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Melantrys’ Page » boring work story

Archive for the ‘boring work story’ Category

Dear unknown cat owner…

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

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… I am sorry.
I am so terribly, utterly sorry.

But it was so tempting.

And so unexpected.

And then really unexpected.

I never meant for it to happen.

It just did.

And I am quite sure we had fun.

Um, we are selling pet brushes…..
I just thought I might mention that.


Dear, confused reader,

when I left work yesterday a cat like this was sitting in the parking lot, staring into the shrubbery.

I made trying-to-attract-a-cat noises, and it turned and looked at me while staying where it was.
So I slowly walked over towards it, fully expecting it to run or saunter off, depending on its temperament.

But it stayed.

It never started purring, and its tail was even twitching a bit, but soon after I had started petting it it began rolling around on the floor.
The sandy, dirty parking lot….

And it rolled, and presented its belly to be rubbed, and let me tickle it under its chin, and rolled and rolled around on the dirty floor.

The trust this animal was showing me, the strange human, was so spell-binding that I just couldn’t stop petting the poor thing.

I am so sorry about the ruined fur, I really am….

And here it comes… the first employee rant:

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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Mondays at the store are busy days. There’s a flyer every weekend, so that our customers know what’s going to be on sale in the coming week.
Resulting from this, Fridays and Saturdays are also busy days for us - internally. What’s left of this week’s sale stuff gets taken out of the special shelves and put away again, and the new stuff gets moved in.
Now, due to the new situation these days have been even more busy thanks to a shortage of staff.
I started on the sales shelves halfway into the morning after I had returned from my round trip to the tax advisor and a few shops.
In the afternoon I was manning the till while another woman came in to continue with those shelves.
After hours I discovered that she had put away the rest of the stuff from this week that I had left over. She had also rearranged the shoe shelves I had put onto the lower shelf and added two products for next week. Two.
She has been running around all afternoon, busy with…… whatever. Certainly not with the stuff from next week’s flyer.
The other colleague was content seeing her being apparently busy. I also discovered that he had busied himself investigating what all our lazy colleagues had stuffed onto a shelf in storage. That shelf looked half empty now. On any other day I’d have said, “Sure, why not, someone has to finally try and sell that stuff.” But on a Friday…..
Also, I found a trolley filled with a couple of boxes from today’s delivery. None of them were checked on the packing list.

Now, this has been a long ignored problem under the former boss.
No-one felt like checking these things cos it is tedious work and you “get done more” when you don’t. Problem is, the people working at the central dispatch are illiterate, confused morons. They constantly send us wrong items cos nobody there notices if someone puts a “6 toothbrushes” label on a box containing five panties, even if the box is clearly labeled itself. Or they send two units instead of the three listed on the packing list.
Add to that that if we were selling raw eggs they’d put those at the bottom of the pallet and throw the cat litter bags on top.
I have been checking a lot of deliveries since I have become boss, and there was none – not one - where there wasn’t at least one mistake…. mostly to our disadvantage. So I have made it repeatedly clear that no item leaves storage unchecked.
Only the first of the new employees is actually following those orders.
Hence my annoyance at finding the trolley with the unchecked items.

Tomorrow the other cashier has her Saturday off. So I’ll be (wo)manning the till again.
A newish girl will also be in, but she has never done the sales stuff before, so she will not be that much help there.
Whatever she doesn’t finish, someone will have to finish after hours. Guess who that person is going to be?

So in order to not end up finishing tomorrow night I already put in some overtime today.
I was done with the accounting stuff and printing sales posters at around 8pm, then I started on sorting my way through the new deliveries, only then discovering the full extent of the work not done in the afternoon.
Loudly ranting at empty air, I set about checking deliveries against the packing lists, discovering a mistake and sorting the deliveries by “sale” / “none sale” product, already placing some of the items in the store.
The work is far from done though, but at 10:40pm I was done in for and went home.

I am torn between anger - a lot of anger - and disappointment now.
Friday’s and Saturday’s work is defined by the preparation for the new sales week. To just not do that work and merrily unpack totally unrelated items is in my mind coming very close to sabotage.
And for my other colleague to not notice what she was doing - or rather not doing - while I was too busy at the till to do so……. *speechless*


Thursday, June 19th, 2014

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Some of you may recall who I am, and some of those might recall my occasional workplace rants.
“Boss did this”, “colleague did that”…
Well, prepare yourselves for the occasional “employee did this”, “employee did that” rant.

Teh Mel has gone up in the Franchise style world and will be the store’s manager from July on.
I wish I could keep all of the money they’re gonna hand me on a monthly basis from now on, but unfortunately it looks like I’m gonna have to spend most of it on wages, electricity bills etc.
Bugger. ;)

Or in other words:

Who’s da boss??
I’m da boss!!!!!


:dance: :dance: :dance:

Medical midnight musings

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

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I’ve been doing some bi-lingual googling tonight, and now I am wondering…

Why is the general populace so badly informed on first aid measures concerning seizures?

The first thing anyone seems to know is that you have to put something into the patient’s mouth to prevent him/her biting off his/her tongue.
A colleague even named a piece of wood the recommended item.
Well, I hope in contrast a soft woven belt is harmless enough….

Turns out you’re not supposed to put anything into the patient’s mouth cos the risk of getting bitten or damaging the patient’s teeth is higher than the risk of any damage caused by the patient’s actually biting his/her tongue or cheek being truly serious.

Another oldie but goodie seems to be the advice to reach into the patient’s mouth and pull the tongue to the front, so that the patient cannot swollow it.
Apparently only recently this helpful “fact” got aired on Turkish tv for Germany.

One: The whole swallowing one’s tongue thing is a complete myth.
Two: Yeah, pull the tongue to the front, so that the patient surely cannot fail to bite on it.
Three: Hey, who needs fingers anyway; they’re way overrated.

It took me five seconds to google a comprehensive list of first aid measures, including what not to do.
Then why is the public knowledge (at least apparently in Germany and Turkey) on the level of the last century or so?

Witnessing a seizure is a scary, scary experience.
I’d be helpful if one at least had a real clue of what (not) to do.

Why I “love” my colleagues

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

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Last year the boss suggested having a Christmas dinner. That never happened, mainly due to the boss looking for a cheap solution.1

This year, some colleagues suddenly said: “Hey, what about us having a Christmas dinner of our own this year?!”
Everyone agreed, and soon we had also agreed on going to a Chinese restaurant in the vicinity.
As I often eat there, I was more or less solely elected by our colleague Ma. to “take care of things”.

Almost all had already agreed on a date when the last person I asked - of course - had prior plans. But she was free the week after, so I had to ask the others all over again.

By that time Ma. had asked the boss if he wanted to join us.2

He had said no, but she didn’t want to give up quite yet, so we agreed that she’d ask him one last time when we had settled on a final date and that would be that, no matter what his answer would be.

Everyone had time on the new date, so I charged Ma. with posing her final question at the beginning of next week and let me know his answer.
Meanwhile I’d call the restaurant and reserve a table for the number of colleagues plus maybe two more people (boss and girlfriend) to make sure we weren’t too late - after all, pre-Christmas time’s a busy season for restaurants.
Then, on Monday - Tuesday at the latest - I’d call them again and give them the exact number of people.

I was off on a last vacation week then, and had to haul my ass over there cos no one had called.
My colleague A. told me that the boss’s answer was still no.
So I called the restaurant and told them it’d be seven people.

When I returned to work this Monday A. greeted me with the news that Ma. had pleaded again with the boss at the end of the week, and that he had given in.
But Chinese food apparently is poison, and we’d have to eat somewhere else instead because the boss would rather have steak or something.
An “international” restaurant (read: a restaurant with mainly German cuisine3 - plus probably chevapcici - owned by a guy from the former Yugoslavia) had been suggested, and everyone seemed to be happy with the choice.
I was already pissqued at the time, but called the restaurant to ask about vegan food. The resulting conversation confirmed my experiences with German cuisine so far: German - and Balkan - restaurants simply don’t do vegan, and whatever they kindly offer to serve you does rarely deserve the name restaurant quality.
So I told A. that I didn’t care; I’d cancel the reservation and someone else could book a table at the other restaurant, sans me.
A. told me in no uncertain terms that he’d rather forego the company of the boss than mine and that I should not cancel my reservation.
Quite apart from being royally pissqued by then, I certainly did not wish to occur the wrath of the boss by probably being the reason that all colleagues - except for one - would vote for the Chinese restaurant over the one the boss could go to. Neither did I want the whole affair to endlessly drag on, with me probably being forced to cancel the reservation anyway, but way too late and thus also annoying the restaurant people.

A. was very persistent though and said he’d go and play dumb and tell the boss he had heard that had he said yes after all and try to sound things out.
Another colleague told me she didn’t care where we were going; she was sick of one person managing to spoil it for everyone else - again - and that she was out.
The boss was sick at the beginning of the week, so time trickled by.

By the time A. had finally talked to him, I had seen Ma. twice, and not once did she inform me4 of the change in plans. Nor had she asked A. to inform me by the way…

A. told me that the boss didn’t really want to go with us and only had agreed because of her endless nagging. Furthermore he’d feel obliged to pay for the food and drinks if he joined us, which he also didn’t really want to do, so he was even considering picking up the tab but in return not paying out any “Christmas money”.

Not quite trusting A.’s word either as he was in such an “I don’t care” mood earlier on about the boss joining us, I went and talked to the boss myself yesterday.

What he told me was this:
1. He had wanted to keep out of the whole thing in the first place cos he had considered the whole idea of company Christmas dinners done with after last year.
2. He is indeed wary of Chinese food, but the other restaurant being called international had made him sceptical as well, so that one was out of the question too5.
3. No, he would not be offended in any way if we went to the Chinese restaurant without him; on the contrary, he hadn’t heard much about the back and fro concerning the dinner, but he was already fed up with the little he had heard, and thus not really interested.

Today I told Ma. that I had to pick a bone with her. I had talked to the boss, and he was not really interested in joining us, and things would stay the way they had originally been planned. I made sure to mention that according to what we had agreed upon I had of course also already reserved the table.

“Yes, I know, I know! But A. kept asking me if the boss had said yes or no, cos he so much wanted the boss to come with us. He even said we could pay the dinner for the boss - which I found a bit over the top.”

Right. And I am the Queen of Saba.


  1. Loooooooooong story cut short. [back]
  2. Wtf? [back]
  3. *cough, cough* [back]
  4. or anyone else, except for A. [back]
  5. Good thing I was too pissqued to book a table for the others there already… [back]

Of Turks, Arabs, Muslims and ham

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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Don’t you all think it has been too long since the last anecdote from work? Yeah, me too.

Have two.

Last week this tall Syrian dude came into the store with a young man I didn’t know.
M. and my Turkish colleague A. were working in the isle right behind the entrance.
Shortly after the two men had entered I heard M. exclaim that Egypt was a place she definitely had to go to on holiday one day. Later questions posed to A. confirmed my assumption that this was due to the men mentioning that the new dude was from Egypt.

A while later M. came over and informed me that there were two “fellow-countrymen” of A.’s in the store, and that one was having two vouchers from the social welfare office, and asked me technical questions about how I was going to ring that up.
She also told me that the new dude spoke hardly any German at all and that he sure was glad for A. being there and merrily chatting to him and the other dude.

“Urrrr, M., are you sure the two guys aren’t talking Arabic amongst themselves?”
“Well, how would I know the difference?!”

Well… How shall I put it…? Logical thinking?

For one thing, our colleague is Turkish. That the one regular customer is Syrian is not common knowledge, granted, but the new guy did say he was from Egypt.
Which language do the people speak there….? :think:
Furthermore, the later questioning of A. revealed that apart from an “As-salaam alaykum” / “Alaykum salaam” (or - I suspect - “As-salaam alaykum” (Arabic) / “Alayküm salaam” (Turkified pronunciation)) at the beginning the rest of the merry chat was conducted in German (between A. and the Syrian guy) and a bit of Arabic (between the Syrian and the Egyptian guy) of course.

Still, I can’t help but imagine them babbling incomprehensible stuff in Arabic and Turkish respectively at each other… :rofl:


Yesterday we could give away ham that was a good week past its sell-by date. :sick:

Anyway, as I was about to throw the “for free due to sell by date” sign into the box and place it in front of the noses of our customers, M. exclaimed:
“Wait! A. and me want some too!”
“A. does not want any ham.”
“Of course he’ll want some”
*picks up ham*
“Ingredients: pork….”
*confused look*
“Well, A. does eat pork.”

“No, A. certainly does not eat pork.”
“What does he eat then?!”
“Beef, sheep, fowl…”
(*customer who wandered in on conversation quietly smirks*)

*wonders if M. will decline all food except salad at the next bbq A. throws for all colleagues*

Of weekend emergency doctors, pharmacies and the usual crap at work

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

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As some of you may know, I’ve been suffering from an ear infection (with the added bonus of fluids behind the eardrum) since Friday evening.
As you may also know, the store I am working at turns into a fridge during winters (which may be how I got that ear infection in the first place).
Anyway, on Saturday stupid me dragged herself to work. Doctors were closed anyway. That invisible guy might as well stab his knife into my ear at work. Bad decision. Was a terrible day.

On Sunday I couldn’t stand the pain anymore and drove to the hospital. The resident weekend “family doctor” there was really good. Noted my cold, and didn’t only peer into both ears but also listened to my lungs, inspected my throat and took my temp (37.2°C, which he dubbed a “mildy elevated operating temperature”).
He prescribed ear drops with an antibiotic and ibuprofen (”Are you allergic to Ibuprofen?” First doc ever to ask me that…).

Then I drove to the weekend emergency pharmacy for the region, which was in the same city.
Patients had to stand outside in front of a flap and crouch down slightly to be able to see the young lady manning the pharmacy.
After I had handed her my prescription she was gone for quite a while. She returned and beamed at me.
“I am sorry but we don’t have your ear drops. We have similar ones but I’ll have to call the hospital and ask.”
Another long absence; another bright smile.
“Unfortunately I can’t reach anyone there. I could give you your painkillers and order the ear drops. You can come pick them up on Monday then.”
“I need those ear drops now; I am in pain. That’s why I went to the weekend emergency doc at the hospital.”
(You may or may not know that those kind of drops also have some effect on the pain. And of course they fight the infection - which is after all what causes the pain…)
*another bright smile*
“Well, we also have some over-the-counter-drops. I could give you those of course.”
“Look, I’ve already tried those at a weekend in the distant past. They do not work. At all.” (Which is no small wonder, as they don’t contain antibiotics…)
Then she went and looked up some hotline that has the numbers of weekend emergency pharmacies to phone the closest one and ask if I can get my drops there, which - you might have guessed it - took her a while. She returned with the phone pressed to her ear. Whoever was on the other end wasn’t really more helpful than her.
“Ah. No, that’s us; I meant other pharmacies that are open today. Uh-huh. (*beam*) Which city’s nearer for you, Faraway or Totallyfaraway?”
*blank stare*
“Look, I’m not gonna drive that far with that pain. Why don’t you just give me my prescription back and I’ll see if I can rouse our local pharmacist?”

*confused look*
All in all that exchange must have taken 20 minutes (out in the cold), and I had attracted a cue of two more patients, which I think is quite a lot for an emergency weekend service…

My local pharmacist was not on weekend service but answered my buzz at his door, let me into his warm pharmacy, assured me that was no problem at all, could give me all I needed and wished me a speedy recovery.

On Monday I first went to work, then soon to our new family doc. He said it didn’t look dramatic, but I should take more of the painkillers if the pain was so bad and offered to give me a sick note till Friday.
Stupid me thought of the special 20% off thing at the end of the week and said so. Doc suggested taking off till Wednesday then.

So today was my first day back at work. As I still need the odd pain killer I decided that the cold air is not good for my ear. Stuffing cotton inside or pulling thick woolly hats over my ears was no option as those kind of infections apparently get worse if you cut off the air.
I have a thin t-shirt cloth like keep-hair-out-of-face bandana thing that I tried out but it clawed at my ear rings, and kept slipping upwards and keeping my ear canal uncovered. So I went for a stylish thin yellow shawl.
That went well until our boss arrived.
He declared that outfit inacceptable.
“Can’t you find something else here in the store? Or at least tie it in a different way, I don’t know, Rambo-style?!”

A part of me must have known it, as I had the bandana with me, too. My ear rings went, that thing came on and I spent the day looking like a moron and constantly pulling down that ugly thing.

I really need a new job, I think…

no hijab
not allowed

And yet another (not so) boring work story

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

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The first I noticed of a customer today was my colleague A. trying to usher him out of the store.
He was arguing with him about something (in a friendly way), which I didn’t catch. I thought it was about the reason for my colleague sending him outside - he had brought his dog inside with him.
Black, might have been a bulldog.

My colleague later told me that the guy had replied that there was no sign at the door saying dogs weren’t allowed. There was, but as the new boss we got1 had torn off and only partly replaced the signs the old boss had hung up, A. thought he might not have printed that one yet and believed the customer. He told him that nevertheless we were selling foodstuffs, and that no dogs were allowed in a store then, which he surely could understand.

The young man let himself be steered towards the exit, but not without stopping at the register and putting forth the same request he’d been discussing with A. earlier.
He wanted us to order Lonsdale2 jackets, or at least acquire one for him from somewhere.

I really hate the Nazis for adopting regular stuff as “theirs”. When you see someone in Lonsdale clothing, you’re left guessing. Sometimes his hairstyle or behaviour will tell you all you need to know. But often you’re simply wondering “Fucking piece of nazi filth, confused person from Mars who simply bought him-/herself some expensive sports clothing or clueless tourist?”

Although the combination of Lonsdale jacket (he was wearing an elderly one), faux army pants and bulldog (or similar) on a leash was already pretty much of a giveaway, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and answered him neutrally and politely.
I told him that we can’t order stuff that’s not listed. The only thing he could do was to call our central and suggest that they try to order it.
He insisted that we surely had the means to get the order number and order a Lonsdale jacket.
I said we didn’t and that - although I very much doubted they’d be interested in an expensive clothing brand like that - the guys at central were the only ones with the means of adding to our product range.
That was the plain and simple truth, but he didn’t quite seem to buy it.

Eventually he brought his dog outside and came back in to do some shopping.
While he was paying he asked me “Oh, come on, you surely used to wear Lonsdale too in the past?”
That was just too much, so I politely informed him that - due to the scene that brand too often got associated with - I didn’t and won’t wear any Lonsdale clothing - ever. While I was saying that about the scene, he emphatically plucked at his jacket, flashing me a wide smile. He insisted that I must have, as I had a “Lonsdale face”. Here he slipped, and accidentally used the more personal and not the formal German way of addressing people, which he had been using earlier. He immediately apologized for his rudeness and corrected his way of addressing me. My inner self had finally gnawed through its gag and leash and popped up to - politely - inform him that I was having no problem with that but with allegedly having a “Lonsdale face”.
Our business was done - “Here’s your change.” - “Thank you.” - Good-bye.”

About an hour later he was back for some more booze shopping, and apparently had reflected upon my reaction and decided that I am not a closet neo-nazi but a stinking lefty.
He was still as cheerfully polite as before, but when I was done counting the coins he had handed me and looked up at him to tell him that he had given me a bit too much money he said “Ich weiß, ich nix schwarz” before I could even open my mouth and sashayed out of the store.
Brilliant wordplay, considering.
“Ich weiß” alone would in this case (and did to some extent of course) mean “I know.”
The added part though turned it into a sentence in broken German, saying “I white, I no black.”

I have never seen this young man; I hope he was merely passing through or something, and didn’t just move here or so…


  1. Yeah, even more exciting news… [back]
  2. If you haven’t read the Lonsdale link I provided, do that right now, then continue with the text. [back]

Save the cows!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

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Today it happened again.
A customer asked if we had cow mulch.

I say the time has come to stop this barbaric shredding of cows!
What sane person can pour bits and pieces of cows onto his or her flowerbed and feel nothing wrong with it?! (Not to mention the blood seeping into the ground water….)

Run, cows, ruuuuuun!!!!!


… maybe they meant bark mulch?


Let me give you a quick German lesson:

Mulch - - - mulch

Rind - - - cow
Rinder - - - cows
Rindermulch - cow mulch

Rinde - - - bark
Rinden - - - barks
Rindenmulch - bark mulch

Dear customers, the only cow product you can buy for your garden is cow crap dung (Rinderdung).
Ah, you think Rindermulch is bark mulch? Sorry, no. Please go back to school and learn the basics of your mother tongue. While you’re there maybe someone’ll teach you the difference between going to and after people as well…

*sighs mournfully*

And yet another day at work

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

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While I was away from the till, tidying up some shelves, my colleague A. kindly took care of some of the customers so I didn’t have to run to and fro.

An older man merrily announced “Ooh, it’s the boss himself at the till!” then asked him where he was from. A. avoided a direct answer by claiming that he had forgotten, hahaha.
“Well, which language do you speak?” He should have said “German,” but my colleague somewhat truthfully replied “Kurdish.”
The man then launched into a diatribe against all those foreigners who just come into our country to do nothing and get paid for it by the state. (As opposed to my good, busy, dutiful colleague.) “Isn’t that so?” “Yes, yes, you sure have a point there,” my poor colleague agreed.
“In Thailand people asked me where I was from, and when I said “Germany,” they always said “Ah, the country where you get paid for doing nothing.” It’s all the fault of Die Grünen1.”

Finally - after repeating himself a few times - he took his purchases and left. I drifted over to my colleague and asked him how anyone could be so far removed from reality to talk that way to a foreigner and expect him to actually agree. A. said he really couldn’t say, “… and what was that man doing in Thailand anyway?”

:think: Good question. A very good question indeed. Why do most German men go to Thailand? :think:


  1. lit. “the greens”, ecologically (and socially) oriented political party that only recently had any political influence, and certainly none concerning welfare for unemployed immigrants [back]