Put Your Mouth Where The Money Is

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I run a small woodworking shop and I make affordable furniture. I’m not in it for the money; I do it to semi-retire and help people out. Most days, it’s just me, but when we get busy, I take on seasonal workers.

This year, I plan on getting ahead of the rush and bringing in some staff to make up some stock of the more popular items. I hold the interviews and find two decent guys and a third that just seems… off. I decide that maybe he doesn’t interview well and give him a try. He says he is keen to work hard and prove himself.

A couple of weeks in, I notice that whenever I look up or find a mistake, it’s the third guy. He always makes some stupid excuse right before I get around to firing him.

The three seasonal workers approach me, [New Hire #3] in the lead.

New Hire #3: “We’ve been talking and we don’t think you pay us enough.”

Me: “Oh? And why do you think that?”

New Hire #3: “Look at the prices you charge! You are making a fortune off of us.”

Me: “The prices cover power, materials, and rent, not to mention four people’s wages. There is no fortune to be made. I make nearly the same as you.”

New Hire #3: “Liar! All the equipment, tools… The money comes from somewhere.”

The tools are rented or old ones that I have accumulated over forty years of woodworking. Many are screwed together and have been repaired a dozen times.

Me: “You know what, [New Hire #3]? I was going to do this anyway. You’re fired; you make more mistakes than anyone I’ve ever employed and you’re always talking.”

New Hire #3: “But I—”

Me: “Go on, leave. And for you two gentlemen, the pay is fair and non-negotiable; you can take it or leave it.”

The three looked at each other and had a short conversation in a language I didn’t understand. [New Hire #3] seemed to be trying to lead the revolt and the other two were having none of it. 

[New Hire #3] left and the other two got on fine. We hit our quota with room to spare.

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He Lost The Chair Stare

, , , | Right | April 5, 2021

A customer is looking at the desk chairs, and after trying out a few, he finds one he likes.

Customer: “I’ll take it!”

He starts to push it towards the front. I follow, as it’s one of several display models, but my boss is fine with the floor models being sold if customers want them. We get to the front, but rather than stopping at the desk, the man keeps walking toward the door with the chair.

Me: “Sir, you are going to have to pay for that.”

He turns to look at me and lets out a really fake-sounding laugh.

Customer: “Oh, I’m just going to take it for a test drive and see how it looks at home.”

I’m not sure if he is joking or not.

Me: *With a chuckle* “I’m sorry, we don’t offer that service.”

He stared at me for a little bit before pushing the chair over to my desk, and then he turned and walked out. I put it back, wondering what kind of store he shops at that actually lets you take things home without paying for them.

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No Matter Which Way You Look, This Is Strange

, , , , , | Right | February 10, 2021

I am working, counting stock, at a large furniture store, and a customer approaches me to ask for directions.

Customer: “Hi, I have this shelf location here, but I’m not quite sure how to find it.”

Me: “Yeah, the numbering system is a little weird, but all the even aisles are on that side—” *points west* “—and all the odd aisles are on this side.” *Gestures to the aisle we are in* “You want aisle thirty-three, which is on the other side of the warehouse, near the cash registers.” *Points west toward aisle thirty-three*

Customer: “So, over there?”

The customer points east, directly opposite to where I was pointing.

Me: “No, that way.”

I point to aisle thirty-three.

Customer: “This way?”

The customer points in the opposite direction again.

Me: “What? No. Look, follow me.”

I take them to the centre of the warehouse.

Me: “See that big sign with ‘thirty-three’ on it? That’s where you need to go.”

Customer: “So, over this way?” *Points in the opposite direction*

Me: *Pause* “I’m gonna go see if I can find someone to help you.” *Walks away*

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Hatchback Up A Little Bit

, , , , , | Right | February 10, 2021

I am working, counting stock, when a customer approaches me to ask for help.

Customer: “Excuse me, I was just wondering if this—” *indicates to bookshelf* “—will fit in my car.”

Me: “Okay, sure. I don’t actually work in this department but I’ll see if I can help.”

Customer: *Waits expectantly*

Me: “Uh, well, what kind of car do you have?”

Customer: “A Toyota.”

Me: “A Toyota what?”

Customer: “Carolla.”

Me: “Sedan, hatchback?”

Customer: “Hatchback.”

Me: “Okay, great. Well, I actually have that same model of car, and funnily enough, I just bought one of these bookcases and it’s a bit of a squeeze, but it’ll definitely fit.”

Customer: “But will it fit in my car?”

Me: “Well, we have the same car, and it’s the same bookshelf, so I’m very confident it will. It fit when I put it in my car.”

Customer: “But will it fit in my car?”

Me: “Yes. It will. You just have to fold the back seats down.”

Customer: “We can’t fold the seats down because we have the baby seat in the back!”

Me: *Thinking* “Then maybe don’t come furniture shopping in a tiny hatchback with your whole family?”

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No Means No, Manager!

, , , , | Working | January 13, 2021

I am working at the front desk at a furniture store. I often end up doing whatever the h*** managers don’t want to do; this is a family-owned operation. When I started with this job, I was an idiot and made the mistake of saying yes whenever my manager asked me to work extra hours because I had bills to pay after having been jobless for about a month and a half. Of course, my manager(s) took that to mean that they could make me work whenever they didn’t want to come in.

Fast forward about a year, and my manager is going to be out of town. By this point, I’m in a mini-argument with her every week about being able to take my REGULAR days off; she keeps trying to come up with reasons she needs me to open the store or come in during the middle of the day, etc. It’s a whole bunch of bulls*** and I should have reported them. Anyway, she’s going to be out of town and she pulls me into the back to have this conversation.

Manager: “Okay, while I’m gone, I need you in every day.”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “But [Salesperson #1] doesn’t have a key so you need to show up to let him in, and [Salesperson #2] won’t open the store.”

They really cater to whatever the salespeople want because they “make the store money.” [Salesperson #2] literally works for like four and a half hours a day, two days a week, and doesn’t do anything except sit when there aren’t customers in the store. [Salesperson #1] is an a**, but at least he’s willing to help rearrange things or clean and dust displays.

Me: “I’m not coming in on my days off.”

Manager: “I need you to open the store.”

Me: “[Delivery Guy #1] can do it; he’s already said he would.”

Manager: “No, you need to come in and help me out.”

Me: “I’m not coming in on my days off.”

Manager: “Please?”

Me: “No. Next week is actually my birthday and I’m not coming in.”

I am lucky enough that my birthday falls on my actual day off this year.

Manager: “Well, can you just come in until like five or six and then go to your party?”

The store is only open until eight. By this point in the job, I am pretty much trying to get fired because I am so tired of everything. And I really don’t want to come in on my birthday, let alone my day off. The only reason I haven’t quit is that I can’t afford to leave without having another job already lined up. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that she wouldn’t have fired me without me literally setting something on fire.

Me: “No. I’m not coming in on my birthday and I really don’t want to come in on my days off.”

Manager: “I need you to open the store while I’m gone.”

Me: “[Warehouse Manager] can do it.”

Manager: “He’s taking care of something else for me while I’m gone.”

The warehouse manager is in the store every day, but he literally stays in the back office and sleeps. He only comes out if something needs to be fixed or I am unable to go to the warehouse to receive deliveries.

Me: “I’m not coming in on my birthday.”

We ended up going back and forth for a while longer and I (stupidly) ended up caving. I did walk out at like twelve, but still. The rest of those two weeks was ridiculous. I ended up clocking something like 100+ hours for that period because I wasn’t ever able to take lunches and she was making me stay all day. Then, to top it off, I only actually got paid for something like eighty-five hours because “accounting will automatically take an hour for lunch no matter what” and [Manager] “didn’t pay overtime.”

I seriously should have reported them; there were so many violations and just plain bad business practices! When I left, I was so glad to get out of there that I ran as fast as I could and never looked back. I will admit to laughing my a** off when I saw that they’d gone out of business about a year later.

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