Very Testing Without The Documents

, , , | Working | October 26, 2017

(I handle compliance for imports for a major retailer. We have a lot of vendors and we work with them to make sure all the required documentation and testing is in place for their merchandise. Children’s products are particularly tricky because of very strict testing guidelines that have to be met before the products come off of the boat. I’ve got a couple crates of kids’ furniture sitting on a boat that’s almost in port, and I can’t find the testing documentation. I call the manufacturer.)

Me: “I’m looking for the testing of your products, and I’m not finding it. We need this ASAP.”

Vendor: *a very friendly-sounding old man* “Why do we need all that?”

Me: “This… This is federally mandated testing. If we don’t have the documentation in place, we can’t take your products off the boat, and if they sit on the boat too long, they’ll be destroyed. And we’re not paying that bill.”

Vendor: “No, our products are fine. We’ve never had any complaints.”

Me: “Sir, that’s irrelevant. Have you not actually done the testing? That’s a pretty big problem if you haven’t.”

Vendor: “You know, my grandfather started this business in 1927. He passed it to my father in 1959, and I took over in 1995. We’re a family-owned business and active in our local community.”

Me: *deep breath* “Sir. We can’t take your products off the boat without the testing documents in place. If we don’t have them, we have to destroy them.”

Vendor: “Why would you want to do that? We’re a family-owned business with an 80-year history. You know we make the only [Product] sold at [Competing Retailer]? They didn’t even sell [Product] there before we came along.”

Me: “Are you familiar with [Congressional Act requiring testing of children’s products]?”

Vendor: “We’ve been around for 80 years. My grandfather started the business. We’ve seen a lot of legislation come and go.”

Me: “Okay, well, I’m going to go ahead and go now. You’ll be hearing from your vendor manager soon, I’m sure.”

Vendor: “Okay, that sounds fine. You have a nice day!”

(I contacted his vendor manager and explained the situation. Needless to say, his manager nearly flipped out. Don’t ask me how they did it, but less than a week later, I had the necessary testing documents from the vendor manager in my hand.)

Cause And Defect

, , , , , , , | Right | October 26, 2017

(I work as a hostess and cashier in a 24-hour diner while in high school. One of the waitresses is basically the epitome of all diner waitresses; she’s in her 40s but looks older, she has a gravelly, whiskey-and-cigarettes voice, she takes no crap from anybody, she’s very popular with all our regulars, and she’s absolutely unflappable. It’s a weekday in the summer, late evening, after the dinner rush but before the bars close and all the drunks come to us, so it is quiet. My manager and I are standing behind the main counter near the cash register talking, and [Waitress] has just refilled coffees for three guys in a booth and is standing there chatting, holding the half-full coffee pot in her right hand. She is mostly talking to the two guys on the left side of the booth, and apparently the guy on the right side thinks he isn’t getting enough attention, because all of a sudden he reaches out and grabs her butt cheek.)

Me: “Oh, my God, [Manager]! Did you see? That guy just groped [Waitress]!”

(The manager heads for the gap in the counter to go intervene — I don’t think he knows what is coming, just that it won’t be pretty — but without even missing a beat in her conversation, [Waitress] just turns her hand over and pours the entire remaining contents of the coffee pot into the groper’s lap.)

Groper: “F***! S***! You b****!”

(At this point, one of his buddies “helpfully” tips his glass of water into the groper’s lap, and my manager is laughing so hard that he has literally fallen on the floor. The ice water bath does cool the guy’s scalded scrotum enough that he is able to get up and come yell at someone less likely to conk him with the coffee pot than [Waitress], and as [Manager] is still on the floor and thus out of sight, that’s apparently going to be me.)

Groper: “Did you see her pour coffee on me? I want her fired!”

(I am a particularly baby-faced 16-year-old at this time, so how he thinks I have the authority to fire anybody, much less this waitress literally old enough to be my mom, is beyond me. I look to my manager for help, but he’s still down, laughing so hard he’s wheezing. Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure he’ll have my back if I need it; he’s like that.)

Me: “Yeah, I saw it, right after I saw you grab her butt. We don’t have to put up with that.”

Groper: “You… I… She can’t! I’ll call the cops! Yeah, that was assault. I’ll call the cops!”

Me: “Well, I guess you could. Or you could just hang around; there’s usually a couple of them dropping in around now for some coffee before they go round up drunks. They like to sit in [Waitress]’s section, so that’ll be convenient. You can tell them your version, and we can tell them how she was so startled her hand slipped after some pervert grabbed her butt, and we’ll see which one they think is assault.”

(At this point the guy just shrieks and stomps out. One of the busboys who’s come out of the back to see what the commotion is about starts to run after him, since he’s walking out on the bill, but our manager, who has managed to regain his feet, waves him off — it’s just coffee, not worth chasing an angry customer into the dark. Meanwhile, the other two guys who were with him come up to the register, and even though they’ve gotten separate checks, they pay his, too, so that works out.)

Groper’s Buddy: “Sorry about him. His girlfriend dumped him, and he’s totally been acting like an a**hole.”

Me: “I think you might have your cause and effect switched around there, but yeah, okay.”

A Figurine Of Odd Behavior

, , , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(One lazy summer night I am working returns. I am still pretty new. Earlier in the day there was a group of teenagers that were acting suspiciously, and after they left my manager noticed at least two $20+ figurines missing. No one told me about the figurines, and at around seven or eight in the evening, a teenager comes in to return something.)

Me: “How can I help you?”

Teenager: “I’d like to return these figurines.”

Me: “Anything wrong with them?”

Teenager: “No. I just don’t like them.”

Me: “Okay. Do you have the receipt?”

Teenager: “No. I lost it.”

Me: “Okay, well, I need an ID without a receipt.”

Teenager: “I don’t have one. Will a school ID work?”

Me: “One second.”

(I call my manager to ask, but the moment I mentioned the figurines, she immediately comes over. Marching up to the counter, she grabs the figurines.)

Manager: *to the boy* “You want to return these? Do you have the receipt?”

Teenager: “No. Lost it.”

Manager: “You ‘lost it.’ Funny. We ‘lost’ a couple of figurines just like this earlier to a group of teenagers. Were you there?”

Teenager: “Uh… They said you wouldn’t recognize me.”

Manager: “Uh-huh. I thought so. I’m taking these figurines and I’m going to report you to security. I need your ID.”

Teenager: “I’m only fourteen; I don’t have an ID.”

Manager: “Only fourteen?! You aren’t even old enough to return these! What are the names of your parents and their phone numbers?!”

(He proceeds to tell her all the information she asks for, and then gives her his name and his school ID to prove it. My manager walks off to call security, and the boy turns to me.)

Teenager: “Can I leave now?”

Me: “Um, no?”

Teenager: “They’re going to leave without me. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

(He walked out the door, never to come back. He apparently told the truth and gave us all correct information. He may have been a thief, but he was a very cooperative one!)

Taking Stock Of Harassment Claims

, , , , , , , | Working | October 25, 2017

(I work as a supervisor at a stationary store while at university. I’m doing stock checking with a recently-hired employee. I haven’t worked with him prior to today, but the store manager says he is good.)

Employee: “Finished!”

Me: *while counting* “That was quick. One second…”

Employee: “Why are you counting?”

Me: *glancing at his report* “Because we need to know how many– What is this?”

(The employee has written a very small list of items that are available in store, and put a number next to each.)

Employee: *proudly* “My stock check.”

Me: “There are forms that we need to use, and this is far too small of a list to be even a tenth of our inventory. What do these numbers mean?”

Employee: “How many we need?”

Me: “You’ve never done this before have you?”

Employee: *sounding hurt* “What makes you say that?”

Me: “We don’t have enough room for 20 executive desks. The one we have is just for display. And 17 boxes of staples? We’ve sold more than that this morning alone. I’ll take you through the procedure once I’ve finished with this aisle, and we can do the rest of the check together.”

Employee: “Okay.”

(The guy wanders off, and once I’m finished I can’t find him. I end up doing overtime to finish the stock check myself and make a note to mention it to the manager on my next shift. However, when I come in, I’m called into the manager’s office before I can do anything.)

Manager: “We have to let you go.”

Me: “What? On what grounds?”

Manager: “Bullying and sexual harassment.”


Manager: “Yes. It has come as a shock to me that you would take advantage of [Employee] like that.”

Me: “What are you talking about?”

Manager: “He says you belittled him so you could force yourself on him for the rest of your shift. He felt so threatened he fled the building.”

Me: “None of that is true. In fact…” *pulling out [Employee]’s “report”* “This is what [Employee] did with the stock check. He didn’t know what to do, so I said I would work on it with him.”

Manager: “So, this is an admission.”

Me: “What? No. Just look at the paper, please.”

Manager: “This isn’t his handwriting.”

Me: “Well, it certainly isn’t mine.”

Manager: “This doesn’t make any sense, but my decision is final. We’ll pay you for the week. I don’t want to see you anywhere near this store or [Employee] again. We might also report this to the police if [Employee] agrees. You should be ashamed. Now, get out!

(I was escorted from the building by a security guard with my hands secured behind my back, while my coworkers and the employee stared at me. The employee seemed to be loving every second. For the next week, I was a complete wreck with worry about potential police charges. By the end of the week, I could barely stand from stress. I then got a phone call from a senior manager in the company, the manager to my store manager, asking me to come to the store. I didn’t go, and got another call from someone in the HR department. They told me the senior manager called an audit on the store after the claims of sexual assault, and after an investigation, which included the CCTV I forgot about, asked the manager and his SON to leave the company. I was asked back, but I couldn’t even reach the car park without going into a panic. I post this because I am now a legal adviser for a restaurant chain, and have been called in due to claims of assault. I walk into the restaurant, and the guy recognises me instantly, and flees. Something tells me history was trying to repeat itself.)

Persevering Pop Proves His Parking Point

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 23, 2017

(My dad goes to the bank one night to draw money out of the ATM. There are three spaces right up front, and a woman has parked her car sideways over two of them. My dad pulls into the third, effectively blocking her in, unless she wants to back up over the planter.)

Woman: *running from the ATM* “You can’t park there! You’re blocking me in!”

Dad: *shrugging* “I’m parked perfectly legally, inside the lines. It’s not my fault you parked across two spots and now can’t get out.”

Woman: “You have to move right now! I’m in a hurry.”

Dad: “Not my problem. You shouldn’t have parked like that.”

Woman: “But no one else was here!”

Dad: “Again, not my problem. You shouldn’t assume you’re the only person in the world and that no one else wants to use the ATM.”

(The woman continues shrieking at him, threatening to hit his car in order to get hers out, and he tells her he hopes she has really good insurance, since there are video cameras outside the bank that will show she deliberately hit his car.)

Woman: “I’m getting the security guard!”

Dad: “Great! Go for it.”

(He sits on a nearby bench and waits. The woman comes back with a security guard who patrols that lot at night.)

Guard: “Is that your car, sir?”

Dad: “Yes, it is.”

Woman: “Make him move it! I’m in a hurry!”

Guard: *to my dad* “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to move your car, sir?”

Dad: *grinning* “Not at the moment, no.”

Guard: *to the woman* “I’m sorry, ma’am; there’s nothing I can do. He’s legally parked in between the lines. He has every right to park there as a customer. You shouldn’t have parked the way you did.”


Dad: “And now you’re stuck. How’s that working out for you?”

Woman: *screaming* “I’m calling the police!”

Dad: “Great.”

(The woman walks away, presumably to go call the police.)

Guard: “You stay as long as you like, sir. You haven’t done anything wrong.”

Dad: “Oh, I fully intend to. If she’d asked nicely I would have moved my car right away, but I could tell she thought she was better than everyone else, just by how she parked. I’m in no hurry.”

(The woman came back in tears, and Dad finally moved his car after she promised never to do it again. He said he felt like he made his point.)

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