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I Wanna Be The Very Best, Like [Employee #1] Never Was

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: DugFinn | September 27, 2021

My brother and I have been crazy into Pokémon since it came out. We basically grew up with it. When I was fifteen and he was thirteen, [Toy Store Chain] used to host official sponsored Pokémon League events each Saturday morning from 9:00 am to noon, and we always went. My brother and I even started showing up early to help the organizer — a designated [Toy Store] employee — in setting up. It was easy: go into the back employee-only room, grab tables, chairs, pens, promo cards to pass out, badges to award, and new badge books for the newcomers.

[Employee #1] didn’t know s*** about Pokémon, but my brother and I were super used to the League from when we attended at card shops, so we let him know what was what when he didn’t know what to do. He quickly just pushed more and more of the tasks onto me, and I was happy to take on the duties. Pretty soon, my brother and I were kind of running the event, and [Employee #1] would disappear for most of the three hours. No one seemed to notice or care though, since I was doing a great job and all the kids were having a great time. Also, I was d*** near unbeatable, and in the world of card games, that makes you the boss. That’s just how it works.

At one point, my brother and I noticed that [Employee #1] hadn’t shown up in about three weeks —not that we really cared. We just went into the back room by ourselves, carried the tables and chairs out, passed out the promo cards to each attendee, stamped their badge books, presided over matches, gave awards, etc. Then, at noon, we cleaned up, took the tables and chairs back, neatly stacked everything, and hung around until our mom came to pick us up.

So, on the third week after noticing that [Employee #1] hadn’t shown up, another employee found my brother and me as we were putting stuff away.

Employee #2: “Are you the ones that have been running the Pokémon thing for the last few weeks?”

Brother & Me: “Yes.”

The employee got an, “Oh, s***,” look on his face, like he wasn’t sure what to do now. He stood there thinking for a bit.

Employee #2: “How old are you?”

Me: “Fifteen.”

Employee #2: “Okay, don’t go anywhere.”

He left and came back and got basic information from me, like my name, address, etc. Bless my naive little heart, I answered everything. Then, we left.

The next Saturday was business as usual. The following Saturday, [Employee #2] showed up after we got done putting away all the stuff and handed me an envelope. Inside was a paycheck for like $130. It was back-pay for all the hours I had “worked.” It turned out that [Employee #2] was the manager and he’d been getting so many compliments from the parents about their “employee that ran the Pokémon League” that he’d been trying to find that employee for weeks, but all his employees kept saying, “It’s not me.”

Apparently, it was a complete mystery to everyone how the tables and chairs were being put out and being put back and who was actually running the event. Remember, my brother and I were just another pair of kids in a crowd of over twenty-five people aged six to thirty. As far as the [Toy Store] staff was concerned, it was a ghost running the events.

And that’s how I accidentally got my first job. I never found out what happened to [Employee #1], but I never saw him again. To this day — I’m thirty-eight now — I still have it in my resume that my first job was as a Pokémon Master. The strange thing is that not a SINGLE employer has ever questioned it.

By Asking Them To Push Buttons You’re Really Pushing Buttons

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2021

I work internal IT for a retail company. We have several stores, and a few of the stores do have restaurants and coffee bars included, as well. We’re phone support only, and while we do have a third-party company we use for onsite support, some stuff can be done by the users to help prevent the need for an onsite visit… if they’re willing to listen, which doesn’t always happen.

I get a call one day from a user at one of the restaurants saying their registers are having trouble. I reach out to the team that manages the back end of the registers and they ask for someone to reboot a server. The servers are labeled and everything, but there are only specific people who have access to the server room for security reasons.

I am talking to the user and one of the users who is authorized to get into the room.

Me: “Okay, the server is going to be labeled [Server]. There are three of them, but they’re all labeled.”

Authorized User: “Is someone from [Third-Party Support] going to come onsite?”

Me: “If needed, but if you can do this now, then you don’t have to wait.”

Authorized User: “I’m not going in there to push buttons and risk bringing everything down.”

Me: “All the servers are labeled. You just need to turn on [Server].”

Authorized User: “I understand, but in this store, I don’t push buttons without [Third-Party Support] say-so.”

Me: “We can try and get them out there, but this can be resolved without their involvement. You just need to turn on the server.”

Authorized User: “I will not be going into that room without [Third-Party Support].”

He apparently walks away at that point.

Other User: “So, he’s not going to go in. Can we get [Third-Party Support] to come out?”

Me: “Well, we can try and send a request, but it will be at least an hour before they can get there.”

Other User: “Oh. We open in less than an hour, though, so I don’t want to wait.”

Me: “If you can find [Authorized User #2], they should be able to get in. I’m not 100% on the exact layout because each room is slightly different, but it is labeled.”

Other User: “Yeah, thank you. Sorry he wasn’t willing to cooperate. I’m trying to locate [Authorized User #2], but it’ll take me a few minutes.”

Me: “No worries!”

It takes a few minutes and the user ends up in the sound closet by mistake, but we find [Authorized User #2] and they are able to get into the server room.

Authorized User #2: “Okay, I found the server!”

Me: “Awesome! Can you double-check if it feels hot to the touch before you turn it back on?”

Authorized User #2: “It’s a little warm, but not burning, and I just turned it back on.”

Me: “Thank you! One sec.”

I reach out to the team who asked for it to be rebooted and confirm they are seeing it come back up.

Me: “Okay, you guys should be good! They’re seeing the server come back up on the back end.”

Authorized User #2: “Great! Thank you for being patient with us!”

Other User: “Yes, thank you so much for waiting through that! Can I go check my registers really fast just to make sure they’re back up?”

Me: “Sure.”

The user gets back to his restaurant and verifies things are up.

Other User: “Thank you so much for sticking with me and getting these back up! So glad I didn’t have to wait for [Third-Party Support].”

Me: “No problem! Glad we were able to get this resolved for you!”

Other User: “Thank you so much! Have a great day!”

We ended the call and I wrote up and resolved my ticket for the issue. I found out later that someone at that specific store had pushed down a rule that the only people allowed in the server room were building services or [Third-Party Support].

Apparently, some people want to stick to that rule even if it means waiting an hour for a resolution. I do wish the first authorized user I talked to had actually said that was the reason, though, instead of just flat out refusing.

Even Chris Griffin Isn’t That Stupid

, , , , , | Learning | September 26, 2021

It’s the first day of classes, so we’re going over the syllabus.

Professor: “Now, here are my rules on using technology in class. I don’t mind y’all taking notes or whatever digitally as long as that’s actually what you’re doing and you aren’t being a distraction. A couple of years back, I caught one guy on his phone during an exam. The weird part was that he wasn’t even cheating. He was watching Family Guy! Good lord, can you imagine watching a TV show on your phone during an exam?! Or sitting next to someone that is?! Don’t be that guy, please.”

An Inattentive Attendant

, , , , , | Working | September 23, 2021

I go to the gas station and pull up at one of the pumps. It’s morning, and the gas station is empty. I get out of my car, run my card at the pump, select my fuel type, and put the nozzle in the gas tank. It clicks but nothing happens. The pump is clearly not running. I check the pump to make sure I actually selected the fuel type; yes, I did select the fuel type I wanted since that one is showing the price, whereas the other two are no longer showing the price. I try again; nothing comes out. I check to make sure my credit card was read by the machine; the screen does not indicate anything is wrong. I try to get the pump started a few more times, each time checking both the fuel screen and the payment screen to see if I missed a step. There is no sign indicating that the pump is out of order. Finally deciding that the problem may be the attendant failing to activate the pump, I finally go inside.

The attendant is standing at the counter, looking at me. Considering that I am the only customer at the station and the pump I used is in her direct line of vision, I am wondering why she would not activate the pump.

Me: “Hi, pump two appears to not be working, and I checked everything—”

Attendant: “Yes, there was a sign on there before, but someone took it down. It only works on Premium.”

There is a long pause after she speaks. I stare at her, waiting for her to offer further assistance. I am incredibly confused as to why she would not replace the sign or put a bag over the pump. By all appearances, she seems to have literally NOTHING to do, and there were no cars around when I pulled in. In the past, I’ve even had attendants alert me over the intercom if something was wrong with my pump or the card reader as I was using it. This particular attendant makes absolutely no move to help, and her response does not offer a solution, like suggesting that I move to a different pump.

Me: “Um… are all the pumps like that?”

Attendant: “You can move to pump four if you want to use Regular.”

I sputtered a bit because I was frustrated and trying very hard not to take it out on her, even though I felt like she did nothing to prevent the situation from happening and seemed to not be interested in helping further. I just walked out of the gas station, moved my car, and tried again with pump four, which works perfectly.

I kept looking at the broken pump; the attendant was not coming out with a sign. I went to my car to make my own sign since I felt like she was going to let this happen to everyone who came to that pump. However, the second I was done making my sign, she came out with a sign and put it on the pump. We both made eye contact for a long moment before she turned around and went back inside. I just got back in my car and drove to work, making a mental note to never to go to that gas station if I could avoid it.

A Negative Business Interaction

, , , , , | Working | September 20, 2021

I often have to get into the warehouse inventory to make sure we have the items we need when handling warranty replacements to send out to customers. My bosses and I mostly communicate via company IM as most of us work from home.

Me: “I’m going to assume that the inventory we have for coils is off.”

Boss: “Why do you say that?”

Me: “Because I don’t think we actually have negative thirteen thousand coils in there.”

My boss disappears for fifteen minutes.

Boss: “Well, that’s definitely off. We have some.”

Me: “Can I still put this sales order through?”

Boss: “Yes, I’ll deal with it.”

We currently are at negative fifteen thousand coils now. He claims he’s going to deal with it any day now.