Can’t Table That Discussion

, , , , | Working | August 23, 2017

(I’m a waitress at a family restaurant. In this instance, I’m waiting on a couple whose food is taking a bit longer than expected — pushing 30 minutes when our normal turn-around is 10. Despite apologizing for the delay and asking how I can help, they’re looking more and more frustrated. The food finally comes out, and it isn’t up to the standards that I like when I serve my food, but the customers are hungry, so I risk it. I take it out to them, and they’re not pleased with the quality of one of the side dishes. I go to get a new one, and the kitchen is in the process of making a new batch. I already know this table is sick of waiting, and they would probably be upset when I tell them they need to wait even longer. I go to give my manager a head’s up. This particular manager is not the best with customer interaction despite being a great team member.)

Me: “Hey, table 16 had been waiting for their food for about half an hour, and when I finally took it out there, they weren’t pleased with the mashed potatoes. I went to get a new order from the kitchen, but they’re making a fresh batch. It’s going to take another 5 minutes. They were already upset with the original delay, I can’t go back out there and tell them they have to wait more. Will you please go talk to them?”

Manager: “If they haven’t complained yet, I’m not going to go talk to them.”

(I headed back out to the table and relayed the delay, visibly cringing and apologizing for the delay; lo and behold, they wanted to talk to a manager. I couldn’t help but smirk as I popped my head back in and told her that Table 16 requested to talk to her.)

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Everyone Is Hungry To Help

, , , , , | Hopeless | June 27, 2017

The other day, while coming home from an afternoon event, I decided to save some time before I go home to eat dinner and pick up some cinder blocks that I want to use in my backyard for a raised garden bed. I’m not that hungry, right? 85 degree weather shouldn’t bother me, right?

Maybe not so much. After checking out and pushing the heavily loaded cart of cinder blocks up the parking lot to my car, I start feeling light-headed and having white sparkles across my vision. I decide to walk back to the store and find a water fountain, but have to stop and sit down part of the way there, then pause to catch my breath near the entrance of the store, and end up going to one knee once I am inside so that I don’t totally black out.

Here is where the awesome part of the story begins. Every single person who sees me, whether an employee or a fellow customer, asks if I am all right. When I go to one knee, a woman who had just passed me, after I had assured her I was okay, turns around and comes right back to grab a bottle of water for me from a nearby display. More than that, the man at the nearby checkout told the cashier to put the water on his bill!

After I finished the water and caught my breath, the cashier made sure that another employee came out to my car and helped me load the cinder blocks. I was able to drive home just fine and was perfectly recovered after having dinner and resting up a bit. They say you should never go grocery shopping hungry… I guess that also applies to large heavy hunks of concrete!

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The Running Dead

, , , , | Romantic | June 26, 2017

(I go out for a jog, after not having exercised in a while, so I’m happy that I get my heart rate up. I go home and let my husband know that I exercised. He proceeds to try to find my pulse to determine how fast my heart is going. He has no luck finding my pulse on my wrist. I find it on my throat, and guide his fingers to find it. He still can’t find it, so he tries my wrist again. I tell him he will have more luck using my neck and try to help him find it again. No luck. Our conclusion?)

Me: “I guess I’m dead.”

Husband: “You’re just heartless.”

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A Cardboard Cut-Out Cashier Would Have Been Better

, , , , | Working | June 20, 2017

(I own a prepaid phone and have to purchase a top-up card every month in order to keep my service active. A couple of days before my minutes are due, I decide to go to the grocery store that is close to my work to pick up my top-up card. I have never been to this grocery store before but I am able to find the top-up card quickly and have no trouble until I get to the register to check out. I hand the card to one of the two associates standing there.)

Cashier #1: *looks at the card and sighs in frustration* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m afraid you cannot purchase this.”

Me: “Oh, why not? I have bought the same exact card at [Other Location] and never had any trouble before.”

Cashier #1: “I’m afraid this isn’t a legitimate card you can buy. You see, it’s a piece of cardboard and it doesn’t come with an actual gift card. I think you might’ve picked up an advertisement for the card.”

Me: *patiently* “This isn’t a gift card. It is a top up card for [Cellphone Carrier]. If you look on the back, you will see there is a—”

Cashier #1: *interrupts* “No, this isn’t a legitimate card. You can’t buy it. Let me show you where the right card is.”

(Before I can reply she walks away from the register and I follow her over back to the gift card section. She quickly picks up a card, shoves it into my hand, and rips the prepaid card I was holding out of my other hand.)

Cashier #1: “There you go! That’s the right card you needed.”

(I look at the card she gave me and realize that this not only is the wrong one but it is a top-up card to a completely different company.)

Me: “No, this isn’t the right card. This is a card to a different phone company. I need to buy the card you are holding in your hand.”

Cashier #1: *sighs in annoyance and says very slowly as if she was speaking to a child* “This… is… a… piece… of… cardboard… You… can’t… buy… this.”

(I look at my watch and realize that I am already late for work. I have worked in a customer service environment before so the whole time I am interacting with her, I am trying to keep my patience, but am slowly beginning to lose it.)

Me: “This is the card I need. I am in a hurry to get to work so please, just scan the card. I am positive this is the legitimate card and it will scan.”

Cashier #1: “You can’t buy this. What part of it don’t you understand?”

Me: *finally losing my patience* “Can I speak to a manager?”

Cashier #1: *groans and throws her head back* “Fine, but she is going to tell you the exact same thing.”

(We walk back to the register and she angrily walks over to the other cashier standing there.)

Cashier #1: “This customer wants to buy this card but she isn’t understanding this is a piece of cardboard and is not legitimate. She is insisting this is the right card.”

Me: “It is the right card. Your cashier is not listening to me and keeps interrupting me when I try explaining this is a top-up card for [Cellphone Carrier]. It isn’t a gift card and there is no actual card attached to it because it has a scratch off code on the back of the card.”

Cashier #2: *looks at [Cashier #1]* “Did you try scanning this card, [Cashier #1]?”

Cashier #1: “No! It is a piece of cardboard! It will not scan! Why isn’t anyone listening to me?”

Cashier #2: “Well, let’s just try it.” *she scans the card and the amount comes up on the register*

Cashier #1: “No, that’s impossible! It’s a f****** piece of cardboard. It’s not legitimate!”

Cashier #2: “Obviously it’s legitimate if it scans. I will ask you not to swear in front of our loyal customers. Finish ringing up this purchase and after you’re done I will like a word with you in the back. It seems like you need a little more training if you can’t tell the difference between an actual top-up card and a piece of cardboard.”

(Cashier #2 apologizes profusely for the service I received, offers a discount on my next purchase, then walks away to the back room while shaking her head. Cashier #1 stomps her feet, groans, and quietly finishes the transaction. She puts the card in a bag and slams it down in front of me.)

Cashier #1: *coldly* “Have a fantastic day.”

Me: “Thank you; I intend to.”

(As I walked away, I heard her muttered ‘It’s a stupid piece of cardboard’ and when I turned around, she was stomping her feet as she walked to the manager’s office.)

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Graded A Bee Plus

, , , , , , | Learning | June 15, 2017

(During my senior year of high school, I sign up to take a class called ‘Preschool Lab.’ It is a class where we teach pre-schoolers between the ages of three to five, and create weekly lesson plans. This class is mainly for students who are either planning on going into early childhood education or are thinking about it. Although this class is a lot of fun and I enjoy working with the children and seeing them grow, the teacher can come off as rude every once in a while if we do something that is beyond her expectations, especially when it comes to their art projects. It is the first day of preschool class during the spring semester and we have two new students who have just turned three years old and are also twins. They are the youngest while the other students are between the ages of four and five. A lot of my classmates and teachers are frustrated with the twins because they do their own thing but they begin to become attached to me and only want to work with me. One day we are working on creating bumblebees and I am helping one of the twins create hers. She puts one eye near the top of the paper and the other eye near the nose. Since my teacher likes all of the projects to be the exact same way and “perfect,” I open my mouth to correct her but when she smiles proudly and is so excited that she put the eyes on by herself, I don’t have the heart to tell her it is wrong. I don’t think it will be a big deal, since she did everything else correctly, so I decide to praise her.)

Me: “[Twin #1]! I love your bumblebee. It’s so good! Well done!”

(As I say this, I notice the classmate next to me look over at it and frown, then get up to talk to the teacher. The twin begins laughing and turns around to show her sister, who also did the eyes a little unevenly but is also really proud of herself. When I hear my teacher clear her throat behind me, I look up and to my surprise, she looks furious.)

Teacher: “[Classmate], help [Twin #1] and [Twin #2] fix the eyes while I talk to [My Name] outside.”

(My classmate tries to help the twins fix their artwork but they immediately put their hands on their artwork to prevent her and start to cry. When I get in the hallway, my teacher glares at me and I know what is about to happen.)

Teacher: “[My Name], you know all of the pre-schooler’s projects have to be exactly the same. Why on earth would you encourage those twins to do their projects incorrectly?”

Me: “They are proud of their artwork and I wasn’t going to discourage them just because it isn’t the same as the other classmates.”

Teacher: “But I expect you to! If the parents saw that their artwork were different from the other students, they will start to think their children are stupid and can’t do a simple task!”

(I have met the twins’ parents multiple times and I know for a fact they would want me to encourage their children, no matter how different their work turns out from their classmates.)

Me: “I’m sorry but they were proud of themselves for finishing their artwork and when [Classmate] tried to correct them, they got upset. Not every student’s artwork has to be the exactly the same as each other and it doesn’t mean they are stupid. I’m not going to discourage them over a little mistake when they did everything else correctly.”

Teacher: *sighs* “I don’t think the twins are adjusting to the preschool. I think it’s time for me to talk to the parents to consider pulling them out and when they see their bumblebees I’m sure they will see where I’m coming from. In the future, [My Name], make sure that EVERY project is exactly the same as the other students and that they are perfect. I’m afraid I’m going to have to deduct points from you today for not following instructions.”

(When we go back into the classroom, I notice the twins are still crying and refusing to let my classmate fix their bees, and when my teacher instructs my classmate to let it go, she moves on to the next kid. When I sit back down next to the twins, they show me their bees again and I smile at them and tell them they did a very good job while ignoring the glares my classmate and teacher are giving me. When the class is over, my teacher pulls the twins’ parents aside to talk to them about how the twins aren’t adjusting, but when they see their parents, the twins grab their artwork and run over to them.)

Twin #1: “Mommy, Daddy! Look, I made a bee!”

Twin #2: “Look at my bumblebee, Mommy and Daddy!”

(The parents look at the bumblebees and look at the teacher, and back at the twins, and say:)

Mother: “Oh, [Twin #1] and [Twin #2], these are beautiful bees! I love the way the eyes are!”

Father: “Wow! These are perfect bees and are going right on our fridge! Good job, girls!”

Teacher: “But do you see why I don’t think the girls are ready for preschool? See how uneven the eyes are compared to the other student’s bees?”

Father: “Of course they are going to be different from the other students! They just turned three. It’s not going to be perfect but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready for preschool!”

Mother: “We are very proud of our girls for attempting it and we want our daughter’s artwork to stand out from the other students. If you don’t believe in our children like we do then I don’t think this is the right preschool for us.”

Father: “Come on, girls! How about we take you out for a little ice cream for doing a good job today at preschool?”

(Before my teacher could open her mouth to argue, the parents grabbed their stuff and left the classroom. Surprisingly the twins did come back the next day and by the end of the semester, they were probably the most creative students out of the entire class. Even though my teacher never apologized to me or gave me my points back, the twins still insisted to only work with me and she never again criticized me or deducted points from me for letting them do their own thing!)

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