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Thanks For Lookin’ Out, Boss

, , , , , | Working | June 23, 2022

I am in charge of ordering uniforms and other supplies for my company. I go on vacation for a week, and when I come back, my entire office — which is really an extra-large storage closet with my desk in it — looks like it has been robbed.

Me: “[Manager], what happened in my office?”

Manager: “We needed some stuff.”

Me: “Why didn’t you call me?”

Manager: “I wasn’t going to bother you on vacation.”

Me: “Then why didn’t you clean up the mess?”

Manager: “Oh, it wasn’t me. I didn’t go in there.”

Me: “So, who did? They need to get in there and put everything back. What was taken?”

Manager: *Irritated* “Two guys said they needed new uniforms, so I told them to go get them, and I guess they couldn’t figure out your organization.”

Me: “But—”

Manager: “Just clean it up.”

I go back to my office, angry. My organization is pretty simple to me — stacks of shirts and office supplies all labeled by name and description, foods and drinks labeled by expiration date — but maybe it confused the people who went in there. I start cleaning up and checking the stock only to see that a lot of things are missing. 

Me: “[Manager], I need to know who was in my office and I need them to come to me. I am not going to be responsible for this.”

Manager: “For what?”

I hand over a list.

Me: “This is everything that was in my office when I left last week.”

I give him a second list.

Me: “This is everything that is no longer there. All these uniforms, five boxes of printer ink, two walkie-talkies and their charge bases, and boxes of snacks and cases of soda that would have lasted us weeks have vanished. It’s going to cost several hundreds of dollars to replace everything.”

Manager: *Looking over the list* “Well, I still don’t know who it was, so you’ll just have to figure out what to do.”

Me: “Why did you let someone go in there unaccompanied? I just don’t understand what—”

Manager: “[My Name]! Stop! Just go order whatever is missing.”

So I did. I reordered everything that went missing. Later, I got called into a meeting with finance to ask why I was spending so much money on things we just bought not too long ago. I told them what had happened and that [Manager] was indifferent to the theft. [Manager] was pulled into his own meeting later, and I was given a new doorknob with a lock so that I am the only one with access to the supplies.

You Do Not Have License To View

, , , | Right | June 22, 2022

You have to be eighteen to buy tobacco and paraphernalia, but like most shops, we have a “Challenge 25” policy, which means we have to ask anyone who looks under twenty-five for ID, just to be sure.

A young-looking man comes in and asks to buy some filter tips. I ask for his ID.

Customer: “I’m twenty-nine.”

Me: “Okay, but I need to ask anyone who looks under twenty-five. Congratulations!”

Customer: “I’ve got a photo on my phone.”

Me: “Sorry, but I can only accept a physical ID.”

He ignores me and pulls up a photo of a driving licence on his phone, which obviously I can’t accept, but this isn’t the first time someone’s tried this. After five minutes of back and forth, he starts going from quite friendly to clearly irritated.

Customer: “Okay, fine.”

He pulled the physical driving licence from the depths of his pockets, wrapped in a soft cloth. I guess it’s too good for the eyes of a humble retail worker most of the time?

Secretaries Run The World

, , , , , , | Romantic Working | June 22, 2022

This happened in the mid-1990s when having a cellphone was pretty much unheard of. I own a car repair shop in a small town, and one day, a woman came in visibly distressed. As she was turning off the highway, she heard a pop sound and it sounded like her tire. It actually wasn’t; it was her tire axle, which is a completely different thing and a bit more costly.

After looking at the amount of work it would take, what it would cost, and whether we had the part in stock (surprisingly, we did) I went back out to talk to her sitting in the waiting room. Or at least, that was where I had left her. Instead, I saw her standing behind the desk answering the phone and writing notes for the mechanics, and my front person was nowhere to be found.

When she hung up the phone, making another note, she caught my eye. When I started to ask her what was going on, the phone rang again, and she sighed and picked it up again. She gave our answering spiel and then also started asking what vehicle the customer was talking about. When that call was done, I quickly asked her what was going on.

She laughed and shrugged her shoulders.

Customer: “About forty-five minutes ago, your front office person told me he needed a smoke and walked out. Then, the phone started ringing, so I just answered it; I’m a receptionist and I know how important it is for the customer to be heard! Don’t worry; I’ve been telling everyone that I’m brand-new but I’d get all their questions to the proper people. That’s what this notepad is filled with!”

My front office person strolled back inside as I was letting the woman who had graciously helped out know what was going on with her car. The front office guy had the gall to tell me that he thought he might need to go home early. I let him know that he could go home early as in right now, and then I let him know what I thought of him leaving a customer alone at the front desk for over forty-five minutes.

Employee: “This place will go to pieces without me!”

Then, he took his stuff and stormed out. I turned to the woman who had helped me already so much.

Me: “I’ll give you a free replacement on your axle if you can help me out with the phone for the rest of the day.”

Customer: *Laughing* “Only if you buy me lunch; I’m starving!”

After getting her lunch and getting her car roadworthy, I walked back to our front office to find that in between calls, she had wiped down everything, made piles/folders for pressing issues, reorganized the call system to make more sense, and even managed to hang up a notification system for all of the mechanics.

Me: *Jokingly* “Are you looking for a job? Because you can have one with me any time.”

Customer: *Laughing* “I’ll think about it!”

And now, nearly thirty years later, she still laughs when people ask how we met and tells them, “I came in for a car repair and found a job and husband.”


This story is part of our Halfway-Through-2022 roundup!

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Not Delivering On Delivery. Not Even A Little.

, , , , | Working | June 21, 2022

I’ve had a long day at work and don’t feel like cooking, so I order some takeaway using a well-known app. After a certain time, I get a call from the delivery driver.

Driver: “Hi, I’m at [Location]. I need you to come out to me.”

Me: “But that’s over a mile away. My address is [address].”

Driver: “I know, but I don’t want to walk through the park. There are some teenagers playing football there.”

Me: “You don’t need to walk through the park. There’s a road round the outside. You can drive.”

Driver: “Well, I’m parked now, so just get down here!”

Me: “No. You’re being paid to deliver to the door. Now phone me back when you’re here!”

I ring off so he can’t respond. Shortly afterward, the app informs me that he’s marked my food as delivered. I inform the company that it has not been. They apologise and refund me. Not long afterward, I get an angry call from the driver.

Driver: “Oh, thanks a bunch. Now they’ve fired me!”

Me: “You should have done your job, then!”

It’s Always More Complicated Than It Sounds

, , , | Right Working | June 21, 2022

Another person and I were running a blog site similar to Not Always Right. It was a labor of love for us to share stories from employees in various jobs.

However, one member got a magnificently “brilliant” idea in their head and wrote to me, suggesting a new section of the website.

Member: “It should be called ‘Ask HR,’ and you give advice to people who send in job-related questions. Basically, if someone is having trouble at work, you research what the employee can do about it.”

Me: “I’m afraid that’s not possible for us to do right now. Even ignoring the possible legal troubles we could get into, that would be an insane amount of work. Keep in mind that we would need to be knowledgeable about laws in all fifty states, to say nothing about other countries. There’re only two of us doing this, you know.”

Member: “Not so much work. Just answer a single question once a week or something. That gives you all the rest of the week to do the rest of the site.”

Me: “Again, no, there are too many complications and obstructions to add something like that to the website.”

Member: “That’s why you only do it once a week. That gives you the other six days to research and handle the complications. Or you can just get someone else on board to handle it full time.”

I decided to switch gears.

Me: “You know what? That sounds like a great idea! Since it’s your idea, I’m sure you’ve done your research on the matter. Thank you for volunteering to handle this project! I look forward to receiving emails from you on a weekly basis with example questions and example answers to get the project off the ground. It is, of course, entirely voluntary and you won’t be paid for any of your work.”

The member abruptly had a change of heart, messaged a half-hearted excuse about not being able to commit to the task, and stopped pestering me about incorporating their idea into the site.

Apparently, it wasn’t such a good idea once it became clear that THEY had to actually do all the work. I just had to shake my head.