Drivers Know No Other Way To Get Around

, , , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(It’s 5:30 in the morning and my supervisor and I are in the bus depot, preparing for the first shift of the day. The phone rings. It’s the other early-morning driver, who reports that his car won’t start and he won’t be able to get to work for his first run.)

Supervisor: “I can’t go to collect him because I have the first run out of [Destination #1] in fifteen minutes, and he lives way out in [Distant Suburb].”

Me: “And I have to be driving the bus out of [Destination #2] at the same time.”

Supervisor: “I’ll wake up the mechanic and see if he can help.”

(He does so, and outlines a complex plan which involves him dropping a jump-starter pack from the depot workshop to the mechanic’s house while he is en route to [Destination #1], so the mechanic will then proceed to our colleague’s place to start the car. The supervisor and I will do our own bus runs while also making deviations from our routes that cover the areas that our missing colleague would have done, until the missing driver has finally reached the depot and is able to take over. By the time the supervisor has finished sorting it out, ten minutes have passed and it’s time for us to leave for the early-morning runs.)

Supervisor: “I’ll just go and get the jump-starter pack from the workshop and head out to the mechanic’s house now and… Oh, d***. I don’t know [Colleague]’s exact street address. Would you ring him to get that while I get the jump pack and bus sorted out?”

(Before I can do so, the phone rings again.)

Colleague: “Oh, and by the way, I just moved house last weekend to [a street address only a few minute’s walk from the depot].”

Supervisor: “…”

Me: “…”

Trying To Be Top Dog

, , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(I am a dog trainer for a large chain store. My boss calls me into the office. We’ve had some tense conversations before, so I’m already on guard.)

Me: “You called?”

Boss: “I see you’re starting a class tomorrow.”

Me: “Yeah, puppy class. I’m excited; they’re so cute!”

Boss: “You have three dogs?”

Me: “Right.” *lists ages, names, and breeds*

Boss: “You’ll have to fix that.”

Me: “Fix … what?”

Boss: “Corporate says you need four dogs to make the class profitable.”

Me: “Oh. I didn’t know there was a minimum. Is that new?”

Boss: “You need to enroll a fourth dog or call those pet parents and have them reschedule in a new class.”

Me: “Okay. I can call up some people who haven’t paid yet. But what if they don’t want to switch to another class?”

Boss: “You cannot run a class with three dogs.”

(She turned her back to me, effectively ending the conversation.)

Me: “Okay.”

(I dutifully call each customer, explaining there is a policy in place that states I must have a minimum of four dogs in a class, and that otherwise I will have to reschedule them for the next one with other dogs. Understandably, they are very unhappy that I am canceling their class. I offer a discounted rate if they’re willing to switch to a class that starts a few weeks later at a different time. One takes the deal, but the other two spend a few minutes each teaching me about good customer service and promising they will never shop with us again. A few days pass and I’m back at work.)

Boss: “[My Name], did I not tell you to transfer those pet parents?”

Me: “Yes, and one did but—“

Boss: “We had to refund $250 in classes, and we received a corporate complaint about your attitude.”

Me: “The other two didn’t want to switch, and if I can’t run a class with three, I obviously can’t run one with two.”

Boss: “I’m going to have to write you up.”

Me: “What?! Why?”

Boss: “You cost us two sales. That is simply unacceptable.”

Me: “No. I’m sorry, but no. I did what you asked. I cannot force people to rearrange their schedules.”

Boss: “Look, [My Name], don’t be difficult. I’m just doing my job.”

Me: “So was I, but now I’m in trouble for it.”

Boss: “Just sign the paper.”

Me: “No.”

Boss: “[My Name], you are being unreasonable.”

Me: “But forcing customers to change their minds is reasonable? Being told to do something I have no control over is reasonable?”

Boss: “You have a minimum number you have to reach. That’s just the way it is.”

Me: “No. No, I’m sorry. Even if you’re just doing your job, this is bulls***. I quit.”

(I walked out of that job and applied at the store next door. When they asked why I’d left my previous employer, I explained that I was put in a position where I could either pressure customers into doing something they didn’t want to do, or I would be penalized. The interviewer called my previous boss on the spot to ask for a reference. She told them that I just wouldn’t cooperate with corporate policy, so SHE decided I wasn’t a good fit for the company anymore. He laughed and hung up. I’ve been working for my new employer for six months now. According to the friends I still have at my old job, they haven’t been able to find a replacement trainer and had to refund thousands of dollars.)

When The Wait-Staff Live Up To Their Name

, , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(I win a $100 gift certificate to a local, non-chain restaurant. My husband, our two boys, and I go to eat there and spend the certificate. The restaurant is not busy — maybe three tables, already served — when we are seated. We sit for 40 minutes without our waitress coming to get our drink order. I’m fed up, and I step over the hostess desk and ask to speak with the manager. Once I explain what is happening, he apologizes profusely and promises the waitress will be right over. I follow a group of four as I head back to our table. The group of four sit at the table next to us.)

Waitress: *rushing out of the back to the new group of four* “I am so sorry for the long wait. They didn’t tell me they sat someone in my area. What can I get for you folks?”

(The waitress walks past our table and into the back and quickly returns with the drinks. I wave her down, but she refuses to stop. We wait another twenty minutes, and the new table of four are now eating. Fed up again, I head back out to speak with the manager. He follows me back in to our table. He calls the waitress over and asks why she hasn’t waited on our table.)

Waitress: “They just got here two minutes ago! I was on my way out.”

Manager: “No, they have been here one hour without drinks, dinner, or anyone waiting on them for over an hour! I told you about them twenty minutes ago.”

Waitress: *gesturing to the new table of four* “But I served them right away!”

Manager: “Take their order and make sure they are taken care of!”

(The waitress takes our drink and food order. Food arrives. No drinks. Food is ice cold and mostly the wrong food. We flag down the waitress.)

Me: “Our food is cold. We still do not have drinks. Please take these back, and bring us our drinks!”

Waitress: “Hang on. I need to get a tray.”

(Fifteen minutes pass with no sign of waitress. The manager arrives to check on us.)

Manager: “How are things going, folks?”

Me: “We still have no drinks. Our food arrived cold and wrong. We pointed it out to our waitress, but we haven’t seen her back here for 15 minutes, so it hasn’t been taken care of yet.”

Manager: “I am so sorry. Let me comp your meals!”

Me: “No. We are here because I won a $100 gift certificate. I don’t plan on coming back, so comping our meal is a wasted gesture.”

(The waitress returns at this time with our “drinks”: two clear sodas, a very dark beer, and a lemonade.)

Me: *to waitress* “My kids ordered Cokes, my husband ordered a [popular light beer], and I ordered an iced tea.” *turning to manager* “We are leaving. We are not coming back. We’ve heard that you are struggling with your restaurant, and this is why. Your wait and cook staff are useless. Cold food. No service. Ineffective management. Here is your gift certificate.”

(We left and headed to a nearby fast food joint. Got exactly what we ordered, right away, with hot burgers and fries and cold drinks. The restaurant went out of business two months later. We found out that the “waitress” was the owner’s sister-in-law and the “cook” was his brother — her husband. They “worked” every night of the week the restaurant was open.)

They Come In And Mope(d) Around

, , | Working | January 16, 2019

(I’m at the local DMV transferring the title of a moped I just bought. While this is my first moped, I’ve done my research and know that this particular vehicle is, indeed, a moped which means I don’t need a motorcycle license. But in the middle of the paperwork, this happens.)

Employee: “Is this a moped or a motorcycle?”

Me: “It’s a moped.”

Employee: “I don’t know… I think this is supposed to be a motorcycle.”

Me: “No, it’s a moped. You can even see here on the title that it’s a moped.”

Employee: “How big is the engine?”

Me: “50 ccs.”

Employee: “Yeah, I think it’s 50 ccs is a motorcycle.”

Me: “No, it’s 50 ccs and below.”

Employee: “Let me check.”

(He calls over his manager and he tells him the issue.)

Manager: “How big is the engine?”

Me: “50 ccs. It has a top speed of 30 mph. It’s a moped.”

Manager: “No, I think that’s a motorcycle. You’ll have to register it as a motorcycle.”

Me: *baffled* “Fine.”

(I finished the paperwork registering the vehicle as a motorcycle and took home my new plates. About a week later, I got a letter in the mail. I needed to come back into the DMV because the vehicle I’d registered as a motorcycle should have been classified as a moped. Thankfully, they didn’t make me pay for their error.)

The Key Is To Check The Key

, , , | Working | January 16, 2019

Many years ago I was working at a city-owned community recreation center. As I was often the first one to enter the building each morning, I had a key to the front entrance and the access code to call to have the alarm disabled. One day I unlocked the door, called the alarm company, and then started to put my keys away, only to realize I’d just let myself in with my own house key!

My next call was to the city maintenance department to report what had happened. The locksmith they sent told us that the tumblers in the lock were so worn that any key of the same make would have unlocked that door, and it was a good thing an authorized employee had been the one who discovered it rather than someone with no reason to be entering the building!

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