It’s A Trap!

, , , , | Working | January 12, 2021

When I am sixteen, I get my first job busing tables and washing dishes in a restaurant during summer break. At the beginning of the summer, shortly after I start working, my family plans a week-long vacation later in the summer. I ask my boss if I can have that week off, and he tells me to write my request down on the Requests Calendar. I do so, let him know that I’ve written in the dates, and don’t think anything about it until the next day when my boss tracks me down.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name]. I see you requested [vacation dates] off on the calendar?”

Me: “Yeah, I did. Did I do something wrong?”

Boss: “No, it looks okay. But in the future, you should only use pencil on the calendar; pen ink tends to smear, so it gets hard to read sometimes.”

Me: “Oh, I wasn’t told about that. There wasn’t a pencil or anything by the calendar, so I just grabbed the first thing I could find to write with.”

Boss: “That’s fine. Just make sure you find a pencil next time.”

Fast forward a few weeks. The week before my family vacation, my mom schedules a dentist appointment for me for the week after we get back. Remembering my boss’s instructions, I find a pencil and write in my request for the day of my appointment on the calendar.

My vacation comes and goes, and the day of my dentist appointment arrives. I’m sitting in the dentist chair and my phone starts ringing in my pocket. Obviously, I don’t answer it. Immediately after, it rings again… and then again… and then again. Finally, after the fourth call, it stops ringing.

After my appointment, I check my phone and see that every call was from my boss. I get back to the waiting room, and my mom asks me if I made sure to request the day off work; apparently, my boss had called her, too, trying to find out why I wasn’t at work.

When I get to work the next day, my boss tries to chew me out for skipping work. I insist that I requested the day off and walk over to the calendar to prove it to him. I find the day in question… and see very clear evidence of pencil eraser.

Yep. My boss erased my request. Some of my coworkers later told me he was known for doing that, which was why he insisted that everybody wrote their requests in pencil. Everybody else had learned to take pictures of the calendar as proof, but nobody told me that. Luckily, the new school year started soon after and I was able to leave that job. I found a better job with a much better boss the next summer.

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Call From The Grinch On Line Two

, , , , , , , | Working | December 25, 2020

My first real job is at a local boutique which, at the time — the mid-1980s — is still a fairly busy, mostly decent chain. The store is divided up into areas designated by number. When we need an employee from a department somewhere, we do an overhead page using the area numbers: “Area #1 Girlswear to register #3,” for example.

When we page Area #2 seasonal, we normally replace “seasonal” with the actual season. One really busy winter’s day, we need a price check on a Christmas ornament, so the page goes out.

Page: “Area #2 Christmas to register #4, please. Area #2 Christmas to register #4.”

But after a couple of minutes — it is REALLY busy, and no one from the floor is able to make it up to the registers without being grabbed by another customer — the customer at the register says that it is okay and she’ll pay the price that rang up. So, we cancel the first page with a second one.

Page: “Cancel Christmas, please. Cancel Christmas.”

I swear, the entire store packed with holiday shoppers fell silent for at least ten seconds. The laughter lasted a bit longer, with some of the customers at the registers fervently agreeing.

This story made the national internal newsletter for the [Boutique] chain.

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The Cat’s Out Of The Bag Now

, , , | Right | December 24, 2020

Our store fosters rescue cats available for adoption, usually only one at a time, and they are kept in large cages that are four feet high. Potential adopters can request to have them taken out to play with.

Customer: “I just love the cat! Can you take him out of the cage, please?”

Me: “Okay! I’ll just shut the door to the room.”

I let the cat out.

Customer: “Yeah, I really like this one! I’ll have to ask my roommates if I can adopt it!”

She proceeds to go on about her life and her roommates and cats. Finally, I put the cat back and she leaves.

Coworker: “Did you just help that blonde woman?”

Me: “Yeah, why?”

Coworker: “She’s the crazy lady who tried to walk out with a cat underneath her shirt!”

It was then that I was told all about how notorious this customer is.

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Grandpa’s Future’s So Bright He Needs Shades

, , , , | Related | December 3, 2020

My family has always been big dirt track racing fans, and we go to the races almost every weekend all summer long. My grandpa gets tired of dealing with the bright sun shining into our eyes when we’re sitting in the grandstand, so one day on our way to the races, he stops at a thrift store and picks up a small rain umbrella to block the sunlight.

The umbrella costs him about eighty cents, but he’s like a kid in a candy store bragging.

Grandpa: “I’ll be able to see and you won’t because of my shiny new umbrella!”

We get to the races and find seats toward the top of the grandstand. Everyone starts joking about how long my grandpa is going to wait before pulling out his umbrella, but he decides to wait until the first heat race starts.

After the practice lap sessions, the first race takes to the track in preparation for the green flag. With a flourish worthy of a Las Vegas magician, my grandpa pulls out his umbrella, unwraps the strap holding the canopy closed, raises the umbrella over his head, presses the button to open the canopy, and POP!

The entire canopy flies off the shaft. My grandpa is left holding the handle and the shaft as the canopy falls onto a group of guys about halfway down the grandstand.

My grandpa freezes as the other fans turn around to find out who threw an umbrella onto their heads. As the guys see my grandpa still holding the shaft over his head, they start to scream up the grandstand. The screaming attracts a lot of attention from other fans, and soon everybody is staring up at my grandpa.

In response, my grandpa slowly lowers the umbrella shaft in front of his face and pretends to hide behind it like a little kid hiding behind a tree.

The scene is so comical that everybody in the grandstand starts laughing, including the guys who were hit by grandpa’s rogue umbrella. Grandpa quickly offers to buy a round of beers for the guys, and the rest of the night is as enjoyable as ever.

Before the next race night, my grandpa invests in a pair of sunglasses and insists on getting a wraparound cord.

Grandpa: “…so the d*** things don’t fly off my face like that cheap umbrella!”

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You’ve Reached That Age And THAT Is The Worst Service You’ve Ever Received?

, , , , , | Right | November 24, 2020

At the end of every shift, we have to close our till and count the money to allow the next person to use the till. It takes all of ten minutes to do so.

It is midnight, and I am closing my till when an old man runs into the store and grabs something from the fridge and comes to the register where I am.

Me: “Hello, sir, I’m just finishing up closing my till and the next cashier will be with you in a few minutes.”

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

I am in slight disbelief and assume he must be joking.

Me: “Oh, haha, funny.”

Customer: “No this is the worst service I’ve ever received. I demand to be helped right now!”

Me: “Well, I have no money in the register, so I can’t help you right away. You need to be patient.”

Customer: “This is an outrage! You should be fired.”

I start to ignore him and talk to the other cashier waiting to take the till over for the night shift. Another customer lines up behind the old man.

Customer: *To [Next Customer]* “She has to switch over her till.”

Next Customer: “Oh, that’s fine. I can wait for a bit.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s because you’re young and have a long time to live.”

The next customer gives me a confused look.

Customer: “She’s taking away my remaining time by making me wait around in a gas station.”

I finish up switching over and get away from the counter as quickly as possible.

Customer: *Shouting* “I hope someone teaches that girl some manners and to never treat a paying customer like I was treated! How dare she act like that?!”

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