Irene-y Wish For Better Managers

, , , , | Working | May 24, 2021

In August of 2011, the east coast of the United States got hit by Hurricane Irene. While my city usually didn’t get hit too hard by these things, this time we had widespread power outages and trees down all over the place.

I called in to my job at [National Burger Chain] because I was new to driving and was nervous about trying to navigate through streets clogged with downed trees.

Manager: “Well, we need you to come in; we’re short-staffed.”

Lesson learned for next time: just say, “I can’t leave my neighborhood,” and hang up.

Sigh. So, I went in.

A couple of hours in, just before lunch started, we partially lost power. The freezers, coolers, and registers stopped working, but the managers decided that this wasn’t enough of a reason to close. After all, the fryers and other cooking appliances were somehow still working just fine.

We had to write out all the orders, using a calculator that only half-worked and a list of prices that was no longer accurate. Because we had to yell orders to the kitchen, we started directing all customers to order inside instead of in the drive-thru, so as not to overwhelm the kitchen. But then, the managers decided that for the entire lunch rush, we had to have both the drive-thru and front counter open. Because reasons, I guess.

This should have been my sign to quit, as it was extremely stressful with what amounted to a skeleton crew and half our tech not working. But no, not yet.

After my break, I returned to the front counter to help take orders. Since our registers weren’t working, I would frequently have to yell an announcement that we couldn’t accept credit cards — cash only. You can probably guess how many actually listened.

Just after one of my announcements, a man came up to the front counter.

Rude Customer: “Y’know, I could sue you for this!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sue us for what?”

Rude Customer: “If you’re open, you’re legally obligated to accept any form of currency that you’re given!”

Me: “Sir, the system isn’t working.”

Rude Customer: “Give me the number for your manager, the regional manager, the corporate manager, whoever. I need to tell them about you pulling this illegal s***!”

I was stressed and done with the nonsense.

Me: “I would call Hurricane Irene; it’s her fault.”

A girl standing next to him in line explained that she was a student in law school and warned him that we were not legally obligated to accept an impossible-to-accept form of currency.

Rude Customer: “I don’t care if you’re in law school! I know my rights!” 

He turned and stormed off.

Did I quit after that? Nope. I hadn’t broken yet.

Two days later, I headed in to start work and my coworker pulled me aside.

Coworker: “I wouldn’t get anything to eat here if I were you. They’re selling the stuff that thawed out in the freezers.”

I was struck speechless.

THAT’S when I quit!

I quietly turned around, walked back out the door, made a phone call, and calmly walked back to my car. The burger joint was closed the next day due to a health code violation, anonymously reported by a concerned employee.

Luckily, I applied to a local bank branch for a part-time teller position a few days later and got a phone interview, and then they set up a full interview a day later. A few hours after the interview, they called to let me know they wanted to hire me!

The burger joint is under completely new management.

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This Teacher Is A Dark Spot On A Sunny Day

, , , , , | Learning | May 21, 2021

There’s an eclipse today and my entire class wants to see it. My maths teacher, however, is unwilling to let us out of class. Eventually, we stop begging permission and just rush out of class and start peering at the rapidly darkening sky.

We’re not the only ones; pretty much the entire school has crowded into the hallways and parade square to look at the sky.

Math Teacher: “All of you, back into class! What would [Principal] say if he saw you all?!”

My classmate then points down, into the parade square, where the principal is setting up the largest camera I’ve ever seen and pointing it into the sky, cheerfully and excitedly talking with some students.

Our math teacher lets out a scandalised sound of disbelief.

Math Teacher: “Disgraceful! The education system is going to the dogs!”

She then stomped off, leaving us to watch the eclipse in peace. It was amazing, the first anyone in school had ever seen. 

The principal’s photos later wound up as part of the school song music video.

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It’s Okay; He Was A Red Shirt

, , , , , | Working | May 18, 2021

My area is under a weather advisory. I worked late and couldn’t get to the grocery store, and after clearing the driveway, neither my wife nor I want to cook. We figure the roads are good enough to order delivery and tip generously. Then, I get a call from the delivery company.

Employee: “I’m calling from [Company] to let you know that your driver has experienced an emergency and cannot fulfill the delivery. Would you like a refund or for someone else to be sent out?”

Me: “If the first driver had an emergency, how can I ask someone else to try? I’ll take a refund.”

Employee: “Don’t worry; there was no issue with your address. The driver just had an accident.”

I felt so terrible for the driver, but who says something like that as if it makes it okay? I wasn’t sure if he was just doing his script, so I didn’t want to chew him out. I just repeated that I wanted the refund because I couldn’t ask another person to try.

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Downpour Results In Downtimes

, , , , , , , | Friendly | May 12, 2021

We’re visiting a theme park that features two new rides, one of which consistently has a queue time of at least three hours all day. Since we’re in Orlando for three weeks, we figure we’ll just try again another day.

Fast forward two weeks and our efforts so far have been in vain. The queue just refuses to ever dip down below the three-hour mark no matter what we do. We’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to either not going on it at all or just sucking it up and losing the three hours.

On our penultimate visit to the park, we are at the complete opposite end of the park when a bout of tremendously heavy rain starts and, not being the sort of people to get upset about being wet, we decide we may as well quick-march over and see if people got rained out of the queue.

Nearing our destination, we see a family of five huddled under a tree frantically extracting ponchos from a backpack. This family looks at the pair of us marching through this downpour like we’ve grown extra heads. We just shrug and say, “British.”

The family laughs and nods in understanding and we carry on our way. We find a forty-minute queue which we happily jump in. We’re completely dried out by the time we’re halfway through it. Success!

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Upon Balance, That Was A Stupid Thing To Ask

, , , , | Right | May 4, 2021

We got almost a foot of snow and ice last night, but we are still open. A customer comes sliding up the walkway, nearly faceplants into a snow pile, and enters the branch.

Customer: “Whew! It’s a nasty one, isn’t it? I’m surprised you guys are open! Why are you open?”

Me: “Oh, because people still come in to do banking, even on a day like this.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. Who would come out in all this snow just to go to the bank?”

Me: *Deadpan* “I have no idea, sir. What can I help you with today?”

Customer: “I just need my balance. That’s all.”

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