Snow Doubt About It

, , , , , | Working | June 13, 2019

(We’ve been getting a lot of snow this week; I measured 7.5 inches before heading to bed last night. I wake up at seven am, an hour earlier than usual, to see if I’ll be able to make it to work, and when I look out this morning, I see that the road outside my house is still covered in snow. Mix that with the fact that the roads were wet last night and it’s now in the mid-20s in Fahrenheit, I decide it’s probably best I do not try to drive to work an hour or more away, knowing if anything happened I could easily become stranded. I try calling the restaurant right away, and the phones aren’t on. No big deal; it’s really early. I check for when the first staff are supposed to show up, which is eight am, and I try back then to find the phones still aren’t on. Half an hour later, still nothing. Finally, at nine am, I get through to a manager.)

Me: “I’m snowed in.”

Manager: “Are you telling me you’re not coming in?”

(Gee, I wonder…)

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A Tale Of Fired And Ice

, , , , , , , | Working | June 7, 2019

(It snowed yesterday, turning into freezing rain overnight. I was an hour late coming into work last week — never set my alarm — so I have been very anxious trying to be on time or early every day since, so I run out the door without my snow boots, knowing it will only add time to my commute and make me even later. I make it to my car to find that the few inches of snow on my car are completely covered in ice. I text my bosses to let them know I am not going to be there on time due to the snow and ice, and I receive:)

Text From Boss: “Okay, drive safe.”

(In an effort to minimize how late I am going to be; I begin furiously chopping away at the ice. This is a difficult task, and my slip-on flats are exposing my feet to the elements. After about ten minutes, I decide it is time to get my boots. Walking probably quicker than I should back to my condo, I find myself lying on my back looking up at the sky with a sharp pain on the back of my head. I lay there for a few seconds, remember what my mission is, and scramble to my feet and onto the sidewalk. I swap out my footwear and shuffle back to the car. Once I break the car free, I text my bosses the update of my slip. While driving to work, I keep thinking about the pending “talk” with my boss and wonder if I am going to be fired. The minute I arrive at the office, 40 minutes late, I am surrounded by my bosses and coworkers, all of whom have adult children my age.)

Boss #1: “Oh, my gosh, are you okay?”

Coworker #1: “Do you think you have a concussion?”

Boss #1: “Do you need to go to the hospital?”

Coworker #1: “Did you make it here okay?”

(I’m an overly emotional person, and after thinking I would get fired, the frustration with the snow and ice, and the startling slip with a hard hit on my head, I burst into tears.)

Boss #1: “Oh, no! What’s wrong?”

Coworker #1: “Are you hurt?”

Boss #1: “Are you okay?”

Coworker #1: “Aww, why are you crying?”

Boss #1: “Do you need a hug?”

(My boss offers a hug, saying I remind her of her daughter my age, and tells me to take a few minutes in the bathroom to clean up and compose myself. All is well after that. The rest of the day is sprinkled with ice and concussion jokes, but they also sincerely keep checking in on me and my head. At one point, one of my bosses asks how I am feeling as she is walking out the door.)

Boss #2: “Hey, are you okay? How’s your head?”

Me: “It’s fine, thank you.”

([Boss #2] starts to close the door behind her.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name], how many [Boss #2]s do you see?”

Me: “Well, none, since she’s out the door.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, good. If you said two or one-and-a-half, I was going to be concerned.”

Coworker #2: “What day is it?”

Me: “Wednesday.”

Coworker #2: “Who’s the president?”

Me: “Don’t remind me…”

Coworker #1: “Okay, good, she’s aware. Don’t remind her, [Coworker #2].”

Coworker #2: “I was just making sure.”

Me: “That concussion is looking better and better.”

(Later that day, I decided to look up the official weather policy. If schools are delayed two hours or more or are canceled, employees are allowed an extra hour to arrive safely. I was within the hour, so I breathed a sigh of relief reading that. At the end of the day, with [Boss #1] gone, I talked to [Boss #2] about what was running through my head that morning. I told her I was scared I was going to get fired, but she assured me that as soon as [Boss #1] saw the text that I slipped and hit my head, she was extremely concerned and no anger was present at all. I get to be employed another day, and my alarm has been preset earlier for every work day, so I hopefully won’t have to worry about being late again.)

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Please Address All Complaints To Mother Nature

, , , , | Right | May 30, 2019

(I work in a cute little cafe that has a patio. Because it is spring, we’ve opened all the doors and rolled up the garage-style doors around the patio. I have two female tourists show up and sit on the patio. It’s not that hot out — to me, a local — but they are fanning themselves and splashing water on their necks. I’m wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans.)

Me: “Ladies, is everything okay?”

Lady #1: “Is it always so hot here?”

Me: “Oh, it’s about 82 today. It’s just spring here.”

Lady #2: “This is just spring?!

Me: “Yes, ma’am. This is pretty normal for April. It gets over a hundred in the summer! Can I offer you more ice water or some iced tea? That might help cool you down a bit.”

Lady #1: “You should really do something about this heat!”

Me: “Would you like some gelato? We make it in house. It’s nice and cold!”

Lady #2: “I expect it for free! We could get heat stroke.”

Me: “All I can offer for free is ice water. The gelato is only $3, though!”

Lady #2: “You should offer it for free. This heat is unbearable.”

Lady #1: “You really should do something about it!”

Me: “I can offer you a seat inside, but the windows and doors are open, so there isn’t that much of a difference in temperature.”

Lady #1: “You should have better customer service! You are letting two customers be miserable!”

Me: “I’m sorry you are uncomfortable. The coffee shop across the street has air conditioning if—“

Lady #1: “So you are just sending me away?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I was just offering a suggestion.”

Lady #2: “Unbelievable! We are going to leave!”

(And they did. And they went right to the coffee shop across the street that I’d suggested. I’m not sure what I was supposed to do. Turn down the weather?)

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Needs To Give Them The Fahrenheit 411

, , , | Right | May 23, 2019

(At my store, the drive-thru sends employees outside with iPads to take orders when it’s busy, since this saves a lot of time by letting us move down the line instead of taking one car at a time at the speaker box. We still try to go out even in inclement weather, but we do have a ton of special equipment to make rain, snow, and cold much more manageable, and we rotate employees out in 20-minute shifts if they need it. Also, no one is ever forced to go outside in bad weather; we will send someone else or just take orders on the headsets if our other choices decline. I’m outside taking orders one particularly nasty day, when it’s 10 degrees Fahrenheit, snowing, and windy. I’m perfectly happy, since it’s less hectic outside even when it’s busy, and I’m wearing about four layers and a heated vest, and have hand warmers in my gloves, so I’m actually pretty comfortable. I approach the next car to take their order, and the woman driving looks horrified.)

Customer: “Oh, my! Why are you out here in this weather, dear?”

Me: “I’m taking orders today, ma’am. I love snow, so this is actually pretty exciting!”

Customer: “I can’t believe they would make a young lady work out here in these conditions! This is just terrible!”

Me: “Actually, they never force anyone to be out here. In fact, I was scheduled to work inside, but I volunteered to come out since I like it. Plus, I’m actually very warm. My vest and gloves are both heated.”

Customer: “This treatment of employees is just appalling! I can’t give my money to a company like this; I’m going elsewhere. You quit while you can, dear. You don’t have to let them treat you this way.”

(She pulled out of the line and drove off, and I assumed that was the end of it, but she apparently took a photo of myself and my coworker, who is also a young woman, working outside in the snow as she left. She posted that photo to Facebook later that day and caused a huge fuss about “proper treatment of employees.” I appreciate her concern, but she created a mess for us because she failed to mention everything I had told her, which caused unrest with some other customers that took some time to fix.)

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The Cold Hard Truth

, , , , , | Learning | May 21, 2019

(This happens in late August in China. I’ve noticed a girl from Peru is wearing winter clothes in the scorching heat of northern China’s summer.)

Me: “[Girl]? Sorry to ask, but why are you always wearing such thick clothes? It’s almost 40°C every day, even at night.”

Girl: “I know… but this is all I have. My teachers said winter is really cold here, so I brought the warmest winter clothes I could find in Peru. If winter is 40°C, I don’t even want to imagine how summer will be.”

Me: “I also heard that winter is really cold here, but autumn hasn’t even begun yet, let alone winter.”

Girl: “Don’t be silly. Winter begins in late June and…”

Me: *interrupting her* “Yes, in the southern hemisphere. China is in the northern hemisphere, and winter begins in December.”

Girl: “Wait… What?”

Me: “You said you went to Europe last December. Didn’t you notice it was cold instead of warm? Wasn’t it snowing?”

Girl: “Yeah… but I thought the weather is like that in Europe. Cold all year round.”

(A girl in her 20s who has been to different countries around Europe and North and South America didn’t know and hadn’t noticed that seasons are different in the southern and northern hemispheres. Unfortunately for her, all she had brought to China were winter clothes, and she had planned to ask home for money in December to buy summer clothes. Her first two weeks in China were very miserable for her.)

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