Laziness Is The Sister To Bickering

, , , , | Working | September 12, 2017

(I work in a small shoe shop with three different storeys to store the shoes. It is a very old building with a lot of stairs. A customer wants to try on a pair of shoes that is stored on the top floor. There are only two of us working.)

Me: *to my colleague* “You go get it; I went up last time.”

Colleague: “Why should I go and get it? You go.”

(We bicker for a moment, and I realise how this must look to the customer. I turn to address her.)

Me: “We’re sisters.”

Customer: “Ah, that makes sense.”

Unequal Ethos

, , , , | Working | September 12, 2017

(I have received a request for a pay rise from a relatively new employee. She cites the gender pay gap as a reason for her lower pay in comparison to a male employee [who, for whatever reason, decided to share his wages with her], and demands that we resolve it. I am also a woman.)

Me: “Your request has been denied for the time being. It has been decided that matters of pay inequality are not a contributing factor in your pay being unequal to [Male Employee].”

Employee: “And how did you come to that conclusion? It’s seems pretty obvious that the reason [Male Employee] is paid DOUBLE what I make is because I have a vagina.”

Me: “Firstly, he isn’t paid double; he is being paid 31% above what you earn. And to answer the question, he has worked here for nearly 20 years. The pay increase is proportional to that period of time. You, on the other hand, have only worked here for six weeks.”

Employee: *leaning in* “You don’t believe that do you? They’re pulling your leg.”

Me: “Who?”

Employee: “Your bosses.”

Me: “My bosses have nothing to do with this meeting, or the decision to deny your request.”

Employee: “Then you made the decision?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “BUT YOU’RE A WOMAN, TOO! Do you want to them to treat us like dirt?”

Me: “[Employee], I have no doubt the gender gap exists elsewhere in the world; perhaps even in other areas of this company. In this department, however, it does not. I will not allow you to undermine 20 years of hard work and commitment just because [Male Employee] has a penis.”

Employee: “That’s UNREASONABLE! Are you accusing me of sexism? A woman?”

Me: “I’ll tell you what; let’s make a deal. Demonstrate that you have the same level of competence and commitment as [Male Employee], and I’ll reconsider.”

Employee: “Okay, what do I need to do?”

Me: “[Male Employee] has been working in [Department] long enough that he understands every aspect intimately, and covers for anyone who is on leave, with the exception of myself. I expect you to demonstrate this for one month. It is in no way a contractual obligation, but I expect you to work by his ethos. I will give you a month to get up to speed with the department. Then, the following month, you are expected to cover for anyone and everyone.”

Employee: “Well, there’s only five people in [department]; that doesn’t seem too hard. But that’s two months that I will be stuck at my current pay. I expect it to be backdated.”

Me: “Of course.”

(I wrote up a local agreement and we both signed it. She gave up one week into the two months. Literally during the process of learning what she needed to do, not actually covering, she gave up. I haven’t heard a peep about gender inequality since.)

Some People Make You Need Gene Therapy

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2017

(A coworker comes up to my desk to drop off some paperwork. He notices a photo on my desk. I am white.)

Coworker: “Who’s this?”

Me: “My son.”

Coworker: “Your son is black?”

Me: “He’s adopted.”

Coworker: “Oh. I think it’s great that gay couples can adopt.”

Me: “Yeah, it certainly makes us happy.”

Coworker: “It stops you contributing to the gene pool.” *walks away*

They’re Very Green To All Of This

, , , , | Learning | September 11, 2017

(I am a teaching assistant and I am helping out in a lesson of food technology. The students are making cupcakes. They were allowed to bring in food colouring of their choice.)

Student: “Mrs. [My Name], if I make my cakes green, will they be mint flavoured?”

Me: “No, you would need to put flavouring into the mix, like peppermint.”

Student: “But isn’t that clear?”

Me: “It can be, yes.”

Student: “But mint is green!”

Me: “It doesn’t have to be. Kendal Mint Cake isn’t green. After Eights aren’t green.”

(I have never seen someone’s mind collapse under such a simple concept, but he had to go to the nurse’s office and rest. He didn’t come back until close to the end of the lesson. I finished his cakes for him, but I didn’t use the colouring in case it confused him again.)

A Model Piece Of Motivation

, , , , | Right | September 11, 2017

(A model and actress has designed a line of clothing for our store and, as such, there are posters of her around the store, including one very big one of her in her underwear near the lingerie aisle. I’m in the food hall, nowhere near this poster, when an older man approaches me.)

Customer: *with a slightly creepy smile* “Hello.”

Me: “Hello.” *pause* “Can I help you at all?”

Customer: “Yes. You have a big poster of a lady over in your clothing section. I’d like to buy it.”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure if that’s possible. I can check?”

Customer: “Please.”

(I call the manager and explain the situation. She comes down and deals with the customer while I resume my job. Afterwards, the man walks off, and the manager heads to the lift area where she bursts out laughing.)

Me: “So, what did you say?”

Manager: “He offered me £20 for it. I said it would be up for a couple of months and he gave me his number and told me to text him so he could come in.”

Me: “What did he want it for, or do I not want to know?”

Manager: “He runs a gym, and wanted to put it on the wall to ‘motivate’ his clients…”

(The funniest thing? Another man came in later the same day, also wanting to buy the poster! He was told it had already been “sold”…)

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