Warning Signs: AKA Price Tags

| MN, USA | Right | December 9, 2015

(In addition to selling coffee we also sell things like mugs and greeting cards. A woman brings three cards up to the counter.)

Me: *after ringing them up* “That’ll be $16.50.”

Customer: “What? $16.50 for three cards? Are you sure?”

Me: *checks* “Yes, I’m sure. See, on the back it shows how much it is. These are all around $5 so with tax that makes $16.50.”

Woman: “Well, that seems like too much.”

Me: “Well,they are kind of expensive, but they are also really great cards and I’m sure whoever you are buying them for will love them.”

Customer: “But still, $16.50!”

Me: “Do you still want to buy them?”

Customer: “Well, yes, but you should have some sort of warning sign up.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “A warning sign. Write a sign that says, ‘Beware: cards are expensive!’”

An Alarming Shift In Conversation

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Working | December 8, 2015

(I agree to work an opening shift at a different branch of the coffee shop. It’s 6:30 am; I push open the front door of the store.)

Me: “Hey, [Other Worker]? It’s me, [My Name]. Hello?”

(No one answers and I walk around the store trying to find her, when the store alarm goes off. Because this isn’t my usual place of work, I don’t have a code to shut the alarm off. In a few minutes the phone rings.)

Manager: “The security company just called me. What’s going on?”

Me: “I don’t know! I came in and I couldn’t find [Other Worker] and then the alarm went off!”

Manager: “Wait. How did you get in if no one else is there?”

Me: “I just walked in through the front door.”

Manager: “Wasn’t it locked?”

Me: “Nope.”

Manager: “And [Other Worker] is now fifteen minutes late for her shift?”

Me: “Looks like it.”

Manager: “…I am going to have some serious words with my staff.”

Sadly, That’s Not A Wrap

| ON, Canada | Working | December 4, 2015

(The coffee shop where I work has a terrible habit of hiring the worst employees, and since the manager doesn’t have the heart to fire people, he just reduces their hours to a half-shift per week. I have returned to work the summer, having worked the previous summer, and this coworker is my replacement during the rest of the year.)

Customer: “Hi, I would like to order a wrap, please.”

Me: “All right, one wrap, coming right up.” *to my coworker* “Hey, could you head over to the deli and make me a wrap?”

Coworker: “I don’t know how.”

Me: “…I’m sorry, what?”

Coworker: “I don’t know how.”

Me: “You’ve worked here since September, and you don’t know how to make a wrap…”

Coworker: *smiles* “Yup!”

Me: “I find that hard to believe.”

(As I continue the transaction with the customer, my coworker HOVERS beside me awkwardly for a few moments.)

Me: *to my coworker* “What do you need?”

Coworker: “Well, since I don’t know how to make a wrap, I’ll finish with this transaction and YOU can make it!”

Me: “…I have a better idea. Why don’t you go over to the deli and LEARN to make a wrap!”

Coworker: “But I don’t know how!”

Me: “Then you better start trying!”

(Taking twice the amount of time necessary to do so, he eventually made the wrap. My supervisor sent him home early, since she found that shifts went easier with him gone. This became a habit, and his hours were basically reduced to two hours per week. Making only twenty dollars a week, he continued to work there for the entire summer, and never quit or even mentioned looking for another job.)

Socialites On Megabytes

| Burtonsville, MD, USA | Friendly | December 1, 2015

(Three business women come in, all on their cellphones. They order coffees, find a table and sit down. For 30 minutes they talk and text on their phones. As they’re leaving, one says to the other two:)

Businesswoman: “This was fun. We’ll have to do this again sometime!”

The Signature Of A Bad Office

| ON, Canada | Working | November 27, 2015

(It is the last week for our night person. My supervisor and I are some of the only people who ever see him, since we work until his shift starts, and the morning staff generally dislikes him for not doing his job right, even though he was only given two days of training before being put on nights by himself. A goodbye card appears on the counter.)

Me: “Hey, guys, shouldn’t we all sign this?”

Coworker #1: “I’ll sign it later.”

Coworker #2: “I barely know the guy.”

Supervisor: “I’ll sign it.”

(The next day:)

Me: “Hey, boss, shouldn’t you sign this? In fact, weren’t you the one who got this card for him?”

Boss: “Yeah, I did. I’m busy now. Maybe later.”

(The next day…)

Me: “Does anybody want to sign this card?”

Coworker #3: “I’ll sign it in a bit!”

Me: “Thank you!”

(He never does. Rinse and repeat until the night person’s final shift comes up.)

Supervisor: “Here you go. It’s a goodbye card from all of us to you!”

Night Person: “Thank you so much!”

(He opens the card and sees that it only has two signatures in it. The look of shock and disappointment on his face was palpable. I honestly thought to tell my supervisor not to give it to him, but couldn’t muster up the courage. The next day…)

Me: “So the night person got his goodbye card last night and it only had my and one other signature in it…”

Coworker #1: “Oh, is it too late to sign it?”

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