Oh, My Gourd: Seriously?, Part 2

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2018

It is a busy day working on the self-scan machines. A customer asks me to help her, as she can’t find the produce item she needs.

Most of our produce isn’t barcoded, so you need to select the item from a list on the screen. Everything is listed alphabetically and categorized by letter.

The item she couldn’t find? Cucumbers, as they weren’t listed under “Q.”

Oh My Gourd: Seriously?

Murdering Your Chances To Be Rehired

, , , , | Working | January 31, 2018

(At my workplace, we have what’s called “murder week,” where new starters are put at the front of the shop. They have to deal with phone calls, unruly customers, and all manner of requests. While not the most pleasant, it gets you up to speed very fast, and helps management decide whether you’re capable of handling more responsibility. Yesterday I left while a new starter was put on the front for the first time. I see him again today when I start.)

Me: “Hey, how was your first shift?”

Starter: “Awful! How do you put up with it?”

Me: “You just get used to it. After this week you’ll only go on it like once a month.”

Starter: “Once a month?!” *phone starts ringing* “That’s one too many. I had this b**** ask me yesterday to tell her where the yeast products are. She literally walked by them to get to me!” *still ringing* “Then, I had this kid who kept trying to punch my leg because his dad had a prosthetic. He dad was there the whole time and didn’t say anything! I checked this morning. I had a bruise!” *finally answers* “WHAT?!” *pause* “WHO ELSE DO YOU THINK IT IS?” *pause* “ARE YOU TRYING TO BE DUMB?! I WOULDN’T HAVE ANSWERED THE PHONE IF WE WEREN’T OPEN!” *throws the phone down and starts panting*

Me: “Maybe I’ll have a chat with [Manager]. You don’t seem to be taking it too well.”

(He glares at me but says nothing else. As I walk away I hear the phone ring again.)

Starter: “WHAT?!” *pause* “NO, YOU CAN’T SPEAK TO A MANAGER, B****! STOP PHONING!”

(I spoke to the manager once I was in the back, and he decided to give the starter one more day to see if he calmed down. He didn’t, and he no longer works with us. As much as I appreciate what the murder week is there to do, it isn’t for everyone, and I think you probably have to be more sensitive with some people than the manager was.)

They’re Not Making Fine Figure(ine)s Of Themselves

, , , , , , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(It’s release day of a game I’ve had pre-ordered for months. I’m mildly autistic and have social anxiety, as well as having busted my arm in a fall five days prior to the incident. I’ve been at home on rest with my arm in a sling. Normally, I would ask my husband to pick up the game, but due to being stuck in the house all week and the need for a pick-me-up, I decide to brave the store and grab the game myself. I reach the store at the shopping centre where I work, and I see that the queue is six feet out of the door. I join it in disbelief.)

Me: “Must be a lot of games coming out today.”

Customer #1: *overhears and turns around* “It’s a black Friday event, so there’s a huge sale on consoles and stuff. I’m here for a PS4.”

Me: “Ah, thanks.”

(I am now wishing I’d gotten here sooner, having heard of the queues and arguments that happen over in the USA around such sales. I wait in line for the best part of half an hour, and the queue grows behind me as I move forward. A mother and her son, who looks to be in his early 20s, join directly behind me and mutter about the length of the line almost constantly. It appears to be moving slowly, but without barricades outside the shop doors, the queue is more of a rabble. As we head inside the doors, we’re corralled into a narrow queue that sorts us into two abreast at the most.)

Customer #2: *very loudly as the queue narrows* “Has that girl always been in front of us? I don’t remember seeing her there before.”

Customer #3: “She probably pushed in. I bet she was behind us.”

(As the queue narrows, they attempt to push me out of the queue entirely, blocking the entry between the barricades by standing next to each other. Thankfully, I move faster than they do and keep my place in the queue, though I’m beginning to become stressed by the sheer mass of people adding to the pain in my arm. I distract myself from their mutterings by making eye contact with the busy staff that rush by, filling orders. Most are regulars at the food shop I work at and recognize me, smiling, which helps with the unease until I tune back into the conversation behind me.)

Customer #2: “That’s horrendously rude, pushing in. We’ve been waiting here for half an hour. She should have to wait as well.”

Customer #3: “Some people just want their games so badly they just don’t care.”

Customer #1: *turning, looking irritated at their raised discussion* “She’s been behind me the entire time. Cool it.”

(I smile at him for his aid; he doesn’t seem to notice and turns back to the front, but the pair quiets down for five minutes or so. Now, the queue has narrowed, and the line seems to be moving faster, though there are only two sales points so progress is still a little painful. I’m four places from the front when they start up again.)

Customer #3: “I bet she thinks it’s fine because she’s hurt herself.”

Customer #2: “I bet she did it on purpose to get attention.”

Customer #3: “It might not even be hurt; she’s not got a cast, just a splint. It’s probably fake.”

Customer #2: “Maybe she’s using it to scam benefits to spend on games.”

Customer #3: “Maybe I should squeeze her arm and see.”

(By this point I’ve had enough. I’m in a lot of pain and under a lot of stress thanks to my anxiety, and on the edge of tears from the comments. I step into the space next to me and motion for them to go ahead of me while trying to keep calm enough to not succumb to a breakdown in public.)

Me: “Please, if your game is so important to you, save yourself thirty seconds and step in front of me already, and shut up. I’ve already waited almost an hour; a few minutes won’t kill me.”

Customer #3: *as they take my place* “About time. You should have just joined the queue like everyone else.”

Customer #2: “Rude b****.”

(I bite my lip, but I can feel myself breaking. I refuse to leave the store after waiting in the line so long, and I try to repress it, but tears still fall. [Customer #1] turns around and gives me a concerned look, but I shrug and shake my head, knowing my breakdown will only get worse if I try to talk about it. Before long, [Customer #1] is called up to a till and the pair are at the front of the line. Looking around at random parts of the shop, trying to calm down, I notice that [Customer #1] has pointed to me and is talking to their cashier, a man I know well. I offer him a weak smile when our eyes meet, and he smiles back before going back to [Customer #1]. I feel embarrassed that everyone I know from this store is going to know I cried in line now. The pair are pulled up to the second register, pick up the single item they pre-ordered: the same game as me. It comes with a free miniature figurine. They leave just as [Customer #1] does, so I head up to the till with the employee I recognize.)

Employee: “Are you all right? The last guy said that pair in front of you were being pretty rude.”

Customer #4: *overhearing at her own cash register and turning around* “They tried to push her out the queue, accused her of faking her arm injury, and insulted her when she stepped aside to let them in front to shut them up.”

Me: “It’s okay. I just want to pick up [Game] and be on my way home. I’ve had enough.”

Employee: *smiling, bags my game* “Unfortunately, we just ran out of figurines to go with pre-orders, but…” *pulls out a figurine from under the desk of his coworker, who has seen the whole exchange at her own till* “…looks like my associate’s last customers forgot theirs, so you can have it.”

Me: *smiles back* “Thank you.”

(While he is still bagging up my order and putting a 10% discount on my transaction for my experience in the queue, the pair comes back into the store and demands their figurine. My clerk turns my transaction over to a colleague, so he can handle the matter as the manager of the store. They are told that the store has run out of figurines, and that they are ejected and permanently banned from the store for upsetting another regular customer by bullying.)

Customer #2: “Well… You’re upsetting my child!” *the 20-something man just looks annoyed he didn’t get his figurine* “We’ll complain to Trading Standards! I know my rights!”

Employee: “Please do. I look forward to regaling them with the whole story.”

(The woman huffed and stormed out, leaving me feeling a little better with a smile on my face. The staff all wished me well before I left. I still have the figure — a small plastic thing, about the height of my thumb, probably only worth 50 pence — it has place of pride on my desk to remind me of the wonderful staff at my local game store!)

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Normal Operating Procedure Has Been Tabled

, , , , , , | Working | January 30, 2018

(Our friend hasn’t had any supper, so we stop in a pub for something to eat. We find the ground floor full but notice there’s an upstairs dining area. We all head up there, and find a waitress at the door.)

Waitress: “This is for diners only.”

Friend: “Yeah, we’d like to eat.”

Waitress: “There’s a ten minute wait on tables.”

(We look behind her. There are 20 tables in the room. Ten of them are occupied.)

Friend: “Who are we waiting for?”

Waitress: “Pre-bookings.”

Me: “Okay… Let’s just find somewhere else.”

Waitress: “Wait. Um, I think I can squeeze you in.”

(She sits us down. We have a look at the menu, but come to a decision quickly. Unfortunately, she’s the only one there and it takes a while to get her attention.)

Friend: “Could we have a portion of chips, please?”

Waitress: “If you want chips, you have to go downstairs.”

(She storms off, while we have another look at the menu and bring her over again.)

Friend #2: “Can we have the fried chicken and chips, please?”

Waitress: “Not available.”

Friend #2: “Then we’ll need another look at the menu.”

Waitress: “Hurry up, then. This area closes in ten minutes and lots of people want this table.”

(There are now 15 empty tables.)

Friend: “That’s fine; I think we’ll go elsewhere.”

(I don’t know whether she was trying to get rid of us or if she honestly expected a big coach party to turn up in the next ten minutes.)

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 30

, , , , , | Right | January 30, 2018

(After a morning shift, I go shopping at another well-known retail store located at the same shopping centre. I am still wearing my uniform, which is black pants and a black t-shirt with the company’s logo on it, as well as a name badge with a clearly-visible company’s name on it. I am going through a rack of jeans when a lady in her thirties approaches me, holding one shoe.)

Customer: “Get me these shoes, quickly!”

Me: *keeps going through the jeans, as I don’t realise she is talking to me*

Customer: *pokes me* “Hey! Are you deaf?”

Me: *confused* “Sorry?”

Customer: “Get me these shoes. Quickly, quickly, quickly! I am in a rush!” *starts to walk away* “I will be over there. I have to get a blouse.”

Me: “Oh, I am sorry, but I don’t—”

Customer: “I don’t want to hear anything! And I want a fresh pair from the back!” *just walks away*

(I try to find a shop assistant to help her out, but this is a busy period and no one is available. I can’t see the lady anywhere, so I just put the shoe back where she found it. After 15 minutes, I am carrying on with my shopping, and the same lady approaches me again.)

Customer: “Are you f****** kidding me?! I have told you I am in a rush; I don’t have the time to look for your f****** a**!”

Me: “I am very sorry for all the confusion, but I don’t work here.”

Customer: *gives me a blank stare* “You are kidding me, right?”

Me: *smiling* “No, I work at [Company]; I am just shopping after my shift.”

Customer: *freaks out* “I am going to get that stupid smile off your face, you f******  b****! You dare to lie in my face! You are wearing your uniform and you work here! I remember you serving me upstairs!”

(The store we are in at the moment only has one floor, and I actually work upstairs at the home department at [Company]. I explain this to the customer politely and apologize one more time for all the confusion.)

Customer: “Do you think I am stupid or what? You work in the same place! This same f****** building! You are wearing your uniform; it means you have to help me! I want to speak to your manager now! I would love to get your a** fired!”

Me: *getting annoyed* “Listen, lady: I have told you several times that I don’t work here!”

Customer: “Manager, now!”

Me: *losing it* “Seriously, f*** off! I do not work here! It is impossible to get my manager, because I work in a different store! I have just finished my shift, and I am shopping here before going home, so if you could just, please, leave me alone!”

Customer: *stares at me a little bit* “Jesus, why didn’t you say so?” *walks away*

(After two weeks, the same woman approaches me on the shop floor while I am working.)

Customer: “You do work here, right?”

Me: *nods*

Customer: “Good. I need some help picking up a wedding present.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 29
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 28
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 27

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