They’re Not Always Alt-Right

, , , , , , | Working | July 25, 2018

(I became a manager in the post office back in the early 1980s, and quickly gained a reputation with the union workers. One of the more memorable incidents that forged it came with a dispute between two women. One is tasked with loading the mailbags into the trucks. The other drives the loaded trucks and delivers the mail. The problem is simple: the loader consistently fails to load the mailbags when she is working with the driver. I call them both into my office to settle this, but only after doing a little of my own diligence. In this case, that means going over their history. Turns out both women are still on their 90 days; basically, the contract signed by both USPS and the union states that within the first 90 days of an employee’s term, management can let them go for any reason — downsizing, too many sick days, bad chemistry with the team, arrest, anything. The meeting goes as follows:)

Me: “So, [Loader], [Driver] tells me you’re not loading mail into her truck.”

Loader: “That’s right.”

Me: “Y-You don’t deny it?”

Loader: “No, I’m not loading mail for her. She can load her own mail! I don’t load mail for a [racial slur]!”

(The driver and I just sit there with our mouths agape for a moment. Thankfully, I gather myself together first.)

Me: “Pack up your stuff and get out. Don’t bother finishing up today. And don’t come back tomorrow, or ever again. Your racism just cost you your job.”

(Their reactions to my words make me thankful for two reasons. First, [Loader]’s look of pure shock and rage is amazing, but doesn’t extend beyond that; she packs up without a scene. Second, [Driver] doesn’t revel in it. Not then, not ever. I assume this is going to be the end of it, but then the next day rolls around. Just after I get in, [Loader] came into my office on the heels of a man. I happen to recognize this man as a union rep.)

Rep: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes. How can I help you?”

Rep: *pointing to [Loader]* “Is it true you fired [Loader] yesterday because of what she said about [Driver]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Rep: “You can’t do that. The union’s contract says you can’t fire her for what she said. She has to get her job back right now, or…”

Me: “No.”

Rep: “What?”

Me: “She’s not getting her job back.”

Rep: “The contract says…”

Me: “The contract also says, in black and white, that we can release any employee for any reason within the first 90 days of employment. She was still on her 90 days. I can fire her for whatever reason I want.”

Rep: “No, you can’t!”

Me: “Of course I can. ‘ANY! REASON!’ If you’ve got a problem, go over my head! Now get out of my office before I throw you out!”

(Both of them left, with the rep cursing every other word. Nothing ever came of their threats, so I assume either the union finally realized she had also confessed to allowing her bigotry to take priority over doing her job, or my superiors laughed them out of the building. Regardless, I noticed I got a lot more respect from my employees — including the union workers — after the rep walked out.)

We’re Beginning To Worry About That Dog

, , , , , | Right | July 25, 2018

(A customer comes in to purchase a dog license for the year. When told she needs $10.00, she goes into the following rant:)

Customer: “I need money for my dog license? Ohhh, nooooo! Ohhhh, noooo! I forgot about that! You know what? The food industry is killing us. Prices are through the roof. We can’t afford anything anymore. It used to be the food industry. Now it’s politics. Who needs the chema-caca-whata-toli-osis-ium that they put in the food? Right? Who needs that? You know Hillary is gay, right? Whether or not you want to believe it, she is gay. You can see it in her haircut and what she wears. I’m going to vote for either Bernie or Trump, but I don’t know which is the lesser of two evils. One of them is going to be president. I just hope they fix this country. The food industry is out of control. I have to go get money for my dog licenses.”

Don’t Talk About What? Exactly!

, , , , | Working | July 25, 2018

(This is the exchange during one of our employee meetings at the start of our shift.)

Manager: “Okay, everyone, so… something big happened over the weekend that affects our customers. We can’t talk about it right now, so don’t mention it to the customers. Just don’t talk about it in general.”

Coworker #1: “What are we not talking about?”

Manager: “Just don’t talk about it!”

Coworker #2: “How do we know what we’re not supposed to talk about if we don’t even know what it is?”

Manager: “Look. Just don’t talk about it and don’t mention it to the customers. Now get to work!” *walks off*

A Humorous Intermission Position

, , , , | Right | July 23, 2018

(I am ushering for a theatrical production that is two hours long with no intermission. I repeat the run time and “no intermission” to everyone as I tell them where their seats are, since it is a long show and I want to make sure everyone knows what they’re in for.)

Patron: *seated near where I am standing* “So, it’s one hour, two intermissions?”

Me: “Oh! No, no, it’s two hours—”

(I realize he’s kidding and has probably heard me say the info dozens of times by now, so I burst out laughing. A few minutes later, I start closing the doors so that the show can begin…)

Same Patron: “That was intermission, right?”

Me: *laughing* “Nope, still pre-show!”

(Then finally after the two -hour, no-intermission show, I open the doors to the theatre.)

Same Patron:Now it’s intermission?”

Me: *grinning* “Sure! This can be intermission!”

(It had been a stressful night for other reasons, so I really appreciated this patron lightening my mood!)

Unfiltered Story #116854

, , | Unfiltered | July 22, 2018

I work at a popular donut chain in this state in one of the very few without a drive thru. Most of the stores close at 8 have a drive thru open until midnight or later. I get a phone call 10 minutes before 8.

Caller: How late are you open till?

Me: Doors lock at 8.

The caller then promptly hangs up. As it’s getting close to closing I start going through the counts and moving most of the racks and pots to the cleaning station. At 8 i go and lock the doors and shut off the lights. 30 minutes later as I’m bringing the donuts to the dumpster I almost get taken out by an suv. The drivers get out and run to the door. I take a picture of them holding my watch up so the time can be seen and the people at the door because Im pretty sure this is going to be a complaint.

Driver: Are you f-ing kidding me! That b++ch said they were open! Why are the damned doors locked!

Passenger: This is an injustice! We’ll have her job with this one!

They hadn’t noticed me at the dumpster, not being quiet, and tore out of the parking lot. The next morning the owner is in the store and pulls me into this office.

Owner: So I heard you closed the store down early and laughed in a customer’s face while they were politely trying to ask you if they could just get a coffee and sandwich.

Me: That’s ridiculous.

Owner: The man said he called at 5 and asked if you were open and the showed up at 6 and you’d locked the doors in his face.

Me: First of all, the only call I got was at 7:50 and the people didn’t show up till 8:30, were making all sorts of noise, and being all sorts of rude.

Owner: Do you have any proof of that because at this point it’s your word against his.

I pulled up the picture I took showing my watch and the customers. The owner shrugged and I went to start my shift, without an apology, and I left 2 weeks later because if he wasn’t going to have my back in that situation or admit a customer could have been wrong I didn’t need that job.

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