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A collection of stories curated from different subreddits, adapted for NAR.

These People Sound Really Un-Stable

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: MO11YY | December 15, 2020

I was like a lot of young girls; I loved horses. “That crazy horse girl” was me, and I was her. My parents weren’t rich, so when I got ten lessons at our local stables for my ninth birthday, I was ecstatic, and I literally fell in love. I saved up to ride more, and I always dreamed about becoming a professional horseback rider. But there was one catch: the owners of the stable.

They quickly saw my enthusiasm and, being a new yard knee-deep in work, they made an offer that I literally cried over with sheer joy. When I was ten, they said I could work there! So, I started working every Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm and some days after school. But I wasn’t getting paid, and I actually still had to pay them for my half-hour group riding lessons on Saturdays.

Not only was I working like a dog there, but they didn’t have any shelter for me and wouldn’t let me in their house. One winter was so bad that I sat in a stable and cried, trying to heat my hands up against a horse. I was an eleven-year old, freezing to death, and they wouldn’t let me in their mansion because I had “work to do.” The only toilet at the stables that I was allowed to use was in a rundown shed that had never been cleaned in the years I was there.

I got pneumonia; I developed hypothermia and I already had childhood asthma. I don’t remember a lot from that period of time, but I do remember going back to horse riding after recovering and getting yelled at for being away too long.

I was ignored, yelled at, and overall treated like crap, so my parents decided that at the very least I shouldn’t have to pay for lessons. Well, when I told the owners, they laughed at this and basically told me to f*** off, and I knew if I told my parents then I wouldn’t be allowed to go back. So, my parents stopped paying for lessons under the assumption I was getting them for free due to all my work, and I just pretended I was getting them when, in reality, I wasn’t.

Unfortunately, although my parents were aware it was a bad situation, they had no idea I didn’t have shelter or sanitary setups, but they knew the owners treated me like crap. I would lie and tell them plots of horse cartoons I’d seen, pretending I’d done it with my imaginary yard friends — sad, I know — and I told them that I was always given hot chocolate. And they did try to stop me going a few times, but I would cry for days and beg them to let me go back because I loved the horses so much.

I started dreading going, but I loved the horses and couldn’t imagine not seeing them every weekend, so I put up with the freezing weather, the abuse, and the exhaustion until I was fourteen. Something snapped and I had a mental breakdown and called my mum to come pick me up. The owners were furious because I was supposed to be leading a few lessons that day — another great perk of the job was walking around an arena for three hours nonstop, leading the new riders — and hadn’t finished mucking out all the stables. I couldn’t do it anymore and went home. For the first time in forever, I slept in and went out with friends.

A few months later, I started missing the horses badly and booked a lesson so I could see them. (I know, but I was desperate.) But when I got there, I found out that my favourite horse had died. No one had told me. I was getting weekly texts from the owners demanding I go in, but no one had even thought to tell me that the horse I had grown attached to over four years had died! I left right then and there in tears. They still made me pay for the lesson I never went to — even though it was a group lesson and this happened a few hours beforehand — and sent abusive messages to me until I blocked them.

They sold their school horses shortly after and became a livery yard. I walked away from horse riding after losing all faith in the sport. I do still miss the horses I looked after, and I hope they’re in the best homes possible. I gave this family my weekends, my time, and my childhood, and they didn’t give me anything in return. Sometimes they would even pretend I hadn’t paid for a lesson, knowing I was too anxious to protest, and I would cry at the end of the day, counting that $30 I had given them for nothing.

I eventually told my parents; they are racked with guilt to this day and have apologised a lot. I didn’t realise at that age that I was being abused because — even though most of the time the owners would talk down to me and shout at me — they would occasionally compliment me, and I would feel so appreciated and happy.

As I’ve told this story, a lot of people have pointed out that this was way more serious than I gave it credit for, and I’ve decided that I will try and take legal action, or at the very least, get the message out about how bad they treated the help. I’m not sure how it’ll go, but I’ve realised that if they did it to me, they’ll do it to other kids, and I will try shine a light on the truth of this company.

And He Rode Off In A Puff Of Smoke

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Tapico18 | December 15, 2020

I work as a night manager in a hotel. I just started my shift, and I get information regarding a guest who is acting a bit shady, has a connection-reservation coming up which he has not paid for yet, and still has a few bar bills to pay.

One of my colleagues dialed him at 6:00 pm.

Colleague: “I was wondering when you’re planning to come down to finalize your payment?”

Guest: “I’ll be down in just a moment.”

At 9:00 pm, my colleague saw him run out of the lobby without saying anything to the front desk.

I start my shift at 10:30 pm and get all the info I need. I pay a visit to the room he has departed from. I stumble upon one of the dirtiest rooms I have ever witnessed. He has smoked a lot in the shower, and there is ash everywhere; we are a smoke-free hotel.

I go back to the front desk and try to charge his card for the bar bill and as well as the smoking fee. It is declined. I remember overhearing from a colleague that he opens and closes his card however he wants to avoid late payments.

Anyway, I tell myself that if he walks back in, I will make him pay for the bar bill and the smoking fee and then refuse to check him in again.

At 11:30 pm, the madman walks in again and orders me to finalize his connection-reservation.

Me: “I will finalize the payment from your previous stay, in addition to a smoking fee; I found evidence that you smoked in the room.”

Guest: “I’m not paying any smoking fee! I didn’t smoke in the room!”

I show him some pictures of the room.

Guest: *Shrugging* “The ashes must have fallen off of my clothes from when I smoked outside.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we have evidence.”

He gives up.

Guest: “I’m just gonna call a friend.”

And he takes off running.

I stand there confused. I know that his card will decline, and I feel like it’s not worth it to call the cops etc. After two minutes, I see that he has borrowed one of these electric bikes you can rent around town, and at the same second that he drives past our entrance, I realise that he has activated his card to be able to rent the bike! So, I pull up his folio and try to charge his card once again, and the missing payments go through! He tried to flee, but I feel like I outsmarted him.

He called us later and said that we did not have the right to charge his card after his stay. I simply answered that we do have the right to charge a card if there are missing payments. That is what he signed when he registered. He just said, “See you in court!” and hung up.

Part-Time Worker, Full-Time Idiot

, , | Working | CREDIT: jennareid | December 14, 2020

We’re looking to hire an additional employee. We put up a post for a full-time position on a job-posting site, and we get a few good candidates. One we have pegged as a “maybe,” but she calls, despite a “No calls, please” notice in the ad, and basically convinces my partner to interview her. My partner has a big heart and sets up an interview for 1:00 pm, a time chosen by candidate.

Based on her resume, this woman is in her late thirties or early forties. On the day of the interview, 1:10 goes by and she’s a no-show, so I send out our usual rejection letter and get the following reply.

Applicant: “Dear [Partner]—

“I am sorry we didn’t get the chance to meet about the [position] job. I was interested in the position. I still am. If you would like to meet another time, please let me know. I was on the bus and I suddenly remembered that I was late for the interview; this was at 1:41 p.m. The thing is, I am not interested in a full-time position. I couldn’t work on Wednesday or Thursday, because of my other job. If this doesn’t meet your requirements, I understand. The hours that were discussed, 10:30 to 6:30, sound perfect for me, as I am not a morning person. Also, I am not too far away, making it very convenient.

“Good luck finding someone to join your team.”

The response pretty much scared me; the list of red flags just seems to go on and on. I’m really surprised just how out of touch this person is. She can’t be bothered to remember an interview. She doesn’t want to work full-time, despite the job being listed as full-time. She doesn’t want to work mornings. And I’m still not sure if the “good luck” part is a threat or not.

An offer had gone out to another candidate by 1:15.

A Heart-Racing Day In The Hotel Business

, , , | Working | CREDIT: Antistar84 | December 14, 2020

Race week in my town is booked a year in advance by most people; by February there is little to no hope of getting a room in this town. 

It’s the last week of February. I’m in control of reception, taking over from my manager who is on maternity leave. Guests are coming to the hotel in droves, dropping off their luggage, and going to the races. We are handing out keys in pre-packaged welcome envelopes. Porters are taking luggage to rooms. The champagne is flowing. We are a well-oiled machine.

We are down to our last few check-ins. Suddenly, two executive busses pull up in front of the hotel. No alarm bells here yet; we think nothing of it for a few minutes as it isn’t uncommon for corporate guests to hire busses to get to the racecourse from the hotel. But then, the leader of the group gets off the bus and comes to my desk.

Leader: “Hi, we have a reservation for forty.”

Thinking this is a restaurant booking, as we do have a few functions this morning, I ask:

Me: “Can I take your name, please?”

She then tells me her name and company name.

Me: “I will be back shortly; I will check your booking with the restaurant.”

I’m about to walk away from my desk to find the function coordinator where she stops me dead in my tracks.

Leader: “We have a reservation for forty people, twenty rooms.”

I crack a fake smile and laugh, thinking this is all a joke.

Me: “Umm… No, you don’t?!”

My laughter quickly turns into dread when she pulls out a binder stacked with paperwork and passes it to me.

Leader: “Our confirmations are in here.”

Taking the binder, I hastily open it and cannot believe what I am seeing: a full printed email trail with my old manager who is still on maternity, their booking complete with deposit receipts and confirmations for rooms booked. However, I notice that these rooms have numbers and not names. All of the rooms in the hotel are individually named, so I look at this information in disbelief, now knowing full well what my manager has done.

She most definitely booked them last year in March as a block booking, gave the company a competitive price, and took the deposit, but did not allocate any of the rooms on to the system. Instead, she put them in a “virtual room” to hold their deposits in until said deposits were paid in full, at which point they would be transferred to real rooms. It turns out that this company did actually pay the remaining balance with the events manager just before the reception manager went on maternity. However, the reception manager called in sick for her last week. It was handed over via email but never picked up by the assistant manager, as she was literally now left running a department unexpectedly, so the email slipped in between handovers and was not chased up.

With my heart well and truly sunk, I go to the computer to check if the information I saw with my own eyes is correct, and lo and behold, in March of last year, there is an unallocated block booking that was paid for, and because it was never allocated, it therefore expired a few months later. And obviously, because race week is so popular, it didn’t take at all long for the hotel to fill.

I grasp at straws, as by now, the woman is staring a hole into my head. The only thing that I manage to blurt out is:

Me: “Can I see your group booking confirmation?”

She explains that she can’t provide me with it, but the paperwork in front of me does show that they have a booking. I stall.

Me: “I apologize; this information looks correct, but I can’t seem to find your booking. Bear with me.”

I get up and go into the reception manager’s office behind me and frantically dial the acting general manager’s number, only to be met with his phone ringing out; it is his only day off this week and he went to the races as he had never been.

I’m almost in tears at this point, waiting for the ground for me to swallow me up. I cannot believe I am in this situation! I freeze and look at the window, contemplating jumping out and running away. I do NOT want to go back outside to face the music of a problem I did not create. I am rudely interrupted by another receptionist at the door.

Receptionist: “The lady outside wants to talk to you. Why are you taking so long?”

It is time to bite the bullet.

With nothing more to lose, I go out and smile.

Me: “I’m ever so sorry for keeping you waiting. Unfortunately, there has been a mix-up; the agreement that you have in your binder is with our old reception manager who is actually on maternity leave. I don’t want to pass the blame, but she did not allocate you any rooms, and subsequently, we are fully booked.”

Before she can say anything, I quickly add on:

Me: “I was trying to get my general manager on the line; unfortunately, I can’t get hold of him at the moment. Please do take a seat. I will try my best to get him here as soon as I can. Would you care for a drink whilst you’re waiting?”

She blankly stares at me in disbelief.

Leader: “What do you mean, you are fully booked? We booked this last year!”

I go on to explain again.

Me: “Unfortunately, the agreement you had with our reception manager is void; being 100% honest, she did not allocate you any rooms. I have only been on reception for a month. The best I can do right now is to give you a full refund, but unfortunately, I can’t do anything more than that without my general manager’s authorization.”

Surprisingly, the woman understands the situation. She isn’t happy, but she isn’t angry either. I think the realization is dawning that she herself booked these rooms and she now has to face her company and boss to tell them they have no rooms. I am now preparing for the arduous task of sorting this mess out by myself. The duty manager’s diary does not cover scenarios such as this.

Moments later, almost miraculously — like an angel sent by God — the interim general manager appears on his way out to the races.

General Manager: “I forgot my wallet. Did you ring?”

I pounce on him and I explain the situation to him in front of the woman. He then takes her to one side, instructs me to call all of our sister properties to see if we can honour the booking elsewhere, and then goes over to the woman to explain the situation.

It took a good two hours, but we eventually managed to out book all forty people to various hotels in the neighbouring counties. We took a loss, as they had technically paid us, and we promised them all transport to and from the hotels they all stayed at each night and arranged to have them picked up at their hotels to go the racecourse and back to our hotel for dinner. We also sent each and every guest a complimentary bottle of house champagne. The crisis was averted, and I didn’t have to deal with any of the backlash from this, as it wasn’t my fault, to begin with. If it weren’t for the interim general manager forgetting his wallet, I have no idea how this story would have turned out.

Time To Roll His Fingers Up In The Window

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: AmazonSeagoat | December 14, 2020

A friend and I are at a Mexican takeout restaurant for dinner. We are NOT wearing masks because we are just going through the drive-thru and staying in our vehicle. We call from the drive-thru line — the speaker is broken — place the order, and pay at the window.

Employee #1: “Hi! Please go park, and we’ll bring your food out to you.”

We wait ten or fifteen minutes — not long at all — and I see a man approaching the car. I can see from a distance that what he is bringing us is the wrong order, there isn’t enough food, and he has no mask. He gives the food to my friend in the driver’s seat, she checks to make sure it’s wrong, and we flag him back after about five minutes.

We are shooting the s***, so we aren’t even worried about time. We aren’t even too concerned about the order mistake, actually.

Friend: “I’m really sorry, but this is the wrong order.”

We give him the food back.

This is where things take a turn.

He gets all huffy.

Employee #2: “Ugh! The kitchen messed up the order!”

Me: “It’s not a big deal; we just wanted to make sure we got the right order.”

He goes back inside. He comes back out within thirty seconds from the kitchen back door, still with no mask, and now with bare hands. He hands the new bag to my friend.

Friend: “Um… this isn’t what we ordered, either.”

The employee blames the kitchen again.

We wait for five minutes. The employee comes back out and approaches my window. My friend waves him to her side but he ignores her. She lowers the window to verbally tell him, and he leans into the car. He puts his hands on the window ledge, leaning on my door, talking across me to my friend.

Me: *Immediately* “Please back up.”

He looks at me and keeps on talking.

Me: “Please back up.”

He leans in closer. My friend joins me in telling him to get away from me. I tell him to back up one more time, clearly pissed, and he just stands there, still in my window violating my personal space.

I push him out of the window and out of my personal space.

Me: “Back the f*** up! I asked you three times!”

Employee #2: *Jumping back* “Weird.”

Then, he walks to the driver’s side to talk to my friend about the third wrong order… which is also wrong. We just take it because I’m fuming and we need to just go. As she tells him we’re going to leave, he begins to shout as loud as he can.

Employee #2: “WE DON’T WEAR MASKS HERE! YOU SHOULDN’T BE SO MEAN TO ME! I MADE YOUR FOOD MYSELF AND YOU WANNA BE RUDE TO ME?! WE AREN’T WEARING NO MASKS, AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T COME BACK!”

I was already too upset to eat, but this just confirmed that I would not be eating anything from there ever again. Am I the a**hole for making him give me space? To be honest, I would have had the exact same response, health crisis or not. I don’t know why he would be comfortable leaning into the car of someone he didn’t know. We’re two women. It totally made me uncomfortable for him to be in my space like that. I had never seen this man in my life. It was unprofessional at best.