An Asymmetrical Service

, , , , , | Working | January 12, 2018

(I am walking out of a department store and I have to go through the cosmetic section. A salesperson notices me.)

Salesperson: “Oh. My. GOD! You are gorgeous!”

Me: “Oh, thank you. I’ve been told I have a very symmetrical face.”

Salesperson: “You do. It’s amazing! Well, almost, except for those freckles.”

Me: “Oh. Well, I actually like my freckles, so—”

Salesperson: “You shouldn’t; they’re horrible. It shows you don’t care about your skin.”

Me: “And you just lost your last chance to make a sale.” *walks away*

Salesperson: *shouting* “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t want to sell anything to such a dermatological nightmare!”

(Who would hire a someone who goes from “gorgeous” to “dermatological nightmare” in one conversation to sell cosmetics?!)

Seeking A Job And Further Seeking A Manager

, , , , | Working | January 10, 2018

(I am a college student and I am searching for a new job for the summer. I ask my best friend if the department store where she works is hiring and they are. I go down the next day to give them my resume with my contact information on it. The next day, my best friend calls me on her cell phone and this exchange occurs.)

Best Friend: “[Boss] just called me and wants to know what hours you are seeking and what your availability is?”

Me: “Oh, does he want me to call him back?”

Best Friend: “No, he wanted me to ask you let him know when I came in for my shift.”

(I find it weird that he can’t call me to ask me and had to call my friend to relay his message to me, but I let it go. Two days later, I am at school and I am taking my final, so I don’t have my phone on. After my final, I see that I have two missed calls and one voicemail, so I listen to my voicemail and it’s my best friend.)

Best Friend: “Hey, [My Name]! [Boss] is blowing up my phone because he called you multiple times and left several voice messages, wanting to schedule you an interview, and you never answered. Please let me know what is going on; he wants to know if you’re still interested or not.”

(I call my best friend back and tell her he only called one time and didn’t leave a voicemail, and that I was in an exam. I call the boss back on his cellphone and explain why I couldn’t answer the first time, apologize, and then tell him I am still interested in an interview. Five minutes later, I get another call from my best friend.)

Best Friend: *sounding really annoyed* “I am so sorry for bothering you about this again but [Boss] called me and wants to know when you can come in for an interview. I really don’t know why he wants me to be the messenger and can’t just talk to you!”

(By this point, I don’t even want to go to the interview because I am also getting annoyed that this boss refuses to talk to me personally. But I need the job badly, so I tell her I am available any day. She hangs up to call back her boss, then texts me the interview details. I go in the next day, and throughout the whole interview he sits there, looking at the cameras, and doesn’t really ask me any questions except when I could start. A couple of days later, my best friend calls me, and I already know what she’s calling about.)

Best Friend: “Please don’t shoot the messenger, but [Boss] is too afraid to call you and tell you didn’t get the job.”

A Holiday From Management Should Be Mandatory

, , , , | Working | January 8, 2018

(I have been taken off the schedule for a particular week. I assume this is because I haven’t taken a holiday in quite a while, and have been given a mandatory holiday [without notice, but such a thing is common at my store]. I am shopping on Friday afternoon with my mum, in said store, when a department manager approaches both of us while we roam around. The store’s week end is Saturdays.)

Manager: “[My Name], you haven’t been put in the rota for this week.”

Me: “I know.”

Manager: “Well, you need to work, otherwise you won’t fill your quota, and will be written up.”

Me: “But I wasn’t scheduled in to begin with; I thought it was a holiday. Why would I be written up for someone else’s mistake?”

Manager:“Because that’s how it works. You need to work a shift. There’s a note in the office; someone’s contacted you about this today.”

Me: *turning to my mum* “Has anyone called?”

Mum: “No, and I’ve been in the house all day.”

Me: *after checking my phone* “No missed calls. You have both my numbers. No one’s called.”

Manager: “Someone would have called if they haven’t already.”

Me: *checking my phone again* “The store is only open for another hour. You’re saying someone was going to phone me this late? The rota has been up all week. When did you notice the mistake?”

Manager: “It doesn’t matter now. You need to work this week. When can you do it?”

Me: *giving up* “Tomorrow morning, first thing.”

Manager: “First thing?”

Me: “From the second a manager opens those doors.”

Manager: “Tomorrow’s not good. Sunday is better.”

Me: “Sunday is next week. It would defeat the purpose of coming in.”

Manager: “Tomorrow isn’t good.”

Me: “I don’t care. I’m working tomorrow.”

Manager: “Okay.” *walks away, no thanks or goodbye*

(When I get home, I check for any messages. Shocker – there is none. I work the shift, and the following week, we get a lecture from the store manager.)

Store Manager: “Someone decided he would work a shift last week when he had mandatory holidays, meaning he went over his limit for accruing holidays. We’re now being penalised as a store for it.” *looking directly at me* “No one is getting written up for it, but let this be a warning. Do not think you can just come in anytime you feel like it. There will be consequences.”

Me: “I’ll hold my hand up and say it was me who worked last week. But don’t think for a second it that was by choice. [Manager] interrupted me while I was shopping and demanded I work to meet my quota-“

Store Manager: “She said she offered you Sunday-“

Me: “Which would have been a new week, a new quota to meet-“

Store Manager: “She was a bit rushed on Saturday and she didn’t understand the situa-“

Me: “Then what use is she? I assumed it was a holiday, but as no one bothers to tell us or confirm it, I couldn’t have known.”

Store Manager: “All you have to do is knock on the admin office and ask.”

Me: “From who? The only person in there is [Admin Manager] every morning, and she only balances the float and does the payroll. She has no understanding of how the schedule is created.”

Store Manager: “Yes, because it’s my duty to do that.”

Me: “Then leave a note for her or something. If such a little mistake is worthy of a write up, maybe you should put a little more effort into it before we walk or the store goes under.”

Store Manager: “…good point. I’ll look into it. Now everyone sign.”

(He literally did nothing about it, and asking the admin manager was ultimately pointless, as she refused to do anything. I ended up contacting the store manager’s personal number every week to find out about mandatory holidays [until he blocked me]. I got in touch with HR, asking about what could be done, and was told any manager could take on the responsibility, provided they were trained. A senior manager reassigned the responsibilities, and the admin manager was put forward for the schedule, but left beforehand, citing “too much workload.” I stepped forward to replace her and was trained by the senior manager in person. It only took two weeks to understand everything. In protest of my work ethic, two more managers left, who, surprisingly, we didn’t need to replace. The employees working under them did more than the managers ever had, and took a decent pay increase to fulfill the responsibilities, while I took on the rest. Our store ended up being the only store in our cluster to operate with a reduced management [three managers instead of five or six]. I even started taking on the store manager’s duties [or rather the ones he never bothered with]. He eventually claimed praise for improving efficiency, but the senior manager wasn’t impressed with his claim and audit checked us. My name was on everything, and while I should have gotten in trouble for overstepping my authority, the senior manager simply decided to take his place temporarily, demote him and the remaining manager, and promote me to assistant store manager. The employees who were fulfilling the absent manager roles were promoted, and two new managers were brought in. I was finally promoted to store manager, once the senior manager was satisfied with my performance. So, this is how I went from part-time to store manager inside of a year. The old store manager still works here, but he is completely useless. It surprises me how he got to be the manager in the first place.)

You’re Too Late To Save Yourself

, , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2018

(I’ve noticed that since summer ended, one of my employees has been routinely late, but clocks in almost exactly 20 minutes after his shift starts. Most of the time, however, I see him before his shift, early. Too many tardy notices and we have to let someone go; its corporate policy and out of my control. I like to give people a chance, so I call him into the office to see if I can help him.)

Me: “So, there’s the trend I’m noticing on your clock-in times. Can you tell me what’s going on?”

Employee: “Well, in the mornings, I put my kids on the school bus, because I don’t like them standing alone in [Sketchy Part of Town]. Then, I take the bus that stops a block over to work. But sometimes the school bus gets there late, I miss my bus, and the next one isn’t for 30 minutes, so I’m late those days.”

Me: “Okay! Well, I wish you’d brought this to my attention sooner. Here’s what we are going to do. I’m moving your entire shift back a half hour. That way, if you catch the later bus, you’ll be on time, and you don’t have to stress.”

Employee: “Seriously? That will help so much. Thank you!”

(Two weeks go by, and I notice the employee is up for a written warning for another three tardies, having clocked in 20 minutes after his new, later start time. I pull him aside.)

Me: “What’s going on here? I moved your shift so that we could fix the issue with you being late, but you’re late more often now!”

Employee: “I’m sorry! It’s just… I don’t want to stand at the bus stop everyday for a half hour. It’s a really bad part of town. So, I’ve been going home to do a few things, and I get distracted, I miss the bus.”

Me: “You’re going to have to figure out how to fix that.”

Employee: “Okay, can we push the shift back another hour? A half hour isn’t much extra time, but I can be back if you give me another half hour.”

Me: “I actually need the 11:00 to 7:00 shift covered, so I’ll allow it, but I need you to understand: this was your last warning. If you are late at all in the next three months, I have no choice but to let you go.”

Employee: “Okay! Thank you!”

(A few days later, the mans supervisor pulls me aside.)

Supervisor: “Just so you know, [Employee] called you a b****.”

Me: “What?”

Supervisor: “He says he took the 10:00 to 6:00 shift specifically to be able to pick up his kids from their after-school program by 7:00. Now, you changed his shift, and he can’t get them in time.”

Me: “Okay, let me tell you what really happened.”

(The situation resolved itself when [Employee] showed up a half hour late two days later. I let his supervisor handle his termination papers, because I was still furious with him.)

Have To Be Tough To Deal With Holiday Shoppers

, , , , , | Right | January 5, 2018

(It’s about seven pm on Thanksgiving night. A customer approaches my register with a cart of college t-shirts. As I ring them up and say the price ($4.99) she stops me.)

Customer: “Excuse me! Those are 50% off!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. They are ticketed $10 and the sign says 50% off the ticketed price. That is why they are $4.99.”

Customer: “I don’t think so. They should be 50% off the price on the sign! I want to go look!”

(She walks over to the section and storms back to my register.)

Customer: “Scan all of them! I don’t believe you!”

(I scan all 20 of them one by one, each coming up $4.99.)

Customer: “Here, I don’t want these few.”

(She throws about five onto the register and I hastily put them to the side.)

Customer: “Ring me up for the rest of these.”

(I’m very flustered at this point. I’m still new to the job, and I take an audible deep breath.)

Customer: “Are you getting annoyed with me?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m just very flustered; it is Thanksgiving night, it has been very busy, and I only started a few weeks ago.”

Customer: “Well, tough s***! It’s your job to be annoyed. And you can’t do anything about it.”

(I rang her up in silence, completely baffled by her attitude. She left and I had to walk away from the register, it was so upsetting.)

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