Just Lost Their Chemistry

, , , , | Working | February 20, 2014

(I am twenty years old and opening a new bank account. The account manager is trying to make small talk with me while the information processes. I should note that I appear to fit the “skinny blonde girl” stereotype.)

Manager: “So, are you in school?”

Me: “Yes. I just started my third year.”

Manager: “And what are you studying?”

Me: “I’m doing a double major in chemistry and physics.”

Manager: *stops typing and scrunches her face up a little* “Oh… wow. Really? Science? Are you sure that’s not too hard for you?”

Me: “Um, yes. I really enjoy it, and I seem to have a knack for it. I just aced a course on relativistic physics.”

Manager: “I didn’t expect you to say that. I expected something fluffy like interior decorating or fashion design. If you could excuse me for a second, I, uh, need to go get something from the back.”

(She walked away. Someone else came to finish up the paperwork as the original woman “was suddenly called away.”)


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Totally Four-Scored

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2013

(It is Veteran’s Day. Our store is giving discounts to veterans. Two women are in line to check out.)

Customer: “I served in Iraq. Do you need proof that I was in the service?”

Cashier: “Nope!”

Customer: “Okay. I thought I’d ask.”

(The next customer in line, a 70-something-year-old woman, steps up.)

Next Customer: *jokingly* “I served in the Civil War!”

(The funny thing is that the cashier actually gave her the discount. The customer had to tell her she was joking.)


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Doing More Pharm Than Good

, , , , , | Working | May 31, 2013

(My daughter has a seizure disorder. We are a low-income family, and we get low-cost insurance through the state for her. However, because of this disorder, she has separate insurance through the state; the pharmacy knows this.)

Tech: “Um, okay, so we tried to run your daughter’s medication and it won’t go through.  We have to contact [Regular] insurance to see why it won’t go through.”

Me: “Wait, no… you have to run it through [Other] insurance. I called this in like three days ago, and you are now just calling me?! That is the medication she takes for her seizures. I am out, too, and I can’t have her miss a dose.”

Tech: “We did and it didn’t work. You can pay cash for it. That’s $54.99.”

Me: “Look, I am low income. I can’t afford something that expensive. Are you sure you ran it through the right insurance?”

Tech: “Uh, yeah. It’s not my fault you let your insurance lapse or something. You need to call [Regular] insurance and take care of it on your end or else pay cash.”

(I call my daughter’s regular insurance, who confirms my side of things. They call the pharmacy and get them to approve the medication. I call back but request to speak with a pharmacist directly.)

Me: “So, did it work this time?”

Pharmacist: “Yeah, it did. I’m sorry [Tech] was acting that way. She just didn’t want to run it on the other insurance because it takes a few more steps to make.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. I’ve heard this song and dance every month for the last three months and nothing has changed. Look, my kid was totally out of her seizure meds! She could have had a seizure because of your lack of calling me about it in a timely manner and making jump through hoops I don’t need to.”

Pharmacist: “Well, I’m really busy, and I can’t watch everything they do all the time.”

Me: “Wow, you just inspired me to take my business elsewhere and call corporate to complain.”

(Within two hours, my daughter’s prescriptions were transferred to another pharmacy where they DO take the time to run it correctly and call me if/when there is a problem. I recently went back into that first store to return something and there was an entirely new staff in the pharmacy. I hope these ones do actually care!)


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Inexcusable Behavior Will Get You Excused

, , , , , | Working | May 24, 2013

(I’m the manager of a coffee shop. I’ve gone home for the day, leaving a student employee minding the shop. A few hours later, I get a call.)

Employee: “[Student Employee] hasn’t shown up. He’s an hour late and he isn’t answering his phone. I have to leave in a few minutes for my evening class.”

(The student employee is notoriously lazy. However, he just put in his two week’s notice yesterday and assured me that he would cover the rest of his shifts. I come in to cover and try to contact the prodigal barista. After leaving a voicemail on his cell, I call the number for his apartment and reach his roommate.)

Student Employee’s Roommate: “Oh, yeah, he’s out. Here’s a number for someone he’s with.”

(I call the student employee’s friend’s number and get the phone handed to him.)

Me: “[Student Employee], where are you? You were supposed to be here over an hour ago.”

Student Employee: “Oh, yeah…”

Me: “How soon can you be here?”

Student Employee: “Umm… I’m in [Town about a 45-minute drive away].”

Me: “So you’ll be here in the next hour? I opened today, and I’m opening tomorrow; I’m not closing for you.”

Student Employee: “Ooh! I can’t come in. I’m too drunk to drive!”

Me: “Come see me before I open tomorrow. We need to talk.”

(I end up closing the shop. While mopping, I psych myself up for my first ever experience with firing an employee. The student employee comes in about a half-hour after I open the shop the next morning.)

Me: “Are you sober?”

Student Employee: “Oh, I wasn’t really drinking; I just needed an excuse to get out of that shift. Thanks for covering me. What did you need to talk to me about?”

Me: “Thank you for making this process even easier.”

(Even after a 20-minute conversation, I don’t think he ever understood why he was being let go!)


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Breaking Bank

, , , , , , | Working | February 11, 2013

(I was recently made redundant at work and have had to cut back on expenses. I am paying off a cancelled credit card at about NZ$20 a week from my meagre unemployment insurance. At nine am once a fortnight, I receive phone calls from the bank which are unhelpful but relatively pleasant. Then, this happens…)

Me: “Hello?”

Employee: “Yes, this is [Employee] from the credit facility of [Bank]. Our records show that you have been paying off the amount which you owe at a rate of $20 each Friday of each week. ”

Me: “Yes, and as I have explained, I am unable to pay any more at present.”

Employee: “I understand, but why are you not paying a greater amount?”

Me: “Because I am unable to pay any more with my current expenses and earnings.”

Employee: “I understand that. So, you’ll be paying more from this week? The more you pay, the faster you will pay off the debt, and you want to do that or else your credit rating—”

Me: “—will be adversely affected. Yes, I understand that. The thing is, I don’t earn more than $320 total each week.”

Employee: “I understand that. We would expect that you paid a relatively small amount of your earning each week, say a thousand dollars, as a minimum.”

Me: “A thousand dollars is and never has been a small amount of my earnings, even when I was working! I’d have to be running a methamphetamine lab to make enough to afford that each week!”

Employee: “That’s a good idea, sir! Would you consider such a venture?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Employee: “If that would assist you making the payments, [Bank] would be happy to help you. Would you need some bridging finance to start this venture?”

Me: “You do realise what you are asking, don’t you?”

Employee: “Of course. You wish to start a small business venture and we at [bank] would happily—”

Me: “—finance a criminal enterprise?”

Employee: “I beg your pardon?”

Me: “You do understand that making methamphetamine is illegal in this country?”

(There are a few moments of silence, except for rapid typing noises.)

Employee: “Oh, yes. I remember now. I had forgotten because I was thinking about the Rugby football match this weekend between the Blues and the Warriors, sir.”

(Note to American and foreign readers: this is like a person telling you they are in Cleveland to watch an ice hockey match between the Cavaliers and the Browns — two utterly different codes of sport between teams from the same town.)

Me: “I’ll pay you what I can when I can, okay?”

Employee: “That would be acceptable, sir.”


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