Your Slacking Is Lacking

, | New Haven CT, USA | Working | February 17, 2017

(I work at a sandwich shop for my very first job ever, and this boss is easily the worst boss I’ll ever have. I injure my wrist a few months into working there, and I approach her with a doctor’s note.)

Boss: “This note is really vague. Are you able to work or not?”

Me: “It just says that I can’t lift anything heavy or use certain repetitive movements with my right wrist, and that a wrap bandage helps me support the injury. It’s only a strain, so I just need time to rest it, nothing serious. But I work with [Coworker] every night, and he and I can figure out how to keep the work fair.”

Boss: “I better not see you slacking off!”

(Usually my boss would leave me and Coworker alone to manage the shop, but tonight she decides to loom over me every minute of the night and criticize.)

Boss: “Why aren’t you slicing tomatoes from the prep list?”

Me: “The tomato slicer is a right-handed machine and it’s a repetitive movement.”

Boss: “Oh but you’re not too lazy to cut onions?”

Me: “…the rotary cutter can be turned around so I can run it left-handed. I can do everything on the list that uses the rotary cutter but not the tomato machine. [Coworker] can slice the tomatoes when I’m done and I’ll take care of customers to free his hands, to make it fair.”

Boss: “You just said that you were avoiding making sandwiches before and that you’d only do the register.”

Me: “No, just that it’s awkward to make sandwiches left handed, and I’m much slower than usual but the register would be much easier for me. If I have a large order I’ll need to call [Coworker] back up but–”

Boss: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s too complicated. Just do the whole prep list like you’re supposed to.”

(I did not. Later, I’m washing dishes in a three bay sink, so I have my wrap bandage off for a short time to keep it dry.)

Boss: “Your note said you needed to wear a wrap bandage at all times!!! You’re lying to me!”

Me: “Not at all times; only when I need the additional support. I’m elbow deep in hot water. This is actually really soothing.”

Boss: “You’re lying to me about your wrist hurting!”

Me: “I’ll bet you a fistful of ibuprofen and the past week of physical therapy that I’m not!”


Boss: “The chore list says that [Coworker] cleans the bathroom and you do the trash. Why are you doing the bathroom?”

Me: “I can’t lift the trash bags to take them outside, but I can wrap a garbage bag to protect my wrap bandage and clean the bathrooms purely left-handed. All I’m doing is spraying bleach and wiping so…”

Boss: “But that’s not what the chore list says. This is [Coworker]’s nightly tasks.”

Me: “We are dividing the labor based on what I can physically accomplish tonight, as equally as possible.”

Boss: “You’re just being lazy!”

Coworker: *returns inside from taking out the trash* “She’s literally done two-thirds of the cleanup tonight while I sat around and waited for customers to walk in the door. How the hell is she lazy? Wouldn’t she have been better off calling out of work all week?!”

(My boss huffed off, continuing to mutter about me slacking off.)

Your Order Is Toast

, | MD, USA | Working | February 13, 2017

(I am ordering a sandwich for lunch at a popular sandwich chain where you watch the employees make the sandwich as you order.)

Me: “I’d like a six-inch, sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub, on whole wheat bread, please.”

Employee: “Toasted?”

Me: “No, but can you heat the chicken, please?”

Employee: “Toasted?”

Me: “Just heat the meat, please.”

Employee: “The bread?”

Me: *getting frustrated* “No, just heat the chicken.”

Employee: “The meat?”

Me: “Yes!”

(She proceeds to place the chicken in the microwave for at least two minutes. The chicken is still in the microwave when I get to the next employee, who isn’t any better…)

Employee #2: “What is this?”

Me: “A sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub.”

Employee #2: “Toasted?”

Me: “No, the meat is in the microwave.”

Employee #2: “You want the bread toasted?”

Me: “No, the chicken is being heated now.”

Employee #2: “Oh!”

(She gets the chicken from the microwave.)

Me: “I’d like lettuce and cucumber please.”

Employee #2: *puts lettuce and tomato on the sandwich* “Lettuce and tomato okay?”

Me: *pointing at cucumber which is away from the tomato* “No tomato, cucumber.”

Employee #2: *picking off lettuce* “Tomato?”

Me: “Lettuce. Cucumber.”

Employee #2: *leaves tomato on, adds lettuce and cucumber* “What’s next?”

Me: “Take off the tomato, please.”

(Eventually she got the sandwich right. I’m not usually picky about what goes on my sandwich but I was ordering for someone else. The people behind and in front of me were having similar communication issues, so it wasn’t just me!)


, | Toledo, OH, USA | Right | February 3, 2017

(I work in a sandwich shop. Due to a recent string of customers ordering sandwiches “with everything” and complaining when a topping they didn’t want is on the sandwich, or telling us which optional toppings they want by ordering them WITHOUT certain optional toppings and then again complaining when it’s not made “right”, we’ve started to require every customer to be very specific with what they want to order on each sandwich. Our most popular sandwich is a Philadelphia cheesesteak, listed on the menu as having steak, cheese, and then listing six optional toppings.)

Customer: “I want a Philly cheese steak.”

Me: “Okay, and what would you like to add to that? It only comes with meat and cheese; the other listed toppings are optional.”

Customer: “No banana peppers.”

Me: “Those actually don’t come on it; they’re just an optional topping. All I need to know is what you DO want.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. No banana peppers.”

Me: “Again, those are optional; I just want to know what you want to ADD. The Philly only comes with meat and cheese by default.”

Customer: “So none of that other stuff is on it?”

Me: “No, but we can add it if you ask for it.”

Customer: “Okay. I don’t want any banana peppers on it.”

Me: “They don’t come on it. What would you like to ADD?”

Customer: “No banana—”

Me: “Sir, the sandwich does not come with banana peppers already on it, so I can’t take them off. I only need to know what you want me to ADD TO the sandwich, not what you DON’T want on it.”

Customer: “Oh, okay, I gotcha. So you only need to know what I want on there other than the meat and cheese.”

Me: “Yes!” *thinking he finally understands*

Customer: “Well, no banana peppers…”

Me: *screams internally*

Take Note Of That Joke

| UK | Right | December 21, 2016

(I supply sandwiches to office workers by taking a selection round to their offices. One of my regulars picks out a tortilla wrap.)

Customer: “Can I pay with plastic?”

Me: “What, for £3.40? Sorry, but I can’t accept cards …”

Customer: *pulls out a new Winston Churchill £5 note*

Me: *cracks up*

(The UK has recently introduced a new £ note made of plastic.)

Sub-Standard Management

| Canada | Working | December 16, 2016

(I am hired to work at a just-opening second location of a popular sandwich shop. In my second week of training, I am becoming familiar with everything but am still not supposed to be scheduled without a trainer. Somehow, due to a scheduling oversight, I arrive for a shift one day to discover that I will be alone with only the owner’s father-in-law (who is not a trainer and doesn’t technically even work there) for part of my shift. It is only for 30 minutes, but as it happens, that is 30 minutes too long…)

Trainer #1: “Well, I’m off. [Trainer #2] should be here in half an hour. Good luck!”

(Soon after, Customer #1 enters, shortly followed by Customer #2. Owner’s FIL offers to serve Customer #1, and tells me to help Customer #2. The way the shop is set up, I have to wait for Customer #1 to pay and leave before I can cash out Customer #2 – there is no way to get around Owner’s FIL to the cash.)

Customer #1: “I’ll have a [sandwich] with [toppings] and no [sauce], please. I’ll also need a [sandwich] with [toppings] and [sauce]. And please hurry because I’m on my way to pick my kids up from school.”

(Owner’s FIL begins making the order. I start talking to Customer #2.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Sandwich Shop]! What can I get you?”

Customer #2: “Yes, I’d like a [sandwich] with [toppings] and [sauce]. And I need it fast because I’m on my way to work.”

Me: “Sure!” *starts making order*

(I get almost done with my customer’s order and am waiting for the till, when I hear and see:)

Customer #1: “Excuse me! I said no [sauce] on the first [sandwich]! I can’t eat that now!”

Owner’s FIL: “Sorry. I can fix that, hang on…”

Customer #1: “Look, I really can’t wait. Can you just take that off and I’ll just take the second sandwich?”

Owner’s FIL: “I said I can fix it!”

(He begins scraping the top layer of toppings of the sandwich. I am then amazed to watch him try to remove every topping that the sauce has touched and rebuild the sandwich. Both customers are getting increasingly frustrated and angry at this point as they are both in a hurry. When he is finished, he wraps both of Customer# 1’s sandwiches, insists she pays for both, and returns to the back room. Customer #1 storms out.)

Me: *still stunned* “I am so sorry, [Customer #2]. Let me get you out of here…”

(I cash out Customer #2 and she leaves. Soon after, Trainer #2 comes in.)

Trainer #2: “Hi, [My Name]! Where is [Trainer #1]?”

Me: “They left 30 minutes ago. It’s just been me and [Owner’s FIL].”

Trainer #2: “What? That isn’t supposed to happen! You’re still training!”

(We move on with our night. It goes smoothly, and I think everything is fine. But when I arrive for my next shift I find my assistant manager waiting for me in the parking lot…)

Assistant Manager: “Hey, [My Name]. We had some complaints about you from your last shift. Something about an order being screwed up and taking a really long time to serve customers? Look, I know you’re still in training but that isn’t how we do things here. [Owner] says we have to let you go. We won’t need you for your shift today.”

Me: *stunned* “What? But it wasn’t even me who screwed up!” *explains situation* “So you see, it wasn’t me!”

Assistant Manager: “Well, that’s not right. Look, I’m sorry, but there isn’t anything I can do. It’s not my call.”

(At this point I started to cry. I had been trying to find a job for months only to now lose my job within the first two weeks. Also, I had no cell phone with me and no way to get in touch with anyone. So, humiliated and in tears, I had to enter the sandwich shop, pass by all of my former coworkers, and beg to use the store phone to call for a ride. The kicker? When the owner (who was in the back room) saw me come in to use the phone, he told me not to cry. And since they refused to mail out pay cheques, I also had to come back in several days later to get my last pay.)

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