Hoping For The Day When Racism Is Foreign To All Of Us

, , , | | Working | May 22, 2019

(I work in a store that sells scarves, hosiery, handbags and jewelry — all pretty budget-friendly, not too high-end. My manager is not only very incompetent, but also racist. She basically tells her employees to hover over anyone who looks “foreign” because she is certain they are shoplifting. I always refuse to do this, and I get a lot of crap from her for it. Our lighter scarves and shawls are very popular with Muslim women because they come in lots of colours and prints and are often the right size to be worn as a hijab. One day a woman comes in, gathers some scarves, and goes into the fitting room with them.)

Manager: “What is she doing with those?! Go look over there and check on her!”

(I feel apprehensive, since I know most of our customers who are followed or “checked on” like this know exactly why it was happening, and either leave or don’t buy anything.)

Manager: “She’s probably stuffing scarves in her bag right now! Why else would she go into the fitting room?!”

Me: *fed up* “Seriously? If she wants to wear these as a hijab and try them on first, you can’t expect her to try them on in the middle of the store!”

(My manager fell silent and let it go. She later gave me a whole spiel about “not talking back,” even though I had been right and the lady had bought a lot of scarves. I left that job shortly after, and made sure upper management heard about her behaviour. Among other things, she had been throwing away job applications from people with “foreign” names!)

Not Thinking Outside The Damaged Box

, , , | | Working | May 21, 2019

(I order a fake fireplace heating unit and TV stand for my living room from a popular hardware and home improvement store. The order process is no problem and it arrives earlier than expected. The problems start when I begin unboxing the unit. There are several small pieces missing and the top and bottom panels are both damaged. I check the box over but can’t find any damage to say it was caused in transit, so I call the number on the care guide. It specifically says, “Before contacting [Store], call [Store] Customer Service at [800-number].” So I do.)

Customer Service: “Hello, and thank you for calling [Store] customer service. This is [Rep] on a recorded line. How can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi. I purchased [item] online last Friday, it—“

Customer Service: “Can I have your order number, please?”

Me: “Yes, it’s [number].”

Customer Service: “Is this [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Customer Service: “Yes, we have that your order was delivered two days ago.”

Me: “Yes, but it was damaged.”

Customer Service: “Damaged?”

Me: “Yes, the top and bottom panels are scratched and the laminate is peeling.”

Customer Service: “Okay.”

Me: “…”

Customer Service: “…”

Me: “So… I’d like a replacement?”

Customer Service: *pause* “Let me contact the warehouse.”

(I’m on hold for over ten minutes.)

Customer Service: “Ma’am?”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer Service: “There’s no one in the warehouse.”

Me: “Uh. Okay, so when will there be someone in the warehouse?”

Customer Service: “Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.”

Me: “You’re aware that it’s 2:00 pm on a Saturday, right?”

Customer Service: *pause* “No one is in the warehouse today.”

Me: “Okay. So… when will someone be in the warehouse?”

Customer Service: “Hours are—“

Me: “You said that. By your own admission, someone should be there now, but they’re not. So, when can I get this replaced?”

Customer Service: “When someone is in the warehouse.”

Me: “So, just… never, maybe?”

Customer Service: *offended* “[Store] places customer satisfaction as an utmost priority.”

 Me: “That’s not the impression I’m getting.”

Customer Service: *ends the call*

(I wait until Monday to call again and hope that I’ll get someone else. Luckily, I do.)

Me: “Hi.” *gives brief overview of my problem* “I’m hoping to either get the parts replaced or a full refund.”

New Customer Service: “Okay, let me just see here.” *pause* “I have that you contacted us on Saturday for these parts, correct?”

Me: “Yes, but I was told there was no one in the warehouse.”

New Customer Service: “Oh. After 6:00 pm everyone goes home; I apologize for your wait.”

Me: “It was 2:00 pm.”

New Customer Service: “2:00 pm? No one was there?”

Me: “Not according to [Rep] when I spoke with her on Saturday. She didn’t seem to know when I would get help, either.”

New Customer Service: “That’s odd. Could I put you on hold, please? Let me just… Let me look into this.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I’m on hold for less than five minutes.)

New Customer Service: “I apologize, ma’am. I just listened to your call, and she must have been misinformed. There was someone in the warehouse that day. I don’t know what went wrong but I will take care of this for you.”

Me: “Thank you! What do I need to do?”

New Customer Service: “Well, you have a choice. You can go to your nearest store and return the unit if you’d just like your money back, or I can arrange for a pickup at your house so that we can do an exchange for you and have the new unit delivered in a few days.”

Me: “I really like this unit, so I’d like to exchange, please.”

New Customer Service: “I can do that. It looks like we can have someone come out tomorrow between 8:00 and 10:00 AM, if that works for you. They’ll take it to your local store to have it shipped back to our warehouse and you’ll get a new unit in a few days.”

Me: “That’s great. Thank you so much!”

(I boxed everything back up, sent it back to the warehouse, and I waited. And waited. And waited. On day 19, the package appeared on my doorstep. I opened the box to see that I had been shipped the exact same unit I’d just sent back. I loaded everything in my car and drove straight to the nearest store and got my money back. The manager on duty tried to short me $80 because it went on sale and that was the current price. I pulled up my order on my phone, proving what I’d paid, and he grudgingly agreed. He also refused to refund shipping, so I had to take the $15 loss since that isn’t controlled or charged by their company, but I was willing to do it to end this whole ordeal. I found a similar unit at a competitor’s store and they let me open the box to see if it was damaged before buying it. And no, I did not request a discount or an unopened box for my troubles!)

Acting Like A Caffeine Teen

, , , , , | | Working | May 21, 2019

(My coworker, who has just come in for her shift, comes up to my desk. She’s in her 20s and a fairly intelligent person, or so I thought. By my desk is a small coffee station for the residents, visitors, and staff.)

Coworker: “Is there any coffee up here?”

Me: “Probably not by this time of day. You could try in the kitchen and see if they have any.”

Coworker: *whiny voice* “I just did. They don’t. What do I do now?”

Me: *pause* “You could make some?”

Coworker: *eyes go wide* “Oh… I guess I could do that!” *trots off happily to the kitchen to do so*

Me: “I need to go home now.”

Radio Killed Whatever He Had In Store

, , , | | Working | May 21, 2019

(My coworkers and I use portable radios to communicate. Each area has a call sign, 011-019. Management uses 001-009, with the lower signs being reserved for higher and higher levels of management. One morning I hear a call sign on the radio, 000, the big boss.)

Boss: *via radio* “Calling [Far-Off Area].”

Coworker #1: *via radio* “Yes, 000? How can I help?”

(There is no response from the boss, then, a few minutes later.)

Boss: *via radio, sounding angrier* “[Far-Off Area], come in!”

Coworker #1: *via radio* “I read you, 000.”

(Once again no response from our boss, until…)

Boss: *via radio, audibly annoyed* “[Next Area Over], come in!”

(Our boss proceeds to call every area, including mine. He then slowly works down the list of supervisors and managers. Each call and response takes a few minutes totaling up to 30 minutes of one-sided conversations. Our boss keeps getting more and more frustrated as it appears he is not receiving any answers! Finally:)

Boss: *via radio, practically shouting* “[Manager with whom he shares a large office], are you there?”

(Then, we all hear a distant voice through the Boss’s radio.)

Manager: “Hey, 000, turn your f****** volume up!”

(A thirty-second pause.)

Boss: *via radio* “All operators, I apologize. I seem to be having some technical difficulties.”

(Everyone I could see with a radio doubled over with laughter. We never did find out what he needed [Coworker #1] for.)

Their Head(phones) Aren’t In The Game

, , , , | | Working | May 20, 2019

(I have gone out for a few drinks with some friends after work. The bar we are in is less than half-full, so we find some couches at the back. After my two lemonades, I decide it is time to head home, but realize that I have misplaced my over-ear headphones. I look all over the bar — on the floor, behind seats etc. — then go to talk to the bar staff.)

Me: “Hi. I lost some pink headphones. Can you please check whether they have been handed in?”

Bartender #1: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Nothing has been handed in? Can you please check?”

Bartender #1: “I don’t know.”

(I go to another bartender.)

Me: “Hi. have any headphones been handed into you? I think I dropped some.”

Bartender #2: “No.”

Me: “Can you please check?”

Bartender #2: “No. Nothing has been handed in.”

(The same conversation occurs with three other bartenders. None even look around in the bar area to see if there is anything there. I find a manager.)

Me: “Hi. I lost some headphones. Can I leave my number with you so you can call me if they are found?”

Manager: “People don’t hand things into staff. Look around the bar.”

Me: “I have. Can you please just call me in case something gets handed in?”

Manager: “People don’t hand things to staff.”

Me: “Here is my number. Please just call me.”

(I went home. My friends called me an hour later to let me know that they had asked the bartenders again, and miraculously, my headphones had appeared! The bartender told them they had been on the floor for two hours and had only just been found. I looked around that whole bar, so I know that isn’t true! Lucky, my friends pushed the bartenders to not steal my headphones!)

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