Madam Or Mad-Ma’am?

, , , , | Right | January 14, 2019

(My head chef and kitchen manager is helping serve customers in line at the bistro, as it is very busy and we weren’t expecting it to be.)

Chef: “Here we are. Sorry about the wait, madam; we’ve had quite a night.”


(Safe to say, that topped off the night.)

You Can’t Iron Out The Bad Customers

, , , | Right | January 14, 2019

(My sister runs an ironing business that I help out at on occasion.)

Sister: “You didn’t take any of the ironing home with you the other day, did you?”

Me: “Of course not. Why would I do that?”

Sister: “One of my clients is missing a shirt from their ironing, I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it. Do you remember doing a [shirt description] on [day]?”

Me: “I didn’t work on that day.”

(My sister spends two weeks looking for customer’s husband’s favourite shirt, asking all of her clients if they have been given a shirt that wasn’t theirs. She loses some clients who think that if she is negligent enough to lose someone else’s clothing, she will lose theirs, as well. The customer hounds her every day, demanding compensation and threatening to take her business elsewhere. One day she walks in with a box of chocolates after she’s made her delivery run.)

Sister: “Look at what [Client] gave me as an apology. She found her husband’s d*** shirt in the f****** drier. I lost customers because of her, and I can’t even tell her to shove her ironing because I can’t afford to.”

Be A Sore Winner And Lose Your Position

, , , , | Working | January 12, 2019

(The gas station I work at is part of a national chain that runs promotions. Customers receive a sticker for every unit of a set amount of litres of gas they purchase. With ten stickers, they can purchase a promotional item for cheaper than its normal retail price. To encourage us to promote the event, there are regional competitions between stations. The stations that sell the most items get a financial reward that is added to the budget for the Christmas party. Usually, these events run several months and the amount you have to buy for each sticker is so low that most people have ten stickers by the time they fill their car the third time. This is why my station decides to simply give ten stickers to each customer that buys the minimum amount for a sticker. None of the items — mostly gardening equipment or DIY tools — are good enough, rare enough, or cheap enough for people to be interested in buying multiples or buying them in bulk to resell, so we are confident that by doing so we do not create extra sales. Our main “rival” is a station that has a large number of commercial truck drivers as their regular customers. Our “rival” station wins the competition this time, with us as a close second. During a “stamp” event, a coworker runs over to me and another coworker.)

Coworker#1: “Guys, you will not believe what [Manager] told me just now. [Manager of Rival Station] went to the regional manager and complained that we were cheating by giving out extra stamps, and that we should be fined and permanently disqualified from every competition.”

Coworker#2: “What?! Wait. Wasn’t it [Rival Station] that asked their regulars to not pump their gas in one go, but do multiple purchases of ten euros each during [Event] so they could hand out more tickets? How is that fair?! They have all these truck drivers as customers. Do you know how many ten-euro purchases it needs to fill up one of those trucks? We only give one ticket per customer and car!”

Coworker#1: *grinning* “I know, and so does [Manager]. You want to guess who is now under investigation and has to return the reward they got for [Event Competition]? Not us!”

(As it turns out, what we did toes the line, but was considered acceptable. [Rival Manager], on the other hand, had broken the rules.)

Lesson Number #1: “It does not pay to be a rat, especially if you are the one with skeletons in the closet!”

Would You Like To Sign Up For The Card That’s Already In Your Hand?

, , , , , | Working | January 12, 2019

(I have been serving a line of customers when my manager approaches me and starts berating me for not asking for the customer’s loyalty card. The customer had given me their card along with the stock they were purchasing; we are supposed to ask before taking payment.)

Me: *holds up card* “The customer gave it to me first; I’ve already entered it.”

Manager: “Hmph. You didn’t ask the last customer, either.”

Me: “They had their card ready, too.”

Manager: “Well, I’ve been standing here while you served six customers, and you didn’t ask a single one for their cards or ask them to join.”

Me: “They all had their cards ready for me.”

Manager: “Yeah, sure. That’s what you say.”

Me: *pulls up my transaction records on the screen* “Why don’t you take a look yourself? You will see that the last ten customers I’ve served have been cardholders.”

Manager: *in a sulky voice* “Well… you are supposed to ask every time or get them to join up.” *stomps off*

Next Customer: *holding her card out to me* “You better ask for me for this; I don’t want you to get in trouble because of me.”

Way Past Due For Some Bedside Manners

, , , , , | Healthy | January 12, 2019

(I am pregnant with my firstborn. After a great deal of reading up on the subject and a conversation with my uncle, a prominent obstetrician, we decide to use a certified nurse-midwife and a birthing center. Unfortunately, the due date comes and goes, despite multiple efforts at bringing on labor naturally, including walks, cohosh, and cod-liver oil. Finally, the midwife sets it up for us to go to the nearby hospital for some Pitocin to be applied topically. By this point, I’ve been lying on a table in a cubicle for several hours and am already stressed out because of the overdue baby and because I’ve had to go to the hospital. I am sure they will make me stay, and I don’t want that. Finally, a resident walks in. He pokes around for a bit.)

Resident #1: “How many days past due are you?”

Me: “Nine days.”

Resident #1: “You know, the fetal mortality rate spikes after fourteen days.”

(The resident walks out. Later, a different, female resident comes in. She pokes around for a while. Then:)

Resident #2: “Your cervix is off to the side.”

(The resident walks out. By now, I’m hysterical. Thankfully, the midwife phones right that minute to check on me. I blubber out what the resident said about the cervix.)

Midwife: “She just means that it’s off to the side right now. It will move into position as part of labor.”

(I still think that the first resident’s completely gratuitous information was because he was annoyed that he wouldn’t get to do a delivery. The kicker? My contractions started the minute we were in the parking deck on our way out of there. Our son was born about nine hours later, in the birthing center, with the midwife.)

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