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Yeesh, What A Rough Week!

, , , , , , , | Working | September 1, 2022

When I started working for a restaurant, they made it crystal clear (even at the job interview) that unexplained tardiness without a phone call would not be tolerated. The first occurrence was a write-up; the second was an automatic termination. Period.

It was only three weeks before I bagged my first write-up after some cop stopped me, thinking I matched the description of a mugging suspect. They took their sweet time at the dispatch office to confirm my identity and eventually let me go… aaand I then saw that my phone was dead.

The following day, I discovered that my girlfriend had been cheating on me. I was so upset that I spent the entire night wandering the town because I couldn’t sleep at all. As dawn began to roll in and I had an early morning opening shift, I was concerned that it would take too long to walk all the way home, grab my uniform, and then walk to work since the busses didn’t start running until 9:00 am on Sundays. I figured it was better to just walk directly to the restaurant since I was about fifteen minutes away, hang out there until they opened, and just ask the shift manager for a fresh uniform to change into.

I walked over, sat next to the door, closed my eyes, and soon dozed off until the shift manager walked up and gave me a playful kick with a cheerful, “Rise and shine!”

The following day, the general manager called me into the office with a somewhat unamused look on his face.

Manager: “I know that you were warned that if you were late again, you would be fired—”

Me: *Going into panic mode* “I WAS ON TIME! I know I was! I was actually here before everyone else was!”

Manager: “Oh, yes, we all saw that!”

He then pointed to his computer screen, which showed an email containing a screenshot of surveillance footage… of yours truly, knocked out in front of the restaurant door.

Manager: “Putting aside the giggles you’ve provided everyone in the corporate office and throughout the restaurant chain, can we kindly ask for you not to camp out on the premises to avoid being late? Especially two hours before your shift begins? This is just a restaurant, not the freaking Marines! I’ve spoken to [Shift Manager #1] and [Shift Manager #2], and they said they would be more than happy to come and scoop you up for the early bird shifts since you don’t have a car.”

Me: “Yeah! Thanks! I appreciate that!”

He kept an annoyed look and tone of voice.

Manager: “You’re quite welcome. And thank you for at least taking that warning so seriously. As an added favor, I tossed your last tardy write-up.”

The other managers found that photo amusing, as well, and posted it on our bulletin board with the caption, “Now THIS is dedication!”

Surprisingly, the corporate office did away with the “two-strike” policy shortly after that incident and simply left it up to individual management to decide what appropriate disciplinary actions to take for tardiness.

It always cracked me up how a purely unrelated series of events inadvertently painted me in a completely unintended favorable way and ultimately ended up changing an ultra-strict policy!

Time Is Fine-ite

, , , , , | Right | August 24, 2022

I used to be a parking attendant in a seafront car park for a council contractor — one of those folks you shout “get a real job” at, you know.

Summertime on the seafront was hellish — hot with surprisingly little wind, snaking between lanes of parked cars checking for pay-and-display tickets.

The job itself wasn’t tough. I had a handheld computer, a waist-mounted printer, and a holdall of sticky yellow bags, and I just had to type, print, bag, and stick. Parked cars, easy. Parked brains, less so.

Working in pairs for “safety”, we trundled through the overflowing car park, handing out fines and helpful tourist advice in equal measure. This was fortunate, as one of our “customers” turned up to shout at us.

Customer: “Why have I gotten this fine?!”

Me: “You were late back to your car, sir.”

Customer: “So what? I was only two hours late. You should show some patience.”

We’d Suggest They Put Up A Sign, But We Know How That Goes Around Here

, , , , , , | Working | August 24, 2022

I stop at my local membership warehouse store to get gasoline. The gas prices have been high lately, but this store usually has gas anywhere from twenty to thirty cents cheaper per gallon than most gas stations. As such, it’s always busy.

Unfortunately, the layout for the pumps at this store isn’t great. There is room for maybe five vehicles to line up behind the ones at the pumps. Beyond that, the vehicles start blocking one of the entrances to the parking lot for the store. Because of this, the store has enlisted employees to help guide the drivers to move their vehicles a bit closer and provide room for people just entering.

I’ve just pulled up to the pump, gotten out of my car, swiped my membership card, and am ready to tap my credit card for payment. At this point, I can see someone in the corner of my eye kind of hovering close by. Since I still need to type in my PIN for payment, I get wary of people standing too close to me when I pay. I turn to see one of the store’s employees looking at me expectantly. I think he must have a question or something important to tell me.

Me: “Yes?”

Employee: “Are you going to tap for payment?”

I’m thinking maybe there’s something wrong with the pump. I look back to the pump and don’t see a sign or any other indication that I couldn’t pay by tapping, so I look back at the employee.

Me: “I was going to. Why?”

Employee: “We’re encouraging everyone to tap to pay when possible.”

Me: “Okay?”

Employee: “You see, all the cars are lined up waiting, and if everyone taps to pay, it saves up to forty-five seconds on each transaction. It’s a much faster way to pay.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. I would have been done by now.”

I turned back to pay, blocking his view while I typed in my PIN. I didn’t bother to see if he was giving that spiel to anyone else, but he definitely wasted my time. Even if I was swiping, I could have gotten done faster.

What Are The Schedules Even For, Then?!

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Monasade | August 23, 2022

I work in a restaurant. I’ve made plans in advance relying on me getting out at 3:00 pm today from an opening shift (10:15 to 3:00 pm). The reason I was able to plan this is that I can see everyone’s schedules both online and on the paper copy. My replacement is supposed to be there at 3:00, meaning I can easily get out by 3:05, if not before.

That is until my replacement calls out at 1:30 pm. I tell the manager on the floor that I can only work what I was originally intended to, and she says she’ll try her best. It has always been the precedent that, as a busser, if your side work is done and your replacement is here, you can leave after checking out with a manager. The floor manager eventually gets someone to come in earlier, which means that I should be able to go without issue.

Three pm rolls around. I check out with my busser coworker who I’m leaving behind, and I go to a different manager to check out. She then proceeds to argue with me about how I “know that’s not how we roll” and such trying to keep me. I proceed to stand my ground, and she calls in the general manager. The general manager has me come into her office and sit down. They apparently expect me to suddenly work two more hours on the fly without even asking me.

I’m sixteen, I don’t have a car or license, and my ride is waiting on me. I can’t just tell them to wait for another two hours

General Manager: “So, I heard that you were intending to leave at 3:00. Why did you make plans?”

Me: “Because I could see everyone’s schedules, saw my replacement was due to come in at 3:00, and planned accordingly.”

General Manager: “So, you just assumed you would be getting off at 3:00?”

Me: “I guess?”

General Manager: “Did you call a manager to see when exactly you were to be off?”

Me: “No.”

I am astounded that I have to even think of calling a manager just to see when I will get off. I don’t think management would want all of us constantly calling to make sure we’ll be off anytime we want to make after-work plans.

General Manager: “Okay. So, you assumed you’d be getting off at 3:00. You know that isn’t how our schedules work. Just because it says, ’10:15 to 3:00 pm,’ that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting off at 3:00.”

This throws me for a loop; why bother with printing schedules in the first place? You sit here and wonder why people are upset with their schedules when you don’t even follow them yourself?

I sit there in silence.

General Manager: “The best I can do is to get you out of here at 4:00 pm.”

Me: “That won’t work.”

General Manager: “Have a little bit of compassion. [Coworker]’s grandmother just died. You were in a sticky situation, too, and people took up for you.”

This is a reference to when I had to escape a domestic abuse situation and was unable to work.

Me: “I am truly sorry, but I cannot cover for him.”

General Manager: “So, you’re saying you have to leave right now? Are you sure you want to deal with the consequences?”

Me: “Yes.”

General Manager: “All right. This will be your final written warning. This cannot happen again.”

Me: “Okay.”

General Manager: “I’m very disappointed in you. I thought you had a great work ethic and you were mature and responsible. Now my opinion of you has been changed, probably permanently.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine.”

General Manager: “You’re free to go.”

I’m going to be putting in my two weeks on Tuesday, along with a written letter disputing the write-up. They tried to get me to sign the write-up, but I declined and said I had a response in writing that I would be submitting. They frustratedly agreed and let me continue my shift the next night.

A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 20

, , , , , | Working | August 22, 2022

My gynecologist’s office is terrible at keeping track of appointments. Here’s how I found out about that.

It is one of those offices where, if you have an appointment at 10:00, you’ll be seen by 11:00 if you’re lucky. That alone is annoying, and I try to get the earliest appointments possible to avoid the backlog. I stick with the office because the doctor is very nice.

In an attempt to save paper, I started not taking the “Your next appointment” reminder cards with me but instead just wrote down the time I was told. (There is no reminder call on these frequent appointments.)

Once, I went there a few minutes past 10:00, as my appointment was at 10:15. 

Me: “I’m here for my appointment, for [Last Name].”

Receptionist #1: *Annoyed* “Well, you are quite late.”

I was confused because, yes, I only had a few minutes left, but normally, I had to wait for at least half an hour if not longer, anyway.

Me: “I have the appointment at 10:15.”

Receptionist #1: “No, your appointment was at 10:00. The 10:15 slot already has a different patient in it.”

Given the fact that a regular appointment here always took longer than fifteen minutes, I suddenly realised why everyone always has to wait so long.

Now, I was annoyed. 

Me: “I was told 10:15.”

Receptionist #1: “No, the appointment was at 10:00.”

Had the actual time been 11:00, I might have blamed myself for mixing it up, but I am pretty certain I would not randomly add an odd fifteen minutes to such an easy time as 10:00. However, the receptionist didn’t even consider that it could have been a misunderstanding or a mistake on their side. She was absolutely certain that it was my fault. Luckily, I still got to be seen that day; however, I was told it might take longer. I even heard her tell the doctor they had to move slots because I “didn’t keep my appointment”.

From that day on, I ALWAYS took the little “Your next appointment” reminder card with me.

Fast forward a while. I had another one of my semi-annual appointments. In a sudden moment of caution, I packed the card with my appointment time and headed there. This time, there was a different (much nicer) receptionist.

Me: “I have an appointment at [time] for [Last Name].”

The receptionist checked the computer.

Receptionist #2: “I don’t see that here.”

Me: “Oh, but it is definitely now, look!”

I handed over the reminder card.

Receptionist #2: “Huh, now that’s odd!”

Me: “Well, I don’t know what to say. That’s the time I was given.”

Receptionist #2: “No, absolutely, the card proves it! Go on into the waiting room. I’ll settle this.”

I was also seen that day, but it would probably have been much less pleasant if I hadn’t had proof. I don’t know if their computer system sucks or if someone is just rubbish at entering appointments. Keep your cards, kids!

A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 19
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 18
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 17
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 16
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 15