Plain Bad Business
Dec 2003 Archive
I had been cold-calling places, looking for a job all that morning and
finally got hold of this place. After speaking with a couple of
receptionists for a few minutes they eventually transferred me to the
office manager. He had been so impressed with my phone manner and
experience that I had been told to come in as soon as possible for an
interview. I told him to expect me after lunch, around 1:30 and he said
that would be fine and we said our good byes.
When I arrived for the interview I was greeted by the ladies I had
spoken with and promptly sent into the manager's office. We talked about
my experience and availability and it was agreed that I would start the
following Monday for **$10.00/hr.**
Monday came and I began my new job.. It went well at first, as I am
fairly good with clients and with agents and by Wednesday of that week I
knew most of the agents by name. by Thursday I felt I had things under
control enough to be given "more things to do" as the phones
weren't always, "ringing off the hooks", Which was when I was
told to just stare at the phones until they ring. I am a fairly active guy
and I'm defiantly not built to "stare at phones until they
ring"! but I did it, I was getting paid either way so it wasn't
"my" time being used non-constructively. And I proceeded to do
this for the rest of the day.
The next day (Friday) I was called into the Manager's office where he
informed me I wouldn't be needed anymore after today. I could finish the
day and come in to get my check the following Thursday. I was a little
surprised, thinking I had been working out rather well and asked why, and
was told, "they hadn't had the workload that they had thought!"
Skipping to that Thursday;
When I finally got my check I was shocked to find that it had been cut
for $9/hr. I called to find out if there had been a mistake and the
manager denied saying 10 dollars, but said to call back in "an
hour" and he would check his notes. When I called back he still
denied the agreement and he also got rude and at one point began yelling!
I couldn't believe that someone in such a respectable position would be
so sneaky and dishonest. It was only about $40 dollars (10/hr * 40 hrs)
that he owed me but it was the principal of the whole thing that shook me.
A few months later a friend was looking at buying a house and I was
able to help him in two ways. I sent him to a great real estate agent AND
steered him *away* from a dishonest real estate company! ;)
I work as an estimator for a small contracting firm (we install millwork).
It's fairly standard practice to hire a general contractor or a
construction manager to handle the job, and they in turn "sub"
out all the portions of the job, take and evaluate bids, and award
contracts to the lowest qualified bidder in each category.
The bid form for this project, a new church and the attached school,
took me a little bit aback. It has the standard lines to fill in what
category you plan to bid, a line to fill in the dollar amount in
both words and numbers for the categories, a line to fill in the cost for
"bonds" for the job, AND a line titled "Donation in Kind
(to be deducted from bid amount)".
I find it a bit crass to solicit anyone who is bidding on this job (who
may or may not even agree with the religion of the owner of the project!)
for charity, and I also find it a bit crass that they're asking
specifically for the donation to be written on the form (i.e. this could
very well lead to whichever contractor gives the most "in kind"
to be awarded the job, since it isn't linked to public funds).
My mother and I decided to take my 9 year old nephew and 4 year old
niece on a trip to Disney World. It was just the four of us, and mom hired
a limo to pick us up from the airport and drive us to the resort. The
first sign (literally) that things would get interesting was when the
driver met us at the baggage claim with a sign that said "Paul Molgum."
My mom's name is Paula Molstel.
He led us to the car and didn't help with the bags or help with the
children. My mom and I had our hands full. He opened the trunk, mom threw
in her bags, then he shut it before I could put my things away. I just
kept it with me. My mom asked him if he had a car seat for my niece and he
said not to worry, she didn't need one, the seatbelt was good enough. It
raised a concern but she didn't say anything more. Since the limo was
actually a Lincoln, I had to sit in the front seat.
As we were cruising on the highway I looked at the speedometer and saw
he was going 90 mph. Just then, we heard sirens so the driver pulled over.
The cop came running up to the car, to my side, and the driver rolled down
the window. The cop began SCREAMING at him about how fast he was going and
asking why wasn't the little girl in the back-seat in a car seat? The
driver then began to argue back, and tell him he was only going 65 mph.
The cop asked for license and registration, and our limo driver wouldn't
give it to him. The cop then put his hand on his gun (no kidding, I was
right next to him) and that forced our driver to give him the info. He
disappeared back to his car for about fifteen minutes, and the driver kept
telling my mom he was only going 65 mph, so he didn't know why he was
picking on him. I knew that was a lie but I kept my mouth shut.
When the cop came back he had our driver get out of the car and I could
hear them yelling at each other. I thought he was going to be arrested and
we would be stranded. Thankfully, he came back and the drive to our hotel
was then uneventful. No one talked much. When he dropped us off, he again
did not help with the luggage. He told my mom the total was $195. She had
been quoted a price of $185. When she argued with him he got very rude and
told her she had to pay it. We were tired, a little scared, our arms were full
and the kids were cranky, so she just gave it to him. After all, this guy
would be picking us up in a few days and taking us back to the airport. We
should've made other arrangements, but now we'd paid for the round
When he came back to take us to the airport, everything went fine until
we pulled up to the gate. Again, no help with the bags. As we were leaving
he put his hand out for his tip and told her (I'm not kidding) that he
expected a twenty percent tip. She just looked at him and gave him a ten
dollar bill (this was after careful consideration, we didn't want to give
him anything but we were afraid he'd make a scene). He looked at her and
laughed and said "that's all?" She said yes and he goes
"Maybe next time." Yeah, I don't think so. She promptly
complained to the company via email and never heard another word. What
kind of guy would let two women with two small children carry a ton of
bags and a stroller and refuse to help, then endanger their lives and lie
to their face about it? And expect a 40 dollar tip? Some nerve....I wish I
could name the place.
Once my boyfriend and I had dinner at a well known casual
restaurant chain. We ordered soup with our meals and when the waiter was
bringing them out he set them on a table (in full view of us and other
customers), proceeded to sneeze into his hands, and then pick our soups
right back up and bring them over to us. Yuck! I still cringe thinking
about it. He then proceeded to serve them to us and joke about it.
"Oh, don't worry, I didn't get any into the soup, ha ha.." In
case you're wondering, no, we didn't eat it.
This is about friends and relatives taking advantage of someone else's
employee discount. I was not sure about posting this tale, but after
I attended yet another family event where this person BRAGGED about her
rude behavior, I decided to share.
I am a manager for a major retailer and get a generous discount,
afforded only to the employee and immediate family. The company is
(rightfully) very clear about this, and has fired employees in the past
for fraud when they get discounts for friends, boyfriends and girlfriends,
etc. I have a relative I will call Joan who has been badgering me to use
my discount for her and I repeatedly refuse. Joan is not a close enough
relative to legitimately qualify for the discount. I feel it is unethical,
a poor example to my staff, and do not wish to risk being fired
over Joan saving $50. Besides, I got to hear about Joan in
action using her friend's discount:
Joan has a friend who works for a hotel chain. When Joan went on
vacation, she arranged to book a room under her friend's name to get over
a 50% discount on the hotel room. The friend did not go along on the
vacation, it was only Joan posing as her friend, in other words,
pretending to be an employee of the hotel from another city.
Joan's room was not yet cleaned when she arrived early to the hotel,
and they accidentally let her in the room when the sheets were not changed
or the bathroom cleaned yet. Joan raised holy heck, even making a fuss
about the quality of the brand of toilet paper the hotel used. She later
disliked the quality of the food in the hotel restaurant and took her
server to task on that. She complained so much about the hotel, I have
never heard her say anything at all about the city she went to visit
Joan talks to anyone who will listen about how "bad" the
hotel was and how they called her friend's "home" hotel to find
out why this person (who they thought was an employee) was creating such a
fuss. Joan brags that the "home" hotel told the vacation
property that there might be a problem with the housekeeping department.
Joan never thought about how she was risking her friend's career and
she certainly never thanked the hotel chain for the discount (that she was
never entitled to in the first place) or for putting up with her rotten
behavior. I wonder about her relationship with the friend involved.
I used to work in the travel industry myself, and always felt there was
a reason they called the discounts "accommodations" and not
"entitlements". When I traveled, I made a point to be polite
to my fellow employees who were, in essence, working for me
during my hotel stay.
After two years, Joan is still complaining about something nice
her friend did for her, and degrading the friend's employer besides. Joan
still wonders why I won't buy a computer for her at my company.
I was standing on-line in a music store a few years ago, waiting to be
rung up. An employee walked up and said, "I'm assuming you're
next to be waited on," and I answered in the affirmative. Then,
a customer comes charging in and tell this employee he needs help finding
double A batteries, and this clerk wanders off to help him w/no word of
explanation to me. The clerk should have immediately gotten someone
else to help one of us or, at the very least, if the company's policy is
that customers who need help looking for something always come before
customers needing to be rung up, no matter how long the customers needing
to be rung up have been waiting (which I doubt, but it's possible, I
guess), the clerk should have told me that before just waltzing off and
failing to get someone else over to help me.
Then, after I continued to wait at the registers for a while to be rung
up, I saw another employee go over to the Ticketmaster terminal,
which was near the bank of registers I was waiting at, and he began using
the Ticketmaster terminal there. I figured this clerk had to have
seen me waiting, yet he wasn't waiting on a customer at the Ticketmaster
machine, nor was he speaking to a customer on the phone while using the
Tickesmaster computer, so I did wonder what in the world he was doing on
that machine that was SO important that he couldn't drop it to come ring
me up. But I kept my mouth shut, because it crossed my mind
that maybe he wasn't assigned to a register, and wasn't allowed to use
someone else's (but if that was the case, he should've told me that, and
gone to get someone else who was on a register).
Finally, after a few minutes, the clerk turned to me, and said,
"Oh, are you waiting to check out?" Like he hadn't noticed
me there at first, or thought I was just standing there for fun.
Several months later, I wound up getting an entry-level job at this very
store, and I worked there for 10 months. Out of all the paid and
volunteer jobs I've had, I think it was probably my least favorite to work
for that company.
My boyfriend, brother, sister-in-law, 2 year old nephew, and I went to
XXXX Restaurant in PA for lunch. Everything in the beginning
was fine. The service was very good. The waitress, Dawn was
very accommodating. The food was ok. She brought us the check
at the end of the meal. The total bill came to $80.35. I left
$92.35, which I felt was a normal tip ($12), the customary 15%.
Apparently Dawn did not think so. First, it became very apparent
at the end of the meal that she was very anxious for us to pay the check,
as she came by a few times to see if we had it ready. Finally, I
handed her the cash and thanked her. She came back to our table a
few minutes later and had a very displeased look on her face. She
asked us if we were satisfied with the service. We said yes.
She gave me a dirty look and walked away. About 15 seconds later, a
gentleman came to our table and asked us the same question. Again,
we said yes. I was very puzzled and frankly, I was very insulted
that I would be treated this way at a restaurant and embarrassed like that
in front of my family. I gave her a $12 tip. What was she
expecting? Before we were getting ready to leave my sister-in-law
used the ladies room and passed Dawn along the way. Dawn did not say
anything to her and looked the other way. Normally after I eat at a
restaurant and on my way out, the waitress says thank you for coming, have
a nice day, or something to that effect. I have never been so
insulted in my life and will never go back to that restaurant. I
will be telling all of my friends and family not to go there either.
When I was 17 I got a job at a small shop that sold cigarettes, candy,
lottery tickets and cigarettes, it was part of a supermarket and all we
had was a counter and a wall for our magazines. Still business was good as
it was a busy supermarket and I was a good employee if I do say so myself.
All was well until one day I wanted to go in an ask a coworker of mine
something, but when I came in our entire store was gone. The counter was
completely cleared out save for an empty cash register and the phone which
I used to call my boss. I left him a message asking him what happened and
he called me back later with some made up story about how an old business
partner of his ran off with all the money and that was why we went
bankrupt. The store had been cleared out the previous night and he knew it
was coming, yet he didn't take the effort to tell any of his 80+ employees
(he owned several stores). Considering the fact I had moved into a new
house a week prior to that day, I was pretty screwed.
I work at the front desk at a hotel in a tourist community. We
are close to a very popular national park, but 12 miles from the nearest
town. When people stay at our hotel they generally eat at the
restaurant next door. (The building is owned by the same owners but
the restaurant is leased and ran separately.) For the past two
years, the exact amount of time I have worked there, I have been told
horror stories about the service at the restaurant.
Last year a couple called Frank and Lisa ran the restaurant. Lisa
cooked and stayed behind the scene, and Frank worked the dining room.
The dining area is never truly busy, as no locals will eat there and any
guest who has won't go back a second time. Frank, however, had his
own theory of busy and if more than 3 tables were occupied became surly.
One story that was told to me follows. A family (hubby, wife, and 2
kids) went in for dinner. There were only 3 other tables occupied at
the time. Frank walked up to them as they came in and told them very
rudely, "Stay if you want, but you won't get anything for at least an
hour." The family did stay and told me that it was at least an
hour before they were given so much as a drink of water.
The woman who leased the restaurant this year makes Frank look
like a paragon of etiquette. Betty has a rather exotic menu with
high prices. She offers a 10 percent discount to hotel guests, but
if they don't show her their room key before they order she WILL NOT give
them the discount. She won't hire any workers and she and her family
are there from 6 am to 11 pm. They nap when business is slow, which
it often is, so diners are subjected to an unmade military cot that is in
the DINING ROOM. She won't let any person not eating there to
use the restrooms.
On one occasion a British couple that were staying in the hotel
asked if they could sit outside and read the menu. She was very
suspicious of them and told them that they couldn't take it out of the building. (Nothing
but a black and white photo copy made on MY copier) They told her
they weren't going to steal it, and they were just going to sit on the
chairs right outside the door. She did let them and while they were
out there a couple who were driving by with their 3 year old stopped
because the little girl had to use the restroom. She would NOT let
them because they didn't have 2 dollars to pay her. The British
couple told the family that they could go to their room and use the toilet. At
that point Betty started yelling at the British couple. She told
them that, " You are in America and that is not the way things are
run in America." The British man told her that in most of the
places he has been in people treated each other with kindness and
courtesy. The argument escalated until she was screaming at him,
"When I tell the lady at the front desk she is going to kick you out
of the hotel" MEANING ME!! He said, "I will go tell
her myself." He immediately came over and told me the story, I
guess expecting to be thrown out for letting a 3 year old use his hotel
room bathroom. I listened to his story in amazement, it lasted
almost 15 minutes, and I think my exact words were, "You could have
let them take a shower and sleep in your bed and I wouldn't
My absolute favorite story though happened just the other night.
A really nice couple who were from Georgia were staying in the hotel and
went over there for dinner. When their table was set, Betty gave
them 2 forks and 1 spoon. When their food was brought, they asked
for a second spoon. Betty told them that they could SHARE.
When they said no, they wanted their own utensils, she argued with them!!
Before you ask me why I just don't tell people not to go there, I was told
by the owner of the 2 properties that we should encourage people to eat
there. I tell people, however, that the food is good and the service
Page Last Updated May 18, 2007