Needs To Reorient Your Hearing

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2019

(A new starter has been assigned to my team. I am trying to get him logged into our computer to process customers’ to-store deliveries, when the system refuses to let him log in. I recognise the error: he hasn’t started his shift yet — we use an electronic time-booking system that also prevents user accounts from being logged into unless they are on the clock. I advise him that he needs to clock in, and escort him to the machine in case he forgot where it is. He stops as we approach the staff door.)

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Starter: “I can’t go in there.”

Me: “Why not?”

Starter: “The gays are in there. [Manager] said I’m not allowed.”

(I have no idea what he’s talking about, but reassure him that he is, indeed, allowed beyond the threshold. He adamantly refuses to enter, and wants me to speak to the manager about it. I tell him he risks not being paid for his shift, which he accepts. I assign him to something not needing computer access and wait for the manager to come in. She is equally confused and speaks to the starter. She gives me this gem when she returns.)

Manager: “He apparently misheard me when I told him he had to be escorted in the admin office because the keys are in there.”

It’s A Gamble Working With Him

, , , , , | Working | January 12, 2019

(I am a long-term employee in a restaurant at a horse racing venue. The tables are arranged on tiers with huge windows facing the track, so people are there first and foremost to gamble and watch the races. We have a lot of employees coming and going, and as a supervisor, I always try to be friendly and initiate conversation with new staff if there is a quiet moment. This particular night I open with what I thought was a pretty generic question.)

Me: “So, are you interested in horse racing?”

New Coworker: “WHAT?! WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME THAT? I’M JUST HERE TO WORK!” *storms off in a huff*

Me: *speechless*

(Ten minutes later:)

New Coworker: “I’m sorry about earlier. I really do like horses. When I was younger I liked to draw them. They’re such beautiful animals…”

(He proceeds to talk about his affinity with horses while I stand, still quite horrified by his previous outburst, and now quite disturbed by his subsequent dramatic change in demeanour. I keep my distance from him from then on, until I see he has left his change float glass sitting on a table. We each carry a glass with $20 of change in it on our drinks tray so we can take customers’ money at the table, give them change, and then order and pay at the bar. It saves the customers going to the bar to order. I pick up his float, and when he comes back to the bar I take him aside to quietly explain why he can’t leave the cash unattended. He flips out! He starts yelling about how HIS customers would never steal from him, and then starts slamming half-full, dirty glasses into the clearing rack next to me. In the process, he manages to splash what we call “slops” — the gross leftovers from dirty glasses — over a nearby customer. He storms off again, and I apologise to the customer and help her clean up. At this point, I am quite frankly scared of the guy, and one of my bosses happens to walk past. In a workplace with a transient workforce and, quite frankly, not a lot of appreciation for workers, I do the only thing I can think of.)

Me: “[Boss], I’m sorry to leave you hanging, but I’m going to have to leave. [New Coworker] is acting unpredictably, with violent outbursts, and I don’t feel safe.”

Boss: “Why don’t you go on break and let me sort it out?”

(He fired the guy mid-shift, and I was later told that the guy waited by the front staff entrance until the staff left at the end of the night. I’m so thankful that I had parked by the back exit. I also found out later that he was a regular patron at the nearby casino, which might have explained his sensitivity to gambling questions.)

 

Needs To Work Harder At This Whole “Work” Thing

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2019

Recently we had an intern who was almost finished with his studies; all he needed to graduate was this internship.

On his first day, he arrived an hour late, but as it was his first day and he had a semi-acceptable excuse, we cut him some slack. He proceeded with his day by dashing his tasks off and browsing the Internet instead of telling us he was finished.

On his second day, he hadn’t arrived at 11:00 am; he was scheduled to start at 8:00 am. I told our boss, and he asked me to send him straight to him. He arrived mid-afternoon and our boss had a few words with him about his work ethic.

On the third day, he didn’t arrive at all. When I told our boss, he allowed me to call him. His explanation was — I wish I was kidding — “[Boss] told me if I come in late tomorrow again I’d better not come at all. So… see you tomorrow.”

He seemed genuinely confused that he was fired during that phone call. From his point of view, he just did what he was asked. I still feel sorry for him, as I’m not sure he was able to graduate after failing his internship. But, dear Lord in heaven, how can anyone be so oblivious that he doesn’t understand that working two to three, or even zero hours a day when you’re paid for eight is unacceptable?

The Couponator: The College Years

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2019

(In Slovenia we have student coupons; the government gives 2,63€ toward your meal as many times a month as there are working days in a month, up to twice a day, with a four-hour cooldown, between eight am and nine pm. The coupons are tied to your identity and phone number, which are confirmed by devices, kind of like the ones for paying with mobile phones, hence the term ”calling” for coupons. Since eating out with a coupon is often cheaper than cooking at home, students end up being the majority of customers in a lot of places. One day after work I go to a kebab place just down the street. It’s already 20:50, so I’m in a hurry to use my coupon since the price difference can be more than 5€ for a full meal.)

Me: *in Slovene* “Hi. I’d like to order with student coupons.”

Cashier: *English* “Huh? I don’t understand?”

Me: *English* “Student coupons?”

Cashier: “I don’t know how to do that. The guy who knows just stepped out. Would you mind waiting?”

Me: “No problem, but could I just call for coupons? It only works until nine pm.”

Cashier: “Sure. So, what do I do?”

Me: “I call—“ *pointing to the machine* “—and then you confirm my identity.”

Cashier: “Okay, do that.”

(I try but I see that it’s turned off. He has no idea how to turn it on, so I do it. When it comes to confirming my identity, however…)

Cashier: “So, what now?”

Me: “You look at my ID and hit confirm.”

Cashier: “Can’t you do it?”

Me: “Not really; it has to be you. I can’t confirm my own identity, can I?”

Cashier: “I guess that makes sense.” *hits confirm* “So, what would you like?”

Me: “Menu five, please.”

Cashier: “What comes with menu five?”

Me: “Kebab and fries, and since it’s a student meal it should have soup and salad, too.”

Cashier: “We don’t have any soup or salad.”

(They do; offering a menu with soup and salad is. a requirement for entering the program.)

Cashier: “But I guess I could make something. Uh, it looks like the other guy is not coming back. How much do you owe me?”

Me: *already regretting my decision to eat at this place* “3,30€.”

(Note that without student coupons a combo would cost 7,50€, so I could easily be trying to fleece him, but he doesn’t even question it.)

Cashier: “So, you give me 3.30€?”

Me: “Yes, and you give me a receipt.”

Cashier: “I only know how to do receipts for normal orders. Do you really need it?”

Me: “It’s the law that you have to give me a receipt and I have to take it. I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

Cashier: “Oh, right. But I don’t know how to do that for student coupons.”

Me: *trying to remember how these terminals worked from my old job* “There should be a button saying, ‘student meal,’ or something like that. They’re all the same price regardless of what is being ordered.”

Cashier: “I think I found it. It says 5,93€ for a student meal, but you said 3,30€. Am I doing this right?”

Me: “The government gives 2,63€, so I give you the rest. You should apply the student discount to the meal.”

Cashier: “I see. Sorry about. I’m new here, and I have no idea how the system works. I’m not from Slovenia; I just moved here a month ago.”

Me: “It’s all right. I’m just happy I got my food.”

(The food was all right, but I still don’t understand why would they leave an untrained worker to work alone without even an explanation of how the student coupon system works, especially when that is where most of your revenue comes from!)

Related:
The Couponator 10: Expiration Day
The Couponator 9: The Passive Aggression
The Couponator 8: The Fabric Of Reality

Won’t Lose Any Sleep About Letting Them Go

, , , , , , | Working | December 29, 2018

(Our store has a huge storage and dock area which is run very efficiently by one man. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, this man works as much as he can. It’s decided that we will employ another staff member to help him so that he won’t have to worry about the work falling behind, while he takes a couple of weeks off for more treatment. It’s not even the end of the first week when we need to get something from a storage area that only has two keys; the store manager has one, and the dockman has the other.)

Coworker #1: “Has anyone seen the new guy from the dock? I need to get into [room].”

Coworker #2: “No, haven’t seen him. Is he on a break?”

Me: “He shouldn’t be on a break yet; it’s not even ten am. I’ll let [Store Manager] know you need her to open the room.”

(I give the message to her and take over what she is doing. Not long later I see her walking to the front door with the new guy, who is carrying his bag, before she comes back to me.)

Store Manager: “Can you stay here until I can get someone else to come in? I have to work the dock today.”

Me: “What happened?”

Store Manager: “[New Guy] just quit, after I found him sound asleep in [room]. He thought he had the only key, and then he tried telling me that the job was too much for one person. I told him that if it’s not too much for a sixty-year-old man with cancer then it’s not too much work for a healthy twenty-year-old. He quit before I had the chance to fire him.”

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