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I Wanna Be The Very Best, Like [Employee #1] Never Was

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: DugFinn | September 27, 2021

My brother and I have been crazy into Pokémon since it came out. We basically grew up with it. When I was fifteen and he was thirteen, [Toy Store Chain] used to host official sponsored Pokémon League events each Saturday morning from 9:00 am to noon, and we always went. My brother and I even started showing up early to help the organizer — a designated [Toy Store] employee — in setting up. It was easy: go into the back employee-only room, grab tables, chairs, pens, promo cards to pass out, badges to award, and new badge books for the newcomers.

[Employee #1] didn’t know s*** about Pokémon, but my brother and I were super used to the League from when we attended at card shops, so we let him know what was what when he didn’t know what to do. He quickly just pushed more and more of the tasks onto me, and I was happy to take on the duties. Pretty soon, my brother and I were kind of running the event, and [Employee #1] would disappear for most of the three hours. No one seemed to notice or care though, since I was doing a great job and all the kids were having a great time. Also, I was d*** near unbeatable, and in the world of card games, that makes you the boss. That’s just how it works.

At one point, my brother and I noticed that [Employee #1] hadn’t shown up in about three weeks —not that we really cared. We just went into the back room by ourselves, carried the tables and chairs out, passed out the promo cards to each attendee, stamped their badge books, presided over matches, gave awards, etc. Then, at noon, we cleaned up, took the tables and chairs back, neatly stacked everything, and hung around until our mom came to pick us up.

So, on the third week after noticing that [Employee #1] hadn’t shown up, another employee found my brother and me as we were putting stuff away.

Employee #2: “Are you the ones that have been running the Pokémon thing for the last few weeks?”

Brother & Me: “Yes.”

The employee got an, “Oh, s***,” look on his face, like he wasn’t sure what to do now. He stood there thinking for a bit.

Employee #2: “How old are you?”

Me: “Fifteen.”

Employee #2: “Okay, don’t go anywhere.”

He left and came back and got basic information from me, like my name, address, etc. Bless my naive little heart, I answered everything. Then, we left.

The next Saturday was business as usual. The following Saturday, [Employee #2] showed up after we got done putting away all the stuff and handed me an envelope. Inside was a paycheck for like $130. It was back-pay for all the hours I had “worked.” It turned out that [Employee #2] was the manager and he’d been getting so many compliments from the parents about their “employee that ran the Pokémon League” that he’d been trying to find that employee for weeks, but all his employees kept saying, “It’s not me.”

Apparently, it was a complete mystery to everyone how the tables and chairs were being put out and being put back and who was actually running the event. Remember, my brother and I were just another pair of kids in a crowd of over twenty-five people aged six to thirty. As far as the [Toy Store] staff was concerned, it was a ghost running the events.

And that’s how I accidentally got my first job. I never found out what happened to [Employee #1], but I never saw him again. To this day — I’m thirty-eight now — I still have it in my resume that my first job was as a Pokémon Master. The strange thing is that not a SINGLE employer has ever questioned it.

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I Don’t Work Here… But Maybe…

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Daydreamer0181 | September 21, 2021

A long time ago, I used to work in an educational toy store in my local mall. After it closed down, I had to find new places to shop for the kids in my life.

I had gotten a nephew of mine started on a scale wood “Thomas The Train” toy line. Someone I knew told me a bookstore chain had started carrying the line, so I decided to swing by to see what new pieces had come out for the holidays.

I started looking and overheard two women talking about whether they should get their kids started because both kids loved “Thomas The Train”. Before I could stop myself, I introduced myself, and when I mentioned the store I had worked at, they both lit up, suddenly remembering that they had seen me there.

They started asking questions and I gave them advice. About the time they were done, more people started asking me questions. Before I knew it, I had been standing in about the same spot for more than an hour just selling the heck out of these trains.

When the crowd finally dispersed, I made sure I had the two pieces I wanted and started to head to the register, only to find the department manager, and the store manager standing there, along with the girl actually working the kids’ section, staring at me.

Realizing the spectacle I had unintentionally created, I walked over expecting to apologize, only to have the store manager start talking before me.

Store Manager: “Do you realize how much of that stuff you sold?”

Me: “So, that guy did buy the [train set]?”

This was their biggest set at the time and it cost $500.

Store Manager: “Actually, yes, he did, but I’m talking about more than that. You have sold more Thomas The Train items than we have ever sold.”

Me: “Well, you haven’t carried the line that long. Once your people learn more about it, I’m sure you’ll have better numbers.”

Store Manager: “Do you want a job as assistant manager in this department?”

Department Manager: “More than half those people thought you already worked here. They wanted you to get a raise.”

Employee: “I don’t understand how you knew all that. I could barely follow half of it.”

Me: “Thanks! How much would it pay?”

I turned down the job because it was offering less money than my job at the time. I ended up being given the employee discount on the two pieces I wanted as a thank-you. For about two years, every time I went into that store, I would see one of the managers from that day and they would ask me if I needed any more train items.

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I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 40

, , , , , | Right | August 13, 2021

I work in an office that has fairly frequent, if impromptu, foam weapon battles. As such, one day while on my lunch break, I head over to a nearby toy store to browse their selection. While I’m there, there is a lady standing right next to me, alternating between looking at me and the wall of dart guns. Eventually…

Lady #1: “Sorry, but do you work here?”

Employees at this store wear black dress shirts and red vests; today, I happen to be wearing a red dress shirt with a black vest. Understanding her confusion, I laugh.

Me: “No, sorry, but I’m kind of familiar with the brand. Maybe I can help?”

It turns out that I can! We spend a couple of minutes picking the right darts for her son, discussing the pros and cons of various ones, and [Lady #1] walks off happy. While we were talking, however, another woman was hovering at the end of the aisle, and as soon as [Lady #1] walks off, [Lady #2] swoops in.

Lady #2: “Where can I find [Specific Toy]?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t actually…”

I glance over her shoulder, and what should I see?

Me: “Uh… Are those the ones you’re looking for?”

Lady #2: “Oh, yes!”

And as she bustles off to pick up her toy, an elderly gentleman approaches me, toy in hand.

Man: “Could you tell me how much this is?”

At this point, I just accept my fate.

Me: “I’m afraid I don’t know right off hand, but there is a price scanner two aisles over; I can show you where, if you’d like!”

I never made the mistake of wearing that outfit there again, and I am still waiting on my paycheck for that accidental ten-minute shift!

Related:
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 39
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 38
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 37
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 36
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 35

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We Wouldn’t Want Any Of This Grandma’s Cookies

, , , , , | Friendly | August 5, 2021

It is my brother’s tenth birthday, and we’ve decided to hold a surprise party. My dad wants everyone out of the house so he can set it up, so while my mom takes my brother and his friends to the movies, I take my seven-year-old sister to the toy store to buy a present. My sister is an above-the-knee amputee. We are in the board games area when a little boy walks up to us.

Boy: “Wow! Do you have a robotic leg or something? That’s so cool! How does it work? Do you send your brainwaves down and control it, or are you like a cyborg or an android or something?”

Sister: “No, it’s not a robot. It’s just kind of… there.”

Boy: “How does it work, then?”

Sister: “I just move my thigh, and then the mechanical knee and leg move with it.”

Boy: “Oh, that’s cool. Do you go to [Elementary School]?”

My sister nods.

Boy: “Are you gonna be in third grade in September?”

My sister nods.

Boy: “Oh, cool! So am I! I just moved here from [State], and it’s really cool here. My name is [Boy]. What’s yours?”

Sister: “[Sister].”

The boy’s grandmother comes in.

Grandmother: “Are you making friends, [Boy]? That’s good. It’s good to make friends before the school year.”

She pauses, and then she realizes my sister has a prosthetic leg.

Grandmother: “Now, dear, remember what I told you about people like her. You don’t want to be friends with people like her, or else you’ll end up wearing noise-cancelling headphones and with two r*****ed legs.”

Me: “I don’t really think you understand how physical disabilities work. I don’t think you understand how disabilities work at all.”

Grandmother: “I’ll tell you what I do understand. If my daughter turned out r*****ed, I’d have her put up for adoption rather than poison the rest of the family. You seem like a sensible teenage boy; you understand.”

My sister looks like she’s about to cry.

Me: “Well, someone did put her up for adoption. They didn’t want a girl missing one leg. But we adopted her, and she’s the best little sister I could have ever had. Adopting her is the best decision our parents made.”

Grandmother: “You know what?! I don’t need to put up with this. Come on, dear. We’ll get your toys somewhere else where there aren’t so many r*****s.”

Boy: “Bye, [Sister]! See you at school!”

Grandmother: “And I’ll be having a talk with your mother about what types of people you make friends with.”

My sister is pretty upset about the whole situation, but I am able to calm her down enough that we can buy the present.

Manager: “Is that card game for you?”

My sister shakes her head.

Manager: “Oh, I see. In that case, I’m going to do something that I don’t do very often. I only do this for the most awesome customers, but I think you’ve shown that you’re one of them. I’m going to give you a $10 gift card for our store. You can go now and buy anything you want for $10 in this store, and then you come here and I’ll activate the card for you. Sound good?”

My sister was shocked at first but soon became extremely elated at the gift. She was so excited that, even on the bus ride home after buying her gift, she wouldn’t stop talking. The gift really did a great deal for her mood and to cheer her up after what the woman had said. She didn’t ever end up becoming great friends with the boy, but she told me she talked to him once or twice and he said that his grandmother is no longer allowed to be alone with him or his cousins.


This story is part of our Best Of August 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of August 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of August 2021 roundup!

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The Gift That Keeps On Building

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2021

I take my daughter to one of the shops where you stuff a bear and buy clothes for it. We are looking at the options when a man pushes past us, luckily missing my daughter. I ignore him and continue helping her pick the empty bear. We stand in line and wait for the stuffing machine when I notice something odd. The man from earlier is stood in the line without a child.

The line moves along slowly. The woman on the stuffing machine eyes the man carefully and goes into her routine about the special hearts, etc., and asks if he wants to help push the button, as she would with the children.

He declines and awkwardly stands there as she goes onto her spiel about the “birth certificate.” This whole process takes a while and the man gets more agitated as it happens.

Store Associate: “Would you like to make a wish?”

Man: “Look. It’s a gift, okay? I just want this done.”

Store Associate: “Not a problem. Your bear is all done. In future, you can pick from any one of the premade bears if you like.”

Right next to the empty ones were premade bears of every type. Perhaps if he wasn’t in such a rush he would have noticed them!

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