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Sensitivity Isn’t Native To This Coworker

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 4, 2021

I work for the TSA. Most of you don’t like that very much. I am terribly sorry for the things that cause our negative reputation. I know it’s well deserved. I really am sorry.

I personally need the health insurance very badly and appreciated the $22-per-hour starting wages — which have gone up since then — pretty well.

One of my coworkers is patting down a Native woman. The woman has two long braided lengths of hair. My coworker grabs the braids and makes a “giddyap” motion like one would do with reins on a horse and says, “Hu-ha! Giddyap, cowboy!”

They put the coworker on bin running for a few months and made her take a sensitivity class.

I still feel bad about this.

Brunch = Brain Crunch

, , , , | Working | December 3, 2021

I’m at a restaurant with the option to order at your table through a mobile device. While browsing the menu, I see an entry labeled “Brunch Special” with no other description. Curious, I flag down the nearest staff person, a busser.

Me: “Hi, can you tell me what the brunch special is?”

Busser: “Oh, uh, I don’t think we do brunch specials here. I’m not sure what that is. We do have something that we’re only serving today, though.”

Me: “Great. What is it?”

Busser: “I don’t know. I’ll find your waitress.”

The waitress comes over. I repeat my question about the brunch special.

Waitress: “I don’t know what that is on the menu. We don’t do brunch specials. There is something that’s only available today. Would you like to hear about that?”

Me: “Sure, yes.”

The not-brunch-special-special turned out to be pineapple upside-down pancakes, and yes, they were only available that day, for brunch.

To Be Fair, We Didn’t Know His Name, Either

, , , , , , | Working | December 3, 2021

Around the time I was around nineteen or twenty years old, I used to work in a small security job. We were basically a third-party company hired for different events such as concerts, festivals, soccer games, etc., AKA “Rent-A-Cops”. Despite being looked down on for being a younger female compared to the rest of my team, I was always placed at the entrances for the artists to check credentials because I was one of the few who would actually do my job and stop people from going where they were not supposed to go.

This includes the artists of the venue I’m working at, and I’ve had complaints — mostly from rappers or athletes — for not letting them on stage or having the audacity to stop them, period. This is mainly because I have anxiety and I would rather get in trouble for doing what I’m SUPPOSED to do rather than get in trouble for doing something I DIDN’T do. I also don’t keep up with WHO the artists are; I just listen to their music, and it’s not like the security company provides us with pictures to show us who certain people are. To be honest, they shouldn’t have to when credentials exist for a reason!

The main artist of the concert I’m working at has a band name dedicated to imagining a mythical beast. He usually comes in and out through my entrance surrounded by his personal security, and while I am a HUGE fan of the band, I’ve never seen the band’s music videos, so I’m not familiar with his appearance and I hardly see his face since he’s crowded by people.

At one point, one of his security managers walks in and out of the entrance I’m at like he’s looking for something before turning to me.

Manager: “Hey, have you seen [Name]?”

Me: “Um… I don’t know. The shorter guy in the green shirt?”

He gives me a very strange look.

Manager: “No… the tall guy in the red shirt.”

Me: “…”

Manager: “Super tall. Blonde? You know… [Name]!”

I just blink owlishly, trying to figure out why I should know who he’s talking about.

Manager: “THE SINGER?!”

Me: “Oh! Uh, no, he hasn’t been through here.”

He just stared at me for a second longer before leaving with a shake of his head. I, too, was pretty disappointed in myself for not even knowing the singer’s name.

Look. Do You Want To Sell A Car Or Not?

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My wife and I have been looking for a particular model of car for a while, and suddenly, a local dealership has three of them! They’re all used but made within the last couple of years, with mileage varying from 14,000 to 60,000. We go through the nonsense of testing them all and choosing one. The one we decide to buy has 40,000 miles on it and is three years old. The only problem is that the initial asking price is at or above how much it’d cost if I bought a brand new one, made this year as a custom order, from the factory. Time for negotiations.

Salesman: “So, what’ll it take to get you in this car?”

Me: “I want it, but the price is way too high. I could buy a new one online for that much.”

Salesman: “Oh, but that’s because it’s the [Model] S edition, not the [Model] X edition. The [Model] S is… [blah, blah, blah, blah].”

Me: *Pauses* “No, that’s not what I meant. This [Model] S from [three years ago] with 40,000 miles on it costs as much as a [Model] S from this year with zero miles on it. I’ll buy it if you can sell it for a fair price. Somewhere around [75% of their asking price] is much closer to the [Industry Standard Website] suggested price.”

Salesman: “Oh, you can’t trust [Industry Standard Website].”

Me: “Again, though, I could just leave and buy a brand new one for your asking price.”

Salesman: “The price is non-negotiable.”

Me: “C’mon, you know that price is nonsense for a used car. Why can’t you negotiate?” 

Salesman: “I don’t set the prices.”

The salesman suddenly makes an excuse to leave and sends in his colleague.

Colleague: “Hi there. I hear you want [vehicle]. We can get you monthly cost of—”

Me: “I don’t care about the monthly. I care about the overall cost. Are you able to negotiate the price?”

Colleague: “The prices are firm but let me get [Other Employee] in here to see about financing options—”

Me: “Are we seriously gonna do the salesman hokey pokey, where you and a couple of others jump in and out of the room to try to exhaust and confuse me into agreeing to a bad deal? I’m not here to play children’s games. I want you to sell me a vehicle that I’m ready and willing to buy, right now. How is that so hard to sell under this circumstance that you need to get three separate men and—” *checks my phone* “—two hours to negotiate? Does it take this many men to change a lightbulb around here, too?”

The colleague stutters for a second before regaining his composure.

Colleague: “Well, uh… Let me get [Salesman] back so you can talk about finances with him.”

Me: “No, thanks. I’ll just buy a brand new one online, customized how I want it to, for that same amount. Bye!”

I left the office, followed closely by [Colleague]. [Salesman] looked mad at [Colleague] but didn’t say anything about it in my presence. [Salesman] called me once a day for the next three days but I brushed him off each time. On the fourth day, he sent me an email with prices a few thousand dollars less than the non-negotiable price, begging me to come back and make a deal with them. I simply replied asking how he had the authority to change the prices now after he was so sure he couldn’t change prices before. He didn’t reply.

Naive Employees And Stupid, STUPID Customers

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My immune system is busted, but I can’t tell if it’s reacting too much or not enough, so to stay safe, I’m steering clear of people for now. I’m also steering clear of the smoke so thick it looks like fog, which is enveloping half the West Coast as of August 2021 and, apparently, for the rest of our existence.

Part of avoiding people involves getting my groceries by ordering online and coming to pick them up. I do my thing, order my groceries, go to pick them up, present my card for the purchase… and it doesn’t work with the mobile card reader.

The young employee tries again. And again. Still busted. This is annoying, but whatever; clearly their Wi-Fi is kicking a fit, and it’s not like I don’t know how computer problems go.

Employee: “Okay, let me just take down your card number so I can run it in the store.”

I’m thinking, naively, that this means the number on the front of the card.

Me: “Oh, here.”

I hand my card over.

Employee: “Uh… No, the number.”

I suddenly have a horrible suspicion.

Me: “Do you mean my PIN?

He responds as if this is totally normal.

Employee: “Yes.”

My soul leaves my body at about this point.

Me: “Sir, I am not giving you my PIN.”

Employee: “Uh. Sure.”

Somewhere in our wrestling match with the mobile card unit, the employee explained that some customers had been insisting that he take their PINs to avoid having to get out of the car. When we eventually had to go in, I let the manager know EXACTLY what some jerks were bullying a poor high schooler into, and that the poor kid was going to end up giving his own PIN away and not have any money after that.

Eventually, I was able to pay and leave, and hopefully, that manager has just learned why we say “no” to problem customers.