The Dogs Aren’t So Hot After All  

, , , , | Working | January 3, 2020

In an effort to reduce costs, the cafeteria at my workplace has switched to a self-serve buffet-style serving model. As is typical with these kinds of serving stations, you enter at one end of a particular serving area, grab a plate, and walk down the line adding the foods you want. It seems simple, right?

Recently, one of the serving stations was set up as a “hotdog bar.” The only problem is that the order of items when entering the station the normal way was: plates, fries, pickles/onions/relish, cheese sauce, hotdogs, and finally, buns.

After the first few people through the line had to keep moving back and forth across each other in order to get ingredients in a sensible order, a few of us pushed aside the ornamental display at the “end” of the line and moved a stack of plates there so that we could all just go through the station “backward” and have things in a more logical progression, though admittedly not the most logical as people who wanted to make cheese fries still had things a bit backward. We didn’t want to try moving hot pans of food to fix that, though.

This worked reasonably well, but as I was weighing my food to pay and leave, the head chef walked over and started having a meltdown about someone moving his display of stuff that wasn’t even for sale and moved the plates back to the fries end of the assembly line. People that went to lunch later than I did reported back that the station quickly devolved back to people reaching over, under, and around each other to assemble their hotdogs in the proper order and that food ended up spilled everywhere.

According to the calendar, we were supposed to have a repeat of the hotdog bar today. For some reason, they decided on chicken wings, instead.

1 Thumbs

These Days You Have To Fight Packs Of Wild Dogs To Find Your True Love

, , , , , | Romantic | September 9, 2019

(I am having lunch with a colleague and we’ve been talking about our plans for the weekend. I mentioned someone is cooking dinner for me, and my colleague has guessed it’s a date. She’s trying to get information out of me about the person — particularly how we met — and I’m reluctant to share. I’m female and also prone to getting into weird accidents.)

Colleague: “You know, if you made something up, I wouldn’t be this interested.”

Me: “I realise this in hindsight.”

Colleague: “I’m just going to guess.”

Me: *sensing she’s not being entirely serious* “That’s fine.”

Colleague: “Okay. He’s got a criminal record.”

Me: “I don’t think so. Hasn’t come up.”

Colleague: “Darn, okay. Um. He saved you from wild dogs and that’s how you met?”

Me: “Nope.”

Colleague: “He got into a drunk fight with someone and you’re a bit embarrassed about it.”

Me: “Also no.”

Colleague: “You saved him from wild dogs and–”

Me: “Where did wild dogs come from? What do you think I do in my spare time?”

Colleague: “You lead an interesting life.”

Me: “Not that interesting!”

Colleague: “You really don’t want to say? It can’t be that bad, you know.”

(I weigh it up. I really like this colleague and trust her so I decide to go for it)

Me: “If I tell you, promise you’ll keep it to yourself for now?”

Colleague: “Yes, sure.”

Me: “I’m dating a woman.”

Colleague: “That actually was going to be my next guess.”

(In fairness, I’d assumed until meeting that person that I was straight — and am now coming to terms with my identity — so it isn’t that obvious a thing for her to guess. But I do still have one question…)

Me: “Out of interest, assuming you were asking in order of most to least likely, why was fighting wild dogs more likely than me turning out not to be entirely straight?”

Colleague: “I can just really picture that happening to you.”

1 Thumbs

Deal-ing With Idiots

, , , | Right | August 15, 2019

(I am a manager using an info desk computer when an irate customer storms over.)

Customer: “I’ve been overcharged! It’s lucky I checked my receipt; it’s ridiculous the mistakes your staff make! I can’t believe you are trying to overcharge me!”

Me: “Hi there. What exactly is the issue?”

Customer: *brandishes receipt* “I was to get three meat items for £10, but it hasn’t gone through!”

Me: “Okay, may I see your receipt and your items, please? Sometimes customers accidentally lift an item not included in the deal… Oh, I see the issue: you’ve only been charged for two items, not three!”


Me: “Actually, you have been undercharged by £1.60! The two items only add up to £8.40, so you got the third item for free!”

Customer: “No, I got cheated. You are trying to overcharge me! I don’t understand!”

Me: *trying not to be patronizing* “Do you see these two items?” *holds them up* “You were charged £8.40 for them, and this item–” *points at third item* “–was never scanned. It was free. The deal didn’t work because you were paying less.

Customer: “But I don’t get it! You were not giving me the deal!”

Me: “Yes, because you didn’t pay for all three items. You paid less. In fact, you owe me £1.60.”

(Normally, as a gesture of goodwill, if they had been nice I would have let them go on with their free item, but I am at my wits’ end.)

Customer: “But how do I owe you money? You owe me money!”

Me: “Right. I’m going to refund you for the two items on your receipt. Now I’m scanning the items. Okay, the deal has gone through; you owe me £1.60.” 

Customer: “I got the deal?”

Me: “Yes. You got the deal. That will be £1.60, please” 

(The customer paid and left, still muttering about how they didn’t understand. I went and took five minutes in the cold room in the back.)

1 Thumbs

Unpacking This Flat-Pack Story Results In Something Beautiful

, , , , , | Right Working | June 6, 2019

I took my elementary-aged son and his two hungry friends to a cafeteria within a store for lunch after church, because it’s really affordable and we are not all that comfortable financially.

How awful to load up our trays, get up to the register, and then find out my wallet was missing! Yet the cashier empathized with the situation and helped me think through some ideas for alternate payment.

I stood to the side to download a mobile payment app to my phone and get it set up, but it’s an old phone and there were tech problems. The cashier then offered to pay for the meal and have me reimburse her via a different payment app. So, I stood to the side again to download it, but because of my old phone and spotty data connection, this was taking a very long time.

I came so very close to panicking. Everything was loud, it got so hot in there, I was dizzy… The boys were jumping around and freaking me out, so I sent them on various “errands” to keep them busy. And then I remembered to breathe.

After several minutes of me working the app situation, the cashier called me back over to the register and handed me a receipt, telling me, “Here you go. It’s paid for. It’s on me. Enjoy your meal.” I was stunned by the generosity and sincerely thanked her! Reading the receipt, it looked like she actually paid for the meal personally vs. using a discount code or comping it.

The part of the story the cashier didn’t know is that my son’s two friends come from an insecure food situation at home. I try to invite them over for snacks and meals as often as possible. They hadn’t eaten yet, and this cafeteria meal with us was likely to be their only one today. My gratefulness for this cashier’s generosity went deeper than her simply saving me the embarrassment of a missing wallet. Her kindness ensured these boys had food for the day — literally.

After our meal, I went back to the registers to thank her again and find out if I could reimburse her now, as I’d finally gotten the app working on my phone. But she was gone, and the other workers weren’t sure of her name because she was new. I made sure to write to the company with everything I’ve shared here and tell them how awesome their cashier was to us.

1 Thumbs

The Nut Cake Is A Lie

, , , , , , | Working | April 4, 2019

(We’re in the office cafeteria. There are over a dozen people there around one large table. It is one coworker’s birthday and a manager bought a cake. We’re all enjoying it and having fun.)

Director: “Are there… nuts in that cake?”

Manager: “Why? Are you allergic?”

Director: “Well, I have an intolerance to nuts.”

Manager: “Oh, darn! I didn’t know. I would have chosen a nut-free cake, having known.”

Director: “No sweat. I just won’t eat it.” *looks at his piece of cake from all possible angles*

(A coworker looks at the label.)

Coworker: “Yes, according to the label, there are nuts in it.”

Director: “Ah. Okay, then.”

(The director then takes a forkful of cake, shoves it in his mouth, and gets up. We all look on in disbelief.)

Manager: “Did… did he just take a mouthful of a cake he’s allergic to?”

Director: *walks to the nearest trash can and spits the cake out* “I didn’t swallow it; I just put it in my mouth to taste it.”

(He then leaves the cafeteria as if everything is normal, leaving us all dumbfounded.)

Coworker: “Anyone have an epi-pen nearby? Just in case?”

(We never heard of that manager feeling bad or anything.)

1 Thumbs