This Problem Is Next To Nothing

, , , , , , , | Working | August 26, 2019

I’ve ordered a small fabric patch with the logo of my favourite band. The product ships from Germany — I live in Canada — and the only shipping option is expedited shipping through a well-known company. As such, my item should arrive in less than a week. 

I follow the tracking and my package gets from Germany to a centre in the US practically overnight and hangs there for several days with no updates. One evening, I see that it suddenly has a notice attached. No details are given, but there was some issue.

I call the local branch for the shipping company. They look into it and tell me the package arrived at their American facility empty. At this point I ask, was the parcel observed to be empty (i.e. through x-ray, if they even go through one) or was it simply weighed? The patch weighs next to nothing, after all.

They don’t give a straight answer, but chalk it up as a lost item and tell me to get in touch with the store. 

The store is very understanding and ships a new package at no additional cost. This one, thankfully, arrives. However, I am immediately concerned.

The box, which is hilariously large for what it contains — seriously, a small bubble mailer would have been more than sufficient — is only taped across a third of the openings at each end. Fearing the worst, I open it.

It looks empty! Crap. For whatever reason, I look closer and realize the patch is lodged under the flap at the other end, very close to falling out.

This band has several high-budget videos and an insanely involved live show, but their shop can’t spare an extra two cents of tape to ensure products aren’t lost? I’m glad it arrived the second time, and they handled it very well. It just could have been easily avoided.

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In This Argument, It Is Best That You Fold

, , , , | Right | August 23, 2019

(We used to have a slightly older woman working in our clothing department who everyone loved. She quit after years of working there because she had been doing it just for something to do and she finally got sick of horrible customers and even worse managers. She comes in one day a couple of months later and browses through our clothing department. The new girl spends about twenty minutes fixing a stack of shirts while another female customer watches her. After the new girl finishes that stack and goes to the next table, the female customer grabs a handful of the bottom of the stack. She knows these are all the same shirt because she has watched the girl fold the entire stack. She pulls them all out, toppling the entire stack, and then looks at the shirts in her hand for just a second before tossing them back onto the now-destroyed stack of clothes. The ex-employee sees this and goes off on the customer, in full-on mom mode.)

Ex-Employee: “What the h*** is the matter with you?! You watched this poor girl fold every single one of those shirts for almost half an hour and just destroyed them in a second! You go fix that mess you made! NOW!”

(The ex-employee makes such a huge fuss about it that every other customer within sight is staring at the female customer, who is now red as a beet. She grabs the whole stack and sets the ones that are still folded up straight and refolds every one that she messed up. It takes about another fifteen minutes for her to fix what she demolished, and then the ex-employee goes right back to being as pleasant as she ever is.)

Ex-Employee: “There! Was that really worth giving her that trouble? Wouldn’t it have been so much easier to just not screw with her? Maybe next time you’ll think before you act!”

(And with that, our ex-employee patted the customer’s shoulder and walked away with a little more pep in her step. Later, before she left, our ex-employee told me she’d wanted to do that for years and since she couldn’t get in trouble now it felt “so good!” to finally get to tell off someone who did that.)

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What A Douche!

, , , , | Right | August 23, 2019

(I am in high school, working as a cashier at a well-known superstore. One afternoon, we are a little slow and the front end manager decides to take me off my register and put me in the pharmacy section to face the shelves. I’ve made it around to the feminine hygiene section when a male customer who appears to be in his early thirties approaches me.)

Customer: “Do you know where this is?”

(He holds up a piece of paper up for me to read. Someone has sent him in for a douche product.)

Me: “Yes, sir. That’s on the shelf right behind you.”

(He turns to look at them and seems confused. He stares at the different types for a minute and then turns back toward me.)

Customer: “Which one do I get her?”

Me: “I really couldn’t tell you.”

(This is before everyone carries cell phones, so I can’t suggest he call her and find out.)

Customer: “You’re a girl. You should know about these things!”

Me: “I’ve never used it before, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you.”

Customer: “Just pick one for me.”

Me: “Does she want a scented one?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Just pick one.”

Me: “Okay. Here you go.”

(I reach down to grab the box labeled “original,” since he couldn’t answer the question about scented or unscented. I turn to hand it to him and he throws his hands up in the surrender position as if I’ve pointed a gun at him.)

Me: “This is what you’re looking for. You can take it to the register.”

(He’s still standing there with his hands up and begins shaking his head, refusing to grab the box of douche.)

Me: “Sir, I am not going to take this up to the register for you.”

(He continued to stare at the box for a few more seconds as if this box was going to physically harm him if he touched it. Finally, he gingerly took it by the corner between his thumb and forefinger, nearly dropping it. He carried it that way down the aisle and towards the front. I went back to facing the shelves, wondering at the immaturity of some men.)

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Reaching Multiple Breaking Points

, , , | Working | August 21, 2019

(In our country, there is a chain of warehouses that is notorious for hiring really inadequate people. Often it is jokingly said that to qualify for a job there you need to have no qualifications at all, or a master’s degree in rudeness and stupidity if you want to become a floor manager. Another remarkable thing is that they call their employees to have their lunch breaks over the PA system. You know when you hear, “Second party for break,” over the PA that some employees would literally drop everything and go to have their break. It doesn’t matter if they are shelving or helping people at the checkout; when that message comes and it is their turn, they walk off. My father is shopping in that shop for some trousers and he finds a pair. It is the last pair of that make on the rack, but it has some oil stains, so my father takes it to a floor manager to ask if they perhaps have more of these in stock. Before he can even say a thing, the floor manager snatches the trousers out of his hands, looks at them, and says:)

Floor Manager: “Yeah, we will exchange these for a pair without stains.”

(She goes into a storeroom, comes out with a new, clean pair, packs it in a bag, and gives it to my father. The PA system announces her break and she hurries off to go for a lunch break. No money changed hands; she didn’t even ask for a receipt or tell anyone else to help my father. So, my father walks off with a free pair of trousers. I have another experience in that shop. I am 18 and I have saved quite a bit of money doing all kinds of chores and jobs. This is when vinyl records are still the norm, and when you go into a booth to listen to a record before buying it. I select four albums and go to an employee to ask if I can hear them.)

Employee: *looks at me* “Do you even have the money to buy them, before I let you listen to them?”

Me: *shows her my money*

Employee: “I wonder how you managed to steal so much money.” 

(I don’t know how to respond to that, so I let it go and insist on hearing the records. At that moment the message, “Third party for break,” comes over the PA, and she is gone. Since all the employees seem to have a break, I am left alone on the floor. I use my time well and switch covers and records as fast as I can. A Beethoven record goes in a Beatles cover, Beatles record in a Rolling Stones cover, Rolling Stones in a Chopin cover, etc. I manage to switch quite a few records in the fifteen minutes I have. The employee returns and I go to listen to the records. That is: the employee will put on a record, let a song play for ten seconds, and skip to the next song. Finally, she has “played” all the records and when I come out of the booth she has already bagged them and she tells me the amount.)

Me: “Thanks. Now I know that I have enough money to buy these records in the shop next door. Bye.” 

(That’s when I discovered that she was a floor manager and she did have a master’s degree in rudeness.)

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Quiet Departure, Loud Reaction

, , , , , , | Learning | August 21, 2019

(In my two last high school science classes, I am notorious for sitting alone in the back corner at what is supposed to be the teacher’s desk, messing around on my laptop and blatantly not paying attention. But I take my textbook home, do the classwork there, and make 100s on all my tests, so the teacher doesn’t care. Other students aren’t doing so well with their grades. One day, I raise my hand and ask to go to the restroom; the teacher gives me permission but the other students don’t hear her. I walk out of the room.)

Student: *screaming* “Oh, my gosh. [My Name] sits back in the corner and never does any work in here, but we get in trouble if we’re talking or don’t pay attention for one second! She just gets up and leaves the room and you don’t even say anything!”

(The teacher found the outburst so funny she gave me permission to leave the room whenever I wanted without asking.)

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