Don’t Get The Grilled Cheese

, , , , , , , | Working | April 16, 2018

(I work for a fast food corporation as an assistant store manager. Our store is going to have its 18-month inspection conducted by senior company management. In addition, the owner and senior management of our own franchise group will be present. Consequences for failing the inspection range from the store being put on probation to outright dismissal of any member of staff deemed to be directly responsible for the failure in severe cases. As a result of this, our store schedules for a considerably beefed-up evening shift that works until midnight to complete major cleaning tasks, and then a three-strong overnighter team to focus on specific areas and generally raise the standards as high as they can go. The opening staff also arrive at six rather than seven to allow for any last minute do-overs of anything deemed to still not be up to standards. The opening shift is lead by our most senior shift manager, and I arrive at seven, mainly to ensure all the needed paperwork is ready for the senior management when they arrive at eight. I arrive to find the opening staff in a frenzy, and my normally very relaxed shift manager red in the face with fury.)

Me: “What the hell’s going on? Almost all of what you’re doing should have been done by the overnighters.”

Shift Manager: “Yeah, I know. [Overnight Manager] basically had them do nothing all night, so far as I can tell; even drink cups and lids haven’t been stocked. And then he, [Female Crew Member #1], and [Female Crew Member #2] just walked right out as soon as we clocked in.”

Me: “Terrific. They’ll have to be dealt with later. Keep at it; I’ll ring everyone who’s due in at eight to see if they can get in earlier, and then I’ll come help. The paperwork can wait.”

(I ring all staff and get three of them to come in ASAP, and then help the shift manager get everything as sorted as we can in the 50 minutes we have left. At 7:30, the business manager arrives and also questions why it’s still such a mess, but also thankfully informs us that all parties of senior management are stuck in traffic and will be at least 45 to 60 minutes late. We eventually get everything just about ready at 8:15, just after we open to customers, and I retreat to the office to sort the paperwork. The business manager comes with me, leaving the floor to the shift manager.)

Business Manager: “So, any idea what went wrong this morning?”

Me: “[Shift Manager] said he arrived this morning and it looked like the overnight shift did pretty much nothing and walked out as soon as he started. I really don’t get it; he’s normally a solid worker, and it’s not like we gave him a pair of idiots to work with.”

Business Manager: “Yeah, [Female Crew Member #1] and [Female Crew Member #2] are both in line for crew trainer promotions; I really don’t get it. I’m going to check the store cameras and see if I can figure out what happened.”

(A few minutes pass whilst the business manager logs into the CCTV system and starts fast-forwarding the recording. He gets to midnight, when the evening shift leaves without anything unusual happening, and at this point all three people from the overnight shift are visibly working. However, barely five minutes after the evening shift leaves…)

Business Manager: “I think I’ve found the source of the problem.”

(I turn to look at the screen to see the overnight manager go into the crew room to return with two six-packs of beer and a large bottle of vodka. He immediately cracks open a can and passes the vodka to the girls. The next hour of footage is the overnight manager going through seven of the cans whilst the girls go through roughly half the vodka, using the drinks machine for mixers. After around 90 minutes of them drinking, things are clearly starting to get a little ropy. The cameras don’t record audio, so we have no idea what’s being said, but one of the girls proceeds to peel off her work top, pants, and bra and does several laps of the kitchen in nothing but her shoes and panties, using a burger box to cover her chest. We already have more than enough evidence to sack all three of them, but we are worried as to how much further things went, since obviously we’re working with food and contamination is a serious danger. At this point, we have one of the women still only dressed in her panties, and the manager and other girl looking on; however, from here on, it only gets worse. The already mostly undressed girl encourages the other two to undress, and shortly after, both girls and the manager are stood all dressed only in their underwear. The business manager and I exchange very worried glances, because we know where this is going. We are simply dumbstruck at what we’re watching, but after a minute we get it together, and I march out to the shift manager on the floor and pull him aside.)

Me: “Okay, we found out what happened. I’ll need you for a statement later. Right now, I need you to fully clean grill two, and I mean a really good clean. I’m going to clean down [kitchen counter area] with disinfectant, and a lot of it.”

Shift Manager: “Sure. Do I even want to know why we’re doing this?”

Me: *after looking around to be sure none of the crew will hear me, whispering* “[Overnight Manager] banged [Female Crew Member #2] whilst she was bent over the grill.”

Shift Manager: *with a very shocked expression* “Sure. I’ll get right on it.”

(We decontaminate the affected areas, and after a discussion with the business manager, we opt to not turn the affected grill back on and just cite an electrical fault during the inspection. Then, we finally welcome the senior management when they arrive. The inspection goes just about all right, and we pass with a mark just slightly above the minimum requirement. The business manager at some point informs our group management that there was an “incident” with the overnight shift, but says it’s better discussed after the inspection. Once the corporate management leave, the business manager and I return to the office with our franchise group management to discuss the results. The owner is somewhat displeased with our results, given we got a significantly better passing mark for the previous one. In response, the business manager simply asks that they watch the CCTV footage for themselves. The senior management watch in disgust as we proceed through the drinking, to the stripping, and then on to the adult activities.)

Business Manager: “How should we proceed?”

Owner: “Obviously, fire all three of them right this instant. I cant believe anyone would be so depraved as to have sex on the grill; it’s utterly disgusting. I’ll reach out to my food safety contact and lawyer to see if, and how, we can press further punishment on them. Also, I’ll see if insurance will allow for a replacement grill; that one’s been soiled permanently, in my eyes. If we have to buy a new grill outright, then so be it.”

(Ultimately, all three members of staff were fired, and they then faced further legal action in the form of a lawsuit from the owner. It concluded in them having to pay between them for the cost of the new grill, which came to around £15,000. In addition, all three were blacklisted and have lifetime bans from working in the food industry in any capacity. None of them could ever provide a satisfactory explanation as to why they actually did what they did. The closest we ever got was that they planned to just have a couple of drinks to motivate them and it got out of hand. Given the amount of alcohol on hand, we obviously didn’t accept that claim.)

It Would Be Nude To Not Ask

, , , , , | Friendly | April 13, 2018

(I’m at the park, sketching random people as they walk by. One guy comes up to me and sees what I’m doing.)

Guy: “Hey, that’s pretty good.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Guy: “So, do you artists also draw, like…. naked people?”

Me: “Uh… Occasionally. For study and stuff.”

Guy: “Cool. Can you draw me?”

(Before I could answer, he began stripping right in front of me, in full view of everyone. I grabbed my things and ran off. It’s been years, and I’ve yet to go back to that area in fear I’ll run into him again.)

When Fraud Meets Stupidity

, , , , | Working | April 11, 2018

My grandmother just turned 82 and had a check lost in the mail. This started a chain-reaction of fraud. First was an attempt to charge on a card, which the bank stopped. Then, there was an attempted wire transfer which was also stopped by the bank. You’d think this is where we were most vulnerable, but no.

My grandmother lives in California. The thief went into a bank, in person, in New York, and managed to open the ATM account. Mind you, this account was on stop due to the fraud. Whoever they were, they must have had acting skills, because without any ID, the banker in New York and the banker’s manager reopened the account and rushed a new ATM card to the thief. In one weekend, the thief stole over $10,000 — basically all the money my grandmother had — all because two fools in New York believed some crap sob story and didn’t enforce the ID rule!

On the plus side, the bank is getting all the money back to my grandmother. Also on the plus side, she was advised that while the thief will likely get away with it, the New York banker and bank manager will likely lose their jobs.

Not Too Chicken To Confront Them

, , , , , | Working | April 3, 2018

(I find a Chinese takeout place very near to me that is inexpensive and can deliver very quickly. The second time I order, they give me deep-fried chicken balls that are slightly undercooked. I don’t think they are dangerous, and they taste fine, but they are definitely more pink in the middle than normal. I call them to report it and they give me some free soup. Pretty normal interaction. A couple weeks later, though, there is a repeat incident.)

Me: “Hi, I’m calling about the order you just delivered to [address]. The chicken balls were very undercooked; one was actually raw in the middle.”

Employee: *a very young-sounding girl* “Yes? Hello?”

Me: “This is [Chinese Takeaway], yes? I’m calling about the order to [address]. The chicken balls were undercooked.”

Employee: “You want an order?”

Me: “You just sent an order to [address], correct?”

Employee: “Oh. Yes? Problem? No arrive?”

Me: “It arrived, but the chicken balls were very undercooked.”

Employee: “Uh…”

Me:Undercooked. Raw. The chicken! The chicken was not properly cooked!”

Employee: “Wait. [Indistinct], get boss!”

(Almost a minute of silence passes.)

Employee: “Yes, hello? You cannot make problem. We [indistinct] cook the same and you always have problem.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I’m not trying to make a problem; I’m telling you that you can’t sell raw food, especially chicken!”

Employee: “Our food is fine! You always call with problem!”

(Keep in mind I have only called once before and I didn’t even ask for free food; they just offered it.)

Employee: “We are not giving you anything!”

Me: “I’m not asking for anything! I can put these in my oven to finish cooking! But you cannot give people raw food!”

Employee: *click*

(I call back.)

Employee: *the same girl* “Hello?”

Me: “Yes, it’s me again. I’m not trying to get free food. But I need you to acknowledge that your chicken was raw. You could kill someone.”

Employee: “Stop making problem! If you don’t like how we make, don’t order!”

Me: “You know it’s illegal to sell undercooked chicken, don’t you?”

Employee: “Don’t order here again!” *click*

(I report them to the Food Standards Agency. The best part? Not three days later, I get a phone call.)

Government Worker: “Hello, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s me.”

Government Worker: “This is [My Name] with the FSA. I’m just calling about your report about [Chinese Takeaway]. Could I ask you a few things?”

Me: “Oh! Of course.”

(She confirms that what I wrote is about the correct place, and asks for the whole story, which I give her.)

Government Worker: “You should know that you’re not the only person to report this place. We’ve already given them a warning in the past, so now we’re probably going to have to inspect them in person. That usually scares them into doing things properly, but I wouldn’t order from them again, in any case, if I were you. I could give you a call to let you know if and when we take action, and the outcome?”

(I assured her that wasn’t necessary. It was just nice to know that when you report bad businesses, sometimes the authorities actually take notice.)

They’re Blowing Smoke

, , , , , | Right | April 1, 2018

(I’m a teenage girl and I work at my father’s gas station. While it’s a good neighborhood and he knows I can take care of myself, he has audio and video cameras up for his own peace of mind. One weekend afternoon, a car pulls up into the fire lane. A young girl I don’t recognize, probably no older than 18, jumps out of the driver side. She comes into the store and up to the counter.)

Girl: “I need a pack of [Cigarettes].”

Me: “Sure thing. I just need to see your ID.”

Girl: “I left it at home.”

Me: “Sorry. Feel free to come back later when you’ve got it with you. Have a nice day.”

Girl: “Oh, come on! I’m 18, I swear!”

Me: “Sorry, I really can’t. It’s against the law.”

Girl: ”Don’t be such a f****** b****, and sell me the f****** cigarettes!”

Me: “Do you realize that all our transactions are video and audio recorded?”

Girl: “The f*** does that have to do with anything?”

Me: “I’ve got you on tape asking me to break the law, I’ve got you on video parked illegally in the fire lane, and I can assure you that your plates are on camera, too. And, since you are refusing to show me an ID, I know that you’re driving without a driver’s license. Would you like this b**** to call the police now?”

Girl: *turns white and runs out of the building*

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