Overtime Crime, Part 2

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Working | November 4, 2013

(I’ve recently been hired at a coffee shop. My coworker is complaining that the day before, he’d been made to stay an extra two hours to cover for someone who didn’t show up.)

Me: “Ugh, that sucks. At least you got overtime.”

Coworker: “No, [Boss’s Name] doesn’t pay overtime.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Coworker: “I asked him about it once, and he said he doesn’t believe in it.”

Me: “…you do know that’s against the law?”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: “It’s in the labor code. You have to give someone time and a half if they work more than eight hours in one day.”

Coworker: “What? He said overtime was a benefit and he didn’t give it!”

Me: “Let’s be generous. It’s possible he actually thinks that, which just makes him appallingly ignorant and negligent as an employer. But my money’s on ‘actively trying to screw you.'”

(My coworker went to the boss and threatened to report him if he didn’t get his money. Unfortunately, this was only the first of many issues with said employer, and I quit six weeks later.)

Overtime Crime

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Whining About The Dining

| Columbus, OH, USA | Working | October 23, 2013

(I am our store’s lead trainer, and am also a licensed high school teacher. I don’t tolerate whining for very long. The coworker in question is a new hire I finished training a few weeks ago. He is a teenager who constantly whines for attention by putting himself down.)

Me: “[Coworker], make sure that when you bring clean dishes out, you remember to put them away. It’s not sanitary to leave them sitting on the counter.”

(My coworker heaves a huge, melodramatic sigh.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry; I know I never do anything right around here. I’m so bad at this job; I feel like I’m always messing up and you guys hate me and want me to quit. I’m trying really hard and—”

Me: “LISTEN HERE! You are a good employee who will be a great employee as soon as you stop second-guessing yourself! Nobody wants you to quit; everyone actually likes you! You’re not stupid; you’re not bad at your job, and you DO try hard! Now get back to work minus the whining this time!”

(My coworker stares blankly at me for a long moment, totally shocked, and then shuffles to the back to keep working on dishes. Coworker #2 is staring at me in amazement.)

Coworker #2: “That was the angriest string of compliments I’ve ever heard!”

(For the record, the coworker shaped up after that little incident and quit all of his attention-seeking whining. Just like I told him, he’s a great employee!)

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One Good Scam Deserves Another

| Auckland, New Zealand | Right | October 23, 2013

(I own a small coffee shop in the central business district of Auckland. It is surrounded by offices, and so our clientele are typically professional types. I am approached at the counter by a confident, well-dressed customer in a casual suit.)

Customer: “Can you help me? I’ve locked myself out of my car, and my wife has gone off shopping. My wallet is in the car. I wonder if you could let me have a sandwich and coffee until she gets back?”

Me: “Sure! What would you like?”

(I proceed to serve him. He thanks me profusely and gives me his business card. The bill is no more than $12. After an hour or so, he gets up to leave and approaches me on the way out.)

Customer: “Thanks so much! I’ll meet my wife, get into the car and come back and settle up.”

Me: “No worries!”

(The customer never returns. The sum involved was small, so I did not really care, but after a few days I sent a gentle text message reminder to the number on the business card. I thought maybe he forgot and could pay me next time he was in town. It turns out that the business card was not his. He had approached someone in the car park and given them the ‘locked out of car’ story and apologetically asked to borrow $10 to get home. He had also insisted that the good Samaritan who had given him the $10 also give him a business card so he could ‘get the money back to him.’ The guy tells me he thought it was a bit odd that the customer was so keen to get the card. After hearing this, I was both surprised and a little impressed at the fraudster’s boldness and ingenuity, but did not envy him. What a terrible way to choose to live: scamming people a few dollars at a time.)

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A Bitter Drink With A Sweet After Taste

| Belgium | Right | October 23, 2013

(Outside the coffee shop where I work, there’s a beggar who sits there just about every day. I always bring him a cup of coffee when it’s quiet. As I am not allowed to bring my own wallet behind the counter, I pay for it at the end of the day before I close the till. On this particular day, a customer I have just finished serving and has been watching me intently, follows me outside.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what the h*** are you doing?”

Me: “I’m bringing this gentleman coffee.”

Customer: “What, for free?”

Me: “Not that it’s any of your business, but no, I will pay for it tonight.”

Customer: “What, so you’ll pay for my coffee too?”

Me: “No, sir. Clearly you can afford to buy your own.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I work hard, I buy the most expensive thing on your menu every day, I pay my taxes, yet I don’t get free coffee! Does your boss know you’re doing this?”

Me: “Yes, sir. He approves.”

Customer: “F*** you. No he doesn’t. He doesn’t want bums walking around with [Brand] cups! I’m going to report you. Who’s your boss?”

(I point to the Catholic church across the street.)

Me: “That guy. If you want to file a complaint, you’ll have to wait. He’s usually only in on Sundays.”

(Amazingly, that was the end of that.)

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Focusing On The Wrong Kind Of Cup Size

| OH, USA | Right | October 21, 2013

(I am a female in my early twenties, the only female working this particular shift with three burly male coworkers. I am on the front register taking orders and money, when a customer walks in. He is a sloppily-dressed old man.)

Me: “Hi there! How are you?”

Customer: “I’m doin’ great, sweetie. How ’bout you get me a big cup of coffee?”

Me: “Sounds great. Do you need any room for cream in there, sir?”

Customer: “I got some cream for ya!”

(He winks lewdly at me. I try to shake it off.)

Me: “Alright, here is your coffee. Anything else for you, sir?”

Customer: “Nope. What’s my total so you can ring me up?”

(The customer seems oddly eager to pay. I give him his total and he hands me a very worn credit card. I try to swipe through our machine once or twice before determining its magnetic strip is too worn to be read. I am about to start typing in the numbers, when he interrupts me, looking very flushed and excited.)

Customer: “No, no, don’t type it in. It’ll work if you just rub it on your chest.”

(I am a little creeped out, but I wipe the card off on the bottom of my apron and give it another shot. It still won’t run through.)

Customer: “No, no, sweetie, I said it’ll work if you rub it on your chest. Actually, it’ll work best if I rub it on your chest for you.”

(At this point, I’m done. I step back from the register without another word and call for one of my coworkers, a big, burly 33-year-old man whose other job is construction. He comes over as I am walking away.)

Me: *to my coworker* “I’m going to the back because the man at the front is asking to rub things on my chest.”

(My coworker walks up to the register and looks down at the customer. He is a good foot taller than the customer.)

Coworker: “I heard you like rubbing things on people’s chests? Well, have at it.”

(My coworker leans forward just as I go into the back room. I didn’t see what happened next, but my coworker told me the customer panicked and ran out of the store without paying and without his coffee. We never saw him again!)

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