Needs Their Whine Breaks

, , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2017

(I pull up at a gas station, and notice the attendant who usually works the counter is outside, texting on her phone. I assume she must have a colleague inside the store, but when I insert the nozzle in my car, I see her run inside to activate my pump, then immediately run back outside to continue texting. While I’m filling up, I notice an old lady who arrives on foot and starts chatting with her; it seems like they know each other. When I’m done filling up and start walking towards the store, the attendant ignores me and keeps chatting with the old lady, completely oblivious to the fact that I’m done filling up and need to pay. Lo and behold, the store is completely empty, so I approach the cashier’s desk, which is right across the window from the attendant and the chatty lady. I don’t want to be rude at this point, so I go use the ATM for a minute, thinking the attendant will be back in the meantime, but when I’m done and approach the cashier’s desk again, she’s still chatting across the window. I go outside and ask in a rather annoyed tone at this point if I can pay and get going, then the following exchange ensues:)

Clerk: “Well, you were using the ATM, so I figured you weren’t in a hurry.”

Me: “So, you’ve seen me come in the store to pay and just stayed there? I’ve been here for a few minutes already.”

Clerk: “Well, just so you know, we aren’t allowed to take any breaks, so when there are no customers I just go outside to relax.”

Me: “When there are no customers? So, what does that make me, then?”

Clerk: “Look, I can’t take breaks! This job is a living hell! I can’t even go to the bathroom! What am I supposed to do? I’m only human, you know!”

Me: “Well, what you’re telling me sounds illegal, and if it’s true, you ought to report your employer to the ministry of labour. Or maybe you just ought to quit that job if they treat you like that. That’s what I’d do. But then again, you weren’t in the bathroom, were you? You were outside texting and chatting with a lady that’s clearly not a customer, seeing as she just went on her way when I came to get you. Most employers frown upon that. I know mine would, even if I certainly wouldn’t describe my job as a ‘living hell.’ So, spare me the whining and just do your job, would you?”

(She blushed and finished the transaction without a word, tossed me my receipt, then wished me a “nice day” with all the sarcasm she could muster. Haven’t been to that place since, but I sincerely hope she has since either found a better job that lets her take a bathroom break every once in a while, or understood that “work” is called “work” for a reason.)

The Golden Age Of Gaming

, , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2017

(I go into the electronics store a few times a month and get to know most of the staff. I’m wheelchair-bound, and my beard is iron grey and white, so I’m pretty distinctive. A few days ago they hired a bunch of new people for the holidays. Since I’ve been looking for a new PC game, I am going through their display when one of these very young employees approaches:)

Employee: “Looking for a game for your grandson?”

Me: “I’m sorry?” *just blown away by the question*

Employee: “You know, video games? Computer games?”

Me: “Oh!” *catching on that due to my age he was under the impression that I was too old to know video games* “No, I don’t know much about them things. Can you explain them?”

Employee: “Well, people play these games on these machines.”

Me: “Oh! Like the ones with the typewriters hooked up to the TVs?”

Employee: “Yes! Exactly! They use the computer and these things called programs.”

(This actually goes on for a good five minutes, with him explaining to an old cripple all about these new-fangled contraptions called PCs. Unfortunately for me, but fortunate for the employee, a manager starts overhearing the conversation and comes over to investigate. I see her walk up behind this clueless employee, silently dying with laughter, and she has to wipe away tears before she lets her be presence known.)

Manager: “Um, why are you talking to him like he is clueless as to what computers and games are? He makes half the backgrounds, screensavers, and custom content for most of the games we carry. He is the last person you ever want to treat like that.”

Employee: “You can’t be serious. I mean isn’t he a little too… you know… to know much about games?”

Me: “You mean, I’m too old to know much about games?” *I fill in the blanks for him* “I’m too old to know much about skins, meshes, animations, and the like?”

Employee: “Um, well, I just saw you looking there, and I didn’t know.”

Manager: “Maybe you’ve learned a bit of a lesson in preconceived notions and jumping to conclusions, and hopefully a little about discrimination of age.”

Employee: “Well… I’ve got to take care of something…”

(And away he ran! The second he was far enough away the manager burst out laughing again and asked how long I was going to keep the kid on the hook. I told her just a couple of more minutes because I was having too much fun with him. That kid will never hear the end of his gaffe and I may immortalize it in my next DLC. I’ll just leave his name out of it.)

A Manager Who Has Learned Nothing

, , , , , , | Working | December 20, 2017

(We have just gotten a new higher-up manager to oversee a few departments, including mine. He decides to pull us all aside for a while to get to know us and go over our employee files. It is important to note that I am a high-school dropout due to family medical emergencies, but this has no impact on my work performance whatsoever, and my immediate supervisors know this.)

Manager: “So, I see this is your first job, and you were initially a part-time file clerk in a different department. How exactly did you wind up managing this department a year later?”

Me: “Well, I started assisting with other help in this office, and gradually became full-time while another employee’s performance was slipping. When they replaced her, they moved me to a newly-formed department.”

Manager: “They shouldn’t have done that. You’d never had a job before. You can’t run a new department.”

Me: “Well, I was performing above expectations and was the best fit for the new position as it was created based around tasks I did. I’ve held that position and trained three new people to assist me in it, and got the bump to manager for it quickly.”

Manager: “You didn’t go to college and didn’t graduate high school. You’re not qualified.”

Me: “Well, if I were applying from outside for this position, I likely wouldn’t get it now, since it’s listed in our required qualifications. Since I proved myself after already being here, it was different. We do make exceptions for the right person, though. One of my best assistants didn’t graduate, either, and she’s more than proven herself, as well.”

Manager: “Oh, I let her go this morning. You’re right.”

Me: “I’m sorry; you let her go? Why? She’s been a fabulous employee.”

Manager: “Because you’re right; she didn’t fit the required qualifications.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s just not fair. She didn’t lie to us; we made an exception because she had a great customer attitude. She passed the 90-day probation with flying colors!”

Manager: “What’s done is done. She should never have been hired in the first place. Neither should you.”

(At this point he literally got up from the meeting room table and walked away, leaving me staring in astonishment. When I returned to my desk I found an email dismissing me from the company due to “being unreceptive to manager feedback during a performance review.”)

The Menu Is Mutual

, , , , , , | Working | December 20, 2017

(My husband is picking up dinner at a local restaurant, which has recently changed its menu. A little confusion occurs.)

Husband: *muttering* “I hate this new menu!”

(Through the speaker he hears an employee yell:)

Employee: “So do we!”

Mystery Solved

, , , , , , | Working | December 19, 2017

(I am 18 years old but I have a job as a mystery shopper. The people who run the mystery shopping company like to use me because people do not expect 18-year-olds to be mystery shoppers. I go into a department store to evaluate them. I overhear some workers gossiping about a possible mystery shopper coming in the next few weeks, without realising it is me. None of them greet me as they are too busy gossiping, which I note in my phone as a strike against them. An older gentleman with a small notebook and pencil comes into the store, and all the employees rush to greet him, leaving me on the sidelines.)

Me: “Can I see this in a size eight?”

Employee #1: “Yeah, in a sec, hon.”

(She ushers the older man to a chair and basically waits on him hand and foot. I wander around the store waiting for another employee to notice me, but none of them do.)

Me: *to another employee* “Sorry, can I get this in a size eight?”

Employee #2: “Can’t you see I’m busy? I’m helping that gentleman. Shouldn’t you be in school, anyway? You can get in trouble for truancy.”

(I end up being able to pull an employee away by threatening — very loudly — to call corporate. They do not want the customer who they think is the mystery shopper to overhear me, so they send what seems like the youngest employee to help me.)

Me: “Finally. Can I see this in a size eight?”

Employee #3: “Are you sure you’re an eight?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee #3: “Let me measure you.”

(After I turn out to be an eight — go figure, but she gets points for going out of her way to help a guest find the right size — she goes to the back room for ten minutes — I time it — and comes back with the right shoe but the wrong colour.)

Me: “Um, I wanted this in blue.”

Employee: “Oh, yeah, we ran out of blue last week.”

Me: “Did you know that when you went into the back?”

(While I am talking, the employee is biting her lip and looking over my shoulder to view the older man. As part of my mystery shopper evaluation, I HAVE to buy something from the store. I do love the shoes, so I end up buying the colour she gave me. Once she hands me my shopping bag, she turns to leave, but I stop her.)

Me: “By the way, he’s not the mystery shopper.”

Employee: “How do you know?”

Me: “How do you think?”

(Her jaw dropped as I walked out of the store. Oh, and they failed the evaluation.)

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