Only Side They’re Getting Is A Sideways Glance

, , , , , | Right | August 4, 2020

I witness this interaction as I’m in line to order from a fast food restaurant at a local theme park. A customer pushes his way to the counter, bypassing the line.

Customer: “Excuse me, I just need a side tray.”

Worker: “A side tray?”

Customer: “Yeah, I need a side tray. Can I get one?”

The worker offers him a large plastic tray, the type you’d put a whole order on. 

Customer: “No! I need a side tray. A siiiiide traaaaaaay.”

The worker offers him a disposable plate with a questioning look on her face.

Customer: “A. Side. Tray. I need a side tray.”

Worker: “I’m not sure what that is, sir.”

The worker looks around her workspace and offers him a clam-shell takeout box.

Customer: “No, I need a side tray! Jeez, how many different words do I need to use to get you to understand what I want?!”

He grabbed the takeout box and stormed off, still muttering to his friend about the “side tray.” By the confusion on the faces of all of the other customers in line, I’m guessing he should have used more than just two words to describe this mysterious thing he wanted!

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This Is Enough To Make Anyone A Germaphobe

, , , , , , , | Working | August 4, 2020

During the recent health crisis, the bakery I work at has actually gotten a lot more orders and we end up hiring two new guys. One of them is turning into a problem case, seemingly having no common sense about working with food.

I’m working with him one day, showing him how to bag/pack some of the more delicate pies and pastries we make. I leave to take a phone order for a few minutes. I come back and notice he’s licking his fingers every time before grabbing a fresh bag.

Me: “Hey, go wash your hands and stop licking your fingers.”

New Hire: “Well, I can’t open the bags right.”

Me: “Then prep them before you start. Don’t lick your fingers while you’re bagging again; it’s not sanitary.”

I toss the few bags he did while I took the order and go back to my work. Ten minutes later, I go back around to check on him and now he’s blowing hard into every bag to get it open before starting.

Me: “Are you kidding me? Don’t blow into the f****** bags!”

New Hire: *Looking genuinely confused* “Why? I’m not licking the bag.”

I tossed out another dozen bags and called over my boss. Even after a solid five- or ten-minute conversation trying to explain contamination and basic hygienic practices, nothing seemed to stick. My boss decided, in the end, to stick him on delivery duty for the next few weeks while we needed the help.

The strangest thing is that he wasn’t some conspiracy theorist who didn’t believe the outbreak was real; he just genuinely didn’t seem to get that blowing into a bag you’re going to pack with food or licking your fingers every minute while handling food was a bad idea.

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Unfiltered Story #203770

, , | Unfiltered | August 4, 2020

(I’m a manager at a popular fast food restaurant. We’re in the middle of a rush, and I’m in the kitchen prepping tomatoes. As I’m doing this, a cashier comes up to me and tells me that there is a rude customer demanding to see me. When I come up to the counter, there is a woman taking up half the counter with her order looking very angry.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: *Gesturing to the cashier who has gone back to helping other customers* “That young man was very rude to me! All I wanted was some ketchup and he gave me a horrible look!”

Me: *Automatically reaching under the counter for ketchup packets* “I’m so sorry about that. How many ketchups would you like?”

Customer: “No! I don’t want that ketchup! I want the ketchup from the kitchen!”

Me: *Suddenly realizing why the cashier gave up* “Ma’am, its exactly the same ketchup. We-”

Customer: “No! I don’t want to open those packets and waste the precious resources of this planet! I need ketchup from the kitchen!”

(I give in and squirt ketchup from a bottle on the sandwich board into a cardboard container and hand it to her. She huffs and thanks me and leaves with her food. The cashier and I share a look and I finish prepping the tomatoes. When I’m done I come back up to the counter to help the cashier. The customer approaches me again, looking angry.)

Customer: *Thrusting a sandwich toward me* “You made my sandwich wrong. I need a new one!”

(Not wanting to argue with her, I apologize and take the sandwich back into the kitchen to explain the situation to the cooks. I am forced to throw away the sandwich.)

Me: *Later, to the cashier* “So much for not wasting the precious resources of this planet.”

Last Day Pains

, , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

I work in a mailroom for a mail-order catalog. Mailroom workers who work the day shift have an additional responsibility to call customers whose order forms are either missing information or illegible. I am stationed on the phones today with an employee who is working their last day before moving to another state. We have thirty minutes before we clock out.

Coworker: “Oh, no.”

Me: “What is it?”

Coworker: “It’s ‘Miss Pain’ again.”

“Miss Pain” is what we call a certain customer who makes our job a lot harder. Instead of filling out an order form, she sends pages from the multiple catalogs we send out, with the items she wants circled and quantity written next to it. She also never sends any form of payment, so we have to call her in order to get her card information. Her calls take a long time to complete because she always disagrees with what she sent in.

Me: “Just leave her order for tomorrow. It’s almost time to go, and you know she’s just going to argue with you.”

Coworker: *Smiles* “You know what? It’s my last day; I want to have a little fun.”

He calls her and relays to me what she said after work, in his best customer service voice.

Coworker: “Hello, Mrs. [Customer], I’m [Coworker] calling from [Mail Order Company]. I have some questions about your order form.

Miss Pain: *Angry* “Yes, it’s about time you called me. Hold on while I grab my card.”

Coworker: “No, that won’t be necessary. My question is, did you realize you didn’t send an order form at all? You just sent us pages with items circled.”

Miss Pain: *Near shouting* “Yes! I do it that way so you idiots don’t mess it up.”

Coworker: “All right. Are you also aware that there is no form of payment with this mess of paper?”

Miss Pain: “Yes! I’m not going to just write down my card information so some random person can open my mail and steal it.”

Coworker: “We have a phone number printed on every catalog that you can call between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm to make place your orders.”

Miss Pain: “I’m not going to be placed on hold. It’s better if you call me. Now, take down my card information so you can mail out my order. This is taking way too long.”

Coworker: “In a little bit. You do realize that when we get your stack of papers, the worker who gets your order has to take time to fill out an order form, look at every single page, make sure it’s correct, and then, instead of sending it to the processing pile, they have to send it to the callbacks, because you didn’t send any payment information?”

I’m finished with my last call and I’m listening in, holding back laughter.


Coworker: “Yes, but we have to hit a certain number of orders processed. Taking the time to fix your mess of an order can actually make a person miss their quota, Miss Pain. I mean Mrs. [Customer].”

I walk away so Miss Pain doesn’t hear me laugh. It’s now less than twenty minutes before we are to leave.


Coworker: *Sternly* “No, I will not put on my manager. You have three choices. You start filling out the form correctly, so the employees can fill your order quickly. You can place your order by phone. Or you can just stop ordering from us; we have plenty of customers. Of course, you will probably want to complain, instead. My name is [Coworker], and you can find the number on one of the catalogs; however, they are closing so you won’t have anyone to talk to. It’s also my last day, so you won’t be getting me fired since I already quit.” *Puts on his customer service voice* “Have a great evening, Miss Pain.”

He hung up on her before anything else could be said and joined the rest of us in cleaning up. We went out for drinks after to wish him luck in his new home and to celebrate someone finally telling her off. I don’t know if Miss Pain complained or not, or if anything was done if she did.

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Math Skills! Ooh Ha Ha!

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2020

I am a private tutor. To make math more fun for my students, I often play a modified version of a Pompeii-themed boardgame with them during our lessons. For every question they answer correctly, they get a certain number of moves — depending on the question’s difficulty — to help their pawns escape the city, which gets increasingly consumed by lava as the rounds continue. For every wrong answer, they forfeit their turn and I get to move my pawns instead. The person with the most escaped pawns by the end of the game is the “winner”.

To try to instill a habit of always checking their work, I’ve also created a rule that if they don’t read over their steps or at least double-check the question again when they get to their answer, I get to just take one of their pawns and pop it straight into the volcano in the corner of the board. I am brutal with this and it has worked tremendously well; I don’t usually have to punt a pawn into a volcano more than once or twice before double-checking their work becomes an automatic process. 

I am playing this game with one of my fourth-graders — age nine. After giving him a two-digit multiplication question, I look over and check his answer once he’s finished — and double-checked!

Me: “You missed something in your addition there. Check that last column again.”

Student: “What do you mean?”

Me: “That shouldn’t be a zero. Check it again.”

Student: “No, that’s a nine!”

I take the whiteboard back from him, at which point I can see that he indeed wrote a nine, not a zero; I missed the “tail” of the nine from the angle I was viewing it from and the fact that he’d written the answer right on the edge of the board. But he got the right answer, fair and square.

Me: “Whoops, you’re right. It is a nine. Sorry, I thought that was a zero. My bad.”

Without skipping a beat, the student wordlessly takes one of my pawns off the board, and, without breaking eye contact, puts it straight into the volcano.

Me: “…”

Student: *Deadpan* “You didn’t double-check.”

Okay, kiddo. You win this round!

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