “No. No, I’m sorry. Even if you’re just doing your job, this is bulls***. I quit.”

(I walked out of that job and applied at the store next door. When they asked why I’d left my previous employer, I explained that I was put in a position where I could either pressure customers into doing something they didn’t want to do, or I would be penalized. The interviewer called my previous boss on the spot to ask for a reference. She told them that I just wouldn’t cooperate with corporate policy, so SHE decided I wasn’t a good fit for the company anymore. He laughed and hung up. I’ve been working for my new employer for six months now. According to the friends I still have at my old job, they haven’t been able to find a replacement trainer and had to refund thousands of dollars.)

Hot Enough To Burn

, , , , , , | Romantic | January 17, 2019

This happened in 2003. I am male and had one male boss who was in his sixties and about 1,50 meters — five feet — tall. We were the IT-guys at a school.

One day we got a trainee, a lovely and beautiful girl about 18 years old who would be helping us for the next ten months. My boss was notorious for his sexist and creepy “compliments” he gave to women. He already had received several warnings but sadly, there was no way to fire him because his behaviour was just annoying but not considered sexual harassment at that time.

My boss began hitting on the trainee with all sorts of cheesy remarks. The first time I heard it, I immediately told him to shut up or I’d tell his wife. Visibly embarrassed, he left the room and I thought that was the end of it.

A few days later I found the trainee in tears behind her desk. You’ve already guessed it: the boss wasn’t planning on stopping his creepy behaviour. I really felt sorry for the girl because as far as I could judge she could become one h*** of a sys-admin.

That evening I spoke about this to my wife. She had some creepy and sexist remarks from my boss when she sometimes came to school to pick me up, so she could imagine how the girl must feel. Suddenly she began to laugh, took some paper, and wrote some lines down.

She gave it to me and said, “Have your trainee learn these lines by heart. The next time he’s bothering her again, she must say them in a very loud voice.”

The next day I gave the paper to the trainee and told her what to do. She read the lines, began to laugh, and said she couldn’t say those things to the boss. I told her that if she wanted to stay here without the crap my boss was giving her, she had no other options. We could report my boss, and he would get another warning, but nothing would change. The trainee wanted to stay at our school so she began to memorize the lines.

It was Friday, and she said she would study the lines over the weekend. The next Monday we started work and my boss phoned that he wouldn’t come in until lunchtime. Fine. Lunchtime came and the trainee and I went for a coffee in the break room. Most of the teachers and the principal were there, too, so we had to wait in line.

The trainee poured herself a coffee, and as if on cue there was the boss, saying, “Oh, such a hot girl shouldn’t drink hot coffee. I can’t handle you if you’re too hot.” The trainee turned around and yelled at him:

“Now, you listen, you oversexed, over-aged, undersized albino smurf! I don’t want to hear your foul mouth ever again. I’ve had enough of you, creep. Leave me alone or I’ll drown you in the first toilet bowl I can find. It would take just one flush to get rid of the body.”

The room went silent for a moment, and next, there was hysterical laughter and clapping.  

The boss made an exit and the principal went after him. When we came back from lunch, there was a note on my desk that the boss had decided to take some time off to evaluate his career.

The last we heard was that he had applied for early retirement without a goodbye party. I asked my wife where she got those lines from.

She said, “You know how sometimes you only come up with good lines long after the fact? I’ve had these lines prepared just in case I ever met your boss again. I never expected them to work so efficiently.”

National Shame

, , , , , | Legal | January 15, 2019

(A drunk man has entered our store and asked a few customers for money.)

Manager: “You can’t do that here; you need to leave.”

Man: “But I lost my wallet and I just need some bus fare. Can you give me some?”

(He walks over to stand in front of the manager where there are shelves and our registers between him and her. He’s so drunk he leans against the shelves.)

Manager: “No, I want you to leave now.”

Man: *on his way out* “Some b****** stole my wallet and I just need a little money to get home.”

(He approaches a few passersby outside the store.)

Manager: “That’s it. I’m calling the police”

(She rings the police and as I’m serving I hear her say that the man threatened staff and customers, and she hangs up the phone.)

Manager: “That will get them here quicker”

(By the time the police arrive, the guy has moved on. I leave the manager to talk to them while I keep serving, but can hear the conversation.)

Policeman: “Can you tell us what happened?”

Manager: “A drunk man came in and wanted money.”

Policeman: “He tried to rob you?”

Manager: “No, he asked customers for money for bus fare, and he asked me, too, because he lost his wallet.”

Policeman: “You specifically said he threatened people. What did he do?”

Manager: “He asked customers for money.”

Policeman: “But did he actually threaten anyone?”

Manager: “Uh, no.”

Policeman: “Well, why did you say he did? You know, you could be in trouble for making false accusations.”

Manager: “Oh… I’m [Nationality] and couldn’t think of the right words in English at the time because I was upset; I meant to say I felt threatened.”

(It was not the first time I’d heard her lying to save her own skin, but this time she realised that she could have been in big trouble, and on the occasions that I’ve heard her calling the police, she’s never tried that one again. She had come to Australia as a small child and had spoken English with an Australian accent for over thirty years.)

Working Up The Career Ladder Means Forcing Others Up And Down One

, , , , , | Working | January 15, 2019

(I work in a large retail chain. In the back room, we have large racks of steel varying from about ten to twelve feet tall. As such, the top shelves are reserved for bulk items shrink-wrapped on pallets; we don’t need what’s on the pallets as often, and when we do, we can get it down with a machine.)

Assistant Manager: “Hey, uh…. [Coworker]?”

Coworker: “Yeah?”

Assistant Manager: “I’m so sorry… but [Store Manager] has a new rule about merchandise on the top shelves back here.”

Coworker: “What is it?”

Assistant Manager: “I’m so sorry. I’ve been fighting him on this for weeks, but he’s absolutely put his foot down. We don’t have a choice.”

Coworker: “You’re kind of scaring me here; just tell me.”

Assistant Manager: *long sigh* “All the pallets have to be taken down, and either put on the shelves on the sales floor or have displays made out of them… And then the top shelf has to have loose merchandise, same as the other shelves.”

(My coworker is stunned by the sheer idiocy of this.)

Coworker: “[Assistant Manager], no way! I’ll have to spend almost my whole shift going up and down a ladder putting things up there, if my legs don’t give out before I’m done! Also, do you have any idea how much that’s going to slow us down for every shift after? What if the system says I need an item that’s at the bottom of a pile on the top shelf? I’ll either have to take someone else’s time up handing items back and forth to them, or I’ll have to go up and down the ladder for one item each time until I can get to the one I actually need, and then go up and down the ladder again just to put back what I had to take down! I can’t tell if [Store Manager] is really this dumb or just actively sabotaging us at this point!”

Assistant Manager: “I know, I know! There’s nothing I can do; he won’t take no for an answer anymore. It needs to be done tonight. We have to deal with it!”

(At the end of the night, I check in with my coworker, where she tells me about the decision made and the conversation she had with the assistant manager.)

Me: “Oh, my gosh, that’s awful! I mean, I can’t say I expect much else from [Store Manager], but still. Are you okay?”

Coworker: “Well, I’m angry, my legs feel like jelly, and I’m not at all looking forward to next shift, but I’m just glad at least tonight’s over.”

(The morning shift workers start coming in and my coworker begins informing them about the absurd decision. The assistant manager pops around the corner.)

Assistant Manager: “[Coworker]! DEAL! WITH IT!” *walks off*

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