I work in a restaurant in a retirement community. It's one of five on campus and the only one with take out. I have been there for three and a half years, so I know the run of the place despite being on temp status (since I go to an out of state college). However, I always come back, and there are always fresh faced newbies that think they own the place. My stories today are about them and a favorite resident, so forgive me if this is long.
My restaurant thrives on teamwork. Everyone is trained to do multiple jobs due to varying availability. I am, for instance, trained on POS, bagging, floor, both hot lines, grab and go, and ice cream. The only ones I don't do are runner, sandwiches, and delivery, because I tend to get overwhelmed on those. Pretty much anyone can help you out if you are swamped as long as you ask, which they are required by restaurant rules to do if they are not busy (aka taking a drink break).
I was on cashier last night, taking care of residents, when I noticed grab and go, while not swamped, could use a little help. Since there were multiple coworkers getting a drink, I asked if they could help.
"That's not my job."
That was funny once. On Drake and Josh. Now it just pisses me off. You couldn't take five minutes to restock the juice machine? Really? Next time you need help, don't come to me. Because, that's not my job, remember?
Another thing, since I have been away for three months, the new hires think they can boss me around and treat me like I don't know anything. Besides the fact that I am four to five years older than you, I have been here through six manager changes and dozens of policy changes. It infuriates me when they think they have seniority over me.
Anyway, on to the nice story.
I have known this couple since I started working in my restaurant. They are the sweetest people I know. They always ask how school is, how my family is, and how my boyfriend is. They are genuinely interested in me and my life. The husband passed recently, which I am sad, but not surprised to hear (he was in bad shape for a while). The wife however, still comes around and I know brighten her day when I see her, which makes me happy.
The wife too has a weird relation to me, which revealed an interesting side to my family history. It's a story too cool not to share.
My great grandfather was orphaned or was kicked out of the home at a young age (a fuzzy detail in our collective memory). He was taken in by a kind family with a daughter and a son and treated like a member of his family. The daughter and my great grandfather were great friends through their entire lives. When my grandfather left the house at a young age, he was taken in by the daughter. The daughter's daughter? Yup. The wife, who is still friends with my grandfather's brother and sisters! Small world!
TL;DR: Coworkers won't help out and think they're better than me. Nice resident who is turns out is my adopted great aunt!
--Feeder of the Old
I had been working at P.C.C.C for 10 months; still a student, my shifts were all over the place, and so I met customers at many different times. This guy came in regularly about twice a day and would have a strict order but once I was able to have him ready before he even came up to the counter we became friends, strictly customer/cashier relationship. I was 16 and he was in his 50's. We always had a good laugh, and he was one of my favorite customers.
The full appearance of this guy was maybe 5'8, kind of a trucker look with a thin blondish pony tail, trimmed beard, glasses and he almost nearly came in with a ball cap and white shirt on. You could always pick this guy out in a crowd.
The first warning was he handed me his phone number and said; "It'd be nice to talk to you outside of work."
I've seen people my age hang with an assortment of age groups, but that's not my scene, and it made me feel really uncomfortable. I told a coworker about it who said to throw it out which I had already done and told my mom about it. Since I didn't call I thought he would take a hint that it wasn't happening.
The 2nd warning was it was January 25th, 2007. I was dating my second boyfriend and just gotten out of a relationship with a guy who didn't really like any physical touching so when I got my first kiss I came into work with a big smile on my face. He asked me about why I looked so happy so I told him I had my first kiss that day. I didn't think anything of it. Something happy happened in my life, he was a regular and asked, I didn't care if he knew.
Again there was that uncomfortable feeling. But I didn't let it get me down.
FAST FORWARD I think it was August 6th, 2007. I had just finished a 11AM-7PM shift. After the last creepy encounter I've noticed he had been staring at me while he drank his coffee in the corner there. I brushed it off usually because I thought maybe he was staring to keep himself busy. The guy had no paper or anything to do except drink his coffee and go. I finished my shift and walked out the door, past him and started walking home. He watched me walk out, and I got halfway home. By now I had his car memorized and I just happened to turn around over my shoulder and look behind me, and there he was. He watched me as he drove past in his car. I've never seen him along this route so I was on alert but thought I was being crazy.
I got to a street fully immersed in my music and went to cross. I looked up to make sure there were no cars, and there was a white car, his car, with him in it. He had pulled up right when I was going to cross. This was fishy for me so I tried to come up with a logical answer, there were no shops, I had seen him go past me already not even 10 minutes so visiting a friend for such a short time was unlikely. This little intersection was literally at the end of my street.
"Where are you going?"
"To the mall." I lied.
"Would you like a ride?"
(Oh my god he did not just say that. By now I'm halfway across the street.) "Nah I'm ok haha, I need the exercise after work."
After that he sped off towards the mall, I ducked in behind the small strip of stores at the end of my street (I later found out my dad was in the next parking lot over) and speed walked home constantly looking over my shoulder. There was a full police investigation, and I found out his apartment was in the opposite direction of the mall.
I got no sleep that night, he knew my route home was replayed over and over in my head. Know the signs before something like this happens to you. If the supervisor that handled this perfectly is reading this, I know it probably long overdue but thank you for everything that you did that night.
About two years ago, I bought a new house from a builder. Included in that was a Splendor shower stall with sliding doors. The other day, while trying to clean up an ink spill from cheap knock-off ink cartridges for a Canon printer (maybe should have paid full price on that one!), I leaned a little too hard on the door's towel rack and snapped the fastener.
I checked Splendor's website for information on ordering replacements but didn't have much luck. I'm sure it's under warranty but I didn't have the details with me so I called their sales number just to see if it was possible to order replacement parts in the first place. Besides, I didn't see a need to go through the warranty process since I can't imagine it'd be more than a couple of bucks to replace them.
The sales rep on the phone happily took my home address and said he'd mail out a set of four to replace the one I broke for no charge. And no proof of any kind that I own these doors. Not, I suspect, that there are rogue bands of shower door towel rack fastener thieves on the loose in America... but it's still good, and surprising, customer service.
So just wanted to drop some kudos for good customer service in case anyone is in the market for shower doors (and, really, aren't we all?).
Once upon a time, many moons ago, I had the fortune of being assigned permanent night shifts. These glorious shifts were just right for me because of their length, and even though we don't get extra pay for them it is just so for me as it bumps my weekly hours up quite nicely. I did these shifts for at least two years, RHU. I slaved through them simply because I loved them. All my favourite co-workers are on this shift, excusing one or two who get on my wick, and so everything was perfect.
So perfect, in fact, that when my boss [whom I shall call Rene Oberman in honour of my namesakes hated enemy for in this rant that is what she is] asked me if I wanted to give up these hours I said that I would rather keep them. I explained about my hours and that I simply could not afford it.
She accepted this, and I thought all was well. I am not one to brag, or to expect privileges, but you would think that my never turning up late, phoning in sick or asking for unreasonable time off would count for something. So would the fact that I can count on half a hand how many times I have refused to come in when needed.
Evidently not as, not a month later, she gives my hours away.
She tells me, tactfully, that she now has someone else doing my nights, and that my hours may drop a little because of this.
Her reason: "As a young woman, I think you should spend more time with your boyfriend. I'm sure you understand."
I am, quite frankly, surprised that I managed not to shoot her.
Four years. Four years of never calling in sick [barring two times due to food poisoning.] Of never saying no to a shift that needs covering. Of breaking off evenings in with Shepard, and other plans so I can help out. Of working myself to the bone on ten day stretches so they don't have to worry, and THIS is how she repays me!
Not a month ago I was called in on the way to the Normandy from the Citadel in a Skycar, hopefully towards a relaxing evening of doing the Shepard Dance, when one of the Uniforms hails me by Link, saying how desperate they are and that they need me. I could tell that he was annoyed, and so was I [It's a sexy dance, after all.]
But, seeing as I can very rarely refuse them [and knowing who would be on shift] I agreed. Did I get a thank you? Did they even acknowledge the fact that on my Requested Day off I still came in? Of course not!
I rarely see Shepard nowadays. I start at two or Five, he finishes at three or two. By the time ten o'clock at night rolls around, the time my evening shifts end, I am too shattered to do anything more than stroke Galahad and fecking sleep, let alone Dance with Shepard. When I told Rene this, she seemed surprised.
What does my personal life have to do with my job? It has never affected it before, so why does she think it effects it now? Shepard and I were fine with the old way, and are making do with the new way.
But even now, they are asking me to cover. The people they have who took my shifts are calling in sick and I have to juggle my social life, what little there is of it, to cover it for them. I am sick and tired of it.
They asked me again tonight, before asking everyone else, and surprise, surprise they can't get cover. Maybe now she will realise that she can't keep playing me around like this. Can't keep taking and taking when I barely have enough left to give. I made plans, I make plans whenever I see that I have a day off on my calendar. I can't keep cancelling them last minute, then collapsing the next day in exhaustion.
Anyway, I needed to get that off my chest. I'm sorry if it sounds bitchy but, well.
--Lt Eve Dallas
Pissing off New York in 2061
Ok, who wants to place bets on when I'll turn myself into crispy, golden goodness? I must be hogging all the oxygen so their brain cells are getting starved.
This morning, I get an order in - guess where- pit, my home away from home. I'm so used to being there that it's gotten to where the regulars noticed my haircut under my hat ( but they all said they liked it, and I thought it was really sweet of them to notice:) ).
I digress, my customer orders some food, then says she wants a sausage and cheese biscuit on an english muffin. I think to myself, she wants a sausage mcmuffin.
I verify it, and sure enough, that's what she wants. So I ring up a sausage mcmuffin since its cheaper for her, and easier for grill to understand at six oclock in the morning. I read back the order since it was good sized, and she gets upset because she wanted a sausage and cheese biscuit but on a muffin. I asked if she just wanted sausage and cheese and nothing else on a muffin instead of a biscuit.
Me: Ok then, that is a sausage mcmuffin.
Her: No! You don't understand! ROARROARBITCHBITCHPISSMOAN NOW!
Finally, I got tired of it, and charged her for a sausage and cheese biscuit- on a muffin, just the way she wanted.
One of my managers asked, " Why didn't you just charge her for a Sausage McMuffin? It's cheaper."
The grill person looked at her and said, "Don't even ask" while shaking his head.
Seriously, it was like a freakin comedy of errors! Weird part is she was pleasant enough when she drove up. I don't know, maybe she really DID want to spend $2.39 instead of a dollar on a fucking muffin.
Now, I like to end with something positive. I might not be where I thought I would be, but I've had a lot worse jobs, and as far as teamwork and respect and management, this place is boss. I feel truly blessed right now.
I know no one wants to work at a fast food place or retail, but sometimes it can turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Just keep your head held high, and a smile in your heart, and remember that it all leads towards something, to quote a wise man (Randal Graves).
Til next time, may all your customers be joys like mine (most of the time.) :)
Greetings Curious Scroller,
If you've never landed in this part of cyber space before, you have taken a hard, fast plunge into the fiery depths of work hell. RHU is dedicated to giving the service worker a voice. If you are an angry customer, a corporate suite, a homophobic race-hater, and you don't like skull masks or swear words, this blog isn't for you. Click away now, before your ears bleed and your eyes explode.
I'm Freddy, Crypt Keeper of Retail Hell Underground RHU -- a place for service slaves to have a voice, tell their story, support each other, or just have a chuckle about the insanity of working in the 10th Circle of Hell! I'm also the author of "Retail Hell," the funny memoir about life as a handbag sales associate at an upscale department store! The sequel, "Return To The Big Fancy," has just been released in hardcover and e-reader and is available wherever books are sold!