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When Rental Gets Mental

, , , , | Right | May 20, 2022

I am a landlady, renting out multiple rooms in different shared apartments to students, young professionals, and/or tourists. For the last few months, I’ve had a tenant that just doesn’t understand the concept of people living together. Maybe he lived under a rock for the first few decades of his life?

Cleaning up the kitchen, oven, or stove after cooking? Why bother? Someone else will surely deal with the mess and do it for me. Flooding the bathroom after each use, and leaving different coloured stains on (and around) the toilet? Some other tenant (or the landlady) will be there to clean that up!

But the “highlight” is when he is finally supposed to move out. He asks multiple times about his deposit. I assure him that he will get it in cash when he turns in his keys and everything is in the same condition as he got it when he moved in. I even send a list of what he needs to do before moving out, e.g. “wash bed linens,” “clean fridge,” “remove all personal property,” and so on.

I arrive a few minutes early. He is shuffling around, but there is so much stuff still around, the fridge is dirty and full of his food, lots of his things (bike, boxes, food, bathroom items) are still all over the apartment, and I think, “This is just impossible to do in fifteen minutes.”

Five minutes before the arranged time, he says:

Tenant: “Okay, you can check the room now.”

Me: “I am not here to check the room. I am here to check everything, take your keys, and return the deposit, when you leave the apartment.”

Tenant: “But you never said that! I need another four hours for that!”

He knows I have no more time today.

Me: “I can’t check the room if all your stuff is still here, and I won’t return any deposit if you don’t return the keys.”

Technically, he has until tomorrow, until the month is over; it was his decision to return the keys today.

This went on for several minutes, and he did not understand why I just wouldn’t check the room, return the deposit, and then leave him with the keys and all his things in my apartment, as if that was the most normal thing to expect.

I gave up after several minutes of explaining the same thing over and over, and then I turned around and walked out.

I told him to put the keys in the postbox when he had cleared out, and I would check everything then and would return the deposit via bank transfer. Let’s see what happens next.

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 5

, , , , | Right | May 20, 2022

A young woman and her mother and father walk into the jewelry store where I work.

Woman: “Hi, I was hoping you could help me. My mom had a particular pair of earrings, but she lost one. Do you know if you have the same pair in stock?”

Me: “Do you have the other earring with you?”

Woman: “No.”

Me: “Do you have a photo of the earrings?”

Woman: “No. Why, do you need to see them?”

No, I don’t need to see the earrings. Let me just break out my crystal ball to know what pair of earrings, out of the hundreds in the store, you are hoping we have.

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 4
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 3
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 2
This Job May Require Telepathy

A Desktop Is A Desktop Is A Desktop

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: m31td0wn | May 20, 2022

One of the team leads in my department was having trouble getting something to work in Excel and pinged me for help. I asked if she could email me the spreadsheet so I could take a look myself. She sent me a link instead… to the spreadsheet on her desktop — as in, her C:\Users\Username\Desktop\ desktop.

I began rubbing my temples because I knew this particular person well enough to know that a simple explanation would not be heard, processed, or acted on. But I had to try anyway.

I responded, explaining that I couldn’t access files stored on her hard drive and that she needed to send it to me as an attachment.

Team Lead: “It’s on the desktop. If the link won’t work, just open it.”

Me: “Your desktop and my desktop are not the same thing. I am no more able to open items on your desktop than you are of opening things on mine.”

Somehow, she decided to start arguing with the guy that she wanted help from. If I’m so incompetent, why are you asking me for help?

Team Lead: “I’ve opened the recycle bin. You have a recycle bin. Therefore, since we both have recycle bins, you should be able to open things on my desktop.”

This is the point where I dialed back the professionalism and decided to let my tenure absorb the hit if she pitched a fit.

Me: “Excuse me.”

I got up and turned on the kitchen faucet. I work from home and I know from prior experience that it’s audible from my home office. I sat back down at my desk.

Me: “I’ve just turned my kitchen faucet on. Do you have any water in your sink?”

The silence lasted a good ten seconds, and I swear I could almost hear the hamster wheel in her head straining. And she finally said, quietly, and clearly trying to sound as neutral and unflustered as possible:

Team Lead: “Okay, that makes sense. I’ll send it over as an attachment.”

Don’t Sell The Wine If You Can’t Commit The Crime

, , , , , , | Right | May 19, 2022

Retail is a chaotic environment, especially when you’re understaffed and unexpectedly busy.

Two of four registers are open, our manager is handling the delivery from our warehouse, and the other two staff members are sprinting around the busy store trying to fulfil [Popular Delivery App] orders before the drivers show up to collect them.

Then, the school kids show up. We’re queued around the store, but a group of them manage to sweet-talk their way to the front of the huge queue with only a handful of items. Some have sweets, a few of them have some fizzy juice, and a couple of them have large glass bottles of [Brand], a totally non-alcoholic grape drink that looks a lot like wine.

I scan them through as fast as I can and then call on the next customer.

Me: “Next on till one, ple—”

Customer: “You just sold those kids alcohol!

Me: “Wh… Oh… No, that was a bottle of [Brand]; it’s totally non-alcoholic.”

Customer: “Nonsense! Those were clearly wine bottles! I demand to speak to your manager!”

Attempts at further explanation whilst I desperately page my manager to come up the front just make her angrier and angrier. She demands to know why I didn’t chase them when she “pointed out [my] mistake” and berates me on the strict Scottish licencing laws, as if I don’t already know them.

My manager finally appears and tries to calm the woman down. She’s yelling loudly about how she’s going to get me arrested for selling alcohol to minors, spinning tales about how I was probably “in league” with the kids. She goes on and on until the manager gets fed up and demands she leave. Thankfully, she does.

A good twenty minutes later, things are finally starting to calm down when we spot a police car pull up outside. That’s not unusual; they sometimes stop in for milk or snacks for the local police station.

The officers leave their car, enter the store, and stride right up to my register.

Officer #1: “We got a report that a cashier here wilfully sold a minor alcohol. Can we speak to the manager, please?”

I sigh audibly and roll my eyes before responding.

Me: “We had a crazy woman in here earlier who saw me sell some schoolkids [Brand] drink. She thought it was wine and wouldn’t believe us when we tried to explain it.”

Officer #1: “We still need to speak to a manager, and we need to ask you some questions.”

I page the manager again and get a quicker response as it’s quieter. He explains the situation the same as I did, but there’s a procedure to follow.

I’m walked into our back office by the officers. One goes to speak to my manager and review the CCTV and the other starts asking me questions.

Officer #1: “Okay, how many kids were in the group?”

Me: “Four, maybe five. They come in as a big group and split up more often than not.”

Officer #1: “What alcohol did they buy?”

Me: “They didn’t buy any. One member of the group bought a bottle of [Brand] drink, which looks like wine but isn’t wine.”

Officer #1: “We have a witness that says you sold them a bottle of wine.”

Me: “The witness is wrong; there was no alcohol sale.”

Officer #1: “The witness says that you are friends with these kids.”

Me: “I am not. They mill about the store, and I see them for a minute tops maybe once a week. They gather in groups, make a lot of noise, and often cause hassle. I just want them out the door as fast as possible.”

Officer #1: “What is the name of the person you sold the alcohol to?”

Me: “I don’t know any of their names! And I didn’t sell any alcohol to them. I’ve not had a single alcohol sale all day.”

The officer narrows his eyes at me and scribbles something down.

Officer #1: “You know, you’re looking at a £10,000 fine and three months in prison, right? This would be a lot easier if you just told the truth.”

Me: “Wha… But I’ve not done anything!”

Officer #1: “Just tell me who you sold it to!”

Before I can stammer out a reply, the door opens and [Officer #2] sticks her head in.

Officer #2: “I just checked the CCTV and till logs with [Manager]. It was [Brand] drink, not alcohol.”

They look over at me and see me shaking, pale, and on the verge of crying.

Officer #2: “What the h*** is going on in here?”

Officer #1: “I thought he was lying.”

Officer #2: “Get out of here, [Officer #1]. Now.”

Without a word, [Officer #1] stood and shuffled out of the room. [Officer #2] sat down across from me and did her best to calm me down. My manager stuck his head in and told me to take the rest of the day off.

I told him I quit.

We Discriminate Against People Who Try To Kill Children

, , , , , , | Working | May 19, 2022

My husband was the assistant director of a government childcare facility for children four years old and younger. As such, his responsibilities included looking after the health and safety of the employees and the children in their care as well as determining disciplinary action when employees broke the rules.

One day, a child had been given an item they were known to have a (non-life-threatening) allergy to. Thankfully, it was caught and the child ended up fine, but the incident still needed to be documented so that appropriate action could be taken with the employees involved and so they could identify areas where procedures could be improved to keep it from happening again.

As part of this investigation, my husband interviewed the facility’s cook to get her statement. It was just a checking-the-boxes type of thing since she wasn’t directly involved. Or so he thought.

It turned out that the cook had not been following any of the procedures regarding food allergies BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T BELIEVE THEY WERE REAL. My husband was mortified and, after taking the matter to the equally mortified director, the cook was suspended for a short time. Due to their agency’s policies, that was the most they could do at that point.

During her suspension, my husband went about gathering training documentation that she had signed off on as well as statements from other staff members regarding her ignoring procedures.

I’m not too clear on the timeline as this was years ago, but at some point, the director and my husband sat down with the cook and went over all the information that had been gathered and the reasoning behind why they were extending her suspension. She listened quietly and calmly confirmed that all the statements staff had made were true, as if ignoring procedures designed to keep kids safe was a perfectly normal thing to do, and she fully intended to continue doing so.

At the end, she was asked if she had any questions about the action they were taking.

Cook: “But… there’s nothing positive in this.”

My husband and the director were stunned. The cook grew increasingly upset that, at the meeting regarding her suspension, they discussed only the things she did wrong and nothing she had done right.

Eventually, it was clear that they were going to pursue termination. It ended up in arbitration as, through her union representative, the cook (an older woman) alleged age and sex discrimination specifically against my husband (a middle-aged man) who, I’ll repeat, was the assistant director and couldn’t have terminated or even suspended her without the approval of the director (an older woman). Once that went nowhere, she tried to sue. Strangely, every lawyer she tried to involve somehow never showed up to meetings. Finally, two years after the initial incident, the matter went before a judge, who threw it out.

To this day, anytime there’s a situation where one of us is clearly at fault, we say, “But there’s nothing positive in this!”