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    Category: Bad Behavior

    Can’t Break Bread With This Coworker

    | Singapore | Bad Behavior, Coworkers, Food & Drink

    (I have a colleague [Colleague #1] who is very greedy and does not respect boundaries. He often takes other colleagues’ food from the office fridge even though it has been clearly labelled with their name. This happens during an in-house conference where I overhear a conversation between him and another colleague. Colleague #2 has prepared a sandwich for her breakfast but left it on the chair in her purse right at the top with the purse open while she went to use the ladies’. She comes back to find him eating her sandwich.)

    Colleague #2: “[Colleague #1]! Why are you eating my breakfast?”

    Colleague #1: “Was it your breakfast? I thought [Company] catered breakfast for everyone.”

    Colleague #2: “Do you see anyone else eating?”

    Colleague #1: “…No?”

    Colleague #2: “Do you see any food service laid out?”

    Colleague #1: “…No.”

    Colleague #2: “And my breakfast was on my chair! In my bag! You took it out of my bag! You can’t say you don’t know that someone is occupying this seat! ”

    Colleague #1: “But there was nobody there!”

    (Colleague #1 also never apologised, never offered to replace the sandwich or make any compensation, and even criticised the sandwich for being “not very good.”)

    A Repeated Mis-Steak

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Employees, Food & Drink, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (Every year my two best friends and their boyfriends come to stay with me and my boyfriend for a week or so. We’re all guys, and at the time this happens we are all in our late 20s. My boyfriend is a self-described foodie, and he wants to try out a new restaurant he’s heard of. We don’t make a reservation as it is in the middle of the week and during the early afternoon. The restaurant is nearly empty. My boyfriend, I, and one other of us order the lamb.)

    Waiter: *returning a few minutes after taking the orders* “I’m sorry, but we only have two portions of the lamb left. Would any of you order something different?”

    Boyfriend: “I will. Can I see the menu again?”

    (The waiter rolls his eyes, walks away, gets a menu, and returns. My boyfriend looks it over.)

    Boyfriend: “I’ll have the steak, medium rare.”

    Waiter: “With [Side #1] or [Side #2]?”

    Boyfriend: “[Side #1].”

    (The waiter storms off. We talk and enjoy the wine we’ve ordered. About ten minutes later the food arrives – except for my boyfriend’s.)

    Boyfriend: “Ummm. Where’s my steak?”

    Waiter: “It’ll still be a few minutes because it wasn’t ordered with everything else.”

    (The waiter returns to the kitchen, and we all just shrug. My boyfriend tells us to eat so it doesn’t get cold. Another five minutes pass before the waiter returns with my boyfriend’s meal.)

    Boyfriend: *sees that the steak came with [Side #2] not [Side #1] and when he cuts into the steak sees that it’s well done; he waves the waiter back* “Um. This isn’t what I ordered. The steak is well done, and I asked for [Side #1].”

    Waiter: “We’re out of [Side #1], and you ordered it well done.”

    Boyfriend: “No. I ordered it medium rare. Could I get this remade, please?”

    (The waiter takes the plate, and storms off. Eventually he returns with a new steak. The steak is beyond rare, looking like they just seared it and stuck it on the plate. My boyfriend waves the waiter back.)

    Boyfriend: “This still isn’t what I ordered. This time it’s barely cooked! And it isn’t even on a fresh plate. Could I have it remade again, medium rare, and on a fresh plate?”

    (The waiter storms off again.)

    Friend #1: “Third time’s the charm?”

    (By now, most of us are nearly finished our meals. The waiter returns a minute later.)

    Waiter: “We don’t have any more steak. Would you like something else?”

    Boyfriend #1: *to the waiter* “It’s the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, and you don’t have any more steak or lamb?”

    Waiter: “It’s been a busy week.”

    Me: *under my breath* “I doubt that.”

    Boyfriend: “Fine. I’ll just have a [very simple salad].”

    (We all look at each other as the waiter leaves.)

    Me: “Odds on that they won’t have lettuce?”

    Boyfriend #1: “It’s like Star Trek: Generations: ‘Everything’ll arrive on Tuesday!’.”

    (The waiter eventually returns with the [very simple salad], very overdressed and not at all appealing. He also brings the bill.)

    Boyfriend #2: “We didn’t ask for the bill yet.”

    Waiter: “You’ve all eaten now.”

    Boyfriend: *after waiter walks away* “That’s fine. We’ll just pay and leave.”

    (I take a look over the bill and laugh.)

    Boyfriend: “What?”

    Me: “There are three lamb on this bill, and two steaks with two side dishes. He never removed any of the dishes we didn’t eat. He just kept adding them on.”

    Boyfriend: “Seriously?”

    Me: “Seriously.”

    (I wave over the waiter again and ask for a new bill with the items removed. He doesn’t say anything but takes the bill and returns a minute later. I look it over. The lamb is removed, but one steak is still on.)

    Me: “It’s still wrong.”

    Boyfriend: *takes the bill from me and waves the waiter over* “Okay, now, look. I didn’t eat the steak, so it shouldn’t be on the bill.”

    Waiter: “You cut into it.”

    Boyfriend: “I cut into both, and you took one off. Take the other off.”

    (The waiter walks off again, and returned with a third bill. This time it is right, but he’s added a 15% gratuity that wasn’t there on the previous bills. By now Friend #1 has had enough. He waves the waiter over.)

    Friend #1: “Okay. This is ridiculous. Three times you had to return to our table to tell us that you’re out of food. There’s barely anyone else in this restaurant. It’s the middle of the week. You’ve given us attitude this whole time, and given us the bill wrong 4 times. Now you’ve even added a gratuity to the bill. We won’t pay it like this. We want the gratuity removed, because you’re d*** not going to get 15% from us. And, you’re going to pull off at least one of the bottles of wine because that’s what a good restaurant would do. Right?”

    (The waiter glared at Friend #1, but took the bill and walked away. We all got out our cash as we waited for the bill to come back. It did, and when we checked it, the gratuity had been removed but the wine was still there. We decided to just let it go. We paid the bill exactly, and left. We picked up a burger for my boyfriend who was still hungry, since he’d not really had anything to eat. About two months later my boyfriend and I were in the area where the restaurant was, and we saw that it had been replaced by a bookstore. We still go to the bookstore, and their customer service is certainly miles ahead of that restaurant.)

    Speaking Germaniac

    | Germany | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Employees, Language & Words

    (I moved to Germany quite recently and although I understand the language fairly well, I can only speak in simple sentences. I am also easily flustered. This happens at the university cafeteria, when I pick up a sandwich from the case and go to the counter to order a drink and pay for the items.)

    Me: *holding up the sandwich and in my best German* “Here, please, and an orange juice to go.”

    Grumpy Guy: *says something very fast in German, which I don’t understand*

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Grumpy Guy: *repeats the question equally fast, sounding irritated*

    Me: *getting flustered, but doing my best* “Sorry, I don’t understa—”

    Grumpy Guy: *cutting across me, still in German* “What. Kind. Of. SANDWICH, God d*** it!”

    Me: “Oh, it’s the tomato and cheese. And an orange juice to go, please.”

    (He glares at me, stomps off, and returns with the juice in a glass instead of a plastic cup.)

    Me: *increasingly flustered* “Sorry, I’d like that to go, please.”

    Grumpy Guy: “Argh, why the h*** didn’t you say so earlier?”

    (He stomps off again, muttering to himself and finally returning with the juice in a plastic cup, which he bangs onto the counter. I move to pick it up but knock it over instead. Juice splashes all over the counter, my pants and the floor.)

    Grumpy Guy: “You clumsy idiot! Now look what you’ve done! Bloody fool!”

    Me: *very embarrassed and close to tears* “I’m really sorry! So sorry!”

    (I grab paper towels and mop up the mess on the counter and the floor, apologizing profusely all the while. He just stands behind the counter, yelling at me, and I don’t understand a word he’s saying. Finally I finish cleaning up, pay for the items and rush out, very upset and getting stared at because of my wet pants all the way home. The next day, I’m relieved to see a different guy behind the counter. When I go to pay, however, I realize that I’ve picked up a sandwich with meat in it by mistake.)

    Me: *hesitantly, in German* “Sorry, I’m a vegetarian and this has meat. May I put it back and get something else?”

    (Before he can answer, the grumpy guy from the day before sees me and pipes up.)

    Grumpy Guy: “Oh, she’s back with another problem, is she? Bloody fool, can’t do a thing right. So many people waiting behind her, too. It’s people like her who’re always causing trouble and holding up our work.”

    Me: *speechless with anger which I am unable to articulate in German*

    Second Guy: *looks shocked* “What are you saying? Shut up!” *to me* “No problem, ma’am, you can go pick out something else, and I sincerely apologize for my colleague’s rudeness. In fact, have any item you like for free.”

    (He waited till I returned with a vegetarian option, even holding the queue for me, and refused to take any money for the order. As I walked away I could hear him arguing with the grumpy guy, who seemingly lost the battle and skulked off to the back. To the nice man who restored my faith in the cafeteria staff: Danke Schön!)


    | Berkeley, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I’m on a first date. Just as we are finishing our meal, a waiter walks by with a carafe of beer, stumbles, and drops it on me, soaking me from head to toe.)

    Date: *staring in horror, afraid I’m going to start screaming* “Are you okay?”

    Me: *laughing too hard to respond, I just wave my hands at him*

    (I get napkins handed me from tables all around – because the waiter has run off – and dry off as best as I can. We make plans to walk around while I dry off, so I don’t soak my car. Then the bill arrives…)

    Date: “Umm… you charged us full price?”

    Waiter: “Yes. Why wouldn’t I?”

    Date: “Maybe because you soaked her in someone else’s beer?”

    Waiter: “You didn’t complain. I can’t do anything about it.”

    (We insist on speaking to a manager, who comes over.)

    Manager: “I can’t give you a discount. Do you want some more rolls?”

    Me: “No, we’re full. That’s why we asked for the bill.”

    Manager: “Well, how about a free drink?”

    Me: “No thanks, I already had one!”

    (And yes, they charged us full price after all that. We found the owner on the way out and he blew us off, too.)

    Overtime Crime, Part 6

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Overtime

    (I am 18 and just moved out, so I’m struggling to pay my rent with a job that doesn’t allow full time. It is the first week of the month, so we are very busy! Everyone is working overtime and many are calling out sick due to the stress and being exposed to more messes and people than usual. My store only scheduled me for 16 hours during our crazy week. Though I typically work mornings, I’m often working the closing shifts as well. I happen to have a day off after getting home at 2 am the previous day when I get a call after waking up…)

    Me: *groggily* “Hello?”

    Manager: “Hi, [My Name], are you willing to come in and work tonight? We have a few people out sick today.”

    Me: “I have to work at 6 am to 10:30 am tomorrow, but I can work a little earlier tonight if you want.”

    Manager: “Let me check your schedule.” *pause* “Okay, I see that you’re off today and you work at 6 am tomorrow.”

    (I’m a little irritated seeing as that was rather obvious since he was calling me in and I had just told him my schedule for tomorrow. Note that it is 11:30 am when the manager is calling me.)

    Manager: “Can you come in at 12 today? Work maybe until 6?”

    Me: “I just woke up. I came home at 2 last night. Can I come in at 1 instead? I’ll still work until 6.”

    Manager: “Yeah, sure. I’ll see you then!”

    Me: “Okay, thanks.” *hangs up*

    (I get ready for my shift and I’m just finishing my breakfast. I really needed the extra hours so I could pay rent this month, so I decided I’d work an extra hour if they needed. It is about 12 pm when I get another call.)

    Manager: “Hi, [My Name]? I feel really bad about calling you in since you got home so late last night. I’m looking at our overtime hours too, and we really can’t fit in any more overtime hours. Why don’t you just take today off?”

    Me: *getting irritated again considering I was already dressed and ready, as well as I really needed the hours* “Well, if you really need me, I don’t mind coming in. But if you can’t afford it—”

    Manager: “No, no. It’s okay. I just feel kinda bad and we really can’t have any more overtime hours. Just take the day off and enjoy it.”

    Me: “All right. You enjoy your day, too.” *hangs up*

    (Needless to say, I crawled back into my pajamas. I didn’t get nearly enough hours that week, but I luckily had some help from my parents to pay my rent at the end of the month.)

    Overtime Crime, Part 5
    Overtime Crime, Part 4
    Overtime Crime, Part 3

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