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Bad boss and coworker stories

When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Will Play Uno

| Working | July 17, 2012

(Note: A customer is getting a set of dishes for her sister. She wants a set for herself, but there are no more on the shelf. I’m not supposed to leave the register area, so I’ve called into the back room to have a coworker check. Unfortunately, after calling a couple times, nobody has answered.)

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t get a hold of anyone in the back, so would you like me to check on the item for you? It’ll only take a minute. Or, I can take down your information and call you when we have more in stock.”

Customer: “Can you please check? I’d really like to get it today, if I can.”

Me: “No problem, I’ll be back in just a minute.”

(As I’m walking through the back room trying to find the item, I spot the two back room associates sitting at a table. They are playing Uno and laughing when I walk up to them.)

Me: “Hey, did you guys hear the phone ringing? I tried calling to get a stock check on some dishes, but nobody answered.”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, we heard it. Why?”

Me: “Well, why didn’t you answer? I had to leave the register unattended so I could come back here when you guys should be doing the stock check.”

Coworker #2: “Can’t you see we’re playing a game?”

Me: “Yeah, but are you both on break or something?”

Coworker #2: “No. We’re just playing a game.”

Me: “On the clock?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, what’s your point?”

Me: “My point is that I’ve had to pause my job to come do your job, which I can’t really do since I’ve never been back here before so I don’t know where anything is. Can you just tell me if there are any more sets of dishes in back here?”

Coworker #1: *points vaguely* “Yeah, they’re over there somewhere.”

(I go over to where he points. I find another set of dishes for my customer and bring them out to her.)

Me: “Sorry that took so long. Here are your dishes.”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry. I followed you to the door and heard the whole thing. I just came back over here when you stopped talking to them. Can you give me the name of your supervisor? I’d like to tell him what happened.”

Me: “Sure. It’s [supervisor name], but he’s not in today. He’ll be back tomorrow if you’d like to come in. Or, I could give you his contact info and you can leave him a message.”

Customer: “Thank you, dear. His contact info would be great. I hope your day gets better!”

(A couple days later, my supervisor called me into his office. He told me that he fired the back room associates working that day and, because of that customer, he gave me a bonus!)

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Uncle Scam

, | 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.)

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

| 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

| 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

| 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!”


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