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Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 10

, , , , | Right | August 4, 2021

I’m looking around an ex-display furniture shop. It’s a little independent store so I am able to haggle a price on a sofa set and quickly decide to buy it. The store assistant brings over the payment terminal and a large “sold” sign, and I pay.

He puts the sign on the sofa and goes off to arrange delivery. While he is gone, a couple starts looking at the sofa. The woman removes the sold sign and starts pushing on the cushions, checking the bounce. 

Me: “Er, it’s sold, sorry.”

The man looks at me and half-smiles; I’m not sure if he heard or not. But she sits down and sort of bounces on the sofa and she puts her boots on the footstool.

Me: “Excuse me. It’s sold; could you not?”

They look at me almost in disgust, and the woman makes a show-worthy pantomime of relaxing on the sofa. I realise many people before them have probably sat there, but come on. Have some respect. Before I can react, the sales assistant comes back.

Sales Assistant: “Hey, you, stupid people. Can you not read? ‘Sold’ means ‘not yours.’ Get off.”

The other man says something defensively that I cannot hear; the woman remains sat.

Sales Assistant: “No, you come here, you bother my customers, you waste my time. Go away.”

The couple rushes out with red faces, her shouting something about losing a sale.

Sales Assistant: *To me* “I’m sorry. I’ll get it cleaned and put to one side for you. Go to the woman there; she’ll set up the delivery for you.”

The woman on the counter told me that this couple comes in and pretends to be interested in some random item, even agreeing on a price before leaving again. They have even been hanging around actual customers and pretend to want the items they were interested in before changing their minds. The store assistant is actually the owner and I imagine he is sick of these people losing his company money.

Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 9
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 8
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 7
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 6
Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn, Part 5

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.

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.

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*

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?”