| MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Health & Body

(I am a high-school student. I have been hired as a bagger at the local grocery store. This is my second day on the job, and I have just spent an hour gathering carts from the parking lot. Employees wear black pants and the polyester uniform shirt. It is getting close to 90 F outside, and I am sweating. I return to the store and approach my manager before going back to bagging groceries.)

Me: “Hi, [Manager], I just finished with the carts. Can I drink some water before I go back to bagging?”

Manager: “You can drink water on your break. Go back to bagging.”

Me: “Okay… when is my break?”

Manager: “Two pm.”

Me: “I’m not sure I can wait three hours to drink water. Can my break be moved up?”

Manager: “No! Don’t bother me about your break and get back to work.”

Me: *shrugs and walks away*

(I see that the water fountain is about 12 feet away from the registers where I am supposed to be bagging, so I defiantly walk past the registers and get a drink of water, then go back to bagging.)

Manager: “What are you doing?! I told you that you could not take your break yet!”

Me: “I am not taking my break; I got a drink of water and now I’m working.”

Manager: “This is unacceptable. I told you no.”

Me: “You know what? I don’t need to be treated like this.”

(I take off my uniform shirt and name tag – I am wearing a tank top underneath – and throw them across the counter where my manager is standing, and I walked out of the store. As a minor and a member of the union, I could not believe that I was denied water. My dad heard the story and went down to the store to rip her a new one. She still works there and is still a miserable person.)

The Other Job Is Doing A Job On Your Job

| Boston, MA, USA | Overtime

(I work two jobs to put myself through college. One is at my dorm desk, and the other at a grill on campus. Each has its preferred way of answering the phone. I am actually at home, for once, desperately trying to catch up on homework, and the phone rings:)

Me: “Good morning… no… aft… no… evening! [Dorm]… wait, no… [Grill]… argh!”

Mom: “Do you want me to call back when you know where you are and what time it is?”

Me: “Can you just send me some cookies or something?”

(And actually, a few days later I did get a care package with some Girl Scout cookies…)

Jane Not Following Her Plain Advice

| Manchester, England, UK | Employees, Extra Stupid, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I am shopping quite late at night in a large local 24-hour superstore that’s half a mile from my house. I find it’s better to go later because I miss the rush, plus there are no queues at the tills and it’s just all-round less stressful. I’m partly disabled and I don’t walk very well, so any reason to reduce stress is a valid one for me. On this occasion, I scan all my shopping through the self-checkout (the only ones open after 9 pm) only to realise I’ve forgotten my debit card. The trolleys (carts) are usually locked up in trolley bays, and either a £1 coin or trolley token will unlock one of them; I used a £1 coin that night.)

Me: *in a panic, totally embarrassed, to self-checkout assistant* “Oh, I’m so sorry, and I do feel so stupid, but I forgot my card. I’m going to have to go home for it and come back to pay, if that’s okay?”

Assistant: “No problem; you can leave your shopping trolley over there–” *points at an unused till area* “–until you come back.”

Me: “Thank you so much! I might be twenty minutes or so because I have to walk home and back and I don’t walk very well. Will my shopping be okay until then? It won’t be in the way?”

Assistant: *with a smile* “Yes, that’s no problem at all. We’ll wait for you; don’t rush.”

(I look at the clock; it’s 9:45 pm. I walk home as fast as I can, grab my debit card, and make my way back. I reach the self-checkout area again, completely out of breath, at 10:05 pm, to find a different member of staff standing there, and no trolley of shopping anywhere in sight.)

Me: *to New Assistant* “Excuse me, but do you know where my shopping went to? I had to nip home for my bank card.”

New Assistant: “No, sorry, I haven’t seen one, and I’ve been here for ten minutes.”

Me: “But the other assistant told me she’d leave my shopping over there for me.” *points in the area I’d left my trolley*

New Assistant: “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”

(I’m furious now. Not only do I have to do my shopping again, and it’s a big store, but that missing trolley also had my £1 in it and I don’t have another. I grab a basket and start shopping again. Just as I start down the first aisle, however, I notice the first assistant putting something back on the shelf. Sure enough, it’s something I’d chosen earlier.)

Me: *to assistant* “Excuse me? Excuse me! I’ll have that, please.”

Assistant: *with a lovely big smile* “Oh, hello again!”

Me: “Why did you put away my shopping when you knew I was coming back? And when you said you wouldn’t?”

Assistant: “Well, store policy is to put away items that have been there for more than half an hour.”

Me: “I got back in 20 minutes and my stuff was already gone. Why did you do that when you said you wouldn’t?”

Assistant: “The manager told me to. We didn’t think you’d come back.”

Me: “Did you explain to the manager what the stuff was doing there? And about my disabilities?”

Assistant: “Yes.”

Me: “And?”

Assistant: “I still had to put it back. I’m sorry. I didn’t think you’d come back!”

Me: “Okay, who’s the manager?”

Assistant: “I am.”

Me: “…I beg your pardon?”

Assistant: “I am.”

Me: “So, let me get this straight. At 9:45 pm you tell me it’s okay to leave my shopping so I can go home for my card and not to rush, despite knowing there’s a 30-minute limit on that. Then, you totally ignore said limit and put it all back after 15 minutes. But before you do so, you direct a question to yourself about my shopping, and explain to yourself about why my shopping’s there, and you tell yourself it makes no difference, that the shopping has to be re-shelved anyway, even before the time limit’s up? Is that about right?”

Assistant-Who-Happens-To-Be-The-Manager: “Yes… I didn’t think you’d come back!”

(I check her name badge, that only has her first name on it (let’s call her Jane) and, sure enough, it says “Manager” underneath.)

Me: “I’d like a Feedback Form please.”

(She walks towards Customer Service and gets me a form, which I start to fill in right then and there. The customer service clerk is behind the counter.)

Me: *to Manager Jane* “What’s your name?”

Manager Jane: “Sue.”

(I hear the customer service staff member gasp.)

Me: “So why does your badge say you’re called Jane?”

(The manager’s face is growing bright red.)

Me: *to customer service clerk* “What’s her full name, please?”

(She tells me, so I write it down on the form. After I’ve finished writing out my ‘feedback’, including the part about giving me a false name, I read it back to them both and ask:)

Me: “Did I miss anything out?”

(Both of them shake their heads, and the poor customer service clerk looks extremely miserable.)

Manager Jane: *to me* “Er. Um. If you like, I’ll put that in our Feedback Box for you.”

Me: *laughing* “Oh, yes, I’m absolutely sure you will, ‘Sue.’ Is that Feedback Box dustbin-shaped, by any chance?”

(Manager Jane winces with embarrassment.)

Me: “So, where’s my £1 out of the trolley lock?”

Manager Jane: “Your £1?”

Me: “Yes. You took my trolley back to the trolley stand, I’m assuming? Where’s my £1?”

(She gives me the £1 out of her pocket, and I walk off to finish my second go at shopping. When I get back to the self-checkout and start scanning my items, Manager Jane comes over to me.)

Manager Jane: “Hello! I just thought you’d like to know the till you used earlier still has your sub-total on it, so you could just go there and pay if you like.” *she’s beaming at me as if that idea makes everything better*

Me: “So, not only did you not think I’d come back, only half way through my time limit that I didn’t know about, you decided to leave my sub-total on the till in case I came back? Do you know how much sense you aren’t making? At all?”

Manager Jane: “I… er…”

Me: “Look, just leave me alone. I’ve started scanning already, and I wouldn’t use that other sub-total now anyway, in case I forgot something that I had before. Just go away and leave me alone.”

(When I got home, I updated the Feedback Form, plus I emailed the head office. When I next went to that store, Manager Jane’s badge read, “Assistant.”)

Invoice And Outvoice

| Vista, CA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers, Extra Stupid

(One of my duties is filing invoices. It’s worth noting that the arrangement of desks in my office is such that the coworker in this story can clearly see any time I leave my desk to go to the filing cabinet.)

Coworker: *holding out a stack of papers* “Here are some invoices… Uh, where do you want these?”

Me: *indicating a spot in plain sight* “Just leave them there.”

Coworker: “Okay.”

(She puts down the invoices and goes back to her desk. I continue what I was doing, since filing is not a priority, and do not touch the invoices. About one minute later, she comes back. The invoices are exactly where she left them.)

Coworker: *completely serious* “Do you have any invoices that haven’t been filed?”

Me: *wordlessly hands her back the same stack of invoices*

Arguing With Someone Who Can’t Count To Three

| NY, USA | Coworkers, Ignoring & Inattentive

(Having just gone on a break, I decide to shop around. I find a fantastic deal on some collectible figures, 3 for $20. Naturally, I decide to get them, only to find that the system isn’t honoring the deal, which hasn’t expired yet.)

Me: “Hey, I found the three for twenty deal, and for some reason it is not accepting the three [Series] figures for the price being advertised.”

Coworker: “You need three of them.”

Me: “I have three; I brought the signs that show each one is eligible.” *I refer to the signs*

Coworker: “But you need three.”

Me: *pointing to the three* “I have three.”

Coworker: *not even looking at them* “You still need three.”

Me: “I brought three over, I have the signs, and the deal hasn’t expired.” *getting a little agitated by this point, as I don’t have that long of a break*

Coworker: *after realizing* “I don’t think we can honor it since you work here.”

Me: “That doesn’t make any sense. How is what I buy different from a person who doesn’t work here?”

Coworker: *doesn’t bother to explain why, just decides to get our manager, who approves it and gives me the deal*