You Want Me In Two Places At Once, I’ll Be In None

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 24, 2018

(This story takes place when I’m 16 and working the closing shift in a chain pet store, which involves checking all the cages and tanks in the back and recording and initialing everything. I am also the only employee on the entire floor and expected to be available to customers. The manager is a useless turd who sits in his office all day. Whenever we approach him with something, he tells us it’s not his problem and to stop bothering him. He even did that when the store flooded. He also insists on being called “sir” and likes to throw his weight around. It’s also relevant to note that, unbeknownst to my manager, I am as belligerent as punk rock comes.)

Manager: “[My Name], how come the forms aren’t done yet?”

Me: “I have to do them after we close. I’ve been busy helping customers back-to-back.”

Manager: “That’s not an excuse.”

Me: “So, you want me to stop what I’m doing and go back to do the forms?”

Manager: “No, someone needs to be on the floor helping customers as long as we’re open.”

Me: “Then the forms are just going to have to wait until after we’re closed.”

Manager: *smirking* “They should already be finished. I expect you to get it done.”

Me: “Uh-huh, and are you going to help the customers while I’m doing that?”

Manager: “No, I have important things to do in my office.”

Me: “Yeah, well, unless the pet department is suddenly self-serve, you only get to pick one.”

Manager: “Why?”

Me: *using my Captain Obvious voice* “Because it is literally impossible to be out here scooping fish and on the other side of the building doing paperwork. I can’t break the laws of physics.”

Manager: “That’s not an excuse. Get it done by the time we close, unless you want to get written up.”

Me: *deciding I’m done* “All right. Is this some pathetic little power game of yours, or are you really so high on your own farts that you can’t grasp this very basic concept? Because either way, this is pretty sad coming from a grown man.”

Manager: “Excuse me?!”

Me: “The schedule is your responsibility, sir. If your forms aren’t getting done because there aren’t enough employees to cover duties, it’s because you suck at doing your job.”

Manager: *turning red* “You’d better watch your attitude with me, missy–”

Me: “Or what?”

Manager: “Or you’ll find yourself out of a job!”

Me: “So?”

(The manager deflates, and opens and closes his mouth a few times, so I continue.)

Me: *laughing* “Hello, I’m sixteen. You think I’m worried about making my mortgage payments? I could walk out right now, and you’d be on the hook if you didn’t stay as long as it takes to close this place by the book. So, maybe you want to rethink whether you’re in control here.”

Manager: “You can’t talk to me like that!”

Me: “Or what? I’m fired?”

Manager: “Yes!”

Me: *shrugging* “Works for me. Bye.”

Manager: *realizing what he’s done* “Where do you think you’re going? You’re not leaving until you finish your work!”

Me: “What work? I’m not an employee here.”

Manager: “Your termination is effective after you’ve completed your tasks.”

Me: “Hmm… Nah.”

Manager: “Stop! You can’t! Come back here this instant!”

Me: *calling over my shoulder in a sing-song voice* “You can’t make me!”

Manager: “I… I’ll call your parents!”

(This is an empty threat, since they only have my cellphone on file. I just laugh and keep walking away. He starts to follow me outside, but as soon as the door shuts behind me I press a full moon against the glass. I hear him scream, “Oh! Oh, my God! Just you wait!” He comes running back out, making a call on his cell phone, as I hop on my bike. He tries to accost me, but I just do a few loops around him, cackling my head off, and speed away. He tries to make the cashier stay, but his mom comes to pick him up and won’t let the manager keep him on a school night. So, the manager is stuck there half the night mucking out cages. The store also keeps buzzing my phone when I don’t show up for my following shifts. When I go to pick up my last check, the manager is standing on the floor glaring at me, so I walk up.)

Me: “Sir? Excuse me, sir? Do you work here? Can you help me with this fish? Oh, are you busy? Do you have important manager stuff to do?”

(I called after him as he walked straight into the office and slammed the door.)

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That’ll Clear That Anxiety Right Up

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2018

(I work at a large department store, but have just clocked out and am browsing the shoe selection. I see a customer standing near me that has been here for more than thirty minutes without saying anything to any of the employees.)

Customer #1: “H-hello, do you have this in [size]?”

Me: “Oh, sorry. I’m off the clock! But my coworker over there would be more than happy to help you out!”

(The customer turns bright red and starts apologizing profusely. I assure her it’s perfectly fine, and I even walk her over to my coworker and ask for him to help her. Another customer that heard the encounter scoffs and marches up.)

Customer #2: “You little b****, the guy said he was off the clock. You can’t just f****** make him work because you’re a high-maintenance little b****!”

([Customer #1] looks like she’s about to start crying and I try to step in.)

Me: “Hey, please watch your language. She didn’t do anything wrong. She was so nice that I wanted to help her out, anyway. Please mind your own business.”

([Customer #1] has started crying but is clearly trying her hardest to hide it while apologizing to me repeatedly.)

Customer #2: “The b**** wouldn’t be f****** crying if she wasn’t so f****** guilty!”

(By this time, my coworker has called security, and two of our officers arrive and ask what the problem is. [Customer #1] is trying her hardest to hold herself together, and [Customer #2] tries telling them that [Customer #1] was harassing me.)

Me: “Actually, this p**** has been harassing this young lady to the point of tears. Get him out.”

(The man was escorted out practically kicking and screaming, and kept threatening to sue. In the end, [Customer #1] got her shoes in the right size and I stuck around to make sure she was all right. We ended up becoming quick friends, and she shared with me that she had horrible social anxiety and had been trying to work up the courage to ask me for help since she’d arrived! Today, we’re still friends and laugh about the guy who got kicked out for “helping.”)

Acting Like A Big Baby

, , , , , , | Working | January 23, 2018

(I am working the registers when the entire checkout is halted by two women screaming at each other.)

Coworker: “I can’t believe anyone would want to f*** you. You’re a whale. A fat f****** cow!”

Customer: “I’m pregnant! How could you be so mean?! I never did anything to you. I was your friend!”

Coworker: “Friend?! Ha! And honey, if you’re pregnant, then I’m the Queen of England. Now, f*** off!”

(My coworker then pushed the customer. She was actually heavily pregnant and lost her balance, tumbling hard onto the floor. My coworker then tried to walk around the counter towards the customer, but was quickly grabbed by the manager and one of the stockroom staff, who then threw her out of the shop. An ambulance was called and they took the customer away. We later learned after my coworker’s dismissal that she and the customer were friends in school, but instead of going into acting, my coworker ended up in retail, while her friend — the less popular of the two in school — went on to become a doctor. I guess one got jealous of the other’s success.)

You’re Just Shopping, They’re Just Trippin’

, , , , , , , , | Right | January 20, 2018

(I work in a large retail chain in Australia. As it is currently summer here, my long work pants are really hot. I’m in the store I work in, after my shift — so, still dressed in uniform — looking for a suitable skirt to buy and wear on my shifts and not boil my legs. A lady approaches me.)

Customer: “Could you help me find [pants] in size 12?”

Me: “Of course. Let me check the tag.”

(I find the pants quite quickly and show her we have sizes 6-22 — in Australian sizes this basically means there would be a pair to fit the vast majority of people — while handing her size 12.)

Customer: “And what about the top I asked for?”

(I’m certain she said nothing about a top to me, and she refuses to “repeat” herself. I tell her that in that case, there’s nothing more I can do for her and continue my own shopping. She doesn’t say anything but follows me around for the full ten minutes it takes me to find a suitable skirt. It’s pretty creepy.)

Customer: “Carrying that handbag, you almost look like you’re shopping!” *laughs*

Me: “I am shopping.”

Customer: *laughs*

(I’m apparently hilarious without even knowing it.)

Customer: *whining* “I really need that top!”

(I directed her to speak to my manager at the fitting rooms. She demanded my help. I repeated that my shift was finished, I really was just shopping, and I was helping her out of the goodness of my heart and without being paid. She complained to my very short-tempered manager about my “conduct,” and the manager reaffirmed that I was shopping, not working. This set off the ultimate conundrum in the customer’s mind and she got more and more agitated until she was removed by security for attempting to cut people with disposable razors. It was the craziest thing I’d ever seen. My coworkers and I still lunge at each other with [packaged, completely harmless] disposable razors for a joke.)

Offering A Knuckle Sandwich

, , , , , , , | Right | January 18, 2018

(I am a very petite female. I am the customer at a coffee shop I frequent often. The employees are very nice and most of them know me by now. I purchase a sandwich and a drink, set up my laptop, open the sandwich, and begin to work. A few minutes later I go to the restroom, leaving behind my items, only to come out to a man in his mid-40s eating my sandwich, right next to where I have been sitting. I hate confronting people and would have brushed it off, but it is just too weird.)

Me: “Excuse me. Are you eating my sandwich?”

Customer: “No, this is mine.”

Me: “I took a couple bites out of it, and there’s lip-gloss on the bite marks on ‘your’ sandwich.”

Customer: “Get your own! You young people are always taking things away from the more deserving!”

Me: *now confused and embarrassed, as everyone in the shop is staring* “Sir, that’s my sandwich. You can have it. It’s no big deal; it’s just a turkey sandwich. But I’m not the thief, here.”

Employee: “Wait. Sir, did you take this woman’s sandwich?”

Customer: “No. I’ll fight her for it!”

Employee & Me: *at same time* “You want to fight for it?!”

(There is moment of silence as the other customers and employees look back and forth between my five-foot frame and the man’s six-foot frame. The other customer looks around for a moment, then grabs my sandwich and runs out.)

Employee: “Do you want another sandwich?”

Me: “I don’t think I’ll ever eat a turkey sandwich again.”

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