Sexism In The Workplace: Gender Discrimination And A Wrongful Write Up


Sexism 2From RedHeadedBug, TalesFromRetail

I very rarely get complaints on me and it has been more than two years since someone was so unsatisfied with my help that they actually called corporate on me but that all changed last week.

I had been going around the dog food section of the store facing the cans and smaller bags when an older man, maybe in his 60's, walked up and asked if he could get someone to help him get a 30lb bag of dog food up to the front. He did not have a cart with him so I told him that I would be happy to help.

I grabbed his chosen bag and walked up to the front with him. Nothing really seemed amiss. I made small talk, asked about what kind of dog he had, chatted about the weather (because anything below 70 in Florida is worth talking about). I helped him out to his car, thanked him for his patronage to our store and went about my day. All seemed well.

Yesterday, however, I get called into the office where my GM is waiting to speak to me. She tells me we have a huge complaint on me and that it has gone up to our DM and that I am to receive a write-up as per his orders.

Apparently I was expected to have gone and gotten one of our male associates to help this guy. I "insulted and humiliated" this customer by grabbing the bag myself. He said in his complaint that it was totally unacceptable for a "little girl" to lift those bags and that I was obviously trying to make him look like a weak old man in front of other customers.

I was so mad about this because I got the write up (which I refused to sign because all I was doing was my job) and had to have a "counseling session" with our GM and ASM about how to properly respect our customers.

When I was hired I had to prove that I could lift and carry 50lbs if I wanted to work on the floor for this exact reason. Floor associates have to be able to help customers with bags and boxes that they would not be able to lift themselves.

I was never once rude to this man, never once mentioned anything about how he needed help with the bag. I did my utmost to provide the best customer service to him and followed the store's stupid ass "GUEST+" model of customer service. I did everything right and I was still getting in trouble over it. And my GM and ASM never once said that it was a shit complaint. They just kept going over and over how I need to be more aware of customer sensitivities and how it really is reasonable that an older man would not want lifting help from a 5 foot tall "little girl".

Carolanne bookSo sorry, sir, that I did my damned job and even helped you out to your car.

I then made a call to my HR department. The moment the phrase "gender discrimination" and "sexism" came into the conversation I was transferred to a "supervisor". They seemed very sympathetic and more than a little bit worried about legal trouble over this. I have gotten a copy of the write up that I now have at home.

Today, or I suppose yesterday as it is well past midnight now, I got a call back into the office to speak with our DM on the phone.

What had apparently happened, and was misinterpreted by my GM, was that the complaint was forwarded to him and he just forwarded it to our store. He had never actually read what the complaint was outside of "customer was humiliated and insulted" so he wanted immediate action taken. Still really shitty response but it is what it is.

He apologized to me profusely for several minutes before telling me that the write-up was to be rescinded and that no disciplinary action would be on my employment file for this. I have to say I am still feeling all warm and fuzzy several hours after listening to him eat crow over this. He is normally such a jerk. It was lovely.

I did make a point to tell the DM that my managers shouldn't be punished for following his direction. This was me unashamedly covering of my own ass. I need this job and I won't have them thinking I was trying to get them in trouble despite the fact that if it hadn't been handled the way it was, I would have done my best to crucify them. I will fully recognize and acknowledge that it was an act to mollify my managers.

My ASM and GM have both apologized to me as well. HR must have jumped right on this because I really wasn't expecting to hear anything about it for a few weeks yet. I did tell them that I understood their need to write me up after a direct e-mail from the DM but that I was hurt that I was chastised for going my job.

JUSTICE SERVED 2ASM told me that she understood how I felt and that she would feel the same way, though the GM didn't seem to have much to say about it at all outside of being sorry that all this happened. I still think they should have told me it was a shit complaint when they talked to me the first time but it has happened so I'm letting it go.

I will give my own apology to those who likely wanted me to fight this harder than I did and for leaving it at this. I got the outcome I really wanted. An admission of wrongdoing and an apology. I have a two year old who is growing faster than I can keep clothes on her and I need to be able to support her. As much as I hate my company, I need this job and I really can't afford to piss off the people who make my schedule.

They have back tracked so quickly and I am feeling some serious righteous vindication. This had actually turned out so much better than I thought it would. Thank you again to all of you.



Toxic Coworker Hell: Wronged By A Backstabber


3 skullies togetherFrom lazy_eye_of_sauron, AskReddit

This co-worker actually cost me my job as a security alarm dispatcher.

It was no secret in the office that I was good with a computer, and that I was in college for network security. It was also no secret that this particular person that I had the morning shift with had a thing for getting new people in trouble or fired, and I made the mistake of giving her the benefit of the doubt, as she seemed really nice.

She asked why I'm going into network security, and I told her about me being a bit of a deviant with a computer in high school, and that I decided to clean up my act so I could get a job doing what I love legally, and that I was using this job so I can afford my certs (A+, network+ CCNA, security+ ect...)

WELL, she went around my back and went to the owner of the company and told him that I'm a professional hacker and that I could take down the company's 17,000 dollar server. (Which I told her that it was very well secured and would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to tamper with by myself.)

Carolanne computer 1The next Monday, I'm in my linux admin course and I get a call from my manager saying that I'm being let go because I'm not keeping up with the other workers, which was a blatant lie because my supervisors said that I was doing great for someone that started a week ago.

My friend who worked at the company, who was also a victim of this workers shit, did some digging and told me why I was fired.

This same friend had a similar situation happen to him from the same employee, he was working on a project (On night shifts we can bring in laptops because they're slow and it helps us stay up.) and she asked what he was working on, and it was a project on sexuality, and she kept asking about it so they talked about it, she then turned it around and almost got him fired for sexual harassment, claiming that she told him to stop talking about it multiple times and that he came on to her.



Wronged Workers: Not-So-Sherlock-Holmes Targets An Innocent Man


Wronged workers 1From Set_the_Mighty, TalesFromRetail

When I was hired to work at the repair center, the repair team lead was a company lifer. He was nice, popular and had been doing the job for decades. His retirement was coming up so he decided to demote himself to technician the last couple months and let someone else take over for the upcoming busy season. Management hired a young guy fresh out of ROTC who had supposedly come from managing a repair depot for some branch of the military.

So at the time we still had vendor machines for snacks and whatnot and one morning we came in to find that someone had kicked the glass in on the sandwich dispenser. Some investigation happened and it was decided that the shoeprint on the plexiglass was that of the culprit. So Mr. Sherlock Holmes (inject as much sarcasm into this name as possible) the new repair team lead, went around and looked at everyone's shoes. Having only made a cursory inspection of the day crew's shoes he decided he had his culprit and immediately accused Chow of being the vandal and suspended the poor guy for an indefinite period.

Chow was one of our better vacuum techs and a nice guy to boot. No way he would have done what he was accused of and the evidence against him was flimsy, the size of the print didn't apparently match but the brand (tread pattern) did. The whole technical crew was up in arms over this. Upper management, in an unusual turn of events, opted to defend the new team lead instead of its technical crew. Chow, being understandably upset continued to fight the charges and management eventually fired him. (They fired him for some reason other than the shoes incident, I think it was for disobedience or some BS. Our company is good like that, they will come up with whatever excuse they can when they want to discipline someone.)

A few weeks later a kid none of us had ever met, but who was on the evening shipping crew, turned himself in to management feeling really guilty and sad over what had happened. Rather than fire the seasonal shipping employee they opted to just give him a stern warning. He worked for a few more weeks and quit as those seasonals are prone to do.

Chow never returned to work even though they offered him his job back. Sherlock worked for the rest of the season and continued to be the most offensive ass any of us had worked for. The former RTL had even taken to cussing Sherlock out every chance he got. (Because he could get away with it.)

Eventually it came about that folks were planning a mass quitting if management didn't get rid of the guy, so he was quietly transferred to another repair facility that fixed cordless drills in the midwest. By all accounts he was as popular there as he was here.

Management learned its lesson and hired sane people from then on.



Game Store Hell: I Fixed An Employees Mistake, And Got Fired For Making A Customer Happy


Game Store 3From Fat_Head, TalesFromRetail

So I was working at a popular video game store a couple years back when Fifa 10 was just being released. It was a high volume store, so we got plenty of copies. This also meant we had a huge amount of preorders.

People would often preorder the game specifically to get the included collector's items, and we had one customer (we'll call him Fred) that called up the day before and preordered the collector's edition for his son's 10th birthday. It was one of the last ones we had in stock, so he was lucky to snag it in time.

Fast forward to release day, and it was crazy busy. For the first time since I'd worked there, we actually sold every one of our preorders on release day, as well as all of our regular stock.

Except for one - Fred's copy.

So the day chugged along busily and as it drew to a close, we only had one copy left, which was reserved for Fred. I was constantly turning people down for sales of the game, or signing them up for a copy when a new shipment arrived.

I then left the register to do some inventory for 10 minutes before returning. In just 10 minutes, my genius colleague managed to sell Fred's copy of Fifa 10.

I didn't know this had happened, so about 20 minutes after I'd returned to the register, Fred and his wife walks in and asks to pick up his son's copy of the game. I do a search for the game, and our stock says a big fat ZERO. This includes reserved stock.

Me: "I'm sorry sir, we just sold the last copy. There must have been a mixup and your reserved copy was sold to another customer."

Fred: "What? But I reserved it! It's for my son's 18th birthday tonight!"

Managerfromhell2Me: "I apologize, it's entirely our fault. We don't have any copies to sell you today, but I can put you on a waiting list for the next shipment that comes to the store if you'd like?"

It's at this point I notice Fred's wife is crying. I notice that Fred is visibly trying to control his anger, but his face is going red and I can see that the situation is not getting any better.

Fred: "My son's birthday is tonight and I promised him we'd play the new Fifa tonight! What am I going to do? THIS IS UNFAIR!"

I feel very sorry for these people, and I realize that this is a very unfair situation for them, so I improvise.

Me: "I'm really sorry sir. Let me do a quick search for other stores in the area that have stock, and here's a $25 off voucher for the game. I hope that makes up for our mistake."

As I was talking, I found a store about 10 minutes away that had stock of the game. As I handed the voucher to Fred, his entire composure changed completely. He was dumbfounded, and a massive smiled exploded onto his face.

Fred: "Oh... wow, thank you so much! I'll go there right now and pick the game up. Thank you! I'll definitely come back to this store from now on!" And his wife thanked me profusely as well. I felt great. I'd made a family's day, kept a customer happy and probably saved the store a lot of bad word-of-mouth. Those are the moments that make retail worthwhile.

As I was closing up that night, the store manager came up and started talking to me.

Store manager: "fat_head, I saw what you did with those customers today. You do realise that's a serious breach of store policy? That's $25 off the other store's margin. Those vouchers are supposed to be for the <other game> promotion only. I'm going to speak to the Area Manager about this, and I never want to see you do that again without my permission."

I was speechless. I could not believe a manager could be so money-hungry that he'd prefer to absolutely piss a customer off because of my colleague's mistake, over giving them a voucher and making them happy as anything. I was furious that night, because even though it was (apparently) against store policy, I didn't deserve to be told off.

Carolanne 009cNext day, I come in for my shift, and the Area Manager is talking to the store manager. I get pulled into the back room.

Area Manager: "fat_head, Store Manager has filled me in on what you did yesterday with the $25 coupon. Unfortunately that is a serious breach of store policy, and we're going to have to terminate your employment. Please give me your store key and leave immediately."

I was actually not really that surprised. I was only a casual and so they could fire me on a whim, and the area manager was equally as penny-pinching as the store manager.

Me: "You know what, don't bother firing me, I don't want to work here if you're going to treat me like this. I tried my best to keep the customer happy, but hey, don't let me stop you from pissing off the people who pay your wage! Did Store Manager tell you it was <employee>'s fault their RESERVED game was sold to someone else? I guess that's perfect grounds for firing the employee that fixed the situation! Now there's some good management!"

Then I dropped my store key on the ground and walked out without another word. Maybe that was a bit too rude, but I just couldn't believe that they'd value $25 over customer service. Just another example of managers power tripping and penny-pinching without caring for the people they are there to service. Oh well, I'm glad they fired me. It was a terrible place to work.



Rude Custys: Old Crusty Shopping with His Wife Tells Bakery Owner She Should Be Killed



From Tales From Retailmpourdes:

This older couple (about 55-60) came in my bakery. Note that I'm the owner of the bakery, but they didn't know. So, they asked for 750 gr of our small pieces of baklava.

I showed them our boxes for this particular dessert, and explained that the half kilo box holds up to 650 gr max, and the kilo box holds 800-850 grams minimum, depending on the type of baklava they'd chose and the way I'd arrange it in the box, without making it look empty. Both boxes are perfect as gifts, and most people don't really care for an exact weight. Well, some do, and some are VERY rude about it. I've posted stories like this before.

So, the guy looked at me angrily and said:

"You know, if I was the owner of this shop and I heard you saying this b***t to a paying customer I'd kill you."

He pointed to the big box and continued with his speech:

"THIS is the 750 gr box. Someone has to teach you people how to arrange the pieces inside the boxes".

I didn't even try to confront him. I was so angry I couldn't breath right.

I picked up my phone looking at him and called the police. I gave them the address and said:

"Please send someone. There is this guy here that just threatened to kill me".

I heard the guy cursing me as he was leaving. His wife looked at me and said "you know he didn't mean it".

But I think she wasn't really mad at me. And they left.

Two policemen came in a few minutes later and I reported the incident. They said that I could even sue him If I wanted. I didn't know his name, so I did nothing more.

I hope I won't see him in my shop again.