Where There’s Smoke, There’s Getting Fired, Part 3

| Orlando, FL, USA | Working | February 20, 2013

(I work at the meat/seafood counter at my store. We have two steamers that we use to cook crab, fish and shrimp for customers who ask us to. One of the steamers broke down a few days ago and has a huge sign taped to the front of it that says “BROKEN. DO NOT USE.”)

Coworker: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Yeah, can I get five pounds of snow crab steamed with [seasoning]?”

Coworker: “Okay, it’ll be five minutes.”

(He weighs out the customer’s order and takes it to the back. He doesn’t even notice the huge sign and shoves the steamer tray right into the broken steamer and turns it on.)

Coworker: “Anything else?”

Customer: “Yeah, can I also get one pound of shrimp steamed?”

Coworker: “Okay, right away.”

(As he’s filling a bag full of shrimp for the customer, the customer starts yelling and pointing wildly. I’m chopping chicken on the other side of the department and rush over.)

Customer: “Oh my god, that thing’s on fire!”

(I look over at the broken steamer; it’s making a hideous grinding sound and smoke is billowing from its air vents.)

Me: “What the h***?! Did you use the broken steamer?!”

Coworker: “What you mean, broken?”

(I run across the department and slam the power button on the broken steamer. The grinding noise stops and the smoke thins.)

Me: *pointing at giant sign* “Right there! Broken!”

Coworker: “Oh, that! I didn’t even see that!”

Customer: “You ruined my crabs!”

(My supervisor, who was in the butcher room, hears the shouting through the door and walks through.)

Supervisor: “What’s going on here?”

Coworker: “It says broken, but I didn’t see it! Now it’s making noise and there’s smoke coming out!”

Supervisor: “You turned it on even with that sign on the front of it that says it’s broken? What’s wrong with you?!”

Me: “Wait a minute… why was it even still plugged in if it’s broken? Who just put that sign on and left it plugged in?”

Supervisor: “Uh… I did.”

 

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