And People Wonder Why Millennials Are Becoming Entrepreneurs

, , , , , , , | | Working | August 5, 2019

Starting out, let me explain why there wasn’t a mass walkout and I am the only one that quit despite us basically being terrorized and treated like slaves. The job market was in shambles in my city at that time with something like a 40% unemployment rate. I knew someone with a doctorate degree in theoretical physics working at a local fast food joint as it was literally the only place hiring. To quit any job, no matter how bad, was financial suicide and a guarantee that you would not find a new one.

I always worked customer service, food service, and hospitality. At 24, I decided it was time to find a job with benefits and potential for career advancement, and I took a job with a global monstrosity that started out as a mom and pop store. I felt right at home.

I worked hard and constantly took the worst jobs and the worst days off to make sure I would be there on the weakest staffing days to rub elbows with management. It worked, and ten months in I found myself with an offer to promote to low-level management starting January 1.

Starting the weekend before Thanksgiving, the overnight manager started to under-staff shifts — to preserve his end-of-year bonus — and acted surprised when people called out. He would then bully us into staying over with threats of write-ups for not finishing our “assigned tasks.” Upper management was notorious for just signing off on write-ups without looking into their validity, so each staff being assigned 13+ hours of labor to complete in 6 hours was no defense. Since an employee could only get two of those write-ups in a rolling 13-month period before termination, we all would stay over, as well as skip our breaks and lunches to finish.

But there was a catch: since any approved overtime would count against his $73,000 bonus — approximately $0.11 per approved hour — he would never file the approval forms for the OT. This meant that it was considered unapproved, meaning that we were required to get approval to cut hours off our regular shifts to equal out what we stayed over. He, of course, never approved us to cut those hours.

This was resulting in weekly write-ups, from the same manager, for unapproved overtime on those of us that made it to work every day despite the weather and missed holiday get-togethers with our families. Every week we would get our write-up and he would get praise for getting everything done with less staffing hours then typically allocated.

Thankfully, write-ups for unapproved OT didn’t carry a lot of weight, but for three months they counted against your points for promotion opportunities. This went on until the week before Christmas.

When I got my weekly write-up, I was told by the store manager — who offered me my promotion — I would be suspended for “overtime abuse” the next time my manager submitted a write-up for unapproved overtime hours. Determined to not lose my promotion, I started telling the manager no. The second time I refused to stay over without him signing an “overtime approval form” and giving me a physical signed copy, before I hit overtime, he wrote me up for “abusive actions towards a member of management” and “actions with intent to undermine the integrity of management and store policies.”

This instantly cost me my promotion, which greatly upset me, and then, like the idiot he is, he left me alone in his office to sign the write-ups and the acknowledgement that I was no longer promoting.

Initially, I was going to just accept it and resolve myself to spending the next 13 months working my tail off for minimum wage and go up for promotion as soon as they fell off. When I started reading the acknowledgement form, I found I was not eligible to promote to management until I was “write-up free” for five years. This meant six years and one month before I could even try to get promoted again. All because I followed policy.

So, rather than sign it, I wrote, “F*** OFF,” in sharpie on his brand-new desk — which he got for being such a great manager — walked out of his office, handed him my vest and name tag, shredded the write-ups and tossed them into the air like confetti, and told his no-longer-smug face that it was now my personal mission to get him fired.

He lost his cockiness when it sunk in I’d just quit. I could see little beads of panic sweat forming on his forehead, as he realized that the only person capable of performing certain highly-essential functions for his shift was walking out the door. He shouted after me, telling me that he could talk to the general manager and see if he could get the time frame cut down to three years. He offered to approve all of my overtime the rest of the season, offered me a cut of his bonus, and several other offers I can’t remember. Honestly, if he’d offered to withdraw the write-ups — which was still 100% an option but he never offered — I wouldn’t have accepted it, but I might not have followed through on my threat. I was too angry and too determined, and I didn’t care if I became homeless as long as I never had to work there again.

Now, how did I get him fired? Well, due to certain ADA requirements, I was permitted to carry a voice recorder with me at work so I could record important meetings, announcements, and reminders. When I got written up the first time for unapproved overtime, I started recording his “requests” to both me and coworkers. I never used them to dispute the write-ups, but I never deleted them, either. So, I uploaded all the recordings to my computer — nearly 18 hours of audio — and sent it to the home office, CCing every store manager and compliance officer in the district.

When I went in for my last paycheck, he was long gone. I was offered my promotion back, but I declined and said I wasn’t returning to retail.

After five months of being unemployed, living with my mom, and barely surviving, I moved to another state and got a job working with inmates and am very fulfilled.


, , , , , | | Right | August 5, 2019

(Our roommate works in the deli and told us this story of the first customer he had on the busiest day of the week.)

Employee: “Hi, welcome to [Store]. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’d like a [sandwich with avocado].”

Employee: “No problem.” *makes the sandwich like usual and starts spreading the avocado on the bread for this type of sandwich*

Customer: “I don’t want it on that bread; I want it on this type of bread.”

Employee: “Okay, then.”

(He has to dispose of the other sandwich and start a new one on the requested type of bread. He has just spread the avocado on again…)

Customer: “Don’t you have any fresh avocado?”

Employee: “I’m sorry, sir, the deli only carries this type of avocado spread.”

Customer: “Well, [Sandwich Chain] carries it! Why can’t you do it like them?”

Employee: “Would you like me to get a fresh avocado for you, sir?”

Customer: “Yes!”

([Employee] gets a fresh avocado from the other side of the store and brings it back to the deli and starts to remake the sandwich again. He scoops the fresh avocado out of its skin and proceeds to spread it on the bread.)

Customer: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Employee: *becoming annoyed* “I’m sorry, sir, how did you want me to make it?”

Customer: “You’re supposed to use avocado slices, like [Sandwich Chain]!” 

Employee: “I’m sorry, sir, this is the only way I’ve been trained to make this sandwich. Did you want to order something else?”

(The customer makes a disgruntled noise but allows the employee to finish the sandwich they ordered before stomping off. The employee proceeds to watch the customer buy the sandwich, and then promptly walk over to customer service and return it, complaining loudly the entire time about what horrible sandwiches are made at the deli. After the grumpy customer leaves, the customer service clerk comes over.)

Customer Service Clerk: “What was that about?”

([Employee] rehashes the entire experience over again to the clerk.)

Customer Service Clerk: “Man, if it had been me, I would have refused to make his sandwich again after the second time!”

Unfiltered Story #159879

, , , | | Unfiltered | August 4, 2019

Customer: Excuse me, where is lentils?

Me: What are those?

Customer: Where are those?! I just asked you.

Me: No, ma’am, WHAT are they? Beans, noodles?

Customer: They’re…LENTILS!

Me: Ok, I’m sorry, I do not know what those are. If you can tell me something about them, I could probably find them for you.

Customer: They are usually with the beans, in a bag (I internally face palm), BUT I CHECKED THERE!

Me: Ok, wait RIGHT HERE, I will be back in 30 seconds, I’m pretty sure I know where they are.

(Go to bean aisle, where she checked, there they are. Come back, she is gone. Walk a few aisles and finally find her.)

Me: ma’am, are these it?

Customer: About time, yes, where did you find them?

Me: (internal sigh) On the bean aisle (points to giant sign that says canned vegetables/beans)

Customer: No, I looked down there. (Walks away)

Making Baka Of Themselves

, , , , , | | Right | August 3, 2019

(I am a customer in line at a grocery store, standing behind two Japanese girls. The employee bagging their groceries is clearly mentally challenged and her work is a little slow, but neat. The girls smile as they start saying rude things about her in their native tongue.)

Rude Girl #1: *in Japanese* “God, what’s wrong with this girl? She’s taking forever.”

Rude Girl #2: *in Japanese* “I don’t know. Maybe she’s a friend of the manager or something. I mean, look at her, smiling like an idiot.”

(They laugh, and I’ve had enough. I’m not totally fluent in Japanese, but I know enough.)

Me: *in Japanese* “She may not know what you’re saying, but I do. I won’t hurt her feelings by telling her so, but I think you both should be quiet right about now.”

(I smiled sweetly at the pair. Both girls went pale and shut up, not saying another word as they took their bags and left. The employee thanked me for what I did, since she had an inkling as to what was going on, and her smile made my day.)

Make One Nearly Fall Of One’s Chair

, , | | Right | August 2, 2019

(A man walks up to the service desk holding a wicker chair which has a portion of the wicker coming undone.)

Customer: “I would like to return this chair.”

Me: “Do you have a receipt, sir?”

Customer: “No. I bought this last fall, and I haven’t even had this chair for six months and it’s falling apart. I want to exchange it for a new one, but you guys just got more in.”

Me: “Sorry, but anything from last year I’d have to call and get approval for.”

Customer: “Well, you might as well just take it back.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand…”

Customer: “I’m just going to go buy a new one and then return this one. So, you might as well just take it back.”

(After staring at this man for a few moments, I make a call to the manager of the area, who then approves the exchange, and we send the man to go get another chair to replace it. Shortly after the man leaves, my coworker turns to talk to me.)

Coworker: “Well, that man had balls the size of basketballs.”