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It’s A Piece Of (Ugly) Cake

, , , , , | Working | January 25, 2022

I worked at a grocery store bakery as a closer for a few months. They have a couple of really talented cake decorators, so they get a lot of orders for all kinds of occasion cakes. I am not a talented cake decorator. I wish I was; I love making cake and I can make a really tasty one. Baking is something I’ve always had a knack for; I just have the shakiest hands in the world so everything looks very homemade.

There was a cake order getting picked up one evening after everyone else in the department had gone home for the night. This was a forty-year anniversary cake: two tiers with a waterfall scene and individually piped blades of grass. The person who put it in the fridge after it had been finished, who did so before I even came into work that day, jammed a lid on it before they put it away and ruined all the delicate icing work that probably took the decorator hours.

The person came to pick it up and understandably was incredibly upset. I texted the department manager and asked for help to figure out what to do because I couldn’t even match the frosting colors they had mixed, let alone fix the whole layer that got peeled off when they opened the lid to look at their cake, as tends to be the case when frosting gets stuck to something besides cake while it’s hardening.

The person in charge for the night used to work in the bakery and seemed to expect that I would be able to repair the ruined frosting. I did my best to make it very clear that this was not something I was able to do to any degree beyond putting a slab of blue on it and calling it a lake. I still feel so bad for the couple; they got the cake for free but that doesn’t bring back the beautiful cake they ordered and deserved to get.

A Sticky Screw-Up

, , , , , , , | Working | January 24, 2022

It’s a rainy Tuesday in December, and as such, the golf club bar is completely deserted and has been for a while.

In between bouts of chatting and chilling out, my coworker, our manager, and I have been doing various administrative and cleaning tasks around the place. Currently, we are just finishing with cleaning the lines to the beer taps.

As the keg is reconnected and we begin to pull fresh beer through the newly clean pipes, I notice that a fixing on the tap is loose and begin to tighten it up.

Anyone who has ever tightened anything with a threaded bolt has likely heard the helpful phrase “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey,” which lets you know which way to turn the thing depending on what you want to achieve.

Unfortunately, this particular fixing is reverse-threaded. I twist it a quarter turn to the right, which is enough to completely undo the fixing, and the top of the tap falls off.

The section that falls off contains the valve that stops the beer from flowing unless the tap is opened. This becomes apparent when a geyser of lager sprays forth from the remaining section of the tap, covering me, the ceiling, the bar, and the floor in amber goodness.

I yell for my colleague to first pass me several jugs and then to run upstairs and disconnect the keg while I catch the fountain in the jugs I’ve been given.

Eventually, the keg is disconnected and the torrent subsides. So, I’m standing there, shirt transparent with beer, with more of it puddling around my feet and all over the bar, when our first golfers for several hours enter.

“So, the beer’s off, then?” one of them asks.

Happily, my sense of humour hasn’t completely deserted me, and I’m able to chuckle in response, before the manager comes back into the room to relieve me to go home and change my clothes.

When I return, the tap has been reassembled and a sticker has been applied to the main section, just above the offending fixing, reading:

“Caution: unscrews to the right!”

13 Reasons Why I Hate Working Here

, , , , , | Right | January 24, 2022

During my high school sophomore year, I worked at a large chain pharmacy store through a couple of the major holidays and the dreaded 13¢ coupon days.

I hated the 13¢ coupon days. The store is right next door to an assisted living building for folks over fifty-five that are still well enough to live on their own but sometimes need help. These folks lived for the 13¢ coupon days. They came in droves and snatched up as much as they could for every 13¢ coupon that was in the weekly flyer.

The 13¢ coupons were usually for smaller, knickknack-type things, something you normally wouldn’t want to spend money on, but these people gobbled up the items. We had pencils, large erasers, travel items — such as hand lotion — that kind of thing. Within the first day, we would easily be out of a lot of these items, and the old people would just rant and scream at us for not having more and then demand rain checks to be made.

The manager would have to explain to them that the coupons do not get rain checks and that all items on the coupons are first-come, first-serve. So many angry, blue-haired old ladies. It sucked.

Maybe Their Hands Were Shaking From The Lack Of Caffeine?

, , , | Right | January 23, 2022

I work in a coffee shop. A few days ago, someone put in a [Delivery App] order for a toasted white chocolate cream Frappuccino with heavy cream and no toasted white mocha, no sprinkles, no whipped cream, light ice, decaf, with a banana, and double-blended.

We couldn’t make it. My manager had to call and figure out what they were trying to order because if we did make it, it would just be blended milk with a little bit of ice.

You’d Better Hope People Are Kinder When You’re Old

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2022

I caught an elderly customer who fell down at my register. The line behind him was huffing and puffing with impatience while his wife, another customer, and I got him situated on the wife’s walker seat.

People were complaining that I was taking too long helping him. It was really a sad thing to witness, and it made me so angry that people would be so callous to an old man.