It Pays To Look Out For Each Other

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(I have been receiving government benefits for a little while after leaving a violent relationship and being homeless. I finally get my own place and inform the agency responsible for the benefits; they tell me will send a rent certificate out so my landlord can sign it so I’ll receive assistance in paying rent. Fast forward a month: despite asking numerous times for it, it never arrives. I’m just managing to pay my rent but have very little left for food, bills, and essential medication. I go into an office to get one so my landlord can sign it before leaving the country for three months. I spend an hour and a half waiting for two pieces of paper, run and get my landlord to sign what he needs to, and then head back to the office. I wait another hour for a lady to take the papers.)

Lady #1: “It will be in your next pay.” *starts to walk off*

Me: “Excuse me, but I’ve waited for a month for the rent certificate. I really need the money. Shouldn’t I get back paid?”

Lady #1: “It will be with your next pay.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I was told it could be done immediately. I would also like to know how much the assistance will be.”

Lady #1: “Fine, take a seat and I’ll find out.”

(I wait another twenty minutes.)

Lady #1: “It will be [amount that’s $50 less than should be] and will be with your next pay. If you want money now, you have to get on the phone.” *walks away*

(I get on the phone to a department that is notorious for keeping people waiting and then not helping. I am extremely lucky to get a woman who goes above and beyond. She messages the lady I originally dealt with to actually upload the paperwork — which she hasn’t done — and gets the amount I am to receive corrected. Because the office I am in is closing, the lady I originally dealt with tells me I have to leave. The second lady promises to call me on my mobile once she has everything sorted out. Twenty minutes later, [Lady #2] calls me and verifies who I am.)

Lady #2: “I have some good news: [correct amount] will be in your account overnight. I’m sorry for what happened today at the office but I’ve had four people working on it and it has been escalated to a supervisor.”

Me: “Thank you so much. Everyone else I’ve dealt with didn’t care, but you’ve been amazing. I really appreciate it.”

Lady #2: “Not a problem; I’m glad I could help. Now you mentioned you need medication; is there anything else you need tonight? I won’t be able to give a lot right now as the money will be in your account tomorrow, but I can see what I can do.”

Me: “Just my meds, which will be about [amount], and something for dinner.”

Lady #2: “What about getting home? It’s too hot to be walking long distances.”

Me: “I have enough on [travel card] to get home. Thank you.”

Lady #2: “Okay, I’ve just put [amount] on your account, which means you’ll get [amount] tomorrow. Things will get better; keep your head up.”

Me: *now crying* “Thank you so much. You’ve been amazing. No one else I’ve talked to has cared. Thank you, have an amazing rest of your day.”

(This might not seem like a lot, but the second lady I spoke too really went above and beyond to get it sorted and make me feel better. So, to the lady, if you’re reading this, thank you; your kind words and going the extra mile to fix others’ mistakes for someone on the end of the phone really made a difference.)

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Dry Wall Is Meant To Stay… Well… Dry?

, , , , , , | Working | January 13, 2020

(In a previous story submission, Seeing A Dangerous Pattern Emerging Here, I talked about a bathroom installation guy who blamed ME for his bringing the wrong shower liner to install in my master bathroom, but then relented after I changed tactics and told him my husband had actually noticed the issue. The install was so shoddy that afterward, water was pouring into the downstairs walls below my shower. This happens when we call the install company back.)

Husband: “Water is actually puddling on the floor downstairs, the drywall is soggy and crumbling, and the ceiling is saggy! You need to come and fix this now!

(They send a supervisor out to see what the issue is. I happen to be home for that.)

Me: “The guy who did the install was made aware of the fact that the faucet was leaking before he left. When my husband pointed it out, all your guy did was slap some sealant over the bottom of the faucet and say it was fixed!”

Supervisor: “He what? That part is supposed to stay open, because if the water has nowhere to drain to, it floods back into the walls! I’ll get him in here right away.”

(We schedule an appointment for 3:30 pm the following day. Five rolls around, and no one has called or shown up. My husband calls the number provided, and it’s the same guy who installed our shower in the first place!)

Husband: “You said you were going to be here at 3:30 pm. It’s 5:00 pm now. Where are you?

Construction Guy: “Oh. I’m running late. I’ll be there soon! Don’t worry!”

(We wait. And wait. And wait. 7:00 pm rolls around. My husband calls again.)

Husband: “What is going on? We’ve been waiting for you since 3:30 today. We have things we need to do and haven’t been able to because we’ve had to wait for you. We can’t just sit in the house and wait for you all night!”

Construction Guy: “Ohhh. Well, okay, I’ll be right over!”

Husband: “Right over? As in you’re heading over here right now? You’ll be here within fifteen minutes? Because this is crazy!”

Construction Guy: “Well… no. Not fifteen minutes, but maybe later.”

Husband: “‘Maybe later.’ You know what? I’m calling your boss and asking them to send someone else. Never mind coming here at all. Thanks, anyway.”

(He hangs up and calls the boss. But since it’s after hours, he leaves a voicemail. Apparently, the boss still hears it, because shortly after that we get a call from [Construction Guy].)

Construction Guy: “I can be at your house tomorrow. Maybe like in the evening or something.”

Husband: “So I have to wait all day long for you again? No. You need to make an appointment with me and then stick to it. Can you be here in the morning?”

Construction Guy: “Well… no.”

Husband: “Why not? What time can you be here?”

Construction Guy: “Well, I’m tired! And I had to drive all over the city today, and my boss makes me work too hard and I don’t even want to keep this job anymore!”

(He’s putting on the most pitiful, “poor me” voice he can muster. Bear in mind that when he screwed up the initial install, he did the same thing to me! He told me he was being laid off immediately after our bathroom was done and that he’d be unemployed, and asked if we would just take pity on him and not blame him for his screw-ups. My husband is having none of it.)

Husband: “Listen, your shoddy install job is causing water to leak downstairs and damage my house. Either you tell me what time you can be here tomorrow to fix this, or I’m going to have to call your boss again and let him know you’re refusing to come out. There is water pouring into my walls. This is not a minor issue!”

(I hate the “let me talk to your manager” threat, but this guy was being so ridiculous, I was at a loss for words. Lo and behold, the employee made the appointment, showed up on time, and fixed the issue… but then blamed us for “picking the wrong faucet” for the earlier install. When we asked him why he didn’t TELL us it was wrong for the job instead of just installing it, he had nothing to say. But he DID spend fifteen minutes telling my husband a completely different story about why he hadn’t come out the day before. We would have been perfectly fine rescheduling the appointment if the guy had just called and asked in the first place! So unprofessional.)

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The Mall Is Not A Time Machine

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2020

(I see one of my employees arrive but instead of coming into the store they go to the food court. They come to the store half an hour later.)

Me: “Why are you late? I saw you arrive half an hour ago.”

Employee: “My shift isn’t until 1:30!”

Me: “It was at 1:00!”

Employee: “Oh… Can you fix the log in so it says I came at 1:00?”

Me: “No, because you didn’t!”

Employee: “I was at the mall, though!”

Me: “Again, no!”

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Cowardly Corporate Can’t Cleans Crumbs

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2020

(I have just begun working at a privately-owned hotel for the summer; this incident occurs during my first week as a new front desk employee. The contract that guests sign upon arriving states, “Guests must inform the front desk of any problems in their room within thirty minutes of check-in to give us the opportunity to correct it. After thirty minutes have passed, no refunds or room changes will be given.” I check a guest, his wife, and their daughter into their room. Approximately twenty minutes later, the husband comes back to the front desk, furious.)

Guest: “My room is filthy!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I see that housekeeping noted that they’ve cleaned that room. I’ll go grab the cleaner in charge of that room and send him back up. It shouldn’t take long.”

Guest: “No, I don’t want to stay in that room; it’s filthy! I don’t want to stay here. Your prices are ridiculous. I want a refund; I’m leaving!”

Me: “Let me go speak to my manager.”

(I walk into the employee area behind the front desk and find one of the owners of the hotel in his office, which is within view and earshot of the angry guest. I explain the problem, including that the guest wants to leave right now so he isn’t just trying to get a free room for the night.)

Owner: “No refunds. Do not give him a refund. Switch him to the room next door, but do not upgrade his room or give him a refund.”

(I walk back to the front desk.)

Me: “Sir, I can switch you to another, clean room. It’s right next door to the one you have so that you don’t have to wait for the cleaners. Let me show you—”

Guest: “NO! I don’t want to see another room. The room you put my family into is filthy! All of your rooms are probably filthy. Your whole hotel is disgusting! I want a refund. Where is your manager? I want to speak to your manager!”

(I go back to the owner’s office.)

Me: “He wants to speak to a manager.”

Owner: “When you are on the front desk, you are the manager. I’m not going out there so he can yell at me; you deal with it. He can either move into the other room, wait for his room to be cleaned, or leave without a refund. He will not get a refund; I’m sick of people wanting refunds.”

(I went back out. The guest stood there for forty-five minutes, screaming at me — and later, other guests trying to check in — about how filthy the room was, demanding a refund and a manager every few minutes, before he decided to just dispute the charges on his credit card and stomped out. The guest, while rude, aggressive, and pigheaded may have been entitled to a refund under the ambiguous contract. When I checked the room, I found cracker crumbs in a corner that may have been missed by the vacuum or dropped by the guest’s daughter, though the room was otherwise clean. This story belongs in Not Always Working because the owner of the hotel sat in his office, watching and listening to this guest scream at a new employee for forty-five minutes through a cracked office door because of his own stinginess and cowardice.)

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The Biggest Tantrums Do Not Come From The Babies

, , , , , | Working | January 8, 2020

(When my daughter is sixteen months old, I fly to Vancouver with her to visit my parents. The two-and-a-half-hour flight there is fine, and the visit goes well. Then comes the flight home…)

Mum: “Here, [My Name].” *hands me a brand-new umbrella stroller*

Me: “Um, thanks, Mum, but we’re just about to leave for the airport; what am I supposed to do with this?”

Mum: “It’s all folded up, so you can put it in the overhead compartment, and then you can use it to take [Daughter] off the plane. I have a friend with grandchildren, and she says it’s a great idea.”

Me: “Well, okay. Thanks.”

(We drive to the airport, I get myself and my little girl checked in, and then the two of us get on the plane. I struggle to get the stroller into the overhead compartment. It takes a few minutes, but luckily – due to that rule that “passengers with small children are allowed to board first” – I don’t hold anyone up. I keep looking hopefully at the flight attendant, thinking that she might help me, but all she does is give me nasty looks. Oh, well, I guess she is busy. My daughter and I take our seats. She gets the window seat, and I get the middle, leaving the aisle seat unoccupied, until…)

Passenger: “What? Oh, no. This is unacceptable.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Passenger: *presses button for flight attendant*

Flight Attendant: “Yes, ma’am? How can I help you?”

Passenger: “I don’t want to sit next to a kid. You need to move me.”

Flight Attendant: “I’m so sorry, ma’am; this is a full flight. There’s nowhere to move you to.”

Passenger: “You can’t be serious. I have to sit next to that for two and a half hours?”

Flight Attendant: “I wish I could help, ma’am. I’m very sorry.”

Me: *thinking* “You know, I can hear you.”

(The flight begins. I thought I’d packed plenty of juice and milk for my daughter, but she gets extra thirsty and drinks everything I brought, and then she starts to fuss. I press the button for a flight attendant, but no one comes.)

Daughter: *whimpers*

Passenger: *glares*

(I press the button again, but still no one comes. My daughter starts to cry.)

Passenger: “UGH.”

Me: *presses the button repeatedly*

Flight Attendant:What? What do you want?”

Me: “Could I get some apple juice, please?”

Flight Attendant: “Fine. I’ll be a few minutes.” *turns to the woman again* “I asked around, just to be sure, ma’am, and there are no extra seats. Again, I am so sorry!”

Passenger: “Hmph.”

(My daughter eventually gets her juice and is a lot happier. The rest of the flight is fairly uneventful, aside from the fact that our seatmate is wearing shiny leather pants that my daughter finds irresistible. She keeps reaching across me to try to touch them, which – naturally – does NOT impress the woman one bit. She shrinks back from my little girl as though she has rabies. Have you ever spent two hours constantly pulling a small child’s hand back from something she’s dying to touch and telling her, “No!”? It gets tiring after a while. Finally, we land, and I get up to get our new stroller.)

Me: “Uh-oh – this thing is really hard to open.” *struggles*

Flight Attendant: “Ma’am, you need to get out of the way so that passengers can disembark.”

Me: *near tears* “I’m doing my best; can you help me?”

Flight Attendant: “No, I’m too busy. Hurry up.”

(I finally give up on the f****** stroller and carry it, my bag, and my little girl off the plane to where my husband is waiting.)

Husband: “How was your flight?”

Me: “You do not want to know.”

(I was so glad to get home!)

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