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A Whole Pallet Of Unearned Praise

, , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

While a full-time student in college, I was a full-time employee at a beef packing company. I worked the second shift, one of over 400 employees per shift.

At the time of this story, I was running a rib and plate saw that was at the beginning of the conveyor. The meat was processed and then vacuum packed, put in labeled boxes, and palletized at the back of the plant. From there, pallets were either forklifted to coolers or loaded into reefers. Palletizing was always getting backlogged, with boxed beef stacked on rollers waiting to be put on the pallets.

We were paid for eight hours, but we saw boys usually finished in six. Because we were the first to finish, we were always sent back to help catch palletizing up. Because I wasn’t getting paid extra for the time spent back there and I had to get home and to bed for my 7:30 class, it was getting really irritating. I eventually came up with what I thought was a workable plan that would keep palletizing from getting behind and keep me from being sent back there.

Me: *To my foreman* “How about sending half of palletizing to supper thirty minutes ahead of the rest of the plant? Then, when we go to supper, they will have that amount of time to catch up since the chain is shut down and nothing is coming their way.”

Foreman: “I will take that to the plant superintendent.”

A couple of days later:

Foreman: “The super said that was like putting a bandaid on cancer; it won’t solve the problem.”

Me: “Well, it would at least help until someone finds a solution, but okay.”

The next week’s half of palletizing was sent to supper thirty minutes ahead of the plant. And I found out that my foreman got a bonus for HIS bright idea.

All I could think was, foreman, you are stuck here until you retire. After I graduate from college, I’m leaving. At least I didn’t have to go back there anymore.

So… That’s How Many Hours Of Notice?

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

My husband is supposed to go to a conference in a big American city. However, a hurricane has just come through our home province in Canada. We have no power, and there’s some damage to our property. I’d have trouble dealing with all of this alone, especially as we have small kids, so my husband decides to cancel his travel plans. He calls the hotel.

Husband: “Hi, I’m supposed to arrive tomorrow, but I need to cancel my reservation because we’ve just had a hurricane come through here.”

Hotel Staff: “Sir, we require seventy-two hours of notice to cancel, or you will have to pay a reservation fee.”

Husband: “I understand. But I didn’t know in advance that I wouldn’t be able to travel.”

Hotel Staff: “But we will have to charge you a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Okay. It is what it is, I guess.”

Hotel Staff: “If you cancel with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you have to pay the cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes. I understand.”

Hotel Staff: “Please hold. I have to get my manager.”

He’s put on hold for several minutes before the manager comes on. 

Manager: “Sir, if you cancel your reservation with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you will have to pay a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes, I got that.”

Manager: “If you give us seventy-two hours of notice, we can waive the fee.”

Husband: “Okay. I’ll keep that in mind next hurricane, I guess.”

It’s Not Always About You, You Know

, , , , , | Related | December 2, 2022

My mother was in the hospital, sharing a room with another woman. While I was visiting, my father called, and my mother, who is hard of hearing, put him on speakerphone.

Father: “Did you eat?”

Mother: “I had some mashed potatoes for lunch.”

Woman: “I haven’t received my lunch yet!”

Father: “What did the doctors say?”

Woman: “They haven’t been in yet.”

Woman’s Daughter: “Mom, she’s not talking to you.”

Woman: “Yes, she is.”

Me: “She is on the phone, [Woman].”

My mother gave him a rundown of what her doctor had said.

Woman: “No, they didn’t say anything!”

Woman’s Daughter: “Mom, she’s on the phone. She’s not talking to you.”

Woman: “Yes, she is!”

Mother: “No, I’m not.”

Woman: “Oh. Well, why didn’t you say so?”

Mother: “[Woman], I’m on the phone with my husband.”

Woman: “I think you should announce that you’re going to be on the phone!”

Woman’s Daughter: “Mom! She doesn’t have to tell you anything. Please—”

Woman: “It’s respectful!”

Me: “So is minding your own business.”

She was quiet for the rest of the call.

The Shrill Whistle Of Entitlement

, , , , , | Right | December 2, 2022

I’m a shift manager at a fast food restaurant. Every so often when we are seriously busy, we’ll have an entitled customer come up to the counter on the side, put some money down, and say:

Customer: “Hey, get me a [food item]. I’m in a hurry. Here’s the exact change.”

We always point to the end of the line and say:

Us: “You need to wait your turn like everyone else.”

We then proceed to ignore any protesting they may give.

There was one persistent princess who would come to the side of the counter, put some money down, and yell something like:

Customer #2: “SWIRL ICE CREAM!”

Being that he had pulled this stunt no fewer than five times that I know of, I would give him a dirty look and continue past him.

Then, one day, I was reviewing footage in the kitchen after an employee was injured. By chance, I noticed someone outside standing at one of the open windows and putting two fingers in his mouth in a whistling gesture.

A crew member walked up to the window, and the two very briefly exchanged words before the crew member angrily slammed the window shut.

I backed up and zoomed in to get a better look, and wouldn’t you know, it was the aforementioned persistent princess.

I called in the crew member and pointed to the screen.

Me: “Tell me he didn’t…!”

Employee: “OH, YES, HE DID! He whistled at me, and when I came over to see if there was some kind of problem, he tossed a couple of dollars on the sill and told me to go make him an ice cream sundae and to hurry up! I’ll take the write-up for shutting the window in his face, but nothing says I have to—”

Me: *Loudly interrupting* “You can go right back to your station because no, nothing says anyone here has to put up with that! You did exactly what I personally would have done!”

Thankfully, it was after that incident that the princess learned to wait his turn like everyone else.

We’d Rather Face Diva Starlets

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: TransSuperboy | December 2, 2022

I’m twenty-three, and I’m currently a production assistant (PA) for a TV show. This means that I do everything asked of me, and a lot of times, that means grocery shopping for the office.

I’m an office PA, so I dress a tiny bit nicer than if I was running around on set. Today’s outfit is a collared button-down, jeans, an old Star Wars pullover sweater because it is chilly, and a lanyard with my lot badge around my neck. My boss sends me to a grocery store and hands me a list of hyper-specific salads, wraps, and other goodies for the office staff to eat.

Boss: “The salads with later expiration dates are way in the back; make sure you grab those.”

Like a good PA, I nod and dash out to my car to head to [Grocery Store].

Once in the store, I pop in my earbuds to listen to a podcast while shopping and start hunting for these hyper-specific items. I have a list in my hand, I am crouched down, and I am sticking my arm way back under the shelves to grab the salads with the further-out expiration dates when a nice lady approaches me and asks if I work there.

Me: “No, sorry.”

Lady #1: *Politely* “Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure, but it kind of looked like you were stocking and moving things around.”

Me: “No worries!”

She heads on her way.

A couple of seconds later, as I’m loading Extremely Specific Salads with Extremely Specific Dates on them into my cart, an older confused gentleman approaches and asks if I know where some greens are.

Me: “No, sorry. I don’t work here.”

Gentleman: “Oh, I thought you just helped her.”

The nice lady is still nearby and jumps to help both of us.

Lady #1: “Nope! I asked him if he worked here; he doesn’t.”

The gentleman looks like he doesn’t believe me and looks at my cart.

Me: “I’m a PA on a nearby studio lot, and I’m just shopping for work.”

He seems to finally understand, but then he turns to the nice lady to ask her if she knows where his greens are.

I laugh and continue on my way, earbuds in my ears, when I hear over the din of my podcast:

Lady #2: “HEY! YOU! EXCUSE ME!”

I look up from my shopping list.

Lady #2: “Where’re the eggrolls?”

No “hello,” no “do you work here?” Nothing. Just pure entitlement.

Me: “I don’t work here.”

Lady #2: “Yes, you do! I just saw you help those people.”

Me: “Nope, they also asked if I work here, and I told them no.”

Lady #2: “You look like you work here. Where’re the eggrolls?”

She is blocking my cart at this point.

Me: “I don’t work here, so I don’t know. Sorry.”

I don’t know if this woman doesn’t believe me, isn’t listening, or just straight-up wants to waste my and her time, but she once again asks me about her gosh dang eggrolls, and the “I don’t know” exchange repeats.

Finally, she starts getting mad. I think she is going to ask for my manager, but instead, she literally STOMPS her foot.

Lady #2: “Why do you look like you work here if you don’t work here?! You’re wearing a badge!”

I want to ask, “What about a ‘Star Wars’ hoodie, ‘Critical Role’ lanyard, and a WORK BADGE FOR THE TV STUDIO DOWN THE STREET scream, ‘I work at [Grocery Store]?’” but I don’t. I am too dumbfounded.

Me: “I’m a PA… I am working… but not here.”

Finally, an employee comes down the aisle and she sets her sights on him.

Lady #2: “DO YOU WORK HERE?”

…she asks the guy wearing a [Grocery Store] tee shirt, pushing a backroom stock cart of boxes, and wearing a name tag. He nods and the lady once again points at me.

Lady #2: “You shouldn’t let people in here who look like they work here if they don’t work here!”

This poor employee and I shared the pained, dead-inside look of two people who have to work with the public. I hope my look came across as apologetic as I felt, but I used this chance to escape and finish up my shopping as quickly as I could.

In my line of work, I’m no stranger to very dumb questions and being yelled at, but entitled jerks like this make me want to tuck tail and run.

I missed a few items off the shopping list and will probably be sent back to [Grocery Store] before this work day is done, but I’ll be sure to Not Look Like I Work There for any future visits.

[Lady #2], wherever you are, I hope you never found your eggrolls.