PTO: Plutonium Time Off

, , , , , , | Legal | December 5, 2018

(Part of my job is to be a go-fer for the office and the higher-ups — an errand girl, basically. One day, as I’m leaving to get something from the store, I see a couple of guys talking with three of our Loss Prevention and Facilities guys, all looking confused and somewhat alarmed. I don’t think much of it until I get back and see three cop cars in front of our loading dock investigating a truck. One of the LP guys points me out, and as I get out of my car, a cop comes jogging over.)

Cop: “Ma’am, you need to come with me.”

Me: “Wait, what? Why? What’s going on?”

Cop: “Ma’am, for your safety, you need to come with me.”

(I’m super confused but do what he says and walk over to the loading dock, where I realize one of the officers has a Geiger counter and is running it over everything in the truck.)

Me: “What’s going on?”

Coworker: “You know those guys I was talking to earlier?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Coworker: “Apparently someone from Turkey shipped a package to us to be picked up by those other guys, like we’re FedEx or something.”

Me: “But our building looks nothing like a post office.”

Coworker: “Exactly. And those two guys were from Turkey, too, and flew all the way out here to pick up their package with the intent of taking it back to Turkey. With those bombs being sent to some people lately, we figured better safe than sorry.”

Cop: “Ma’am, I need to you hold out your arms.”

(I do so, and it finally hits me as they’re running the Geiger counter over me.)

Me: “Wait, you think I was exposed to radiation?”

Coworker: “You were in the mailroom this morning, and they’re scanning everyone who was there.”

(Startlingly enough, my chest area measured as somewhat radioactive. It took the cops another ten minutes to realize it was my necklace, which had a reading of .001 from God knows what, and that I had not inhaled anything radioactive. I still don’t know what was in that package that someone in Turkey had to ship it to the USA to be picked up by a couple of guys and brought back to Turkey on their flight. I’m also amazed it wasn’t a fever dream.)

Your Unwillingness Is On Good Form

, , , , , | Legal Right | December 4, 2018

(I am an employee at a small shop located in a heavily-cultural enclave which, in addition to selling books and religious items, also offers to the neighborhood services such as notary public, copies, computer printouts, etc. for the sake of convenience and at low rates. This means that, in addition to the manager here, I am also a commissioned notary public in this state. One day, as I am working the front counter and my manager is doing some paperwork at a computer within earshot, three young men come in.)

Young Guy #1: “Hey, man. We have this form we need notarized.”

Me: “Sure. Can I please inspect the document first?”

Young Guy #2: “Yeah, here it is.” *pulls a sheet out of his backpack and hands it to me*

(I look over the page and it appears to be some sort of a boilerplate rental agreement which is supposed to be filled out, signed, and certified by a notary public. Thus far, nothing appears out of the ordinary.)

Me: “Please complete the form with your personal information and leave the signatures blank for the time being. Each of you will sign when I direct you.”

Young Guy #3: “Okay. Can we sit at this table here?” *points to a vacant table*

Me: “Sure, take your time.”

(The group huddles at the desk and starts talking about the form. Meanwhile, other customers are entering and leaving. Five minutes later, one of them approaches me:)

Young Guy #2: “We are trying to get this document accepted as a proof when applying for a professional license, and the rule is that this agreement should be at minimum one year old.”

(Now I realize what they want me to do is sign and certify the document and back date it to twelve months ago, a move that will cost me my commission (and possibly a nasty fine) if I am busted. Compounding this is the fact that we keep notary document records in a log book, and a signing dated 2015 in a sea of 2016 signatures would stand out like a sore thumb. Now, given these circumstances, we have very little to lose by telling them to f*** off. However, rather than flat-out refuse and have them all pissed off at me, I try to placidly explain my encumbrance. Italics show the vocal emphasis in my speaking:)

Me: “Well, if you need this to be a year old as of now, this document should have been filled out and certified twelve months before, or in December 2015. That way, it could have been used when applying for this license now. Of course, I am more than willing to go ahead and take your signatures on this now, but that means the form is not acceptable for use in this kind of scenario until December 2017. Do you understand?”

(The guys all glance at one another bewilderingly and start muttering to one another in a low voice. Finally:)

Young Guy #2: “You know what? Forget about this form.”

Young Guy #1: “Yeah, guess we’re gonna have to go about this some other way.”

(They take the document back, say good-bye, and the group leaves the premises as calmly as they entered. When they are gone, my manager, who was listening to the conversation, turns to me:)

Manager: “[My Name], you understand what these guys were trying to do, right?”

Me: “Seems like they were trying to get me to lie on a certified document. No sense in doing that, really. [Manager], why the h*** do people like these have such an aversion to following the law, anyways?”

Manager: “Probably just an easy shortcut they think will help. They have no qualms about lying under oath; they could find some other poor sap who might help them.”

Me: *switching to a very sarcastic tone* “S***, I should have told them I would do it if they gave me a hundred bucks for my trouble.”

Manager: *in an equally-deadpan tone* “And they would’ve gladly paid it, as long as it got them out of whatever mess they’re in.”

(We’ve had to deal with many incidents of people trying to get us to “help” them get documents notarized, but this was one of the more inane of such events by far. It’s amusing that people would never dare pull this kind of crap at a bank or currency exchange, but a specialty store is open season. Of course, it should come as no surprise to any reader that we even began including in our log book fingerprints of everybody who gets anything notarized right from the beginning, when we found out at least one of the initial clients used somebody else’s ID to get a form stamped!)

Pawn Shop Prices Are A Steal But The Stock Isn’t

, , , , | Legal Right | December 4, 2018

(Our particular location is in one of the poorest cities in the US, so we act as more of a pawn shop. Our store takes trades on iPads, iPhones, etc. On a pretty slow day, a young couple comes in:)

Male Customer: “Hey, I wanted to trade some of my stuff for cash. Y’all do that here?”

Me: *motioning toward the cases of used iPhones, iPads, and iPods behind me* “Yes, sir. What do you have for me today?”

Female Customer: “He got a bunch of phones.”

(The man puts a garbage bag on the counter and dumps it out, revealing what has to be about 25-30 phones. Some of them are flip-phones, a few are Apple products, and others seem to be low-end smartphones. We can only take Apple products, so I make two piles; one with iPhones, and the other phones in a separate pile.)

Me: *pointing to the six iPhones in a pile* “I can only trade these phones today, because we can only take Apple products, but check back with us in a month or so and we might be able to trade the others then. Also, I can only trade one phone per transaction. Were you trading these for store credit or for cash today? You’ll always get more store credit than cash.”

Male Customer: “Um…”

Female Customer: “He don’t play video games no more! And you mean you gotta ring each one, one-at-a-time?!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry, but it’s store policy. I have to make a copy of the driver’s license or state ID of the person trading it each time for our records. So each phone has its own transaction.”

Male Customer: “You gotta have an ID to trade this s***?! That’s f****** stupid, man!”

Me: “Well, that’s actually state law, sir. Whenever you trade an item that can be insured, you have to show identification in case the property is reported stolen or missing. Phones can be insured. And our store policy states that if we trade anything for cash, an ID copy is required. Do you not have an ID?”

Male Customer: *to his girlfriend* “Babe, just use your ID. You know I can’t use mine.”

Female Customer: “H***, naw! I ain’t puttin’ my info in his system for your stolen-a** phones!”

Me: “Excuse me, did you just say these were stolen phones?”

(They both look at each other and back at me. In unison, they both say, “No, no, no. We bought them from my brother in New York, and they were stolen at one time, but the cases were dismissed.)

Me: “I can’t take these, then.”

Male Customer: “C’mon, man, don’t be a b****. Just ring ’em up; why’s it matter what they are?”

Me: “Because if they’re stolen then I’ve given you money for something that will be seized by the police when they come in this week to pick up our ID copies and serial numbers of the phones we traded. So [Store] would have paid…” *I look down at the phones and guess their total value* “…[total], for absolutely zero inventory. That’s why.”

Female Customer: “I told you, fool!”

Male Customer: *putting all of the phones back in his garbage bag* “Man, f*** this place! This is some bull-s***!”

(They then stormed out of the store and got in their car, of which I could see the license plate from the front windows. I wrote down the plate number and called the police, because I know how much it can suck to have your phone stolen. They were arrested at another location of the same company I worked for that same day, trying to trade in the same phones.)

Bread Thieves Are The Ones To Sue YOU

, , , , | Right | December 3, 2018

(I am on my second shift at a popular bakery and am just beginning to handle customers by myself. A woman walks in with two children:)

Me: “Hi! How are you?”

Customer: *ignoring me* “I’ll have three white loaves, sliced, two coffee scrolls, three Mediterranean pizzas, a croissant, a custard scroll, and six dinner rolls.”

Me: *totally overwhelmed* “How would you like the loaves sliced, ma’am? Thin or thick?”

Customer: *looking at me incuriously* “Does it look like it matters?”

(I slice them thick because most people choose this option.)

Me: “Sorry, that was three Mediterranean pizzas and a croissant?”

Customer: “Yes! And two coffee scrolls, a custard scroll, and six dinner rolls!”

Me: *after processing this huge order* “That comes to $36.50.”

Customer: “What!? That isn’t right! I came in last month and got the same for $20!”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, the loaves and rolls combo promotion ended last week.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous!” *grabs bag of bread and tries to stalk out of the store*

Me: “Ma’am, you haven’t paid for that bread!”

(As she tries to leave the bakery via the sliding glass doors, she quite literally walks into the door, pretty hard, too.)

Customer: “I’M SUING FOR THIS!”

(The other customers and I were trying not to laugh. We did get sued a small amount for the door incident but it was totally worth it to see her fall over!)

Illegally Rich

, , , , , | Working | December 3, 2018

I started my first job when I was fourteen. There are a lot of rules that have to be followed when someone under eighteen works, like how often one can work, time of the day, and stuff like that. I think I broke every single one. However, I was only glad for the money and apparently, it’s the employer who has to make sure the rules are followed, not the employee.

When you’re under fifteen, you need written consent from your parents before you can start working. I never had written consent; however, my manager knew that my parents agreed as my manager kind of knew my mom.

Also, when under fifteen, you can’t work more than two hours a day, and twelve hours a week. I definitely worked more than that.

When under fifteen, it’s not legal to work after 8:00 pm or before 6:00 am. I often worked until 10:00 pm and started work at 4:30 or  5:30 am.

When under eighteen, you’re not allowed to work overtime, so a maximum of nine hours a day, and forty hours a week. I often worked more than nine hours a day, sometimes more than forty hours a week, as well. I got paid for it, so I was happy. As I had near to no expenses, I definitely felt rich when I got paid and didn’t have to pay any bills or anything like that.

I was also entitled to thirty-minute breaks when working four and a half hours or more, and since I didn’t get to leave my workplace, I was supposed to get paid during those thirty minutes. I didn’t get paid, so I often just didn’t take a break. My manager made sure I got paid for thirty minutes extra every day.

There was also the issue with vacation. When under eighteen, if you go to school, you have to have four weeks and one day of vacation each year, and two of the weeks have to be during the summer months. I worked all through the summer, each summer, all of the “red days” — Sundays, Christmas, and Easter — where we get paid 100% overtime.

For the sake of my employer, and myself, I am very glad that the labor inspection never checked us, as my employer would have been in trouble, and I wouldn’t have been able to work all of those hours. Was it legal? Definitely not, but hey, I got paid, and my employer saved money, as I was cheaper than people over the age of 18.

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