I've spent over a decade working in a grocery store and I have a few gems I'd like to share from coworkers, to managers and customers.
One of the earliest stories involves not so much a bad coworker but a funny occurrence. Our store was implementing a new policy that states that all department clerks (produce, dairy, frozen and general merchandise) need to be checker trained so that they can help out when there's a rush.
A nice concept if you don't take into account that they slashed cashier hours afterwards, so that the front end would have to rely on department help. This one coworker claimed that he shouldn't be checker trained because he's not comfortable dealing with money.
Our store director stared him in the face for a full minute until he just grunted and said that the guy didn't have to be trained. This same coworker wound up leaving a few months later after God told him that he needed to get a job at a different company. He lost that new job two months later.
One time, a front end manager tried to write me up for missing a page to help check. He claimed that I missed eight pages and then gave the manager attitude when she questioned me about it. I knew the guy was full of crap during the entire write up.
While it was possible that I missed a couple of pages, there's no way that I could miss that many. To top it off, the manager I supposedly gave attitude to was on her second week in the store and I had literally never spoken to her.
I talked to her afterwards and between my words and her words, management tossed the write up.
This same guy threatened to suspend me if I didn't write my social security number on the write up. I refused as I'm not giving my SS# to anyone. They can get it from my file if they need it.
The manager was fired later that month for some dumb reason that I can no longer recall. No one missed him.
A former Jewish coworker of mine tried to request time off for a Jewish holiday. However, he didn't put it in on time (requests had to be in two weeks in advance). The holiday rolls around and he calls in on the first day. He claimed that he had a 108 degree temperature.
Keep in mind that this guy was already seen as a moron. This basically sealed his fate.
Normally we have a policy of never calling our department manager on his day off but I couldn't pass up relaying this story. My manager stayed in contact with the employee throughout the day. A few hours later, he learned that the employee was on a flight to Chicago to be with his family during the holiday while still claiming to be sick.
Last I heard, he's now working the drive thru of a McDonalds.
There was one time that I had been paged up to cover an express register. As I was getting ready to go back to my department, this lady comes up to my register and slams her cart against the side of it. She then starts slamming her product on to the counter.
I'm a little stunned at this point so I decide to be as nice as I can be and ask her how her day is going.
Her response? "I bet I could get some better service from you if I brought my 15 year old daughter with me!"
I completely ignored and her just rang up her order. To this day I really wish I had told her that she might have better luck if she had brought along a college aged son.
We used to have a front end manager who would regularly screech into the intercom for help. Off the intercom, her voice was fine. On the intercom, it was like the scream of a banshee. There were many times that the screech was so loud that you couldn't understand what she said. She claimed that's just how her voice sounds on the intercom.
Anyways, one day I'm in the back loading product onto a cart so I could run it. In this particular storage room, the product was stored right beneath a intercom speaker. Out of nowhere, the intercom lets loose a godawful screech.
I wound up falling off of a pallet in a way that caused me an injury, as my ears were literally in pain from processing such a sound.
A doctor ended up ordering me not to take the stairs for a couple of weeks until my injury could heal. This meant that I would occasionally use a computer at customer service to send e-mails for various reasons as I couldn't go upstairs to the office. Cue the banshee.
She comes up to me at the computer (mere feet away from a counter full of customers looking for help) and tries to accuse me of lying about being injured. I just stared at her blankly for ten seconds until she huffed and walked away.
I wish I could say that it was just a stare down but at the moment I couldn't process why she would try to start an arguement about workman's comp in front of half a dozen customers. I reported it just to be safe but my store has a general policy to never punish a manager except in the most egregious of circumstances.
Cue an example of an egregious circumstance. It was around one o'clock in the afternoon and I was scheduled to be off in about a half hour. The front end manager decides to page me and the only other two people in my department up to check. No other departments.
On it's face, I was quite annoyed but I went up front to check anyways. As I get up there, I see no customers to check out and that my two coworkers are already finishing two small orders with no one else waiting in their lines.
I wound up getting in an argument with that manager when she insisted that I still open a big register. I don't remember most of the argument but she basically said to take it up with the store director and I told her that I'd gladly do so if she wasn't able to page other departments to check instead of yanking my entire department up front.
She gave me a death glare as she walked away.
I figured that would be the end of it. Boy was I wrong. I clocked out a half hour later, grabbed a few items and headed up to the registers to check out. I knew my mom was up there as she was giving me a ride home from work that day.
The manager insists that I come into a room behind customer service to talk about what happened and that I wouldn't be allowed to clock in.
At that point I just wanted it done with so I agreed. Important note, we have two rooms behind customer service. One is the safe room and one was a small storage room. We went into the small storage room despite it having no ceiling and thin wooden walls. She then proceeds to shout at me for five minutes.
This time was the only time I ever told a manager off. Unlike her, I kept calm the entire time and basically told her that if I did get fired, I'd walk out the door with a smile on my face knowing that I did a good job in the face of her bad management.
After that, I walked out of the storage room to find everyone at customer service staring at me as well as most of the cashiers and customers. She was that damn loud.
Fast forward a few days later, the manager was fired after my mom sent in a complaint to corporate. I didn't know my mom had done that until months later when she told me. I was understandably angry until she explained that she would've done it whether it had involved me or not as she had never seen such horrible unprofessionalism.
I'll end this with a short, funny story. It was the Thanksgiving season and one of my coworkers was having a bad day.
We were standing inside of the milk storage area when he decided to express his frustration by picking up an empty milk crate, lifting it up into the air and slamming it to the floor.
Unfortunately for him, the crate caught onto a fire suppression sprinkler and caused all of the sprinklers in the cooler to go off. He stood there for a full minute looking like, "How can this be my life?"
It was one of the single funniest things that I've ever seen.