Pay Out, Or You’ll Pay In No Staff

, , , , | Working | April 23, 2018

(I work at a well-known non-profit organization as a camp counsellor and lifeguard. When I had just gotten my lifeguarding qualifications, I wanted a job that was flexible and gave me good hours. This place is perfect in that regard, BUT they only pay minimum wage. Lifeguards usually make more because of the training we receive and the responsibility. However, our wage is, at its highest, $11 an hour — and that is only this year. The way it balances out is that we are able to work more hours, and we get our recertifications paid for. Unfortunately, the way lifeguards are treated at this place has gone downhill over the past couple of years. It all starts when we have staff training and we are told we will have a new policy. This is the tail end of the presentation.)

Upper Management: “…so, in conclusion, we have to keep you as part-time employees because if you are full-time, we have to pay more money than what we have in the budget. As a result, nobody can work over 29.5 hours a week.”

(Since a lot of us are still in high school and don’t want that many hours, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. I realize how limiting it is when another pool with the same organization desperately needs lifeguards. I decide to try and help out, thinking I can get more hours. They are grateful for the help, until we all learn I can’t work over 29.5 hours between both pools. This means that I can’t help them, even though they really need the help. It also gets worse when I try to work my usual job at a summer camp, and maintain weekend hours at the pool.)

Boss: “I just got word from human resources. You can’t work at the summer camp and get hours for the pool. They are worried you’ll go over and they will have to pay you overtime.”

Me: “What? But the summer camp job is a separate department. Plus, I’m only working 35 hours, and then I have my five-hour shift on Saturday.”

Boss: “They said it doesn’t matter. It’s the same company, so you can’t work for both. Even when I told them I desperately need you on that Saturday shift, they said you would work two extra hours and that’s it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not worth it for me to come in for two hours.”

Boss: “I figured as much.”

(Things get worse further along when we have another meeting.)

Upper Management: “…due to this change, we can no longer cover your recertification courses 100%. You will have to pay first, and then we will reimburse four hours pay for the course.”

Me: “So, are you increasing our pay?”

Upper Management: “No, pay is fixed at the current rate.”

Me: “How is that fair? Our rate is the way is it because you pay for our recertifications. Now you’re taking that away and not adjusting that?”

Upper Management: “No, you are still getting covered; we are just doing it differently. You pay first and you write in the hours for your course. Then, when it all works out, you’ll still be covered for almost the full amount.”

Me: “It actually doesn’t work out that way. You don’t want us working over 29 hours, nor will you pay us more than four hours. Now a typical lifeguarding recert is $50 to $60. I am making $11 an hour, so I will get paid only $44 for that time served.”

Upper Management: “Well, we did say not 100%, but it’s close—”

Me: “That is not including my standard first-aid I have to recertify, which requires me to run a full course every other year. That can cost almost $200. Or my instructor’s recertification. Furthermore, will you pay us to take more advance lifeguarding courses?”

Upper Management: “We will only do the four hours’ pay for recertifications.”

(Long story short, it didn’t balance out and they never increased our pay. I quit soon after and learned that the organization is having trouble maintaining lifeguards. Gee, I wonder why?)

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Your Commentary Doesn’t Float Well

, , , | Working | April 23, 2018

(We are undergoing staff training at our pool and have some new lifeguards. Before we get in the water, I am showing a new girl around and answering all her questions. She is tall with an athletic build and I am short with some extra pounds on my frame. For stations, we are divided into groups, and she and I are grouped together with four other boys. Everything is fine until we get to spirals. We are practicing from deep to shallow water. When the instructor leading the station asked us to get into partners, all the boys partner up, so I approach her about being partners. I immediately get the vibe that she doesn’t seem happy with this, but try to chalk it up to paranoia.)

Instructor: *noticing the gendered partnering* “I kind of sensed this would happen. Listen. It’s okay for now, but you all have to realize that we don’t get a choice in who you rescue. I’ve had to rescue men, women, seniors, children, etc. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to try to partner up with somebody different every time. That way, you’re prepared for it all.”

(This is when the new girl I’m partnered with pipes up for commentary.)

New Girl: “I guess I’m already doing that, because if I had a choice, I would’ve picked someone smaller and skinnier to rescue.”

(For some reason, my reaction is to assume she’s making a joke, so I turn to her, expecting her to take her comment back. Instead, I see her shrug and remain firm in what she said.)

Instructor: “You.” *points to new hire* “Sit out. You’re not in the rest of the session.”

(She eventually got fired for the amount of shifts she missed. Also, the joke was on her, because in swimming it is the ones with a little more fat on their bodies that can float better. So, SUCK IT, new girl!)

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I’ll Have A “Take Your Sweet” Thyme And A Glacial Melt

, , , , | Working | April 22, 2018

(I’m waiting in line at a fast food drive-thru. It’s moving very slowly, and I’m the second-closest to the drive-thru speaker. I can hear everything that’s going on with the car in front of me.)

Employee: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. May I take your order?”

Customer: *places order*

Employee: “Okay, your total is [amount]. Please pull up to the next window.”

(The line hasn’t moved an inch since this customer placed his order.)

Employee: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. May I take your order?”

Customer: “It’s still me.”

Employee: “Okay, sir, please pull up to the window when you’re ready.”

(Beat.)

Employee: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. May I take your order?”

Customer: “Hello! It’s me again! I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

Employee: “Okay, thank you.”

(The line finally moves. We only manage to make it up half a car-length.)

Employee: “Hello! Welcome to [Restaurant]. May I take your order?”

(There is this awkward pause, as the car in front of me is no longer next to the speaker, and I’m only halfway there, so I can’t see the entire menu.)

Employee: “This is the same person, isn’t it?”

(The line suddenly starts moving again, so I manage to pull up right next to the speaker.)

Me: “Nope, you finally got a different customer, now! Thanks for waiting. Are you ready to take my order?”

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Unfiltered Story #109187

, | Unfiltered | April 22, 2018

(I’m working the closing shift at a frozen yogurt shop. At around 7 pm, the phone rings, and I answer with my usual greeting.)

Me: “Good evening, [Shop Name] [Location], this is [My Name] speaking, how can I help you?”

(The caller sounds like an adolescent or young adult woman.)

Woman: *loudly* “Is this [Shop Name]?”

Me: “Yes, this is [Shop Name] [Location].”

Woman: “Is it healthy there?”

(While people like to consider frozen yogurt and sorbet a healthiER alternative to ice cream, I would hesitate to call our products “healthy”.)

Me: “…Healthy in what regard?”

Woman: “Like, healthier than CC Swirls?”

(CC Swirls is another Canadian frozen yogurt shop, but up to that point I’d never heard of it.)

Me: “Than…what, sorry?”

Woman: “CC Swirls.”

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t know what that is, so I can’t offer a comparison.”

Woman: “How dare you.”

(I assume she’s joking, and laugh. I’m starting to suspect this is a prank call, but since she isn’t doing any harm and I have nothing better to do, I stay on the line.)

Woman: “I guess it’s probably a bit better.”

Me: “Well, you’re always welcome to come in and check everything out, if you’d like.”

Woman: “Is this Oakville?”

Me: “Yes, we are located in Oakville, at the intersection of [Street Name] and [Street Name].”

Woman: “Good for you.”

Me: “…Thanks?”

Woman: “So are you hiring?”

(We have literally just hired a new employee, and are probably not looking to hire more just yet.)

Me: “I think we may have just hired someone, but we are always happy to take resumes.”

Woman: “Okay. How old do you have to be to work there?”

Me: “I’m not sure how old you have to be to actually work here, but to be given a key for opening or closing you have to be 16 years old.”

Woman: “Okay. I’m 21 –”

(I wonder to myself if she honestly thinks there’s any normal job, let alone a job selling frozen yogurt, whose minimum age requirement is that high.)

Woman: “– and I used to work at –”

(The call suddenly cuts out. Since I’ve known this phone to give us trouble, I don’t know if it was a problem on either of our ends, or if she hung up.)

Me: “Hello? Are you there? …I’m sorry; if you’re there, I’m afraid I can’t hear you, and you’ll have to call back.”

(There is the sound of the call being dropped, and then a dial tone. There were no more calls the rest of the night. I don’t know if it was a prank call or if that woman was just very strange, but it was certainly amusing!)

The Couponator 5: Online Decline

, , , , | Right | April 21, 2018

(A woman comes up to my register to pay for her items.)

Me: “Hi, is that all for you today?”

Customer: “Yes. I have a $5 coupon on my phone; I just need to pull it up.”

Me: “Okay, great, no problem.”

(I see her struggle to load the page; after a few moments she shows me a blank screen.)

Customer: “It’s not loading, but it’s right here.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Since that’s just a blank page and there’s no barcode or sku number, there’s no way I can actually put the coupon into the system.”

Customer: “There has to be a way you can honour it! Can I speak to a manager?”

Me: “She’s not in right now; it’s just me. But even if she was, there’s no way our system will let us use the coupon since we can’t actually see it.”

(I spend a few more minutes trying to help her get the page to load. After a moment, I realize she’s connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot several blocks away.)

Me: “Do you have LTE?”

Customer: *blank stare*

Me: “Do you have mobile Internet on your smartphone? If you do, you’ll be able to connect to the Internet, as we don’t have Wi-Fi here.”

Customer: “I don’t have that.”

Me: “Okay, then, I’m sorry. It’s not possible for me to take your coupon today.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! What good is a coupon if I can’t even use it?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Next time be sure to print the coupon, or take a screenshot next time you are connected to the Internet.”

Customer: “This isn’t fair! You should be able to honour it!”

Me: “It’s not our fault that you don’t have Internet, ma’am. I’m sorry that you feel inconvenienced.”

(I ring up her purchase.)

Me: “Thank you. Have a nice day.”

Customer: *mumbles incoherently, snatches her bag, and storms off*

Related:
The Couponator 4: Deadly Discounts
The Couponator 3: Rise Of The Coupons

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