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Bookstores Abhor A Vacuum

, , , , | Right | June 30, 2021

I work in a popular bookshop chain in my country. We do sell things like board games and stationery and gift-related things, but that’s it. It’s a bookstore.

I’m tidying the display in front of the counter when a man approaches me, looking confused. He’s holding a vacuum cleaner, which I assume he bought from the appliance shop next door.

Me: “Hi, sir, can I help you with anything today?”

Customer: *Holding out the vacuum cleaner* “Can I buy this?”

Me: *Thinking I’ve heard him wrong* “What?”

Customer: “Can I get this?”

Me: “Um… I’m fairly sure we don’t sell those here.”

Manager #1: “What do you need, sir?”

Customer: “I want to get this!”

Manager #1: “Uh… Okay. Come over here?”

The man follows him around to the other end of the counter. Then, as I’m watching in disbelief, he walks BEHIND the counter and puts his bag down. 

Customer: “So, how much for the wrapping paper?”

Manager #1: “Oh, you wanted this… wrapped?”

Customer: “Yeah!”

Manager #1: “I don’t think we have enough wrapping paper here. Would you like to buy some?”

Customer: “Okay.”

[Manager #1] goes to get more wrapping paper. The man follows him, BEHIND THE COUNTER the entire way.

Manager #2: “Does he know he’s not supposed to be behind here?”

Me: “I… honestly don’t know.”

[Manager #1] comes back. The man acts as if he’s going to follow him behind the counter again.

Manager #2: “Sir, you can’t be behind the counter.”

Customer: “I’m just getting my stuff.”

Manager #2: “Then go around.”

The man huffs and goes around. By this point, I’m hiding behind a display so he can’t see me trying not to laugh. The man spots me.

Customer: “Don’t be scared.”

Me: “I’m not. It’s just the first time someone’s come into a bookshop and asked me if they can buy a vacuum cleaner, that’s all.”

I very quickly turned and walked away so he couldn’t see me cracking up again. I ended up laughing so hard I cried once I’d made it into the break room. I don’t know what happened next, but when I came out, he was gone.

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Whatever Your Expectations Are… Just Don’t

, , , , , , | Working | June 29, 2021

I’m not usually a complaining person, but when these two things happened on the same day, I must have had some time on my hands.

Thing #1: We ordered takeaway from [Restaurant]. At the bottom of our loaded fries, we found a large shard of broken glass. I called the restaurant immediately. The manager was apologetic but only just. Not a massive deal: I just wanted them to know so they could investigate and prevent further food endangering anyone. End result, we got sent a voucher for a free [signature entree dish that no one really likes] for our “next order”.

Thing #2: I had a special cleaning product in my cupboard and discovered that one of them had leached up out of the upright bottle and spilled all through the cupboard. As that was the second time that had happened with that brand of product, I emailed them to inform them and see if there had been a reported fault with the bottle. End result: I was sent a MASSIVE box of the company’s full range of cleaning products, skincare products, and cosmetics. 

Moral of the story: complain about a serious food safety issue, get a weird onion thing; complain about a minor packaging fault, get given a huge box of freebies.

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Transport Them Off Your Client Books

, , , , , | Right | June 27, 2021

I am the office manager of a transport company that specialises in moving large and quite often expensive items around the world. I’m grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon when a client stands in front of my trolley, preventing me from moving.

Client: “Hey, [My Name], I just bought [expensive car] from the states.”

Me: “Umm… okay.”

Client: “So, how much will it cost?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Client: “I need to know how much it will cost me to get it brought over here.”

Me: “Oh, you’ll have to call or come into the office tomorrow.”

Client: “Look, b****, do your f****** job and tell me how much it will cost.”

Me: “Look, I can’t tell you right now as there are several factors that determine the cost. I can’t do that unless I’m in the office. You need to call or come in during business hours.”

Client: “What f****** use are you if you can’t do your job? Just tell me how much it will cost or I’ll have you fired.”

I ignore him, turn around, and continue on with my shopping, all while he’s yelling that I need to do my job. A manager tells him that he needs to stop yelling and leave the store. He’s escorted out by security, still yelling that he’ll have us all fired.

The next morning when I arrive at work, he’s already waiting.

Client: “You stupid b****. You embarrassed me yesterday. I’m going to sue you and make sure you’re fired.”

My boss — the owner of the company — has just arrived and walked up behind him.

Boss: “Is there a problem here, Mr. [Client]?”

Client: “Yes, this stupid b**** wouldn’t tell me how much it would be to get my new car brought over. I want her fired right now!”

Boss: “I’m sorry to hear that. Can I ask when this happened? That way I can review the security tapes.”

Client: “Yesterday. I’ve never been treated so poorly in my life. You need to fire her immediately.”

Boss: “Yesterday? The office wasn’t open yesterday. Are you sure it was yesterday?”

Client: *Rolling his eyes* “Of course, it was yesterday. Now, fire this stupid b****.”

Boss: “I’m sorry, but it couldn’t have been yesterday. I think you need to leave.”

Client: *Turning to me* “F*** you, b****. First, you get me kicked out of [Supermarket], and now here. I’m a lawyer, you know. I’m going to sue you.”

Boss: “Wait a minute. This happened yesterday at [Supermarket]?”

Client: “Yes! God, are you stupid like her?”

Boss: “Let me get this straight. You approached my employee during her time off to answer a question that she needs to be in her office to answer, and you want her fired for not answering?”

Client: “Yes. How hard is it to understand?”

Boss: “Okay, let me ask you something. If you’re out for dinner and a client interrupts you and asks you for legal advice, will you give it to them?”

Client: “Of course not. That’s just rude.”

Boss: “So, it’s rude for someone to ask you something outside of work, but you can harass her and obviously make a scene when she literally can’t answer you without being in her office?”

Client: *Turning red* “It’s completely different. She needs to do her job. I want her fired. She embarrassed me.”

Boss: “You embarrassed yourself. You need to leave. [Company] will no longer work with you.”

Client: “You can’t do that. I need [expensive car] brought over from America. If you don’t do it, I’ll sue and bankrupt this company.”

Boss: “You need to leave. You are no longer welcome here. If you don’t, I’ll have you removed and we’ll sue for harassment. Now get off my property.”

He finally left after turning several interesting shades of red.

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No Connecting Here

, , , , , , | Learning | May 26, 2021

I am starting the highest rope courses in camp. Being a rope course, there are many safety procedures, one of them being a partner system. There is one key fact: you must call to your partner each time you finish a course and switch to the next. This is where problems come in as I pair up with [Annoying Classmate]. As I climb up, I clip my safety connectors to the rope. First red flag:

Me: “Connecting!”

There is a response, but it is delayed and I can already see them talking to someone else.

Annoying Classmate: “Continue!”

I continue to climb through the sections, forgetting to call the second and third transitions. Finally, I remember to do so.

Me: “Connecting!”

Silence. I look down and where do I find them? Nowhere in sight. As there is only one area blocked from my view, I rightly assume that my classmate has gone under into the shade. I curse them in my mind and continue in the hopes that they’ll come out. Stupid, I know. As I reach the fifth one, I look down and see the exact same thing: no [Annoying Classmate].

Me: “Connecting!”

I pause.

Me: “CONNECTING!”

Still silence. I am very frustrated at this point.

Me: “CONNECTING, YOU FEMALE DOG!”

As this is the first time I’ve sworn in any capacity, this should be enough to get their attention even though it isn’t an actual swear. I know people down there can hear me because they look up with shocked faces, but no one emerges from the shade. At this point, someone else comes along with his own partner, [Classmate].

Classmate: “Continue, [My Name]!”

He continues to serve as my de-facto partner until the end, which I will be forever grateful for. Finally, as I descend, [Annoying Classmate] comes out of the shade towards me.

Annoying Classmate: “So, how was it?”

Thankfully, a murder did not happen that day.

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His Excuse Is Golden

, , , , , | Right | May 14, 2021

I am rearranging stock when a man approaches me. I am a visiting merchandiser so do not know the exact locations of stock nor am I supposed to leave my work to find what the customers are after; usually, I direct them to a staff member.  

Customer: “Where is the maple syrup?”

Me: “That’s not in this aisle; it’s in the aisle with the dessert toppings. Sorry, but I can’t show you; I don’t actually work here. A staff member could help you better.”

Customer: *Getting crankier each time he talks* “Hmph! I was told it was in this aisle. I need it for tomorrow.”

It’s the day before ANZAC Day when we honour our armed forces and their sacrifices; there’s a traditional biscuit that is often baked for that day.

Me: “Are you making ANZAC Biscuits?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Oh, then you are after golden syrup. The shelves for golden syrup are just down from where we are, but unfortunately, it’s completely sold out.”

Customer: “How do you know that?”

Me: *Pointing to the empty shelves* “This is where it should be.”

Customer: “Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?”

Me: “I thought you asked for maple syrup?”

Customer: *Raising his voice* “I DID!”

Me: *Stunned* “Well, I suggest you find a staff member, then. I can’t help you.”

He stared at me before stomping off, grumbling to himself.

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