The Law Doesn’t Take Breaks So You Can

, , , , , | | Legal | June 9, 2018

(I’m scheduled as a supervisor for a future evening. Anyone scheduled to work that evening that is going to be working different hours than they are scheduled needs to get my approval first. I’ve also been short-tempered lately.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, can minors work double shifts?”

Me: “Legally you can work more than four hours if there is a break between them, I believe.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, because [Coworker #2] wants me to work his afternoon shift but I’m already working the shift immediately after it.”

Me: “So it wouldn’t work without having a break in between. Why doesn’t [Coworker #2] just swap with you?”

Coworker #1: “I don’t know, but I’ll be fine. As long as I can get something to eat I think I’ll be fine.”

Me: “I didn’t ask if you’ll be fine. Frankly, I like staying out of jail far more than I care about anything to do with you.”

Coworker #1: “Well, then… sorry for giving you trouble.”

Me: “It’s the whole legal bit I was mentioning earlier.”

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 24, 2017

Our manager suddenly decided that everyone had to work at least two hours on Christmas Eve. It didn’t matter what their situation was. If they requested it off months ago, or if they had to drive 30 miles one way for a two-hour shift, that was too bad! She made it clear there were going to be no exceptions, because she wanted to be “fair.”

Of course, some people simply decided to call off on that day, because they had already gotten time off approved, and were going to be halfway across the country.

The best part though? We also went so far over our allotted hours doing that that we didn’t have enough hours for the store after Christmas, and there were huge holes in the schedule where we didn’t even have a cashier scheduled. The post-Christmas return rush was absolute INSANITY at our store, even when fully staffed.

For the rest of the month, the manager and the rest of the salaried team got to do overtime work for no extra pay, running around the store like crazy people, trying to cover several departments at once.

The manager in question was stuck being the ONLY cashier for lines that quickly grew to encircle the whole store, and she got to deal with very irate customers who demanded to know why she couldn’t call someone else up to help.

She wasn’t strung up by her toes, to the best of my knowledge, but she was a very subdued woman when January came around, and most of the rest of the salaried team still had steam coming out of their ears. They wouldn’t even look at her or acknowledge her presence for almost a week, before finally graduating to curt responses and dark looks.

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but she never repeated that mistake again.

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.)

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