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You Owe Me An Explanation

, , , , | Right | July 12, 2018

(I am on reception at a leisure centre that has various activities going on at once. It is very busy, as it is the Easter holidays, and it’s raining. An old lady comes up to the desk with her grandson:)

Customer: *in a very quiet voice* “What do I owe you?”

Me: *leaning towards her to be able to hear her* “Sorry?”

Customer: “What do I owe you?”

Me: *still with my head leaning over the counter and whispering too* “I don’t know. You haven’t told me what you want to do.”

Customer: *suddenly louder* “Well, I have never been here before, so I don’t know what to do!”

Me: *in my head* “Perhaps tell me what you want to do before I charge you! I have to do this mad, crazy thing called ‘put information into the till’!”

In Review: They’re Awesome!

, , , | Hopeless | April 4, 2018

(I work at an ice-skating rink as a trainer, and I also help people who are having trouble free-skating. A girl comes in with her boyfriend, and it’s fairly obvious they’ve never skated before. They’re having a great time laughing and dancing, and even when they fall, they laugh it off and get up. I give them a few tips here and there, but I focus my work on some of the younger kids who are frightened. An hour or so later, as free-skate is ending, the girl approaches me.)

Girl: “Hi. I was just wondering if I could speak to your manager?”

Me: “Oh, of course! Let me go get him.”

Manager: “What can I do for you today?”

Girl: “I just wanted you to know that [My Name] was absolutely amazing! We had a great time, and she was always everywhere at once to help anyone who needed it. Without her, we wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun!”

Manager: “I’m glad to hear that! We don’t get many compliments in this line of work, but they really do help to gauge our performance. [My Name] is only a couple of good reviews away from a bonus!”

Girl: “So, is this one of those places that gives bonuses based on guest feedback?”

Manager: “Yes, it is!”

Girl: “And do you count the feedback based on groups or individuals?”

Manager: “Well, there’s no real way to tell if the people who have come in were part of a group or not, once you write the review down.”

(After a couple of minutes of thinking, the girl and her boyfriend each wrote a review, thanked us, and walked out. Later on that week, my manager got a call from her asking when I would be working next, and on that day she brought in nearly thirty people! My manager gave them a group discount, and they all had a great time. At the end, the girl made each and every one of them write a review for me. I ended up getting that bonus, and a promotion on top of it! If you read this, thank you so much for being so awesome!)

Skating Around The Answer

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2018

(I work at an ice rink and one of my duties is to pass out ice skates to customers.)

Me: *talking to approaching customer* “Hi, sir! What size skates can I get for you?”

Customer: “I need skates for my son, please.”

Me: “Okay, sure thing. What size is your son?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: *pause* “Neither do I.”

(The customer walked off, frustrated.)

Short Nights Lead To Short Temper

, , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(I work at my local ice arena as a facilities attendant. My duties are pretty much janitorial. I am responsible for cleaning the change rooms as soon as possible and as many times as needed, keep the place looking presentable, and once everyone’s gone, doing a mad dash to clean the remaining change rooms, bathrooms, lobby, and sweep and mop the bleachers. We’ve been short-staffed lately, and because of this, I’ve had to pull in extra shifts, including what we call, “short nights,” meaning working an evening shift [4:00 pm to 12:30 am], then a day shift [7:30 am to 4:00 pm]. Last weekend I actually had to work from 3:30 pm to 1:00 am, then get back to work by 6:30 am as there was a hockey tournament starting. This is a conversation between a parent and I.)

Parent: “Hey, miss?”

Me: “Yes? Can I help you with anything?

Parent: “Oh, no. I was just wondering, weren’t you here last night?”

Me: “I was, actually. We’re short staffed at the moment, so I don’t mind.”

Parent: “Wow! Even if you’re short-staffed, you shouldn’t have to come in this early!”

Me: “I really don’t mind. It’s been a steady grind, so as long as I don’t sit down, I won’t pass out from exhaustion.” *cue my awkward, dry, laugh*

Parent: “That’s stupid! Why haven’t you complained? Aren’t you protected under the Union?”

Me: “Actually, every single worker here HAS complained. We have begged and pleaded with the town to not book any games with a start time before 8:30 am, as hockey players tend to arrive 45 minutes before games start. Yet the parents yell at the coaches that they want earlier start times, and the coaches book it accordingly. It’s completely out of our hands. All we can do is show up, unlock the doors, and wait for all of you to leave so we can clean up the mess. Which, by the way, meant that we were here until 1 am last night.”

(At this point I recognize her as a b****y council member and get even more p***ed off.)

Me: “If you were actually interested in my well-being, you would bring it up in council meetings that town workers are being pushed too far because of ice bookings. You’d help us petition to have the latest ice time be the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, not all the way up to 11:45. You’d convince the other parents to ask for a slightly later morning slot, instead of one that means I have to wake up at 5:30, after less than two hours of sleep, to get here at 6:30 to unlock doors. I know you don’t really care; you know you don’t really care. Now, please, it’s time for flood, and I have to help out with that.”

Parent: “…”

(I didn’t hear a peep from her the rest of the day. I think she told the other parents, as after that, everyone made sure that there was nothing for me to clean up afterwards. One of the other hockey team’s coaches also brought us coffee and muffins, as well, so that was a good boost. This weekend I have to pull another short night, with similar hours. Wish me luck.)


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Taking Cheap Shots

, , , , , , | Learning | November 28, 2017

(I am part of a club fencing team at my college, and we are usually very laid back about adult language and jokes, but we have gone to a practice that also includes kids as young as eight, so we are all trying to watch our mouths. We are running a drill in which we try to score points in specific places on the opponent’s body. I am fencing with the assistant coach.)

Coach: “Okay, I still need to get my arm shots and leg shot. Already got my body shots.”

(I smirk but manage not to make the obvious joke, mindful of the twelve-year-old three feet away. Later in the same fight, I push him to the end of the strip, but hesitate in going much further because of a wall right behind him, and he scores the touch on me.)

Me: “Yeah, I should have just kept going on that, but I didn’t want to knock you into the bookcase.”

Coach: “Wouldn’t have been the first time I got pushed into a wall.”

(Later, after a lot of the younger fencers have gone, the other college fencers join us in a corner to chat.)

Me: “Man, it is so weird not being able to swear after a point. And I am holding myself back from some of the jokes I want to make.”

Coach: *laughs* Yeah, I realized after I made the wall joke that it might have been a bit much.”

Me: “I think that one might have gone over their heads. But I was talking about the body shots. I had to bite my tongue on that one.”

(He laughs, but another fencer looks confused.)

Fencer #1: “Body shots? Yeah, he hit you in the chest; that was a body shot.”

Me: “No, but it sounded like he had body shots.”

Fencer #1: “What?”

Coach: *sighs a little and turns his back to the room of kids to face her* “Yes, but a body shot is also when someone pours a shot of alcohol down someone’s chest and then you lick it off them as it drips down.”

Fencer #1: *still very confused* “But… that’s not what we were doing.”

Coach: “Well, yes, but— Oh, never mind.”