The Smell Turned Bad

, , , , , | Working | April 3, 2019

(I visit a town that has a street full of vibrant market stalls, each occupied by vendors selling all kinds of things ranging from clothes and jewellery to confectionary and wine. Most of what’s being sold is handmade by the vendors themselves. I love all things scented, and I work for a well-known store that prides itself on its cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, such as bath bombs and soaps, among other things. I can identify most essential oils by scent and know what they’re all used for. So, I’m delighted when I happen upon a stall that sells handmade bath bombs, incense, scented candles sculpted into cute little shapes, essential oils, etc. It’s been a lovely day so far and I’m in a pretty good mood, so when the vendor acknowledges me I reply with a big smile.)

Me: “Hi! These are all lovely! Did you make these?”

Vendor: “Yep. See anything you like so far?”

Me: “Yeah!” *picking up a couple of honeycomb-scented candles to smell them* “I sure do love my smellies. I work at [Store], so I’m obsessed with anything colourful and scented!”

(The vendor is no longer even looking at me, and immediately cuts me off before I can say anything else, scowling as if I’ve just shot his dog.)

Vendor: “So, what are you doing here, then? [Store] is s***! None of their stuff is natural, anyway. They just stuff their crap full of chemicals. This stuff is natural. What have you come here for?! Why don’t you just go to [Store]?!”

(He accompanied this mini-rant with a very dismissive and somewhat aggressive arm gesture. Stunned by his rudeness, I silently put down the candles I was planning to buy and walked away without another word.)

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Comes In All Colors Except Colored

, , , , , | Right | September 27, 2018

(I’m a black man walking up to a customer in the ink area. She seems to need help finding the cartridge for her printer.)

Me: “Ma’am, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I need black ink.” *takes one look at me and points to the skin on my arm* “I need this color!”

Me: *trying my best to hide my irritation* “Sorry, ma’am, we don’t sell brown ink.”

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Job Hunters Know Good And Bad Prey

, , , , , | Working | February 1, 2018

(I’m living at home for a summer before I head to university, in need of summer employment. I apply for a job in a kitchen and manage to score an interview. Over the phone, they tell me they are impressed with my qualifications and are looking to fill the position straight away. The job is for a pretty basic canteen inside an office building. The manager who shows me around seems friendly enough but has a big air of self-importance to her. At the end of the interview, comprised mainly of her talking with few questions, the manager turns to me with a serious look.)

Manager: “Now, I have a big question to ask you.”

Me: “Okay.”

Manager: “Would you be willing to wait one month for us to make a decision?”

Me: “Err… I’m sorry. Over the phone you said you wanted this position filled immediately.”

Manager: “Well, this is a very important decision for our company; we need to make sure we have the right person for the job!”

(I hold back my laughter; this is a very small and not particularly impressive canteen. It’s hardly rocket science.)

Me: “Then, why say you were looking to fill it right away?”

(The manager then puts on what is clearly her most dashing smile.)

Manager: “So, are you prepared to wait? I think you have a lot to offer us, and I think you have the right attitude for this job.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but no. I need a job to start saving for university, and I really cannot wait around for you guys to maybe hire me. During this time, I will be looking for work and if anything comes up then I’m going to take it. Sorry, but I need to get working.”

(Almost instantly her demeanour changes and she becomes icy and unfriendly.)

Manager: *abruptly* “Well, then, thanks for coming in. You know the way out, right?”

(Quickly she turned on her heel and walked away. Luckily I got a job a week or so later and promptly forgot all about them. Finally, TWO MONTHS LATER, I got a voicemail on my parents’ home number stating I hadn’t got the job due to my “lack of qualifications.” That made me giggle because I’m qualified to work in hospitality and this was the complete reverse of what they told me. It made me wonder how organised they actually were and who was desperate enough to wait around for them?)

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