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This Is What Happens When Managers Don’t Manage

, , , , , , , | Working | October 1, 2021

My first job was as a bagger for a local grocery store. I started working there before I was sixteen, and labor laws only allowed kids under sixteen to work until 6:00 pm on weekdays and 8:00 pm on weekends during the school year. Also, we could not exceed four hours a workday during the weekdays and eight hours on weekend days. The store policy allowed a fifteen-minute paid break for every three hours of work and a thirty-minute unpaid break if the workday was seven hours or longer; a seven- to eight-hour day meant two paid fifteen-minute breaks and one unpaid thirty-minute break.

The store manager had a bad habit of scheduling the high school kids to work 2.75 hours a day for weekday shifts. Because we didn’t work three hours, we didn’t get a break. On the weekends, he’d schedule the high school kids 5.75 hours. We’d only get one fifteen-minute paid break and we didn’t work long enough to get a lunch break or the second fifteen-minute paid break.

The store manager also had issues allowing people time off, even if they handed in a written request — per store policy — two weeks in advance. Many times we would be told no or called in to fill in.

Half of the staff were high school kids. Those that were sixteen and older could do other tasks, such as run a cash register, stock shelves, or assist in the deli or bakery. Under sixteen, we were stuck cleaning bathrooms or the back-room break area, doing general cleaning, or bagging groceries for customers.

I worked there for a little over a year, along with half a dozen friends and a few other high school kids. When I turned sixteen, I was moved to a cashier position and got to help stock now and then. I could now work until 10:00 pm on a school night and the same on weekends, and I could be scheduled a full eight hours any day of the week as long as it didn’t interfere with my school hours.

The manager never changed his ways, though. He kept scheduling high schoolers at 2.75-hour shifts or 5.75-hour shifts. My friends and I that worked there were fed up with working shifts long enough to not get a break or only one break in nearly six hours, so we brought up the issue with the store manager. He said he’d take it under consideration, but he never did.

So, we did what any group of kids of the same mindset would do. Ten of us put in our two-week notice. This left only two other high schoolers that didn’t want to join the group still working there. We also passed along the word at school for others not to work there because of the work hours, so the store manager couldn’t find any other kids to come in and work.

After my two-week notice was up, the store was so short-staffed that the management team had to take over all the cashier and bagger positions that were now unmanned, simply because the store manager didn’t want to have a heart and be kind to his high school employees. It took a good three or four months before they started finding people to help fill positions, so for those few months, the manager actually had to get up off his lazy behind and work.

So Funny We Forgot To Laugh

, , , , , | Working | October 1, 2021

My boyfriend and I had a fun date night out on a rare day we both had off. We went to a baseball game and then arrived at a casino for some more fun. We approached the bar to order a drink before going to play. My boyfriend is a police officer and I am a correctional officer.

Boyfriend: “Hello! Can I get a [beer]?”

Bartender: “Of course! Just let me check your ID.”

The bartender checks my boyfriend’s ID before asking me what I’d like. 

Me: “Could I have a [cider], please?”

I had my ID over automatically because, even though I’m in my mid-twenties, the majority of people joke that I look about sixteen. The bartender looks over my ID for a long time before telling me he won’t serve me.

Me: “I am old enough and it’s obviously my ID. What seems to be the issue?”

Bartender: “You have Interlock on your ID; no alcohol for you.”

Interlock is something put in vehicles for people who have had multiple DWIs. I have never gotten a speeding ticket, let alone a DWI, so I was instantly upset with the bartender. My boyfriend put a hand on my arm to remind me to cool off.

Me: “Sir, I am not trying to be rude, but I do not have Interlock on my ID and would just like a beverage.”

Bartender: “No, I can’t serve you. Here’s your ID.”

Me: “Are you—”

Boyfriend: “Sir, can you show me exactly where it states that on her ID?”

Bartender: “Well, it actually doesn’t. I just thought she looked too young and wanted to make a joke.”

I was silently fuming.

Boyfriend: “We will take the [beer] and [cider] now.”

The bartender finally gave us our drinks and snacks. I glared and made eye contact with him and he quickly looked away. He did not get a tip.

If I Had A Dollar Every Time I Heard That Joke

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

I’m shopping at a nationwide chain where everything is sold for one dollar. I grab the items I need and head to the checkout line. In front of me is a middle-aged couple with a completely full cart. As soon as this couple gets to the register, they start giggling to each other.

Female Customer: “Hey, can we get a price check on that?”

Cashier: “Oh, everything we sell is one dollar.”

Female Customer: “Okay, cool. Thanks!”

The cashier keeps scanning items while the man and woman giggle to each other. They start glancing back at us other customers in line, obviously expecting us to be laughing along with them, only to be met with bored or frustrated stares. But of course, they aren’t deterred, and a few items later…

Male Customer: “I think that [item] rang up wrong. Can you get a price check?”

Cashier: *Still oblivious* “Sir, I told you already; everything here is one dollar.”

Male Customer: “I just wanted to make sure.”

The customers keep giggling and whispering to themselves and looking at everyone else in line to see if they’re getting a reaction. And after a few more items…

Female Customer: “Hold on; can you have a manager check the price on that?”

The cashier has now caught on to their “joke” and silently keeps scanning items. However, another customer behind me shouts out:

Customer: “Shut the f*** up already! You made your lame-a** joke once. Just let the cashier do their job so we can all get out of here!”

The man and woman look completely shocked by this, and the woman responds.

Female Customer: “Geeze, we just like lame jokes. Sorry for trying to brighten everyone’s day with some humor!”

The cashier finally finishes ringing up their items, and they pay and leave, but the woman decides to get in one last “sting” on their way out the door.

Female Customer: “You all really need to chill. It’s just a lame joke. Learn to laugh!”

Non-Confrontational Coupons

, , , | Working | September 27, 2021

My parents and I decide to stop at a fast food restaurant on our way home one evening. We’ve eaten here before and had no real issues, but this night is slightly different.

We order, get drinks, and head to a table. There are a handful of other people in the building, already eating or finishing their meals. A couple of women have just finished ordering before us, but I don’t pay attention when they get their food. We wait a little longer than is probably normal, and my mom comments on it.

Me: “They probably have a lot of people in the drive-thru. They probably prioritize those first.”

We’re not mad or anything, just a little unused to this kind of wait time at a “fast” food establishment. A few minutes later, as my dad brings our food back to our table, a gentleman walks over and hands us coupons for a free meal.

Gentleman: “You shouldn’t have had to wait twelve minutes for your food. These are for you.”

After he walks away through an employees-only door, my mom says:

Mom: “I guess I complained a little too loud. I wasn’t upset; it was just weird.”

I’m not a confrontational kind of person, and I’m used to weird wait times for my food. The day before this, a “fast” sandwich place had been so busy it took them almost an hour to deliver my sandwich and I had an event to get to. But to be the only table (or one of two) in the building waiting for food for that long seemed a little excessive.

Thanks for the coupons, I guess?

A Negative Business Interaction

, , , , , | Working | September 20, 2021

I often have to get into the warehouse inventory to make sure we have the items we need when handling warranty replacements to send out to customers. My bosses and I mostly communicate via company IM as most of us work from home.

Me: “I’m going to assume that the inventory we have for coils is off.”

Boss: “Why do you say that?”

Me: “Because I don’t think we actually have negative thirteen thousand coils in there.”

My boss disappears for fifteen minutes.

Boss: “Well, that’s definitely off. We have some.”

Me: “Can I still put this sales order through?”

Boss: “Yes, I’ll deal with it.”

We currently are at negative fifteen thousand coils now. He claims he’s going to deal with it any day now.