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When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Will Play Uno

| Working | July 17, 2012

(Note: A customer is getting a set of dishes for her sister. She wants a set for herself, but there are no more on the shelf. I’m not supposed to leave the register area, so I’ve called into the back room to have a coworker check. Unfortunately, after calling a couple times, nobody has answered.)

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t get a hold of anyone in the back, so would you like me to check on the item for you? It’ll only take a minute. Or, I can take down your information and call you when we have more in stock.”

Customer: “Can you please check? I’d really like to get it today, if I can.”

Me: “No problem, I’ll be back in just a minute.”

(As I’m walking through the back room trying to find the item, I spot the two back room associates sitting at a table. They are playing Uno and laughing when I walk up to them.)

Me: “Hey, did you guys hear the phone ringing? I tried calling to get a stock check on some dishes, but nobody answered.”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, we heard it. Why?”

Me: “Well, why didn’t you answer? I had to leave the register unattended so I could come back here when you guys should be doing the stock check.”

Coworker #2: “Can’t you see we’re playing a game?”

Me: “Yeah, but are you both on break or something?”

Coworker #2: “No. We’re just playing a game.”

Me: “On the clock?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, what’s your point?”

Me: “My point is that I’ve had to pause my job to come do your job, which I can’t really do since I’ve never been back here before so I don’t know where anything is. Can you just tell me if there are any more sets of dishes in back here?”

Coworker #1: *points vaguely* “Yeah, they’re over there somewhere.”

(I go over to where he points. I find another set of dishes for my customer and bring them out to her.)

Me: “Sorry that took so long. Here are your dishes.”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry. I followed you to the door and heard the whole thing. I just came back over here when you stopped talking to them. Can you give me the name of your supervisor? I’d like to tell him what happened.”

Me: “Sure. It’s [supervisor name], but he’s not in today. He’ll be back tomorrow if you’d like to come in. Or, I could give you his contact info and you can leave him a message.”

Customer: “Thank you, dear. His contact info would be great. I hope your day gets better!”

(A couple days later, my supervisor called me into his office. He told me that he fired the back room associates working that day and, because of that customer, he gave me a bonus!)

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