Notary-ious Behavior

, , , , | Legal | August 14, 2018

Customer: “I’ve been driving around all day trying to find a notary; you’d better have one on staff here.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we do not at this time; however, there is–”

Customer: *instantly starts yelling before I can finish* “BUT I CALLED AND YOU SAID YOU HAD ONE!”

Me: “I can assure you I did no such thing, nor did my coworker, and I’m going to have to ask you not to yell.”

Customer: “YOU LITTLE S***! I LEFT A MESSAGE AND NO ONE CALLED ME BACK; YOU WILL GET YOUR NOTARY NOW!”

Me: “A moment ago you said you talked to someone on the phone, and now you’re saying you left a message; if you are going to try to bully me into a service that we don’t offer then at least get your lies straight. Also, if you can’t be civil I’m going to have to kick you out.”

Customer: “YOU A**HOLE! FIND ME A NOTARY!”

Me: “I know exactly where a notary is, but I wasn’t bluffing; get out.”

(The customer picks up the mug on the counter we keep pens in and throws it at me, still yelling about needing a notary. I dodge the mug, and walk calmly around the counter, getting right in her face and and speaking more calmly than I thought I could pull off.)

Me: “Ma’am, what you did there is considered assault. There are two cameras watching us right now; if you don’t leave I’m calling the police.”

Customer: *shrinking back under the death glare I am giving* “I… Um… Can you tell me where that notary was located?”

Me: “I would have if you hadn’t assaulted me, put a hole in my wall, and broke my mug. If your next words aren’t, ‘Have a nice day,’ the police will be shown this footage.”

Customer: “I… you… I just… Have a nice day.”

(She left and was never seen in our store again.)

Beginning To Hate That Friday Feeling

, , , , | Working | August 12, 2018

One of my veteran coworkers would jokingly ask the office manager every week about implementing “2:30 Fridays” so that we would have a few extra weekend hours. This became a running joke in the office.

The office manager announced that he was leaving the company, and not long after he left, the veteran coworker was promoted to the new office manager. Now nearly every worker is asking her when she is going to start her “2:30 Fridays” policy. She now regrets making that joke.

A Weakend Weekend

, , , , | Working | August 10, 2018

(I start at a new company and instantly find an issue with one of women that works there. She is difficult and aggressive to everyone; she tries to run my team and makes ridiculous expectations. After working there a while, I am told that she wants my job, but was given another one when it was made clear that she wasn’t capable. Her demands of my team and me get more and more ridiculous, until one day:)

Worker: “Have you done that report?”

Me: “Me? No, have you seen how hectic it has been?!”

Worker: “Well, I need it!”

Me: “Sorry, I’m already late leaving. I can help you out first thing Monday.”

(I start to pack my things away.)

Worker: “Take your laptop home.”

Me: “What?”

Worker: “Take your laptop home; you can do it this weekend.”

(I stare at her for a moment; she is nether my boss nor my superior.)

Me: “No.”

Worker: “What?”

Me: “I said no, I’m not doing it.”

Worker: “I need it.” *pause* “I will have to speak to [My Boss].”

Me: “Fine, please do. I won’t be here when you get back.”

(I have a terrible weekend, fearful of what my boss will say. I keep an eye on my phone expecting the worst. I come back to work on Monday.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], anything for me?”

Boss: “Oh, hey, [My Name]! Oh, you won’t believe it; [Worker] wanted me to force you to work this weekend!”

Me: “I know… So, what do you think?”

Boss: “I told her to f*** off!”

(It was the first and last time I heard him swear, but after that she never bothered me again!)

“It Gets Better” Requires Work

, , , , | Hopeless | August 9, 2018

I work in video game publishing as a producer. I’ve actually been in the industry for nearly a decade, but with this company for only a few years. My previous job was terrible. I worked for a guy who was awful to his employees and his customers — which meant they, in turn, were awful to us. I was working insane hours for no appreciation or recognition. He would regularly cut our pay because he “couldn’t afford us,” but then would take regular vacations to his luxury cabin in the mountains.

I stuck with it both out of a misguided sense of loyalty, and because at the end of the day I still loved the industry and wanted to be part of it, which is exactly the sort of cycle that enables awful working conditions like what I went through and worse. It didn’t help that so many people just tell you how lucky you are and how grateful you should be no matter what because they would kill to have your job, so you feel even worse about… feeling the way you do. I didn’t even notice how miserable and depressed I had been for years until I finally left and realized what an awful spiral I had been in. It was like I had existed for years in a sort of fog, and on the rare occasion I wasn’t working because I had time off, I was still unhappy because it was just looming over my whole life.

It was bad enough that I was actually scared to get back into the industry when my current company reached out about hiring me a few months later. I didn’t talk about my previous experiences. The first few months I felt like I was walking on eggshells. Whenever something went wrong, even something I wasn’t involved in, I would panic and become terrified, even though the owner was an amazingly chill, gracious, generous guy. My coworkers, who rapidly became actual friends, wondered why I was always so nervous or self-deprecating. One very bluntly asked me why I seemed to have no confidence, while praising my work. It was like being on another planet. Working with people who were themselves hard workers and good people, who valued my work and me, was literally a transformative but alien experience.

All of this came to a head when we attended a major industry conference and got invited to be guests of honor at an awards show. We weren’t up for any awards ourselves, but sitting there, surrounded by happy, excited people, listening to everyone talk about how much they loved their work just sort of overwhelmed me. I started to cry a bit because I finally realized after over a year that this was how it was supposed to be and that I was among friends.

I played off my tears as just being moved by the acceptance speech onstage at the time, but I do want everyone to know that you deserve to feel this way, too. You deserve to have work that is rewarding and that you enjoy, with people you like being around and who value you in turn.

I know I’m fortunate to do the work I do, and that a lot of people who will read this are working the jobs they have to in order to get by, and can’t do anything else right now for whatever reason. I guess I’m just sharing this to say that I hope one day you get to feel this way about your work, because you deserve to, no matter what that work may be. In the meantime, know that I’m sending good vibes to you no matter who or where you are, because I’ve been there, too.

Employing Not Always Right Customers

, , , , , , | Working | August 9, 2018

(I am sitting in a social committee meeting with some coworkers, discussing company tickets to a baseball game. We recently sent out the company-wide invitation to sign up for free tickets. Note that I am the only person in the meeting who is not a supervisor. While we are discussing this, I have my laptop open, and see that I have an email about the tickets, so I read it to the group.)

Me: *reading the email from an employee I barely see* “Are the tickets general admission?”

Supervisor #1: “Is that [Employee]?”

(Everyone stops to look at her in surprise.)

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Supervisor #2: “How did you know?”

Supervisor #1: “She’s in my department. She sells everything she gets from our company. Tickets, prizes, shirts. One time I got a call from HR because she had posted free tickets from the company on our own classifieds page!”

Supervisor #3: “What? Not even on Craigslist?”

Supervisor #1: “I also sometimes see her wearing clothes from the company store that still have the price tag hanging off them. I tell her about the tag and then she tapes it to her arm so it doesn’t flap around. Then she brags about how she just returns the clothes later! She does it with Kohl’s and Amazon, too. An $8 t-shirt from Kohl’s!”

Supervisor #2: “That’s crazy! It doesn’t seem worth it.”

Supervisor #3: “I see her in t-shirts and jeans a lot around the office, and flip-flops, too. Is she allowed to do that?”

Supervisor #1: “Nope. I have to talk to her about that all the time, but she just doesn’t care. You know, I’ve even heard her coaching her sister on how to keep price tags on purses so they can return them later. They’ll buy Coach bags, fly to Germany for Oktoberfest, then come back and return them! She also brags about taking expired coupons and waving them in cashiers’ faces and screaming at them so they’ll give her the discount just to get rid of her.”

(We were all greatly entertained by this gossip, but we were also horrified by how willing the employee was to share information about this dishonest behavior with her boss!)

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