Your Body Needs To Literally Eat Itself Before You Can Take A Break

, , , , , | Healthy Working | January 8, 2019

(I have Dermatomyositis. It’s a rather rare autoimmune disease, best simplified as: without medication, my immune system eats my muscle tissue. When the more worrying symptoms appear, my doctor has me go in for a rushed blood test — ten vials — first thing in the morning, and then tries to call me at work that afternoon after she gets the results. I am working at a store, on cash, ringing through customers, and I hear the service desk page the cash supervisor several times over the course of maybe a half-hour, telling her she has a call waiting on the line. I notice the frequency of the pages.)

Me: *thinking* “Wow, I hope she doesn’t have a family emergency.”

(At one point, the cash supervisor comes up to me while I’m in the middle of a transaction and tells me to turn my light off, then stands in front of my counter behind the customer to make sure no one else comes up to my till. Once the customer is rung through and out the door, she hands me a piece of paper with my doctor’s phone number and says I need to call her. My doctor wants to see me right away, which I explain to my supervisor, and she lets me go. I cab down to my doctor, and she tells me I most likely have Dermatomyositis — later confirmed by a muscle biopsy — gives me a prescription, and puts me on sick leave for six weeks, because she wants me to take it easy so that the damaged muscles can heal. All those times I had heard paging for my supervisor to pick up the phone over the course of a half-hour? That had been my doctor trying to get a hold of me, and it took a long time before my supervisor finally answered. Here’s roughly how the conversation went, according to my doctor:)

Doctor: “This is [Doctor], and I need to speak to [My Name].”

Supervisor: “Is this an emergency?”

Doctor: “I am a doctor wanting to speak to my patient. YES, it’s an emergency!”

Failed The Credit Check

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2019

(Our store has its own credit card. Every cashier has a target of getting one person to sign up for the credit card each shift. The cash supervisor gets on us if we go too long without getting any, and often uses a certain coworker as an example because she always gets multiple sign-ups per shift. I try everything, even paying close attention to the things this coworker says, and parroting them to my customers. And yet, I can never hit my company-mandated target of one per shift, let alone get the amount my coworker gets. One day, I am discussing this with another coworker, who has been “moved up” to working at the returns desk.)

Coworker: *rolling her eyes* “Oh, I know how she does it.”

Me: “Oh?”

Coworker: “I have had so many people come up to me wanting to cancel their credit cards because they thought she was signing them up for the points card. She offers them the credit card, and when they say no, offers the points card. If they say yes to that, then she uses the credit card form, instead.”

(I doubt this was legal, but the store was due to close in less than a year at that point, anyway. Makes me wonder if the supervisor knew but didn’t care, because it kept our numbers up.)

The Computer Lies!

, , , | Right | December 28, 2018

(Three days after Christmas, I’m re-shelving some of the multitudes of returns we got in that afternoon when a customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Can you help me? I’m looking for the massage and reflexology section in health and well-being.”

(A customer knowing the subsection is a minor miracle and a pleasant surprise.)

Me: “Sure! Right this way. It’s a little small, so it’s just this half-shelf at the bottom here. Let me know if you need a hand with anything else!”

Customer: “Actually, this is the title I’m looking for; I didn’t see it here.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll just go check on the kiosk to make sure we have some in stock, and if they might be in a different spot.”

Customer: “Oh, I looked it up on the computer already; it said you didn’t have any.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Then we don’t have any in the store right now.”

(I offered to help the customer put in a kiosk order, but the customer walked away from me.)

A Photo-Perfect Way To Embarrass Yourself

, , , , | Right | December 22, 2018

(I am the assistant manager of an electronics store; I am also a mobile specialist. A young woman, [Customer #1], comes in; she is wearing pajama pants and is clearly unwashed. She goes up to my colleague with some old headphones, claiming she had taken the extended warranty and that she wants a replacement. The woman doesn’t seem to know any of her information, making it difficult for my colleague to find the warranty and provide the proper replacement. The entire time she is there, she talks loudly, complains, and questions my colleague’s intelligence. She is very unpleasant overall. While she is there, a regular customer, [Customer #2], comes in. He is an older gentleman, in his 80s, but is very tech savvy.)

Me: “Hey, [Customer #2]! How are you doing today?”

Customer #2: “Oh, I can’t complain, except I might have done something stupid.”

Me: “And what might that be?”

Customer #2: “Well, I was playing around with my phone, and I managed to delete and remove the icon for my photo gallery, and now I can’t find my photos. I’ve done what I know to do, but now I’m stuck.”

Me: “Well, let’s have a look.”

(He already has the phone open to his widgets, so I go through the rest of his phone, checking every place imaginable for his photos. I’ve never seen this problem before, so I turn to my colleague, who is now finishing up with the loud woman. I explain the issue briefly and ask if there is something I might be missing. The entire time I am with [Customer #2], [Customer #1] is staring at me, smiling, and shaking her head. I can tell she wants to say something. She finally speaks.)

Customer #1: *speaking to [Customer #2] in a condescending tone* “Excuse me, sir. May I please see your phone?”

(He hesitantly hands her the phone. She grabs it from him and looks at me with a huge smile.)

Customer #1: *to me* “Sometimes you just need a professional.” *to [Customer #2]* “See, your photos are in your photo album. You just have to open your widgets and…”

(She sees that the icon for the album is missing, and she practically throws the phone at me.)

Customer #1: “Oh, well, they should be there, in the widgets.”

Me: “Yes, well, thank you for your help, but that was the first thing I checked. It’s kind of how we are trained.”

Customer #1: “Wow, okay. Wow, that was rude. Was that necessary? So rude. Oh, my God. Where is your manager?”

Customer #2: “You want a manager because you embarrassed yourself? You don’t need a manager; you need to shut your mouth and mind your own business.”

([Customer #1] just stares for a moment, and then storms out of the store. As she walks out, she turns to swear at me a few times. She ends up making a complaint to my boss, but nothing comes of it. I am next to my boss when she takes the call; while she does apologize, she laughs as soon as she hangs up the phone.)

Boss: “She claims to be a nurse. I find it unlikely, by her age and how she talks, but if she is a nurse, I’d love to go up to her when she’s having trouble doing a blood test and offer to help by telling her all she needs to do is find a vein. What a dunce. This is an electronics store, for God’s sake. What was she thinking?”

What’s The Deal?

, , , , , | Right | December 1, 2018

(As with most retail jobs, I have a few questions I have to ask each customer as I’m cashing them out. Some variation of this happens a few times per day.)

Me: “So, with your purchase today, you can get any of—”

Customer: *cutting me off* “I don’t want any; just let me pay.”

Me: “Okay but—”

Customer: “Just let me pay!” *forcibly inserts chip card into reader before it’s active*

Me: *cashes them out*

Customer: “Wait, what’s this $4.98 thing?”

Me: “It’s our purchase with purchase. With a purchase, you can get these items for $4.98 instead of their original listed prices.”

Customer: “Why didn’t you tell me about that?”

Me: “You said you weren’t interested.”

Customer: “Well, can I still get the deal?”

(Ah, yes, thank you for ignorantly dragging down my units per transaction and average sale amount, while also destroying percentage stats for every employee working that day and slowing down the line-up. I really want to do you a favour right now.)

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