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Managers Under Pressure

, , , , , | Working | November 30, 2020

I get some new tires for my mini SUV. On the way home, the ride is bouncier than ever. I check the pressure, which is at twice the value on the door sticker. I call the store.

Me: “Hi. I just bought some tires there, and I was wondering why you would use fifty psi for an 1800-pound vehicle?”

Manager: “Um, because that’s what it says on the side of the tire?”

Me: “You do know what ‘max load rating’ means, right?”

Manager: “Uhhh… If you come back, we’ll let some air out of the tires for you.”

Me: “I’ve got it, thank you.”

I still buy tires there, because they seem honest and generally do a good job. You just have to check afterward.

Don’t Be Russian To Conclusions

, , , , , , , | Friendly | November 4, 2020

My mother is in her eighties. One day, I come by while she is having a party with a few of her old-lady friends. The issue of race-relations comes up.

Old Lady #1: “I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with black people or Mexicans.”

Old Lady #2: “Right, we’re all the same in God’s eyes!”

Me: *Thinking* Gee, how nice to hear all these old people saying—”

Mother: “Except for those d*** Russians!”

Old Lady #1: “Yeah, and they stink, too!”

Old Lady #2: “And they eat soup with their bare hands!”

I was a bit bummed, but then I remembered that they had all lost family, and then their whole country, to Russian invaders.

Getting Heated Over Coffee Temperature, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | October 28, 2020

I’m a server at a restaurant attached to a hotel at a popular theme park. Normally, we’re a full-service, high-end restaurant, but in the mornings, we offer a complimentary breakfast buffet for hotel guests. All the servers do in the mornings are drinks. I’m coming to the end of my shift. I have three other tables when I get this one.

Me: “All right, folks, here are your drinks this morning. Can I help you out with anything else?”

Customer #1: “No, thank you.”

The customer takes a sip of the fresh coffee I have placed on the table and immediately spits it out.


Me: “Pardon? Is something wrong with the coffee?”

Customer #1: “It’s scalding! You should really warn people. I just burned myself.”

Me: “It is just brewed, ma’am, but I’m very sorry. Would you like to speak with my manager or a medic?”

I’m required, if the guest in any way indicates they are hurt or distressed, to offer management and onsite medical attention.

Customer #1: “No, I’m just letting you know for the future. Someone could get hurt and file a lawsuit.”

It’s worth noting at this point that we serve our coffee in paper cups so people can take it with them. On the side of the cups and the sleeves and the lids, “Caution: hot!” is written in all caps and bright red lettering. I listen to her go off for another minute.

Customer #1: “Anyway, I drink a lot of coffee but this is hot and it hurt.”

Me: “I’m sorry I can’t do more to help. Would you like something else to drink, maybe milk to help cool it, or water?”

Customer #1: “No, I’ll wait for it to cool.”

Wondering why she couldn’t have done that in the first place, I fix my cheery smile back on my face.

Me: “All right, well, let me know if you need anything else. Otherwise, enjoy your breakfast!”

I walk back over to my other table. I’ve gotten on amazing with her since we bonded over horror stories; she used to be a server. She rolls her eyes at me and speaks loud enough for the other guest to hear.

Customer #2: “Can I get some more of that amazing coffee?”

When I return with her newly-filled cup, she takes a small sip.

Customer #2: “Thank you for ensuring the freshness of the coffee. I hate when people give me lukewarm coffee. It’s not too hot; it seems perfect to anyone who can read the word ‘hot’ on the cup.”

[Customer #1] turned red and left with her husband. She complained about me to my manager, but [Customer #2] also spoke to my manager and said I handled myself well. She left me a large tip, which helped because Ms. “I Drink A Lot Of Coffee” left me nothing.

Getting Heated Over Coffee Temperature

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 13

, , , , , | Right | October 10, 2020

I’m an optician working in a large warehouse store. Since glasses and contacts are medical devices, some insurance companies will cover the cost of them, but we don’t have contracts with every provider for direct billing.

Customer: “I just have a quick question.”

Me: “Yes, sir?”

Customer: “Do you take my insurance here?”

Me: “Who’s your vision care provider, sir?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, how about your medical provider?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Okay, is the insurance through your employer or your wife’s employer perhaps?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

A beat or two passes between us.

Me: “Okay… with respect, sir, if you don’t know, how am I supposed to know?”

Customer: “Maybe I should go call my wife.”

Me: “Yes, please, sir. I need at least something to go off of.”

The man never came back with any more info or questions. My coworkers were all baffled, but sadly, we’ve all had exchanges like that.

Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 12
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 11
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 10
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 9
Not Much Assurance About The Insurance, Part 8

Maybe He Didn’t Have Any Other References?

, , , , , , | Working | September 29, 2020

We have a rule at my office that if another company asks for references for a former employee, we can say all the good stuff we want but can never say anything bad. We have one guy that I liked, but he is fired for incompetence. I get this phone call.

Employer: “How did you like working with [Fired Guy]?

Me: “Oh, yeah, he was a great guy!”

Employer: “Did he do quality work as an engineer?”

Me: “Um, I’m going to have to refer you to our company controller in Little Rock.”

Employer: “Oh, I see. Well, thank you very much.”

Later, [Fired Guy] storms into the office.

Fired Guy: “You guys left me with egg on my face! [Manager] wouldn’t talk to him, either! He said he had to go catch an airplane!”

Me: “Sorry, company rules!” 

I couldn’t help thinking, “Why would you use us for a reference after getting fired?”