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Achieving Your Goals… Eventually… Sort Of…

, , , , , , | Working | June 21, 2022

When I first graduated from college, I had no luck finding an entry-level job in my field. I decided to lower my expectations and applied to a telemarketing company. But they wouldn’t hire me, either, because the only experience I had was a work-study job during college. They recommended getting a job with a temp agency to get more work experience, so I signed up with a temp agency.

I started out by telling the temp agency that I was really good with computers and had a degree in engineering. And then they sent me to be a temporary receptionist with instructions to answer the phones and not touch the computer. I had a few more short-term receptionist assignments, including filling in for someone who left in the middle of the day without clearing their desk of the food they were eating when they got sick. Another memorable assignment was handing out food samples at a large grocery store.

After working for the temp agency for a while, I applied to the telemarketing company again. This time, they wouldn’t hire me because I was “over-qualified” and they were afraid I wouldn’t stay, so I went back to the temp agency for more assignments.

Finally, the temp agency sent me to work at the telemarketing company. Then, I got hired directly when the temporary position became permanent, and I stayed at the telemarketing company for five years.

Please Excuse Me Whilst I Pull A Parking Spot Out Of My Butt

, , , | Right | June 20, 2022

Customer: “I want to complain to a manager! There’s no parking here!”

Me: “Did you check our additional lot across the street?”

Customer: “No! I didn’t want to walk that far!”

Seriously, it is RIGHT across the street. She was less than pleased when my response was:

Me: “Oh, so there was parking, then.”

Not Even Doing The Least You Could Do

, , , , , , , | Working | June 20, 2022

Twenty-odd years ago, I was in line at a major fast food chain located in a large mall. Suddenly, the woman in front of me in line fell to the floor, unconscious. At the time, I was in university preparing to apply to medical school, and I had taken some first aid classes. I checked on the woman, who had quickly regained consciousness, but she was confused and trembling after the fall. I asked the employees to hand me a cup of water and to call mall security about the medical issue.

After using my first aid training to determine that the woman didn’t seem to be in immediate danger, I turned around to ask the counter employee for the cup of water.

Employee: “That will be $1.08 for the water.”

Me: “What? There’s a person having a medical issue here. Please just give it to me.”

Employee: “We can’t. You need to pay for the water before we give it to you.”

It should be noted that the law in New York State at the time said that restaurants must give tap water to diners for free upon request.

Me: “I’ll pay in a sec. Please just give me the water.”

Employee: “No, and you need to get her out of the way; she’s blocking the register.”

I looked around, and every employee in the store was scrupulously looking away, and every customer in the area was staring at them. Luckily, at that moment, a security guard I knew from the mall passed by and came to help. 

Me: “Thank God you finally came. I told them to call for security over ten minutes ago.”

Guard: “No one called for security. I was just on my normal rounds.”

Thankfully, he was able to radio for help, and a first aid team was there inside of two minutes to help the woman. She ended up fine; she had just passed out.

As soon as she was in good hands, I turned to the counter. The employee who had refused me water was standing there with a bored look on her face. The manager was behind her tapping his foot and looking annoyed. I had worked retail, and I knew to treat workers as people worthy of respect, but I admit to losing my cool and yelling a bit. 

Me: “What the h***? Not only did you not supply water — as required by law and common decency — but you didn’t even call for security? And then you’re mad at me because I wouldn’t singlehandedly move someone who may have been sick or hurt?”

Manager: “It’s not our problem. If you wanted water, you should have paid for it. If you wanted security, you should have called them.”

Me: “Well, now it is your problem.”

I snatched a sign off the wall with the phone number for the franchise ownership and walked out, with the manager yelling at me as I left. As soon as I could, I contacted the owner, the corporate complaint number, and mall management. I asked them if it was store or franchise policy to allow people to die at the counter and to defy state law. 

By the weekend, when I came to the mall for my retail shift, the manager was gone and much of the staff was replaced. I later heard that that had been the last straw in a number of complaints against the manager, including at least one where they refused to call security when a customer was being assaulted. I don’t think anyone who worked or shopped at that mall shed a tear for them losing their jobs.

Panicking, Mostly, We’d Guess

, , , , , | Working | June 19, 2022

This was a few years before the health crisis. My office has all the usual modern things such as Outlook and Zoom, and most importantly, the ability to schedule meetings by viewing others’ availability.

We were performing our year-end process. My coworker, who has been with the company for fifteen years, was in charge of one particular section — the same section she has had for all those fifteen years.

A few weeks after year-end, I was checking off the final items, and I asked her if she had held a recap meeting with the people in her section — about thirty people. You know, what went well, what could be improved, etc. We do this every year to try to make next year better.

Me: “Have you held a recap session yet?”

Coworker: “Welllllll, I tried to!”

Me: “What do you mean, you tried?”

Coworker: “Wellllll, I sent an email to everyone asking them to send me some dates and times they were available for this meeting, but no one responded!”

Me: “Really. You sent an email to thirty people asking them to send you dates and times they were available. I wouldn’t have responded, either. What were you hoping for? They’d all send the same date and time?”

Coworker: “WELLLL…”

Me: “Why didn’t you just use Outlook?”

Coworker: “I tried, but I couldn’t find a good time.”

Me: “Okayyyy, why don’t you break the section into groups and have more than one meeting?”

The whole thing was rather astounding. I have no idea what she’s been doing for the past fifteen years.

Buses Are The Worst

, , , , , | Working | June 18, 2022

I live in a very rural area of Wales. At the time of this story, I was sixteen and had just started college, which was a good hour and a half away. Thankfully, there was a special bus program that went through my village that consisted of two separate connecting bus routes.

I was on the second bus back one evening and my friend had gotten off, so it was me and a couple of random people. I had my headphones in and was zoning out when I suddenly realised it was taking longer than normal to reach my stop. I am very socially awkward, so I waited for a while, but eventually, I made my way up to the front.

Me: “When will we reach [My Village]?”

Driver: “This bus doesn’t go through [My Village].”

Me: *Shocked* “What bus number is this?”

He told me. It was the right bus route, but the driver insisted that this bus NEVER went through my village. We were already past the turning for the village, so I went to my seat and checked my phone. However, it was an old piece of garbage, and I’m a little forgetful, so it had gone dead. 

In the end, I got off at the next stop — a small town a ten-minute drive from my home. I planned to find a phone box, but the only one around was out of order, so I walked into a pub and asked to borrow their phone. The people were very nice and let me stay there until my parents arrived since it was pretty dark out. 

My parents were furious at the driver, and my mum called up the next day to complain. Turns out the bus only goes this route at certain times for the school run. The driver must have not worked that shift in a while and didn’t bother checking the route. I don’t know what happened to them, but hopefully, they will be more careful in the future.