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Better Safe Than Sorry, I Guess?

, , , , | Working | January 9, 2022

I am checking out at a hotel.

Clerk: “Your total is $103.00.”

Me: “I have a [Major Credit Card Brand] gift card here for $100. And here’s $3 in cash.”

Clerk: “Oh, okay. Just let me find a calculator.”

She had to use a calculator to verify that $103 minus $100 is $3.

What are they teaching in school these days?

Owning Up To A Warmer Reception

, , , , , , | Working | January 7, 2022

I haven’t stopped by the office in years. I only work part-time for this company, and then, it’s not really anything to do with the site itself.

I get to the reception and wait for the receptionist to finish her (clearly not work-related) phone call.

Me: “My name is [My Name]. Can you let [Owner] know that I’m here, please?”

Receptionist: *With attitude* “Well, is he expecting you, then?”

Me: “Err, yes, he knows I’m coming.”

She looks at me suspiciously but does call the owner.

Receptionist: “Good morning, sir, someone in reception for you.”

She picks up her mobile and plays on it for a while. A few minutes later…

Me: “Sorry, did he say how long he would be?”

Receptionist: “Well, he is very busy! He will be here when he’s ready!”

Wow, okay. Luckily, the owner shows up reasonably quickly. We chat, and he apologises as he didn’t realise it was me waiting.

Me: “It’s great to catch up. I would say one thing, though. Your receptionist is not exactly setting the best example to visitors.”

Owner: “[Receptionist], really? She is always so polite.”

Me: “To you maybe, but not to me. And she isn’t one to hide the fact that she isn’t doing anything. If I was a customer or investor, I really wouldn’t have been impressed.”

He thinks for a second.

Owner: “Let’s talk to her.”

We go back to reception. [Receptionist] is all smiles, her phone quickly stashed away as we get there.

Owner: “[Receptionist], our visitor here was a bit put out about how he was greeted. I must insist that we treat everyone to the high levels you show me.”

Receptionist: *Playing innocent* “Really? Oh, it must have been picking up on something not there. Well, sir, I apologise for anything you thought you heard.”

Me: “Look, I don’t want to make a big deal of this, but you clearly had an attitude when I got here, and you were making private phone calls and then playing on your phone.”

Receptionist: “Me? Oh, please! Nothing of the sort happened. I mean, who are you going to believe: me or some new guy?”

Owner: “Well, actually—” 

Me: “No, let me. My name is [My Name]; I’m a partner of this business, so yes, I think my word is pretty reliable.”

She sputtered out a stupid excuse. I didn’t wait around for it. The next time, I visited she didn’t recognise me, but she actually spoke to me like a human being. Result.

All Milk-Shook Up

, , , , , , | Related | January 7, 2022

My family isn’t exactly well-off, so we usually only go out to a restaurant on someone’s birthday. Today is a lucky day, because there is no special occasion.

This new restaurant offers free refills on fizzy drinks, which is unusual in the UK at the time. We’re all thinking this is a great idea, except for my youngest sister, who wants a milkshake.

Dad: “The milkshake is more expensive, and there’re no refills, so you’re only getting the one.”

Sister: “Okay.”

Dad: “The rest of us are going to be refilling our drinks; you won’t be able to refill your milkshake.”

Sister: “I know.”

Dad: “Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You’re not getting another. Are you sure you don’t want Fanta?”

Sister: “I’m sure.”

We order food and drinks, and after a short wait, the waiter brings a tray full of drinks. As he approaches the table and goes to put the tray down, it catches on the condiments holder. The tray tips over, the adults both reflexively grab the two drinks closest to them, and the milkshake goes spilling all over the table. Miraculously, most of it is on the table and the little one is only slightly splashed.

My sister immediately slams both elbows on the table, drops her face into her hands, and starts to tear up. The waiter is extremely apologetic and almost falls over himself trying to cheer her up. At the same time, my other sister is laughing her head off at the little one’s face and I’m attempting to help use napkins to stop any of the milkshake from falling off the table.

Every time the waiter mentions something about getting a new one right out, the little one shakes her head and cries a little harder. She’s tough as nails and doesn’t usually cry, so we’re all a little in shock still.

Waiter: “I— I’m so sorry! I’ll go get my manager!”

Before he comes back, our dad gets her to explain what’s wrong.

Sister: “But you said I’m not allowed another one!”

Dad: “Oh, [Sister]. Don’t be silly. Of course you can have another milkshake; it wasn’t you who spilled it.”

The waiter returns with his manager.

Dad: “It’s okay. She just thought I wouldn’t let her have a replacement.”

Manager: “It’s okay, sweetie. Of course we’ll replace your milkshake. I know, how about we upgrade you to the Oreo milkshake?” *To Dad* “Is that okay?”

My sister is nodding.

Dad: “That’s—”

Manager: “No extra cost, of course.”

Dad: “Do you even like Oreos, [Sister]?”

Sister: “I got to try them at school when [Friend] bringed them.”

Dad: *To the manager* “That’d be great, thanks.”

The mess is quickly cleaned up and a waitress brings over a tray with the new fancy milkshake on it. As she goes to put it down, it catches on the condiments holder. My sister looks at her milkshake in horror.

Whether due to quicker reflexes or a lighter plate, the waitress doesn’t tip the tray. We notice the condiments holder was the problem last time, and I reach over to move it to my side of the table to prevent this from happening again.

Me: “Do you think—”

Dad: “Yeah, it probably was.” *To the waitress* “Can you let the other guy know it wasn’t his fault?”

Waitress: “Huh? Oh, sure.”

My sister got to enjoy her fancy milkshake and the food was good, too. We had a good time and went back to that restaurant again a few times.

When It Rains, It Pours, And You Can’t Just Ignore It

, , , , , , , | Working | January 6, 2022

Due to a very traumatic incident as a child, I am terrified of being out in the rain. It causes me to go into a panic attack and I shut down for about a half-hour until I can calm down. I’ve gotten better over the years, but being out in a heavy rainstorm still sets me off. I get to work one day while it’s raining, and it’s getting worse by the second. I steel myself and then rush through the parking lot to get inside, about a 100-yard dash. I get in and think nothing of it, as I’m a little early.

One of my coworkers rushes up to me to tell me that I, somehow, have left my car running in the parking lot. I feel for my keys and check my purse, but it’s true. I’m filled with dread as I realize I have to run back out in the storm to turn my car off, and by now the sky is completely black at 2:45 pm.

I run out, panicking by the second, and I manage to turn my car off and start to rush back, but I can’t move as fast anymore, as I’ve already exhausted my out-of-shape self from doing this dash twice already. That’s when I see a shuttle bus driving up.

Though my store and the resort we are next to are technically two separate businesses, we are owned by the same people, to the extent that the resort’s Human Resources department doubles as ours. The driver is a coworker of mine, as well. I am the only person in that parking lot when the bus slows down in front of me, stops, and opens its door. I run to the door, grateful for the quick lift back to the store, but the door is shut in my face and the bus drives off.

I get back into the office and am thrown into a full panic attack, having to breathe into a paper bag to calm down, trying to not cry or go into a violent fit. I eventually calm back down enough to go to work. 

About a half-hour into my shift, one of the resort’s higher-ups comes in. I don’t know him, or his specific department, but he would have to be Human Resources at a minimum. He asks me if I’m okay when he sees the state I’m in, and, not really thinking about it, I tell him about the shuttle bus. He nods along as I tell the story, takes his purchase, says he hopes I feel better soon, and leaves.

The next day, I come into work to hear the latest gossip: one of the shuttle bus drivers was fired yesterday for intentionally leaving someone stranded in the rain.

Very Bad Reception, Part 23

, , , , , , | Working | January 6, 2022

I work as a security guard for a winery. The winery also owns the hotel across the street, which always seems strange because it’s a pure production winery, not a tourist winery. Regardless, during my shifts, I am the sole security guard for both the hotel and the winery, but my guard shack and 95% of my job happens at the winery. One Saturday during the off-season, when the winery is completely dead, I get this phone call from the hotel receptionist.

Me: “Hello, what can I do for you?”

Receptionist: “Hi, I wanted to call and report a suspicious car in our parking lot.”

Me: “Okay, please describe the car and why it’s suspicious.”

Receptionist: “The car looks like [description] and it’s suspicious because it’s been parked there for two days without moving.”

Me: “Oooookay, does it belong to a guest?”

Receptionist: “Actually, yes, I think I saw the people in room number [something] get out of it.”

Me: “All right, are those guests still there?”

Receptionist: “Yes, they are, but the car has been there for a really long time. Do you think I should call the police?”

Me: “I think that’s a bad idea, since it sounds like the guests just haven’t gone anywhere while you were there, but let me talk to my supervisor so I know what he wants to do about this situation.”

I hang up as she continues trying to explain why it is so weird that the car hasn’t moved.

Getting my boss’s opinion is really just an excuse to loop my boss in on the exchange I had just had in case the receptionist tries to do something crazy like call a tow truck and act as if I supported the decision. After calling her a moron, my boss asks me to call her back and get more information.

When I call, it’s clearly still the receptionist’s voice, but now with a bad Spanish accent. She gives a different name.

I’m very confused but I roll with it.

Me: “Hi, I just wanted to follow up with [Receptionist] and gather some more info about her concerns. Could you put her on the phone, please?”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, she went to the kitchen area; she could be anywhere right now, I don’t think I could find her.”

This is not a giant hotel complex. The entire hotel has about ten guest rooms in a two-story building plus a manor house area with a kitchen, a bar, and a few miscellaneous rooms. The idea that anyone could disappear in this place is absurd.

I’m 95% sure that I’m actually just talking to the receptionist but not quite at the point of calling her out.

Me: “All right, well, could you give me [details] for my incident report?”

Receptionist: “Oh, yes.”

She gives the exact same details to the point that my 95% surety increases to 98%. I try to contain my laughter at the absurdity of the situation.

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

I have rarely heard a voice more filled with abject despair and exasperation with the absurdity of the world than my boss listening to the details of my second exchange. For my part, I spent the next thirty minutes bursting into random bouts of uncontrollable giggles as I struggled to force the inanity of it all into a professional format in my incident report.

Very Bad Reception, Part 22
Very Bad Reception, Part 21
Very Bad Reception, Part 20
Very Bad Reception, Part 19