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Pooling Together Their Excuses

, , , , , , | Right | January 17, 2022

I work at a small hotel. The hotel has a pool that is fenced in and the two gates to it are locked when it closes at 10:00 pm. The fence and gates are about six feet tall. I am working the audit shift and get a call at around 1:00 am from a room.

Guest: “There is a lot of noise coming from the pool area.”

I walk from the lobby building to the pool area and see four people — two men and two women — in the pool. I stand just outside the pool area.

Me: “The pool is closed and you need to leave.”

Pool Guests: “We had no idea that it wasn’t open.”

I reiterate that they need to leave the pool. They try to stall, claiming that they need some time to grab their stuff. They also ask me to unlock the gates. I am still not sure why, but I decide to be petty.

Me: “If you can get in with the gates locked, then you can get out with them locked. You have ten minutes to vacate the pool, and if you don’t, then I will be calling the police.”

I walk back to the lobby building and check to make sure everything is still okay there and do a few minor tasks. About fifteen minutes later, I walk back to the pool area, and they are still there, in the pool, making no attempts to leave.

Me: “I will be calling the police now.”

They ignore me and make no moves toward leaving. I call the police and go back to the lobby building. Two minutes later, an officer arrives and confirms what is going on with me before heading to the pool area.

About six minutes later, he returns to the lobby.

Officer: “The pool is now empty, but I went to their two rooms and informed them that if they are caught in the pool or cause any other issues for you, I’ll be back to arrest them. The couple in the first room apologized and promised they’d behave. The second room was a different story.”

Me: “How so?”

Officer: “This man in the second room stood dripping wet at the door and insisted that they had never been in the pool and they were wet because they had just taken a shower. I asked if he always showered with his clothes on and he said he forgot to take them off. Then I told the man that I’d followed his wet footprints to his room. Then he told me the footprints belonged to someone else! I told him to just go to sleep and stay out of trouble.”

I documented all of that in our logbook and made notes in their folios. The rest of the night was blissfully quiet.

Some People Really Shouldn’t Be Given Responsibilities

, , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2022

I work at a popular sandwich shop. We get a new hire, and he’s not the greatest of workers. He tends to show up late, if he shows up at all, often with little to no warning beforehand. But it’s nothing too bad, and I start to think he’s an okay guy.

About five weeks in, my manager decides to have him trained to open. On his first day opening, I come into the store for the evening shift to find things are not going well. They ran out of bread earlier in the day and had to bake more. I just think it was super busy that day and the new hire didn’t bake enough bread in the morning. As things go on, I find out more and more.

Every day, the evening worker is supposed to put a certain amount of frozen bread in the retarder, which will soften the frozen sticks and make them faster to bake in the morning. One of the most important opening jobs is to bake all the bread in the retarder. The new hire didn’t bake any of that bread. Not only that, but he didn’t cut any of the vegetables, which is another one of the most important opening jobs. I also find out that when one of my coworkers came in for the midday shift, the new hire was sitting outside in front of the pizza place next door where his girlfriend works and ended up leaving an hour before his shift ended.

Amazingly, the new hire doesn’t get fired for this fiasco, though he does get written up and chewed out, and he is warned that if he misses another day or shows up late without warning, he will be fired.

The next Wednesday, he sends a message to our group chat asking for someone to cover his shift that Friday for him, but nobody is able to. The next day, he sends a message saying that his brother has been hit by a car.

Friday is Homecoming for the local high school, and this is a small town with not many places to eat, so when I come in for my afternoon and evening shift, I find the store packed with high school kids that have been let out of school early. The new hire is nowhere to be seen, so it is just my boss and me left to fend off about forty teenagers. I find out that the new hire didn’t come in for his shift and ended up coming an hour or two later just to tell my boss that he didn’t want to work Fridays and Saturdays. I guess his brother was fine if he was able to take the time to do this. He ended up getting fired.

But there’s still more.

That evening, I am working with the closer when the recently fired ex-coworker comes into the store and grabs the key: apparently, he thinks he’s still opening tomorrow. When he leaves, I quickly excuse myself from the line and send a quick message to our boss to let her know.

When I come back the next day, I’m told that this guy came into the store and started putting the key back in the safe. My manager was there training another coworker to open so he could cover the recently fired worker’s shifts. She asked him what had happened the day before and he nervously and quietly muttered, “My brother got hit by a car.” He was informed that he would not be opening that day or the next day, and my manager went back to training the other coworker. After staring at the register for about ten minutes, he left his store-issued hat on the counter and left the store. A few minutes later my manager got a text from him: “I quit.”

In the end, I guess he did get those Fridays and Saturdays off like he wanted. My manager says hiring that guy was her worst mistake.

Renting A Car Can Be So Tiring

, , , , , | Working | January 17, 2022

I recently rented a car for a cross-country trip. One morning, after having camped by the ocean, over 2,000 miles from where we started, I noticed that one of the front tires looked quite bald. At first, I thought it was covered in mud from our parking area. But on closer inspection, it was actually pretty treadless. I looked at the other front tire. It wasn’t bald but it didn’t look great. As we left, the tire pressure light came on the dash.

Once we got to a stopping point up the coast a bit, I called the car rental agency.

Me: “The tire pressure light is on and there is a message on the dash that says, ‘Requires Maintenance’.”

Agent: “Can I have the rental number?”

I rattled that off.

Agent: “Yes, it looks like the car is due for maintenance. You’ll have to bring it back to where you got it.”

Me: “That’s not really possible. I’m several thousand miles away from there and still have several thousand miles planned for this trip.”

Agent: “Well, you can bring it to a shop and save the receipts.”

Me: “I don’t think so. This isn’t my car. I’m not going to authorize service, pay for it, and hope that your company reimburses me.”

Agent: “You can trade the car in at a rental location.”

Me: “That works. Where is the nearest one?”

Agent: “What is the zip code where you are?”

Me: “I don’t know. I’m traveling. I am in [Town in Northern California].”

Agent: “You can drop it off at the LA airport and get another car.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure LA is about 500 miles from here. This tire won’t make it that far and I’m driving north.”

Agent: “Well, there is an office in [Town about 100 miles south].”

Me: “That isn’t as bad. Is it open?”

Agent: “No. Since this is Saturday, it is closed. It reopens Monday at 9:00 am.”

Me: “Okay, again, that won’t do. I’m heading north. The tire is very bad. It needs to be replaced today. Quickly. Nearby.”

Agent: “You can go to a tire shop, pay for the tires, and keep the receipt.”

Me: “Again, I don’t really feel like giving your company a loan. Already, when reserving my car for noon on pickup day, I was called sixteen hours before pickup time and told no car would be available until 4:00 pm that day. I lost half a day’s driving and missed out on plans. Now I am going to have to sit in a tire store, missing out on plans.”

Agent: “You can go to one of our partnering shops and we will pay for the tire.”

Me: “That sounds better. Which tire shop should I go to? One that is open and within at most fifty miles of me?”

She found a shop, called them to make sure they’d take the payment by phone, and gave me the address.

I drove there, got two new tires — as the other front tire did not pass inspection — and then I sat for THREE hours while the tire shop sat on hold trying to get paid.

The Saga Of Luckless And His Crew

, , , , , , , | Legal | January 17, 2022

I worked at a Catholic college. A few years ago, I was working the dinner shift in the café, and since it was a little slower during those periods, I would also do things like inventory once a week and major stocking.

When I got out my inventory sheet to start that portion of my shift I noticed our back stock of retail beverages (bottles and cans) was way more depleted than normal; by that, I mean that we were short by full cases. This was very much not a good sign. Then, I moved on to our cases of chips to find the same problem. I figured it was a management error and wrote my manager a note saying so. 

Skip to the next morning, when my manager found all of our “grab and go” food items missing from the cold box and the packaging of those items was strewn from one end of our café to the other trailing out the main doors and onto campus.

Obviously, someone was getting in and taking whatever they pleased and were now getting pretty sloppy.

Color the crew (me included) baffled. We searched madly high and low for a way they were getting in to no avail until yours truly was in the ladies’ room. I just happened to look up at the skylight about thirty feet above me. The window was pried open and there were shoe marks on the walls. Oh, it’s on now! 

Step one: install a padlock to the outside of the women’s room. They can get in through the skylight, but not back out.

Step two: involve the very bored small-town police force in a stakeout.

Step three: wait.

For practical reasons, the staff of our little café were not invited to the stakeout, but from what I heard it went down about like this.

At about one in the morning, the police saw someone scale the wall to the roof — a freshman boy who we’ll call Luckless. Two more freshmen were spotted by the main doors; they’re the type that only lock from the inside, so one can assume that Luckless was getting in via the ladies’ room and letting his friends in. 

Luckless dropped into the ladies’ room only to find he was stuck, and when the cops unlocked the door with guns drawn and the whole bit, Luckless wet in his college brand sweatpants. (That is speculation; one of the cops told me this, but I think he was just trying to get a rise out of me.) 

Luckless’s friends were picked up trying to run back to their dorm room to leave Luckless with the blame. The dorm room in question had a ton of our product in it. They were taken to lockup where they spilled the entire beans, as it were.

It turned out that every year, as a hazing ritual for the men’s lacrosse team, the freshmen were sent to break into the cafeteria and take one thing to prove they’d done it. Luckless and his friends went through the hazing, found out how easy it was, and started breaking in every night and going hog wild on all of our merchandise. 

I guess we were pretty lucky these boys were so stupid. If they had managed to get into the walk-in, they would have found the sides of beef and twenty-pound boxes of chicken parts. But no, they just wanted cases of Gatorade and terrible, prepackaged sushi.

Sadly, the school dropped the charges on them when Luckless and crew’s parents got involved. Since I didn’t have ties to the actual school, I don’t know how all of that worked out. The weird part was, their punishment was to work in the very café they had robbed blind. 

We had those kids do the grossest jobs we could think of. Luckless had it the worst; he had to clean out the grease trap in the dish room after it had backed up. I’ll never forget the look on his face coming out of there, arms covered almost to the shoulder with grease and bits of month-old food clinging to him. 

No sympathy was to be had from the staff. In fact, the whole crew’s attitude was, “HA! That’ll teach ya!”

His Argument Is Offline

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2022

We have a special top-tier rewards card at the theater that has a monthly cost and gives you perks like free movies. Due to certain legal limitations and restrictions that require signing off on documents, you can only apply for this specific card online; you cannot sign up for it in the theater itself.

It’s been this way since corporate first introduced the card a few years ago. At no point whatsoever were customers able to sign up for this card in our theater.

A customer wanders up to me at the box office.

Customer: “I wanna sign up for that top-tier rewards card. You know, the one that gives you free movies and stuff.”

Me: “Fantastic! If you go to our website, you’ll be able to sign up on there.”

Customer: “Nah, I’m doing it here. I’ve always signed up for it here.”

Me: “I apologize, but we’re not able to sign you up for that particular card in-theater. But you can sign up for it right on our website.”

Customer: “But I’ve always been able to sign up for it here. I sign up for it all the time.”

Me: “Um, I apologize, but that’s not possible. That particular card has always been one you have to sign up for online.”

Customer: “Okay, but I’ve done it here before. I signed up for it all the time.”

Me: “I’m confused… Are you asking to get a free movie using the card?”

Customer: “No, I want to sign up for the card. I do it all the time here.”

Me: “Sir… I’m sorry, but I think you may be mistaken. The only way to sign up for that card is online. I’ve worked here since before we even offered that card, and ever since it was introduced, it was only available online.”

Customer:But I did it here all the time!

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but that’s just not possible.”

Customer: “But I’ve done it before! Many times!”

The customer continued to argue with me for about another thirty seconds before I offered to get a manager. I got my manager, and he spent about a full minute going back and forth with the customer explaining the ins and outs of the card and reaffirming multiple times that it was never available for purchase in-theater. Despite this, he kept defiantly proclaiming that he signed up for it in-theater “all the time,” no matter how many times he was told that it was literally impossible.

He finally threw up his hands and paid for his ticket — sans card, of course — and acted like we were all complete idiots for not selling him a card that we’ve never been able to sell in-theater. He later tried to get a refund after his movie was already finished for… some reason?