Will Need To Have A Late-Night Conversation About Timing

, , , , | Right | December 5, 2017

(I normally work retail, but I’m the customer in this story. Some friends and I have gone out to eat at about 10 pm. We eat and talk for quite a while, and the waitress brings us our check around 11 pm. My friends continue talking for another forty-five minutes or so. It’s then that I realize how late it’s getting, and that there’s only us and one other table left.)

Me: “You know, we should probably get going soon. It’s getting pretty late.”

(My friends half-heartedly agree, but continue talking. A little while later, another waitress pointedly sweeps up around our table.)

Me: “I’m pretty sure these guys close at 11.”

Friend: “Oh, I bet they have to stay late all the time. This isn’t too bad.”

(A little more time goes by, and I notice that we are now the only table left, and all the workers are sitting at the other end of the restaurant either staring at us or talking quietly among themselves. It’s now after midnight.)

Me: “Okay, guys, we’re the only table left. They’re done cleaning up and want to close. We should probably get going.”

(We finally got up and left. Our waitress quietly thanked us for coming in as she locked the door behind us. The real kicker? The friends were my retail coworkers!)

A Rose By Any Other Customer

, , , | Right | December 5, 2017

(I’m working the till as an elderly lady is slowly unloading the items in her mobility walker onto the belt. Behind her, my assistant manager is waiting to purchase some food for herself, as it is her lunch break. The elderly lady puts the last item on, and I say hello and start scanning her items. She looks around with a confused look and turns to me.)

Customer: “Do you guys have flowers?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. They are right behind the register, just around the corner.”

Customer: *sees my assistant manager and turns to her* “Do you guys sell flowers?”

Manager: “Yes, they are just behind the register, around the corner.”

Customer: “What flowers do you have?”

Me: “Tulips and roses, ma’am.”

(The customer asks the manager the same question, who walks over to the flowers to confirm. She walks back to the customer to answer her.)

Manager: “We have tulips and bouquets.”

Customer: “How much are they?”

Manager: *walks back to the flowers and back to the customer* “The tulips are €1,99 and the bouquets are €2,49.”

Customer: “Hmm. I’ll take two tulips.”

(The manager walks back to the flowers.)

Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we only have one bouquet of tulips left.”

Customer: “Hmf. Guess I’ll take one then.”

(The manager brings the tulips over and hands them to the customer.)

Customer: “Don’t you have another colour?”

Manager: “I’m sorry, this is the last we have.”

Customer: “I don’t like this. What flowers are in the bouquets?”

Me: “Roses, ma’am.”

Customer: “I don’t like roses; they wilt so quickly. What else is in them?”

(The manager puts the tulips back and looks through the assorted bouquets. She comes back to answer the lady.)

Manager: “We have assorted bouquets with various flowers, mostly roses though.”

Customer: “I’ll take one. But not too many roses!”

(The manager walks back to the flower corner and holds up a bouquet of assorted flowers with some roses.)

Manager: “How are these, ma’am?”

Customer: “Yeah, that’ll do.”

Manager: *relieved she can almost pay and get her lunch* “Great, here you go!”

Customer: “Hmm… no, these are too dark on the eyes. Never mind, dear, I don’t want flowers after all.”

(She paid and left, and never said a word of thanks to my manager who walked back and forth at least five times on her lunch break!)

Short Nights Lead To Short Temper

, , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(I work at my local ice arena as a facilities attendant. My duties are pretty much janitorial. I am responsible for cleaning the change rooms as soon as possible and as many times as needed, keep the place looking presentable, and once everyone’s gone, doing a mad dash to clean the remaining change rooms, bathrooms, lobby, and sweep and mop the bleachers. We’ve been short-staffed lately, and because of this, I’ve had to pull in extra shifts, including what we call, “short nights,” meaning working an evening shift [4:00 pm to 12:30 am], then a day shift [7:30 am to 4:00 pm]. Last weekend I actually had to work from 3:30 pm to 1:00 am, then get back to work by 6:30 am as there was a hockey tournament starting. This is a conversation between a parent and I.)

Parent: “Hey, miss?”

Me: “Yes? Can I help you with anything?

Parent: “Oh, no. I was just wondering, weren’t you here last night?”

Me: “I was, actually. We’re short staffed at the moment, so I don’t mind.”

Parent: “Wow! Even if you’re short-staffed, you shouldn’t have to come in this early!”

Me: “I really don’t mind. It’s been a steady grind, so as long as I don’t sit down, I won’t pass out from exhaustion.” *cue my awkward, dry, laugh*

Parent: “That’s stupid! Why haven’t you complained? Aren’t you protected under the Union?”

Me: “Actually, every single worker here HAS complained. We have begged and pleaded with the town to not book any games with a start time before 8:30 am, as hockey players tend to arrive 45 minutes before games start. Yet the parents yell at the coaches that they want earlier start times, and the coaches book it accordingly. It’s completely out of our hands. All we can do is show up, unlock the doors, and wait for all of you to leave so we can clean up the mess. Which, by the way, meant that we were here until 1 am last night.”

(At this point I recognize her as a b****y council member and get even more p***ed off.)

Me: “If you were actually interested in my well-being, you would bring it up in council meetings that town workers are being pushed too far because of ice bookings. You’d help us petition to have the latest ice time be the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, not all the way up to 11:45. You’d convince the other parents to ask for a slightly later morning slot, instead of one that means I have to wake up at 5:30, after less than two hours of sleep, to get here at 6:30 to unlock doors. I know you don’t really care; you know you don’t really care. Now, please, it’s time for flood, and I have to help out with that.”

Parent: “…”

(I didn’t hear a peep from her the rest of the day. I think she told the other parents, as after that, everyone made sure that there was nothing for me to clean up afterwards. One of the other hockey team’s coaches also brought us coffee and muffins, as well, so that was a good boost. This weekend I have to pull another short night, with similar hours. Wish me luck.)

Sexism Is The Kicker

, , , , , | Working | November 10, 2017

(My coworker and I both work overnight, and we are swapping stories.)

Coworker: “So, has any customer acted all crazy with you at night?”

Me: “Let me see… Oh, yeah! Once, it was around midnight, and I heard a loud bang, bang, bang on the glass door, and the customer was trying to put her foot through it!”

Coworker: “That’s it?”

Me: “Well, yeah. I mean, it was scary loud! You never had one like that?”

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, but that’s not scary.”

Me: “Then what’s the scariest thing for you?”

Coworker: “One time a creepy guy was wandering around, staring at me through the window! I called the police!”

Me: “And that’s scarier than someone trying to kick down a door?”

Coworker: “Well, he was a guy, and yours was a girl!”

(We’re both female, but I still think mine was scarier, even if it was a girl. Girls can be scary when violent.)

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

, , , , | Working | October 22, 2017

(The office I work at is pretty laid back regarding things like lunch breaks, so I prefer to take my break later in the afternoon so that I am available to answer the telephones over the typical lunch hour. My desk is next to the department printer where a lot of protected information about clients is printed, whereas one of my coworker’s desk is a few cubicles down the hall. I am gathering up a stack of coworker’s printed material and decide to drop it off to her as it’s been sitting for a few hours. It is about 10:45 am, but she’s sitting at her desk eating lunch.)

Me: “Hi, [Coworker], just dropping off your printed forms; they’re in the protected folder in your in-tray if you’re looking for them.”

Coworker: “Oh, okay… um, listen; I normally take my lunch early because I get hungry earlier. I need you to make sure you don’t interrupt my lunch with work; I’ve earned my break and it shouldn’t be interrupted for anything other than an emergency, okay?”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you took an early lunch. Regardless, I was just dropping off the files you printed earlier; I don’t actually need anything from you at the moment. Enjoy your lunch!” *I head back to my desk but my coworker follows me*

Coworker: “I don’t think you understand; it’s very disruptive if you give me your work while I’m on lunch! I don’t get a proper break at all and it stresses me out!”

Me: “Yes, I understand that. I apologized because I didn’t know you started taking earlier lunches. I also wasn’t bringing you any work; you left some client files in the printer tray with sensitive information on them. People were sifting through the pile to get their own items. I was just dropping them off to clear the printer tray, not asking you to handle them right this moment. Next time I’ll make sure you’re not on break before I stop in.”

Coworker: “Good, because I’m not going to interrupt my lunch unless it’s an emergency!”

(A couple days later I am taking my lunch at my usual time, which I have done every day since I started in the department. Our other coworker is out at an appointment so it’s just the one coworker handling clients.)

Coworker: “[My Name]! I need you to jump on line one and finish handling a client’s case!”

Me: “What? Why?!”

Coworker: “I picked up the phone and after a minute or two realized I really had to pee! You can handle it; he just needs help filling in a certain section of his registration.”

(My coworker runs off and I end up answering the phone to a client having severe technical difficulties, and I spend over 20 minutes sorting it out. After that call, another client calls, and another, and so forth until I’ve spent over 45 minutes on the phone and my coworker still isn’t back yet. I manage to find her in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil and talking to someone in another department.)

Me: “Where have you been?! You were supposed to come right back from the bathroom so I could go back to my lunch!”

Coworker: “Yeah, but it’s stressful answering those calls! I just needed a little breather to refresh. I’ll go get the next caller.”

Me: “Good. I’m taking the rest of my lunch outside. I won’t be there if you need to use the bathroom again.”

Coworker: “Okay, fine! Jeez! It was just a little break!”

(Shortly afterwards coworker stopped printing her files and would email them to me asking me to print and file them for her since I was “already right there”. I left for a job at another department and she quit the company altogether about a month later because it was “too stressful” for her. The rest of us had no issues and found the job to be relatively easy. She was the one making it stressful!)

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