Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Only I Am Allowed To Have Opinions!

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 9, 2022

I am sitting with a good friend over lattes and pastries. She’s telling me about her recent decision to largely give up eating meat, becoming a pescatarian. She’s doing it for ethical and personal reasons. Then, she complains about a friend of hers.

Friend #1: “When I told [Friend #2], her first reaction was to complain that she wouldn’t have anyone to share a burger with! She is so selfish. She doesn’t understand that this is something I have to do. Everything is always about her! Anyway, I told her I would still eat veggie burgers, so it doesn’t have to change anything. Then she starts arguing that the diet is unhealthy. I don’t think she believes that; she just doesn’t want anything to change.”

Me: “Yes, well, she can be quite selfish at times, and with dairy, eggs, and fish, I don’t think you will suffer any problems.”

A couple of months later, I also decide to change my diet. I would not tell her, but as we often meet in the morning, she’s going to notice.

Me: “So, I have decided to try intermittent fasting. I won’t be eating anything until late in the day, at least for the next month.”

Friend #1: “But who am I going to have coffee with?”

Me: “Me! I will still have coffee, but it will be black and obviously no patisserie.”

Friend #1: “Why are you doing this?”

Me: “For my health. My BMI puts me just into the obese category, and my waist is larger than it’s been all my life. Also, I see that my blood sugar is gradually increasing; I want to turn things around before I am diagnosed as prediabetic. I’ve lost and then regained weight before. I need to do something different.”

[Friend #1] has a similar figure to mine.

Friend #1: “Your weight is normal! You’re fine. And everyone’s blood sugar rises as they age. Eating like this is going to destroy your metabolism.”

I just rolled my eyes internally.

Closing Your Eyes To The Closing Of The Café

, , , , , , | Right | February 23, 2022

I work at a museum with a little café. We close at four and make two announcements before closing, one at closing, and one a few minutes after to make sure everyone leaves the building so that we can finish our closing procedures and lock the building.

It’s about 4:10, and a family comes to the café where I am restocking.

Mother: “Can we quickly buy something?”

Since the register is still open, I agree, since most folks quickly grab something and leave at this point.

However, even though we have stacked all of our chairs and moved all of our tables, the whole family goes and sits on the permanent wall booth and makes it clear they are going to sit in to have their meal rather than take it with them as most people do when it’s obvious we’ve already technically closed.

We work around them, cleaning and restocking with no other guests in sight. At about 4:20:

Mother: “When do you close?”

Me: “We closed at four.”

Mother: “Thank you.”

She kept eating.

At 4:30, all of us employees had to leave. We were standing around, purses, keys, and backpacks in hand, and the family was still munching away.

A manager decided, even though it wasn’t part of our closing procedures, to shut off all the café lights. Only then did the family angrily grumble that we “turned the lights off on them” and shuffle out, seeming not to notice that, other than us, only the janitorial staff was left in the entire building.

We’re Getting A Sinking Feeling

, , , , , , , | Working | January 27, 2022

Back before the Internet killed bookstores, I worked in the cafe in one. We had a small kitchen in the back, dominated by an oversized commercial sink. Below the sink was a grease trap, a box the drain water goes through to catch grease and prevent it from clogging the sewers. We were told that it was big enough to handle a greasy fast food restaurant. It took up the entire area below the enormous sink.

After the store had been open for a decade or more, the cast metal grease trap sprung a leak. It was full of congealed sewage inside, and it stunk. It wafted into customer areas, and we started baking trays of wet, cinnamon-covered paper towels to try and cover it up. It was reported to the store manager, and we dealt with the foul miasma for almost a month.

Corporate finally called in the approved maintenance service to replace it. The work was done overnight due to the stench that opening the trap would unleash.

The old grease trap was a hard-to-find size: low and wide to fit under that sink. Some corporate drone sourced a new trap of the same capacity, just narrower and taller. The techs installed it, and now the sink wouldn’t fit on top. Corporate was contacted, and they had the techs add extensions to the legs of the sink, raising it about eight inches. The techs were not happy with the final product, but it was the solution corporate wanted.

This raising of the sink creates problems that the staff encountered the following morning. Several employees couldn’t reach the bottom of the now too-tall sink. Our five-foot-tall sprite of a manager and I started doing dishes standing on a step stool — not an ideal or safe solution. The store manager was informed but took no action, as usual; she’s awful.

Weeks later, a district manager saw this stupid and dangerous situation and promised to fix it.

Corporate maintenance came again and built a platform in front of the sink. It was shiny and new, painted bright yellow for safety. Hooray! Those of us with T-Rex arms could reach the dishes again! This caused a new problem, though. The platform blocked access to the mop sink. The industrial mop bucket had to be lifted and carried across the platform, which some employees couldn’t manage due to the weight and sloshiness. Also, the gloss-painted top of the platform was dangerously slick when wet. There was a minor slip and fall due to it, and the store manager finally took it seriously.

Corporate was called again, and they sent out the maintenance team. They ripped out all their original work and installed a new grease trap that was a smaller capacity and fit properly. They lowered the sink to the original height, and all was now right in the world.

Corporate ineptitude cost the company several thousand dollars to rectify a problem that any non-plumber could have seen and prevented, and that was brought to their attention before the original job was completed.

The Saga Of Luckless And His Crew

, , , , , , , | Legal | January 17, 2022

I worked at a Catholic college. A few years ago, I was working the dinner shift in the café, and since it was a little slower during those periods, I would also do things like inventory once a week and major stocking.

When I got out my inventory sheet to start that portion of my shift I noticed our back stock of retail beverages (bottles and cans) was way more depleted than normal; by that, I mean that we were short by full cases. This was very much not a good sign. Then, I moved on to our cases of chips to find the same problem. I figured it was a management error and wrote my manager a note saying so. 

Skip to the next morning, when my manager found all of our “grab and go” food items missing from the cold box and the packaging of those items was strewn from one end of our café to the other trailing out the main doors and onto campus.

Obviously, someone was getting in and taking whatever they pleased and were now getting pretty sloppy.

Color the crew (me included) baffled. We searched madly high and low for a way they were getting in to no avail until yours truly was in the ladies’ room. I just happened to look up at the skylight about thirty feet above me. The window was pried open and there were shoe marks on the walls. Oh, it’s on now! 

Step one: install a padlock to the outside of the women’s room. They can get in through the skylight, but not back out.

Step two: involve the very bored small-town police force in a stakeout.

Step three: wait.

For practical reasons, the staff of our little café were not invited to the stakeout, but from what I heard it went down about like this.

At about one in the morning, the police saw someone scale the wall to the roof — a freshman boy who we’ll call Luckless. Two more freshmen were spotted by the main doors; they’re the type that only lock from the inside, so one can assume that Luckless was getting in via the ladies’ room and letting his friends in. 

Luckless dropped into the ladies’ room only to find he was stuck, and when the cops unlocked the door with guns drawn and the whole bit, Luckless wet in his college brand sweatpants. (That is speculation; one of the cops told me this, but I think he was just trying to get a rise out of me.) 

Luckless’s friends were picked up trying to run back to their dorm room to leave Luckless with the blame. The dorm room in question had a ton of our product in it. They were taken to lockup where they spilled the entire beans, as it were.

It turned out that every year, as a hazing ritual for the men’s lacrosse team, the freshmen were sent to break into the cafeteria and take one thing to prove they’d done it. Luckless and his friends went through the hazing, found out how easy it was, and started breaking in every night and going hog wild on all of our merchandise. 

I guess we were pretty lucky these boys were so stupid. If they had managed to get into the walk-in, they would have found the sides of beef and twenty-pound boxes of chicken parts. But no, they just wanted cases of Gatorade and terrible, prepackaged sushi.

Sadly, the school dropped the charges on them when Luckless and crew’s parents got involved. Since I didn’t have ties to the actual school, I don’t know how all of that worked out. The weird part was, their punishment was to work in the very café they had robbed blind. 

We had those kids do the grossest jobs we could think of. Luckless had it the worst; he had to clean out the grease trap in the dish room after it had backed up. I’ll never forget the look on his face coming out of there, arms covered almost to the shoulder with grease and bits of month-old food clinging to him. 

No sympathy was to be had from the staff. In fact, the whole crew’s attitude was, “HA! That’ll teach ya!”

These Ladies Have A Different Kind Of Stockholm Syndrome

, , , , | Right | January 12, 2022

I work at a Christian summer camp. Apart from the youth groups that come to camp, we also have camping grounds and cabins, hostel rooms, and a small kiosk and café. This is not a fancy place; you can get a cup of coffee and homemade pastries for a bargain. If there is a camp going on and you call ahead, we can serve lunch. We also serve sandwiches and ice cream, but that’s it.

The area is what we in Sweden call “fäbodvall”. In the olden times, it used to be a summer settlement where people sent their cattle to pasture and built little cottages. Nowadays, it’s a mixture of summer cottages for the locals, passed down through generations, and summer cottages for fancy rich people who think it’s cute to have a picturesque summer cottage in the country by a lake but still expect all the service they can get in the city.

So, here I am, seventeen years old, just finishing cleaning up after the camp kids’ lunch, when a group of three very well-dressed ladies walks into the yard. I can see that they’re not locals, but we have a few people due to check into a cabin, so I grab my binder and go out to greet them.

Me: “Hello, welcome to [Camp]. Are you checking in?”

Lady #1: “No, we just thought we’d have some lunch.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t get a note. Did you call ahead?”

Lady #1: “No, we did not. This is advertised as a restaurant, is it not?”

Me: “Well, technically, it’s advertised as a café. But if you want lunch, we still have some left over from the camp kids. Today, it’s chicken pie, which should still be warm, and a tomato salad. It’s actually my favourite and it’s very good. It’s the cook’s own recipe. Otherwise, we have home-baked pastries and sandwiches.”

Lady #2: “We certainly don’t want to be served leftovers. This is such a disappointment.”

[Lady #1] and [Lady #2] send evil glances to [Lady #3], who I recognize as one of the non-local cottage owners.

Me: “Well, our sandwiches are made fresh from homemade bread. We have a choice of cheese and cheese and ham. The vegetables are homegrown; we have a garden right behind the kitchen.”

Lady #2: “Well, I guess that’ll have to do.”

The ladies take their seats. I put out a pitcher of water, offer them coffee, and proceed to take their order.

Lady #1: “I’m gluten intolerant, so I can’t eat bread, and all your sandwiches look inedible. I’d like a salad instead of a sandwich.”

Me: “Well, we don’t have any salads on the menu, but I guess I could make you one with the same ingredients as the sandwich. Would you like ham and cheese, or just cheese?”

Lady #1: *Sighs* “I guess I’ll have the ham and cheese if you don’t have anything better to offer.”

Lady #2: “I’ll have the same. Where’s the ham from?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t actually know. It comes from our distributors, but I can ask the cook if—”

Lady #2: *Waves me off* “Never mind. I guess I don’t expect too much from a place like this.”

[Lady #3] comes all the time with her kids to buy ice cream, so I know her, and I can tell how embarrassed she is.

Lady #3: “If you’re making salads for them, you can make one for me, as well. I don’t want to add to your workload.”

Me: “All right, three cheese and ham salads. I’ll be right back.”

We don’t have this salad on the menu. I’ve worked in this kitchen for a while, but I’m not a chef, and as I said earlier, we do not serve salads. I try to do the best with what I have, which is a bunch of homegrown vegetables, which I arrange in lovely little mountains on their plates, and some chopped-up industry cheese and ham (which is all we have because we are not a restaurant) on top. I whip up some dressing to serve on the side and carry out the order to the guests.

[Lady #3] is obviously trying to defuse the situation.

Lady #3: “Oh, thank you, [My Name]. This looks wonderful. Thank you for going to all of this trouble for us.”

Lady #1: *Pokes at the salad* “Excuse me, what is this? It looks disgusting. I asked for ham; this isn’t ham.”

Me: “Sorry, but that’s the ham we have.”

Lady #2: “Pardon me, where is the bread? What place doesn’t serve bread with their salads?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’ll go get you some bread. That’s one gluten-free and the rest regular, right?”

The guests all confirm. I might be young, but at this time, I’m pretty much in charge of special needs food for the camp kids, and my worst nightmare is someone getting ill from food that I have served them, so I make sure to get a separate basket and butter dish for the gluten-free bread before I carry it all out to serve to my guests.

Me: “Here’s your bread; it’s all homemade. I hope you enjoy it.”

Lady #1: “Excuse me, what is this?”

At this time, there are not a lot of fancy gluten-free mixes available, so we have to do with what we have. The gluten-free bread might not look very fancy, but I did my best.

Me: “That is our gluten-free bread; I made it myself this morning. The camp kids don’t complain.”

Lady #1: “I expect to be served something better than the camp kids. What kind of place is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s a camp. Our guests all get served the same thing, whether they’re campers, locals, or other guests. I made an exception for you guys making you salads.”

Lady #2: “This is the worst service I’ve ever had in my life. I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: “Well, he’ll be in tomorrow morning. It’s just me and the cook here right now, and she’ll be leaving in a few minutes for her mid-day break, so I have to start preparing dinner for the camp kids. Was there anything else?”

[Lady #1] and [Lady #2] look like they want to behead me on the spot, but thankfully, [Lady #3] interrupts.

Lady #3: “Oh, my God, I told you that this wasn’t a fancy place! [My Name] did her best to make you happy and all you did was complain. I swear, I can’t take you anywhere. And by the way, [Lady #1], I know you’re not gluten intolerant; you just say that to get special service.”

She turns to me.

Lady #3: “Thank you, [My Name]. We’re really grateful that you went to all that trouble to accommodate us. I’ll make sure to call ahead for lunch the next time I have friends visiting.”

The ladies finished their lunch with no complaints. [Lady #3] tipped well and kept tipping well for the rest of the summer even after her friends had left.