Demoted To Phone Answerer

, | UK | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners, Rude & Risque

(I work in a little deli/cafe as a part time job in a very small village. It’s an extremely informal atmosphere and everyone is always joking with each other and our regular customers. The owner is also the chef (and an extremely good cook); unfortunately, he is also the only chef we have at the moment so he’s been working every day including weekends since January. We also have some problems with telemarketers. Despite being told explicitly, and sometimes angrily, that we’re really not interested and not to call again, they continue to do so up to about six times a day. The biggest problem with the calls is that we only have one phone line and they often call when we are very busy, like around lunch time. This means that it blocks incoming take away orders and distracts one of people working. On this particular day we’re just calming down from a rush but the front counter is still very busy but the kitchen is okay so when the phone rings the owner picks it up in the kitchen. Normally he just tells them to “F*** Off” and puts the phone down, but he seems to be in a bit of a silly mood.)

Owner: *talking on the phone* “Hello, this is [Deli]… Look you’ve been told before we’re really not interested! STOP. CALLING. US! The owner doesn’t work here so there is no one you can talk to… Me? I’m just the chef, mate; I have no control over who our energy supplier is… All right, then. Bye.”

(The front of house is now clear so I feel like a bit of banter.)

Me: “So, [Owner], you’ve demoted yourself? What did you do?”

Owner: “Oh, it’s been a steady series of f*** ups. My constant insubordination, slacking, and undermining my ability to manage my staff didn’t help either.”

Me: “Sounds awful. I’m surprised you put up with yourself for so long.”

Owner: “Yes and the final straw came when he did a poo on table two.”

(We exchange blank looks at each other through the hatch as I don’t quite know how to respond and I don’t think he knew he was going to say that.)

Owner: “I took it too far, didn’t I?”

Steal A Feed While They’re Hot!

| Gladstone, QLD, Australia | Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words

(I’m working in a deli at a popular store. We have roughly fourteen items in the hot box still waiting to be bought. I’m the only one there and so I go to make a call over the PA to the customers in the store. I end up saying the following instead of my original plan.)

Me: “Good Evening, [Store], and welcome to customers. If you’re wanting a nice late night feed, head over to the the hotter box for some great meals for a late night feed. All items up to 80% off, so why not steal a feed and feel good about it. Thanks for shopping at customers, the fresh food people!”

(A coworker has returned back to the deli without me knowing. I turn around, and he looks at me and states:)

Coworker: “What the heck did you just say?”

Me: “That we had food in the hot box to go?”

Coworker: “Not quite, [My Name]. Not quite exactly.”

(Meanwhile, a customer has come over to the hot box and approaches us.)

Customer: “Is this where I can steal a feed tonight?”

(Needless to say, no one has let it go with me yet.)

Spared It Less Than Half A Thought

| Shawnee, KS, USA | Extra Stupid

(A man comes up to the counter and asks for some ham. I put some up on the scale.)

Customer: “Is that more than half a pound?”

Me: “It’s 0.65, sir.”

Customer: “That doesn’t tell me anything! Is it more or less than half a pound?!”

Me: “…”

You’ve Been Through Thick And Thin Together

| KS, USA | Employees, Math & Science

(I find the label of the ham I want at the deli counter, but there is no actual meat on display behind it.)

Deli Worker: *standing behind the meat slicer* “Hello! Do you know what you want?”

Me: “I want this [Brand] Black Forest ham, but I don’t see it in the case. Are you out?”

Deli Worker: *she has not yet approached the counter* “Have you made up your mind?”

Me: “Yes. I want [Brand] Black Forest ham; do you have it in stock?”

Deli Worker: “I don’t know. Do you want some?”

Me: “Yes.”

Deli Worker: *steps to the counter, retrieves some ham from below the display area and takes it to the meat slicer* “Do you want it thin for sandwiches?”

Me: “On the thicker side, please.”

Deli Worker: “Thin?”

Me: “Thick.”

Deli Worker: *slices a very thick slice* “How’s this?”

Me: *not wanting to try and refine the size further, lest the conversation continue another five minutes* “It’s fine.”

Deli Worker: “How much would you like?”

Me: “One-third of a pound, please.”

Deli Worker: “Is that point-seven-five?”

Me: “No… It’s point-three-three.”

Deli Worker: “Ha ha. That’s right. I always have trouble with fractions.”

Me: “…”

Deli Worker: *cuts four slices and sets them on the scale, which reads 0.44. Then she goes and cuts two more slices*

Scale: “0.65”

Deli Worker: “How’s that? It’s a bit over.”

Me: “Um, yeah, can you take some off please?”

Deli Worker: *removes one slice, bringing it to 0.54* “How’s that?”

Me: “Still a bit much.”

Deli Worker: *removes another slice* “Are you sure? It’s under point-five.”

Me: “Yes, but I need point-three-three.”

Deli Worker: “Oh! That’s right!” *removes two more slices*

Scale: “0.33”

Me: “Perfect!”

Deli Worker: “Anything else?”

Me:No, thank you!”

Deli Worker: “Have a great day! There are free samples on the counter; help yourself!”

(The “free samples” consisted of four different deli bags with bar codes ripped off the labels, each containing a 0.5 to 0.75 pounds of meat or cheese. I think I know now what the deli does with the extra slices customers don’t want or need, and I have a clue as to why there were so many that day…)

Good Thing You Checked Your Ham Folder

| Boston, MA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre/Silly

(When I approach the deli counter, there is a man standing at the case and looking at the items available. He is on the phone with someone and I hear him listing off items. Since I already know what I want, I approach the cashier to order.)

Me: *to cashier* “I’d like half a pound of cheddar, please.”

(The cashier goes over to the case and starts weighing out my cheddar. While she is doing this, the male customer shouts “A pound of ham!” over the counter at her. Once she finishes weighing out my cheese, she gets his ham as well. Then she comes back to the register.)

Cashier: *to me* “That’ll be $[total] please.”

Me: “Are you sure? That sounds too expensive for half a pound of cheddar.”

Cashier: “Yeah, it’s half a pound of cheddar and a pound of ham.”

Me: “I didn’t order a pound of ham. He did.” *points to male customer*

Cashier: “You two are together.”

Me: “No, we’re not. I came into the deli after he did, and ordered separately.”

Cashier: “He asked for the ham while I was getting the cheese, so you ordered together. You’re together.”

Me: “I promise we’re not. I don’t know him. Please just ring me up for the cheddar.”

(She eventually re-did the transaction and rang me up for my cheese, grumbling the whole time about how we should “get our act together before we order.” Strangely, the male customer never corrected the cashier. He just stood there silently.)

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