Well, Look What The Sewage Dragged In

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2017

(My store’s sump pump has stopped working and caused raw sewage to back up into the store. We have closed the store until the plumber is able to fix the problem and a hazmat team can come and clean everything. All the doors have signs saying we are closed. Unfortunately for me, policy says that whenever workers are in the store a supervisor has to be in the store with them as well. I am that supervisor. I am sitting in the customer area in one of the only spots I can sit without being in sewage. Since we closed customers have come up, read the sign, and left. A few tried the handle first, then when they couldn’t open it read the sign, and left. I’m sitting in the back watching but there isn’t much I can do. A customer comes up to the door and tries it. It doesn’t open. She pulls harder. She walks around to the other door and tries that one. Then she goes back to the first and then back to the second. She then comes over to the window that is next to where I am sitting. There is a shrub that runs the length of this side of the store from the door all the way back. She forces her way through the shrub and starts banging on the window. She bangs harder. Finally I get up because she isn’t leaving and go to the side door, the one closest to her.)

Me: “Ma’am, we’re closed.”

Customer: “Finally! Your doors are stuck.”

Me: “No, we’re closed. They are locked.”

Customer: “It’s very unprofessional for you to just be sitting on the job. It’s very lazy of you.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re closed. We are having technical issues and I can’t let anyone in.”

Customer: “Well, I’ve been here for 30 minutes and I demand a drink for free! I got mud all over my shoes and it’s your fault for having doors that wouldn’t open!”

Me: *standing near sewage* “Ma’am, we’re closed. I am closing the door now. Our competitor is across the parking lot. I suggest you go there.”

(I then close and relock the door, not sure how she has missed the horrible smell that is coming from the store. After a few more minutes she leaves in a huff. The next day I’m working and the phone rings so I pick it up.)

Customer: “I came by yesterday and the person working was being lazy and locked the door because they didn’t want to help anyone! Because of them my shoes were ruined and I was late getting back from my lunch break!”

Me: “Ma’am, that was me. We were closed, the door was locked, the lights were out, and there were signs. What else did you want us to do?”

Customer: “Well, Google said you were open, so you should have been open!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we can’t know ahead of time when things are going to break causing us to close the store. I’m hanging up now.”

(And I did. She left a one star online review about us not being open during business hours and the lazy employees.)

Not Registering The Situation

, , , , , | Working | June 15, 2017

(My boss hired a new cashier who is absolutely horrible at his job. He ignores the requests of the female supervisors, shirks his duties, and spends most of his time in the electronics section playing games on the display tablets and laptops. As one of the store’s female supervisors, my attempts at getting this guy to actually do the job he is being paid for are more like pulling teeth. One day, I find the guy trying to assemble an office chair directly behind one of the only two registers we have in our little store.)

Me: “Hey, [Employee]? We need to use that register to ring people up, but we can’t get to it with all this stuff. [Other Employee] almost tripped over this box you left here, and I don’t want anyone getting hurt. Can you move to the end of the counter where there’s room for all this?”

Employee: “No, I’m building it here.”

Me: “There is a line forming. We need this second register, and we can’t use it with you here. You need to move. Right now.”

Employee: “No! I’m fine where I am!”

(Fed up, I poke my head into the store manager’s office where he’s taking a conference call.)

Me: “I hate to bother you, but [Employee] is ignoring me and he’s got a line backed up at the registers, and customers are starting to get angry!”

Manager: “What?!”

(He marches out, sees the giant mess of chair parts, packaging, and tools behind our register, the blocked walkway with this employee sitting on the floor right in the middle of it all, and the line of people. He wades through the mess and takes the partially built chair right from the employee’s hands.)

Manager: “[Employee], we don’t build chairs behind the register. Move your stuff over here or clock out and go home. I don’t have time to deal with this!”

(The employee griped and complained the entire time he had to do his work 10 feet away at the end of the counter, and I hopped onto the register and cleared up the line in no time. I’m still shocked at the lengths to which that guy — a grown, 30-something year old man — would go to try and assert his superiority over us female managers!)

Slices Of Confusion

, , , , , | Working | June 12, 2017

(My husband, toddler, and I are staying in a hotel adjacent to a well-known party street. It is about eight pm on a weeknight, and the area is starting to get busy but not crazy yet, so we decide to walk over to a nearby pizza shop to get a few slices to take back to the hotel. Again, we are stone-cold sober and have a toddler with us.)

Me: “Could I get a [Slice #1] and a [Slice #2], please?”

Pizza Girl: “Sure thing.” *Grabs [Slice #2] to put in oven, but not [Slice #1]*

Me: “Oh, I need a [Slice #1] too, please.”

Pizza Girl: *annoyed* “I got it.” *grabs a [Slice #1] to put in the oven and says to Cashier* “[Slice #1] and a [Slice #2].”

Cashier: “That’ll be [amount].”

Me: “Oh, I’m paying for [Husband], too.” *gesture to my husband and toddler, who are still standing by the pizza display and have not yet ordered*

Cashier: *annoyed* “It’s [same amount].”

Me: *confused* “For four slices?”

Cashier: “Wait, what?” *turns to Pizza Girl who is getting my slices out of the oven* “She’s getting four slices?”

(It finally dawns on Pizza Girl that my husband might like to order, and she takes his order while Cashier rings me up for all four slices. Pizza Girl then hands us each two flimsy paper plates with huge slices of pizza on them, which we’ll obviously need to somehow manage to walk somewhere with while holding a toddler, as there is no dining area.)

Husband: “Could we get a couple extra plates, please? We need to walk back to our hotel with these.”

Pizza Girl: “Oh, would you like boxes?”

Me: *wondering why they wouldn’t think to offer these before* “Yes, please.”

(Seriously, if four slices of pizza was that much trouble for them, I’d hate to see what a mess that place is at two am!)

Multiple Email Fails

, , , , | Working | June 11, 2017

(I am a communications specialist for a major university. We help faculty and staff update their websites, put out press releases, etc. The start of each semester is always very busy, so we get stretched thin as people panic. Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on the same page…)

Staff Director: “We need our website updated TODAY with new content. Urgent.”

IT: “Thank you; someone will respond to you soon.” *to my colleague* “Here is the request. It’s for [URL].”

Colleague: *copying me* “My docket’s full today; have [My Name] do it.”

Me: “I can do this, but what is the content? I didn’t get any attachment.”

(No response.)

Staff Director: *emailing an hour after the initial request* “Please update me. This is urgent.”

Colleague: “[My Name], the request is in the email. It’s for [URL].”

Me: *to colleague* “But what is the content they want added? Could someone forward it to me?” *to Staff Director* “Hi, what do you need updated on the website?”

Colleague: *now copying IT* “It’s in the email.”

Me: *to Colleague and IT* “Was there an attachment with the content? It didn’t come through to me.”

IT: “[My Name], go to [URL]. You have access.”

Colleague: *in separate email* “It’s in the email. IT says you have access to edit the website.”

Me: “I know I do, but what am I putting up? There’s nothing in the email.”

(An hour passes. No response from anyone, until…)

Colleague: “Is this done yet? I can’t do it today. Just read the email. You have access to edit their website.”

Me: “What am I editing?!”

Staff Director: *two hours later* “Hi, [My Name], thanks for emailing. Please post immediately. This is urgent.”

(I finally got the document they wanted “urgently” to be put on their website. It takes only a couple of minutes to do so. An hour later…)

Supervisor: “Hey, could one of you handle this? It’s urgent.”

(It’s the same request.)

Me: *emailing everyone at once* “Yes, this one is done.”

Colleague: *responding to my email* “[My Name], everything you need is in the email. Just contact [Staff Director] to find out what the information is.”

Me: *head-desk*

Hoping It Was Just An Act

, , , , , , | Learning | June 11, 2017

At the school I went to, we were required to take either speech class or acting class in order to graduate. I decided to go with acting. I quickly realize I’m going to have serious problems, because the teacher speaks in half-sentences and expects people to know what she means. I can’t decipher the homework instructions and get yelled at if I ask for clarification. She even seems to develop a special dislike towards me. If another member of my team forgets a line, I get yelled at for it. Etc.

One day, we are performing a comedy skit. My entire team nails it! I’m playing the central role, and we get laughs from the whole class. At the post-performance critique, the teacher even praises some of my improvised lines.

The next day, the teacher scolds me, in front of the whole class, for being absent on the day my team performed! All six people I worked with have to vouch for the fact that I was there. She eventually relents, but gives me a bad grade for the project because she says my performance must have been lousy if she can’t remember me being there.

I ended up failing that class. The same teacher taught speech, and I couldn’t cope with the idea of having to deal with her again. Because it was a graduation requirement, I actually had to get a GED instead of graduating.

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