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Customer Has ID, Cashier Has No Idea

, , , , , , | Working | February 24, 2023

I am a shift lead at my store, meaning I am responsible for training new cashiers and making sure they are up to standard.

Today, I have been asked to watch one of our newer cashiers. She seems like she is very competent, but there have apparently been some questions about her checking IDs.

So far, there have been no issues. She’s been polite, efficient, and generally on point. Then, it happens. A customer comes to pay, and their items include bottles of wine. The customer looks to be in their early twenties, so the policy says to check ID.

Cashier: “Can I please see your ID for the wine?”

Customer: *Fumbling for their ID* “Yeah, sure. It’s been a while since anyone’s asked me for that.”

The customer pulls out a card and shows it to the cashier. At once, I notice an issue, but I stay silent to let [Cashier] do her job.

[Cashier] glances at the card before pressing the “confirmed” button.

Cashier: “All right, thank you. You can insert your card when you’re ready.”

This is when I step in.

Me: “[Cashier]! Please take another look at that card.”

[Cashier] looks at the card again and realizes that the customer accidentally provided what looks like a work ID, with no birthrate or identifying information, instead of a government-issued ID.

The customer realizes their mistake.

Customer: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I must’ve stuck that card in the wrong place.”

They then provide their actual ID, which confirms that they are, in fact, old enough. I let the cashier finish the transaction but immediately tell her to close down and follow me to the office.

I grab the manager on duty and inform them of the situation.

Manager: “[Cashier], what were you doing? You clearly weren’t actually checking ID. Why?”

Cashier: “Well, I just figured that they must be telling the truth because they gave me an ID.”

Manager: “They didn’t give you an ID. You don’t seem to understand the consequences of selling to someone underage. This will be a write-up, and you’re going to have to be retrained. “

Cashier: “That’s not fair! I didn’t actually break the law, so you can’t punish me.”

Manager: “That certainly isn’t true. You have two choices: accept the write-up and retraining, or we let you go right now.”

She reluctantly accepted the former but was let go a few months later when this happened again.

Not The Kind Of Harsh Lesson You Expected To Learn

, , , , , , , , | Learning | February 19, 2023

At my primary school, the year fives and sixes got to go on a trip to this outdoorsy activity centre. We stayed for a week, sleeping inside where the bunk beds were since the trip was in late autumn.

As well as all the outdoorsy “fun” activities we got to do, every afternoon, we had an hour or so in a cabin-like classroom, and we could spend any money we had taken with us at the tuck shop. It was mostly just chocolate and sweets and stuff, but on Thursday — the last day since we went home on Friday — there were little souvenirs like a tiny teddy bear and a pen in the shape of an arrow.

We also had group chores. I don’t remember what all of the chores were, but in year six, my chore was to tidy the dinner hall after breakfast with four of my classmates.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, this was fine. We wiped the tables and vacuumed the floors and such.

Thursday morning, we did some of that. As I was getting the vacuum cleaner with the smiley face out of the cupboard, one of the classmates I shared this chore with approached me.

Classmate: “The teacher said we don’t have to vacuum today.”

Me: “We don’t?”

Classmate: “Nope. We can go now.”

I looked to see what the other three were doing, and they were waiting by the door, ready to leave.

Me: “Okay.”

And my poor, naive, ten-year-old self put the smiley vacuum back and left with the others.

As some of you may have already guessed, no teacher had said any such thing.

When we went to that hour in the cabin classroom that evening, the teacher started with an announcement. It went on for a while, but the gist of what she said was this:

Teacher: “[My Group] left the dinner hall in a right state. They should be ashamed of themselves. They’re all really selfish, expecting our kind hosts to clean up after them when everyone else has been doing their chores. As punishment, they will not be allowed to go to the tuck shop tonight.”

I was devastated. I thought of myself as a good student and hated getting in any kind of trouble. And, as far as I was aware at the time, I was in trouble when I hadn’t done anything wrong.

I’d also been saving my £5 all week (even though some of the other kids were able to spend that much on sweets each day) so I could get each of my sisters a teddy (and spend the change on sweets). And now, I was banned from the last day of the tuck shop. I was bawling.

One of the teaching assistants took me out of the classroom, probably because my crying would not help the other students focus on whatever they were supposed to be doing.

She calmed me down enough that I could explain why I thought I hadn’t done anything wrong. She explained that I had been lied to and that I should have finished doing the chore unless a teacher told me personally not to. Most importantly, to ten-year-old me at least, she said that if I gave her my £5 note, then she would go to the tuck shop for me to get my sisters their teddies.

I was still upset, but I accepted her offer and returned to the lesson. Later, out of view of the other students, she gave me two tiny teddies and my change.

I’m so glad she was so nice and understanding, even though I hadn’t done what I was supposed to.

Oh, NOW She Can Use Technology

, , , , | Right | February 16, 2023

A customer is looking for an item. We are allowed to use our phones on the floor to assist customers, so when I determine that our store does not have the item, I pull out my phone to look online.

Me: “It looks like we do not have that in any stores for fifty miles, but we can ship it to your house. Do you have a computer at home to order?”

Woman: “No. I don’t use technology.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Do you have a friend or family member who can—”

Woman: “Why can’t you just use your phone to do it?”

Me: “I can’t put your payment information on my account, ma’am.”

Woman: “Why?”

Me: “Because I would be putting your credit card on my account and—”

Woman: *Rolls her eyes* “I’m paying cash!

Me: “You can’t pay cash online.”

Woman: “No, I’m giving the cash to you and you can buy it. Don’t you get an employee discount or something? Use the extra to buy yourself a coffee or something.”

Me: “I’m not comfortable doing that, ma’am. I’m sorry, again, but—”

Woman: “This is age discrimination. I hope you know I will be reporting you to corporate and posting a one-star review on your website.”

Me: “Okay, ma’am. I am sorry I couldn’t help you more.”

She did report me and write an awful review, but it was deemed unreliable because it was the first review she’d ever written and eventually got buried.

There’s No (Meat) Countering Such Shocking Negligence

, , , , , , | Working | February 15, 2023

Back in the 1980s, I worked at a small-ish convenience store at the city center underground passageway. My job was to take care of the meat produce counter and cooler at the back of the store.

One morning, just after clocking in, I was leaning against the counter and felt a tingling sensation. Somewhat foolhardily, I pressed my thumb against the metal counter and my index finger (of the same hand) against a metal sink that was just about ten centimeters from the counter. Yep, I could feel a small electric current going through my hand. The counter was plugged into a grounded socket as it should be, so it was apparent that there was some internal problem with the counter electronics — and a risk of even fatal shock if that problem got worse.

So, of course, I mentioned it to the shift manager.

Shift Manager: “Oh, yeah, it has been like that for a while. Nobody has found what the problem is.”

And so, nothing happened. There was no replacement counter and no repairs. After a few days, I got tired of these small electric shocks I got every time I touched the counter and demanded to have at least a piece of wire. The shift manager got me a piece of old multiconductor cable that I taped between the counter and the sink with standard office sellotape. So, no shocks or tingling after that. But the counter was still faulty – but it kept its cool, so no problem for the managers.

The indifference of the management was just one of the reasons I quit just a week after. I didn’t visit the store for a couple of years, but when I finally did, I could see my sellotaped piece of cable still connecting the meat counter and the sink.

Don’t Breaker The Script!

, , , , , , | Working | February 15, 2023

A storm causes a tree to fall across the powerlines, tearing them completely off the building.

I call up the power company to report it and get a repair crew out. I am met with a woman who is obviously reading from a script and is very devoted to it.

Me: “A tree came down and tore the wires off my house, so I need a repair crew to come out and re-attach them.”

Call Center Agent: “Before we do that, go out and flip the main breaker on and off. That often fixes issues.”

Me: “That won’t do anything. The power lines are lying on the ground. They are no longer physically attached to the building.”

She keeps insisting I go and flip the breaker. I’m not getting anywhere, so I finally said I will. I put the phone down, wait a minute or two, and pick it up.

Me: “Didn’t work.”

Call Center Agent: “Okay, I guess we will have to send a crew out to try and find out what the problem is.”

I had a good laugh with the crew when they arrived. I told them about my call and said I really hoped they’d be able to figure out what was wrong.