The Bra Is Wiped Out

, , , , , | | Right | May 21, 2018

(I am working on the customer service desk when a very angry woman comes up and demands to speak to a manager. I radio for one, after establishing that she doesn’t want my help, and the store manager is the one who answers. This was the exchange that I witness.)

Customer: “I’ve just been to your disabled toilet and there was no toilet roll, so I would like a refund.”

Manager: “I’m sorry about that, but what do you need a refund for exactly?”

Customer: “Well, because there was no toilet paper, I was forced to use my bra to wipe myself, so I would like the cost of my bra back.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, madam, but I am able to give you any money for that, as it was your choice to use that particular item. No one forced you to use it!”

Customer: “But it was expensive!”

Manager: “Then I suggest that you don’t use it as toilet paper!”

(He then walked away, leaving me desperately trying not to laugh at this woman! I don’t understand why she didn’t use either her underwear or sock if she was that desperate?! Why choose the item that requires the most effort to remove and costs the most money?!)

Got That Complaint In The Can

, , , | | Right | May 19, 2018

(I work maintenance in a supermarket. One of my responsibilities is taking care of any issues that the bottle return machines cause. The bell rings for me to go to the machines. Once out there:)

Me: “Sorry for the wait.”

Customer: “The plastic machine never printed out the ticket.”

Me: “Please let me see the tickets you have so far.”

(I take a look and see if anything matches up. As usual, his ticket matches perfectly to the last displayed amount, which is $0.70. After explaining this to the customer:)

Customer: “Oh, that’s from the can machine.”

Me: “I highly doubt that you had the same exact of cans that you did for the plastic machine, but let me see what I can do. If anything, you can go to customer service and see what they can do.”

Customer: “Now I’m getting cheated out of money!”

(After a little more searching about at the machines I find the serial number that most likely matched what’s on the ticket.)

Me: “Can I see the ticket one more time, please?”

Customer: “Here!”

(Taking another look, the numbers do match up. Having proof of what I suspected from the start, but not wanting to call him a thief or a liar, I hand him back the ticket.)

Me: “Taking another look I notice that the bar code for the plastic machine matches the ticket. It’s impossible that the ticket came from either of the can machines. Sorry for the confusion.”

(The customer didn’t really apologize, being caught in his lie. Luckily, I got to the people at customer service, the manager, and the other maintenance guy before the customer came in to let them know what happened so he couldn’t try to rip the store off. It was only a small amount of money, but if he tried it this time, he probably tried and succeeded in the past, as well, for other, possibly larger amounts. The best part was that the machine went down five times on him, but didn’t give anyone else any problems. I don’t know why the machine gave him trouble, but I’m guessing he tried something or other to try and cheat the counter of the machine.)

How To Manage The Manager

, , , , , , | | Working | May 18, 2018

(I work in a supermarket deli and bakery combo that is extremely understaffed and has no manager, so when we are told they have hired one, we are very excited. We even go so far as to buy her a welcome bouquet. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that we were better off without her. Not only is she lazy, often ducking out for hours and leaving early, including leaving the entire back area looking like a bomb went off and with all her work left for evening shift, she’s also a condescending liar and a gossip. I learn, for instance, about the litigious family troubles another coworker is having when the manager is complaining about how inconvenient they are for her because it meant she has to take over one of the opening shifts and she hates getting up early. I tell her, flat-out, that if my coworker wanted me to know these personal things, she probably would have told me herself, and the manager rolls her eyes at me and walks away. Another time, during a terrible storm, the deli opener receives a call from her daughter who has gone into labour and is having some seriously scary complications, crying and begging for her mother to come to the hospital. When we call the manager about it, she initially says she will come in, but then later calls saying she “decided she needs a day off,” leaving me alone to open both departments for several hours. This is on top of things like saying one thing to us and then immediately denying it — to the point where everyone knows never to speak to her without someone else around — trying to bribe other department managers to do her paperwork, complaining unprompted to customers about how hard she has it because we, her “assistants,” can’t be trusted to do anything on our own and leave all our work for her. It’s insane. Everyone complains about her, but we are told the company is in a hiring freeze and they can’t let her go.  Anyway, I think she hates me more than anyone else there, because I am fortunate enough to be in a financial situation, thanks to my husband’s job, where I can just walk out if I want until I find something else. I am thus willing and able to stand up to her both on my own behalf and on the behalf of the other people in the department. The customers all love me, as does essentially everyone else in the store, and the owner knows I am a hard worker, so in addition to having everyone else back me up, she can’t really intimidate me. If I left, she would have to take over my five am bakery shift… something she is SUPPOSED to have trained for, since she is in charge of deli and bakery, but never actually bothered to do because she “doesn’t like mornings.” In the end, I am frustrated enough after making multiple formal complaints that I give my two-week’s notice and take another job elsewhere. All this brings us to a phone call that I get almost six months after leaving. I miss the initial call, and am surprised to hear my former manager very pompously telling me to call her back immediately.)

Ex-Manager: *without saying hello when she answers, sounding irritated* “Why didn’t you answer when I called?”

Me: *not bothering to be polite if she’s going to start out being rude* “Because I don’t work for you anymore, and I was doing something else.”

Ex-Manager: *as if I hadn’t spoken* “One of the new girls we hired isn’t working out, so I told [Store Manager] you would come in and handle some shifts for us until we got it sorted.”

Me: *amused* “Oh, did you? Well, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I have my own work, but mostly, I’m just not interested in coming back.”

Ex-Manager: *smugly* “Well, I already told him you would do it!”

Me: *laughing now* Wow, I guess if you told him, you really have me over a barrel, huh? If only I didn’t work for you anymore and thus aren’t at your beck and call!*hangs up*

(She kept calling and leaving messages, initially angry and threatening about how it “wouldn’t look good for me to back out of this” — you know, “this” being something I didn’t offer to do at a store I no longer worked at — and then outright begging. The funny thing is, had she just asked me earnestly, politely, and humbly, I might have been willing to help, but after discovering that she really hadn’t changed at all, the only thing I felt was relief that I’m out of all that stress and mess.)

It’s A Race To The Top

, , , , , | | Working | May 17, 2018

(I am working on the tills as a cashier, while one of my coworkers has just gone up to being a manager, despite the fact that I have been here four years and she has been here two and a half. I talk to her during break.)

Me: “How come you got the job? I’m not complaining; I’m just confused.”

Coworker: *smirking* “Well, it was between [Other Coworker] and me and we did… I guess roughly the same in our areas, but I wanted the job, so I told [Manager] that she called me a [racial slur].”

Me: “You can’t do that! You could seriously have ruined her job here!”

Coworker: *nearly laughing from spluttering* “So what? You can try it, as well. Just say that a coworker you don’t like — maybe [White Coworker #1] or [White Coworker #2] — called you a [racial slur] and the management will have them demoted.”

Me: “But it’s wrong! You can’t do that! And I don’t even have anything against those coworkers.”

Coworker: “I can and I will. And do you know why? Because we’re [race], and they’re too scared to fire us.”

(She got fired, surprisingly enough.)

Salty Old Man

, , , , , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(I am a customer, walking through the supermarket. I walk past a shelf, which a worker is trying to stock, but she has been interrupted by a grumpy old man who is berating her about the salt content of tinned vegetables. He is demanding to know why tins of vegetables have salt in them, being very rude about it and blaming it on the girl who is just trying to do her job. I interrupt him and we have the following conversation:)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, I couldn’t help overhearing, but you seem to be concerned about salt for some reason and I thought I could answer your questions.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Oh, really? What do you know about it?”

Me: “Well, I happen to be a chemist by training, so I probably know more about salt and other chemicals than anyone else in here.”

Grumpy Old Man: “That’s pharmacy, so I doubt you know what you’re on about.”

Me: “No, I’m a chemist. Not a pharmacist. Meaning I studied chemistry. Pay attention.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Okay, then, why do tins of vegetables have to contain salt?”

Me: “It’s there as a preservative, to keep the contents safe to eat.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Yes, yes, I know that. But why does it have to contain so much of it? I have to be on a low-sodium diet, which means I can’t eat these tinned foods. They should make them with less salt so I can eat them.”

Me: “The amount of salt present is actually quite critical for safety. If there were less, or none at all, then the contents of the tin could start growing bacteria, making them unsafe to eat. You wouldn’t want that, right?”

Grumpy Old Man: “Well, what am I supposed to eat, instead?”

Me: “You don’t have to live on tinned food. This place does sell fresh vegetables, as does nearly every other supermarket. You are hardly being denied food.”

Grumpy Old Man: *pointing at sales girl and getting angry* “Well, she should make sure that tinned food stops having so much salt put into it! I shouldn’t have to buy fresh vegetables just to avoid salt!”

Me: “Look, I’ve explained to you why tinned food has to have salt in it. Also, you’re complaining to the wrong person. Do you think someone working on the shop floor has any influence at all over the content of products on the shelves? You need to take your complaint to central management, or better still, the food manufacturers. Stop wasting the time of people who can’t help you.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Okay, you’re getting a bit weird now. I don’t want to talk to you any more.”

Me: “I’m being weird? I’m not the one making a huge fuss over a bit of salt!”

(The grumpy old git walks away, muttering to himself.)

Sales Girl: “Thank you for that. I didn’t think he would ever leave me alone.”

Me: “No problem. I find it hard to tolerate idiots, especially those who don’t understand basic chemistry.”

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