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Say It Louder For The Spineless Managers At The Back: Stop… Rewarding… Bad… Behavior!

, , , , , , , | Right | June 30, 2023

I used to work at a dine-in theater, where you can order food, dessert, alcohol, concessions, etc., all in your seat through a server/waiter and a personal call button.

During the opening week of “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2”, I had a family of four sit down for their first experience at a DIT. I did my usual greeting and had a great conversation with them about what we do and basically explained the premise of the Dine-In Theater. The dad and mom seemed really nice and really excited to be there and get to order stuff. They took some time to look over the menus, and when I came back, they ordered some appetizers, entrees, and drinks.

We were trained to upsell on appetizers, certain entrees, and alcohol especially. I politely asked the mom if she wanted Grey Goose instead of the house vodka in her Cosmopolitan, and she agreed. The dad stuck to his Jack and Coke. I remember her saying something along the lines of, “Might as well go classy.”

Throughout the movie, they pressed the call button at least six or seven times, each time asking for a refill of her Cosmo and his J&C. Each time, I made sure to say, “You’re sure you want another one?” as company policy went when it comes to guests and alcohol. I should have noticed that they kept saying “refill”, though.

I dropped the check around the Snape memories scene and thought “all was well.” But, by the end of the movie, they were the only ones who hadn’t closed out the check yet.

The movie ended, and the family walked out of the theater. The dad was very angry.

Dad: *Yelling* “Why the h*** is this bill so high?!”

I looked it over.

Me: *Politely* “Sir, I don’t see anything wrong. What charges do you think are wrong?”

Dad: “You charged me for fourteen cocktails, and it should be just two! Those were free refills!”

He started yelling about how he thought the alcoholic drinks were free refills, since under the soft drinks section, there was a “free refills” clause. This idiot thought that meant, “OH, FREE ALCOHOL REFILLS, TOO!” and was now demanding to see my supervisor.

My chill supervisor came over and defused the situation by bulls***ting about how that happened to him his first time there, too, and the family walked away with four free movie vouchers.

The “extra” twelve cocktails got comped, and I got tipped zero on what should have been a $190 bill. I hate people.

They’re Sure Married To Not Protecting Their Staff

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 29, 2023

A man comes to the store every Friday morning, gets the same grocery items, and comes through my line. 

Week 1:

Man: “I was going to ask you to dinner, but I see that diamond on your hand.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m married.”

Man: “I don’t think you’re old enough for me, anyway. You don’t look it. But I could woo a younger woman.”

Me: *Uncomfortable* “Okay. Well, your total is [amount].”

Man: “But if you get divorced, you let me know.”

Me: “Have a nice day, sir.”

Week 2:

Man: “Still married?”

Me: “Yup.”

Man: “Still not having dinner with me?”

Me: “Nope.”

Man: “D***. One of these days, you will be divorced.”

Me: “I hope not. Your total is [amount].”

Man: “We’ll see. I didn’t think I’d be divorced, either.”

I tell management about him, but since he has accepted that I am married and hasn’t pressed to the point of causing a scene, they don’t do anything about it.

Week 3:

Man: “I drank a pot of coffee this morning and still forgot something.”

Me: “Oh.”

Man: “Don’t you want to know what it is?”

I shrug.

Man: “Your phone number! For when you get divorced, so I can be your first date.”

Me: “I’m not getting divorced. Your total is [amount].”

Man: “You’ll see.”

I go to management again, and they still refuse to do anything about it. All they can say is that if I am so uncomfortable, I can just put on my customer service smile and politely decline.

Week 4:

Man: “What’s this sale about?”

Me: “It’s buy two, get one on all [Brand] items.”

Man: “Oh. I don’t care about [Brand]. I’m fifty, and I’m divorced. I only care about one thing, and you’re still married, so I can’t get it from you.”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Man: “Unless you want to?”

Me: “No.”

Man: “Oh. Have you ever done coke?”

Me: “No. Your total is [amount].”

Man: “You’re missing out. Can I get your number yet?”

Me: “No.”

Man: “Someday you’ll change your mind.”

Me: “I won’t. Please leave.”

I told management again, and they still did nothing. It wasn’t until the man called the store and said I had been unprofessionally short with him that they suddenly cared about our interactions. I was given a verbal warning for my behavior, and I decided before the meeting was even over that I was not going back to that store after that.

You Don’t Protect Your Workers, You Don’t Protect Your Job

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | June 28, 2023

I work in a musical instrument store. We sell everything from keyboards to guitars, all kinds of drums from everywhere, and sheet music detailing how to play songs on random instruments. We are the go-to place for our city, and if you can’t find what you need on the first floor, try the second or third!

We have a Pervert Customer, disgustingly well known in these parts and identified by wearing an “I [Heart] Jesus” hat. Other employees have complained to my boss several times, but [Boss] refuses to ban him because he is technically a customer. I say “technically” because he’ll buy something as small and cheap as he can find as justification for being in the store in the first place and then uses it as carte blanche to be lewd.

One day, I make the mistake of greeting him like a normal customer before I spot the hat.

Me: “Hello! Welcome to [Music Store]! What are you looking for today?”

[Pervert Customer] immediately begins to preach to me.

Pervert Customer: “Jesus is life! Jesus is light! Jesus will save us all from our sins! Have you been saved yet? Give me your hand so I can call Jesus to you. Let Him come inside you and bless you with the holy milk of salvation!”

He continues on in this vein, becoming less and less subtle with his euphemisms, and I’m pretty sure a preacher would get in trouble if he tried this spiel in a church.

My professional smile is frozen on my face, and after several unsuccessful attempts, I finally turn his attention to the fact that he is in a music store and there are things to purchase. That’s when the switch is flipped and he goes full pervert.

Pervert Customer: “So, what instrument do you play? I bet you play the flute, right?”

Me: “Well, no, actually, I play the bassoon.”

Pervert Customer: *Leers* “Oh, so, like, a bigger instrument than a flute, huh? You like big things?”

Me: “…”

Pervert Customer: “Yeah, a bigger, longer, thicker version of the flute. Can a little girl like you can handle big things?”

At this moment, I decide that I don’t need this job THAT badly.

I give him a scathingly disgusted look.

Me: “Sir, this topic is not acceptable or appropriate. Leave the store now, or I’m calling the cops.”

Pervert Customer: “Hey! Hey! I’m a customer! Look, I’ll buy this!”

He grabs some random thing off a spinning display.

Me: “No. I’m refusing you service. Put it down and get out.”

He pulls out his wallet.

Pervert Customer: “Look! I have money, see? Cash!”

I start walking away from him and grab the phone off the hook.


[Boss] comes out of the back office, sees and hears me yelling at the “customer”, and starts running toward me, trying to sweet talk and smooth things over.

Nope! I talk over the boss at full volume.


[Pervert Customer] ran out the door as I start to dial.

I make sure he is gone and then put the phone down.

Me: *To [Boss]* “Ban him, because if I see him in here again, I’m calling the police.”

[Boss] just stares at me for a long time and then quietly walks into the back again.

After getting some amazing advice from some awesome people on another website, I call a hotline for the company, detailing the sexual harassment that the manager allowed [Pervert Customer] to get away with. (Trust me, I know now that I should have done this long before, and I’m sorry that it took so long to get to my breaking point.) Complaints to this hotline are taken down by a third party and then forwarded to the correct department. They do a lot of typing as I describe the incident.

The next day, I walk in to see what my duties are.

Nothing. Nada. I am not on the list of employees that day. I look at the weekly schedule, and yes, I am supposed to be there, but the DAILY schedule doesn’t know I exist.

Aha. Okay. I see how it is.

Playing nice, I ask my coworker where [Boss] was. Not in. [Other Manager] is in that day for my scheduled shift. [Other Manager] looks confused by my “innocent” inquiry. He looks at the weekly schedule, looks at the daily schedule, scratches his head, and tells me to give him a few moments while he calls [Boss].

He comes back, his expression awkward.

Other Manager: “Um… [Boss] fired you for a slew of no-call-no-shows.”

Those didn’t exist before today. [Other Manager] is confused and disbelieving because he has worked with me a lot and he has never even heard a whisper of a rumor that I’m not always on time. And since he works with me regularly, he usually says, “Good morning,” to me as I stand by the time clock.

Me: “Thank you, [Other Manager].”

And I walked out. I called the hotline again. I talked to the girl on the other end of the line and told her that I had an update on my previous incident. I gave her my name and cellphone number (which I had voluntarily divulged, both to identify my file and to allow someone to get in contact with me), and she opened the file that has already been made. I updated her on what was happening. She thanked me for my call and promised that my file was already marked Urgent and that my update would be appended and forwarded again, as soon as we were done. She told me to expect a phone call within the next couple of days.

I went to lunch and indulged in some not-good-for-me comfort food to calm my nerves, because I knew the real reason why I’d been fired, and I was furious.

I got the call that same afternoon. It was a bigwig, and he was EXTREMELY concerned by my report. He told me that he had been in the middle of reading my first report when he got the ding announcing my update had arrived. He gave me a Human Resources spiel about how the company was a machine, and even the smaller gears needed to be taken care of or the whole machine could seize. It was all corporate sweet talk and pretty words, but even though he didn’t say so, I got the distinct impression that he was halfway to panic mode and about to do some emergency damage control.

He asked me if I was okay (emotionally and financially) and asked me if I would be willing to give him forty-eight hours minimum to look into the situation. He was flying into the area early tomorrow and was going to do a surprise inspection of any and all paperwork potentially created out of this incident. He promised to be in touch with me, one way or another, to either tell me he needed more time, or to tell me the verdict.

I gave him the time. The rest of the story was pieced together from [Bigwig] and my coworkers.

[Bigwig] appeared on the scene and took command of the back room. [Boss] wasn’t working that day, either. There, he found my employee file, with some no-call-no-show write-ups crammed into it. He was suspicious within five minutes, as the “signatures” on the write-ups didn’t even remotely match my signatures on other documents.

I was neither shown these nor did I sign them. Strike one.

He took a closer look at the no-call-no-show papers and they were practically identical — copy/paste text with stuff like “first warning,” “second warning,” and, “as you have been warned before,” tacked on. They were very bare-bones. The company was a big fan of details and attempts via the company to accommodate the employee or otherwise expand upon what the management did to try to remove the problem.

None of that happened. Strike two.

Finally, [Bigwig] checked the dates of my supposed write-ups and couldn’t find any notations in the computer. Apparently, there is a procedure of dotting Is and crossing Ts once a schedule is made. No-call-no-shows, calls out sick, or other alterations to a schedule, once it was made, were to be logged into the system so that there was a digital backup to physical paperwork.

The days I was supposedly a no-call-no-show weren’t even mentioned on the system. Everything looked normal. One of the days, I was actually present, as seen by my sign-in times. The other two were days I had off, as labor laws decreed I was supposed to get. So, even if I WAS supposedly slated to work that day, [Boss] would have been dinged with a labor law violation.

I didn’t show up because I wasn’t SUPPOSED to show up. Strike three.

Female coworkers on duty were called back and asked about how [Boss] handled the incursions of [Pervert Customer], and their stories corroborated the security video. [Boss] had apparently failed to remember that our security cameras also just happened to pick up audio.

[Bigwig] spent hours reviewing multiple incursions of the Religious Freak Pervert harassing female workers and grabbing his crotch while staring at them like a sheepdog stares at sheep. He got to see [Pervert Customer] making lewd gestures by positioning large instruments “just so” and running his hands up and down their lengths. Blatantly disgusting stuff in a similar vein happened regularly.

He got to hear [Boss] admonishing female workers that if [Pervert Customer] didn’t actually touch them, there was nothing anyone could do because all he was doing is talking and handling merchandise. He got to listen to [Boss] flat-out tell employees that cops wouldn’t do anything about what people SAID, only what they did, and that their only option was to ignore [Pervert Customer]. Of course, he was banking on employee ignorance and fear of being fired to keep them quiet.

Apparently, [Bigwig] gave a lot of horrified, wide-eyed silences as their tales of woe came out. He gave up trying to look professional shortly after starting and just let his horrified expressions say how wrong this nonsense was. My coworkers said that when he left at the end of the forty-eight hours, he seemed to be contemplating a little nighttime visit to a disused rock quarry.

The verdict? In short, my job is back, with full-time pay for the days I missed to be added to my next paycheck. [Boss] is no longer with the company, and his replacement reviewed with everyone what to do if [Pervert Customer] — or anyone like him — dares to stick their nose through the front door of the shop.

I almost hope [Pervert Customer] comes back because I want to see the lady who replaced [Boss] eat [Pervert Customer] alive. She has this dominatrix voice that she can turn on with the bat of an eye, and I so VERY much want to see [Pervert Customer] get Scary Dominatrix Lady instead of meek, intimidated, coworker lady.

Oh, and [Boss] forging my signatures? That is going to be handled in the legal system soon, filed under F for “felony.”

This story is part of our Even-More-Highest-Voted-Stories-Of-2023-(so far!) roundup!

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We Feel For This Mother But Rules Are Rules

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2023

Some years ago I was at the airport on work travel, chilling at a gate, not really paying attention to anything around me, when I heard someone melting down in front of me.

Passenger: “What do you mean I can’t get on this flight?”

Agent: “Ma’am, your child is over two. They have no ticket.”

Passenger: “You don’t understand. We just visited my in-laws and are making a connection here. No one checked his age when we left our home, and no one checked his age when we left my in-laws’ airport. You have to let us fly.”

Agent: “No, ma’am. Your child is over two and has to have his own seat.”

Passenger: *Getting more shrill by the minute.* “No one else cares! We have to get home. You have to let us fly. You can’t stop us now when no one else did!”

After much arguing…

Passenger: “FINE! We’ll pay for a ticket.”

Agent: “Not on this flight you won’t. We’re full.”

Luckily at this point, I was able to board. I did feel bad for the mother with the two-year-old but it’s rather unreasonable to just HOPE that no one will notice your kid is over age.

Give Them A Minute And They’ll Take An Hour

, , , , , , | Working | June 19, 2023

My coworker and I are prepping the store to open at 8:00 when there is a pounding on the front door. We both go to the door to see an old man glaring at us and trying to open the door. 

I go stand by the door.

Me: “Hi there. We don’t open for another ten minutes. Is everything okay?”

Old Man: “I need to shop.” *Jerks on the door* “Open this.”

Me: “We will be happy to help at 8:00 when the store opens. Until then, the registers won’t even work, so I can’t allow customers to be in the store. However, there is a bench just around the corner for you to rest.”

Old Man: “No, you—”

Me: “Thank you for your patience. See you soon!”

I turn and walk away. 

Coworker: “You’re going to get written up.”

Me: “I’ve been written up for allowing people in two minutes before we opened. If I get written up for not allowing customers to be in earlier than that, I’ll quit on the spot.”

An hour later, a manager calls me to the office. 

Manager: “You refused to allow a customer in the store today?”

Me: “The gentleman at 7:50? I told him we could not allow customers in before 8:00.”

[Manager] slides a write-up toward me.

Manager: “Well, unfortunately—”

I slide it back.

Me: “I have been written up previously for allowing a customer in the store at 7:58, so I assume eight minutes before that is also against policy?”

Manager: “Ah, uh, well… Yes, it is.”

Me: “So…?”

Manager: “Nothing. You can go. Thank you for clearing that up.”

Me: “Thank you!”

I can only guess what the old man said to [Manager], but I’m glad she believed me over whatever he said.