Two Become One

, , , , , | Working | March 27, 2021

I am checking out a few purchases at a cheap retailer. I have grabbed a set of oven mitts that have become separated. They are clearly marked with matching info and proudly claim “set of two” on both tags.

Me: “Hello, I found these detached, but they say they’re a set of two, and another set is behind a bunch of merchandise.”

Cashier: “Yes, this is two.”

She says this indicating to the thumb side and then the fingers side of a single mitt. I stare at the woman for a moment and calmly respond.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but that is one glove; a set of two is both of them.”

She calls a line manager to confirm. I’ve already told her it’s fine; I don’t want to hold up the line to get a $5 oven mitt. The customer next to me has started talking to her cashier about how you would burn your hand trying to take out something with one oven mitt, but my cashier continues to ignore everything and waits on the line manager to confirm. I am still asking to check out and leave.

Finally, the line manager comes to confirm how many two are. The manager says the same thing, pointing to the thumb side and the finger side and saying that means two. I’m losing my mind at this point. 

Me: “Please, I’ve already said I no longer want this item. Can I please just pay for my things and leave?”

The line manager tells my cashier to just give it to me, but at this point, I just want to go home. I decline her offer politely and ask again to please just leave.

My cashier finally scans the rest of my things. She had done nothing the whole time we waited.

I left with less faith in humanity; two women could not figure out between the both of them how many two are. They honestly thought one glove meant two because it had a side to put your thumb in instead of being one big mitt.

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That’s Definitely NOT What They Mean By “Play Place”

, , , , , | Right | March 18, 2021

I worked at a fast food place in a smaller town as a team leader on the later shifts, getting off after 10:00 five nights a week. This particular restaurant was the highest-grossing one of this chain in the entire district, including the majority of Northern California. At night, it’s pretty slow and uneventful in the lobby, the main business coming through the drive-thru for dinner and late snacks.

One night, though, one particular “regular” came in. She was wearing relatively skimpy clothes that were torn all about, very revealing in general. She simply ordered a value item and a drink and proceeded to wait in the back. An older gentleman came in a little while later, ordered something similar, and sat near her. At first, it seemed innocent enough.

Though I had missed what led up to this, the woman started “performing” for the gentleman in the corner of the restaurant, including on the table, the bench of the booth, and even nearby chairs. It was, to put it very simply, something that one shouldn’t be doing in a public area in any capacity. When anyone came out, they would stop and try to hide it, but the cameras saw everything. My employees were at a loss, so I got an idea.

I checked the drive-thru to make sure it was empty and then checked the time: it was around time for me to take a meal break. I got some food together and clocked out for my meal. I could have gone into the break room, but instead, I sat opposite the restaurant from the “couple” in the corner and enjoyed my dinner. They were stiff and didn’t move much while I was out there. About ten minutes later, the woman got up, muttering something angrily, and stormed out, basically dragging the man with her. From that night on, I didn’t see this woman show up again, even though she was relatively a regular.

I found out later that she was banned from the restaurant by the manager for smoking in the doorway, and then blowing cigarette smoke in his face, as well as attempting to steal — and I wish I was making this up — the thermostat.

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Customers That Leave A Bad Taste

, , , , | Right | March 17, 2021

I am a supervisor at a popular store. Now that the holidays are over, it has been pretty slow, so we have fewer associates in the store since there is less to do.

I am the current manager on duty and I am talking to my assistant manager about upcoming projects near the registers. The cashier takes the one customer in line and asks how her shopping experience was.

Customer: “Terrible! I don’t think there is anyone working upstairs at all!”

Cashier: *Casually* “There probably isn’t.”

The assistant manager and I exchanged bewildered looks. There is never no one working in an area, especially at night when the bulk of the work gets done. There are also several price checkers on each floor that all have a button to call for an associate. We both approach the register.

Assistant Manager: “We do have four people working upstairs right now.”

Me: “I’m so sorry that you weren’t able to find anyone. Is there anything you were looking for? I can have someone help find it now.”

Customer: “No, I found [Upstairs Associate]. She was very helpful. But I had to go and find her. You should have more people. I want your corporate phone number.”

While the assistant manager shows her where she can get the number and briefly explains the funding and floor coverage, I relay communication to our upstairs team to make sure they are not getting too absorbed in one area and to remember to walk their areas so that customers know they are there.

Customer: “I usually like shopping at [Store], but this whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. We’ll see how I feel about it tomorrow. No wonder my store in Alabama is closing.”

Assistant Manager: “There are three to five stores that are closing in order to reopen in different locations. So [Store] is keeping the same number of stores.”

We make sure that the customer doesn’t need anything else and let [Cashier] finish. I then have to leave for my lunch. 

The transaction ends up taking almost forty minutes! It’s usually five to ten minutes max for a very full cart. The customer lost her wallet upstairs, so [Upstairs Associate] brings it down and then she and the cashier start talking for a while. Luckily, there are almost no other customers in the store, and we have someone there to help the couple that come up to check out.

Later on, I am talking to the assistant manager about it. 

Assistant Manager: “…and guess what? [Customer] opened a [Store Credit Card]! I guess she didn’t have such a bad taste in her mouth that she didn’t want to stop shopping here!”

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Drone Four Of Twelve, Crafty Adjunct Of Unimatrix Customer Service

, , , , | Right | March 16, 2021

I am the shift manager, working as a register backup when it’s busy. A coworker calls me up to get customer service feedback from a customer. The customer had come in to pick up an order and I was the one to physically hand her the order. You don’t get a paper receipt for an in-store pickup order; the receipt is emailed to the customer.

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “The girl who just gave me my order didn’t do it right. I didn’t get a receipt and I didn’t know if I got charged; she just checked my order number and handed me my bag and didn’t give me a receipt. I think she was confused and now I’m confused. I don’t like how she acted.”

Me: “Was there someone else who helped you with the order?”

Customer: “No, just the one girl. She was confused and didn’t do it right, and now I don’t know if my order is right.”

Me: “Let me look your order up in my system and make sure it was right.”

Customer: “Does it tell you who did the pickup so that you can talk to her?”

I’m becoming increasingly aware that this customer is not joking.

Me: “Can you tell me what she looked like?”

Customer: “She has pink hair.”

I am the only person with pink hair.

Me: “Okay. I know who that is. I’ll make sure she knows about this incident and gets the proper training.”

Customer: “Thank you. That makes me feel better. I was so confused.”

Good to know we’re all interchangeable, faceless drones to some customers.

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Literally Working Smarter, Not Harder

, , , , , , | Working | March 16, 2021

At my first duty station for the Navy after boot camp — a yearlong training program with very demanding classes eight to ten hours per weekday — in addition to classes and other duties, we had physical training three times a week. Periodically, there are also command runs. I hate running with a passion. I will do any other cardio to avoid it. Sadly, we have a commanding officer who wants us to do command runs monthly.

My collateral duty is being the division yeoman, keeping track of our training and paperwork. This included signing everyone in for command runs. Our division leadership wants us all to do as much college work as possible because a combo of college equivalency exams (CLEPs and DSSTs) and our weekday classes could become an AA degree. This seems pointless for me since I have a BA already, but I realize fast that this is a wonderful new way to avoid command runs; we are excused from the runs to do our tests. As a divisional yeoman, I am one of the first to find out about our new schedule each month, so as soon as I see the schedule, I schedule myself a CLEP test that “happens” to coincide with the command run.

My division leadership probably realizes what I am doing, but since I am passing the CLEPs, they don’t care. But I have a PT leader shipmate who takes personal offense to my avoiding command runs. One month, I notice that the command run is scheduled for a day that is a holy day in my religion. I check to see what my options for fulfilling the religious obligation are. The only way I can do it would be after class, at the same time as the command run. Of course, I have to inform my division leadership about why I am missing the run. As luck would have it, the PT leader shipmate is in their office, too. The conversation goes something like this.

Shipmate: “Let me guess. You’re scheduling another CLEP so you can’t make the command run?”

Me: “No, I can’t make it this month because it’s on a holy day in my religion and it conflicts with the only time I can make the observance.”

Division Chief: “Okay, not a problem. Do your thing.”

Shipmate: “What religion are you anyway?”

Me: “I’m [Religion].”

Shipmate: *Smirking* “So am I! What’s the holy day?”

Me: “It’s [Holy Day]… so I guess I’ll see you at the service?”

He looked very surprised. And I didn’t see him at the service. Also, I transferred to my next command with fifteen classes worth of CLEPs and DSSTs!

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