Throwing Out Or Throwing Up?

, , , , | Working | September 17, 2018

(The cat food production line has started to reek, so when I have some downtime, I go through and find out that line workers have been just putting open, rotting, maggot-infested boxes of cat food under tables, maybe to hide them. I get a bin and some gloves and start throwing the opened and contaminated stuff into the bins. A new guy walks up to me.)

New Guy: “Are you just throwing those out?”

Me: “Yep.”

New Guy: “Can we take them?”

Me: *looking horrified* “What?!”

New Guy: “Well, if the company is throwing them out, can we take them?”

Me: “You don’t want them! Do you smell that? Do you see the things moving?”

New Guy: “Well, some look okay.”

Me: “They are contaminated. I’m throwing them into a special large trash can, which is locked… and now I know why.”

Retail Abhors A Vacuum

, , , , , | Working | September 5, 2018

(It’s the first week of my first job: a closing shift on a Friday.)

Supervisor: “Grab the vacuum from the back and clean the store while I close one of the registers.”

(You know how you vacuum your house? You methodically clean the entire floor, making sure to overlap so you get everything. Well, after about ten minutes of me cleaning and getting about ten feet, a coworker comes over to show me how you vacuum in retail.)

Coworker: “Only clean the big stuff. If it looks clean, it is clean. This should only take you ten minutes for the whole store.”

Me: *embarrassed* “Oh, I gotcha.”

(None of us realized how naive I was until that moment. They made sure to explain the tasks for me if I hadn’t done them before from then on.)

America: The Land Of The Litigated

, , , , , | Legal | August 30, 2018

(My boss is either from India or a first-generation US citizen, as are the manager and two other employees. Every few months we’ll have an Indian temp who is either saving up for their new life in the States, or just looking for work experience abroad. I’m working with one of the temps when she needs something from the cabinet under the open register.)

Me: “Careful, the drawer’s open.”

Temp: “I’ll sue.”

Me: *nodding* “Good, you understand how America works.”

Should Know EVERYTHING On Day One

, , , , | Right | August 13, 2018

(I am a high school student and I just got my first job ever in a music and movie store. It is my first day and all I have done so far is read the employee manuals. The next step in my training is to watch some training videos. I am doing this at a station with a little computer near the back of the store, because that is the only spot we have to do this. I am standing there with headphones on, watching the videos, when a customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Can you tell me where the country CDs are?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I just got hired. I am still in the middle of training.”

Customer: “Well, can you show me where the CDs are?”

Me: “I don’t know where anything is. I can’t help you.”

Customer: *getting angry and raising her voice* “Just show me where the CDs are.”

Me: “I don’t know. Maybe another employee can help you.”

(She then storms off and I go back to watching the videos. I don’t think much of it until some time later when the same customer comes back with my manager. She is angrier than before and yelling the whole time.)

Customer: “This is the employee who refused to help me and was rude to me. “

Manager: “Why didn’t you help her?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but like I said, I am still in training and don’t know where anything is yet. That’s why I said someone else would have been better able to help you.”  

Customer: “Well, you were the only employee I saw, so you should have helped me.”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry. I just wouldn’t have been much help.”

Customer: “That doesn’t matter. I am the customer and it is your job to help me. You won’t last long in this place.”

Manager: *to customer trying to calm her down* “I am sorry about this. I will make sure [My Name] doesn’t do something like this again. We’ve already helped you find your CD, so why don’t we go ring your things up? I will talk to [My Name].”

(The customer continued to yell about how I was a bad employee and didn’t deserve this job. She refused to calm down. The manager got her away from me as quickly as possible, and as soon as I was out of her sight she got calmer. Because of this, my manager didn’t kick her out, but let her purchase her things first before escorting her out of the store. Later my manager came over to me and apologized for my having to deal with such a customer on my first day. She also talked to me about how to better handle situations like that and told me to not take it personally. Thankfully, that one customer didn’t deter me from working there, and I had a great year and a half in that job until I left for college.)

New Should Mean Perfect

, , , | Right | July 30, 2018

(It’s my second day working in a hotel, and I answer a call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Hotel]. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hello. Room 100, Mr. [Guest].”

Me: “Uh, you would like to be transferred?”

Caller: “Yes. [Guest]. Room 100.”

Me: “Okay, just a moment.”

(After checking the computer, I hit the “transfer” button on the phone and type in the room number. But the buttons stick, and it gets transferred to a different room! Horrified, I look for my trainer, but he’s in the bathroom. Not knowing what else to do, I hang up. I figure the caller will call back, and she does.)

Same Caller: *tightly* “[Guest]. Room 100.”

Me: “Yes, I’m sorry about that, ma’am. Let me try again.”

(This time the correct room is rung, and I hang up. When my trainer comes over, I explain what happened.)

Trainer: “Oh, yeah, that phone’s been spilled on, so it sticks. Use this other phone.”

Me: “Oh, okay.”

(Much later, a man with a scowl beckons my trainer over.)

Guest: “My wife called me and she’s very upset! She said that SHE—” *nods to me* “—rang the wrong room and hung up on her!”

Trainer: “I’m very sorry about that, sir—”

Guest: “She’s very upset! What’re you going to do about it?!”

Trainer: “Again, I apologize. She’s new and—”

Guest: “I don’t care if she’s new! What does that have to do with it?!”

(My trainer apologized again for the mix-up, and I was taken aback that someone could be so mean. After all, I did apologize to the wife. I guess that when he was a newbie at his job, he never made a mistake! The next day, he complained that I didn’t greet him because I was busy with another guest. Some people.)

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