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No Reprieve On New Year’s Eve

, , , , | Working | December 31, 2015

(We have two fairly recent hires who both started as stockers, but were shifted to cashier because of their unreliability and laziness. Both are 18, still in high school, and not easy to work with. They have generally negative attitudes. For instance, Coworker #1 throws change at people when he’s mad. Coworker #2 makes fun of people constantly, but gets totally offended at jokes or sarcasm directed at him. I am on register with both of them on New Year’s Eve, along with a decent-working Coworker #3. It’s so busy the managers want four people on register at all times, so a fifth person is putting their cash drawer in as each cashier goes on break. Coworker #1 takes his break first, and this exchange happens during the last cashier’s break.)

Break Person: “Hey, where’s [Coworker #1]!?”

(It’d been so busy nobody had noticed him put up his ‘closed’ sign, turn off his light, and sneak away. Now there’s only three of us, with me and the break person doing most of the work. Coworker #2’s register isn’t always open, and you often have to yell for customers to come over. Coworker #2 is just sitting behind his register and texting, only ringing up the people who realize he’s open.)

Me: “I don’t know where [Coworker #1] is; I didn’t see him leave.”

(We only get a 15-minute break for a six-hour shift. Coworker #1 had taken his already. The break person calls the manager to figure out where he is, but the manager is running around trying to keep things stocked because it is so busy with people buying last-minute stuff for their New Year’s Eve parties. A solid 20 minutes goes by before Coworker #1 comes back, acting like nothing happened. The break person leaves, fuming. Coworker #1 proceeds to spend the rest of the night with his light off, reading a magazine. He only offers to ring up attractive females, and only begrudgingly rings anyone else who realizes he is open despite the light being off. Other than that, he flips through magazines and plays with his phone.)

Coworker #2: *muttering under his breath about something*

Me: *in a light, joking manner* “What are you complaining about?”

Coworker #2: “WOAH. ATTITUDE.”

Me: *sighs*

(Not 15 minutes later, Coworker #2, despite making no effort to ring up customers, complained to the manager about ‘having no one to ring up’ and demanded to go home, holiday pay or not. The manager said fine and he gleefully left. After that, Coworker #1 put up his closed sign and disappeared twice more before the night was over, all while Coworker #3 and I scrambled to get through the New Year’s Eve crowd. On the plus side, after completing a transaction, a friendly customer threw a $5 bill on my counter and yelled HAPPY NEW YEAR before bolting out the store. I don’t know who you are, but you made a stressful night that much better. Thank you.)


, | Working | December 16, 2015

(We’re talking about what we’d do if faced with the decision between eating another human or death. Coworker #1 is a vegetarian.)

Coworker #1: “I’d rather starve. Eating another human is even worse than eating an animal. I wouldn’t do that.”

Coworker #2: “Don’t be so sure about that. I don’t think you can know how you’re going to react in such extreme situations until you actually are in them.”

Coworker #1: “No, I know I wouldn’t eat meat under any circumstances.”

Me: “Okay then. If we’re ever stuck in a bunker together, we’ll eat [Coworker #1] first. She’s going to starve to death anyway, so we might as well eat her before she gets too skinny.”

Her Plan Bombed

, , , , | Working | November 30, 2015

(It’s my birthday and I am working with a particularly lazy coworker. Our company has strict rules about leaving someone working alone in the store.)

Coworker: “It’s my mother’s birthday today. We are taking her out so I have to leave right on time today.”

Me: “Oh, it’s my birthday, too; I’m with you. As soon as I finish the tills this afternoon, I’m out of here.”

Coworker: “Sucks having to work on your birthday. You should have called in sick.”

Me: “Yeah, but it’s not what I do.”

Coworker: “You know, my family and friends used to call into my last job with fake excuses to get me out of work. One day they even called in with a bomb threat.” *laughs* “The whole shopping centre got shut down just so I could go out clubbing.”

Me: *shocked* “Really?!”

(At three o’clock, the phone rings; [Coworker] answers it. I keep doing what I am doing elsewhere. A couple of minutes later, she comes to find me.)

Coworker: *dramatically* “OMG, my mother was taken to hospital; my sister just called.”

(She doesn’t actually look upset, she looks more smug.)

Me: “Really? What was wrong?”

Coworker: “They ran tests and now are sending her home. My sister said that I am the only one who can go to pick her up. I need to leave.”

Me: “Sorry, it’s not my call; I’ll need to make a phone call.”

(I call my manager to tell her what was going on and to relate the conversation from that morning. The manager speaks to her and tells her that she will have to stay until 5:30 as it’s not an emergency situation.)

Coworker: “B**** won’t let me go.” *looking less smug but still not looking upset over her mother being taken to the hospital*

Me: “I’m sorry, but you’ve got to understand that right now I couldn’t even leave even if I got a call that someone had died.”

(Probably would have worked better if her sister had called in a bomb threat.)

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Deliver Your Pizzas Or You’ll Have The Devil To Pay

, , , , , | Working | November 4, 2015

(As a pizza delivery driver, at the beginning of my shift I am given a supply of fives and ones to make change for customers if needed. This is known as a “bank.” At the end of the shift, I am reimbursed for my mileage, less the amount of my bank. On this night, things are pretty slow, so I actually owe the store money.)

Shift Leader: “Okay, you got a $20 bank, and your mileage comes to $13.34, so you owe us…” *gives quizzical look*

Me: “$6.66, right?”

Shift Leader: “Huh! Yeah! Too funny!” *yells to another driver* “Hey, check this out! [My Name] owes us $6.66 for his bank!”

Me: “And my soul!”

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Like A Complete Nap In The Face

, , , | Working | September 15, 2015

(I’m a single mother of two young children. I’m also a full-time student with a full-time job, studying at night after my kids have gone to sleep. As a result, I get about an hour of sleep per night, often passed out over a book. My coworker, who is male, works part time and takes a half-load of courses at the same university. While I have worked at this shop for several years, my coworker has worked with us for just a few months. The shop owner is a woman in her 50s.)

Coworker: “I am so, so tired. I stayed up until one o’clock writing a paper.”

Shop Owner: “You poor thing! Go in the backroom and take a nap on the clock. [My Name] will cover for you.”

([Coworker] goes into the backroom. He reappears after two hours, after his shift is over, clocks out and leaves.)

Shop Owner: *to me* “Can you believe how much schoolwork they expect [Coworker] to do? It’s ridiculous. I’m scheduling him a regular nap during his shifts or that boy’ll work himself to death.”

Me: “I’m sure he’ll make it. College isn’t forever!”

Shop Owner: “That reminds me. You took an extra five minutes for your lunch today. I’m docking your pay.”