You Gotta Wait For Them To Leave The Building Before You Rant

, , , , , | Working | April 28, 2021

I work in a family-owned hotel that has a five-star rating, though it’s not somewhere I personally would stay if I was looking for five stars. Our customers are a mix of locals and tourists, though the five-star rating attracts wealthy clientele looking to “splash the cash.”

The same older gentleman has been coming on the same evening every fortnight for several years. He comes at the same time and orders the same bottle of wine and the same meal. I think he’s lovely; he’s very polite, friendly, and chatty (on the right subjects), and he eats, drinks, pays his bill, and leaves without any issues.

The customer is very wealthy, but he’s humble and you wouldn’t know by looking at him. Tipping in the UK isn’t a given and we earn a “living wage” that is slightly higher than the national minimum.

I’m stood at the bar making drinks when my colleague storms over with his bill and starts ranting loudly.

Coworker: “Can you believe it?! No effing tip again! He’s f****** loaded but can’t spare for a tip?!”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. My table has left a nice tip; let’s share it.”

Coworker: “That’s not the point, is it?! He shouldn’t come here if he isn’t going to tip! What a skinflint!”

I’ve suddenly noticed that the customer has followed her out, presumably for his coat. He’s stood by the bar quite calmly watching her rant.

Customer: “Might I have my jacket? The taxi’s here.” 

My coworker goes bright red and storms off out of sight, leaving me at the bar to get his coat and apologise for her behaviour.

Customer: “Don’t you worry yourself over her behaviour. My mother always said that bulls*** won’t stick to the sun.”

And he left.

When I quit several months later to travel Asia, at the end of my shift, I found that [Customer] had left me a thank-you card with a manager who said to open it when I got home. Inside? A traveller’s check for £100 with a note saying, “in case of emergencies”. 

No, I didn’t tell [Coworker].

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A Confusion Sandwich

, , , , , , | Working | March 17, 2021

Where I work, we have a shelf filled with sandwiches. We have baguettes, ovals, and subs. We did have bread packs before lockdown, but they are all classed as sandwiches. Since reopening, corporate has decided to remove some products until further notice.

Today, around 10:00 am, a customer comes in. She walks up to the sandwich selector and has a look at them. She then grabs a sandwich and comes up to the counter and I say my greeting.

Customer: “Do you still do the sandwiches?”

Me: “I’m sorry, which sandwiches?”

Customer: “Just a sandwich.”

Me: “What kind of sandwich?”

Customer: “Just a sandwich.”

I give up trying to figure out what kind she wants and resort to the standard answer of, “All our sandwiches are in the selector.”

Customer: “So you haven’t got any sandwiches, then.”

I finished the transaction and she left the shop. My manager was behind me the whole time bagging sausage rolls, so I asked her if she’d heard what happened. She hadn’t, so I explained it all to her, and when I finished explaining, I realised she’d meant the bread packs as that’s the only one we hadn’t got out of all the sandwiches.

After I got home, I told the story to my partner, who started pissing himself laughing. I didn’t understand why he was laughing because I was so confused as to why she didn’t specify or explain what kind of sandwich she was looking for. 

After my partner pulled himself together, he explained to me why he found it so funny. Our bread pack is two slices of bread with filling in between, cut diagonally, and placed in a container that has a clear front so you can see what the filling is. It turns that out since I started working with this company, I forgot that pretty much everyone else calls that a sandwich. 

I now feel like a complete idiot and I feel so bad for the customer.

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Shield Us From The Stupid!

, , , , , | Working | February 6, 2021

I’m a kidney transplant patient, and as such, I’m considered extremely clinically vulnerable to the pesky illness that’s doing its world tour.

Wales has been in its third lockdown since December — it’s now January — and patients such as me have once again been advised to “shield” by the government, i.e. not leave the house if you don’t absolutely have to. That’s fine by me; I’ve chosen to continue to shield since the first lockdown anyway.

Our boiler is due for its annual service, and as it’s still reasonably new, the service has to be carried out in order to maintain the warranty. I call the company that we usually use to book it in.

The young lady taking my call is extremely slow at doing so — it’s a bit like dealing with Flash the sloth from “Zootopia” — but all is going smoothly and the service is offered for a few days hence.

Then, we get to the fun part.

Me: “Could you please let the engineer know that I am shielding, so I will require him to wear a mask while in the house and follow precautions?”

Employee: “Oh, do you have any symptoms? We can’t come if you have symptoms.”

Me: “No, I’m not infected; I’m just shielding.”

Employee: “So you’re isolating but no symptoms. I’m not sure if we can come, really.”

Me: “No, I’m not isolating. I’m shielding. I just need the engineer to know that, for safety.”

Employee: “So you’re saying it’s not safe to be in your property? Is someone else there showing symptoms?”

Me: *Getting frustrated* “No, no one here is infected. No one here is isolating. It is completely safe for the engineer to be here. I’m just shielding as I’m vulnerable, so he’ll need to keep away from me.”

Employee: “Oh, you’re vulnerable? Are you elderly? You don’t sound elderly!” *Giggles*

Me: *Ready to scream* “No, I just could get really ill if I catch it. So all I need is for the engineer to be made aware that I am shielding and that he needs to wear a mask at all times. Please!”

Employee: *Sounding more confused* “But you’re not elderly…?”

Me: *Sigh* “No. You don’t have to be elderly to need to shield.”

Employee: “Are you sure you don’t mean you’re isolating? Because we can’t come if you’re isolating.”

Me: *Trying not to yell at her* “Please, just pop on the notes that I’m shielding. Show your boss. If he doesn’t want to send anyone, just call me back. Will that be okay?”

Employee: “Okay, but I’m still not sure.” *Pauses while she types* “How do you spell shielding?”

I just wanted to bang my head against the table. If they weren’t a reliable and reasonably priced company, I’d have given up on that phone call. I was under the impression that shielding was a common enough term in the UK now, but maybe I’m wrong?! Anyway, after all that, the engineer is coming tomorrow. Phew!

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What Happens In The Factory Stays In The Factory

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2021

We send out tyre fitters to work on a heavy plant. I have to collate their reports and send out to customers for invoicing. Sometimes I have to be a little… creative when interpreting what they write down.

A report comes in:

Report: “Once fitted, tighten nuts and run round yard.”

As soon as I finished snorting I rewrote it for the customer as, “Once fitted, tighten wheel nuts and run machine.”

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Forgetting The Juicy Details, Part 2

, , , , , , , | Right | December 24, 2020

We’re holding a late-night Christmas shopping event with a free glass of champagne for customers upon entry and sparkling juice for non-drinkers and children. There’s a sign up stating one per customer, and so far everyone has accepted this.

I’m a supervisor, and one of the only staff members over the age of eighteen, so I am the only one handling the alcohol. A man comes in to browse and takes a glass of champagne. About five minutes later, he comes back to me. 

Customer: “I need another glass of this.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. We’re only allowed to give out one glass per customer. You could have a glass of sparkling juice if you’d like?”

Customer: “But I don’t want juice. There are glasses on the table and no queue, so I’m having another.”

Me: “We can’t give out more than one per customer; otherwise, we would have to charge the minimum unit price, and we’re not licensed to sell alcohol.”

The customer huffs and walks away to keep browsing.

Two minutes pass, and I notice he’s talking to an underage member of staff who joined two weeks ago. He walks back over.

Customer: *Triumphantly* “She says I can have another glass!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry but you can’t. I’ve already told you why. We only have a limited amount and it’s not fair on other customers.”

Customer: “But she said I could, so you have to! I’ve just bought £120 of pyjamas, too!”

Me: “I’m her supervisor, and she’s under eighteen so she can’t serve alcohol. So no, you can’t.”

He turns around and storms to the counter and returns the pyjamas. 

He storms back towards the front of the store to leave, and as he walks out, he turns over his shoulder. 

Customer: *Sarcastically* “Merry Christmas!”

The bottles of champagne were literally the cheapest available. He could have bought one from the shop right next to us for under £5 and drunk the whole bottle!

Forgetting The Juicy Details

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