Doesn’t Feel Hard-Pressed About The Press

, , , , , | Right | February 1, 2021

I work at a winery. One pretty neat thing about our location is that we have a wine press from 1723. It was given by the owners of the company, a wealthy Austrian family, to the president when he joined the business. It is very tall, easily over three metres, and made of wood that is so old it has become petrified, meaning it feels like stone. It is, however, still very fragile, being almost 300 years old.

We have a wide variety of people come through, including families with young children, since we are in a tourist area and do also sell things that aren’t wine.

On this particular day, we aren’t very busy and the only people currently in the building are a family of four. The kids are young but old enough to know better. The father is paying for his items: some T-shirts for the kids as well as some wine. As I am about to hand him the card reader, I look up to see his two children climbing on the wine press.

Me: “Okay, your total is—”

I cut off my sentence when I see the kids climbing on the press, directly in my line of sight from my till.

Me: “Sorry, could you please tell your children to get off the wine press?”

He turns and looks at his kids before turning back to me.

Customer: “Why?”

Me: *With disbelief* “Because it’s a wine press and not a jungle gym?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “It’s 300 years old!”

At this, and possibly the look on my face since I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, he reluctantly told his kids to get down. I finished with his order and he paid and went into the yard where we also sell food.

My manager had been on her way to tell the customer the same thing herself, and neither of us could believe his attitude. We had another issue with that family a little later involving them trying to grill their outside food on our BBQs, something we don’t allow as it’s a health violation. For the record, we do also have a jungle gym outside for kids to play on.

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Cash Back Attack, Part 15

, , , , , , | Right | February 1, 2021

I’m a cashier. We offer cash-back as an option on our PIN pads. Customers go to pay for their items and choose the amount of cash-back they want, and then I give it to them. 

I am ringing out a customer with a large order. I ring everything through and give her the total. She hands me a $100 bill, which I keep in my hand, and she uses debit for the remaining amount. 

After her card is approved, the receipt prints and the drawer pops open. I stare at the screen for a moment. She’s asked for $100 cash-back. I stare at her and just hand her back the $100 bill she has just handed me to pay. 

She stares at me and just goes, “Oh. Well, that was dumb,” and we share a laugh.

Cash Back Attack, Part 14
Cash Back Attack, Part 13
Cash Back Attack, Part 12
Cash Back Attack, Part 11
Cash Back Attack, Part 10

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British Chips, Then?

, , , | Right | January 30, 2021

I work at my university’s on-campus fast food restaurant. We are trained to repeat orders back to the customers to confirm accuracy. We also have a lot of international students for whom English is often not their first language.

Customer: “Fries, please.”

Me: “Okay, so that’s one order of French fries, anything else?”

Customer: “No, no. No French, just fries.”

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Some Guys Just Can’t Take What They Dish Out

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2021

It’s the late 1980s, early in my career, when I land a position with a small agricultural company. Most of the products — specifically live animals — are shipped around the globe, so organizing transportation to the customers is a critical function. The guy who has been doing this Logistics and Traffic role for years is d*** good at his job.

In my first weeks of employment, I also quickly discover that he is an extremely gruff, opinionated, and sometimes blunt individual — what would now be called an “office bully.” He is known to engage in shouting matches with other staff in the hallways, for example. During my first few months, I do not have much need to interact with him so I am able to keep my distance.

One day, my manager informs me that the company wants to send me on a trip to one of our subsidiaries in another country. Since [Logistics Guy] also handles company travel bookings, I have to go make arrangements with him. Cue the “Jaws” music in the background.

After I give him the dates and destination, he grabs a notepad and starts to put together an itinerary. This part goes well as he acts more or less professional and offers tips and advice as we discuss the options. When I mention that my manager told me to have him book a rental car at the destination, he suddenly explodes like a hand grenade. He starts throwing the papers in the air and loudly berating me for such a request.

Logistics Guy: “Everyone else who goes down there gets the local manager to pick them up at the airport! You don’t need a g**d*** rental car! Waste of company money! Forget about it!”

When this tantrum hits full stride, I make a decision that is either going to cost me my job or deal with this guy head-on. I look him straight in the eyes, and in the strongest voice I could summon, I say:

Me: “Shut up! Just shut the h*** up! If you have an issue with any of the arrangements I have requested, go speak to [Manager]! Otherwise, just do as I have asked and let me know when you are done!”

Before he can pick his lower jaw up off his desk, I look at him with the coldest eyes possible and add:

Me: “And do not, I repeat do not ever, ever treat me in this way again!”

As I stood up and turned to go, he grumbled briefly in a low voice but I was not listening. I shook like a leaf on the way back to my desk, wondering what kind of crapstorm might be in store for me. But an hour or so later, he came by my desk and tossed a copy of the itinerary on my desk with a growl that sounded like, “Here you go.”

My manager never came and talked to me about the blow-up, so I guess what is said in Logistics stayed in Logistics. For the rest of my two years there, we never avoided each other, but he never tried to bully me at any time, either.

Fast forward almost a decade later. I took a new position with a similar company not far from my former job. On my orientation tour, we stepped into the Logistics office and who should I meet but [Logistics Guy]. By then, he seemed to have mellowed quite a bit and was calm and professional any time I saw him in the office. That I was glad to see, and we never discussed our past history.

He retired a few years later, but I always remember that he — unintentionally — taught me the value of not taking any s*** from office bullies.

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Not In Receipt Of Listening Skills

, , , | Right | January 19, 2021

I’m working the morning shift at my hotel, doing all the checkouts for the day. A guest wearing work gear comes down to check out. Typically, these guests need a receipt, either for reimbursement or for their employer’s records. Our system always prompts us to print a receipt at checkout, so I ask every time at this step.

Me: “Checking out?”

Guest: “Yep.”

I look at the guest folio and registration and see that everything is in order.

Me: “Okay, looks like everything is good here. Did you need a receipt?”

Guest: “No.”

I finish checking the guest out, which archives their reservation in our system.

Me: “Okay, you’re all set, then.”

The guest stands there, staring at me.

Me: “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Guest: “I need that print-out.”

Me: *Internal facepalm* “You mean your receipt… that I just asked if you needed?”

Guest: “Oh.”

Me: “Just a minute; now I have to look up your reservation.”

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