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To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 4

, , , , | Right | January 13, 2022

My work requires me to travel to the UK quite often. The first time, I go alone, but the second time, my husband and kid go with me. We live in a small town. Since I have to go to work, and we love to travel on weekends, we agree that he will do the grocery shopping during the week.

On his first shopping trip, he buys rice from a supermarket. It’s not the kind we eat regularly; it’s somewhat odd tasting. Since that’s our staple, he has bought five packets of one kilo each and there is no way we can use it.

Back in my home country, the return policies are very strict. They don’t take back anything opened. Even if it is unopened, we need to give a strong reason and the only option is store credit. We both decide that we’ll take it back to the supermarket and try to return at least the unopened packets. We also have the receipts with us.

Me: “Hey, we bought this rice here and would like to return it, if it’s okay.”

Helpdesk Rep: “Was something wrong with it?”

Me: “Not sure; it tastes bad. Maybe we cooked it wrong?”

Helpdesk Rep: “Looks like it; this rice is for Italian cooking. It is high in starch content. May not be for your style of cooking. You may want to buy something light and long grain.”

Husband: “Oops! My bad, then! I am the one who bought it without asking any of you.”

Helpdesk Rep: “No problem, sir. Since you have the receipts with you, I can refund your money for the four unopened packets. And for the opened packet—”

Me: “Oh! No, don’t bother about it if you can’t refund it. It’s okay. I am just glad that you are taking the four packs back. I’d have hated to throw food away and waste money.”

Helpdesk Rep: “No, actually, I was going to say that I can give you store credit for that packet. It’s okay if it is opened.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Helpdesk Rep: “Yep, that’s possible.”

Husband: “Wow, you guys are awesome!”

Helpdesk Rep: “Well, here I was wondering if you’d oppose a store credit.”

Husband: “Oh, no, why would we when it is our fault?! We are coming back here for sure to use the credit!”

The transaction went smoothly and the staff there helped us pick the right kind of rice we wanted. My husband became a regular there and knew many of the staff. My daughter had some great shopping trips there. He made sure to bid them all a goodbye when we were leaving the UK.

Related:
To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 3
To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due, Part 2
To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Don’t Hold Back!

, , , , , | Learning | January 13, 2022

I used to teach at a primary school, I loved those kids, even the ones that were naughty or cheeky. What I hated was the parents — so many, rude, obnoxious, apathetic individuals who wanted us to parent their children for them.

The one I actually despised was a mother to one of the boys in my class. There was no other word for it: she was trashy. She would rock up to collection, late again, still wearing the dressing gown and slippers she dropped him off in. Her boy would never have the full equipment; he’d be missing sunscreen, a hat, water bottle, etc. But she’d always stink of cigarettes.

She was aggressive, too; nothing bad could be said about her boy, yet she clearly didn’t spend any time with him. Homework was never done, he was never read to, etc.

After he left my class, I bumped into his mum wearing another one of her dressing gown combos, despite it being 1:00 pm on a weekday.

Mother: “Oh, hiya. You were [Son]’s teacher.”

Me: “Oh, hi. Yeah, I have to go. Got to get to work.”

Mother: “Oh, I see how it is. No time for me now. Think you’re better than me.”

A million things went through my head. I could have de-escalated it. But instead, I answered.

Me: “Yes, I think I probably am. In fact, most people are. You’re rude, aggressive, and trashy. If you put any effort into your own child, he would actually do wonderfully well. But your own ego won’t let you. Get a job, have a wash, and parent your children.”

This caught her by surprise. I was a few steps away before she managed to put a sentence together.

Mother: “You little b****! How f****** dare you?! I will get you f****** fired. You b****, you f****** b****!”

Me: “Good luck with that.”

Of course, I had long left the school, mainly because of the treatment we received from people like her, and because I was totally unsupported and ignored by the office team — the same office staff [Mother] will be on her way to shout at. Best of luck.

And In One Quick Puff, They Were Gone

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

Every time the weather gets bad, the staff from the office next door use the alcove under my office window for their smoke breaks. Frankly, it stinks, they never pick up after themselves, and I’m sick of having to hear them loudly gossip and cackle to themselves.

I complained to the building manager and to the other office’s building company, but any change was only temporary. I considered many things that would only get me into trouble. I couldn’t even accidentally spill water on them as there is a lip.

So, I got petty, really petty. Every time I heard them, I recorded who was there and when, and more importantly, for how long.

I requested information about a job vacancy they had open, and soon, I had everything I needed.

I sent my list of all the long breaks the employees were taking. I even had their names as they were so loud. Better yet, because all the email addresses started with “firstname.lastname” and their names were on the “Contact Us” page of their website.

I was able to CC them in.

Suddenly, no one smoked under my window and my office stopped stinking of old smoke.

The Train Of Thought Is Still Boarding At The Station

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

I’m working away, fixing one of the rebuilds. I get it done and send it down the line. What should happen is the next one automatically rolling into the station, but nothing comes.

I look up the line and it looks like the line is full. So, what’s the hold-up?! I go to the previous station to ask the guy what’s going on.

Me: “Hey, what’s with the delay?”

Worker: “Yeah, I’m doing it.”

He isn’t; he is on his phone, just kind of spaced out.

Me: “Well, you should be two in front of me. Why are you so behind? Did something happen? I’ve got no work.”

Worker: “I said I’m doing it!”

Fine, whatever. He should know what he’s doing; he’s been here long enough. I grabbed a drink and went back to my station.

I waited a while — still no work. I headed back to the previous station again. When I got there, the guy was just standing there, listening to music. It looked like he hadn’t done a thing.

I let my manager know my numbers were going to be down and why. I didn’t see it happen, but the guy got dragged into the office, apparently stinking of weed, and he had no idea why everyone was annoyed at him.

He refused a drug test, refused any help, and refused to give up his car keys.

What was going to be a written warning and suspension turned into getting the police called to stop him from driving away and ultimately led to him being fired on the spot.

Nope, It’s Not Your Job… Anymore

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

One of the managers has to take some time off for urgent “family matters”. The details are quite sad and you would think people would get on and do what they could to take the load off him or at least not give the guy more stress.

But not [Employee]. [Employee] doesn’t care about anything past his nose. I’ve had the joy of dealing with him while his actual manager spends most of his time at home.

Me: “[Employee], your numbers are terrible this month. What’s going on?”

He just shrugs.

Me: “No, seriously. You’ve done less than anyone. What’s the issue?”

Employee: “The machine keeps playing up.”

Me: “When did you highlight it?”

He just looks at me funny.

Me: “When did you tell someone that it was playing up”

Employee: “Not my job, is it?”

Me: “Your job, [Employee], is to follow the work instructions. On every work instruction is the contact details of maintenance, who it states must be contacted in case of issues with machinery.”

Employee: “No, it doesn’t, and even if it does, how am I supposed to contact them when I’m stood here?”

I get the work instruction, find the one he signed, and point out the bold print.

Me: “‘Contact maintenance on [number] or tell [Supervisor].’”

Employee: “Well, I didn’t see that.”

Me: “Nope, you saw it, and I know you’ve raised issues before. I’m passing you over for a write-up.”

Employee: “That’s bulls***. [Manager] would never write me up.”

Me: “Guess what? He’s not here. I am.”

Employee: “Well, I’ll call him.”

Me: “You dare, and I will have you written up for that, as well. He is not to be disturbed and you know d*** well why.”

He stormed off. I passed the details to Human Resources. As I was talking to them, they got a call from [Manager]. Apparently, [Employee] called him several times. When he answered and told him to stop calling, [Employee] hit him with a barrage of profanity.

The write-up I put forward wasn’t needed; they fired [Employee] without it. He was gone before the end of the day.