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The Times Changed Real Quick For A Minute There

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2023

In March 2020, due to the health crisis, our company instituted a work-from-home policy for all of its employees. Most of us had laptops to work on; anyone who didn’t was issued one.

The WFH situation dragged on, and on. It went from “We’ll be back by summer 2020” to “Maybe not until October 2020” to “God only knows”.  

Sometime in early 2021, I found out that a longtime employee, Chris, had been laid off. I was saddened but not surprised. My somewhat ditzy coworker Bonny, however, could NOT understand why it had happened.

Bonny: “Why would they let Chris go? He’s been with the company for years!”

Me: “It sucks, definitely, but Chris’s role was Desktop Support, so…”

Bonny: “So? What’s that got to do with anything?”

Me: “With no one working at the office, there were no desktops to support. They were essentially paying Chris to do nothing for almost a year.”

Bonny: “I still don’t get why they’d lay him off. So unfair.”

Me: “He was literally doing nothing. That’s not his fault, but I see their side of it.”

Bonny: “But we’ll go back to the office eventually, and they’ll need him then!”

I gave up at that point. As it turned out, in mid-2021, the company announced that anyone who wanted to keep working from home could do so indefinitely. Therefore, Chris STILL wouldn’t have had much to do if they’d kept him on.

The Only Thing Being Groomed Here Is A Safe Space

, , , , , , | Right | November 18, 2023

I work in a convenience store owned by an older Korean guy. [Owner]’s son has recently come out as gay, and [Owner] is being super supportive. His son has a friend who is hosting a drag show at the weekend, so [Owner] has placed some fliers advertising the event on his storefront.

A customer comes in, sees the flyer, and wrinkles her nose.

Customer: “I’m sure it’s because you didn’t know, Mr. [Owner], but that is an ad for a drag show.”

Owner: “Yes, I know.”

Customer: “Oh, so you must not know what a drag show is?”

Owner: “I know. It’s when gay men dress as ladies and make people laugh. Very funny.”

Customer: “You know they’re all groomers and junkies, right? You shouldn’t be advertising that! You’re a good Christian!”

Owner: “Groomer?”

He doesn’t understand the context of the word in English, so I explain it to him in Korean.

Owner: “Oh! I am shocked!”

Customer: “I knew you’d understand!”

Owner: “I am shocked you believe in such lies!”

Customer: “It’s not lies! They’re groomers who abuse kids!”

[Owner] then says something angrily in Korean. The customer looks at me.

Customer: “What did he say?”

Me: “Roughly, he said, ‘Tell you what. You go online and get me a list of all the kids who’ve been abused by drag queens, and I’ll go get a list of all the kids who have been abused by Catholic priests, and we’ll see whose list is longer. You go first.'”

Customer: “He didn’t really say all that!”

Owner: “He did. I’m waiting.”

Customer: “I’ll be praying for your soul, Mr. [Owner].”

Owner: *As the customer is walking out* “Don’t pray for me with the priest! They’re groomers!”

The drag show was hilarious, by the way.

Keep Going Until You Get To The Actual “Backrooms”

, , | Right | November 16, 2023

Customer: “I’m looking for [item].”

Me: “Oh, I’m afraid we’re out of those.”

Customer: “How can you know that?”

Me: “It’s been a very popular product since they did that advertising campaign.”

Customer: “Yeah, I want it because I saw the ad.”

Me: “Then I guess it’s working! We should hopefully have some more in stock Wednesday next week.”

Customer: “Can you go check the back?”

Me: “We didn’t keep any in the back, sir. They’ve been flying off the shelves, so we’ve kept all stock out the front.”

Customer: “Could you just go check anyway? Just to be sure.”

I hold out my work phone with the store inventory app.

Me: “Sir, our system confirms what I already know. We don’t have any in stock.”

Customer: “Just go check the back. Just in case.”

I smile politely, but I know any attempt to check the back will be fruitless. Instead, I go to the office to reply to a corporate email I have been meaning to send. I return to the customer four minutes later.

Me: “Sorry, sir, none back there.”

Customer: “Could a manager check for me?”

Me: “I am a manager, sir.”

Customer: “Could the general manager check for me?”

Me: “Sir, the general manager actually has less knowledge of our inventory than I do at the moment.”

Customer: “If they could just check for me, that would be great.”

Me: “Sir, he’s not available at the moment anyway.”

Customer: “If they could just check for me, that would be great.”

I stare at him for a moment, trying to figure out if this customer is instead a sophisticated android stuck in a dialogue loop. Nope… sadly seems human.

Me: “Sir, our general manager is unavailable for the rest of the evening, and we will be closing in half an hour. Please come back on Wednesday.”

Customer: “So there’s no one else at the back that can check for me.”

Me: “That’s correct. Good night, sir.”

Customer: “Does the back room have a back room?”

Me: “Good night… sir.”

Nobody Puts Baby In A Box

, , , , , , , , , | Working | November 16, 2023

In Ontario, they have done away with plastic shopping bags. I’m in a dollar store with my six-year-old daughter, and as always, I’ve left my reusable shopping bags in the car.

Cashier: “You can take a box from the pile at the front.”

I send my daughter to pick a box. She picks one with a picture of a toy on it, and it is bigger than needed. I don’t care. The cashier does.

Cashier: *To my daughter, in a rude tone* “That box is too big! Pick the one beside it.”

[Daughter]’s face falls, and she looks so crestfallen. She puts back the box she picked, does not pick another one, and just walks over to me, all sad.

I get the momma bear look on my face and stare at the cashier, who goes over and picks up the smaller box. When she sees my face, she puts down the small box.

Me: *To my daughter* “Go pick the box you want.”

She happily skipped over and got it. The cashier said nothing for the rest of the transaction.

When we got home, the box was turned into a house for one of [Daughter]’s toys.

The moral of the story: let a kid pick whatever box they want… or give out shopping bags again.

Enough To Make You Colorblind With Rage

, , , , | Right | November 15, 2023

It is mid-November. I’m speaking with my manager on the floor when a customer comes up to us with his phone at the ready. Worth noting is that the store is near-empty at this point; there is exactly one other customer within earshot.

Customer #1: “Excuse me, sirs, could one of you help me with something?”

Me: “Depends, what’s the problem here?”

Customer #1: “I’m Christmas shopping for a family member. She’s got this on her wish list, but I’m colorblind. Could you help me find this piece in this color?”

Out of nowhere, the other customer abruptly stands up with a loud, angry yell.

Customer #2: “What the h*** are you even doing in a clothes store if you’re colorblind? You people don’t have any business trying to—”

Before he gets any further, [Manager] steps forward to get between him and [Customer #1].

Manager: “You’re going to get out of the store, now.”

Customer #2: “Who the f*** are you?”

Manager: “I’m the motherf****** manager.”

Customer #2: “How dare you?! You can’t talk to me like that!”

Manager: “Actually, I can, given that you just talked to me like that.”

Customer #2: “I’m a paying customer!”

Manager: “Not if you’re going to act like that, you’re not. You can’t mistreat other customers and the staff and expect to be allowed to continue shopping. You are not welcome here. Get out of the store before I have you trespassed.”

[Customer #2] is left sputtering for a moment before he screeches at [Manager] and storms out of the store. [Manager] turns back to [Customer #1].

Manager: “Sorry about that, sir. What did you need help finding again?”

We got [Customer #1] the piece he was looking for. [Manager] made small talk with the customer while I was ringing him up. Apparently, [Customer #1] recognized [Manager]’s retort from something he’d watched; [Customer #1] left with a smile on his face, and [Manager] was in a good mood for the rest of the day.