Taking The Mystery Out Of It

, , , , , , , | Working | January 18, 2018

(I’m training to be a salesperson for a mattress store. After we finish training, my district manager says this:)

District Manager: “So, before you go out on the floor, I want you to go into one of our stores and pretend to be a shopper.”

Me: “Like a mystery shopper?”

District Manager: “Exactly! See if they’re following the sales module like they’re supposed to and write it down on this paper.” *gives me a sheet*

(I go and, to be honest, I’m pretty excited because I’ve never been a mystery shopper and it sounds fun. I pretend to be interested in a buying a bed. There’s an old man working there, watching TV at a desk in the corner. He looks up and smiles but doesn’t get up.)

Me: “Hi, I’m looking for a bed.”

Old Man: “Yeah, you can try out beds if you like.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I leave and he says nothing. On my sheet, I write that he didn’t try out the sales module with me, and that he didn’t seem very interested. Under the question: “Do you think he passed or failed in trying to sell?” I put “Failed.” Skip forward a week, I am assigned a store to work in: the very same one that I went into! And there’s the same old man, still sitting at the desk, except not watching TV.)

District Manager: “[Old Man], this is [My Name]. She’s new.”

Old Man: “Hello!” *shakes my hand*

District Manager: “She came in here about a week ago. Do you remember her?”

Old Man: *smile fades* “Oh… Yeah!”

District Manager: “She pretended to be a shopper. And she says you failed!”

(The man shoots a look at me and I cringe. I didn’t expect to be put on the spot like this!)

District Manager: *scolding* “Yeah. She said that you were very uninterested in making a sale with her while she played a shopper! Do we have to train you again?”

Old Man: “Uh, no! I was… um… I thought she was a Muslim, and they’re very hoity-toity… Uh…” *flails*

(That’s the story of how I got stuck working with someone I had failed in sales. Needless to say, he was very cold with me and didn’t bother to help me when I had a questions. Things were so bad after that, I quit. I’m also not sure why he thought I was Muslim.)

Doesn’t Have Designs On Career Progression

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2018

(The head of my department is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, both on the same side, as a result of a serious car accident some years ago. Because of this, it’s easy to startle him if you approach him too quietly on that side, especially when he’s focused on his work. Most people learn this quickly, and we always say his name clearly when we approach him. We have just hired a new designer.)

Head Designer: “Just so you know, I can’t see or hear on this side of my body very well, so please make sure that I know you’re coming up to me. I really don’t like to be surprised.”

New Designer: “Okay.”

(Later, I happen to be in the break room with [Head Designer] while he is heating up his lunch. I am browsing the web on my phone, and out of the corner of my eye I see the new designer come in. I don’t think anything of it until I hear:)

New Designer: *on the head designer’s bad side* “BOO!”

(The head designer drops his water bottle in surprise, spilling water all over the floor.)

Me: *to the new designer* “Dude! Not cool!”

New Designer: “Sorry, I just wanted to see if it was true.”

(He then walks out, leaving the head designer and me to clean up the spill.)

Me: “Sorry, I had no idea he was going to do that. Otherwise, I would have said something.”

Head Designer: “Don’t worry about it. It won’t happen again.”

(And it didn’t. I never saw [New Designer] again after that.)

Pop Goes Their Job Prospects

, , , | Working | January 15, 2018

(I work in a school canteen. We have a new starter with us today. I induct them and set them to work. After a few minutes I hear the tell tail signs of chewing with your mouth open. I turn around and see him chewing gum.)

Me: “[New Starter], you aren’t allowed to chew gum on the job. As I said, not ten minutes ago, it’s unhygienic.”

New Starter: *stroppy* “Well, sorry!”

(I assume that’s the end of it and head out to the front to prepare the tables. I see our manager, who is rather stern and strict at the best of times, head into the kitchen. One of the shutters goes up almost immediately and she yells for me. I walk over.)

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Manager: *near shouting and turning red* “Is it true you told [New Starter] that he could chew gum?”

Me: “I most certainly did not! I told him specifically not to.”

(He shakes his head and the manager scrunches her eyes at the both of us. She’s about to speak when [Coworker] behind us speaks up.)

Coworker: “She’s right. I was there when she told him during his induction, and again when she caught him chewing.”

(We all looked at the new starter while he was in the process of blowing the largest bubble I had ever seen. It popped, and I could see bits of gum and saliva fly all over the counter. Our manager even wiped some of it from her lip. Not a good way to start your first day.)

Temp Agency Needs More “Training”

, , , , | Working | January 12, 2018

I’m employed through a temp agency, like almost everyone in the department I work in. This is easier for the company, since they can’t guarantee full time employment, due to the nature of the work. This morning, we expect a new temp, but she’s very late. Our supervisor decides to call the temp agency to ask where she is.

After the first call, we hear she’s on her way, but the agency doesn’t know why she is so extremely late, so they promise to call us back.

When the agency calls back, our supervisor tells us what happened. The new worker, who lives in The Hague — about 35 kilometers from the town the office is in — is on the train station, but says she can’t afford to buy a train ticket.

Everyone is amazed by the story. We all feel very sorry for the girl for not even being able to buy the train ticket, which would require about €20. However, a few of us are here with a car, so the idea comes to send one of us over to pick her up. Our supervisor calls the temp agency again to tell them the plan.

After the call, our supervisor tells us, “The plot thickens.” Why? “She’s in Groningen.” Yes, she is in a city in the far northeast of the country, from which she would have to travel about 3 hours to get here! On the morning of her first day with us…

Needless to say, the new girl didn’t need to come in anymore. And as our supervisor said: “No wonder she couldn’t afford the ticket.”

It’s A Very Bad Signs

, , , | Working | January 11, 2018

(We have a new starter on the closing shift.)

Me: “[Starter], could you bring the signs inside, please?”

Starter: “Signs?”

Me: “Please. And just leave them by the door.”

Starter: “Inside?”

Me: “Yes…”

Starter: *looks around* “Like, inside the shop?”

Me: “Yes…”

Starter: “So, bring the signs…”

Me: “Inside the shop. Can you do that?”

Starter: *blank stare*

Me: “Can you, or should I ask someone else?”

Starter: “I can do it. So, inside the…”

Me: “Shop.”

(I patted him on the back and started closing out the registers. By the end of the shift, we were all ready to leave, but I noticed the signs were still out. Instead of arguing I just did it myself, while the starter stared at me in disbelief. I don’t know what was so amazing to him, but I couldn’t help but laugh.)

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