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You Can’t Sweep Weak Managers Under The Rug

, , , , , , | Right Working | June 4, 2022

I worked in a membership-based store at the customer service desk. We can look up basically anything you’ve ever bought with relative ease. We also have an overly generous return policy. A man approaches my counter, hands me his membership card, and asks if I can find the receipt for a ten-foot rug he purchased two years prior. I start the process and ask what he needs it for.

Customer: “Oh, my basement flooded and the rug got ruined. We can’t get the smell or stains out. I want to return it.”

Me: *Pause* “Sir, we can’t accept that as a return. That’s not a defect with the rug. I can give you the receipt so you can give it to your insurance company but not for a refund here.”

He argues with me for a few minutes and then demands a manager. My store manager happens to be walking by, so I grab him and give him a rundown of the situation. 

Store Manager: “Sir, she’s correct. That’s not a reason to return the rug. You should get your insurance company to reimburse you, not us.”

This sets off more arguing. Finally, the man says he’s going to call corporate. My manager knows they’ll most likely approve it and we’ll both get in trouble for denying the return. He prints the receipt and writes, “Return approved by [Store Manager],” on it.

Store Manager: “We can return this rug for you this one time. When you bring it in, please have it as dry as possible. If you have any issues, have the cashier call me.”

With that, the customer and my store manager walked off. The next day, the customer brought in that stupid rug. It reeked of mildew and was still damp and heavy as can be. We called a supervisor up to scan it and get rid of it immediately because it smelled so bad. The man left with his several-hundred-dollar refund and a smug smile. Between this and a woman returning a thirteen-month-old bag of frozen ham, I left soon after. It was too infuriating.

He’s Here To See “The Hangover”

, , , , | Right | April 18, 2022

The theater has just opened. It’s a quarter to ten in the morning, and a very disheveled man staggers into the lobby. He is so drunk that it takes him almost a full minute to cross the lobby, maybe twenty feet. He nearly falls down twice, and once he reaches the concession counter, he only remains standing by leaning on the counter. I have to take a step back because the smell of alcohol is so strong.

Me: “How can I help you?”

Drunk: “Uhhh… what time does the bar open?”

Me: “Four o’clock.”

I do not point out that he would never be served in his condition. The drunk man stares at me for a good twenty seconds before replying.

Drunk: “Okay.”

He staggered away and collapsed on a bench where he remained for forty minutes until disappearing to go watch his movie.

When You Don’t Have A Pigsty But You Still Get The Pigs

, , , , | Right | February 17, 2022

I’m taking orders at a register when someone bypasses everyone to get to the front of the line.

Customer: “Excuse me! HEY!”

He slaps the counter, interrupting an order. I hold back a stream of unprofessional language.

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Those tables over there in the back are dirty! I have a family to feed, and you expect us to sit in that pigsty? Go clean it up!

Me: “Let me get the person for that—”

Customer: “I asked you to do it!”

Me: “I can’t leave my station. Give me one second.”

I called over the coworker responsible for cleaning up the dining room.

The customer directed the coworker over to the table, and I noticed that the “pigsty” he was talking about consisted of an empty tray and drink a customer left behind and perhaps some crumbs.

That’s not the worst part of the story, believe it or not. He then brought in a family of seven kids who, despite there being a children’s playroom, turned the dining room into a scene of mayhem which included food throwing, ketchup packet squirting, running, screaming, chasing, and clogging an INDUSTRIAL TOILET. How do you clog an industrial toilet that is practically designed to flush an elephant’s waste?! Meanwhile, the man and his wife simply sat back nonchalantly like it was just another day in the life.

When they all finally blessed us with their departure, they considerately left behind a mountain of food wrappers, half-consumed food, a dirty diaper, and food and condiments all over the tables, seats, floor, and wall. It took two people and fifteen minutes to clean and sanitize the area.

Fortunately, word about this incident traveled to the general manager, who gave us permission to refuse the man service the next time he showed up. He thankfully never did.

Has Dad Been Skipping Leg Day?

, , , , , , , | Related | February 12, 2022

This happened during the 1980s, when kids stayed outside until the street lights came on and could generally be trusted to walk two or three miles to school every day without Mom and Dad worrying about them being snatched up.

I was six years old at the time.

Mom: “Do you want to be Mommy’s special helper today? Go down to [Store] and pick up these items, and I’ll have a special surprise for you!”

She handed me a baggy with money and a small shopping list.

Me: *Gleefully* “Okay!”

Telling the story from my six-year-old perspective: I happily skipped my way over, but the store was closed. I was sad because I wanted to be Mommy’s special helper and get the prize. Glumly and in tears, I walked back home.

However, midway back, my dad suddenly appeared from nowhere, soaked in sweat and looking like he’d done a serious workout in a gym.

Dad: *In between pants* “Where… in the world… are you going?”

Me: *Confused innocence* “Home. Were you exercising?”

Dad: “Oh, hush!”

He led me off my intended path, took me over to a payphone, and called for my mother to come pick us up. He then threw himself on a nearby bench while panting like a dog having an asthma attack.

My mom came and picked us up with my dad looking at her like he wanted to strangle her. She gave me a hug with an “at least you tried” pep talk, and I ended up getting her little prize anyway.

Years later, when I was older, I finally got Dad’s perspective of what had really happened.

As you probably figured, Mom had sent Dad to secretly follow behind me just to make sure I got there and back safely.

The trek to the store in question was about a mile or so away. Taking a reasonable and logical route would have had me there in thirty minutes, each way. However, being an energetic and adventurous six-year-old, I thought a more fun path would be to cut through some woods, climb up a steep wall of rocks and discarded concrete blocks, go through a long-abandoned tunnel, climb over a tall chain fence, cut through what had to have been a mile of tall weeds, and presto, I was there! In an hour.

The store was closed for the day, and my dad said I bawled and threw a little tantrum, as could be expected for a six-year-old, but then he said that, for reasons he’ll never understand, I decided to continue my tantrum while taking a completely different route home, which involved walking up an incredibly steep hill, looping around a college campus that was completely out of the way, more woods, more fences… all while kicking random objects, bawling, and wailing.

It was then, after he was completely wiped, that the poor man had to blow his cover, even though we were about a maximum ten-minute walk away from home.

After that, my mom took me on a walk one day to show me “an easy, fast way” to get there on foot “because sometimes Mommy doesn’t like to wait all day long” — to my dad’s massive relief.

The Rumor Mill Comes To A Grinding Halt

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 5, 2022

This occurred when in the 1990s when I was a teen. We were at a church picnic, and a lady was making friendly conversation with me. She asked about my dad and when he would be back to the church. The truth was that my dad had left after endless fighting with my mom and had filed for divorce. To avoid divulging too much information, I said:

Me: “My dad is no longer around. Whether or not he comes back to the church, I’m not sure. Maybe you can ask him if you see him around town?”

Lady: “Hmmm… Okay.”

I didn’t think anything else about it. After the picnic, my mom and I rode with a good friend of our family to their house to hang out for a while. About fifteen minutes into our visit, her phone rang. Our friend casually picked it up, and as she listened to the person on the other end, her eyes began to slowly grow wider and wider to the size of freaking saucers.

Friend: “Um… excuse me? She’s actually sitting right here. Maybe you want to ask her yourself?” *Hands over the phone*

My mom took the phone, spoke briefly, and then immediately excused herself outside to continue the conversation. When she came back in, she looked seriously pissed and asked me to go into another room and amuse myself with some video games there.

As it turned out, the person on the phone was the lady at the church picnic, calling over to the friend’s house to start a rumor chain that my mom had kicked my dad out and speculating that it was because of a possible extramarital affair with the church choir leader because she’d seen them eating lunch together at a restaurant. They’d simply run into each other by coincidence, and my dad even told us about it.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t see that lady at church services for almost the entire summer, and when she did return, she would sit in the back.