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Your Request Makes Not A Gar-Lick Of Sense!

, , , , | Right | January 26, 2022

I answer the phone at my butcher shop. It’s a customer who was in about an hour ago. 

Customer: “Hi. I was there before and I bought a piece of garlic, but it didn’t make it into the bag.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry. We can either refund it or, if it’s convenient for you to come back, we can just replace it.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want either of those things. I’m cooking right now, and I don’t have it.”

Me: *Unsure where this is going* “Well, like I said, we can replace it or refund it—”

Customer: “I would prefer if one of your employees drove it over to me right now. I’m right in town.”

I blink as I try to process this, looking around at my already extremely short-staffed store and my coworkers running around like chickens with their heads cut off, trying to keep on top of everything.  

Me: “Right… Well, as I said, we can refund it or replace it. None of our employees are going to be able to deliver it to your home.”

Customer: “Well, that’s ridiculous.”

Not as ridiculous as your request that we hand-deliver $1 garlic to your house, lady!

An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 21

, , , , | Right | January 24, 2022

I work at a clubhouse front desk. It is for homeowners in the district who pay a monthly subscription to use our amenities such as the pool, gym, lounge, etc. We closed briefly for health reasons. We opened during the summer but now require face masks indoors. This does not go over well with members who seem to tell themselves this is a country club or private resort that they personally own.

A particularly difficult member comes in who is known to be combative. It’s during the full swing of the summer rush when we have multiple families coming in and out. This woman comes walking toward the front doors and I can already see she is not wearing a mask.

She pushes open the doors and walks past several families attempting to sign in.

Rude Member: “Listen, this is what is going to happen! My friends and I are coming into the club without masks, and we are going to walk right through to the pool!”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but you cannot sign in members, let alone be inside, without masks. It’s our policy.”

She tries to grab the guest sign-in clipboard by reaching through the protective window.

Rude Member: “I am signing in my guests, and we are coming in! Don’t be a mask Nazi!

Me: “Ma’am, that language is absolutely unacceptable and inappropriate. I will not tolerate being called names by anyone. I am here to make sure you are following the guidelines for your safety. I want to see each of my fellow neighbors happy and healthy, and I would hate for anyone here to catch [contagious illness] because I let people in without the proper safety precautions.”

By this time, multiple families have come and gone, staring at this woman who has wasted her own time by refusing to wear a mask. Her friends finally arrive and, surprisingly, they are already wearing masks, probably because they actually read the seven signs outside and on the doors saying we require masks. She seems surprised by this. After more arguing, she reluctantly puts a mask on and awkwardly signs in her guests.

About an hour later, a teen boy comes in with his friend. He is not old enough to sign a guest in, and he wants to use the gym, which costs five dollars for guests since we have a low-capacity limit. He calls his mother to come and pay for the guest and sign him in since, apparently, she is there swimming. I decide to allow this bending of the rules since I find most of our rules to be a bit stringent anyway.

Lo and behold, the woman from before comes sulking in, looking embarrassed, and sweetly tries asking me to waive the fee for the guest. I just stand there, puzzled, as she has already insulted me and made a scene, and now she wants me to reward her.

Me: “No. You have to pay the guest fee.”

The rude member rolled her eyes, handed me a five, and walked away without saying another word.

A couple of days later, this same member came into the gym when I was not on shift, and she was not wearing a mask. One of our older employees, a sweetheart of a woman, asked if she was medically exempt from wearing a mask. Of course, the member jumped all over this and immediately claimed she was exempt from wearing a mask. Due to our policy at the time, we were not allowed to ask for proof or for medical letters. So, she walked in without a mask for months with a smug look on her face and a condescending little wave at me. She would make sure to say, “Hi, [My Name], how are you doing?” and give me a big fake smile to show her uncovered face.

As of December, our policy was changed by the board that runs this district’s community rules and regulations. Now, we require medical proof via documents from a doctor stating that a person is exempt from wearing a mask. The documents have to be submitted to member services, and they are kept private. We all have anxiously waited for our rude member’s return so we could see her reaction to the policy change. Since the e-blast we sent out about the change, she has not returned.

An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 20
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 19
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 18
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 17
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 16

Maybe Come Back In A Few Years

, , , , | Learning | January 23, 2022

I am teaching a student various driving rules. Eventually, we get to the point of turns with traffic lights, what different lights mean, and when we can turn on red lights. I don’t like to outright give my students the answers, so there’s a lot of leading with questions and drawing a diagram to get them to the answer with their own brainpower.

I won’t recap the whole conversation, but it took quite some time to get this student to understand that you can turn left on a red light if you are turning from a one-way to a one-way.

Me: “And this is the only situation you can turn left on a red light, because it’s the one time a left turn is not crossing over another lane.”

Student: “Oh, so you can only do it once?”

So Much For Self-Awareness

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2022

I work for a software company headquartered on the west coast of the US. The company acquired a smaller company and merged my business unit with the acquisition. The acquired company was located in the South, and the owner and founder was an ex-Navy good-old-boy with a tough, no-nonsense demeanor. He was put in charge of the merged business unit as a VP, but he continued to try to run it as though he were still a big fish in a small Southern pond.

At one meeting that he flew out for, he proceeded to tell us that his local second-in-command was a man he hired because he bought a used car from him and liked his style, and he used that as an illustration of how people don’t always conform to their stereotypes. Then, he proceeded to inform several people in the meeting that he was happy about how they didn’t conform to their ethnic stereotypes.

This apparently filtered up to Human Resources, and shortly thereafter, HR dragged all of the VPs leading business units into diversity awareness training. 

Our new VP learned a lesson from the training, but we were not sure he learned the right one. Soon afterward, he flew out for another meeting with us. He let us all know that he had heard that there had been some problems in our group about people being made to feel unwelcome. Well, he wasn’t going to stand for that, so he made point of telling us all that if there was any discrimination going on, we could skip going to HR and come directly to his assistant, who would bring it to him, and he would personally deal with it.

I don’t think anyone ever took him up on that offer. I know I was definitely glad when my function got moved out from under that business unit.

There’s Gotta Be A Better Way!

, , , , , , | Working | January 20, 2022

I used to work for a now-defunct bookstore, and this is a story describing Inventory Nights from h***. The bookstore always hired an outside company to do the Inventory. Managers would stay all night and even bought the equivalent of a pizza party to feed the poor Inventory Workers who would stay all night to do their work.

Inventory took place starting at 5:00 pm and ran until 6:00 am — thirteen-hour shifts! Even with an hour of unpaid lunch break, that’s pretty miserable. Insult to injury? From 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm, the STORE WAS OPEN TO CUSTOMERS! The store should have closed early, and for whatever reason, it wasn’t.

So, you’ve got:

1) customers meandering around in the store, pulling books off shelves that were in the middle of being scanned;

2) customers wandering off with stacks of books that may or may not have been scanned into the system yet;

3) cranky customers snarling at the poor Inventory Workers who are “in the way”;

4) customers obliviously tripping over or kicking the Inventory Workers sitting on the hard floor and scanning books on the very bottom shelf;

5) Retail Workers doing the do-si-do with Inventory Workers, who have to creep behind the already cramped registers to scan books that are on hold;

6) announcements every fifteen minutes, for six hours, asking customers to “Please forgive the inconvenience: our store is going through Inventory right now,” which got old really fast to have to listen to;

7) absolutely no sane way to clean up the store before closing.

The entire evening was a kind of slow-motion scene of chaos. Can we put the cartloads of go-backs away? Nope! Not until the Inventory Workers have scanned them. Oops! Somebody found a pile of books hidden behind a chair. Better find a place for those to be scanned. Hey, has anybody scanned this cart of go-backs from the registers yet? No? I’d better leave this pile somewhere else for it to be scanned because the go-back cart is overloaded. Some Inventory Worker is currently scanning the shelf where these scanned go-backs need to go, so now we have to wait for the Inventory Worker to pass the spot where this is usually shelved so we don’t mess up the scanning.

I know it’s not the Inventory Workers’ fault that they got dragged in to do work at the same time as the Retail Workers. In fact, they had the grace to be apologetic to the Retail Workers as they tried to huddle in the smallest space they can physically curl into to avoid bumping butts with us.

Our Inventory numbers weren’t great, but what could we do? You can’t constantly shuffle the inventory while it is being inventoried.

I worked for that company for five years, and every inventory shift was basically the same song and dance.