A One-Hour Photo Finish

, , , , , | | Right | June 16, 2019

(I work at a “members-only” warehouse club, and our company places the membership and returns desk near the exit, not the entrance. I work at the one-hour photo lab that sits where new members expect customer service counters to be. We are busy and have a line.)

Customer: “I need to return these pants.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, this is the photo lab; if you go back out to the entrance and in through the exit door, the folks at the membership counter will be happy to help you with that.”

Customer: “What the h***?! I just waited in line for like ten minutes, and when I get to the front you tell me I have to go somewhere else?!”

(My supervisor stops what she is doing and drifts over to the counter, prepared to offer backup.)

Me: “Yes, I’m sorry, sir. We cannot process returns here at the photo lab. All returns are handled by the staff at the membership desk.”

Customer: “Why did they put the d*** photo counter by the door?”

Me: “So you can drop off your order as you begin shopping and have it ready by the time you’re done.”

Customer: “Pretty d***ed stupid if you ask me. They should at least put up a sign!”

(As if it had been rehearsed, my supervisor and I look at each other for a moment of disbelief, then back up and behind us at the three-foot-tall letters spelling out “ONE-HOUR PHOTO,” and then back at the customer.)

Customer: “You know what? F*** you.” *storms off*

He’s Smiling From Gill To Gill

, , , , , | | Working | June 16, 2019

Our new head of marketing suggested to the company CEO that some management training would be useful. The CEO — we rated him not as a Type A personality, but a Type AAAA personality — signed up for an “Interpersonal Skills” retreat.

The upshot was that he smiled more when he returned, but no other determinable change in his personality had occurred.

My office partner pegged it: “It’s the teeth! He went to ‘Congeniality Training for Sharks’!”

Getting To The Meat Of The Problem

, , , , , | | Right | June 16, 2019

Some years ago I worked as a bookkeeper and accountant in a supermarket. We had the usual amount of “shrinkage” of our inventory, occasionally catching someone in the act but otherwise accepting the 1-2% loss.

In January 2005, we upgraded our inventory system, adding in self-checkout lanes. Things went along without a hitch for the first few months but then our shrinkage rate jumped. In terms of a gross percentage it was still low, but we operated on such a small margin that it pushed us closer to the red than we’d like. My boss asked me to figure it out.

Because of the new system, I could do data pulls any way I wanted. It took me a day to find that the principal loss came from the butcher shop. Prime cuts of meat were entered into the system with UPC barcodes on them but never showed up as being purchased or discarded. These were $20 to $40 (or more) items mysteriously vanishing.

At first, management suspected the butcher staff, but increased security and stern warnings did not slow the pilferage and it was clear that they were not the problem. We upgraded security near the checkouts, but no one was walking out with meat under their shirts.

Although it wasn’t my job, I put some time in on the problem. When I did more comparisons of inventory in and out I discovered that dried pinto beans were selling at a rate greater than we bought them. I thought about it and realized the problem was likely the self-checkout. I went to my boss and we added security camera and real-time monitoring of the system.

It turned out to be a family that ran a small BBQ place in town. Their trick was to use the pay station furthest from the observing cashier and cover the barcode, entering the item as weighed produce using the code for beans. They’d bag the meat and a few other small items and walk out with a valid receipt paid in cash.

We confronted them and ended up with a settlement to avoid court. Now that they had to buy their product at normal wholesale prices, they couldn’t make a go of it and went out of business a few months later. And I got a nice bonus.

[The Title-Writer Is Taking A Pizza-Rito Break; Back In Five]

, , , , | | Romantic | June 16, 2019

(My boyfriend and I share a tight pod of friends with whom we play D&D and board games once or twice a week. Before we start gaming, we usually go out to dinner, and one of our favorite restaurants is a line-style “build-your-own-pizza” place that makes individually-sized custom pizzas. One of our friends is the guy who’s always carrying something random for whatever reason; in this case, it’s a pack of flour tortillas.)

Boyfriend: *takes a bite of his pizza, a clump of toppings slide off* “I’m really loving the choices I made tonight; I just wish they would stay on the actual pizza.”

Me: “You should put one of [Friend]’s tortillas on the plate so the toppings fall into the tortilla, and then you’ll have a pizza-rito after you finish the pizza.”

Boyfriend: *head snapping up to stare at me for a moment* “YOU BRILLIANT, BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!” *to [Friend]* “You see why I wanna marry her, right?!”

Friend: *laughing* “So, you want a tortilla?”

([Boyfriend] gave me a huge kiss on the cheek and took a tortilla. Turns out, pizza-ritos are awesome!)

Literally Up To Your Neck In Crazy Customers

, , , , | | Right | June 16, 2019

(I am sixteen and have just started my first job. When I was 13, I was found to have thyroid cancer. I had it operated on twice, and because of this, it left a very brash scar. To prevent people from seeing it, I wear a scarf I made myself. Despite it looking out of place, especially in Texas weather, I feel it keeps people at bay from prying about what’s underneath. I am ringing in a woman with a rather large cart filled with items.)

Me: “Hello! Did you find everything?”

Customer: *seems very hesitant* “Yeah, thanks…”

(I finish ringing everything up without another word from her.)

Me: “All right, your total is $221.34. Is there anything else you’ll be needing?”

(She just shakes her head while rummaging through her purse, and I continue on with my work, assuming she’s just had a bad day or such.)

Me: “All righty, then! Will that be cash or credit?”

(She looks up at me scoldingly from her purse, and I am taken aback as I think I’ve been nice this entire time.)

Customer: *pulls out credit card* “Credit.”

Me: “Okay, just slide it in the card reader in front of you.”

Customer: *slides card through and signs reader*

Me: “Seems everything’s gone through smoothly. Would you like a receipt?”

Customer: “Why do you wear that?”

(I print out the receipt in an effort to dodge the question, which, despite the fact I’m asked it every once in a while, I hate having to answer, so much so that my friends usually answer with a lie for me.)

Customer: “Are you stupid? Why. Do. You. Wear that?”

Me: *getting nervous and uncomfortable* “Thank you for shopping with us!”

(She then leans over the counter and quickly grabs my scarf’s base right by my neck, making me give a slight scream in terror as I’m jolted forward. She continues to try and undo it, but due to its length, it just gets more and more tangled and tighter around my neck. I’m putting up a pretty big struggle, but she has me pulled over the counter so I’m obviously losing. It doesn’t take long for my manager to notice, and he rushes to me quickly and tries pulling her off of me with the help of my coworker and a few customers. Once she’s finally off, my manager calls the cops and she’s taken away. I’m asked if I’d like to press charges for assault, but lucky for her, I decline. I’m sitting against the wall, having redone my scarf and trying to catch my breath; this is the first time anything like this had ever happened. My coworker comes and sits by me. I have a tendency to make jokes out of bad situations.)

Coworker: “You okay? That looked kind of scary.”

Me: “Are you kidding?! It scared the daylights out of me! I thought I was going to die in the middle of a grocery store!” *laughs*

Coworker: “Well, I’m glad you’re not hurt; if you died you couldn’t go see a movie with me next Saturday.”

(I did quit that job, despite my love for my coworkers and manager, in the end. And yes, my coworker — now boyfriend — and I did see that movie together. He also bought me a new, shorter, scarf, which is now an annual thing for him to get me on our anniversary. I have never been happier.)

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