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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Life On Hold

, , , | Working | January 7, 2020

(A coworker of mine is on two separate phone lines with two people: one is an employee from our other office and the other is a client of ours. They are collectively trying to solve an issue, and it’s taking quite a while. My coworker has been off and on hold with the client for almost twenty-five minutes. Finally, she switches the line back to the employee from the other office.)

Coworker: “Hey, [Employee], is it okay if I just give you a call back? I’ve been on hold with them for almost twenty-five minutes now and it might be easier to just get back in touch with you when they have something for me.”

Other Employee: “Could you not? There’s a lot going on over here at our office, and I just don’t want to deal with it.”

Coworker: “…”

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Color Us Blind For Hiring Him!  

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2020

I used to work in an abattoir/meat processing factory as an IT Infrastructure Engineer. I was first-line support, and although I was primarily responsible for desktop PCs, laptops, and servers, I did occasionally work alongside our factory IT support technicians, who maintained all the IT equipment used on the factory production lines.

Management once hired a young man who proved himself to be the most inept IT support technician any of us had ever had to work with. He was a really nice guy, in truth; it’s just a shame he was so inept and clueless when it came to his job. The problems with him all started during his first week on the job, when he announced that he was colour-blind. This wouldn’t have been an issue normally, except that he hadn’t bothered to disclose this information at interview, and since part of his job required him being able to do basic electrical wiring, you can see why colour-blindness would be a problem!

During his first few weeks, he nearly got the other factory technician in trouble. He couldn’t remember how to do something she had trained him to do, and instead of admitting that he couldn’t remember, he told our boss she hadn’t bothered to train him. Thankfully, our boss chose to believe her — backed up by my own testimony. We also discovered that our colleague didn’t believe in overtime, and at the end of his shifts he would drop what he was doing — sometimes literally — clock out and go home, even if he hadn’t finished his work. This nearly got our department into trouble once when he went home for the weekend having dismantled an important piece of factory equipment that was needed that evening. When our manager spoke to him about it, he did his usual trick of blaming us “for not telling him it was a business-critical machine.” The fact that most of the equipment on a production line is business-critical was lost on him.

His behaviour took a different turn when he got a new girlfriend. She had a daughter with her ex-boyfriend — whom she literally couldn’t stand — and used to use her powers of manipulation to bully our colleague into taking unauthorised absences from work to be with her and her daughter. These ranged from a couple of days off work “because of an ear infection” to getting his GP to sign him off work for “stress,” at a time which rather conveniently coincided with his girlfriend’s daughter’s school holidays. I suppose we technically shouldn’t blame him for these as he claimed he was only trying to keep her happy. He later got her pregnant and spent the next few months complaining about how he wasn’t ready to be a father.

Our manager eventually left the company, but not before warning his replacement about our colleague. A few days after the new manager arrived, we came into work to discover that our colleague had handed in his notice and was now leaving in four weeks. Or so we thought! At around 10:00 am that morning, he took a mysterious phone call to his work phone, said, “Okay, yep, I’m coming now,” and walked out. He was later seen sneaking round the far side of our premises, trying to avoid the perimeter CCTV cameras. He took with him a lot of company property, including his uniform. Our bosses decided it wasn’t worth pursuing this as theft and decided to write it off.

We were later told by the factory supervisors that he’d lied to them about “how much we all hated him” and that “we never trained him then blamed him for not knowing things.”

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The Daughter Of Doctor No

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2020

(I am asked to come in for an interview at a thrift store and to ask for the manager. I go in and the only employee I see is a twenty-something-year-old girl, with heavy makeup and jewelry, and hair skinned back in a long ponytail. She’s checking out a customer, so I patiently wait until they’re done and then I approach.)

Me: “Hello, can I speak with the manager?”

Girl: *smirking and shaking her head* “No.”

Me: “No? I’m here for an interview.”

Girl: *smirk widens and shakes her head again* “No.”

(Nonplussed, I looked around for another employee, but there was none. Feeling spooked, I decided to leave. A few days later, there was another ad for a job there. Good luck with Miss No there!)

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