No One Terrorizes Like Little Old Ladies

, , , , | Working | May 18, 2018

(I am in the screening line for an international flight, LONG before 9/11. A little old lady goes through a metal detector, and sets off fourteen different kinds of alarms. She walks on as if nothing happened. The security guard looks at her and shrugs, shakes his head, and waves me to go through the metal detector. I pass with no alarms, and quickly catch up with the little old lady.)

Little Old Lady: *with a big smile* “Humph! He didn’t think I could be a terrorist, did he?!”

How To Manage The Manager

, , , , , , | Working | May 18, 2018

(I work in a supermarket deli and bakery combo that is extremely understaffed and has no manager, so when we are told they have hired one, we are very excited. We even go so far as to buy her a welcome bouquet. It quickly becomes apparent, however, that we were better off without her. Not only is she lazy, often ducking out for hours and leaving early, including leaving the entire back area looking like a bomb went off and with all her work left for evening shift, she’s also a condescending liar and a gossip. I learn, for instance, about the litigious family troubles another coworker is having when the manager is complaining about how inconvenient they are for her because it meant she has to take over one of the opening shifts and she hates getting up early. I tell her, flat-out, that if my coworker wanted me to know these personal things, she probably would have told me herself, and the manager rolls her eyes at me and walks away. Another time, during a terrible storm, the deli opener receives a call from her daughter who has gone into labour and is having some seriously scary complications, crying and begging for her mother to come to the hospital. When we call the manager about it, she initially says she will come in, but then later calls saying she “decided she needs a day off,” leaving me alone to open both departments for several hours. This is on top of things like saying one thing to us and then immediately denying it — to the point where everyone knows never to speak to her without someone else around — trying to bribe other department managers to do her paperwork, complaining unprompted to customers about how hard she has it because we, her “assistants,” can’t be trusted to do anything on our own and leave all our work for her. It’s insane. Everyone complains about her, but we are told the company is in a hiring freeze and they can’t let her go.  Anyway, I think she hates me more than anyone else there, because I am fortunate enough to be in a financial situation, thanks to my husband’s job, where I can just walk out if I want until I find something else. I am thus willing and able to stand up to her both on my own behalf and on the behalf of the other people in the department. The customers all love me, as does essentially everyone else in the store, and the owner knows I am a hard worker, so in addition to having everyone else back me up, she can’t really intimidate me. If I left, she would have to take over my five am bakery shift… something she is SUPPOSED to have trained for, since she is in charge of deli and bakery, but never actually bothered to do because she “doesn’t like mornings.” In the end, I am frustrated enough after making multiple formal complaints that I give my two-week’s notice and take another job elsewhere. All this brings us to a phone call that I get almost six months after leaving. I miss the initial call, and am surprised to hear my former manager very pompously telling me to call her back immediately.)

Ex-Manager: *without saying hello when she answers, sounding irritated* “Why didn’t you answer when I called?”

Me: *not bothering to be polite if she’s going to start out being rude* “Because I don’t work for you anymore, and I was doing something else.”

Ex-Manager: *as if I hadn’t spoken* “One of the new girls we hired isn’t working out, so I told [Store Manager] you would come in and handle some shifts for us until we got it sorted.”

Me: *amused* “Oh, did you? Well, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I have my own work, but mostly, I’m just not interested in coming back.”

Ex-Manager: *smugly* “Well, I already told him you would do it!”

Me: *laughing now* Wow, I guess if you told him, you really have me over a barrel, huh? If only I didn’t work for you anymore and thus aren’t at your beck and call!*hangs up*

(She kept calling and leaving messages, initially angry and threatening about how it “wouldn’t look good for me to back out of this” — you know, “this” being something I didn’t offer to do at a store I no longer worked at — and then outright begging. The funny thing is, had she just asked me earnestly, politely, and humbly, I might have been willing to help, but after discovering that she really hadn’t changed at all, the only thing I felt was relief that I’m out of all that stress and mess.)

A Big Mayo No No, Part 5

, , , , , , | Working | May 17, 2018

(I am running late and don’t have time to make lunch in the morning, so I think I’ll treat myself at a nearby fast food restaurant that has a drive-thru. I pull up to the speaker, and ask for a [chicken sandwich], no mayo.)

Employee: “What mayo was that?”

Me: “No mayo, please.”

Employee: “Hot mayo?”

Me: “No. NO mayonnaise, please. None. No mayo.”

Employee: “So, like, plain?”

Me: “I guess.”

(At the first window, as I pay, I confirm that the sandwich will have all the salad, etc., just no mayo.)

Employee: “Yes, no problem.”

(I’m sceptical. Luckily, there’s nobody immediately behind me when I pull up to the second window to get my food, so I check. Yeah, it’s missing all the salad; it’s literally just a chicken burger in a dry bun. I ask for it to be rectified, and the lady argues with me that I ordered it plain, so it came plain. Eventually a manager comes over,and tells me the same thing. Apparently, it is impossible to order a [chicken sandwich] without mayo but still with the other bits. By now, they’re showing me the ordering system screen, so I can see their predicament. They don’t understand that I don’t care, and all I want is for them to stick their token lettuce, onions, etc., in the thing so I can at least pretend to be vaguely healthy. They go through all the permutations of ordering the [chicken sandwich] until I suggest something.)

Me: “Choose, ‘spicy mayo.’”

(They did it. An option then appeared for “no mayo.” Their system was set up that they had to choose one of the three mayo options — cool, spicy, chilli — to able to remove it. And it took someone who had never seen that system before to work it out.)

A Big Mayo No No, Part 4
A Big Mayo No No, Part 3
A Big Mayo No No, Part 2

Shifty Behavior, Part 2

, , , , | Working | May 17, 2018

(I’ve just started a new job in a new city. I’m going about my day when my coworker approaches me with a request.)

Coworker: “Could you work this Saturday for me? I’ve got to go this preschool orientation for my kid.”

Me: “I’m not certain. The owner says he needs experienced people on the weekend crew because he doesn’t come in and it’s just two people working. I also need to check with my husband to see if we have plans already.”

Coworker: “Well, if you take my shift, I’ll be willing to swap any other day when you need it! Like, for instance, if you want to go to a concert on a Friday, I’d be available to take the shift. I need all I can get because this school is expensive.”

Me: “Okay, if you’re willing to swap at a later date.”

(One week later, my husband and I hear that there is, coincidentally, a concert on a Friday that both my husband and I are very excited about. I call up the coworker to see if he can work my Friday shift. After exchanging the necessary pleasantries, I get down to business.)

Me: “So, remember when I worked your shift? Would you be available for my evening shift on the Friday after next? This way you’d be able to spend some extra quality time with your son that you’ve said you’ve been missing since he started school.”

Coworker: “I don’t know; it’s such short notice, and I’d have to clear it with the wife and the schedule to see if I can make it. You know, us parents don’t have the same kind of free time that you and your boyfriend have got at the beginning of a relationship.”

Me: *feeling as though I had been duped and not appreciating the condescension* “Well, could you check? I’d also be willing to work another day for you, whenever you need it. You’re the last person I’m asking; everyone else is scheduled to work the Friday after next’s shift already, and this was going to be the way that we were going to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.”

Coworker: “Oh, I thought you were talking about this weekend! No, I can’t. I’ve got to be around the house all that week, preparing for our move.”

Me: “Oh, where are you moving to?”

Coworker: “The east coast. My parents have got us a great deal on a house and there’s a design business that hired me on. I was really lucky to get that job, but we’re kind of bummed that we’re going to have to move away. [Son] was getting along great in his school.”

Me: “Well, since I probably won’t see you again, best of luck.”

(When I got to work that weekend, because I picked up all of his shifts including a few on the weekdays, the regular employee told me that he’d known about this move since before we swapped shifts. He obviously had no intention whatsoever to return the favor and also lied about his kid being in preschool — he was in daycare — in order to gain sympathy.)

Shifty Behavior

It Wasn’t Berry Clear

, , , , , , , | Working | May 17, 2018

(I’m allergic to berries. I’m careful about reading menus and asking questions about things like fruity drinks and desserts. At this restaurant, I order a piña colada. When the waitress brings it to me, it’s a yellow drink, but it has strawberries and a red syrup in it, also.)

Me: “I’m sorry. What is that red stuff?”

Waitress: “Strawberries.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t drink this. I’m allergic to strawberries.”

Waitress: *annoyed* “WHAT? It comes that way. You should have told me.”

Me: “But I ordered a piña colada—”

Waitress: *interrupting* “It’s Miami style! That’s how we serve it!”

Me: “Your menu doesn’t say that.”

Waitress: “Well, you should have told me. How was I supposed to know?”

Me: “How was I supposed to know your piña colada had strawberries in it?”

Waitress: “That’s how it comes!”

Me: “Your menu doesn’t say anything about that. It’s coconut and pineapple. It’s not like I ordered a piña colada and then told you I was allergic to pineapple.”

(She begrudgingly took it away, then came back to tell me that they ran out of piña colada mix. I double-checked the menu to make sure I wasn’t crazy, and it said nothing about strawberries.)

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