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Doing Service A Disservice

, , , , , | Working | June 22, 2016

(I work in a five-star hotel in London, as a room service associate. At times we will hire “temps,” who are sourced from an agency, to help with demand – basically zero-hour contracts. On one such occasion, the hotel function room is having a wedding party, and room service is slammed with requests. The wedding party is busy, but they manage to send one of the agency staff,  who is already well-known for not having the slightest knowledge about service, and has been told at least three times how to hold a service tray properly. He is also incredibly lazy, and will gladly step back when everyone else is busy, and complain about the work load. I decide the best course of action is to just lump it, and get on with it. I’m in the kitchen, bringing a whole tray of food down to be arranged when my manager comes by.)

Manager: “Hey, have you seen [Agency Guy]?”

Me: “Yeah, he should be in Room Service. I asked him to get the trays ready for service.”

Manager: “He’s there, but he said he’s making coffee for an order. I checked the print outs and we have no orders for coffee yet.”

Me: “Right, let me see what’s going on.”

(I proceed to walk down a flight of stairs, carrying a tray with at least six main course dishes which not only are very heavy, but are also hot to the touch. The wooden tray is flimsy, and my hands start to burn. I come into Room Service to see Agency Guy sitting down, with no trays ready, sipping on a coffee. He’s faced away from me, so I purposely slam the tray down to get his attention. He jumps from his seat, and actually pretends like he was busy.)

Agency Guy: “Oh! I was just—”

Me: “Save it. We are too busy right now for me to want to listen to your excuses. Just get the trays ready, and send them up as soon as possible.”

Agency Guy: “But I don’t know how to do this!”

Me: “I’ve shown you three times already how to arrange a tray properly. It’s not rocket science. Fine, you go to the kitchen, get the food, and be back here sharpish.”

Agency Guy: “Okay, okay. Whatever…”

(I’m fuming at this guy right now, but we are stacked with orders, so I usher him away to the kitchen whilst I get everything ready to send up. In that time I get three calls from three separate rooms enquiring rather impolitely where their food is. Keep in mind they are paying top rate for this. I promise them their food will be with them shortly, and send up the trays. I come back 15 minutes later to find no other food ready, or Agency Guy. I manage to bump into my manager whilst looking for him.)

Me: “Hey, have you seen [Agency Guy]?”

Manager: “He told me you didn’t need his help anymore.”

Me: “What..?”

Manager: “He came to me and said you had it under control, so he’s helping us now.”

Me: “But I still have seven orders to do. I had to comp my last three because he hasn’t lifted a f****** finger in helping me yet!”

(I very rarely swear, even to my manager. But right now I am furious; my manager reads my tone instantly.)

Manager: “I will speak to him. Just do your best and comp more food if you need to. Okay?”

(Before I can say anything, the manager hurries back to the wedding party. I spend the next hour literally running between the kitchen, room service, and guest rooms, just to get back on track. At the end of it, my manager comes back to me.)

Manager: “Okay, we are done now. I have asked [Agency Guy] to come see you before he leaves. He was just as lazy in the wedding, so if he tries to protest, I’ll back you up.”

Me: *evil grin* “That would be great.”

Manager: “[Agency Guy], [My Name] would like to have a word with you.”

(I wait for my manager to hide away within earshot, as the Agency Guy walks over.)

Agency Guy: “You wanted to speak to me?”

Me: “I did. How do you think today went?”

Agency Guy: “Amazing! I worked so hard in here, and in the wedding! You were a bit slow, though, so—”

Me: “Okay, stop right there. First of all, you aren’t that good. All through today I had to chase you to find out what you were doing; half the time you were idle or drinking coffee. Second, you didn’t even pull any weight in the wedding. And third, don’t ever insult my ability. You just pissed off from here because you didn’t want to do the work [Manager] pays you to do, which meant that I had to do your job, as well as my own.”

Agency Guy: “Well, f*** you. Manager promised me your position anyway, because you’re slow as f***!”

Me: “Really?”

(I open a door behind me; my manager is standing there which causes the Agency Guy to go red in the face.)

Me: “Is that true, [Manager]?”

Manager: “You know it isn’t. [Agency Guy] get out of my hotel. You’re fired.”

(Agency Guy tried to argue, but he was already embarrassed enough he just hightailed it out of there. A week later the same agency lost the contract because of poorness of quality, so we outsourced our contract elsewhere. Guess who came back under another name, and was promptly ejected from the hotel?)

Your Checkout Does Not Check Out

, , , | Working | May 15, 2016

(Each cab at the company I work for is checked out by the driver each shift. When it’s checked out, it’s the driver’s responsibility to make sure the little things are taken care of. There is one coworker who is incredibly lazy and complains about everything. We’re talking over their walkie-talkies.)

Coworker: “This is such bulls***.”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “Whoever had cab [number] last left it trashed! There’s [Fast Food] wrappers everywhere!” *continues to rant a few minutes*

Me: *checks the previous week’s schedule* “Um… [Coworker]? You were the last one to check out that cab.”

Coworker: “…”


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Slacker Packer

, , , , | Working | March 29, 2016

(I work at a distributor’s warehouse as a pick/pack/ship foreman. Early in the morning, the boss is patrolling the floor and sees a packer just standing at his queue.)

Boss: “Everything okay? You don’t appear to have packed anything yet.”

Packer: “It’s fine.” *adds a book to the box* “I’m just taking a breather.”

Boss: “Fine, just make sure your queue doesn’t get backed up. These shipments need to go out today.”

(My boss walks off to take care of other matters and returns about an hour later. The packer is again just standing at his queue, which now has several more orders.)

Boss: “What are you doing? This is the same order you had when I was here last time.” *looks in the box* “You haven’t even added anything since I left. Get to work!”

(The packer begins to pack items. [Boss] goes to take care of other matters again and returns about another hour later. The packer is again just standing around. The queue is completely backed up. The same order is in front of him, partially packed.)

Boss: “Do you have a problem?”

Packer: “No.”

Boss: “I need workers, not slackers. Look, you have a choice. You can either do your job, or you can go home. At this point, I don’t care which.”

Packer: “Fine, I’m going home.”

(The packer leaves. [Boss] goes to his office and fills out a termination form for the packer. The next day, the packer comes into the warehouse and the boss stops him at the door.)

Boss: “What are you doing here?”

Packer: “I’m going to work.”

Boss: “No, you’re not. You quit yesterday.”

Packer: “No, I didn’t. You said I could go home.”

Boss: “You quit when you left the job site. Go home.”

(The boss shuts the door in his face and walks away. Later, an employee approaches the boss.)

Employee: “Do you know what’s wrong with [Packer]? He’s just standing by the door with his mouth gaping.”

Boss: “I’ll take care of it.” *to the packer* “You have five minutes to leave before I call security on you for trespassing.”


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No Reprieve On New Year’s Eve

, , , , | Working | December 31, 2015

(We have two fairly recent hires who both started as stockers, but were shifted to cashier because of their unreliability and laziness. Both are 18, still in high school, and not easy to work with. They have generally negative attitudes. For instance, Coworker #1 throws change at people when he’s mad. Coworker #2 makes fun of people constantly, but gets totally offended at jokes or sarcasm directed at him. I am on register with both of them on New Year’s Eve, along with a decent-working Coworker #3. It’s so busy the managers want four people on register at all times, so a fifth person is putting their cash drawer in as each cashier goes on break. Coworker #1 takes his break first, and this exchange happens during the last cashier’s break.)

Break Person: “Hey, where’s [Coworker #1]!?”

(It’d been so busy nobody had noticed him put up his ‘closed’ sign, turn off his light, and sneak away. Now there’s only three of us, with me and the break person doing most of the work. Coworker #2’s register isn’t always open, and you often have to yell for customers to come over. Coworker #2 is just sitting behind his register and texting, only ringing up the people who realize he’s open.)

Me: “I don’t know where [Coworker #1] is; I didn’t see him leave.”

(We only get a 15-minute break for a six-hour shift. Coworker #1 had taken his already. The break person calls the manager to figure out where he is, but the manager is running around trying to keep things stocked because it is so busy with people buying last-minute stuff for their New Year’s Eve parties. A solid 20 minutes goes by before Coworker #1 comes back, acting like nothing happened. The break person leaves, fuming. Coworker #1 proceeds to spend the rest of the night with his light off, reading a magazine. He only offers to ring up attractive females, and only begrudgingly rings anyone else who realizes he is open despite the light being off. Other than that, he flips through magazines and plays with his phone.)

Coworker #2: *muttering under his breath about something*

Me: *in a light, joking manner* “What are you complaining about?”

Coworker #2: “WOAH. ATTITUDE.”

Me: *sighs*

(Not 15 minutes later, Coworker #2, despite making no effort to ring up customers, complained to the manager about ‘having no one to ring up’ and demanded to go home, holiday pay or not. The manager said fine and he gleefully left. After that, Coworker #1 put up his closed sign and disappeared twice more before the night was over, all while Coworker #3 and I scrambled to get through the New Year’s Eve crowd. On the plus side, after completing a transaction, a friendly customer threw a $5 bill on my counter and yelled HAPPY NEW YEAR before bolting out the store. I don’t know who you are, but you made a stressful night that much better. Thank you.)

Her Plan Bombed

, , , , | Working | November 30, 2015

(It’s my birthday and I am working with a particularly lazy coworker. Our company has strict rules about leaving someone working alone in the store.)

Coworker: “It’s my mother’s birthday today. We are taking her out so I have to leave right on time today.”

Me: “Oh, it’s my birthday, too; I’m with you. As soon as I finish the tills this afternoon, I’m out of here.”

Coworker: “Sucks having to work on your birthday. You should have called in sick.”

Me: “Yeah, but it’s not what I do.”

Coworker: “You know, my family and friends used to call into my last job with fake excuses to get me out of work. One day they even called in with a bomb threat.” *laughs* “The whole shopping centre got shut down just so I could go out clubbing.”

Me: *shocked* “Really?!”

(At three o’clock, the phone rings; [Coworker] answers it. I keep doing what I am doing elsewhere. A couple of minutes later, she comes to find me.)

Coworker: *dramatically* “OMG, my mother was taken to hospital; my sister just called.”

(She doesn’t actually look upset, she looks more smug.)

Me: “Really? What was wrong?”

Coworker: “They ran tests and now are sending her home. My sister said that I am the only one who can go to pick her up. I need to leave.”

Me: “Sorry, it’s not my call; I’ll need to make a phone call.”

(I call my manager to tell her what was going on and to relate the conversation from that morning. The manager speaks to her and tells her that she will have to stay until 5:30 as it’s not an emergency situation.)

Coworker: “B**** won’t let me go.” *looking less smug but still not looking upset over her mother being taken to the hospital*

Me: “I’m sorry, but you’ve got to understand that right now I couldn’t even leave even if I got a call that someone had died.”

(Probably would have worked better if her sister had called in a bomb threat.)


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