Engineered Himself Out Of A Bad Situation

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

(This is one of my dad’s many stories. In the late 80s and early 90s, he was a very highly skilled network engineer, which at the time was just an emerging field. As a result, he jetted around a lot to help clients with installs and training on the new technology. In this case, he was sent to Argentina. My understanding is that it has cleaned up a lot in the last 30 or 40 years, but back then, it was not a great place. While at the hotel, his primary client contact insists that he should go to the club district while he is in town. My dad, not knowing any better, agrees, and picks a bar at random. The entrance to the bar is a steep set of metal stairs, which will be relevant later. He sits at the bar and orders a drink, but he starts getting a bad feeling about the place pretty quickly and decides he should go elsewhere, so he asks for the tab shortly after.)

Bartender: “Four hundred dollar.”

Dad: “What?”

Bartender: “Your bill. Four hundred dollar.”

(Bad feeling confirmed. My dad takes out all the money he has — a little over $100 — and places it on the counter, backing away slowly.)

Dad: “Look, this is all I’ve got. You can have it. I’m just going to leave.”

Bartender: “Four. Hundred. Dollar.”

Dad: “I don’t ha—”

(He is cut off by a blow to the front of his head from the billy club the bartender produced out of nowhere. Due to sheer bull-headed stubbornness — okay, and probably some adrenaline — he doesn’t black out, but manages to stumble towards the exit. Just as he gets there, he feels one of the bartender’s friends grab him by the shoulder. He very quickly decides on a course of action, and grabs the guy’s arm and yanks him down the stairs with him, doing his best to make sure that the other guy hits as many of the metal steps as possible on the way down. At the bottom, my dad gets up; the other guy does not. This is apparently enough to make my dad “not worth it” and he stumbles out onto the street. He tries to flag down a passing Policia, but the guy seems to develop a curious case of blindness at the bleeding American crossing his path. In the end, a hotel concierge manages to catch him before he stumbles deliriously into an even worse part of town, and after refusing a ride in an ambulance — 80s Argentinian hospital = NO — the gash in his head is super-glued shut and he is sent on his way. He actually finishes the job, with a huge knot on his forehead, and when he gets home to his workplace…)

Boss: “Whoa. What happened to you?”

Dad: “I got mugged.”

Boss: “…”

Dad: “In Argentina.”

Boss: “…”

Dad: “After the guy you sent me to work with told me to visit the club district.”

Boss: “Huh. Well, that sucks. Did the job get done?”

Dad: “Yes.”

Boss: “Great! Anyway, next month we have another trip lined up for you…”

(Yeah, my dad didn’t stay with that company too much longer.)

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No Person At All Would Be Better

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

(As the lead customer service associate, I am responsible for training new customer service associates as they are hired. One woman — not some airhead teen, but a woman in her 40s — seems to have the IQ of a bag of bricks. Everything I say goes in one ear and out the other. I ask my manager to speak with her, but shortly after every conversation, things go downhill again. About six months into her employment, I am sorting returns into their appropriate department bins when I come across an empty container of baby food with a competitor’s sticker on the lid.)

Me: “Hey, [Associate], what’s this?”

Associate: “Baby food.”

Me: “Okay. Um… We don’t take back open baby food.”

Associate: “Since when?”

Me: “Since… ever.”

Associate: “Why?”

Me: “There was a video about cutting drugs with baby food and other weird things addicts do with it. Do you remember that?”

Associate: “Oh, yeah! But it was empty. There couldn’t be drugs in it.” *laughs*

Me: “No, it wasn’t about leaving drugs in baby food. It was… okay. Regardless of why the customer purchased the baby food, they used all of it and you gave them their money back.”

Associate: “Oh.” *shrugs and walks away*

Me: “It also has a [Competitor] sticker on the lid.”

Associate: “Oh, yeah! I saw that.”

Me: *deep breath* “And you returned it because…?”

Associate: “Well, she said she took it to [Competitor] but they needed the receipt to give her her money back, but she already threw it away. I told her we didn’t need one!” *proud smile*

Me:Any food product needs a receipt. We don’t take back open baby food. We don’t take back items with stickers from competitors, and we definitely don’t take back things customers admit they bought from other stores.”

Associate: “Oh. I didn’t know that.”

Me: *trying not to yell at her* “Okay. That was all part of your initial training. Please be more careful with your returns.”

(I went to management and begged them to do something about her, but they basically told me that any person at the desk is better than no person at all. I quit the day we both applied for a loss prevention position and she got it.)

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If There’s Anyone Who Needs A Beer, It’s A Parent Of A Teenager

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

(We are in a supermarket with my mum. I am sixteen at the time, but in the UK you can drink alcohol at home from a younger age than that. My mum and I are finishing off our shopping, and she asks me to pick up a couple of bottles of beer off of the top shelf and put them in the cart, as she can’t reach. We then walk to the checkout and start trying to pay for our shopping.)

Cashier: “You—” *talking to me* “—can I see some ID?

Me: “Why?”

Cashier: “I saw you getting that beer.”

Mum: “That beer is for me, not him, and I’m clearly an adult.”

Cashier: “But he picked it up.”

Mum: “But it’s for me.”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, but he touched it. I can’t sell it to you.”

Mum: “How about if I’m the one touching it in a separate transaction?” *puts it behind another divider, showing it is different*

Cashier: “No, he touched it, so I need ID from him.” *starts sarcastically filling out a “failed check 25 form” on the till*

(We had to leave it behind. For context, after speaking to several of my relatives and friends who work in other supermarkets, in a case like this, unless the cashier has heard something to directly suggest that the older person is buying it for the younger person, of which there was none in this scenario, they should sell it to the customer.)

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Glassy-Eyed Saleswoman

, , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

(My brother has just moved out to start university when he realizes he has a pot but no lid. He takes the pot to a large department store and asks a saleslady to help him find a lid.)

Brother: “Hi, I need a lid for this pot, but I don’t have a lot of money.”

Saleslady: “This is a very nice lid and it’s only €99.”

Brother: “I was really looking for something cheaper.”

(They go through this a few times until they end up in the €20 range.)

Saleslady: “Okay, this is very popular and only €19.”

Brother: “Oh, but it is glass; I’d rather have a metal one.”

Saleslady: “But glass is much better. It saves energy because you don’t have to lift the lid to check on your food.”

Brother: “But what if I drop it and it breaks? I’d really rather have a metal one.”

Saleslady: *with a disgusted shake of her head* “Men!”

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Refusing To Leave His Post

, , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

I used the postage tracker to see where a couple of packages were. They said they had been delivered to the local post office and I had to go collect the items. There were three packages, and the text message said they had all been delivered. 

I went to the post office and asked for my packages, showing the assistant my text. He found two packages and said the third wasn’t there. I showed him the text message again and asked him politely to check again. He refused. A line was growing behind me and I was starting to feel embarrassed but I believed my item was there because the text had never let me down before. I asked two more times, and he said no, the item was certainly not there, and he continued to refuse checking a second time. 

By this point, I’d become that annoying customer who won’t leave, and I said if he checked one more time and it came up empty, then I’d go. I was mortified and felt bad for the customers behind me, but I believed I was right and I didn’t want to come back another day for a package that had already been delivered. 

He checked. 

He came back with my remaining package. 

No apology. 

I walked out feeling victorious.

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