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When The Hold Isn’t Holding

, , , , | Right | January 18, 2022

The restaurant I work at has two phones for the same line, and at the moment, my coworker is taking a phone order on the first line while I take an in-person order. The other phone rings, so I go to put it on hold.

Me: “[Street] [Restaurant], this is [My Name]. Can I put you on a quick hold, please?”

Caller: “Sure.”

I put her on hold and continue helping the people in front of me. Forty seconds later, I am still taking their order when the same phone I just put on hold rings. The last person hung up, then. I apologize and go to put it on hold again. It’s the same woman, as I can see from Caller ID.

Me: “[Street] [Restaurant], this is [My Name]. Can I put you on a quick hold, please?”

Caller: “Oh, sure.”

I put her on hold and finish helping the customers in front of me. Then the phone rings again, also her, meaning she has called, hung up, called, hung up, and called the store within the two minutes it took me to help another customer. I’m irritated, but I pick up the phone.

Me: “[Street] [Restaurant], this is [My Name]. What can I do for you?”

Caller: “Oh, finally. I think I’m still on hold with you guys.”

Me: “You can’t be on a hold right now, as I’m speaking to you.”

Caller: “No, on your other line, then.”

Me: “We only have one other line, and I’m watching my coworker take the same order she’s been taking for the last four minutes. There is no available line for you to be holding on.”

Caller: “Oh… Well, I’d like to place an order—”

She’s a regular, and yes, she’s exactly that much of a pain every time.

In Short, I’m Short

, , , , | Working | December 24, 2021

First of all, I’m short — as in, measurably under five feet tall. This happened when I was about thirty-six (then the mother of three). I’m not sure I really looked like I was in my thirties, but I was carrying a “mom purse”.

It was about mid-August and I had previously mentioned to my husband that I would need new shoes soon. We were driving into the city and he said he’d drop me off at [Department Store] so I could get some new shoes. He kept our three young daughters with him.

I walked inside and noticed that the store seemed busier than normal, but it didn’t sink in that school was starting in a matter of days until I saw the chaos in the shoe department. Parents and their kids were cramming the shoe section.

I was standing there confused about where I should look in all this mess, and one of the employees, in the middle of a mad dash across the store, stopped in his tracks and asked me if I needed help.

Me: “I need new shoes.”

He pointed to my right and away from most of the activity.

Employee: “Adult section is that way. What size do you need?”

Me: “Three and a half.”

His mouth gaped wide open and he sputtered for a moment or two while I was trying to suppress my laughter at his stunned expression. He finally pointed to my left.

Employee: “Children’s shoes are over here.”

Yes, I’m now pushing sixty, and I still shop in the children’s shoe section, but that was the funniest reaction I’ve ever had to my extremely small feet. They fit nicely with my extreme lack of stature.

Look. Do You Want To Sell A Car Or Not?

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My wife and I have been looking for a particular model of car for a while, and suddenly, a local dealership has three of them! They’re all used but made within the last couple of years, with mileage varying from 14,000 to 60,000. We go through the nonsense of testing them all and choosing one. The one we decide to buy has 40,000 miles on it and is three years old. The only problem is that the initial asking price is at or above how much it’d cost if I bought a brand new one, made this year as a custom order, from the factory. Time for negotiations.

Salesman: “So, what’ll it take to get you in this car?”

Me: “I want it, but the price is way too high. I could buy a new one online for that much.”

Salesman: “Oh, but that’s because it’s the [Model] S edition, not the [Model] X edition. The [Model] S is… [blah, blah, blah, blah].”

Me: *Pauses* “No, that’s not what I meant. This [Model] S from [three years ago] with 40,000 miles on it costs as much as a [Model] S from this year with zero miles on it. I’ll buy it if you can sell it for a fair price. Somewhere around [75% of their asking price] is much closer to the [Industry Standard Website] suggested price.”

Salesman: “Oh, you can’t trust [Industry Standard Website].”

Me: “Again, though, I could just leave and buy a brand new one for your asking price.”

Salesman: “The price is non-negotiable.”

Me: “C’mon, you know that price is nonsense for a used car. Why can’t you negotiate?” 

Salesman: “I don’t set the prices.”

The salesman suddenly makes an excuse to leave and sends in his colleague.

Colleague: “Hi there. I hear you want [vehicle]. We can get you monthly cost of—”

Me: “I don’t care about the monthly. I care about the overall cost. Are you able to negotiate the price?”

Colleague: “The prices are firm but let me get [Other Employee] in here to see about financing options—”

Me: “Are we seriously gonna do the salesman hokey pokey, where you and a couple of others jump in and out of the room to try to exhaust and confuse me into agreeing to a bad deal? I’m not here to play children’s games. I want you to sell me a vehicle that I’m ready and willing to buy, right now. How is that so hard to sell under this circumstance that you need to get three separate men and—” *checks my phone* “—two hours to negotiate? Does it take this many men to change a lightbulb around here, too?”

The colleague stutters for a second before regaining his composure.

Colleague: “Well, uh… Let me get [Salesman] back so you can talk about finances with him.”

Me: “No, thanks. I’ll just buy a brand new one online, customized how I want it to, for that same amount. Bye!”

I left the office, followed closely by [Colleague]. [Salesman] looked mad at [Colleague] but didn’t say anything about it in my presence. [Salesman] called me once a day for the next three days but I brushed him off each time. On the fourth day, he sent me an email with prices a few thousand dollars less than the non-negotiable price, begging me to come back and make a deal with them. I simply replied asking how he had the authority to change the prices now after he was so sure he couldn’t change prices before. He didn’t reply.

They Be High-Rollin’ And They Hatin’

, , , , , | Right | September 29, 2021

I work at a hotel front desk and dealing with entitled high-rollers is usually fairly easy. It gets hard some days being talked down to and treated like crap; usually, I can brush it off and keep my attitude up.

A guest comes up to me.

Guest: “I’d like to give my high-roller room to my friends here; my host already said it was fine.”

Hosts take care of the high-rollers, giving them free rooms, free food and drink, extra play cash, and all that to encourage them to spend even more money here and not at our competitors.

Me: “Okay! Not a problem. Let me take a look at the notes and make sure they have updated everything properly.”

I get both their IDs and I find — with no surprise — that there are no notes. I hunt through emails but find nothing. I call the host and they have no idea what I’m talking about. Cue the guest getting mad, and she drops the name of her host who, of course, isn’t here today.

Me: “I’m sorry, but the only way we can get this figured out is for you to stop by the host office and talk to them. Per policy, I cannot make your room hosted and free.”

She grouches and grumbles and heads off. Her guest stays with me.

Me: “Would you mind moving to the side so I can help the guest behind you?”

While checking in, I hear her guests talking, and the husband just doesn’t want to bother with the free room and wants to just pay to get in. They go to check in with my coworker, and just as she goes to make keys, the system kicks her out because the host went into it.

By now, it’s too late; the card has already been run. I don’t know if the host fixed it afterward so the amount paid would be refunded after checkout or what.

Not more than three minutes later, the high-roller comes back and starts yelling at me about “letting” them check in without waiting.

Me: “I can’t control when people make a decision. I can only do my job.”

Guest: “This was taken care of and you just ruined it!”

Me: “No, ma’am, I can only go by policy and communication from the host. Since I had nothing here to refer to, I did the only thing I could.”

Guest: “I don’t care! We had figured this out and you ruined it! Rude!”

She starts walking away. I look to my right, thinking about getting my stress reliever out of my bag. This is also in her direction and she takes my look the wrong way.

Guest: “Don’t you look at me in that tone!”

I don’t say anything at this point, just trying to keep my fight or flight response in check.

Guest: “I spend thousands of dollars here—”

I finally lose my cool.


I hear my coworker say my name and I realize what I just did.

Guest: “You don’t f****** care, huh? We will see about that!”

She heads off to the host office. My coworker tells me to go take a break.

Me: “Nope, I’m going to go talk to [Hotel Manager].”

I speed-walked to her office, trying to hold back tears, and when I got there, my coworker had already called her and the host office had demanded a meeting. My manager is amazing and listened to my side before going to the meeting. She told me to go eat some lunch and come back.

After getting calming help from my mother-in-law, who works in another department, I went and ate and then went to wait for my manager in her office. She didn’t write me up or suspend me like I was expecting. She sent me home for the day and said I could come in early the next day. My coworker backed me up saying that I didn’t cuss, just got loud.

The next day, all my coworkers told me how much they wished they could have told a high-roller what I told her. I discovered my husband thinks it’s hot when I stand up for myself. Even that high-roller’s host told me she’s done it, too.

She couldn’t even place that guest’s name in her own head. How much do you want to bet the guest was dropping names to get her way?

Worst Game Of “Red Light, Green Light” EVER

, , , , , | Working | August 16, 2021

I used to work the swing shift — 4:00 pm to 12:00 am — at a gas station. One time, we were scheduled to have corporate people come by in the morning. I was asked to stay later and help get the store “up to standards” so the graveyard shift wouldn’t have to do it all.

So, finally, at 2:00 am, I started home. I came to a stop sign near a railroad crossing and waited for it to turn green. And waited. And waited. After about seven minutes, I realized it was a stop sign, not a light. It doesn’t change. I proceeded home, feeling more than a little stupid.