Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stupid Employee Tricks

Just some random employee stupidity...

A cop comes into my Hollywood Video and asks me if I am the manager.  I tell him that I am and he asks me if I have seen my employee Charlie lately.  I said that he was supposed to come in to work that afternoon but that he never showed up.  I was all worried at this point and I ask if something bad had happened to him.  The cop proceeds to tell me that Charlie stole a car and when they pulled him over downtown he fled the vehicle on foot and took everything with him--except for his name tag from work. He called me a few days later and asked if I could hold his job until he got out of jail.

As a DM at Happy Time Portraits, I do a surprise visit to a studio far away from my house and walk in on a girl looking very bored sitting behind a computer.  When she finally notices me she gets up quickly and pretends that she was getting some paperwork done and starts fiddling with things on the computer.  I tell her that I need to see some random thing and she goes in the back to get it and when I go to look at the computer screen I see that she left a NotePad document open that says "Things to Buy:  1. Bed room set  2. Dishes (potts, pans, ext.)  3.Bed spread  4. Curtains" and it went on and on.   She had an awesome command of the English language and a great work ethic!

Another fun NotePad story was at a different store and someone had written a very graphic love letter to their boyfriend and all of the things they wanted to do to/with him. 

There was a manager in our district before I was a DM and everyone thought she was so nice and liked her and stuff but I kinda thought she was fake.  One day she called tech support and they warn you that the "calls may be recorded for quality assurance."  Well, that day they were.  This manager called in and went off on the poor guy at tech support and cussed him out pretty badly.  And I got to hear it because they forwarded the recording to the DM at the time who happened to be in my store that day as well as the RD and the VP.  It was pretty sweet.

I was really busy one day and I gave this girl a list of stores to call in our area that we needed to pass a message along to.  She calls everyone and comes up to me a few minutes later and says "It's the weirdest thing, most of the numbers were disconnected."  I looked at her strangely and ask her to show me which ones were disconnected.  It turned out to be all of the ones outside of our area code.  "Uh, did you happen to press '1' before dialing the number?"  "No, why?"  /facepalm

I get a call one afternoon from one of my employee's cell phones.  "Oh my God.  I was taking the freight elevator down to the basement to take out the trash and the elevator is stuck.  I'm freaking out!  It's been like twenty minutes and no one has come!"  "Oh, wow.  Okay.  Did you try calling the store?"  "I don't have their number!  Can you please call and have them get me out?"   So I call the store and they have someone go down there and it turned out that the elevator was working perfectly fine, she just didn't realize that she had to pull the handle on the door.

I like to use this story for why phrasing is important!  At Happy Time Portraits we have to call the customer to confirm their appointment for the next day and figure out what they are going to be doing.  When I was a manager I was trying to show a new associate how we made these calls.  One of the things we try to figure out is what kind of outfit they will have for the shoot.  So after explaining all of the steps to him, he calls up a customer and is going through the list of questions and he gets to the outfit part and he gets all nervous and says, "Uh, so um... What are you wearing?"  And I can't help but laugh because it sounds like it was his first time calling into a phone sex hotline and he catches himself and makes it worse.  "I mean-- No, ma'am!  Not what are you wearing right now, but, um, what are you wearing tomorrow?  Sorry!  Sorry!"  Loved that kid to bits, haha!

I walked into a store and thought that no one was there, but the employee was just hiding behind the cash wrap, sitting on the floor, eating Doritos and reading Twilight

There was this chick who worked with me at Hollywood that moved from Ohio to the coast and she was just a hot mess of a person.  Her name was Taryn and she was a super big white girl with kinky hair, horrible skin and glasses that were too small for her face.  She was one of those people that you spent five minutes with and realized that they were what was wrong with America.  She openly loved George Bush, drank a giant plastic thermos cup of "pop" from 7-11 everyday and used the word "nigger" in the most horribly offhanded fashion I have ever seen.  If they ever let her breed she would be that lady whose kids would always be apologizing for her.  Anyway she got hired to work at the video store when I was the assistant manager and only managers had the ability to open the cash register if there wasn't a purchase being made.  Like I said this girl was big and with the largest size shirt that our company made, she still couldn't tuck her shirt into her pants.  So one day I was in the back of the store and she calls out my name.  I head up to the front and she calls out again before I can get there and yells "Help me!"  I get up to the cash wrap and this girl locked the bottom of her damn shirt into the register.  I tried really hard not to laugh, but wasn't totally successful.  She shot me a terrible look and I apologized.  I unlocked the register and she went about her business.  About two hours later I am in the back office and I hear, "It happened again!"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Giving Up My Job for Lent

Sometimes the jobs that we have are not always jobs that we have held as adults.  Before I was able to work in the "real world" I took on a slew of babysitting jobs.  One of those jobs was during my sophomore year of high school. 

High school was super fun for me, especially that year because I had a lot of personal issues going on with my family and such.  I would go to school in attire that my business teacher would refer to as "Cyndi Lauper cosplaying as Rainbow Brite."  I'd wear garish makeup, eye stickers, fishnet stockings and tights under skirts and shorts, off-colored t-shirts with references that no one ever got in my small town and lots of interesting hair styles.  I was a rebel Dottie, a rebel! 

When I was in Girl Scouts (because I joined pretty much every club in high school to get out of my house as often as possible) I had a troop leader who had a co-worker that needed a babysitter after school.  It was a great deal.  It was for three kids, a five-year old, a six-year old and a ten-year old, and they were going to give me ten dollars an hour.  This was a crazy amount of money for me because I was only fifteen at the time.  She would pick me up from school and then we would go and pick up her kids from school and then she would drop me off at their house and I'd watch the kids for about three or four hours while she finished her day at work.

The first day she came to pick me up I could tell that she was put-off by my appearance.  We had spoke on the phone and she loved me, but now, as she opened the door to her Escalade wearing a blazer and pantsuit, I was standing there wearing a colorful ensemble consisting of pigtails, glasses, a lab coat I borrowed from my dad, a Marilyn Manson shirt and a jean skirt with a petticoat.  She begrudgingly let me into her vehicle.  She seemed uncomfortable at first, but I talked with her on the way to her kids' schools and I eased her mind with my sharp wit and mature, adult voice.  The kids loved me right away and we connected pretty quickly.

I worked for her for a few months and it was going pretty well.  I helped the kids with their homework because I tutored on the side, I helped put a cheerleading routine together for the oldest one and I sat through that damn Disney Dinosaurs movie about twenty times because the little boy loved it.  Their house was huge and each kid had their own room.  They obviously had money because all of the kids went to Catholic school.  And that is kind of where the problems started coming into play...

The girls would bring their homework over to me each day after class and I'd see questions that had kind of religious overtones to it.  I would just gloss over it like I always did at that age and just smile and try to go along with the whole God thing.  I really did try to help them out and they got good grades. 

But one day when they came home the oldest one says "Today we drew what we were going to give up for Lent in class.  This is what I'm giving up."  And she showed me a picture she drew of ice cream.  I told her how great it was and went back to helping her sister with her work.  The older girl tapped me on the arm and asked, "What are you giving up for Lent?" 

I probably just should have pulled something out of my ass like soda or pizza at that point, but something came over me and I was struck with honesty for some reason.  "Actually,"  I told her nicely, "I'm not Catholic, so I don't really take part in Lent." 

She looked kinda shocked and said, "Well, what church do you go to?" 

"Um... Actually, I don't go to church.  I'm atheist."

"What religion is that?  Is that like a different kind of Christian?" 

I told her that it meant that I didn't believe in God and her eyes got really big and she gasped and put her hand over her mouth. 

"But you have to believe in God!  He is everywhere and he made us!  Even you!"  And she just went on and on and on.  I kept trying to change the subject but she wouldn't drop it.  She had no idea that you couldn't believe in God. 

So of course when her mom came home she runs up to her and says, "Mom!  She doesn't believe in God!  How is that even possible?"

Her mom looked at me like I had just unraveled the kid's entire world.  It's not like I was trying to, but I wasn't about to sit there and lie to the kid either about what I believed.  Yeah, it would have been easier that way, but that just isn't how I operate. 

That night I got a call from their dad saying that their grandma was going to be watching the kids after school from now on and thanked me for my services.  The mom didn't even have the guts to call me herself.  I was really upset because I knew that was the reason that I had been let go.  About a week later I was walking home from school and I saw the mom pull up to the high school and pick up some other girl who was about my age.  I had been replaced by a less controversial model.

I understand that people are free to do what they like with their children and their religious upbringing, but I was deeply saddened that the lady was so offended by someone simply mentioning the existence of another belief system in their house.  I never said anything to belittle their religion or that said my way of thinking was superior to theirs in any way, shape or form.  I only answered some questions for a curious kid and I didn't feel that they were inappropriate at all.  I wonder what would have happened if they had hired someone who believed in a different deity than theirs instead of none at all.  Was it the fact that my view differed from theirs or was it the fact that some people still feel they "can't trust" someone who doesn't believe in something more powerful than man? 

Either way it was disappointing and it changed how I felt about voicing my opinion during high school.  I'm over it now, but it was something that really made me feel like holding back and no one should have to feel that way if someone is asking them a question, looking for an honest answer. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

That's Not a Knife... Oh, Wait, Yeah It Is!

I don't know why I have so many cell phone stories, but I do.  Sorry.  One that I like to tell is about this guy that worked with me at Hollywood named "Joey" who was just...  Yeah, I don't even know how to accurately describe this guy.  He kinda looked like if Phineas from "Phineas and Ferb" was an actual, real-life person and talked like Beavis.  He was tall and gangly and thought he was way cooler than he actually was.  Also, he openly hated working for women and was constantly saying shit about how he was telling his girlfriend to "get back in the kitchen and make him a sandwich" and other lovely shit like that.  I was the store manager at the time and there were two other females in management when he was working there and he would never do what the two female shift leads asked him to do. 

One night I had to work with him first-hand because I had never closed with him and had got so many complaints from the female shift leaders working there.  There had been a few instances apparently where one of the girls asked him to do something three times and he wouldn't do it, but then a guy asked him that wasn't even management and he did it immediately.  I had to see this for myself.

"Hey Joey, can you go run the movies out to the new release wall?"

"Oh, uh, yeah, I just wanna see the last part of this movie that's playing."

"Um... Not trying to be rude, but we aren't here to watch movies, we are here to sell them.  Can you please go put those away?"

*sigh*  "Yeah, I guess."  And he takes a stack of maybe like ten DVDs out on the floor with him when we would usually carry about fifty in one trip.  He's about fifty yards away from me when I hear him pull out his cell phone and say, "Yeah, dude, she's being a fucking bitch tonight."  Doesn't have the balls to say anything to my face, just gets all passive and douchy.

So I kind of have an "Oh hell no!" moment and walk out onto the sales floor after him.

"Hey Joey, you know we aren't allowed to have cell phones out on the floor.  Also, I'm not deaf.  Put it away and watch your mouth."

"I don't remember signing anything saying that I couldn't have my phone on me.  What if I had an emergency?"

"Actually, yeah, you did when you first started working here.  And I don't think that telling your friend that I'm a bitch qualifies as an emergency."  He got flustered because he thought that I didn't understand what he was talking about on the phone and just walked away to put away his wimpy stack of movies.  He went in the office and said he had put his phone away, but I could still see it in his pocket.

"Dude!  Joey!  I still see the phone in your pocket, man!  If you can't follow a simple instruction, just go put the phone away in your car."

"Fine," he says having a temper-tantrum.  "I will put it in my car then!"

So he goes out to his car and is gone for like fifteen minutes.  He's out having a smoke but I have customers so I can't do anything about it.  When my last customer leaves I run outside and tell him he needs to get in the store because I didn't say he could go on break.  He has a fit and comes inside. 

His phone is now in the other pocket.  Now this is just getting ridiculous.

"Joey.  Really man, are you kidding me?  I see it in your other pocket.  Put it in your car!  Now!"

"Ugh!  This is so stupid!  It's just a phone!"

"Exactly!" I tell him as he walks out the door.

So he goes out to his car again and he's gone for like five minutes.  I am just about to lose my shit over this when he finally comes back in.  And I swear to God, it's still in his pants!!!

"Joey, this is the stupidest thing ever, but I am going to have to write you up," I tell him as he gets back behind the cash wrap with me.

"Why?  I don't have the phone anymore."

"Dude, I see it in your back pocket!!"

"Oh, that's not my phone."  And he reaches in his back pocket and says "It's my knife."  And he pulls a fucking folded knife with about a four-inch blade out of his pants.  And he says it like he's trying to be all hardcore and intimidating.  But he just looked like Napoleon Dynamite got a haircut and contacts with a crappy knife in his hand.  So I just lost it.  There were no customers in the store and I just let him have it.

"Are you fucking kidding me, Joey??  Why the fuck would you bring a knife in here?  Are you trying to threaten me??"

"No, I'm just letting you know that I put my phone away."

"But why did you grab a knife???"

"I dunno.  It was just there when I put my phone down and I started playing with it and put it in my pocket.  And, uh, now it's here."



"Leave!  You're suspended!  Go!"

"That's bullshit, man!  I'm gonna tell the DM that you cussed at me!"

"Well I'm gonna tell them that you brought a fucking knife in!  Go!"

And he left calling me all kinds of lovely things that sexist asshats call women when they are upset at them.  He was classy.  And fired.  Also, I remember when he left that one of the things he called me was a fat bitch.  Which reminds me about another awesome Joey story.

So, since it was super obvious that Joey acted the way that he did to try and get attention from other guys, the other guys really had no respect for him at all.  One time we were cleaning out the back office where people would take their lunch breaks and we found a notebook.  And we looked inside and the cover had all this shit saying "Do Not Read!  Personal Property of Joey!"  At the time I was defending him and I told the guys to leave it alone, but they opened it up anyway.

Turns out it was "Joey's Song Journal" (it seriously said that with a label from a label maker, haha!) and he was writing all of these terrible songs about some girl and everyone was just cracking up because they were so bad.  So a few hours later, Joey comes into work and the guy who was off totally fucks with him. 

"Hey man, I'm really sorry, but I was in the back and I found this notebook and I was reading through it before I saw that it was yours.  And I was just totally moved by the stuff in there.  How does this one go right here?"

And he played it so straight-faced that Joey was like, "Oh, wow, man.  I'm hella embarrassed now.  But uh, that one goes..."  And he sang (completely off-key) this whole song about how hot this girl is and that he was going to "bone" her and all this other crap.  And we are just laughing except the guy who was leading him on really badly.

"Oh, come on guys, you shouldn't laugh.  Who is it exactly that inspired you to write these epic songs, bro?"  Still completely straight-faced.

"Well, actually it's my girlfriend.  She's, like, super hot and stuff.  We haven't gone all the way yet, but it's been a few months now, so it's totally coming.  I can feel it." 

And yes, he is saying all of this stuff in front of the four people who are working there, including myself. 

"Well, good luck to you on that, man.  You should bring her by one night and introduce her to us," he told Joey.

So about a week later he did on a Friday night that he was off.  And that was a mistake.

Joey walks in the door and he is holding hands with this girl who he wrote all these flowing epics about that were incredibly graphic about things that he wanted to do to and with her.  And she was BIG.  I'm not saying that I'm small, but this girl was easily 300-350.  And she was wearing tiny girl clothes.  And it was all kinds of bad.  I'm always saying that just because they make something in your size doesn't mean you should wear it.  But I am pretty sure that they did not make this stuff in her size.  There was stuff sausaging out all over the place.  It was scary.  (I don't care what size you are!  Cover your chunk, ladies!)

So he walks up to the counter and is just like, "Hey bros, this is my lady, Candy."  (Or some other stripper sounding name, I don't remember.)  And it's Friday, so most of the staff are working.  No one knew what to say.  I had to excuse myself and go in the back, so I am not sure if anyone slipped up or not out there until they left. 

But one thing I remember very clearly was that one of the guys was really messed up and he kept going around saying, "Hey guys, I got a picture of Joey's girlfriend in my wallet!  Wanna see?"  And he would open up his wallet and there was a Post-it Note of a drawing he did of a stick-figure Joey and a cartoon whale in a tube top and booty shorts. 

A few months later Candy dumped him.  Go, Candy!

Part of me feels bad for telling that last story, but the other part feels like, "Eh, if she was that good of a person, she wouldn't have dated someone like that in the first place."

The End!