Go To Work Like A Pirate Day

| Robeline, LA, USA | Awesome Workers, Coworkers, Theme Of The Month

(At the beginning of October, we got permission from the store owners to wear costumes on Halloween. Halloween is my favorite holiday so I go all-out and sew myself an elaborate pirate costume including a wide-brimmed hat decorated with a large dyed-red ostrich plume. Needless to say, my coworkers are impressed.)

Coworker #1: *touching my coat sleeve* Oh, my god, is that velvet?!

Me: *grinning* “It sure is. I got it on sale, too, or I would have used velveteen because it’s much cheaper.” *I point at my shirt* “And I made this from a twin-sized bed sheet that I caught on sale. It’s the same type of fabric I needed but it was much cheaper this way.”

Coworker #2: *pointing at the purse at my waist* “Did you make that, too? It looks really neat.”

Me: *nodding* “I had to have something to carry my money and cell phone and a modern purse just wouldn’t look good.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, but can we just talk about how awesome your hat is?” *she reaches for it then hesitates* “Can I get a closer look at it?”

Me: “Sure.”

(I pull off my hat and she and Coworker #2 look it over, murmuring to each other how amazing it is that my stitches are so straight and that it looks professionally made.)

Coworker #2: *pointing at my head* “Did you make that bandana, too?!”

Me: *even bigger grin* “Yes, I did! I couldn’t find one that I liked so I pulled some fabric from my stash box and made it last minute. It keeps the wool hat from making my hair all static-y and crazy.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, [Coworker #2], I know you’re about to clock out and are getting ready to leave but I’ve just got to have a picture of her costume, so please do me a big favor and cover the register for her.” *she holds up a digital camera* “I brought this to take pictures of my friends and family’s kids when they came in but you look awesome.”

(Coworker #1 then proceeded to take several pictures of me from different angles, with and without my hat. That was three years ago and she still has those pictures saved to her computer in an album of Halloween photos.)

Greeted Not Defeated

| Abisko, Sweden | Coworkers, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

(I have started to work in the store as a clerk.)

Manager: “I would just like to tell you that the locals like you working here in the store.”

Me: “Oh, that’s nice.”

Manager: “Yeah, they think it’s nice that you greet them and say hi when they’re being rung up.”

Me: “So… not all employees greets the customers at the checkout?”

Manager: “No, not at all.”

Me: “Wow… I thought it was something everyone does.”

Music To My Fears

| LA, USA | Coworkers, Liars/Scammers, Musical Mayhem

(We have a little stereo in our store and are allowed to play music as long as it’s not too loud. I take my iPod and plug it to the stereo via auxiliary cable, as I prefer various genres of rock but the only radio station that comes in plays country and pop. After about a month of doing this, my manager comments on it one night.)

Manager: *cringing* “Gosh, [My Name]! What on earth are you listening to?”

Me: “That’s Marilyn Manson. Next song is Poison.”

Manager: “Well, you need to turn it down and [Manager’s Boss] says that we have to keep it on a station like [Only Station that will tune in] because people might complain.”

Me: “Oh? I haven’t had anyone complain so far and even though it’s not that loud I always turn it down when someone comes in.”

Manager: “Yes, [Manager’s Boss] said so.”

Me: “Right. I’ll remember that.”

Manager: “Good.”

(What my manager doesn’t know is that her boss had come in on my shift before and commented on how nice it was to hear a change in music and that he liked the playlist on my iPod. We also discussed music and he said he’d like to get his hands on my iTunes.)

Gave Him More Than He Could Chew

| Guanajuato, Mexico | At The Checkout, Money

(My uncle is the customer in this story. He lives in a large city in Mexico. On the corner of the street there is a small, family-owned convenience store. In Mexico, the smallest coin is .50 cents, the usual cost for a small packet of gum. Most of these stores give out packets of gum when they do not have change; of course, they usually ask if this is ok.)

Uncle: “I’ll take a quart of milk, please.”

Cashier: “That’ll be $11.50.”

Uncle: *hands cashier $12*

Cashier: *takes money gives back a packet of gum as change*

(The following day:)

Uncle: “I’ll take a kilo of eggs, a quart of milk, and a loaf of bread.”

Cashier: “That’ll be $62.50.”

Uncle: *hands cashier $65*

Cashier: *takes money and gives back $2 and a packets of gum as change*

(This happens for several occasions. The cashier would give him back packets of gum as change whenever there was a .50 cent difference. Then one day…)

Uncle: “I’ll take a quart of milk, please.”

Cashier: “That’ll be $11.50.”

Uncle: *takes $11.50 worth of packets of gum, and hands them to the cashier*

Cashier: *stares at him blankly*

Uncle: *takes milk and walks away*

(After that whenever my uncle went back into the store and bought something, the cashier would always give him his exact change. No more packets of gum!)

Drunk With Managerial Power

| USA | Bosses & Owners, Technology

(I work in a convenience store that takes money orders at the customer service desk. The company we do them through isn’t cooperating that day, and my manager has just phoned them for the third time when he gets paged to assist one of the front registers.)

Manager: *SIGH*

Me: “Do you want me to just take your key? If it’s just a void or something, I can do that while you fight with these people.”

Manager: “Yeah, would you? My numbers are [numbers].”

(I take the manager key, which is required for price changes, voiding any merchandise priced higher than $5, and in this case, authorizing rain checks. We have to page the managers for almost everything, and have to sit there and wait for them to show up while the customers stew. It turned out the customers in this case want a rain check for an item we no longer carried.)

Me: *to everyone up front before heading back to my own department* “I’ve got the manager key if anyone needs it. Just page me to whatever register.”

(Nobody else needs the key, and eventually the manager pages me back to customer service so I can return it to him. I go back to talk to a coworker up front with a pout.)

Me: “My brief reign of power is over.”

Coworker: “And it was surprisingly peaceful!”