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Melantrys’ Page » rant

Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

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, November 28th, 2013

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So I had a really fat envelope in the mail today.

Top sheet read:

“Dear family Melantrys,

we learned of the death in your family via the daily paper.
By no means do we mean to offend you by sending you our catalogue.
As Germany’s biggest gravestone dealer we’d like to introduce ourselves to you with our new catalogue.

(…) death (…) finality (…) dignified monument (…) thankfulness towards and bond with departed (yadda-yadda)”

This alone would already annoy me immensely.
They claim to be the biggest in Germany, and they have nothing better to do than to trawl the obituaries and send the bereaved families their fucking catalogue?!

What annoys me even more is that they already did the job. The funeral parlour we hired used them to add the new engraving. The stone was done two weeks ago.
Maybe someone should have compared their obituary/catalogue candidates list with their actual order list…


Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

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If your job puts you into regular contact with your fellow citizens and you keep seeing the same faces, day in, day out, and if you’re even stuck long enough in the job to see children become young adults, you are tempted into the illusion that you actually know these people, at least a little bit.
Oh, boy, will you be wrong about that!

And I refuse for once to tread the “well, no-one really seemed to much care for the boy when he was a kid” path.

I put down the cracking some of the store’s windows by throwing stones at them together with a friend some years ago as the folly of youth.
He seemed contrite and polite enough afterwards.

Today my blood was boiling when he came into the store with a young man wearing a “White Pride” patch on his jacket. I didn’t say anything then, but I promised myself I’d tell him what I thought of the company he’s keeping these days next time I see him about.

Now…… my thoughts keep running in circles. So he’s hanging with nazis. Is that his worst sin? As I learned later today it is not, not by far.

There was a death in this village last year; a man beaten by his drinking “buddies”, then left alone to die. They weren’t convicted as it was unclear if the beating truly caused the death, or if some prior illness did.
One of the drinking buddies is the boy’s father.
And the boy brags about his father killing the man.

Maybe his way to deal with a horrible reality, I don’t know. And frankly I don’t care.
What kind of person goes and brags of his father killing someone to the friends of a child of that killed man?

I needed a vent; I hope you’ll bear with me….
This small village feels very unlike home tonight….

Look, I’m sure this came with a warranty.

Monday, April 12th, 2010

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In September 2009 a US American woman, Torry H., adopted a Russian child, Artyom S.

According to H. and her mother Artyom - or Justin, as he was now being called - had been showing antisocial and dangerous behaviour, ranging from hitting, kicking and spitting to uttering threats, compiling a “hit list” and even recently having started a fire in the house.

So this weekend the seven-year-old boy was put on a one-way flight to Moscow by Torry’s mother, apparently carrying nothing but a backpack containing sweets, cookies, crayons and a note from his adoptive mother with him.

The note said: “This child is mentally unstable. He is violent and has severe psychopathic issues. I was lied to and misled by the Russian orphanage workers and director regarding his mental stability and other issues … After giving my best to this child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself, I no longer wish to parent this child.”

“A man” was paid $200 to pick the boy up at the airport and discard him drop him off at the Russian Education and Science Ministry.

(The adoptive grandmother) said it wasn’t child abandonment because a stewardess was watching Artyom on the flight and a reputable person picked him up in Russia.

According to Russian authorities, the boy accuses his adoptive mother of being “bad”, not loving him and having pulled his hair.

I am having several problems with this.

No matter which version is true, or whether both are, we are talking about a seven-year-old child here.

He was taken away from his natural mother by Russian authorities.
There is no information available on why that happened, but I’d say it is safe to assume the kid is carrying baggage from whatever must’ve taken place there before the authorities stepped in.

Then he spent about a year in an orphanage. Nothing six-year-old children really benefit from.

Then he is taken into a strange country.
A certainly frightening experience for such a young child.
He may have exhibited all those traits that the adoptive mother and grandmother describe.
Hell, if you adopt a child, you should be prepared for problems.
If they turn out to be severe surely no one will blame you if you seek help from a psychologist. That’s what they’re for after all.
Well, whatever happened in the US, after a good half year they just decide to discard him like some faulty kitchen appliance.
I don’t even want to try and imagine what that must do to the mind of a child.

Actually, none of us need much imagination here, just click the link in the second news quote, they have a photo there of the boy.
And then look at his face.

And Nancy H. has the gall to bandy words and reject the term “child abandonment”?
What does one call putting a child on a plane with the intent to deliver him onto the doorstep of the Russian Education and Science Ministry?
It doesn’t matter that a flight attendant and then a paid courier were with him at all times.
The child was abandoned at a fucking ministry in Moscow.

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]

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]

In other news…

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

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… I feel a bit like throttling my doctor.

You all know I’ve been suffering from a cold and bronchitis. When my first antibiotic was all gone, the doc switched to another one, which I’ve been taking for the last four days now.
Apart from having bellyaches now and feeling sick at times, I have a very dry mouth and the inside of my mouth and my tongue are hurting.

When that prompted me to stick out my tongue at the bathroom mirror this morning I decided I don’t need antibiotics anymore.

Well, I do.

But definitely not this one.

your tongue on Amoxicillin

I sat down today and read the patient information leaflet (PIL).
Unwanted side effects may occur very often, often, occasionally, rarely, or very rarely. Each of these terms the PIL defines in a 1 patient per x ratio.

The side effects I am having the pleasure of experiencing are all listed under “very often”. Can you guess the ratio given for that?!?!
1 patient out of 10 or more!!!

Excuse me, whatever gives any doctor the idea that anyone would wish to take this? Especially considering the staggering number of different antibiotics available on the market.

1 out of 10 patients (or more) may also experience severe diarrhea, which may be a sign for a very serious type of colics that requires immediate medical treatment. Well, thank goodness for small favours, eh…?


Update (2007/12/10):

As I am not merely still sick, but my cough got worse again, I called my doctor from work and told him that I had stopped taking the Amoxicillin and why.
Here’s what he said (*switches on instant translation machine*): “Ah, yes, unfortunately a lot of people suffer side effects from Amoxicillin, but its effects cover a broader range, so it is commonly given to smokers….”
If I could have, I’d have crawled through the phone to throttle him at that point.
So he gave me Amoxicillin because he - again - forgot that I quit smoking in ‘01. I don’t know how often I have been there with a cold or bronchitis, having the following conversation with him:

“Well, you smoke, of course…”
“Um, no, I don’t anymore….”

What I do know is that we were having that conversation the day he prescribed the f***ing Amoxicillin!!

:doh: :bang: :pullhair:


Monday, November 14th, 2005

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Sometimes I get this urge to stop cars and ask the drivers if they are insane or just plain stupid.

It is foggy today, very foggy. Doesn’t look as if it will clear at all today. Sight is at 200m maximum.
Still, it’s not dark anymore, so some people think it’s ok to drive without their bloody lights on. Or with their parking lights on. Excuse me…. p-a-r-k-i-n-g lights. So, what is the difference between p-a-r-k-i-n-g and d-r-i-v-i-n-g, folks? Haven’t figured it out yet? Well, hand over your licence, and make it quick!