A Complainspiracy

, , , , | Right Working | April 9, 2020

(I work for a well-known novelty store. Customers call the store to complain to the managers after their “horrible store experience.” We even get calls an hour after we open in the morning claiming they were just in ten minutes ago, even though no one has been in yet. We also have a manager who has issues with all the other females she works with so she never believes us.)

Manager: *answering phone* “Thank you for calling [Store]. This is [Manager]. How may I help you?”

Customer: *loud enough for me to hear while I am ringing up a customer* “I was just in five minutes ago and the employee in the tie-dye shirt was following me around the back of the store like a stalker! I wasn’t stealing! She was so close I could feel her breath on me! I want her written up!”

(I am thinking to myself that I’ve been at the front of the store my whole shift because it’s where I was assigned. Besides the customer I am ringing up, we haven’t had a customer in the store in for over an hour, so I’m not sure what they were talking about.)

Manager: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. I will speak to her and correct her!” *sets down the phone and has a smug smile on her face* “[My Name], you can’t follow customers around the store like that! You will be written up or let go if I get any more calls!”

(She is only an assistant manager and can’t fire me.)

Me: “I was in the front the whole time greeting. You were assigned to the back.” 

Manager: *getting angry with me now* “The customer wouldn’t lie!” 

(I just dropped it and finished my shift. This happened quite a few times; sometimes I answered the phone when the complaints were made and it seemed to be the same voice every time. The complaints always seemed to be about me or the other two female sales associates but never anyone else. When I eventually became a manager and my manager left, the complaints about the female employees decreased.)

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There Should Be A Scan Ban

, , , , , | Right | April 8, 2020

(About a year ago, the supermarket company I work for “updated” how coupons are processed on the tills system. Whilst it meant coupons couldn’t be reused, it also meant that the system would only accept internal coupons and wouldn’t accept external vouchers. I think this was in part to stop people just manually couponing off the value of the coupon without reading the terms and conditions, but it also means that we spend a lot of our time refusing coupons and annoying people.

Plus, the ability to manually coupon off a voucher still exists; it just requires a supervisor’s code most of the time. As a supervisor myself, if a coupon is £2 or less, I will still manually coupon it off as it stops people complaining and getting more in goodwill. It’s a slow day on checkouts, and I notice a woman scanning a LOT of coupons on a self-scan machine. I go over as she finishes.)

Me: “Hi! You have a lot of coupons, I see! It’s going to ask for a colleague to verify them in a moment, so if I could just have a look and check that they’re okay?”

(The woman stands aside:)

Customer: “Yeah, sorry there’s so many. It just kept letting me scan them so I figured it’d accept them! One of them has [Competitor]’s name on it, though, so I’m not sure about that.”

Me: “Oh, well, the system lets you scan them all but asks for verification at the end from us. I’m afraid it has rejected all of them. If I could just have a look at the coupons?”

(I print out a mid-transaction receipt and realise that this customer has scanned about forty coupons amounting to the value of £48. I go over each voucher. Twelve of the vouchers were for [Competitor], and literally every single other one states it can only be used once per customer, for a few different particular baby products.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can only accept three of these coupons, since you have the corresponding products. The others you will have to take back.”

Customer: *cheerily* “Oh, that’s okay! I guess I’ll try them elsewhere!”

(I manually couponed off the three coupons, which amounted to £5, and handed the rest back to her. When I told my manager about it later, she was shocked that somebody would try to redeem so many at once. We both agreed that the woman probably hoped the system would automatically accept them and had probably had them rejected at [Competitor] to begin with!)

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Federal Bureau Of Inaccuracy

, , , , | Right | April 7, 2020

(I work in the service department for a big box store. We have a customer who wants to ask questions about our services.)

Customer: “I think I have a virus and I need it off but I have very important work on my computer. I work for the government, specifically the FBI, and I want to make sure my work is safe. Can you save my data, too?”

(The man looks to be in his fifties, he’s wearing ratty clothes, and he has a decent amount of stubble on his face — not at all what you expect from an FBI agent or employee.)

Coworker: “Yes, we can back up your data and make sure it’s free of the virus.”

Customer: “It’s very important that you can’t see the files that I’m working on as it transfers.”

Me: “We can only see file names.”

Customer: “Then don’t look at those. My work is very secretive.”

Me: “Sir, if your work is that much of a secret, does the FBI not have an IT group or vetted group that can work on this for you?”

Customer: “No, nothing like that.”

Me: “Well, we will be glad to try and help you. To do this it will be [cost].”

Customer: “That seems steep.”

Coworker: “But if it’s for the good of the country, then…?”

(My coworker lays that on pretty heavily as neither one of us believes this guy’s story.)

Customer: “I’ll be back with my computer.”

(He leaves and our supervisor walks out from another area where he could see and hear the conversation we had but wasn’t easily seen.)

Supervisor: “Just an FYI, he doesn’t work for the FBI and we’ve worked on his computer before. He is embarrassed by his massive collection of gay… you know. Enjoy the viruses on that thing when it comes in.”

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Learn From This, Readers

, , , , , , | Working | April 3, 2020

A few years ago, I was working two part-time jobs in different companies: one as a receptionist in an office and one in a CD/DVD store. One day, our area manager came into the store with forms for us all to sign. She explained that it was not a big deal, just some “dumb government thing,” and we needed to sign it, and once we did, we’d get a $50 bonus in our next pay “for our trouble.” This sounded pretty good to us; all of us were struggling with low wages and an extra $50 would make life a little easier.

It was extremely long, with pages and pages of complicated jargon I couldn’t make heads or tails of. Then, in bold at the bottom, written in plain English, was a line about the extra $50 in our next pay if we signed. My area manager hovered over me the whole time I was reading, literally standing in my personal space, arms folded, huffing and sighing and checking her watch.

Something didn’t feel right, so I told her I was going to take it home and read it properly. She didn’t like that one bit. She complained that I was making her life difficult, that everyone else had already done it, why did I have to cause such a fuss, the company was being so generous, and it would be rude for me not to get it back ASAP, etc. I dug my heels in and took it home. 

I showed it to my parents and friends, and none of them could make any sense of it, either. I took it to my office job and asked if the HR manager could look over it for me.

She did, and she was furious. She boiled it down for me: the company had been caught underpaying its employees and was now supposed to pay back the wages we were owed. The form we were asked to sign was basically us forfeiting our rights to claim that money, in exchange for a $50 “bonus”.

I called my area manager and told her that I wasn’t signing and I wanted my backpay.

Even though I had only worked for the company for a few months, I was entitled to over $800 in wages. My coworkers were devastated when I told them; they had signed without reading, took the managers at their word, and had probably missed out on a few thousand dollars.

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Some People Just Want To Watch The Dessert Burn

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(In the restaurant where I work, there are only two tables that will sit a group larger than four. A large group approaches the host stand while I am literally in the process of cleaning the only available group table, so they wait, at max, five minutes for it to be clean. They are then promptly seated.

It is a fairly busy lunch so there is a bit of a wait for food, but nothing unreasonable. When I do quality checks and refills, everything seems fine until the end. While clearing the dishes:)

Me: “Any dessert or coffee today?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, then, just the bill?”

Customer: “No.”

(I halfheartedly laugh, as this is a lame joke I’ve heard before. When I bring the bill, they crumple it up and throw it on the table, which I find odd and think that it’s a weird way to joke. I honestly have no idea they are upset; I’m usually very good at reading my customers and am sympathetic when they get slow or bad service. 

I leave to let them look over the bill and get the payment terminal. I notice at one end of the table someone has put down some money and the customer who crumpled up the bill took it. I figured they just decided to pay credit, instead. I return with the payment terminal and begin processing their payment when:)

Customer: “This is the worst service I have ever received!”

(I am completely caught off-guard as everything seemed fine and they didn’t complain once throughout the meal.)

Me: “I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do to fix it?”

Customer: “We waited twenty minutes to be seated!”

(They waited five.)

Customer: “No one brought my son a highchair.”

(The kid was in a highchair when I first greeted the table, so obviously, someone did, and fairly quickly because we have to greet tables within two minutes of being sat.)

Customer: “We waited over an hour for our food!”

(They waited twenty to thirty minutes.)

Customer: “And you never once brought us refills!”

Me: “Actually, I did bring refills to your table.”

(She just ignored me every time I came to the table and asked.)

Me: “And I apologize about the wait times, but it has been a fairly busy lunch. Would you like to speak to my manager?”

Customer: “No! But we will never be dining here again!”

(And with that, she stormed off, of course leaving no tip. I then realized the money that had been left on the other side of the table was meant to be my tip from the sane people at the table who actually paid attention when I asked how everything was and if they wanted refills, and she had stolen it.

I was so mad. My manager could see and asked me what was wrong, so I explained the whole situation. It’s a good thing I did, because the customer called later and tried to complain about me.)

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