Give Us This Our Daily Bread

| Yorkshire, England, UK | Working | May 2, 2017

(I’ve only been at this job for a few weeks and have been working on the regular tills. Today, I’m being trained on self-service, so I can cover for someone else the next day. A customer calls the coworker who is training me over for help, so I go with her.)

Customer: “I’m not sure what to do with this bread; I was given it for free so I can’t scan it, but if I put it in the bagging area it’ll come up as an incorrect weight.”

Coworker: *looking a bit confused, looks at the bread and notices that in fact it doesn’t have a barcode on it and isn’t in proper packaging, so the customer is most likely telling the truth* “That’s fine. I’ll sort that out for you.”

Coworker: *after customer has left* “Wow, so they’re really giving out free bread? I kinda want some of that.”

(We carry on as normal until about 10 minutes later.)

Coworker: “Hey, are you all right to stay here by yourself for a bit?”

Me: “Yeah, of course. I think I know pretty much everything by now. Why?”

Coworker: “I’m going to go check if the bakery is actually giving out free bread; you know, just to check that customer wasn’t lying… I kinda have to do it, really.”

Me: *laughing* “You just want to get some for yourself, don’t you?”

Coworker: *also laughing* “Yep! I’ll be back soon!”

(She came back about 10 minutes later with two baskets full of bread, and went round all our other coworkers asking who wanted which loaf. The one I got was amazing, and it was the best day of this job so far!)

Your Patience Will Expire Before The Food

| Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Right | April 30, 2017

(I recently starting work for a large supermarket chain at the pizza/rotisserie counter. My mum is in to pick up a pizza for dinner and whilst I am making it, a coworker (also new to the company) is minding the rotisserie counter when a middle-aged couple walks up.)

Man: “Is that the only garlic chicken left?”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Man: “It’s very small…”

Woman: “It looks kind of burnt…”

(The garlic chickens are always smaller and look a little darker than the others, something to do with the herbs on the skin.)

Woman: “How much is it?”

Coworker: “£5.90.”

Man: “That’s a lot for such a small, burnt chicken; can’t you reduce it?”

Coworker: *gesturing to me* “I’m sorry, neither of us have been trained to do that yet. We’ve not been here long enough.”

(By this point, I’d finished making mum’s pizza; she went off to get the rest of the shopping, and I was cleaning up the counter. She went round the entire store before coming back to the aisle a few feet from the counter to pick up the meatballs she’d forgotten. The couple had literally moved a hundred yards in that time, to halfway up that aisle — where they were pointing to steaks (delivered and put out that very day), loudly discussing how they looked “like they’re going to go off.”)

Breaking Their Pettiness

| Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Working | April 29, 2017

(When working a 8, 9, or 10 hour shift from 8 am (ending at 4, 5, or 6 pm respectively) we get three breaks: 15 minutes for breakfast, an hour for lunch, and 15 minutes for tea. I had mistakenly been told, when hired two years ago, that breakfast was 30 minutes, and nobody had ever bothered to tell me otherwise. I cover Coworker #1’s break — who, incidentally, took somewhere between 26 and 30 minutes, maybe more, for her break — and then go for my own. Just as I am about to go back to work, Coworker #2 storms in and demands to know how long I thought I got for a break.)

Me: “Half an hour.”

Coworker #2: *scoffs* “You get fifteen minutes.”

(She then proceeds to begin her break, passive-aggressively muttering about me even as I try to explain my error, and telling me to “actually do some work” and “go because now no one’s at the counter.” I go back to work feeling p****d, as she had left rubbish lying around, yet had the gall to tell ME to ‘actually do some work,’ when I had been running around like a blue-a***d fly all morning and she just put out a few boxes of merchandise. She also clearly has no intention of telling off Coworker #1 for her extended break, and then she sends one of the managers after me. The manager accepts that I had been misinformed and never had the issue rectified, and is annoyed to hear about Coworker #1 taking a longer break, which she does frequently despite multiple managers telling her not to. Coworker #2 comes back 15 minutes later, and I ignore her — petty, but given that she felt it was necessary to berate me in front of other coworkers in the canteen, I feel somewhat justified. A couple of hours later, she goes to let Coworker #1 have her break. She comes back exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes later. I’m now more than p****d off. I take an hour, timing it so as to not overstep the hour, and let Coworker #2 off for her lunch. She also comes back exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes later. There are now 30 minutes until the end of her shift.)

Coworker #2: “Do you want to go up for your tea?”

Me: “No. I figured since I made a mistake this morning and accidentally took an extra 15, I’ll skip this break.”

(The look on Coworker #2’s face was priceless: she realised in that instant that not only had she petulantly tried to get back at me by taking — and having Coworker #1 take — a longer lunch and have it blow up in her face, but now could not go and let her friend, Coworker #1, away because then I’d be due a break. Coworker #1 then had to work from 1:25 to 6:00 pm without a break. After all, I timed them.)

Get Your Attitude Out Of The Way

| Wolverhampton, England, UK | Friendly | April 28, 2017

(My dad and I are in a large, upmarket store which has a reputation for being expensive and pretentious. I have just come from a work meeting so am neatly dressed but my dad is in workman’s boots and overalls as he has been painting his lounge for most of the day, and has a rather wild handlebar moustache that he seems to never be able to tame. We have come in to look at the range of meats they sell which have been advertised as on offer for only one week. My dad has already attracted a few glances and muttered comments from other shoppers.)

Me: *as we approach the bread aisle* “Hang on, I’ve forgotten I need brown sugar for that cake I’m making. Stay here; I’ll be 30 seconds.”

(I fetch the sugar from the baking aisle and walk back to the bread. There is a large display of specialist breads which my dad is standing in front of, looking at some rolls. A woman is standing behind him. She is rolling her eyes and tutting but doesn’t ask my dad to move which is obviously what she wants. As I approach Dad, she turns around and says:)

Woman: “It’s always THESE type of people who get in the way, isn’t it?!”

(For a moment I’m stunned, trying to process what the woman means, then without thinking I say:)

Me: “B****!”

(She goes pale and almost sprints away from me and hides behind a man with a shopping cart who I presume is her husband. She grabs his arm, pushes the cart away, and drags him towards the door. There is silence for a few seconds, then Dad turns around. He is holding some rolls in a bag and is completely oblivious to everything that has just happened. He puts the rolls in the cart and we carry on to continue shopping. We are given a wide berth by pretty much everyone in the store until we pay and go to his car.)

Dad: “They seemed nice enough in there, not stuck up or anything. Nobody said anything to us, either!”

Sexism Won’t Clean Your Windows

| Jerusalem, Israel | Right | April 27, 2017

(A few years ago I worked in a supermarket putting together orders for people who do their shopping online. An older man stops me in the middle of the cleaning supply aisle. I’m female.)

Customer: “Where is the window cleaner?”

(I point him in the right direction and continue working. About a minute later, in a different aisle, the man approaches me, holding two different bottles of window cleaner.)

Customer: “Which is better?”

Me: “Honestly, I don’t know. I live with my parents and have never actually cleaned windows.”

Customer: “How can you not know? You’re a girl, aren’t you? You should know about cleaning supplies!”

Me: “…”

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