A Throwaway Conversation

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(I’ve recently started working at a fast food chain located mainly in Texas. I’ve been working for about a month and a half and I have managed to learn most of what my job entails and how to run the register. But, like everyone, I mess up orders on occasion. This story occurs after I mess up an order for a drunk girl.)

Drunk Girl: “You messed up my order.”

Me: “I’m so sorry about that.” *she gestures for me to take it* “Again, sorry, but we aren’t allowed to take them back. You can either keep it or throw it away.”

(The girl is about a foot away from a trash can. She would have to turn 90 degrees and she’d be able to throw it away.)

Drunk Girl’s Friend: *reaches for the messed up order*

Drunk Girl: “No! Can you throw this away?”

Me: *thinking the friend might want it* “You can keep it if you want.”

Drunk Girl: *angrily throws the burger on her wrapper and storms up to my manager* “Hi. He messed up my order, and I asked if he could throw it away, and he said no. If you knew anything about customer service, you’d know that was rude!”

(I have major social anxiety and this is my first rude customer; I freeze up.)

Manager: “So sorry about that.”

(She walked ten feet to go talk to my manager when she could have turned 90 degrees to throw her burger away.)

Doing A Disservice To Community Service

, , , | Legal | March 7, 2019

(At our thrift store, we take in people who have been court-ordered to do community service. The local court is willing to extend deadlines as long as Community Service Workers can show they’ve been making an effort. On our part, we are normally quite happy to give them a photocopy of their partially-completed hours served to show that they are, in fact, making an honest effort to get through it. Then, this woman comes in. Her stint with us is basically a battle from start to finish. She huffs and puffs and twirls her hair around her finger while telling the supervisor that she simply “doesn’t do that,” and she’s “too good to be stuck doing this.” She complains about having to sweep the floor, then pushes a broom around for three minutes before putting the broom away and claiming she did the whole store.)

Lead: “You’ve been here for four hours and you haven’t gotten a single thing done, so I’m afraid I cannot credit you for the time. I think you need to go home and think about whether doing your community service with us is right for you. There are other businesses that will help you work off your hours.”

Community Service Woman: “Whatever.”

(She leaves. The next day, the phone rings.)

Community Service Woman: “Yeah, so, I need you to send the court a completed record of my hours.”

(I get her information and find the notes.)

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. You are supposed to fulfill forty hours. It says you didn’t even come in the first two days, and the third, you refused to do anything for four hours.”

Community Service Woman: “Well, I need you to send a completed copy of the form to the court, now.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you want a completed form, you have to actually do the work.”

Community Service Woman: “Well, I’m not going to do that, so what you are going to do is fill it out and sign off that I did it.”

Me: “No, I don’t think I will.”

Community Service Woman: “Listen to me very carefully. You will fill out my form, you will sign off on it, and you will send it to the court. You will do what I tell you to!”

Me: “Nope, actually, I won’t. I’m not going to lie to the courts. But I will be happy to pass you off to [Supervisor who had to deal with her before], and let you tell her what you need.”

(I put her on hold before she could say anything and gave the supervisor a summary of what she’d tried to pull with me. The supervisor answered the phone, listened, and sweetly promised to submit all the “appropriate” paperwork to the courts. She hung up and asked me to write down, as accurately as possible, my conversation with the Community Service Woman. Instead of a completed hours form, the court got a detailed report from the supervisor and me about how she tried to fudge her paperwork and bully me into lying to the court. We never saw her again, but I doubt things went well before the judge.)

This Landlady Is Shockingly Cold

, , , , , | Working | March 6, 2019

(It is a particularly cold Canadian winter, on a Saturday night at around nine pm, and I am taking a shower. The water is not very hot, and within a few minutes, it goes completely cold, even when using only the hot water tap. I still have shampoo in my hair and a bit of soap all over but the water is way too cold for me to handle. I am used to rinsing my hair with cold water because it’s good for the hair, but with the water barely above freezing, I cannot do it! I wrap myself in a towel and call my landlady to inform her of the problem. She tells me to wait until Monday morning because her maintenance man does not work on the weekends. I tell her the water is too cold to rinse off the shampoo and soap without risking hypothermia and it can’t wait until Monday.)

Landlady: “What do you want me to do?”

Me: “I will call a plumber and a locksmith to access the water heater and deduct the bills from my rent.”

(She tells me she is coming with her husband to have a look at the problem. While waiting for her to come, I rinse my hair with a bottle of water from the fridge that is less cold than water from the tap, and water from the kettle that is room temperature. Shortly after that, I hear a knock on the door and it is my landlady. My lips are bluish and I am still shivering a lot.)

Landlady: *seeing that I had rinsed my hair* “It was not urgent; you were able to finish your shower. I came here for nothing!”

(The door to the maintenance room where the water heater is for the whole building is right next to my apartment door and I see water beginning to leak from under it. I point to it and my landlady looks at it and goes pale. She unlocks the door and hurries to shut down the water valve.)

Landlady: “I don’t know what to do with all this water all over! Give me some towels to absorb it.”

Me: “I only have a few, and I need to keep the clean one for after I am able to rinse myself off.”

(I close the door, leaving her to deal with her problem since I already have my own. Less than an hour later, after I wash most of the soap away with a washcloth and warm water from my kettle, there is another knock on the door. This time, it’s my landlady’s husband.)

Landlady’s Husband: “We fixed my problem and the water is probably already hot. It’s a good thing my wife insisted on having a look at the problem instead of waiting until Monday; otherwise, the water could have risen to reach the electrical outlets and it could have caused a much worse problem!”

Me: “You mean it’s a good thing I insisted and threatened to call a locksmith and a plumber?”

Landlady’s Husband: “…”

(I slammed the door and went to take a much-needed, long, hot shower!)

The Times, They Are A-Changing (Tables)

, , , , , , | Right | March 5, 2019

(A customer holding her baby approaches me at the help desk.)

Customer: “I just asked my husband to go change the baby’s diaper in the restroom, and he said there was no changing table in the men’s room.”

Me: “Well, ma’am—“

(She cuts me off.)

Customer: “I mean, it’s the twenty-first century; men are parents, too. Parenting is a partnership. This isn’t the 1950s.”

Me: “Ma’am, we—“

Customer: “I just think it’s really embarrassing that a store like yours is still enforcing these gender stereotypes, and it’s not fair to only have a changing table in the women’s restroom. I mean, come on! Get with the times!”

Me: *finally getting a word in* “Ma’am, there is a changing table in the men’s restroom.”

(The customer stares at me, looking confused, for a moment.)

Customer: “Then why did my husband say there wasn’t one?”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe he just didn’t want to change the baby?”

(She thinks for a moment and it dawns on her. Suddenly, her frustrated expression turns angry.)

Customer: “Thank you. I’m going to go find my husband now.”

(And with that, she stormed off. I guess she’s living in the twenty-first century, but her husband has some catching up to do.)

Oprah: The Bane Of Bookstore Clerks Everywhere

, , , , | Right | February 28, 2019

(It is very busy at our bookstore, and I am working as a cashier. We don’t have an info station, so when somebody wants to find a book they often ask us at the front.)

Customer: “Hi. I’m looking for a book, but I don’t know what it’s called. It was about dreams, and it’s blue.”

Me: “Is that all you know? Do you remember any of the author’s name or any words of the title at all?”

Customer: “No. But it was blue!”

Me: “Well… I’m sorry. I can search for books about dreams, but there’s going to be a lot. What was it about?”

Customer: *blank look* “Dreams.”

Me: “Right, but… I mean, is it a novel, or a nonfiction book about dream interpretation, or somebody’s dream journal, or a psychology book?”

Customer: “I don’t know! It was on Oprah!”

(I’m resisting the urge to face-palm; that one fact is nearly everything I need to know to identify the book.)

Me: “Okay. All the books Oprah recommends are on that table right there, under the sign that says, ‘OPRAH RECOMMENDS.’ I can see a blue one from here; is that the one?”

(The customer trots over to the table to peruse it, and as I move on to the next person in line, I hear the customer shout:)

Customer: “YEAH, THAT WAS IT!”

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