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Bad boss and coworker stories

This Toddler Is A Whole Mood

, , , , , , | Working | December 3, 2021

I am working at home while trying to manage my young children during the health crisis. I hear the doorbell ring and look through the peephole to see a salesman who has ignored the “No Soliciting” sign as well as our local Stay At Home orders. He sees movement and begins to knock as well as ring the doorbell. I sigh and begin to look for a mask when my three-year-old, already masked, opens the door by himself.

Three-Year-Old: “Are you Amazon?”

Salesman: “No.”

My three-year-old slammed the door, and the salesman walked away!

Look. Do You Want To Sell A Car Or Not?

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My wife and I have been looking for a particular model of car for a while, and suddenly, a local dealership has three of them! They’re all used but made within the last couple of years, with mileage varying from 14,000 to 60,000. We go through the nonsense of testing them all and choosing one. The one we decide to buy has 40,000 miles on it and is three years old. The only problem is that the initial asking price is at or above how much it’d cost if I bought a brand new one, made this year as a custom order, from the factory. Time for negotiations.

Salesman: “So, what’ll it take to get you in this car?”

Me: “I want it, but the price is way too high. I could buy a new one online for that much.”

Salesman: “Oh, but that’s because it’s the [Model] S edition, not the [Model] X edition. The [Model] S is… [blah, blah, blah, blah].”

Me: *Pauses* “No, that’s not what I meant. This [Model] S from [three years ago] with 40,000 miles on it costs as much as a [Model] S from this year with zero miles on it. I’ll buy it if you can sell it for a fair price. Somewhere around [75% of their asking price] is much closer to the [Industry Standard Website] suggested price.”

Salesman: “Oh, you can’t trust [Industry Standard Website].”

Me: “Again, though, I could just leave and buy a brand new one for your asking price.”

Salesman: “The price is non-negotiable.”

Me: “C’mon, you know that price is nonsense for a used car. Why can’t you negotiate?” 

Salesman: “I don’t set the prices.”

The salesman suddenly makes an excuse to leave and sends in his colleague.

Colleague: “Hi there. I hear you want [vehicle]. We can get you monthly cost of—”

Me: “I don’t care about the monthly. I care about the overall cost. Are you able to negotiate the price?”

Colleague: “The prices are firm but let me get [Other Employee] in here to see about financing options—”

Me: “Are we seriously gonna do the salesman hokey pokey, where you and a couple of others jump in and out of the room to try to exhaust and confuse me into agreeing to a bad deal? I’m not here to play children’s games. I want you to sell me a vehicle that I’m ready and willing to buy, right now. How is that so hard to sell under this circumstance that you need to get three separate men and—” *checks my phone* “—two hours to negotiate? Does it take this many men to change a lightbulb around here, too?”

The colleague stutters for a second before regaining his composure.

Colleague: “Well, uh… Let me get [Salesman] back so you can talk about finances with him.”

Me: “No, thanks. I’ll just buy a brand new one online, customized how I want it to, for that same amount. Bye!”

I left the office, followed closely by [Colleague]. [Salesman] looked mad at [Colleague] but didn’t say anything about it in my presence. [Salesman] called me once a day for the next three days but I brushed him off each time. On the fourth day, he sent me an email with prices a few thousand dollars less than the non-negotiable price, begging me to come back and make a deal with them. I simply replied asking how he had the authority to change the prices now after he was so sure he couldn’t change prices before. He didn’t reply.

Naive Employees And Stupid, STUPID Customers

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

My immune system is busted, but I can’t tell if it’s reacting too much or not enough, so to stay safe, I’m steering clear of people for now. I’m also steering clear of the smoke so thick it looks like fog, which is enveloping half the West Coast as of August 2021 and, apparently, for the rest of our existence.

Part of avoiding people involves getting my groceries by ordering online and coming to pick them up. I do my thing, order my groceries, go to pick them up, present my card for the purchase… and it doesn’t work with the mobile card reader.

The young employee tries again. And again. Still busted. This is annoying, but whatever; clearly their Wi-Fi is kicking a fit, and it’s not like I don’t know how computer problems go.

Employee: “Okay, let me just take down your card number so I can run it in the store.”

I’m thinking, naively, that this means the number on the front of the card.

Me: “Oh, here.”

I hand my card over.

Employee: “Uh… No, the number.”

I suddenly have a horrible suspicion.

Me: “Do you mean my PIN?

He responds as if this is totally normal.

Employee: “Yes.”

My soul leaves my body at about this point.

Me: “Sir, I am not giving you my PIN.”

Employee: “Uh. Sure.”

Somewhere in our wrestling match with the mobile card unit, the employee explained that some customers had been insisting that he take their PINs to avoid having to get out of the car. When we eventually had to go in, I let the manager know EXACTLY what some jerks were bullying a poor high schooler into, and that the poor kid was going to end up giving his own PIN away and not have any money after that.

Eventually, I was able to pay and leave, and hopefully, that manager has just learned why we say “no” to problem customers.

Nothing Subtle About This One

, , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

This story takes place during the end of my tenure with a game store chain, after I’ve settled into a familiar groove of thirteen- to fifteen-hour shifts, six days a week — also known as “absentee coworker syndrome”. I’ve also gotten a chance to get to know all the regular customers.

One of my regulars is in the store checking on the stock of our Nintendo Wii units, wanting to know when we’ll get more, etc. The guy easily drops $300 a week in my store and has two adorable, well-behaved kids, so we’re on fantastic terms.

Unfortunately, our district manager is visiting our store and brought her friend [District Manager #2] with her for advice on how to run our store.

It’s worth noting one more fact. I am the sole white employee at this store. The neighborhood in question is predominantly filled with those of darker complexion than myself (African, Latino, etc). Both of the district managers in my store are, you guessed it, whiter than new-fallen snow.

I’m chatting up my regular when I get pulled over by the district managers to a corner out of earshot, where the following exchange takes place.

District Manager #1: “What the h*** do you think you’re doing?!”

Me: “Um, my job? What do you mean? Did I do something wrong? He already has the Premium Membership card…”

District Manager #2: “Not that. Why’d you tell him when you’re getting more Wii consoles?”

Me: “Because he asked? I don’t get it.”

District Manager #1: “We don’t give that information out to people like that!”

District Manager #2: “Exactly. When you give them that kind of information, you either get robbed or you get more of them. That’s not the image we’re trying to cultivate here.”

District Manager #1: “Yeah, we’re trying to bring in more… profitable clientele.”

Me: “I don’t… I don’t understand. What do you mean, ‘them’?”

District Manager #1 & #2: *In unison* “Blacks.”

District Manager #2: “We want bleach-white soccer moms, not a bunch of sooty street rats.”

My eyes must’ve popped out of their sockets in horror at what they just said, because my district manager immediately begins trying to backpedal.

District Manager #1: “What he means is that middle-class people tend to spend more money.”

The incredibly racist conversation continued for a few minutes before I promptly excused myself back to my store and helped my customers. Still, that little bit pretty much eroded any respect I had for Senior Management. 

Luckily, the parent company — which controlled two video chains and my game chain — went belly-up a month later, and both district managers lost their jobs overnight.

Me? I went on to a data center internship that paid more and was a ton of fun.

Some People Shouldn’t Be Public-Facing

, , , , | Working | December 2, 2021

Years ago, we were holidaying in America and stopped in one of those roadside diners. We would tip back home in the UK (for particularly good service), but we know the expectation is much higher here so we bear that in mind during our trip.

Unfortunately, our waitress was just rude, lazy, and obnoxious. She rolled her eyes as we asked to not have onions on our burgers, scoffed at our pronunciation (of an English word), lied about being “out” of the side we ordered, and then refused to ask the kitchen to make it.

It felt like we were a burden rather than a guest. When the bill came round, we noticed that the gratuity was already added.

Me: “Sorry, but there is no way I’m paying a single penny tipping you.”

Waitress: “Well, I’m not removing it!”

Me: “Just get the manager.”

She put her hands on her hips.

Waitress: “He’s not here today.”

Me: “Fine. Call the police.”

Waitress: “You foreigners come here… I knew from the minute you walked in that you wouldn’t be worth my time. You never tip, you always leave a mess… Fine! I’ll take the tip off, seeing as you clearly couldn’t possibly afford a few dollars.”

Me: “You want a tip? Try not being terrible at your job.”

We paid and left. Afterward, we checked the reviews. Unsurprisingly, lots of other people said the same thing happened to them, all of them tourists.