What A Difference A Year Makes

, , , | Right | August 8, 2019

(I work at the customer service desk at a popular grocery store chain in Ohio. Other locations sell tickets to a popular amusement park, but ours does not. This exchange takes place one day.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to buy two tickets to [Amusement Park].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this location doesn’t sell them. [Location ten minutes down the road] sells them.”

Customer: “You sold them last year!”

Me: “No, ma’am, we have never sold them at this location. However, other locations sell them.”

Customer: “NO! I bought them here last year!”

Me: “I’ve been working here for five years, and we’ve never sold them.”

Customer: “I bought them here last year! You don’t know what you are talking about!”

Me: “Yes, I guess I was out sick on the one day they decided to magically conjure up a ticket-selling machine to sell tickets to you, and then they immediately got rid of it.”

(The customer rolls her eyes, flips me off, and stomps away. Just before she goes through the door, she screams out:)

Customer: “I bought them here last year! YOU KNOW I DID!”

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That Was A Loooong Break

, , , , | Working | August 6, 2019

(I work for a little over a year at a grocery store, and then I move from Ohio to Florida. I visit Ohio a year later, and I swing by the place to chat with my friends. I used to run the self-checkouts almost exclusively. One of my ex-coworkers, who’s running the self-checkouts area, walks over to me and asks if I’m on break. I laugh and shake my head and keep talking. He takes off the handheld device and starts handing it to me.)

Ex-Coworker: “If you’re not on break, you can take over.”

Me: “I don’t work here anymore. Haven’t for almost a year now.”

(The dude was so surprised.)

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Parental Advice Meets The Modern World

, , , , , , | Working | August 6, 2019

(I work in the human resources office for a large local business. When we hire people, we require them to fill out their new hire paperwork online. As a system administrator, any time something fails, it’s my job to review the issue. On the employee information form is a box that asks for the hire’s social security number. The form states that if you do not have a social security number, as happens with some of our foreign hires, to enter in all 9s. This hire has entered all 9s which requires validation, so I call the person to ask her about this.)

Me: “Hi, I’m [My Name] from [Big Company]. May I speak with [Candidate]?”

Mom: “I’m sorry, [Candidate] isn’t here at the moment but this is her mom. Can I help you with something?”

Me: “No, I need to speak to her about with an issue with her social security number. Please have her call me back as soon as possible.”

Mom: “There shouldn’t be a problem with her social security number! There’s never been a problem with her social security number!”

Me: “The problem is that she did not provide us the correct number.”

Mom: “Oh, I told her never to enter her social in online anywhere; it isn’t safe, you know.”

Me: “Yes, well, I still need to speak with [Candidate] about her falsification of her legal paperwork and see what we can do to rectify the situation.”

Mom: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Your daughter put intentionally false information into the form that her employer requires prior to starting. This is a problem. This affects our ability to create her employee records and set up her payroll correctly. This also affects our ability to remain compliant with federal regulations. I need to discuss this with her, so please have her call me back as soon as possible.”

Mom: “But it’s never safe to give out your social online. I can give it you now, though.”

Me: “Ma’am, that is good advice if you are not sure who is asking for that information or why they may need it, but when one has accepted a formal offer of employment and is sent a secure link to login to the HR system to complete paperwork ahead of starting a new job, it is likely a legitimate request. If your daughter had questions regarding the safety of entering the information or necessity for asking for it in the first place, she should have contacted the representative she had been working with instead of lying on her paperwork and falsifying her information. I need you to have her call me as soon as she can. Additionally, you offering to give it out to random people that you have never personally spoken to before is even stupider than telling your daughter to lie on her paperwork.”

Mom: *very quietly* “Oh.”

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Drunk Elephants On Parade

, , , , | Working | August 4, 2019

(I’ve recently injured my ankle and have to wear one of those big, chunky boots for a while. I’m about as stealthy as a drunk elephant, and there’s even jokes about tracking me by the sound of the boot. I go to ask a coworker a question, and she jumps when I get her attention.)

Coworker: “[My Name], you scared me!”

Me: “[Coworker], you can hear me from the next town over.”

Coworker: “You know, that’s fair.”

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Look Up Some Books On Work/Life Balance

, , , , | Working | August 2, 2019

(I work in a library. My coworker gets invited to an out-of-state wedding and immediately requests that Friday off. It’s January, and the wedding isn’t until August. Three months later, the library announces its annual mandatory staff day training, and it happens to be the same day my coworker has already had approved for vacation. My boss takes my coworker aside.)

Boss: “You’re going to have to cancel your plans. Everyone is required to attend the training day.”

Coworker: “I know this, but I’m not canceling my plans. My vacation has already been approved before the staff day was even on the calendar. You and the deputy director have already signed the paperwork.”

Boss: “This is mandatory; you can’t get out of it.”

Coworker: “I already have my flight and hotel booked. I’m going to my friend’s wedding. You can’t un-approve of anything once the paperwork has already gone through.”

Boss: “I don’t like your attitude. When I was in your position, I worked at the library, held two other jobs, and went to school full time, and I always put the library first.”

Coworker: “That’s… good? But I’m still going to my friend’s wedding.”

Boss: “If you’re not at the training, we’ll write you up.”

Coworker: “I want to speak to a union rep about what they have to say about this.”

(Calls are made back and forth between the boss, union, coworker, deputy director, director, and human resources. The union argues that the already approved paperwork is binding, and that they will take any and all actions if the library denies my coworker her time off. The library very reluctantly relents.)

Boss: “I will have to mark this against you in your review; you’re not much of a team player.”

(The boss and the rest of upper management never let it go. For the rest of the time my coworker was employed by them, they held the fact that she missed a training day on a vacation that was approved even before the training was scheduled over her head.)

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