It’s Not Policy To Keep Our Workers Alive

, , , , , , , | Working | January 31, 2018

(A major highway leads to the mall where I am store manager. I’m driving to the store in the morning during a freezing cold and icy day, when all local schools have been cancelled. Normally, I plan to be at the store a half-hour before my employees. This day, my GPS tells me that the entire highway is blocked off ahead of me due to an accident. I quickly reroute to go around the blocked highway, but spy thousands of cars stuck in standstill traffic across four lanes. I then find myself navigating slippery back roads, passing cars that have slid off onto the shoulder. Traffic is slow or stopped along the back roads, too, as commuters avoiding the highway overwhelm the smaller streets. Finally, I get to the store, a half-hour later than anticipated, and find that two employees have arrived before me out of my opening staff of 19. I send one of my employees a few doors down to a doughnut shop for two dozen doughnuts and a large box of hot chocolate. Then, as employees arrive, I assure each of them that I will be overriding their late clock-in, and I sweeten the deal with coffee and donuts to calm frayed nerves. We manage to get the store open ten minutes before our first customer arrives, and all my employees are in great moods despite the miserable morning. It seems fine… until corporate calls.)

Corporate: “You had a seventeen people come in late, and you overrode every single one. Explain yourself!”

Me: “We had dangerous driving conditions.”

Corporate: “And?”

Me: “And I was later than I anticipated, as well.”

Corporate: “And?”

Me: “And I bought them all breakfast.”

Corporate: “What?!”

Me: “Look: I want my people to know that they should be safe. Their lives are more important than being on time.”

Corporate: “Well, that’s not corporate policy!”

Dry Humor During The Wet Season

, , , , , , | Right | January 22, 2018

(I tend to have a dry sense of humor that people always don’t get.)

Customer: “I tell you, one moment it’s raining and the next moment it’s sunny. It’s like it doesn’t know if it’s winter or summer!”

Me: “It’s called spring, ma’am.”

It’s Not Just A Cold Shoulder Anymore

, , , , , , | Related | January 19, 2018

(We have been having record-breaking cold temperatures for the past few days. My mom is complaining, and then she drops this gem.)

Mom: “It’s so cold I could key somebody’s car with my nipples without even trying!”

Dad: “YOU DID WHAT WITH YOUR NIPPLES?”

Mother Nature, You’re Needed On Aisle Two

, , , , | Right | January 19, 2018

(My store has an outdoor gardening section, which is currently buried under a meter of snow.)

Customer: “Excuse me. When do you get the live plants in?”

Me: “Just as soon as the weather is nice enough for them to survive outside.”

Customer: “Well, when will that be?”

Me: “Um, after the snow melts.”

Customer: “Yeah, but when?”

A Hail Of Outrageous Requests

, , , , , , | Right | November 15, 2017

(I work at a theme park. It’s a particularly busy day and I’m working at a ride that includes live animals, such as giraffes and rhinos. It has just started thundering and hailing, and we have to cease operation, as have all the other outdoor rides in the park. Most people are leaving the queue to get somewhere dry. I am standing in the hail, dripping wet, only wearing my uniform, which consists of shorts and a polo shirt. I am already on the edge of tears when a customer fights her way to the front of the line and starts yelling.)

Customer: “WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? WHY ARE YOU REFUSING TO RUN THE RIDE?”

Me: “I am very sorry, madam, but under these weather conditions it is not possible to operate the ride safely.”

Customer: “It is just a stupid truck going around; that can’t be dangerous. You’re just making excuses!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but this experience includes live animals such as rhinos and giraffes, and we can’t possibly account for their behaviour during this storm.”

Customer: “I AM GOING TO GO ON A DIFFERENT RIDE, THEN! LET ME OUT OF HERE!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but all of our other rides are going to be shut down due to the weather. It is not safe to operate under these conditions.”

Customer: “THEN MAKE IT STOP!”

(At this point my team leader comes over, sees that I’m covered in red spots from the hail, sends me inside the control box to warm up, and takes over dealing with the angry customer. My coworkers stare at me, bewildered.)

Coworker: “What the h*** was that about?”

Me: “I’m not quite sure, but I think someone just told me to control the weather.”

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