Keep A Furry Upper Lip About It

, , | Working | October 31, 2019

(I work in a year-round costume store. This takes place the week before Halloween. The employees have been working overtime and it’s starting to take its toll on us. A customer approaches me with a fake mustache.)

Customer: “Hi. I was wondering if this comes with tape, or if it needs adhesive to stick it on?”

(The mustache has tape included with it, which isn’t visible in the package. I clearly know this and attempt to tell him that.)

Me: *big smile* “This is a mustache!”

(After realizing what I said, I put my hands over my mouth and try to hold in my laughter.)

Customer: “It’s been a long day for you, hasn’t it?”

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Unable To Steal Yourself Away For Even A Moment

, , , , | Working | September 12, 2019

(I’m coming off of a busy shift. I go straight to the registers from clocking in and only leave for two very rushed bathroom breaks. I’m heading out, and due to recent employee thefts, we all have to show our bags for a check. As I approach my manager, she waves me to the door.)

Manager: “You haven’t left the registers since you got here. If you managed to get anything worth stealing, have it.”

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Off The Clock But Still On Their Radar  

, , , , , , | Right | September 9, 2019

(At the end of my shift, I clock out and head for the front door. I only make it a few feet when a woman steps in my path, crossing her arms and looking at me expectantly. It has been a long and difficult day and I just want to go home.)

Customer: “Do you work here?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m off.” *side step*

Customer: “But you’re in uniform.”

Me: “Well… I do have to wear clothes. But I have to go now, so—”

Customer: *dismissive wave* “This will only take a minute.” *steps in front of me again* “Now, my dog only has a few teeth left. Will these biscuits be good for her?”

Me: “Those are crunchy biscuits, so no. You want soft treats.”

Customer: “Soft treats? Where are those?”

Me: “In the same aisle as those treats. Just look for the words ‘chewy’ or ‘soft.’”

Customer: “Which ones?”

Me: *getting annoyed* “There’s probably a soft treat by the same company.”

Customer: “Can you show—”

Me: *stepping back* “I’m sorry. My shift is over and I will get in trouble for working off the clock. I have to go.”

Customer: “I’m not asking you to work! I’m asking for your help!”

Me: “Yes, you are. I can’t help you. Goodbye.”

Customer: “How rude! What kind of customer service is this?”

Me: “Have a good day, ma’am.”

(I walk away and don’t look back. The next day, I am called into the office.)

Manager: “[My Name], do you recall a woman asking about dog treats?”

Me: *sigh* “Yes.”

Manager: “She called corporate and left quite a message about you.”

Me: “Oh, did she?”

Manager: “Let me read you the transcript. ‘I asked [My Name] for help picking out a snack for my senior dog… She told me my dog was old and going to die anyway, so I should just let it go! When I started to cry, she laughed and walked away. I demand she be punished for this behavior. I also think I should be compensated for my troubles, unless [Store] wants the local news station to hear about how poorly their associates treat customers.”*

(A moment of stunned silence.)

Manager: “So?”

Me: “Apparently, I was an old-school villain yesterday.”

Manager: “What’s your story?”

Me: “I told her I was off the clock but she kept—”

Manager: *holds up a hand* “Good enough. You told her you were off the clock. Go back to the floor.”

Me: “Thanks!”

(I don’t know how my manager handled that complaint, but I didn’t see our store on the news so I guess it worked out!)

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Overtime Crime, Part 11

, , , , , | Working | August 16, 2019

(I run payroll for a temporary employment agency. Employees are hired by us to work for a client for a ninety-day trial, and then employees are eligible to be hired directly by our client. We usually agree to the client’s work policies, but policies must adhere to federal and state labor laws. One particular client does not like anyone to work over forty hours. Today, I received a call from an employee about her time card.)

Employee: “I need to change my hours on my last time card from 41 to 40 hours because I am not supposed to work overtime.” 

Me: “Sorry, I cannot change the hours if that is what you worked.”

Employee: “Well, I will have to leave early today, so they won’t have to pay overtime.”

Me: “Again, sorry. I already ran that week’s payroll, plus you have started a new week. You cannot roll hours from one week to another week just so you don’t incur overtime.”

Employee: “But I can get in trouble for working overtime.”

Me: *huffing* “I am not fussing at you. I understand they have a policy against overtime, but you and [Client] both signed the time card stating that your hours were correct.”

Employee: “But I said it was okay not to pay me overtime since I wasn’t watching my hours close enough. [Client] said that I need to come in early to make sure I am prepared to start work on time but that it is considered personal time. I am okay with that being personal time and accidentally recorded it as work time.”

Me: *surprised* “Wait, [Client] is requiring you to be at work early? First, what are you doing when you come in early? Second, federal law actually prohibits you from consenting not to be paid for the hours you actually worked.”

Employee: “I am booting up my computer and preparing for customers.”

Me: “Just so you know, according to federal and state law, you have to be paid for the hours you actually work, including overtime. Overtime is calculated during the established pay period and you cannot alter hours or move them from one week to another to avoid overtime. Again, [Client] signed the time card and you acknowledged on the phone that you did work those hours.”

Employee: “Oh, okay. Thank you for the information.”

Me: “Look, I am on your side, and it’s the law. [Client] can make it a policy not to work overtime and can discipline you working over forty hours. You will need to watch your time this week and then take off early on the last day of the pay period if needed. Make sure you inform your supervisor of this the day before or whatever notification they need.”

Employee: “Oh, okay.”

Related:
Overtime Crime, Part 10
Overtime Crime, Part 9
Overtime Crime, Part 8

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Needs To Requisition A Time-Turner

, , , , | Working | August 6, 2019

(I work in a call centre. I am good at my job, both volumes and customer service scores, so my manager asks me to take on an additional small piece of work. I still have to complete my full shift on the phone line, so I start coming in about 20 or 30 minutes early each day to get it done. My workplace doesn’t offer overtime, but we can save up extra hours and take time off later on. I take about one day a month off from this extra work but am always careful to request a day when no one else is off. One day my manager comes up to me.)

Manager: “You’re taking too much time off. You need to stop working extra hours.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Well, I only come in early to get [piece of work] done, so if you can give me half an hour during the day, I’ll just do it then.”

Manager: “I can’t take you off the phone during your shift; we’re too busy.”

Me: “Okay, so, you want me to stop doing [piece of work], then?”

Manager: “No, it needs doing, and you manage it twice as fast as the last person did. I don’t want to have to give it to someone else; it’ll take too long for them to learn to do it properly!”

Me: “So… when you gave it to me you expected it to take an hour a day and I’m only taking half that, I can’t come in early to complete it, and you won’t give me time during my shift for it. When do you want me to do it?”

Manager: “Just sort it out. You’re building up too many hours!” *walks off*

(I continued as I had been doing. The manager never came and spoke to me about it again.)

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