Uncle Scam

| Midwest, USA | Working | July 17, 2012

(We sell products to both civilian and military clients, but we are obligated to sell to the military sector at a reduced rate. This occurs concerning a contract that my boss drafted for a military client.)

Client: “The prices on this contract need to be changed. It should be [price], but the numbers you listed here are higher than that.”

Me: *checking the contract* “Oh, I see. You’re right, that’s the wrong rate. We’ll correct it right away.”

(Later, in my weekly meeting with my boss…)

Me: “Um, when I was working on the contract with [client], the non-military prices were listed on the contract. Did you know that?”

Boss: “Yes.”

Me: “Did… you… do that on purpose?”

Boss: “Yes.”

Me: *shocked* “Why?”

Boss: “I thought I’d try to scam the government!”

(I quit at the end of that year.)

(Service Isn’t) All That And A Bag Of Chips

| Natchitoches, LA, USA | Working | July 17, 2012

(I’m only 5’3 and I’m standing on tip-toe, desperately trying to reach a bag of tortilla chips that are on a high shelf. I notice a male employee nearby, so I wave him over.)

Employee: “What’s the problem?”

Me: *pointing* “I need those chips off the top shelf.”

Employee: “Why don’t you just get the ones you can reach?”

Me: “Well, that brand is cheaper and it’s a bigger bag than the same brand that’s on the lower shelves. I’m on a tight budget, so those are the ones I need.”

Employee: “Just get another kind.” *walks off*

Me: *speechless*

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No Business Being In Business

| New York, NY, USA | Working | July 16, 2012

Me: “Hi, how much are these sunglasses in the case here?”

Shopkeeper: “I’m going out of business tomorrow, so everything is 40% off.”

Me: “Oh. I don’t see a price on these sunglasses. How much are they?”

Shopkeeper: *ignores me* “That hat would look great on you.”

Me: “This tweed newsboy cap? Yeah, it’s pretty cute. I’m also interested in these sunglasses in the case. May I try them on?”

Shopkeeper: “You want sunglasses? Well, let’s see if we can find something that will look good on you!”

Me: “Actually, I already know what I want. These sunglasses…right here.”

(The shopkeeper ignores me again, and hands me a particularly ugly pair of sunglasses.)

Shopkeeper: “You have red hair, so you would look good in these.”

(I oblige and try the ugly sunglasses on.)

Me: “Well, these are okay, but I think I’d prefer the ones in the case. Are they not for sale?”

Shopkeeper: *offended* “Don’t you like those?!”

Me: “Well, they’re nice, but not really my style. Are you selling any of the pairs in this case?”

Shopkeeper: “OH MY GOD! YOU’RE SO CHILDISH! I’ve been trying to find something for you, and you keep being so rude!” *mimics me in a childish voice*Noo… I don’t like those!”

(I left without buying anything. No wonder she was going out of business!)

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Not Ever Working, Part 2

| Vermont, USA | Working | July 16, 2012

(I work the graveyard shift stocking shelves at a major east coast supermarket chain. Recently, there’s been a push by upper management for us to raise our “numbers” for productivity. I overhear this conversation between the night shift manager and assistant manager.)

Assistant Manager: “So, I was thinking, when we have to block the aisles, could you follow behind me and do all of the upper and lower shelves for me while I do the one in the middle?”

Manager: “What?”

Assistant Manager: “Well, they want us to get our numbers up, so I figure the aisles will go faster if I do the stuff at arm level and just go down the aisle.”

Manager: “So, you want me to do all of the work that requires actual effort so you can do only the easiest work and get better numbers than me?”

Assistant Manager: “Yes! Exactly!”


Acting Pretty Ugly

| London, UK | Working | July 16, 2012

(We hire temporary staff over the Christmas period to meet the demand of extra customers. This particular new hire has been a nightmare. She easily gets stressed about the amount of customers and work we have, shouts at customers and other staff, and doesn’t pulling her weight.)

Me: “[New Hire], could you come to the changing room and help me put the returned clothes out, please?”

New Hire: *rudely* “Why me?! You always pick on me to do things. I’m sick of it!”

Me: “Because everyone else is serving customers or already putting clothing out. You’re the only person just stood around.”

New Hire: “You’re not a manager. You can’t tell me what to do!”

Me: “But I am a senior staff member to you, and have the right to ask you for help.”

(She continues to argue, ranting at me as we pick items up from the changing room, and being rude while we’re putting the items out. Customers and staff have been staring at her, stunned by her rudeness.)

New Hire: “Just because you’re so d*** ugly, you think you can be nasty to me?!”

(Note: this has always been a sore topic for me, as I have scarring from burns and abuse. I feel tears coming on when a customer who sees I’m crying comes over.)

Customer: “Oh honey, are you okay?” *gives me a hug, then glares at the new hire* “What gives you the right to be rude to her over her looks? That’s nothing to do with work.”

New Hire: *with obvious pride* “Because I’M PRETTY and SHE’S NOT!”

Customer: “Let’s see if you being ‘pretty’ will matter to your manager, shall we?”

(Not surprisingly, it didn’t matter. She was sent packing the next day. The manager later told me she tried to claim that she didn’t work as hard as the rest of us because ‘I’m not this beautiful through working hard!’)

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