In The Mood For Some Klepto Comedy

, , , , | Working | February 5, 2020

(I work as a manager at a clothing store where corporate has a bag check policy. Before clocking out, all employees must check out with a manager. The manager has to check inside their bags or purses if they have them and pat down any jackets they are wearing. If the employee is trying to hide merchandise, we can’t discipline them either, just confiscate it and send them on their way. It is annoying, insulting, and a complete waste of time. After about a year of this, corporate suddenly announces they are ending the bag check. I’ve just gotten off a conference call with the other stores in our district. They’ve been wailing doom and gloom that this new policy will magically turn all their employees into kleptomaniacs. I’m a little discouraged because, while I hated the policy, we are a highly-targeted area for shoplifters and I don’t want our shrinkage to go up any more than it already is. After I hang up, the resident practical joker comes into the office. He’s wearing a coat that’s three sizes too big. The pockets are stuffed full and I can see price tags and shirt sleeves dangling out. He’s also carrying a backpack that’s clearly full of jeans.)

Coworker: *with the most over-the-top shifty-eyed expression* “Hey, so, I straightened the denim wall like you asked and… um… cleaned out… um… I mean, cleaned off the T-shirt table.”

Me: *struggling not to laugh* “Oh, did you now?”

Coworker: “Yep. I’m going to clock out now and because we don’t have bag check anymore you can’t look in here. Bye!”

(Once he left, I laughed for about a minute straight. It put me in a good mood all day. It’s been a year since bag check was rescinded and our shrinkage numbers are still the same. Our customers may still be thieves, but our employees are on the up-and-up… even the practical joker.)

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They’re Sewn Into Their Uniforms  

, , , | Working | February 4, 2020

(As a train station coffee joint in a small town, we often get the same customers, including railway staff, recognisable mostly by their Dutch Railway uniforms. A man comes in and orders. I recognise him as a regular and greet him happily. My coworker looks at him, puzzled.)

Coworker: “I apologise for staring, but you look exactly like a regular we have here who is a train driver.”

Me: *snickering and pointing at the customer* “[Coworker], that is him!”

Coworker: “Really?” 

(The customer says nothing, just smiles and obviously waits for the penny to drop. That takes a while.)

Coworker: “Wait… You are not kidding.” *finally he realises and face-desks* “You people are so hard to recognize without a uniform!”

Train Driver: “Yes, even railway staff wear their own clothes from time to time.”

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The Solution Is Math

, , , , | Working | February 3, 2020

(I work as a chemist. I’m fairly new, and one of the youngest people working. An internal customer comes in, wanting help interpreting the data I sent him. Note: this man has a PhD in chemistry.)

Customer: “I need this in percent! You sent it in… ppm?? What is that?!”

Me: “It stands for part per million.”

Customer: “Well, how do I get percent?

Me: “You have to convert to part per hundred. It’s just an order of magnitude conversion.”

Customer: “Part per hundred isn’t what I need, either! I need percent!”

Me: “Part per hundred is percent. That’s what percent literally means. Per hundred.”

Customer: “No, it doesn’t!”

(Repeat for ten minutes. I eventually gave up and did the conversion for him. Makes me wonder what math classes he took in that PhD.)

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Can’t Cover This Much Incompetence

, , , , , , | Working | January 30, 2020

We have a “new” guy at my hotel. He’s been here for a few months now, but doesn’t seem to want to learn the job. He still can’t do half the job on his own. He makes stupid mistakes all the time, like putting pets into non-pet-friendly rooms, or giving out corporate rates to individual employees when those rates are exclusive to bookings made by corporate, etc. He calls and texts me and one of my other coworkers all through his shift, because our manager is out on medical leave. We’ve even given him extra days of training and he’s still terrible and slow.

I’m not salaried; I’m hourly and at the same level he is. As I said, it’s been months. I’ve answered every text and phone call and I’ve even come in multiple times during my off time when I was out with my wife and kids to help him, as have two of my other coworkers, all without clocking in.

One day, my oldest is sick and I’m trying to find someone to cover my shift so I don’t have to drive a vomiting and feverish two-year-old to her grandparents. I call our acting manager and [New Guy] is the only one available. I have my coworker call him, I call him, we text. No response. Supposedly, he’s in class all morning, so I expect a delay, but still, a response when he gets a break.

Finally, ten minutes before my shift starts, once I’ve already dropped my daughter off and am at work getting ready to punch in he responds, “Sorry, just getting up. I have plans for tonight.” That is when I decide I am never responding to one of his texts again unless it is a legitimate emergency and the manager or my coworker — acting manager, but also hourly and with no real power — is out of town. Not my job, not my problem. I go above and beyond to help you and you can’t even respond to a text in a timely manner? Screw you.

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Send Him Back Some Materials On Misogyny

, , , , , | Working | January 29, 2020

(I work at a small engineering company. It is a wonderful place, everyone is really friendly, and we all hang out together off work and know each other’s families. I am the only female engineer there. The company is growing fast, so they hire a new office assistant. The guy is kind of incompetent, which we initially justify as having little experience, and often says things that come out sexist or racist. We pass that off as him being socially awkward or trying too hard to fit in. I guess we are so used to our great work environment, it doesn’t occur to most of us he is just an a**hole. Then, this happens. The company is to have a stand in a large conference overseas, and this guy fails to send some of the conference material – pamphlets, trinkets, etc. – in time. I am the last one to leave for the conference, by a few days, so the CEO asks me to bring some of it with my luggage. No problem, I think.)

Assistant: “So, this is what you’ll need to take to the conference.”

Me: *eyeing the large, heavy box* “All right. I was only taking one bag, anyway, so we’re okay on luggage count, but this will probably be overweight. How will I get compensated for that?”

Assistant: “It’s your responsibility to pack your bags to the airline standards. I know girls like to carry their houses in their bags, but you can live lean for a week!”

Me: *ignoring his comment* “I can probably rearrange this box between two bags and pack my things around it, so it should still be okay. Worst case, I can talk to [CEO] when I get there, I guess. And my cab to the airport is arranged already, so I just need a cab to get me home with this stuff.”

Assistant: “Don’t be silly. Transportation to and from work is on you; you know that.”

Me: “Sure, normally. But I take the subway, and I can’t take this big box in it.”

Assistant: “So, get your own cab. Just like a woman to want to make the most of a man’s money.” *laughs*

Me: *getting annoyed* “I’m certainly not spending my money on doing what should be your job. I’m doing this as a favor to [CEO] and the company.”

Assistant: “Look here, little girl. Just because you think you’re so smart and [CEO] lets you play at doing a man’s job, that doesn’t mean you can be this disrespectful. Now, you will take this material and get it to the conference, since that’s your only use for going in the first place.”

Me: “Yeah, no. I’m 24 with a Master’s degree in [specific engineering field], so I don’t have to think I’m smart. I was specifically invited to speak at this conference, so I’d be going even if there was no company stand there. And there probably won’t be, because I’m definitely not taking any of this crap with me.”

Assistant: “You’ll see what happens when [CEO] hears about this!”

(I left the material and went to the conference. When I got there and told [CEO] of this conversation, he was FURIOUS. Seems he’d told the assistant to go to the airport himself with the box, so it wouldn’t inconvenience me, and to pay all extra luggage fees as needed on the company card. The guy might have still only gotten a warning — that’s how lenient this place was — but, as it turns out, he mouthed off to the CEO, told him he should put the “girl” in her place, as everyone knew she was only there to “see to his needs,” just like the one he used at lunch. That would be the CEO’s wife, who sometimes went by the office so they could have lunch together. So, yeah, he was very much fired after that!)

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