Unfiltered Story #158163

, , , | | Unfiltered | July 14, 2019

For a few months, I worked in a large middle-end retail company that has now closed down in Canada. While it was a horrible experience for my mental health, I am still proud of this little chain of events.

My manager would always forget anything related to the employees under him, short of our name, including me asking him weekly to give me a job other than greeter because it would cause me to have mental breakdowns, even while on the clock.

However, he could also not be bothered to remember he trained me on cash, which is not only constant human interaction but also money handling: my worst points.

He not only retrained me two times, but also forgot to get me to practice for more than a few minutes. I did not care to remind him since that would be a horrible position for me.

Come Black Friday time, he suddenly realized had completely screwed himself out of a cashier since I had no experience. By that time, I was now on the floor, where I did not burst into tears every few days, thanks to HR stepping in.

I was never this happy to be forgettable!

Starting A New Hire Fire

, , , , , , | | Working | June 7, 2019

I work at a dollar store. I once hired a girl who had a second job at a big box store. She seemed to have plenty of experience and was upset that her hours were drastically cut at the other store. I soon found out why. She was dumb as a brick.

Her first day of work, she shows up early, before I am there to unlock the door. I know this because my 12-year-old daughter gets a nasty call from her demanding someone unlock the door. No clue how she got the number or figured that was the one to call. Okay, moving on.

Once we are all inside and clocked in I start to explain what I want everyone doing before the store opens. I tell the new girl I want her to do some facing and start explaining what facing is. She interrupts me saying she works in retail and already knows what facing is. I’m taken aback, but I let it go and tell her to face the toy aisle for me and leave her to it. Fifteen minutes later, I come by to check her progress and find her in a different aisle trying to rearrange a section of hooks with product.

I ask her what she’s doing. She says she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be doing. I remind her that she was meant to be facing the toy aisle. She tells me she doesn’t know what that means; it’s only her first day. I spend nearly ten minutes explaining to her how to pull items forward on the shelves, how to fill empty spots and reorganize messy spots. She spends most of her shift looking at the toys, and eventually, I send her home early.

Next shift, I try her on cash and promptly get reports from staff and other customers that she is skipping scanning certain items when she knows the person she is ringing out. I wait around the cash until I hear her greet a friend and stand back to watch. I can see the items she is scanning from the customer side on the screen, as does the customer. Immediately, she starts putting things in bags without scanning or only scanning an item once if they bought two or more. The customer actually mentions it first; my cashier winks and says she did, in fact, scan it. I chime in that no, she didn’t. I can clearly see her screen and what has been scanned. She apparently had no idea there was even a screen on the other side.

Next shift, she is late and I can’t find a single task she is capable of doing alone. By this point, I am ready to let her go, but my district manager is in town and thinks she is “young and charming” and says to “give her a chance.”

My DM decides I am not giving her the benefit of the doubt and takes me to where the employee is. My DM presents her with a shopping cart full of returns that need to go back and asks her sweetly to “empty the basket for us.” Not five minutes later, we are walking through the store looking at planograms when we see an empty shopping cart next to a shelf piled with random merchandise, the same merchandise that we asked her to put away. The new girl is standing nearby looking — yes, just looking — at a section of wall. My DM calls her over and asks if she put this merchandise there. She replies that, yes, she was told to “empty the cart.” She says this as though we are the dumb ones and walks away, shaking her head. My boss stands with her mouth open, at a loss for words. She tells me give her until the end of the week. If there is no improvement, I’m to let her go

The next day is Sunday. We are only open from noon to five pm on Sundays and have a skeleton staff. I am off that day but I advise my weekend supervisor to have the new girl do some cleaning around the store. Surely she can’t screw up cleaning, right? Boy, was I wrong.

I come in the next morning. My weekend supervisor can’t look at me. My other employees look like they are excitedly waiting for something to happen. I am personally running late this day and the store is due to open in about 15 minutes.

My supervisor takes me aside and says, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize I would have to babysit her through her shift.” I ask what happened. He tells me someone called out sick and he got caught up on cash and left the new girl alone from eleven am until the store closed at five. He then takes me to the toy aisle. Keep in mind, it is Christmas season and most of our sales are toy items from this huge section. I turn the corner and almost pass out.

The entire toy section is in shambles. My new girl apparently decided that the toy aisle was in need of rearranging. Toys are all over the floor. Hooks filled with merchandise are on the floors and sitting on shelves. Some shelves were removed and are either leaning against other shelves or simply laying on the floor. Merchandise was moved to all random spots, some shoved in too tight, others with massive gaps between them. Shelves are on crooked, and hooks are overfilled with heavy items and on the verge of snapping off. The floor is littered with hooks, shelf brackets, ladders, empty toy packages, and a ton of random toys.

This section is huge. It is two full aisles, as well as a quarter of the back wall. She has managed to disrupt the entire section.

Apparently, at five pm, she simply stopped what she was doing and clocked out. By the time they found her mess, it was too late and there was no way they were going to get it reset in time to clock out.

I end up having to take three employees off their duties for that day and shut down the section to customers due to safety concerns. From nine am to six pm, we work on resetting the section and get it pretty much back to a normal state. By this time, all the staff has heard about what happened and even those not working come in to shop so they can get a glimpse of the new girl’s work.

I send pictures to my DM so she can understand why I am not in the office, why our sales are down that day, and why other tasks aren’t done. She tells me to fire the girl and promises to never interfere again if I feel my staff isn’t working out.

Strangely, the new girl can’t understand what she did wrong, and really is surprised to be let go. Now I know why her hours were cut at her other job.

Worst week on the job I’ve ever had.

A Big Screen Fail

, , , | Right | April 1, 2019

(I am working electronics and a man comes in asking about our TVs.)

Customer: “So, which one is your biggest?”

Me: “Which type did you want? We’ve got LCD—“

Customer: “Just the biggest.”

Me: *takes him over* “Well, this RCA is a bit clunky for a flat-screen, but it’s definitely the biggest one we have.”

Customer: “Great, I’ll take it.”

Me: “Okay, just give me a moment and I’ll have someone from maintenance to help get a boxed one from the back for you.”

(The guy working maintenance and I go to get the TV loaded onto a flat-bed trolley and he wheels it out for the customer.)

Customer: “Great! I’ve got some other stuff I want to get, so I’ll just bring that with me while I shop.” *goes to take the trolley*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but you have to pay for that here. We can’t allow electronics items out of the department without being paid for.”

Customer: “But I have other things I have to get!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. You have to either pay for it now or leave it here while you go get your other items and then we can have it brought to you at the front check-outs, but I can’t allow you to wheel it out without paying for it.”

(He instantly gets in my face, yelling about how this is terrible customer service, pointing at me threateningly, and telling me he’ll go elsewhere unless I let him wheel it out. This is setting off so many red flags for me, I stick to my guns.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir, but that is our policy and I can’t change it.”

Customer: “Fine! Then I’m never coming back!”

(He stares at me for a moment, as though hoping I’ll cave, but I just stare back, and then he turns and leaves. I don’t think he is out of earshot, but he keeps walking after I immediately turn to the maintenance guy and say:)

Me: “How much you want to bet he was going to try to steal it? Go get [Floor Manager].”

(While waiting for [Floor Manager], I immediately wrote down everything about the encounter, including a description of the guy, as best I could. I also phoned our other location across the river, as well as other stores in town that sell TVs, giving them a heads-up. In the end, I found out that the guy tried at another chain which I hadn’t thought of, because I didn’t know they sold TVs. He wasn’t successful there, either.)

Booked Yourself Into An Impossible Situation

, , , | Right | March 13, 2019

(I work the front desk at a hotel in a small but popular tourist city. About a fourth of our customers book through online sites which require payment up front and are almost always non-cancellable and non-refundable. While we can add special requests to the reservations — first floor requested, needs a cot, etc. — any changes must be made through the online site — change of date, change of room type, etc. One night I am working and we are sold out. All my check-ins have arrived and I’ve been turning away walk-ins all night. Just after 9:30, a couple walks in dragging a great deal of luggage, something that walk-in clients don’t normally do, and when they come to the front desk holding out a printed reservation confirmation I know things aren’t going to go smoothly.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to [Hotel]. Do you all have a reservation tonight?”

Customer #1: “Yes, we do! And we can’t wait to get in; we’ve been driving for nine hours. The name is [Customer #1].”

(I look her up in my arrivals list, but not only is she not there but, as I mentioned already, all my guests have arrived.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t seem to have a reservation for you tonight, and unfortunately, we are fully booked.”

Customer #1: “No… I have my reservation confirmation right here.”

(She hands me her printed confirmation and I see that she is booked for this day NEXT MONTH. I check the system for upcoming reservations and, sure enough, hers pops up for that date.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m terribly sorry, but your reservation if for this date next month.”

Customer #1: *feigning surprise* “Whaaat? How could that be? I’m sure I chose tonight’s date…”

(I look at the date the reservation was made; it was booked last night, long after we sold out for the weekend and closed down the room sales for online sites. I know at this point that she booked whatever date came up available and just figured we would check her in when she got here. Were not been sold out, I might have been able to help her, but this simply isn’t an option tonight.)

Me: “Well, I am sympathetic to your situation, but all of my rooms are sold for the next three days, and there are people currently in each of our rooms, so I have literally no wiggle room here.”

Customer #2: *the husband or boyfriend* “I can’t believe this; we’ve been driving for nine hours to get here and we have to be up early for a wedding. Do you have an out of order room or a dirty room or something we could just crash in?”

Me: “Sadly, no, but I wouldn’t be able to give you an out of order room even if there was one. I could lose my job.”

Customer #1: “I can’t believe you messed up our reservation like this! How do you intend to compensate us?”

Customer #2: “Babe, don’t worry about it. Look, I’m sure we can find another hotel nearby.”

Me: “Actually, sir, every hotel in the area is sold out. The closest hotel with vacancies is in [City], which is about four hours from here.”

Customer #1: “Are you serious?! I’m not driving another four hours because you people screwed up!”

Customer #2: “Babe, stop this…”

Me: “Look, how about I call [Website] for you to see if there is anything they can do?”

Customer: “Oh, do you guys have a special hotel number to call for hotel staff?”

Me: “Yes, we do. They may have to speak with you, just the same, but they usually answer quicker than on the customer line.”

Customer #1: “Oh, good, because when we tried to call to change the date nobody answered… uh, I mean…”

Me: “So, you were aware that your reservation wasn’t for today and you drove out here, anyway?”

Customer #1: “Oh, for goodness’ sake, just get us a room! It’s not my fault your website wasn’t working. I tried booking for today, but it wouldn’t let me! I had to keep changing the date until it worked! Your website was broken or something, and that’s not my fault!”

Me: “Ma’am, you couldn’t book for those dates because we were sold out. There were no more rooms to sell. If you booked for [date], then your reservation will be for that date, not any other night.”

(She starts crying and screaming at me, but the husband/boyfriend gets her to quiet down in under a minute and they go outside to their truck. A few minutes later the guy comes in alone.)

Customer #2: “Hey. Um, first of all, I wanted to apologize for her. This is actually the third time she’s done this, and the last two times they were able to get the date changed and check us in. I don’t think she fully understands how this business works.”

Me: “I understand. I’m really sorry there isn’t anything I can do, but you’re welcome to stay in the parking lot overnight, and you are free to use our guest bathroom overnight and the pool shower to freshen up in the morning.”

Customer #2: “I appreciate that, but we’re just going to head back home, I think. I simply can’t handle her public outbursts and crying. She is nearly thirty years old and yet acts like a spoiled child who always has to get her own way, you know? It’s gotten to the point that I don’t like taking her out in public because I know I’m probably going to have to come back in and apologize like I’m doing right now. I think it’s time to end things and move on. Thanks for your patience!”

(He then calmly shook my hand and walked out. I couldn’t believe he’d divulged so much personal information to a complete stranger, but I figured he must have been at his breaking point and just needed to talk. What an unusual night for me.)

Day Rate Berate

, , , | Right | March 13, 2019

(I am the front-desk manager at a hotel that is located across the street from the bus station and train station. I have been gone on maternity for just over a year and during that time we gained a new regular customer. This customer has been staying with us every six weeks during our down time — fall, winter, and spring — when we have very few bookings and can make special price arrangements to get people into the rooms. We are now in the middle of summer and we are sold out or close to it every night. I take a call from a customer. This conversation takes place in French.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]; this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, this is Mr. [Caller]. I’m going to need a room this Friday. I will be arriving around ten am on the bus and will be using the room only until around ten pm when my train comes in. They do this for me all the time and give me a discounted rate.”

Me: “Okay, Mr. [Caller], that’s not a problem. I can book that for you.”

(I get the information in the system, thank the customer for his business, and send off the confirmation. During our down time we can book a customer for zero days, which will automatically generate a price of about 50% off the down season rate, referred to as a day rate. In the summertime, our rates are about $20 more per night and the day rate is disabled. If a customer wants a room, they have to pay for the whole night regardless what time they leave. Since he is a regular, I do give him a significant discount, making the rate about $25 more than he normally would pay, and about $30 less than the normal rate. Within minutes I get another call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling—“

Caller: “It’s Mr. [Caller]. I just booked a room for the day, and the confirmation you sent is for a whole night.”

Me: “Oh! Mr. [Caller], hello! I apologize for the confusion. It will show in the system that you have the room for the night because during the summer we can’t do day rates. But I have noted that you will be leaving the room by ten pm and you have been booked at a discounted rate—“

Caller: “Argh! I wanted the room for the day, and I always pay [price $25 less], AND I WANT A F****** MANAGER NOW! MANAGER NOOOOW!”

Me: “Sir, I am a manager and I understand that—“

Caller: *literally screaming into the phone to the point that I can barely understand him* “I HAVE A COMPLAINT; I WANT A MANAGER!” *garbled speech* “F****** RATE!” *garbled speech* “WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU OR YOUR HOTEL!” *more garbled speech followed by a string of French swear words, and then he hangs up*

(While he is rambling on and on I change the reservation to reflect that he isn’t staying the night and resend the confirmation. Within about thirty seconds of hanging up he calls again.)

Caller: “You just sent me a new confirmation, but it’s still the wrong rate and I want NOTHING to do with your f****** hotel! Cancel it NOW!”

(Then, he hangs up again. I decide to give in and manually change the price to LESS than what he expected to pay, to try to avoid losing a regular. I call him back to try to smooth things over.)

Me: “Hello, Mr. [Caller]. This is [My Name] calling from [Hotel]. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve changed the rate to [price lower than he requested], and I will also give you a free upgrade to the jacuzzi suite so you can relax while you wait for your train. Again, I apologize for the confusion; our prices and policies are different during the summer and—“

Caller: “Argh, I want NOTHING to do with you or your f****** hotel! CANCEL IT, YOU B****! I AM DONE WITH YOU PEOPLE!” *followed by a string of French swear words and insults and other garbled speech*

Me: “Sir, SIR! I am cancelling your reservation. You are no longer welcome to stay here. Have a good night. I am ending this call now.”

(I hang up and immediately send out a note to all the staff, filling them in on the situation and advising them not to book him a room. About an hour later, just as I’m getting ready to leave, my colleague stops me:)

Colleague: “We’ve gotten an email from our online booking department regarding the customer in question. You have to see it.”

(I can’t help but laugh as I read it. It should be noted that there are only four hotels in our little town, and as we are the only hotel within walking distance to the bus and train stations, we are also the only hotel to offer day rates for bus and train passengers. This is a special arrangement that is made by the general manager and is only valid during slow times. This rate CANNOT be applied online and must be done directly through the hotel. Based on the email, the customer has tried unsuccessfully to book at the three other hotels, only to find that they not only are fully booked but would charge the full rate which is more than our full rate. He then tried to book online, only to find that he would have to pay the full rate. The end of the email reads as follows:)

Email: “The guest would like to apologize for the way he spoke to your staff and would like to know if he can still take the room and if it will still be the discounted rate you offered. He said he loves your hotel, despite what he said. Can you please contact the client by email or phone?”

(I laughed, called the customer — who didn’t answer — and left him a voicemail. I told him if he wanted the room he would have to call the hotel directly. He never did call, and on the day he’d planned to come stay with us, we saw him sitting outside the train station on a bench in the sweltering heat for most of the day. I would have gladly let him come in, if only he had asked. I guess he realized what an a** he had been and was too embarrassed to show his face. We never saw him at our hotel again, but we have seen him walking around the parking lot of the train station from time to time. Good for him.)

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