Category: Employees

Painting You In Broad Strokes

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bad Behavior, Employees

(I live in the Blue Mountains — an area where many people that live here view as some what ‘exclusive,’ while people that don’t live here often view it as ‘alternative’ or ‘hippy’. I am renovating my first house which is 40 years old and needs almost everything replacing. I am in my local paint store trying to get advice about how to fix up the exterior. The guy serving is about 60 and slumped across the counter. When I enter, he just grunts. I say good morning, explain my house exterior, and ask for advice on what products I need, how I need to calculate how much I need, and how to go about preparing and painting. Things, I thought, were pretty standard questions he would receive.)

Worker: “Why should I help you?”

(Stunned, I don’t know how to respond. “Er” is all I manage.)

Worker: “If you don’t know what you’re doing, get a professional painter.”

Me: “Well, I, er, can’t afford that and besides, I am quite capable once I know what I am doing. I just don’t want to use the wrong type of paint or do it wrong and have to redo it in six months.”

Worker: “Well, It’s not my job to give you advice. You’re just going to go to [Major Hardware Store Competitor] and buy paint from them.”

Me: “I wanted to support local businesses but…”

Worker: “Why do you live here, anyway? If you can’t afford to get a professional then you should just move back to [Other Suburb with 90% government housing, that for the record, I haven’t lived in before].”

Me: “So, because my husband and I want to keep costs low and renovate ourselves, we aren’t allowed to live here?”

Worker: “If you can’t afford here, go back to [Other Suburb].”

(I leave, feeling pretty awkward and shaking. Embarrassingly, my first reaction is ‘why can’t I live here?’. I drove home, crying. After a few minutes I am able to think more logically and I call the store. I get the same guy. I ask for his manager.)

Worker: “I am the manager.”

Me: “Well, I was just in there, trying to get advice, buy paint and support my local business and I wanted to say that I don’t appreciate what you said to me.”

Worker: “Why are you getting all worked up? Listen, dear, if you can’t afford your house, go back into housing commission. I know what this is; you’re one of those f****** feminists. This is a feminist thing.”

Me: “What are you even talking about? Why are you so angry at me for asking for paint advice in a paint store? And, for the record, I haven’t lived in government housing but there’s nothing wrong with people that have.”

Worker: “You’re getting all worked up. Not me. I haven’t said anything wrong. You’re getting all angry and attacking me. I never brought up feminism. You did.”

Me: “Look, what is your boss’ name?”

Worker: “I am the boss.”

(I hung up and called the franchise head office directly and explained what happened to three different people, all of whom were completely shocked. They called me back a day later, when they had spoken to the real owner, who said Worker wasn’t a manager and they couldn’t understand what happened, but Worker had chosen an early retirement. All the franchisee could say was that he thought Worker was over his job.)

At The Right Attitude Altitude

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | Employees, Transportation

(I am aboard a flight that is leaving at six am, at the end of January.)

Flight Attendant: “Welcome to your private jet. Since there are only ten of you, please feel free to sit where you’d like. We prefer the front of the plane, due to weight, but it doesn’t matter. Your flight attendants are [Name #1, Name #2, and Name #3] and we will be around to cater you when we are at cruising altitude.”

I Love Vegans But This Takes The Cake

| USA | Bad Behavior, Employees, Food & Drink

(Right out of culinary school, I get a job as a baker for a hotel. We make pastries, breads, and desserts for the hotel restaurant and the attached banquet halls. The bakery is very small, usually just myself and the bakery manager. The job is fantastic until the manager quits and is replaced by a new girl. This new manager is a vegan, and a judgmental one at that. She seems to think that everyone else’s diet is evil, and that we should all switch to hers. I mostly ignore her and get on with my job. Because our hotel is situated on the edge of an industrial area, we get quite a few business breakfast meetings and lunches from the nearby businesses, and we provide the baked goods to these events, to be served by the banquet staff. One day, I am approached by the banquet servers, who are working a larger business lunch for maybe 60 people.)

Banquet Worker: “This cheesecake is not good. The customers are complaining.”

(She slides a plated, un-served slice of cheesecake across the counter to me. I notice the color is not right: most cheesecakes are off-white to pale gold in color, and this cheesecake is stark white.)

Banquet Worker: “I’m embarrassed to served this. It’s gross.”

(I use a fork to take a small bite and can barely swallow it. The mouthfeel is… squeaky. Like cornstarch. The consistency is creamy, but the taste is bland and just awful.)

Banquet Worker: “Did you change the recipe, or something? You guys have always made good cheesecake before.”

Me: “I wasn’t here yesterday. [Manager] made these for today’s banquet.”

Banquet Worker: “Oh….”

(Over the last few weeks, the manager had been tweaking recipes and making mistakes, which I would then have to fix. The manager comes in the next day.)

Manager: “How was that banquet yesterday? Did it go well?”

Me: “No, not really… Did you change the cheesecake recipe?”

Manager: “Yes! Wasn’t it fabulous? I made all-vegan cheesecakes! You know how sometimes customers ask for the recipes? I wanted them to all have that cheesecake and then be surprised to find out that it was vegan! Now all of those people know how yummy vegan food can be.”

(I think I just stood and stared at her. She tried to trick 60 or so people into eating vegan cheesecake without thinking about the fact that at least some of those people might have been allergic to those ingredients or might have had dietary restrictions. She was so pleased with herself, right up until the executive chef dragged her into the office to tell her that her little stunt was unacceptable. I left a few months later, and when I dropped in two months after that, I was unsurprised to hear that she no longer worked there. It seems that management had encouraged her to leave, due to the fact that she kept putting her own agendas ahead of those of the company. I don’t mind vegans in general, but pushing your diet on unsuspecting customers is never okay.)

Not Banking On Their Security

| UK | Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive, Money

(I was in town shopping and realised I’d forgotten my pin number, so I went into the local branch of my bank to withdraw some money.)

Me: *handing my card over* “Could I take out £10, please?”

Banker: “Absolutely, I’ll just have your account details and sort that out for you.”

(After a minute of her putting my details into a computer she hands me a receipt and asks me to sign.)

Me: “Don’t I need to give you any ID?”

Banker: “Not at all. That’s all sorted for you. Have a nice day.”

(I dread to think about how many people have had money stolen just because they didn’t ask for any personal details or ID!)

A Miscarriage Of Service

| USA | Employees, Health & Body

(My mom is pregnant with her first child when she is told by the doctor that she has suffered a miscarriage, which devastates her. She is told to come in for an aftercare procedure a week later.)

Nurse: “Okay, we’ll just do a quick ultrasound to check that everything’s in order, and then we’ll begin.”

Mom: “Okay.”

Nurse: *looks at ultrasound results and blanches* “Um, I’m sorry, Ms. [Mom], will you excuse me for a moment?” *steps outside*

Nurse: *returns, looking harried* “Um, well… it seems there’s been a mistake.”

Mom: *worried* “What kind of mistake?”

Nurse: “It appears that there was no miscarriage. Your baby’s still alive.”

Mom: “What?!”

Nurse: “I’m very sorry, Ms. [Mom]. I don’t know how this could have happened…”

Mom: “But it’s alive? It’s okay?”

Nurse: “Yes, and of course we’ll run further tests, but from what I can tell it seems perfectly healthy.”

(The doctor later came to apologize for his mistake, but by then my mother had already made the decision to switch to someone else’s care. My older brother was, happily, delivered without incident.)