Cooking Up A Sweet Moment

, , , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2020

(At the particular place in the college cafeteria where I like to eat, you tell the person behind the counter what you want, and they circle it on an order pad and hang it up for the cooks to see. The people who write the orders also do the cooking if there aren’t very many coworkers on duty.)

Me: “I’d like a grilled cheese on wheat, please.”

(The cook hesitates and stares at the pad for at least a minute. The longer it goes on, the more panicked he begins to look. After a while, I decide to help him out and point to where “GRILLED CHEESE” is written.)

Cook: *circling my order* “Oh, thank you! One moment, please.”

(He hangs up the order for his coworker and comes back to wait for other kids. Since it’s before the lunch rush, though, I’m the only one there, and I decide to make small talk.)

Me: “Are you new?”

Cook: “Yeah, just started an hour ago.”

Me: “You looked kind of freaked out there.”

Cook: *sheepish* “I’ve heard stories from the others.”

(I can only imagine; just a few weeks ago, a girl threw a tantrum in the middle of the cafeteria because she couldn’t get a vegan grilled cheese sandwich, which this particular cafeteria does not offer.)

Me: “Vegan grilled cheese girl?”

Cook: “Among other things.”

(Now my sandwich is done, and I have to go.)

Me: *waving* “Well, good luck with the job!”

Cook: *waving back* “Thanks! I’m going to need it!”

(About a week later, I run into him during a slow hour; he’s the only one working the kitchen, so that means he both takes my order and makes my food. I order another grilled cheese sandwich before deciding to chat some more.)

Me: “You know what would be really cool? If you guys allowed the option to put vegetables or something on the sandwiches.”

Cook: *grins* “Yeah, that does sound pretty good.”

Me: “Anyway, how’s the job been?”

Cook: *peering at me* “Oh! You’re the girl from last week!”

Me: “Um, I guess so?”

Cook: “Okay, one moment, let me get your food ready.”

(After a few minutes, my sandwich is done.)

Me: “Thanks a lot!”

Cook: “Hey, no problem. It’s always nice to see a friendly face.”

(I took the sandwich and went back to my dorm to eat. When I unwrapped it and bit into it, I discovered that he’d put diced tomatoes and onions in it! Just that little gesture made me tear up a little bit. Thank you, whatever your name is! Your special sandwich was delicious and kept me smiling for the rest of the day!)

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Not A Very Rewarding Attitude  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(I have to stop by a local big box electronics store in the middle of the workday to grab some USB drives for our IT department. I typically don’t shop here, but the usual store is several miles out of the way. I quickly grab what I need and go up to the first open register, where the cashier in uniform is wearing a name tag which says, “In Training,” and there is a woman in civvies wearing a “Trainer” name tag.)

Trainee: “Welcome to [Big Box Store]. Did you find everything you need?”

Me: “Yup.”

Trainee: “And did you have our [rewards plan] card with you?”

Me: “Nope, don’t have one.”

Trainee: “Well, sir, would you like to sign up? It’s free and you earn points with every purchase.”

Me: “Not today, I’m in a hurry, thanks.”

Trainee: “It only takes a few minutes to sign you up, sir; are you sure you don’t want it? It costs nothing!”

Me: “Nope, not interested.” 

(Normally, I’d take a harder stance on saying no, but the dude is in training so I figure I’ll let him practice his spiel and let it go after the “three-peat” rule is satisfied.)

Trainee: “But you can use your rewards points to get [Branded Item #1] and [Branded Item #2], in addition to coupons.”

Me: “Seriously, not interested. Just ring me up because I’m in a hurry.”

Trainee: “Okay, sir, no problem let’s get you checked out.”

(As the trainee reaches to start ringing up my stuff, the trainer taps him on the shoulder.)

Trainer: *super condescendingly and more than loud enough for me to hear her* “No, he didn’t sign up for the [rewards plan] card. Let me show you how it’s done.”

(The trainer then steps up to the register to take over the transaction.)

Trainer: “Now, sir, I think maybe he didn’t explain that the plan is free and—”

Me: *cutting her off* “I heard three times. I know about the plan. I’m in a hurry and very clearly not interested. This is now a hard no, which means you stop and ring me out.”

Trainer: “Oh, sir, you really aren’t listening to what I’m telling you. I’m trying to help you! Now—”

Me: *cutting her off again, crescendo-ing my deep voice into a full blown roar* “I understood every d***ed word! Stop insulting my intelligence. I know the plan is free, I know what the points can be used for, and I’m not bloody well interested. And I’ve made it very clear that I am in a hurry and trying to get out of here. Now, either you step aside and let the polite gentleman—” *pointing at trainee* “—ring me up, or I will shout loudly enough for the store manager to come here and take my complaint about your piss-poor service. If you’re going to waste my time and belittle both me and the guy who was actually doing his job right, I might as well make sure my time is being wasted filing a complaint ABOUT YOU!”

Trainer: “Well, you’re a lost cause.” *to trainee* “He’s your problem now.” *walks over to meet a security guard from the entryway, who is now halfway to the register*

Trainee: “I’m really very sorry, sir.”

Me: “Dude, you did your job right. I could have been a jacka** up front, and I would have if you hadn’t stopped after the mandated three attempts. You were fine and following your training; we have no problem.” *actually manages to pay for my three products as the security guard gets to the register*

Security: “Sir, you can’t be in here causing a scene. You need to pay and leave.”

Me: “I just paid. I’d have paid sooner but the idiot behind you—” *pointing at trainer* “—refused to ring me up because I won’t sign up for [rewards plan] card. Also, she was super rude to me and to the guy she’s supposed to be training. If being upset over that is a problem, please call the store manager and pull the recording from the camera there on the wall.”

Security: “Uh… You want me to pull the audio and video? Sir, that will show exactly what happened. If you’re lying, I’ll have you banned.”

Me: “Please, pull it. Watch it with the store manager.” *hands over business card* “Here’s my contact info, so if you need to ban me after what you see and hear, please do so.”

Security: “Okay, sir, I’m going to pull the recording.”

Trainer: “No, not necessary; I think he’s learned his lesson!”

Me: “It is necessary. Tell the store manager I look forward to hearing from him. Now, I have other places to be.”

(I emailed a complaint to corporate and I did hear back from the store manager the next day with an apology for the way I was treated. He offered me a free membership in [rewards plan] and a $50 coupon to win back my business. I told him I was voting with my wallet and taking all future business to the local independent shop, instead. The big box place has since gone out of business. Can’t imagine why that location was underperforming.)

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Hopes They Can Someday Change

, , , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2020

I wasn’t here for this one but it was too funny not to share and my boss showed me the pictures.

It was closing one night and my boss was helping out some newish workers with closing, showing them the procedure to shut down the register and everything. 

We always start off the day with $300 in the till. Lots of coins, some 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s, a good variety to start off the day, you know?

So, after watching them count out the register and compare it to the totals in the system, he told them to leave $300 in the till for the morning. He then left them to it so he could finish out a few things himself, thinking the situation was in good hands.

The next morning he came in before closing and, like always, went to grab the deposit bag. But today he noticed that the deposit bag was very, very heavy and jingled a lot. After a second, he realized what may have happened but checked the till.

Sure enough, the till for the register was completely empty except for three 100 dollar bills. 

He had to take a picture of it; thankfully, he saw the humor in it, though he certainly didn’t enjoy sorting through all the coins. We did explain to the new workers that starting off the day with just three one-hundred-dollar bills is not a good idea.

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A Real Browser Wowser

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2019

(I work in a library.)

Customer: “Can you help me send an email through my IM?”

(“Here we go,” I think.)

Me:  “Let me take a look at your screen.”

(The customer has Yahoo IM up.)

Me: “You can’t send an email through an IM; you can do instant messaging and chat back and forth instantaneously on IM. Do you have an email address through the yahoo website?”

Customer: “I think so. I don’t know. I just want to send an email through my IM!”

Me: “Well, let’s open up a web browser and take a look. If you want to send a detailed message, an email through an email client is the best option.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “You can choose the icon that looks like an E, the swirling fox, or the colorful circle.”

(The customer clicks on Internet Explorer.)

Me: “Oh, you’ll need to double-click.”

Customer: “Double-click?”

(How did he open the IM?)

Me: “Oh, yes, you have to click twice, very quickly.”

(The customer gets it open after a couple of tries. To speed things along, I start pointing to where he needs to click.)

Me: “Okay, now you need to type in your username.”

Customer: “I think it’s [First Name][Last Name]@yahoo-dot-com.

Me: “Are you sure your password is right?”

Customer: “Yes. Maybe that’s not my name?”

(I hope he means username.)

Me: “Okay, a trick I like to try is to use nicknames, periods and underscores to figure out if your username is a different combination. People have so many usernames these days it’s hard to keep them apart.”

(We try several combinations. The customer starts to squirm.)

Me: “Let’s try to retrieve your username from Yahoo. What’s your alternate email address?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have another email address. Hey, maybe it’s with Google! I had a Google email a while ago.”

(So, we try accessing a Google account with various combinations of his name. Nothing works.)

Me: “I think your best option is to create a new email address and write it down right away.”

Customer: “I have to send my email! I am being hired at [Company] and I have to get into the email they sent me at the Yahoo address they set up for me.”

Me: “I see. The only thing you can do now is to call your employer or call Yahoo’s customer service. I’m sorry about that.”

(He wandered away with the number from Yahoo and I decided to avoid doing business with [Company].)

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The Difference Between Them Is Theatrically Large

, , , , , , | Working | December 26, 2019

I work as a stagehand in a theater that tends to have high turnover. A few months after getting hired, the technical director — my boss — leaves, and a new one is brought in. We get on right away, and as I am new to the industry he quickly becomes a mentor figure for me.

On one of our first shifts together, we have to stay late after a show to put up the orchestra shell. This is basically two side walls that we have to assemble piece by piece. To put it together, we need to screw the top layer together, hook it to the motors, lift it in the air, assemble the next row down, screw that to the top row, lift it in the air, and so on. I’ve only done it twice before, but the new technical director hasn’t done it at all, so he trusts my judgement on it.

There are two other guys he brought with him from his last theater. They’re not technically employed with us yet, but no one else can work tonight. These two men decide that my method is inadequate, despite never having done it themselves; they would rather lay all the pieces of the shell on the floor, screw them together, then attach the motors to the top of the shell and lift it up like a drawbridge. I have my doubts about this method, but they’re insistent, so we leave them to do their method while the technical director and I put our section together properly.

Lo and behold, we finish faster than the other guys, and the wall is safely constructed and secured. When the two men finish screwing the pieces together, they find that the motors don’t reach far enough to get to the top of the shell — which is lying flat on the stage — so we have to shove the assembled shell close enough to get the motors hooked up. Once they start to raise the shell, it looks at first like it will work… and then we hear the cracking. They don’t stop, though, and by the time the wall is up, there are significant cracks in the wood — thankfully not visible from the audience.

My boss commends me for sticking to my guns and doing things the right way, but it still bothers me that he allowed those men to do something he knew wouldn’t work and which ended up permanently damaging the shell. A few months later, one of the men leaves to go on tour and the other is fired for stealing equipment. The boss is fired less than a year after he starts for inappropriate use of budget funds, which severely sets the theater back financially after he leaves.

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