End Of My Shift And End Of My Patience

, , , | Right | March 2, 2018

(All the stores in my chain have been made “no-smoking places,” meaning employees are not allowed to smoke during their breaks or during working time. One day when my shift is over, I am walking to the parking lot towards my car and smoking a cig.)

Woman: “You are not allowed to smoke!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: *getting quite angry* “YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SMOKE!”

Me: “Says who?”

Woman: “Employees are not allowed to smoke at this place!”

Me: “Yeah, we are not allowed to smoke during our workday.”

Woman: “Put it out, now! I don’t want my kids to smell that awful smoke!”

(The woman drags her kids with her. They are good nine feet away and the wind is blowing to my direction.)

Me: “Then why did you even bring them here?”

Woman: “Put it out, now!”

(She manages to grab my cigarette and throws it to the ground. At the same time, the store manager is also leaving, and the woman calls her to talk with us.)

Woman: “You need to fire this guy, or at least give him a warning!”

Manager: “Why?”

Woman: “He was smoking here, and employees are not allowed to do that!”

Manager: “Is your shift over?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Then there is no problem! He can destroy his lungs if he wants to, but only during his free-time!”

(I lit another cig, jumped in my car, and left. The woman looked like she wanted to feed me to hungry bears. The next day, the manager told me that woman insisted that I must be fired and said she would give our executives a call about this. Nothing happened.)

A Failed Delivery

, , , | Working | February 27, 2018

(I work in customer service for a big online store. Since the store is only online, we get a lot of customers calling or emailing us on a daily basis, and because we pay and do all the shipping, we also have to call [Delivery Company] daily. I absentmindedly answer a call:)

Me: “Welcome to [Delivery Company]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

(A coworker looks toward me in wonder, notices what I said, and tells it to the others. They all start laughing.)

Customer: *on phone, in wonder and amusement* “[Delivery Company]?! I thought I had called [Online Store]!”

Me: *noticing what I had said* “Sorry, it’s been a long day. Welcome to [Online Store]. How may I help you?”

(Not my proudest moment, but at least we were too busy for my coworkers to start teasing me about it.)

The Policy On Nudity Is Laid Bare

, , , | Right | February 27, 2018

(In Finland, it’s normal to go to the sauna naked, and even swim naked after the sauna. But at public saunas with separate facilities for men and women, you’re expected to put on a bathing suit before swimming. It’s midsummer and we’re staying at an upscale hotel. We’ve just come from the sauna and pool, where a rather drunk couple are swimming naked.)

Me: “A man and a woman are swimming naked in the pool.”

Desk Clerk #1: “Again?!”

Desk Clerk #2: “You’re going this time.”

Pepperoni, Cheese, And A Lacking Understanding Of How Time Works

, , , | Right | February 13, 2018

(There is a big sport event near our restaurant. We are packed the whole day. In our restaurant, you pay your order beforehand at a counter. A customer with two kids orders three pizzas, and I inform them about our 40-minute wait. The customer seems to understand this and is fine with the wait. After 20 minutes, the customer comes to me at the counter.)

Customer: “We have waited at least an hour! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I am terribly sorry for the wait. As you can see, we are full.”

Customer: “My kids are hungry! How dare you keep us waiting this long?! We are in a hurry, and we have waited an hour for just three pizzas!”

Me: “I am so sorry, ma’am. I’ll ask from the kitchen how your order is doing.”

(As I turn around, the chef puts the customer’s pizzas out, ready to be taken to tables.)

Me: “Good news! Your pizzas are ready, and I’ll take them to your table right now.”

Customer: “No! We have waited so long, and we need to get going! I am not eating those pizzas here; we do not have time!”

Me: “How about I put them in pizza boxes, so you can take them with you and eat on your way? Again, I am very sorry for the wait.”

Customer: “No, no! We don’t have time! I want a refund!”

Me: “It really takes almost no time at all for me to pack your pizzas, ma’am, so if you’ll–“

Customer: “I want a refund! I don’t care about those f****** pizzas anymore!”

(I do as the customer asks and start making the refund. It takes a bit of time, as the customer paid with credit card, so our system won’t allow us to refund in cash.)

Me: “Okay, now the money is back in your account. Please take some coffee as you go; it is free of charge for you. Again, I am very sorry about this.”

Customer: “You should be! Now my kids will be very hungry when we drive back home!”

(The customer left and I had to throw away their perfectly good pizzas.)

Named And Shamed

, , , , , | Working | January 25, 2018

(I live in a Swedish-speaking area and have a Russian surname. It’s by no means as complicated as some Russian names can be, but some people still tend to skip saying it, referring to me by my first name, or by my first name and the first letter of my surname, especially in class or when I’ve booked something under my name. I’ve long since gotten used to that, even if it bothers me sometimes, but this girl takes the cake.)

Me: “Hi, I have a breakfast reservation under [My Name].”

Worker: *snarky* “Oh. Right. You’re the one who booked under that name.”

Me: “Er, yes?”

Worker: *laughs* “I’m not even going to try to say that.”

Me: “Okay. Thanks?”

(I mean, come on. To all who struggle with foreign names, sometimes it actually feels better if you try and fail to pronounce our names, rather than just publicly declare you won’t be bothered. We’re part of our community, too.)

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