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It’s The Season For No Seasoning

, , , , | Right | October 19, 2021

I work in the deli section of the supermarket. It’s connected with the butcher and fishmonger sections, so we cover each other’s breaks a lot. I’m covering the butcher counter when a middle-aged woman approaches the counter. I give her the stock greeting and ask what she needs.

Customer: “I need to make a complaint.”

Me: “Okay. The shop website has a complaint form, or you can fill one out at our help desk—”

Customer: *Interrupting me loudly* “Your chicken was terrible! It was bland and dry and awful. I demand my money back!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. There isn’t a till here, so you have to—”

Customer: *Interrupting me again, now almost shouting* “I can’t believe you won’t stand by your products!”

She continues to raise her voice at me, attracting the attention of a manager, who comes over. The manager takes her to one side and gets her to lower her voice to a more normal volume which means I cannot hear her anymore.

Eventually, the woman stomps off in a huff toward the front of the shop where the customer service desk is. The manager shakes his head and comes over to me.

Manager: “She bought a chicken three days ago from the chilled aisle. She didn’t season it at all and then cooked it for over four hours. Where do these people come from?!”

A Call-Back Attack

, , , , , | Right | October 4, 2021

I receive a call from a customer who is having trouble getting his car security system online. He describes an error code I have never heard of.

Me: “Give me about ten minutes to do some research and ask some ‘veteran’ tech coworkers that are known to make miracles happen. I’ll call you back.”

Right around the time I hang up, I look up to notice the department manager motioning me to come with her, as we need to discuss an unrelated pressing issue in her office.

About twenty minutes later after everything is sorted out, I return to my terminal to notice several messages from coworkers who are advising me about a customer calling them repeatedly and screaming that I had flat-out lied to him and said I would call him back but never did. Checking the profile of the customer I had spoken to earlier, I discover that it is indeed him, starting his tirade of phone calls exactly twelve minutes after our conversation had ended.

I receive an instant message from someone in the Spanish language department.

Coworker: “I have an English-speaking customer on the line and I’d like to transfer them to you.”

After I accept the call, the customer goes on a two-minute tirade.

Customer: “It was extremely rude of that other agent to transfer me to someone else!”

Probably because the agents on the Spanish line don’t speak English, idiot!

Customer: “This is the worst customer service I have ever experienced, and I am going to complain personally to the board of directors!”

The moron actually did perform some online sleuthing and somehow was able to find the email address for the company CEO, writing him a rambling email — which was intercepted by his assistant and simply directed to our department manager — and threatening to return his vehicle for a full refund if I was not fired by the end of the week for “blatantly lying to customers.” He further stated that he wanted a copy of my termination letter as proof. 

The manager simply forwarded me the email with a note saying, “Thought you could use a good chuckle.”

Stress Is Bad For Your Health

, , , , , , | Working | September 30, 2021

I have avoided going to the doctors for ages, way before the health crisis, but I finally made an appointment for a physical consultation as I have been told I am high-risk. I am not at all worried, but they keep sending me messages!

I am there on time but there are two people in front of me and it takes me ten minutes to speak to a receptionist.

Receptionist: “You’re ten minutes late.”

I am irked by her facial expression and tone, not to mention having to wait because a man talked to another receptionist for at least ten minutes being told repeatedly, “They probably won’t do that for you.”

Me: “Why do you think that is?”

She’s taken aback.

Receptionist: *Mumbles* “I don’t know.”

Me: “I have been standing in the queue having to listen to some bloke wasting everyone’s time.”

She didn’t know how to deal with my lateness on the computer and turned to a colleague. I could hear them say that I would have to wait for the next available time or rebook.

I didn’t want to be there in the first place, so I swanned out, telling them as much.

I am not a patient person and especially not with people who blame the service user. I will delete their texts for a few months and rebook when I feel I have gathered sufficient patience to try again. 

That Could Have Been A Close Shave

, , , , , | Right | September 30, 2021

I work in the clothing section of a department store. A young woman exits the store through the doors near my section and the alarms go off. As there’s no guard present, I call to her to return, figuring we’ve missed one of the hard security tags we use to secure the clothing.

Back she comes into the store. She has no clothing, but she does have a £100+ electric shaver. We put small sticky security tags inside the boxes, which should be deactivated when sold, and again, I figure it has been missed.

Me: “Can I see your receipt?”

Customer: “I can’t find it.”

Me: “How did you pay?”

Customer: “Credit card.”

This is before chip and PIN, so it’s pretty easy to find out if someone has just paid by card; you go to the relevant till and look through the signed slips.

Me: “Which till did you use?”

Customer: “The one two floors up near the electric shavers.”

Me: “Please come with me so I can locate the proof of purchase.”

She complied. I opened the till and there were no corresponding slips; in fact, there were hardly any slips at all, as it isn’t exactly a busy section. She still insisted she’d bought it, but at that point, security was involved.

A few days later, I was told she had indeed been arrested for shoplifting.

I continue to boggle at the mistakes she made. She returned to the store; if she’d bolted when I called after her, I couldn’t have caught her. She claimed she paid by card, which was so easy to disprove. She willingly followed me to a section of the store that couldn’t be further away from the exits, so she couldn’t then make a run for it when it became obvious she’d tried to steal the item.

As a reward, I was given one of our store’s annual edition teddy bears.

‘Cause You’re An Intern, WA DA DA WAP WA DAAAAAA!

, , , , , , | Working | September 13, 2021

I recently graduated as a mature student. I am thirty-six but have always been somewhat baby-faced and so am often mistaken for being younger than I actually am. I manage to secure an internship at a company I used to work for prior to attending university but in a different department. I had left to attend university in order to switch careers.

A large part of my role is finding ways to improve our products, which sometimes means proposing new ways of doing things in other departments and asking for said departments’ input and cooperation.

Most of my coworkers are friendly and open to ideas and suggestions, and we get along great… except [Coworker #1]. She works as a supervisor in the same department I used to work in. I have no idea what I did, but she is always combative and hostile toward me. She’s fine with every other coworker except me for some reason. It’s important to note that [Coworker #1] did not work for the company when I worked there. She was hired sometime after I left.

During a meeting, I have to suggest some improvements and tweaks to [Coworker #1]’s department to help with a major change we are planning for one of our products. She doesn’t take it well. She tries to shoot down every proposal point I give her, saying things like, “That’s just not how it’s done,” or, “You can’t expect our department to do that.” Having worked in that department for years as a manager, my suggestions are always tailored to what her department can do. I should note it’s only MY proposals she is rejecting.

Eventually, we have to end the meeting. She says — obviously insincerely — that she will take what I’ve said “into consideration.”

We end the meeting. My manager says he’ll have a word with [Coworker #1]’s manager.

The next day, she storms up to my desk.

Me: “Oh, hi, [Coworker #1]. How can I—”

Coworker #1: “Who do you think you are, telling me how to run my department?”

Me: “That’s my job. We need everyone’s cooperation to—”

Coworker #1: “No. You’re an intern. You don’t get to tell anyone what to do. What do you know about having a real job? The classroom is nothing like the real world.”

Me: “Actually, I—”

Coworker #1: “Don’t you dare tell me how to do my job. You don’t know the first thing about it.”

Me: “Actually, I know a lot about [Department] because I used to work there. And not just work in it; I was a manager.”

Coworker #1: “Ugh. If you’re going to lie, at least make it believable.”

[Coworker #1] insults me a few more times about being some upstart student who doesn’t know her a*** from her elbow and then storms off again. 

The moment she leaves, I send my manager a message to let him know what happened. Her behaviour is reported to Human Resources, and she is disciplined and put on a warning. Thankfully, she is smart enough to leave me alone after that, but she is still combative in meetings, trying to shoot down every proposal I lay out more aggressively than before, but her manager overrides her.

Then, one day, I overhear her talking to [Coworker #2] in the break room.

Coworker #1: “I can’t believe they’re making us follow her stupid proposals. It’s not like she knows anything about [department].”

Coworker #2: “Oh, you mean [My Name]?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, didn’t you know? She used to run [department] for years. She left to go to university.”

[Coworker #1] went silent.

You’d think that, after that, [Coworker #1] would finally see the light and apologise for the way she treated me, or at least stop being so hostile, but she doubled down and continued to be combative toward me in meetings, and she started to question every little thing I did. When my internship ended, I was hired permanently in the research and development team, which is exactly where I wanted to be. [Coworker #1], however, became even more hostile until she eventually left to work somewhere else. I can’t say that I miss her.