Unsanitary Behavior

| USA | Right | October 27, 2015

(I am checking out a woman’s prescriptions. She had just finished paying and signing for them when this happens.)

Customer: “Hey there is a big spot of something here on the counter.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, so there is. It’s probably someone who dripped some of the hand sanitizer from the bottle over there on the counter. But to be on the safe side I have some alcohol in a spray bottle and I will clean that right up.)

(I walk over to the other side of the counter grab the bottle and some paper towels to clean it up. When I get over there she had taken the pump out of the bottle of sanitizer and dumped almost the entire bottle on the counter and spread it over almost 2/3 of the counter. See looks at me all smiles.)

Customer: “There, all better. Nice and clean for you!”

(She then just walked away leaving me to have to clean up the GIANT puddle of goop off the counter.)

This Is Not The Android You Are Looking For

| MN, USA | Right | October 2, 2015

(I’m working the register when I overhear this interaction between a customer and my coworker.)

Customer: “Can I get a cord to connect my iPhone to your photo kiosk?”

Coworker: “Sure! What kind of iPhone is it?”

Customer: “Samsung.”

Burning Your Bridges With Midnight Oil

| CA, USA | Working | September 28, 2015

(When I was hired at this store, it was under the condition that I will not have to work midnight shifts because the last bus I can take home leaves at nine. I am not the only special case when it comes to scheduling, but I am the only one in the store who takes the bus. About six months later, the store goes through a change in management. Throughout the change and the holiday season that year, the majority of the store employees realize the new manager is not so great and is firing people for arbitrary and possibly illegal reasons. After the holiday season he stops scheduling me entirely unless it is to cover sick call outs. Then I get this phone call.)

Manager: “Hi, [My Name], this is [Manager]. I’m calling because you never filled out this paperwork.”

Me: “I didn’t know I had any paperwork to fill out. I’m sorry.”

Manager: “Well, you have to do it on the store computer and it was due three weeks ago. Everyone had to do it, but you didn’t.”

Me: “So, you do know you haven’t scheduled me in the last two months, right? I call every week.”

Manager: “Right, but this was due three weeks ago.”

Me: “How was I supposed to do it on the store computer if you never have me in the store? Why didn’t anyone tell me about it when I called to see if I was on the schedule?”

Manager: “Yeah, it was due three weeks ago.”

Me: “I didn’t know about it and you haven’t scheduled me in months. Why are you calling me now if it was due three weeks ago?”

Manager: “Well, you should just come in sometime and we’ll talk in person.”

(A couple days later, I go in to talk to him. After repeating that I should have known about something I had no way of knowing, I ask why I haven’t been scheduled.)

Manager: “Well, can you work midnight shifts?”

Me: “No. I take the bus and the last bus home for me leaves at nine.”

Manager: “Everyone has to work at least one midnight shift a week. You can get someone to give you a ride home.”

Me: “I’m not really comfortable with that. I don’t want to have to ask a different person for a ride home every night and have the entire store know where I live. I take the bus. When I was hired, I was told I did not have to work until midnight because of the bus schedule.”

Manager: “Everyone has to do it.”

(At this point I ask if several employees who have only ever worked one specific shift in the ten-plus years they had been there were now working midnights. He says no to each one.)

Manager: “Everyone has to work until midnight at least once a week, so you’ll just have to get a ride home or get a car.”

Me: “I would love to get a car, but I don’t have enough money for one. It’s hard to make money when you’re not on the schedule.”

Manager: “What about the people you live with?”

Me: “They have a newborn and jobs they wake up early for. I can’t ask them to pick me up. As for the people here, I am not comfortable asking perpetual strangers to take me home. When I was hired [Old Manager] promised I would not be forced to work beyond the bus schedule.”

Manager: “Well, if you won’t work midnights, I’ll have to fire you.”

Me: “Let me get this straight. You’re firing me for not having a car?”

Manager: “For refusing to work.”

Me: “I can’t work midnights. I was hired on the condition I would never have to work midnights. There are no buses past nine. I can work any other shift up to 8:50 pm. I want to work. I need a paycheck.”

Manager: “Okay, well, I’m just going to have to let you go. If you want, I can put a note in your file that this was a mutual decision so you can work for the company again in the future.”

Me: “Absolutely not. This is NOT a mutual agreement. You are FIRING me. And don’t worry. After my experience in the last year with you, I would never try to work for the company again. They clearly do not care about their employees!”

(I was friends with several of the shift managers and heard that over the next year, more than half the store had either quit because of his policies or had been fired for similarly flimsy reasons.)

When The Register Is Frozen, Let It Go

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Working | September 24, 2015

(This happens on my second trip to the pharmacy in the same day. Note, I have plenty of experience as a cashier and actually own a small shop, but I generally pretend to be ignorant as a customer so as not to offend cashiers who do not know what they are doing.)

Pharmacy Tech: *referring to the Point of Sale machine* “It’s going to tell you to sign before you swipe your card.”

Machine: *displays words* “Please swipe card.”

Me: *swipes card without waiting for the screen I am supposed to sign*

Machine: *flashes rapidly between the screen I was supposed to sign and the total, then says* “Processing, please wait.”

Me: “Oops! I was supposed to sign first.”

Pharmacy Tech: “On my end, it says it is waiting for you.”

Me: *turning POS around so he can read it* “On my end, it says, “Processing, please wait.””

Pharmacy Tech: “Well, these are new. I have no idea what to do about that! Try hitting cancel.”

Me: *hits cancel*

(The pharmacy tech hits cancel about twenty times, which any cashier who has used a POS before should know causes the system to freeze. He calls to another employee behind him.)

Pharmacy Tech: “She swiped her card before signing. It’s frozen. What am I supposed to do now?”

Pharmacy Tech #2: “I don’t know. Just shut it down and move to another register.”

(I left wondering how long it would take before they froze all three of their registers.)

Needs An Urgent Prescription Of Common Decency

| MA, USA | Right | September 16, 2015

(My wife is a pharmacist for a large chain. She works overnight shifts. A woman comes in with a prescription from the ER. She notes that there are allergies on the patient’s record which may be present in the medication.)

Pharmacist: “There is a possible allergy with this; I’ll need to check the ingredients for this manufacturer.”

Customer: “You don’t need to check that. I’ve taken this before. I have twins at home and I’m in a hurry.”

Pharmacist: “What kind of reactions do you get?”

Customer: “Well, my tongue and throat swell up, and I get bad rashes on my feet.”

(What she is describing is anaphylaxis and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome respectively, both serious and potentially lethal reactions even on their own. Unsurprisingly my wife feels the patient’s assurance isn’t sufficient and decides to check the ingredients to be sure it won’t kill her. The customer is obviously pissed that she has to wait. Unfortunately the ingredients show the allergens are present.)

Pharmacist: “I’m sorry, there are [allergens] present in this medication and I can’t fill it. However, I will try to contact the ER doctor to get a substitute.”

(The patient begins to give death looks and muttering angrily. The medication in question is a narcotic and a controlled substance. The laws which control the filling of the medications require a hard copy, and cannot usually be taken over the phone at all. The only way around this is to use certain emergency protocols which require the doctor to get the prescription hard copy to the pharmacy in a very short time. This is always a risky business for pharmacists in case the hard copy doesn’t make it. Most of the time a pharmacy will just refuse to fill the script, which they are within their rights to do. Against the odds, my wife manages to get the ER doctor on the phone. He agrees to switch the medication to Percoset and says he will personally deliver the hard copy in a couple hours after his shift ends.)

Pharmacist: “We got the prescription changed to Percoset, and the doctor will bring—”

Customer: “I don’t want Tylenol.”

(The customer begins getting even louder and more surly and increases the death stare. My wife knows that this customer has just decided to be angry and will just escalate it from here.)

Pharmacist: “Please, just stop. I can’t fill something that might hurt you. I’ll contact the doctor again to try to get something else.”

(She gets a hold of him and they switch it to Oxycodone. The doctor will still bring the new prescription over. During the call another doctor calls in on the second line. My wife briefly switches over to speak to them before resuming the original call. This takes about a minute. At this point not only has the patient been saved from a possible allergic reaction, but a doctor who has been who-knows-how-long at the ER is going to make a special trip on his own time to make sure she can get her prescription.)

Pharmacist: “Okay, we’ve got it switched to Oxy—”

Customer: “I don’t want to hear what you have to say.”

(She holds up her hand like a mouth and does a movement which clearly indicates “shut up”. My wife is livid at this point, but tries to focus on what she’s doing. She goes to ring her up.)

Pharmacist: “I think it might be better if [coworker from the front end] rang you out.”

Customer: “I think it might be.”

(My wife stepped away and tried to calm down and get her focus back on her other work. While Coworker was ringing the customer out she could hear her complaining about her. One of her complaints was that she took a minute to talk to on the phone to the other doctor. The punchline to all this is that the patient was given some pills at the ER and could have gone straight home with the meds if she was really in such a hurry, and filled the prescription the next day.)

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