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Bad boss and coworker stories

You Got Me In A Box Here, Part 3

, , , , , , | Working | March 23, 2023

My clothing store has a pretty standard return and exchange policy; you need the receipt and must be within thirty days of purchase. I’m on the phone with a colleague, talking about store stuff, when I notice a woman and man come in. They look around for a while and then come up to the desk.

Woman: “My mother purchased these pants from your store and she got a spot on them. She used water and dishwashing liquid to rub the spot out and, as you can see, the color came off.”

Me: “Yes, I see that’s an issue. I’ll gladly exchange these pants for you. Do you have the receipt along?”

Woman: “No.”

Me: “Ah, unfortunately, I cannot do an exchange without the receipt.”

Woman: “But it’s faulty. And who keeps the receipt of their clothes for more several months?”

I can already tell that this is going to be a thing. It’s clear from her words that these pants were purchased longer than thirty days ago, meaning they’re outside of the return timeframe, anyway, and it’s impossible to do anything without a receipt.

Things go back and forth. She doesn’t understand when I keep telling her that, without the receipt, I literally cannot do an exchange or anything; the system flat-out won’t work without a receipt for this. She’s getting more frustrated. So am I, as her attitude is getting to me.

Woman: “Well, don’t you have a manager or something?”

Me: “My manager is currently on vacation.”

Man: “Well, then call her.” *Jokingly* “Haha, I mean, it’s not like she’s on some sort of world tour!”

Me: “Actually, that’s exactly where she is.”

We go back and forth again. They don’t like that I am not going to give them the personal phone number of the district manager. I finally write down the business email address of said district manager and hand her the note.

Woman: *Looking at my writing* “What’s it say?”

Me: “[District Manager] at [Store] dot EU.”

Woman: “And what’s your name?”

I take the note back and write my first name on it.

Me: “Here you go; it’s [My First Name].”

Woman: “And your last name?”

Me: “You won’t need that. My first name will be enough to identify me.”

Heck if I’m going to let her have my full name. She leaves, saying she’ll complain. That’s fine with me, as I was following the rules and know that the system won’t allow exchanges or returns without a receipt. You can’t even get store credit without one.

A little over a week later, we have a pre-planned meeting, and while I expect something to be said about this situation and complaint, nothing happens. A few days later, though, it turns out the woman did complain. She claimed that she couldn’t read the address I wrote down, so her email went straight to headquarters.

And said email is already full of exaggerations. She claims that I was having a private, non-work-related talk on the phone, which is not the case. She claims they had to wait ten minutes for me to pay attention to them, let alone hang up. That’s also false; they spent those ten minutes looking around the shop before coming to the desk.

I’m now on the phone with a higher-up about this matter, explaining the above.

Higher-Up: “So, how long were they actually waiting until you hung up?”

Me: “About a minute or two, I would say.”

[Higher-Up] gives me a short reprimand over letting them wait for a minute.

Higher-Up: “And why didn’t you call [District Manager] or me?”

Me: “Because I was always informed that policy is that, without a receipt, we cannot do a refund, exchange, or anything. The system won’t allow those functions without one.”

There’s some more reprimanding.

Higher-Up: “So, how do you think this’ll be fixed? Because that woman is going to get a different pair of pants from us.”

Me: “That’s fine. As soon as I have written permission and instructions to bypass the system into giving an exchange without the original receipt, I will gladly do it.”

I was still reprimanded for doing exactly what I was taught to do. And neither the woman’s nor the higher-up’s tone was decent. All this has done is make me want to increase my effort in finding a different job. I like my direct manager and colleagues, but the higher managers talk down to everyone. And you leave management like that.

You Got Me In A Box Here, Part 2
You Got Me In A Box Here

Happy Hour Is Just A State Of Mind, Mate

, , , , | Working | March 23, 2023

I’m British, and I was staying in a city in continental Europe. There was a bar there that was run by Brits and attracted other Brits, etc., who wanted to interact with each other. I decided to visit.

I’d once before spent a few happy hours there watching a sports event on a large screen and was prepared to overlook the poor state of the furnishing and worse toilets.

I looked up the bar on a mapping app which said it opened at 16:00. I arrived around 15:55, but there was no sign of anyone inside. “No problem,” I thought. “I’ll hang around until they do turn up.”

At 16:05, nobody had turned up, so I thought, “Oh, well, the mapping app is wrong.” I looked at various posters and notices in the windows, trying to find something that would indicate when they really opened. Eventually, I noticed a small strip of paper with a scribbled note saying they opened at 16:30.

I went to a cafe nearby to wait. At 16:35, I wandered back, and there was a light on inside. I tried the door, but it was still locked. I waited. A loose group of Brits turned up outside. The door opened and a languid youth emerged to roll a wooden cask outside.

The youth spoke to one of the Brits and went back inside, closing the door and leaving everyone else hanging round outside.

The youth emerged a few minutes later, put some ashtrays out, and went back inside. But this time, he left the door open.

I reckoned they were probably opening now, so I wandered into the empty bar. I hung around for a couple of minutes, and then the languid youth appeared.

Youth: “Oh, mate, no, we’re not open.”

He said this in a tone implying I was an idiot.

Me: “…”

This was at about 16:55, an hour after I’d first turned up, and by now I was fed up with this. I couldn’t be bothered to ask when, or even whether, they’d be opening, and I just silently walked out.

You Can’t Tell Me What To Do With The Drink You Forced Me To Take!

, , , , , | Working | March 23, 2023

I’m lined up at a fast food place right after I’ve knocked off work at the nearby supermarket. It’s the middle of the day, and I’ve got a hankering for a specific burger and some fries. I see above the cashier’s head that the particular burger I want is on a lunchtime special for $5. I’ve just cracked a can of energy drink, which is in my hand, so I’m pondering whether I can get away with no drink.

The teenager behind the counter taking orders is obviously blaming me and the other customers personally for her bad day. She’s snippy and rude, and she actually yells at a little kid in front of me for asking for a spoon. Whatever, we all have bad days. It’s my turn to order.

Me: “Hi! Can I please have a [$5 lunchtime special]? But I don’t want a drink, thanks.”

Cashier: *Glaring* “It comes with a drink.”

Me: “I know. I just don’t need one. I’ve already got one.”

I wave around my very distinctive, large red can of energy drink.

Cashier: *Still glaring* “You have to have the drink. I can’t remove it.”

I think she thinks I’m trying to get it cheaper.

Me: “Oh! No, I know that, but could you put it through and just not pour the drink? I don’t need it; it’ll go to waste.”

Cashier: “No. It comes with a drink.”

I can see I’m not getting anywhere with her, so I finally just ask for their most popular drink, pay, and step off to the side to wait for my food. She stomps around a bit getting my order and then hands it to me, smugly adding, “And here’s your drink,” as she hands it over.

Me: “Thanks.”

I turn to a group of teenagers sitting at the table behind me.

Me: “You guys want a free drink?”

I set my drink on their table and they thank me while the cashier goes ballistic behind me.


I just walked out. When I looked through the window getting into my car, a very exasperated manager was talking to her. Good luck, buddy.

“I’ve Been Listening To Your Reasonin’; It Makes No Sense At All…”

, , , , , | Working | March 23, 2023

I’m a paralegal at a law office. We have to send a bunch of letters out for a case we are working on. All the information is put together on Excel sheets, and we just have to copy that information and format it into each letter.

One day, a letter gets sent back as it had the wrong address. Since another lawyer working there on a trial basis did all these letters with me, our boss comes and lets us know.

Boss: “Hey, this letter had the wrong address, so if we could just send a new one out, that would be great. I’m not mad; accidents happen. That spreadsheet was long and it was probably easy to mix things up.”

IMMEDIATELY, [Lawyer] starts throwing me under the bus.

Lawyer: “Well, I know I did everything right, so it wasn’t me. It was probably [My Name] or [Other New Lawyer], but I double-checked everything, so it couldn’t have been me.”

Me: “[Other New Lawyer] only worked on one letter since he couldn’t access the computers that day. Relax. It’s a little mistake — no big deal.”

Lawyer: “Yeah, but it wasn’t me. You remember that Shaggy song from the 2000s? That’s me right now because it wasn’t me.”

I bit my tongue. I saw that I was the one who did that letter, but it wasn’t my fault, either, as the actual address was incorrect on the sheet.

What’s worse is that while reviewing [Lawyer]’s letters before we sent them out, he completely f***ed up some of the addresses, and I fixed them. It pissed me off so much how willing and ready he was to blame me for a problem when it more than likely would have been his fault.

Smartphones Are Basically Magic

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: IamFromScotland | March 22, 2023

This was five or six years ago. Apple and Google Pay had not long been introduced here in the UK when these incidents happened. I had a smartphone, so I was able to use that brand’s mobile payment app with no worries.

Though the only “limit” is what you personally have in your bank account at that time, at this time — and for some stores who had not taken up [Mobile Payment] — the limit was set to £30, the contactless limit.

I went into a shop and got a “meal deal” and some things for the house. The meal deal consisted of a sandwich, a drink, and a snack pack of crisps for £3. My total came to around £12 overall, and I advised that I wanted to pay via card.

The cashier totaled it, I did the [Mobile Payment] thing, and my phone beeped. The payment went through, the cashier’s drawer opened, and the receipt printed, indicating that the payment was okay.

Cashier #1: “What?! What just happened?”

Me: “I used my card. It’s on my phone—” *points to it* “—so I just use it as an ordinary card payment.”

Cashier #1: “NO! You are trying to steal from us! You did not present your card!”

During the transaction, the supervisor was behind her filling the cigarettes and lotto scratch cards, so they had seen the whole thing.

Supervisor: “Sir, I know you’re not trying to steal. I use [Mobile Payment], too. I know you have paid, so feel free to go. I think I have some staff training to do.”

Me: “Thanks!”

I have been there several times since then, but the first time I went there after this incident, the same cashier was there. She just gave me a look and I said:

Me: “Don’t worry, I am not stealing; I will use my magical phone!”

She did not find that funny.

A few weeks after this, I was with my mother at a different shop buying some furniture and garden stuff that came to £30.

“Great!” I thought.

I tapped the phone, beep it went, and I paid for it.

Once the receipt printed, the cashier looked at me, the till, the receipt, me, the till, my phone, and me before finally taking the receipt and handing it to me.

Me: “Isn’t [Mobile Payment] a wonderful thing?”

Cashier #2: “Sorry, but is that what you did with your phone? Paid?”

Me: “Aye, set it up a few weeks ago. I can use it for unlimited payments for shops that support it, for any transaction of £30 or less.”

Cashier #2: “I have heard of it, but I haven’t seen anyone use it. Now I know it works! Looks simple.”

Me: “It is!”

We said our goodbyes, and Mother and I left.

[Mobile Payment] can be confusing, folks. Just don’t go stealing from people, eh?