The Long Fish Stick Of The Law  

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2019

Me: “Thanks for calling [Company]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’ve just been down to your outlet in Denver and the waitress wouldn’t serve me.”

Me: “Sorry to hear that. Can I take some details?”

Customer: “Sure. At 8:55 pm, I came down to get a fish sticks and fries meal and the lady wouldn’t let me in. “

Me: “Did she say why?”

Customer: “Yes, she said half an hour ago they just got robbed and the police were there.”

Me: “So, the store was closed due to a robbery?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: *bewildered* “Right…”

Customer: “So, I’m very unhappy I didn’t get my fish sticks. It’s not my fault they got robbed.”

Me: “And you still want to complain?”

Customer: “Yes, I do.”

Me: “Okay, then…”

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When The Men Take “Me Too” Seriously

, , , , , | Working | October 10, 2019

(I work away from home a lot, and on this job, I’m part of a team that’s all staying in the same hotel. I run to keep fit, so I always take my running gear with me when I’m staying away. I go out for a run one evening and pass some of my colleagues on their way to get food as I do so. The next day, I hear a commotion from another part of the store, shortly before one of my team leaders appears with one of the other guys dragging his feet behind him.)

Team Leader: “[Coworker] has something to say to you.”

Coworker: *mutters something inaudible*

Team Leader: “I don’t think that [My Name] heard that.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry for taking photos of you while you were running last night and showing them to other people. I won’t do it again.”

Team Leader: “He’s deleted the photos from his phone and Google Images, and he emptied the bin. They’re gone.”

Coworker: “It’s not my fault you have a nice a***.”

Team Leader: “And it seems we need to have another chat.”

(Luckily, that was someone assigned to set up a department on the mezzanine level, and I was setting up one downstairs, so I didn’t have to encounter him very often. The other blokes on the team all agreed that he was out of line. As the guy I was working alongside put it, “Yeah, you’ve got a nice a***, but taking a photo of it without your permission is rude, and sharing that photo is completely out of line.”)

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I Say Tomato, You Say Marijuana

, , , , | Legal | October 9, 2019

When I was growing up in the 80s, my parents were basically hippies. We lived in a rural area. We raised chickens, ducks, and goats and grew our own vegetables, some of them in a greenhouse, along with other kinds of plants.

One night around midnight, we heard a crash and a revving car engine. We ran outside and saw that someone had broken into our greenhouse and stolen some of our plants.

We moved some things around and went back to bed. Then, around two in the morning, there was a knock at the door. It was the cops. They said some kids had been pulled over for reckless driving and had confessed to breaking into our greenhouse and stealing our plants. They wanted to investigate the damage.

My parents took them to the greenhouse, and the cops asked them to estimate the value of the stolen plants and the damage to our property. My mother made up a ridiculously high number, which they put into their report.

The plants that were stolen were tomato plants, some of them with unripe tomatoes on them. Furthermore, in order to get to the tomato plants, the kids had to pass by our actual — immature — potted marijuana plants, which by this time were safely hidden in our bathroom. The cops gave us a funny knowing look, but they had no probable cause to search our house, after all.

And my parents ended up making a tidy profit on the busted screen door of our greenhouse.

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Dine And Dash And Rehash

, , , | Legal | October 3, 2019

A young man came into our restaurant, drank two beers, ate a meal, and then dine-and-dashed on one of our servers. A few weeks later, he comes in alone again. We believe that we recognize him as the dine-and-dasher from a few weeks before and keep a close eye on him. At the end of his meal, when he believes no one is looking, he picks up his backpack and speed-walks out the front door. This time, however, our kitchen manager is lurking behind the podium and follows the young man outside. A few moments later, they both return, the young man looking rather sheepish. He apologizes to his server profusely for “forgetting” to pay before he left. He then produces a wallet with several cards. 

The first one does not work. He slips it into his pocket.

The second doesn’t work. He slips it into his pocket.

“Just one minute,” he says, “I’ve got another card in my truck.” He drops his backpack on the seat of the booth, goes outside for a few minutes, and comes back with another card. This card also does not work. The young man is becoming very anxious and is starting to shake. Fifteen minutes have passed and it is obvious that he has no way to pay for his meal. He pulls out his iPhone and calls somebody. He tries another card. No dice. The card goes into his pocket. 

Then, he hands his wallet to the server and says that he is meeting someone outside and they will come in and pay for his meal. He takes his backpack and leaves. He does not come back. 

We open the wallet to find two unregistered [Coffee Shop] loyalty cards, one [Burger Joint] gift card, and an expired condom. That’s it.

We don’t have to pay for walk-outs; of course, we did our due diligence. But we think we embarrassed him enough that he will not be back.

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When A Medical Emergency Becomes An HR Emergency

, , , , , | Working | October 1, 2019

(I’m working and end up going to the ER in massive pain. I’m there until about 2:00 am, so they tell me to stay home an extra day and give me some restrictions on what I can do. Even with the restrictions, I can still easily do my job. I go home, get some rest, and call work the next morning.)

Me: “Hey, it’s [My Name], the hospital wants me resting for another day—”

Manager: “Okay, if you miss today, you’re fired.”

Me: “What?!”

Manager: “You can’t just call out because you’re tired. If you don’t show up you’re fired.”

(I know it’s not legal. I stay home and come back in the next day with notes detailing that I was instructed to stay home the day before and the restrictions for when I do return. My manager sees me going in and glares at me.)

Manager: “Leave. I told you if you didn’t come in—”

Me: “Yes, but you cannot fire me for a medical emergency.”

Manager: “Yes, I can! I’m your boss!”

Me: “You might be, but the law says you can’t.”

Manager: “What law? You’re making this up. Get out of here.”

(I end up standing outside and calling corporate. They tell me to stay nearby, and they’ll call the district manager. Not half an hour later, I see her drive up and go into the store. Ten minutes after that, I get a call.)

District Manager: “[My Name], come on in and come to the office.”

(I go in. The manager looks furious. I sit down.)

District Manager: “I’ve explained to [Manager] that it’s very illegal to fire someone for having a medical emergency or a medical issue. You are not fired. Are you able to work today?”

Me: “I should be. But they also put me under restriction—”


District Manager: “Can I see the list?”

(I hand it over. She reads it out loud. My manager is giving me a smug look.)

District Manager: “This only prevents her from doing a couple of things that pretty much the entire rest of the store can do. This won’t affect her ability to do her job at all.”

Manager: “Yeah, but I can fire her for not being able to do everything!”

District Manager: *pause* “[My Name], take today off, as well. I’ll arrange for some paid sick leave.”

(The manager ended up being fired, especially when it turned out she was writing up people for calling out sick and threatening to fire people if they missed more than one day in a row.)

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