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Small Talk Doesn’t Work On Small Minds

, , , | Right | September 17, 2021

I am bagging today. I have been trained to bond with the customer and make small talk while I work.

Me: “Hello!”

Customer: “Paper.”

Me: “Of course! How are you today?”

Customer: “Why are you asking?”

Me: “Just trying to make conversation.”

Customer: “Making small talk? Miss, please just focus on your job.”

I obeyed and bagged his order without talking or making eye contact with him. As he left, he mumbled “dumb little girl” under his breath. I had to pull up my jacket sleeve so I could flip him off as he left the store.

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Putting The Witch In Switchboard

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2021

I work as a telephone operator for an external switchboard company. We provide telephone and scheduling services for a number of companies who, for various reasons, do not have their own telephone operators.

Many of our clients are small, one-person contracting firms, where the owner is out all day and doesn’t have time to answer the phone. Most of them are in male-dominated fields, and people who call them and reach me assume they are talking to “the girl in the office.”

Every company has its own policy for how they want us to handle cold callers; the most common is to instruct them to send an email or to take a message. Telemarketers can be pretty aggressive when they don’t get their way:

Me: “Welcome to [Company]. How can I help you?”

Cold Caller: “I want to speak to the owner.”

Me: “He’s not in the office right now. Can I take a message?”

Cold Caller: “No, just put me through to him right now; it’s urgent.”

Me: “I can take a message and ask him to call you back. May I have your name and what this is referring to?”

Cold Caller: “No, just put me through already. He’s going to want to talk to me.”

Me: “Sir, the owner is probably standing on a roof somewhere right now. It’s not safe for him to answer his phone. I can take a message or you can send him an email.”

Cold Caller: “That’s ridiculous. I’m about to save him a lot of money. He’ll be so mad that you won’t put me through. Do you like your job?”

This client is one of my favourites because he’s always appreciative of our services and frequently thanks us for doing such a good job. His customers are also very nice and understanding of the fact that they can’t always reach him, so I know that this guy is not legit. Therefore, I decide to use the magic words: “company policy”.

Me: “I can’t put you through. For safety reasons, it’s company policy not to call the owner when he’s on a job.”

Cold Caller: “That’s ridiculous. It’s just because you’re a girl that you won’t put me through. Let me talk to a man, instead.”

Me: “There are no men available to take your call right now. You may leave a message or send an email.”

Cold Caller: “Do you know what? If you’d been a man, you would’ve put me through! I hate women; you’re all switchboard witches!'”

Me: “If I’d been a man and put you through, I still would’ve broken company policy. Have a good day.” *Click*

From then on, my colleagues and I proudly referred to ourselves as “switchboard witches” when we were talking to each other.

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What Isn’t On The Menu Tonight Is Tolerance For Your BS

, , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I work at a restaurant that, while not exclusively vegan, offers vegan versions of many of our dishes. We offer the vegan menu separately. A group of four comes in consisting of an older and a younger couple. I go to seat them and ask if they want vegan menus in addition to the standard ones.

Older Man: *Scoffs* “Of course not!”

Younger Woman: *Looking slightly annoyed* “I’d like one, please.”

The older man looks at her like she has three heads.

Older Man: “Why?”

Younger Woman: “Honestly, because you always make a big production at the very idea of a meal without any meat, and it’s getting really irritating. Plus, it’s my dinner; no one’s forcing you to eat it!”

The older man went quiet, the other members of the group didn’t seem to have any strong opinions, and they were happily seated with their respective menus.

When I passed by the table later, the younger woman was enjoying her clearly vegan meal. People order from our vegan menu for a lot of reasons, but it was the first time I’d seen spite as one of them.

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If You Talk Big, You Have To Work Big

, , , , , , | Working | September 16, 2021

[Sales Guy] is one of the younger sales guys who is either some sort of bank robber or greatly exaggerates his lifestyle, as he is in an entry-level job on entry-level pay. [Sales Guy] hasn’t done anything today and it’s already 11:00 am. He wanders over to us and interrupts people actually doing some work.

Sales Guy: “Might get a new car this month.”

Coworker #1: “Didn’t you say you just got a car?”

Coworker #2: “Or were getting one?”

Sales Guy: “Yeah, yeah, I did. Don’t really like the colour.”

Coworker #1: “Oh, sure. Yeah, I might buy a new house. Don’t like the colour of the bathroom.”

Coworker #2: “What’s a bathroom? I just let my butler pick it up off the floor.” *Laughs*

Sales Guy: “Whatever, you guys. You’re just jealous. You’re not swag like me.”

Coworker 2: “What’s a swag?”

Sales Guy: “I hate you guys.” *Storms off*

Me: “He can’t even drive. The guy needs to get his head down or they will get rid of him.”

Coworker #1: “No chance; his mom is a friend of the boss.”

Turns out I was right; he didn’t last the week. [Sales Guy] made some stupid story up about how the other guys were stealing all of his sales, not thinking that they could check all the emails and phone calls he wasn’t making.

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The Art Of Showing Off

, , , , , , | Legal | September 16, 2021

One day, after picking up a few friends in my car, we happened to drive past an art gallery that had a display about art’s role in advertising and marketing. One of my friends works in that area, so he was pointing out some interesting parts of the display through my window to the other passengers as I was parked next to it waiting for the lights to change.

Just as the light turned green, a police officer started knocking very aggressively on my passenger side window. I rolled the window down and asked the officer what was happening. He pointed aggressively at my friend.

Officer: “You! Out of the car right now!”

As you can imagine, we were all very confused. As my friend got out of the car, the vehicles behind me were all beeping their horns because I was blocking traffic, but the officer closed the door as soon as my friend got out and wouldn’t let anyone else in the car follow. I asked him what he wanted us to do.

Officer: “I don’t care. Get lost.”

We had missed the light, so we had to wait for the next green light, at which point I parked in the first space I could find so that the cop couldn’t get me on a traffic offence. This took five minutes, and we were just about to get out of the car and go find my friend when he came walking along.

Friend: “Hey! Where did you go?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, [Friend]. The cop made us leave. We were just coming back for you. What happened?”

Friend: “Oh, you’re not going to believe this. He thought I had stuck my finger up at him. I told him that he was mistaken — I was pointing at the art exhibit — but he wouldn’t believe me. He asked me if I could prove my story and I was like, ‘No, you made my friends leave!’ I think he was trying to show off for his partner, because he asked his partner if he had seen anything and he just looked really uncomfortable and said no. That’s why he let me leave.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t get the officer’s badge number and decided to let it go instead of filing a complaint.

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