I Have Surveyed The Problem, And The Problem Is The Surveyor

, , , | Working | March 4, 2020

(My husband and I recently got our ancient windows and doors replaced, bar one. Turns out the back door was measured wrong by the surveyor. The company rings me and tells me a surveyor will be round in a few days, and sure enough, he turns up today — the same surveyor from last time. Okay, fine, mistakes happen to the best of us, and he does admit as soon as he comes in that the mistake was his. I offer him a cuppa and he refuses. He then does a rudimentary remeasuring and explains how it was he came to mess up last time.)

Me: *nodding and smiling* “Can you remeasure so that we can have a door that fits?”

Surveyor: “Yes.”

(But then he starts explaining to me how, at a lower cost — Excuse me? We already paid most of it! — they could take out more of our framework, and fit the original, incorrect door in. I ask him to explain exactly what this would entail, and he starts spouting jargon at great length, showing me diagrams, and waving around a sample cross-section from his bag.)

Me: “I’m not a surveyor; I can’t read these diagrams. Could you show me what you mean?”

Surveyor: “Um, I’ll show you on the front door. That’ll be easier.”

Me: “Why? The door in question is right here. Show me what you mean on the actual door.”

Surveyor: “Oh, well…” *jargon jargon jargon*

Me: “I’m still not understanding you. Could you please tell me the difference between the method you’re suggesting and just having a door made that fits this frame, as was originally agreed?”

Surveyor: “It’s a difference of £140 to me. I’m going to get fined for this if the door’s remade.”

Me: *taken aback* “Oh! Well, I’m genuinely sorry about how this will affect you. But we ordered what we ordered, and we’d like that delivered. Could you take the correct measurements, please?”

Surveyor: *fairly equably, to his credit* “Okay, then.”

(The surveyor then takes a jolly twenty minutes measuring this one door from every possible angle, and I stay in the kitchen, washing up while we chat in a friendly way about this and that. As he’s leaving, we’re still on friendly terms:)

Surveyor: “Well, we could’ve botched it, but if you’re prepared to wait a few more days…”

Me: *with a friendly smile* “Certainly, I am. That’s the way it goes sometimes, right? Well, goodbye. Take care of yourself.”

Me: *thinking* “I knew it! I knew your other solution was a botch job, I knew you were trying to fob me off, and I knew you were trying to guilt-trip me.”

(And that is the story of how I gained a little bit of self-confidence.)

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That’s A Lot Of Straws

, , , , , , , | Working | February 28, 2020

I worked in fast food for four years. When I began, I had a dream of moving through the ranks and on up to corporate like my parents and their friends did. I’d like to think I was one of the most helpful employees in that store.

For the brief few months they tested out “employee of the month,” I did get the award once. I took the undesirable shifts — opening the store on weekdays and late night on weekends — and I filled in whenever I could if an employee called out or asked me to take their shift. They trusted me enough to do bank runs, get merchandise from other stores, fill in at other stores, and basically be a fill-in-manager answering calls and doing refunds when the manager on duty was working in the back room. In the four years, I only went home sick once and called out sick once.

The one time I called out sick, I started feeling ill around 9:00 pm. I had a 5:00 am shift the next morning, so I wanted them to know right away I wasn’t going to be able to make it. I was still living at home with my parents at the time. Every one or two hours I would wake up, get sick, call the store — it was open 24 hours in the drive-thru — receive no answer after a few minutes of ringing, and go back to sleep. With all the commotion I made during the night, my dad would also try calling the store, but neither of us could get an answer.

Finally, at around 4:30 am, the overnight manager picked up. I explained that I was very sick and would not be able to make it in. She was very angry, yelling at me for calling out right before my shift when it was too late to call around for replacements. I explained that both my father and I had tried to call the store multiple times throughout the night, but nobody answered the phone. She insisted that the phone never rang once, and that she would write me up as a no-call no-show.

I later found out that the overnight crew likes to blast their heavy metal rock music over the speaker, so I’m thinking that’s why she didn’t hear it. As there wasn’t much I could do, I went back to sleep and recovered over the next day. About a month later, the overnight manager transferred to another store as their assistant manager, so I was a little happy I wouldn’t have to see her again.

Or so I thought. Our store manager retired — fun fact, she had also trained my dad when he was my age — and guess who came in to replace her? Yep, the overnight manager. I was hoping I was such an insignificant part in her career that she wouldn’t remember me, but unfortunately, she did.

I had been trying to be the best employee I could be. I was able to do just about every position successfully except maintenance and lunch/dinner grill (making the sandwiches). The previous store manager had recognized my ambition and skill and had me training to be a crew trainer — an extra $0.50 an hour, whoopee! — to then hopefully be a shift manager. The only part I needed to be signed off on was lunch/dinner grill.

There was a catch, though: I needed to work lunch/dinner grill with the store manager. I was scheduled almost exclusively for breakfast shifts, and on the odd week they scheduled me during dinner, I was only a cashier and the store manager wasn’t working then. So, for about a year and a half, I saw some newer, less experienced coworkers become crew trainers and shift managers while I never moved.

The last straw was when one coworker, in particular, was promoted to shift manager, even though she stood around on her phone all day when customers weren’t around, whereas I was constantly waiting on customers, making food and drinks, restocking, and cleaning. She had somehow gotten chummy with the store manager and was given preferential treatment despite the fact that when customers did come, she never wanted to take their orders or prepare anything and only wanted to bag the food and pass it along.

I was beginning to feel worn out and unappreciated, and I believed I was going nowhere. In the four years I worked there, I only made $0.75 an hour above minimum, where I started — and I had gotten the highest raises every period. I decided to take a week-long staycation. I still worked three other part-time jobs; I just wanted a week where I didn’t have to wake up at 3:30 am every day to work on my feet for eight hours to then go to the other jobs.

In the week leading up to my scheduled week off, I was talking to some of my coworkers and something clicked. I wanted to quit. I decided to turn my week off into my resignation. Word quickly spread, and my coworkers were coming up left and right hugging me goodbye and telling me how much they would miss me.

In a NotAlwaysWorking moment, I texted the assistant manager the news and asked if she had received my letter of resignation when, in fact, I had not written one. By that time, however, everyone already knew I was leaving, so it wasn’t a surprise to her. She said she didn’t have it but was sure it was just tossed by another manager. She wished me the best, and I turned in my uniform when I picked up my last paycheck. I haven’t looked back since.

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No Compliments For Your New Policy

, , , , | Working | February 27, 2020

I’m at a medical office, and I approach their front desk.

“How do I compliment an employee?”

Desk Representative:
“There should be a compliment card around somewhere.”

I wait expectantly, but the desk representative seems to be ignoring me.

“Could I have a compliment card, please?”

Desk Representative:
“Ask over there.”

I do, fill out the card, and return to the desk.

“Could you take care of this for me?”

Desk Representative:
“We’re not allowed to do that.”


Desk Representative:
“Policy has changed. We can’t take the cards anymore. Here’s the new policy.”

They handed me two printed pages, back and front, on how to file a complaint. That is how I ended up filing a formal complaint against the facility because they make it too hard to compliment good service!

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A Fountain Of Laziness

, , , , , , , , | Working | February 19, 2020

I work as a bartender in a busy bar and restaurant. The bar is set up two-sided; one side has all the beer and lager taps with the liquors as well as fountain drinks. The other is strictly fountain drinks as it is meant as a quick station for servers to get refills for people.

I get an order from the restaurant for about ten people, all fountain drinks but different because two of the party are diabetic. I start on the drinks, getting glasses and filling them with ice, generally doing them two at a time and placing them on a tray.

I am the only one working on the bar itself.

Every time I get another glass, I notice that my drinks order has gone. One by one, every soda on the tray has vanished.

The man who has ordered has his back turned and is in conversation, but none of his party have their drinks.

I start the process again, and with each new glass, the same thing happens.

Frustrated, I move my tray, collect all the glasses, and do all the drinks at once.

As I am moving across the bar to deliver what seems to be the most difficult order I have ever filled, one of the new servers stops me and tries to pluck a soda from my tray.

I give her a “WTF” face and she brazenly states that it is my job to pour her drinks and that her table needs the sodas.

It turns out that she has been stealing my drinks orders whilst my back was turned, with no regard for preference — diet, zero-calorie, etc. — and giving them to her tables.

I finish serving my now angry customer, apologise, and then have to explain to the waitress that she actually has to tell me what her tables are drinking so I can pour them, not just steal drinks from other customers.

I show her the fountain station on the other side of the bar, even though I personally watched her being trained on this.

She is soon let go when she is found doing the same thing on other shifts, too lazy to get her own drinks for customers or to write orders down.

That evening, I filled 25 glasses for an original order of ten. The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

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Sales On Vulcan: Infinite Savings In Infinite Combinations

, , , , , | Right | February 17, 2020

(I work for a company that primarily sells its products online. We just had a 20% off sale that ran for a few days. It has been over for a week when I get this call.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “You guys never run any sales! Why don’t you run any sales?”

Me: “Well, we just finished up a 20% off sale last week and run sales all the time. Did you miss our emails and advertising about that sale?”

Customer: “No, I saw them, but 20% is nothing!”

(I take a moment to see what she normally orders and it looks like she would have saved about $25.00 on her regular order. I, of course, let her know this and let her know about upcoming sales.)

Customer: “Wait… You’re saying I could have saved $25.00? Why didn’t you tell me that when you sent the email for the sale?”

Me: “We did, in fact. The email said it was a 20% off sale.”

Customer: “But how am I supposed to figure out how much that is?”

Me: “Well, an easy way would have been to estimate your normal order at $100. 20% of that would be $20, so you know that you would have saved more than $20 on the purchase. In this case, it would have been about $25.”

Customer: “You should just put exactly how much I am going to save in the email!”

Me: “We could, but as every order is different, the amount saved will also be different.”

Customer: “Well, how am I supposed to figure that out? I don’t have a computer to figure that out!”

Me: “Do you have a calculator?”

Customer: “I don’t have that, either!”

(That’s when she hung up in anger, and when I got up to make some coffee and shake my head.)

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