Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1463133 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5265 on: January 28, 2014, 03:51:43 PM »
I don't know if any of you have ever heard of Acts of Gord http://www.actsofgord.com/ - it's an old (but still extant) website telling the tales of Gord, a game store owner, who apparently had a lot of very interesting customers. Many of the tales are not e-Hell approved (and may not be safe for work), but they are generally quite amusing. Especially when he and his staff do things like fill a game console shell with completely defective parts (and a snarky note) and set it out as thief bait.

This tale, from Not Always Right, has Thief Bait intersecting with Professional Darwinism in a rather spectacular way. http://notalwaysworking.com/box-of-stolen-stupid/33571 Short version - game store staff, with an empty game console box on their hands, fill it with water bottles and a snarky note, leave it in a bag, and wait for someone to steal it. Next day, they tell another supervisor about it, after the bag had vanished. Come to find out, unknowing supervisor had told a friend to "just take it" - yep, he was encouraging theft from his own store! Not only that, but it seems he'd been doing rather a bit of stealing, and was fired.

Wow.... I hadn't thought about Acts of Gord in *years*.  Thank you!
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Fliss

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5266 on: January 29, 2014, 05:41:57 AM »
It's been two years, so I think enough time has passed for me to write this safely.

I've been working retail on and off for 25 years. Started out as a lowly Thursday night and Saturday teenager selling computers back in the dark ages when Amiga and Commodore where the rage (yes, when dinosaurs ruled the earth) and have had many jobs since then.

One I had for a while was as console person at a booze seller. This was a national chain, and I was at a store locally to me, so almost all the other employees were locals too.

Now, the suburb I live in has a reputation as being a ghetto. It's where all the cities undesirables were sent as they were moved out of other places, as well as being housing commission estates for low-incomes, but it's also the meeting point of city and country. So all this comes into play when you're working retail here. Unfortunately, as with all booze sellers, I used to get a lot of local idiots as customers. I can deal with that. You smile, chat, make them laugh, and it's all easy. What I didn't expect was a fellow employee to become so spiteful that I not only went to HR, but that they offered money and sex to other employees to have me killed!

We were hired about the same time in October, to be trained for the xmas rush. "Sandy" was older than me and very rough around the edges. She'd done time for drugs in the past, but swore she was clean. That was probably true, as I never saw her appearing to be under the influence of anything ever. But it was also well known that she still had bikie connections and knew several of the owners / managers of local rough watering holes. Well, again, no worries there. Everyone knows someone, and it might lead to increased trade. We made it through xmas and it became obvious that Sandy hated the console but enjoyed floor work, while I was more skilled with customers and only knew about spirits.

So, I ended up with a regular 4 days a week shifts afternoon to close while she often had opens to afternoons, but our paths did cross at least twice a week. I would sometimes even give her lifts home, as she lived closer to me. But about March, she began to act very angry about me. Little things like occasionally telling me to 'get stuffed' when asking her advice for a customer, or being shirty about something. I put it down to an occasional bad mood and got on with working. After all, everyone has them, right?

Then it began to get rude. The name calling became constant, as did the swearing at me. She also began swearing about me to other staff, all of whom at first thought I'd done something to Sandy. When it became apparent I hadn't, they began coming up to me and asking what was going on. In only a few weeks, the venom had gotten quite bad. Bad enough that I would go home and vomit in the shower from the stress of it. And as I said, I've worked this type of job for a long time, so I have a fairly tough skin.

The final straw came when one day I was helping a customer. As they wanted to know about wine and I didn't have the knowledge, I asked Sandy if she could help the customer. There was also a manager wandering the store, doing the usual Wednesday night counts for ordering the next day. Sandy went into a rant of sotto vocce abuse about me while she scuffed over, led the customer over to the wine and helped her pick something out, and then slouched off.

The customer was obviously shaken, and after making sure that Sandy was out of hearing (over by the cider wall), asked me if this was normal. I shrugged and said that yes, it was. She lowered her voice even more and asked if a manager was available; I pointed to the person standing in the wine dept and said 'yep, there she is.' The customer raised her eyebrows, since the manager couldn't possibly have failed to hear what was said, thanked me profusely for being a nice and excellent console person, and left the store.

Next day, I came in early so I could 'get in the zone', so to speak, to have the two duty managers ask me what I thought had happened the night before. I said that nothing unusual, Sandy was her usual angry, swearing self, but that I had completed all my tasks and behaved fine as far as I knew. Turned out the customer went home and sent an email that gave explicit information that she was not happy about how I'd been treated and did the company think it was normal for their staff to treat each other like this?

I ended up having to write a many page document of what had been happening, which was sent off to HR. The HR person flew in the next week and did an interview with me and and then with Sandy. When it was reviewed, Sandy was shown the door the next day. That night, I found out that because of my complaint, they'd reviewed security footage for the past 2 months, and had not only found that I'd told the truth (if anything, I underplayed what she'd said and done), but that Sandy had been helping her mates steal thousands of dollars of booze. She'd arrange for them to come in and buy stock for their pubs, and when they'd come to the console, she'd let me log in, then kick me off the console and put them through. But she'd only scan about half their purchase in, she was deliberately missing stuff.

Sandy was VERY unhappy that I'd a) fought back, b) lost her her job, and c) now got her facing theft charges, as she was charged with 'stealing as a servant', something considered much more serious than just plain theft. After she'd left, one of the assistant managers complimented me on staying cool and calm about it, told me that I'd been perfectly behaved the day the interviews had been done and this was a good thing as if either of us had started anything we would have been terminated on the spot. And also asked if I hadn't been worried about her offering to arrange sex for them if one of the stock boys would lend her his dads rifle.

I said that she couldn't be serious about it. But apparently Sandy was; she'd hated me that much that she wanted me dead.

The manager who'd been on duty the night the customer was in was lucky to keep her job. Turns out Sandy tried to claim she was in on the booze thefts so she'd be fired too. Which explained some of the questions I'd been asked about the manager, but I'd said she was a kind person who might have been a bit scared of Sandy, and as it was her first manager role, she probably hadn't been trained in how to deal with her type.

Sandy never reappeared in the store and I haven't seen her since. But from a distance, it's interesting to see how someone could go from just being rough and ready to very aggressive to a single person, and not for any reason that we ever found out. She just really didn't like me.

Good news! Your insurance company says they'll cover you. Unfortunately, they also say it will be with dirt.

eltf177

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5267 on: January 29, 2014, 05:56:02 AM »
Boy Fliss, that was just...scary. Glad the outcome was in your favor!

blue2000

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5268 on: January 29, 2014, 01:33:44 PM »
Just remembered this one. It happened years ago, but it still sticks in my mind as 'what not to do to get a job/keep the one you have'.

Our retail chain built some new stores. One of the ladies in our store commuted from X town, and there was a brand new store being built just minutes from her house. She was very exited at this, and applied for a transfer to the new place. We all thought she'd likely get it since she was a hard worker with years of experience.

But apparently not enough experience, at least with interviews. The Big Boss of the other store did her interview and it did not go well. She argued with Big Boss during the interview. ??? She thought she was justified somehow  ??? ??? ??? but it ended with Big Boss telling her they didn't have a job for her. They had several hundred jobs they were interviewing for (including ones that required no experience at all) so that was a pretty big slap in the face.

She complained pretty loudly at this, but really - she couldn't keep her mouth shut for ONE DAY? Just ONE?? If she was hired, she could have had (mild) arguments with the boss without being immediately fired. Arguing in the interview just killed her chances before she even started.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5269 on: January 29, 2014, 11:26:40 PM »
If you were a cafe owner, would you let a heavily pregnant woman have takeaway coffee in the empty outside area? She was told to leave, and it gets worse from there...

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/cafe-gives-pregnant-woman-marching-orders-for-buying-takeaway-coffee/story-fni0cx4q-1226813856027

snowfire

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5270 on: January 29, 2014, 11:52:21 PM »
I think Amy's Baking Company has a Sydney branch now....

Fliss

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5271 on: January 30, 2014, 12:05:40 AM »
If you were a cafe owner, would you let a heavily pregnant woman have takeaway coffee in the empty outside area? She was told to leave, and it gets worse from there...

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/cafe-gives-pregnant-woman-marching-orders-for-buying-takeaway-coffee/story-fni0cx4q-1226813856027

The waiter was being an idiot. People attract people, so having someone sitting in an external area that's empty would have attracted other people to the cafe. For 90cents, that customer might have brought in much more, aside from then goodwill it brings.
Good news! Your insurance company says they'll cover you. Unfortunately, they also say it will be with dirt.

RegionMom

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5272 on: January 30, 2014, 09:22:45 AM »
There is a coffee shop here that will serve in glass/ceramic or take-away cups, same price, I believe. 

But, even if I am staying for a while, I get the unbreakable kind, because... I am a klutz. 

It is cheaper for the store to chance my spilling coffee as opposed to my spilling coffee and breaking something.  :)

I know some cultures have different prices for dining in, standing, take-away, etc... but from reading the comments, it seems this store wants to charge customers for just waiting to meet someone!

meh.  I am sure there are two sides to the story. 

I am off to go get some coffee.

 ;)
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Winterlight

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5273 on: January 30, 2014, 09:43:35 AM »
Even if the cafe was in the right, they handled things very, very badly.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5274 on: January 30, 2014, 11:14:47 AM »
If you were a cafe owner, would you let a heavily pregnant woman have takeaway coffee in the empty outside area? She was told to leave, and it gets worse from there...

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/cafe-gives-pregnant-woman-marching-orders-for-buying-takeaway-coffee/story-fni0cx4q-1226813856027

The waiter was being an idiot. People attract people, so having someone sitting in an external area that's empty would have attracted other people to the cafe. For 90cents, that customer might have brought in much more, aside from then goodwill it brings.

Maybe the store policy is idiotic, but if the customer didn't like it, she didn't have to dine there; she could have gotten her coffee somewhere that didn't have that policy.

It is their right to ask her to leave, and her being pregnant has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Her pregnancy is only being mentioned to garner sympathy for her.
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MariaE

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5275 on: January 30, 2014, 12:20:59 PM »
The link doesn't seem to work for me, would somebody mind giving a recap?
 
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Gwywnnydd

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5276 on: January 30, 2014, 12:43:04 PM »
If you were a cafe owner, would you let a heavily pregnant woman have takeaway coffee in the empty outside area? She was told to leave, and it gets worse from there...

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/cafe-gives-pregnant-woman-marching-orders-for-buying-takeaway-coffee/story-fni0cx4q-1226813856027

The waiter was being an idiot. People attract people, so having someone sitting in an external area that's empty would have attracted other people to the cafe. For 90cents, that customer might have brought in much more, aside from then goodwill it brings.

Maybe the store policy is idiotic, but if the customer didn't like it, she didn't have to dine there; she could have gotten her coffee somewhere that didn't have that policy.


It's not clear to me if that policy is stated anywhere in the venue. If it is, then I agree that the customer is in the wrong.
If it's not stated, then the cafe is being unreasonable, and handled it very, VERY badly.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5277 on: January 30, 2014, 01:22:16 PM »
Just remembered this one. It happened years ago, but it still sticks in my mind as 'what not to do to get a job/keep the one you have'.
 

But apparently not enough experience, at least with interviews. The Big Boss of the other store did her interview and it did not go well. She argued with Big Boss during the interview. ??? She thought she was justified somehow  ??? ??? ??? but it ended with Big Boss telling her they didn't have a job for her. They had several hundred jobs they were interviewing for (including ones that required no experience at all) so that was a pretty big slap in the face.


The reminds me of something that happened at my PT job a fews years ago. Our GM was injured badly on the job; as in a severly broken bone which kept her out for months between surgery, therapy and so on. So the other managers were holding things together, but at one point, the decision was made to replace the GM. She still would have had a job waiting, but the company wasn't obligated to keep HER current position.

So the two assistant managers BOTH thought they were entitled to this position. But in reality, neither one was well suited or had all the skills necessary.

The one was ok at the administrative stuff, and good with the staff, although she woudl start something, then move on, forget what she was doing, and then move onto something else. Or she'd start projects 30 mins before closing. Or procrastinate at many things.  No one wanted to close with hre since she routinely would stay a good hour after or more, and whoever had to stay was stuck. And very rarely is this ever necessary. She would also spend a lot of time chit chatting with customers, while we ran around working our behinds off.  She thought since she had 35+ years retail experience, she should be the new GM.

The second, while not quite as vocal, can sell. She's not really a people or detail person, but she can sell like there is no tomrorow. She too thought based soley on that, she should have the job. But while I love her to death, she rubs a lot of people the wrong way with her go go go go go attitude, and she's not that adept at either the systems or admin stuff.  She is not, however, above picking up the vacuum, emptying trash etc. which we love her for.

In the end, the GM came back, and is still there. Manager #1, who had been repeatedly warned about her performance, is no more. Manager #2 is still there.   

KenveeB

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5278 on: January 30, 2014, 01:52:59 PM »
The link doesn't seem to work for me, would somebody mind giving a recap?

The undisputed part is that a woman ordered take-away coffee, then sat in the restaurant (outdoor seating portion) anyway. The waiter told her that she couldn't do that, because they charge less on a take-away precisely because someone isn't taking up a spot at the restaurant. The woman wrote a bad online review saying she should've been allowed to stay anyway because she was pregnant. A really, really rude reply was made through the restaurant account (that they're now claiming is a result of hacking, of course).

Personally, I think the woman was being a SS for wanting special treatment. A lot of places charge less for take-out because you're not taking up a table, they don't have to clean up after you, etc. If you choose the take-out option, you take it out. If you want to sit in the restaurant, whether it's because you're pregnant or because you just want to sit for a while, you pay the dine-in price. The whole blow-up online is another story.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5279 on: January 30, 2014, 02:05:10 PM »
If you were a cafe owner, would you let a heavily pregnant woman have takeaway coffee in the empty outside area? She was told to leave, and it gets worse from there...

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/cafe-gives-pregnant-woman-marching-orders-for-buying-takeaway-coffee/story-fni0cx4q-1226813856027

The waiter was being an idiot. People attract people, so having someone sitting in an external area that's empty would have attracted other people to the cafe. For 90cents, that customer might have brought in much more, aside from then goodwill it brings.

Maybe the store policy is idiotic, but if the customer didn't like it, she didn't have to dine there; she could have gotten her coffee somewhere that didn't have that policy.


It's not clear to me if that policy is stated anywhere in the venue. If it is, then I agree that the customer is in the wrong.
If it's not stated, then the cafe is being unreasonable, and handled it very, VERY badly.

It doesn't need to be out right stated. We can assume that they ask dine-in or take-out when they take the order because they charge different prices for them.  That is enough to make it clear that take out doesn't mean dine in. Further, it is still not unreasonable to ask someone with take out to please not dine in.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.