Expecting You To Remember A Customer You’d Rather Forget

, , , | Right | May 13, 2021

When I’m about sixteen, I work in an optician’s where my mum is the manager. Neither of us thinks we look much alike and we both look our ages, but we do both have heavy fringes, are similar height, and are wearing the same uniform. I’m alone on the shop floor, my colleagues are dealing with other customers out of earshot, and my mum is upstairs in the office.

Customer: “Right. You. Now, when you spoke to me last week, you told me you were going to fix this, but f****** look at this piece of s***.”

Me: “Can I see your glasses, please, sir?”

Customer: “I don’t know what the point is; you’re a total idiot. You said you fixed them last time, but look at them.”

He’s waving them in front of me and I can’t see anything wrong, but it’s hard to tell as he’s brandishing them and won’t hold them still or hand them to me.

Me: “I’m sorry about that, sir. I don’t think you spoke to me, but I’ll be happy to take a look at them and see what I can do.”

Customer: *Suddenly shouting* “Are you calling me a liar?!”

Me: “Uh, no. But I wasn’t here last week, and I don’t remember speaking to you before that, either.”

Customer: “Well, you did f****** speak to me! Don’t you dare call me a liar! You spoke to me and told me you would fix them, and then they just fell apart.”

Colleagues start approaching uncertainly as the customer goes into a long string of shouted expletives. I’m just staring, open-mouthed, not sure what to say but getting more certain who he spoke to last week. Without thinking, I cut him off midway through a shouted sentence.

Me: “Sir, there’s only one person you could have spoken to if you’re this upset.”

I stood up without another word and went to get my mum. After bringing her back down, I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation but found out she banned him from the store and refused to touch his glasses again. A coworker filled her in on what I said when I realised the mistaken identity. I’d meant that if he was that upset last week, then they would have gotten her to deal with it, not that she had made him that upset, but that’s not the way it came out. Luckily, she found it really funny. That wasn’t the last time that people shouted at a sixteen-year-old assistant thinking I was the store manager, unfortunately!

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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone

, , , , , , | Working | May 13, 2021

Part of my job is to get the company through its annual audit, which means working with all the different departments to ensure that they are working to the standard, to suggest fixes, and to help them achieve compliance. It is a thankless task. Everyone assumes it has nothing to do with them, and no one wants to make any effort to change something they see as “not broken.”

Every year is the same. I spend months chasing owners, while they won’t do nearly enough or they just ignore me. The audit is painful and embarrassing, and I receive many, many non-compliances. I always get a major lecture from my boss, no matter what I do. It is never enough for him.

It’s exhausting and humiliating and I feel like I am wasting my life, getting nowhere, for a boss that doesn’t see any value in me or what I do, despite the company not being able to legally function without a passed audit.

Enough is enough, and six months before the next audit, I hand in my six months’ notice. My boss does not seem to care.

I finish my last day like this.

Me: “All previous audit failures are here, and I have a report of the work we said we did to fix it, signed by you and the owners.”

Boss: *Not looking up* “Yeah.”

Me: “I have made the auditors aware of the changes but not who will be the new contact person.”

My boss is still not even looking at me.

Me: “The changes to the standard are here, so these need to be looked at.”

Boss: “Yeah, yeah, sure. I’m sure we will be fine.”

Me: “Great. I have nothing more to do today, so I will be at my desk until the end of the day.”

Boss: “You may as well leave now.”

Me: “Great. Good luck on the audit.”

I packed up my things, said my goodbyes, and left. I kept in touch with several of my old coworkers there. I found out that a month before the audit, they still hadn’t hired a replacement and began to look at the audit. They were not at all prepared, hadn’t done any of the monthly work needed since I left, hadn’t addressed any of the changes I showed them, and hadn’t checked the last year’s audit to ensure that they are still compliant.

They had their worst audit in history with major failures all over and they nearly had to withdraw the certificate, stopping the site completely.

Because of the seriousness, an additional audit had to be planned at a cost of around £25,000. The company hired an expensive specialist to basically do everything I used to do and tell them everything I said.

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Should Commute This Experience To Memory

, , , | Right | May 13, 2021

Years ago, I was one of the managers at a retail superstore that sold electrical goods. My commute to work was a notoriously bad route where traffic jams were common and, as luck would have it this morning, I was the sole opening manager and there was a HUGE holdup.

The motorway was completely closed, and we all sat there for over an hour before the police sent everyone up an on ramp to get us off the road. I arrived a full hour after the store was supposed to open and found all the staff, and a customer, waiting outside.

Apologising profusely to the customer, I unlocked the doors, let everyone in, and turned the power on as staff started booting up the computers, etc. The customer was actually understanding and polite, not complaining or shouting, and put a steam iron on the counter. 

Customer: “I bought this yesterday and it’s dead. Can I exchange it?”

I looked at the box.

Me: “Have you got the receipt?”

She handed it over. My fear was confirmed.

Me: “This is from [Other Retailer] two doors away.”

She had waited an hour outside our closed store while the store she actually bought it from had been open, thirty yards away, the entire time.

I actually wished she had been screaming and shouting because it would have made it sweet Karma, but she hadn’t so I just cringed and felt terrible.

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Not So Syrupy Sweet

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: No-Finger2501 | May 12, 2021

I’m with friends at one of the UK’s main coffee shop brands. When I am served by the barista, it is obvious that I am going to have an “experience.” This guy acts haughty and speaks to people with a sneer, and he comes across like he considers himself a prince amongst men. He has long, floppy fringe that he keeps brushing out of his contempt-filled eyes every few seconds. He clearly doesn’t want to be here or deal with the likes of me. It’s awkward for both of us.

It is very early in January, and the shop still has advertisements up for Christmas seasonal drinks. I’m a fan of uncommon flavoured coffee or hot chocolate, and said shop is advertising a Black Forest Hot Chocolate. Black Forest is basically dark chocolate, black cherry, and cream. I order one and the barista looks me up and down and sneers.

Barista: “That’s a Christmas drink.”

Me: “Yes.”

Barista: “It’s after Christmas.”

Me: “Yes.”

Barista: *Smirking* “I can’t make you a Christmas drink.”

Me: “But you’re advertising it, and you’ve still got the ingredients open behind the counter.”

This drink is basically a shot of the flavoured sauce, hot chocolate, and cream on top. It’s not that onerous or taxing to make compared to a normal hot chocolate. It’s literally a normal hot chocolate with a flavour syrup put in.

The barista sighs and rolls his eyes.

Barista: “It’s not available right now.”

I wonder if he is being a tool for some unknown superiority complex, is being lazy and doesn’t want to make this beverage, or if there really is some directive. So, I throw up a weather balloon question.

Me: “Okay, fine. In that case, would I be able to buy a single shot of a flavoured syrup, please? It says they are 35p on the board.”

Barista: *Dismissively* “I don’t see why not.”

Me: “Can I order a shot of the black cherry syrup there, but in a medium-sized takeaway cup?”

The barista tuts and silently turns, gets a shot of said syrup in a cup for me, and contemptuously places it in front of me.

Barista: “Anything else?”

I slide the cup back to him.

Me: “Can you make a medium hot chocolate in this cup for me, please, and stir it well before you put the whipped cream on top?”

The barista grimaced as he realized that I’d followed his instructions completely and still gotten myself a Black Forest Hot Chocolate.

I stood and watched him make it, which he did with the most reluctant and bitter energy imaginable. For the record, it was pretty good.

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Fancy Butcher’s Chicken By The Case, The Meaning Of Expensive Taste

, , , , , | Related | May 12, 2021

When we have Christmas dinner in our household, we have roast chicken and all the trimmings. It’s usually just the local supermarket’s chicken; it’s got a lot of water in it and it’s not the best quality, but it feeds four for cheap with some leftovers for the cat. We also sometimes have roast chicken for Sunday lunch — again, just a cheap supermarket one, without the trimmings.

Regardless of whether we put the chicken on the table or on the side, we have no issues with our cat going for it whilst we are eating. He would never get on the table if we got up and left the chicken unattended. He always waits until his portion is put on the floor. Then, he absolutely devours it. It’s gone within seconds and he’s licking the plate. He likes his chicken, even though it is just cheap stuff.

When our cat was seventeen, he had some arthritis going on and generally disliked jumping. That Christmas, my grandpa bought us a butcher’s chicken. This particular butcher was well known in the area and was pretty expensive, to boot. Mum cooked it and we popped it in the middle of the table and went back to the kitchen to carry the trimmings through.

When we returned to the table, our elderly cat — who hated jumping — was there, head in the chicken, chomping away. We got him away, which was a struggle, and then we had to fight to keep him off the table and remove him from the kitchen counters. It hit a point that, for the first time since we’d gotten this kitty, we had to shut him out of the kitchen and dining room whilst we ate. He still got his chicken after. He also badgered us for more, which did happen usually but not normally with biting involved.

And ever since that chicken, our cat has turned his nose up to the supermarket chicken.

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