Thursday, October 19, 2006

Conference Countdown





There have been a few frustrations in planning this event. Most of them are easily rectified. Others, well...


A couple of my coworkers have decided that everyone should have to work at the following, so that they understand just how hard it is:

1. Waitress
2. Reception desk
3. Sales clerk / cashier
4. Event planner

Some people just don't understand the work that goes into each of these jobs.

Does anyone have a story (funny or otherwise) about any of these jobs? 'cause I could use funny right about now.



  1. Sort of reception related:

    At the public library I was on the reference desk. I was a happy little student and the librarian was like, if you know the answer or can find it, feel free to help patrons.

    YAY! Sez me. Will do.

    So a guy comes up and is all "I want a book on Indian cookery"

    I am thinking, sweet, cookbook on curry. No sweat.

    Then the crazy went into action.

    He wanted Native American survival in the wilderness cooking. Berries, leaves and plants. Not that I am mocking aboriginal culture, but there just aren't that many cookbooks on the topic.

    So, as the librarian and I try to find something, he talks to fill the time.

    Holy crazy, he's going on about the atmosphere disappearing and how he is doing a lecture on survivialism for Greenpeace and how we should get up away from the computer and walk him to the book, cuz we won't be able to rely on technology forever.

    The librarian handled it well and explained that she needed to see if there were any books that would be useful before she could show him where they were.

    I on the other hand was floored and looked something like Cletus, as I was slack jawed.

    P.S. I have some very interesting pics of Henry...

  2. This is one of my fav stories from my Tim Tart Days:
    I was on my own in the store, and a group of late teens/early twenties guys came in, about 4 of them. They all ordered food and drink, so I figured I wasn't going to have any grief from them. I was standing behind the counter staring off into space (Sunday nights were really really slow) when suddenly on of the guys starts jumping up and down...because his PANTS WERE ON FIRE!!!!
    He managed to beat out the flames, I came over and asked him if he was alright. He said he was, and that his zippo must have leaked in his pocket, putting lighter fluid on his pants. I asked how he caught fire...he admitted to flicking his lighter...against his pants.
    I lost all composure and told him and his buddies to get the (colourful expeletives here) out of my (more nasty language) store and to not (again with the bad words) come back. Ever. He tried to argue (which was a little scary since he was a lot bigger than me...I think I came up to his elbows), but I just stared at him and he apologized and left. Once they were gone I put my head down on the counter and laughed until I cried.
    Even now, I am laughing myself into fits over the image of that guy jumping around with his pants on fire.

  3. I'd be here all day typing the woes and laughs of reception/retail/service industry work.
    I need a new career ;)

    Oh, and as soon as I read the header "Final Countdown" began to play in my head.
    Dada daa daaaa, duhduh da da daaaaa....

  4. Well, this isn't related to any of these jobs, but I think it will do for a laugh.

    The superintendant of our apartment building got called to one lady's appartment because the freezer part of her fridge stopped working. When he opened it, it was jam-packed with much that it burnt out the fan.

    He told her he could get it fixed for her, but that they needed to pull everything out. As he got to the back of the freezer he started pulling out empty plastic baggies.

    He said "what are these in here for?" to which she replied, "they're FREEZER bags"!!!!

    Ha ha ha ha! This is a true story, but she is blonde so I'm not sure how much that has to do with it!! :D

    I'm sure the job of a super is just as interesting/frustrating as the others...I've waitressed, been a cashier and planned big events, so I know what you are going through...sometimes people just make you want to scream!!

    Hope it goes well this weekend!

  5. Oh, I can beat those stories.
    Well, my sister, Beulah, can.
    She used to work at a Hallmark store in Halifax. There was a, uh, colourful woman who used to go into the shop every day and put things on hold (but she would never buy anything). The woman had key chains pinned to the front of her coat.
    Anyhow, Beulah would make polite chitchat... sometimes. The woman drove her nuts. One morning she came into the shop and started talking to Beulah at the cash. Beulah just nodded and kept working. The woman asked where the bathroom in the mall was, Beulah told her and the woman kept talking.
    A few minutes later, the woman said 'Oh no...'. Beulah looked up... and then the smell hit her.
    The. Woman. Had. Shit. On. The. Floor.
    Beulah FREAKED. Her coworker called the cleaners and said 'Uh, excuse me, a woman has defecated on our floor.'
    Beulah grabbed the phone and screamed 'She shit on the floor! She SHIT ON THE FLOOR!!!'
    They had to close the store for an hour and steam clean the carpet.
    I hope your weekend is better than that.

  6. Jaichan,
    I've cleaned up pee and vomit from the carpeted floor of my dad's pharmacy. And it wasn't during two separate incidents.

    But your story is way funnier than mine.

  7. I used to work in #'s 1-3 and am currently dealing with #4. It can be brutal sometimes.

    Other than the usual nonsense, one incident stands out in my head. I was a "sales associate" at Northern Reflections in early university. I was working over the supper hour one evening and a seemingly nice middle age man came in shopping for his wife...and proceeded to ask if he could come behind the counter and molest me. I declined and asked him to leave (nowadays I am a little more unshockable and would have had a more aggressive reaction).

    Apparently, he has a twisted sense of humour, told his wife about his "joke". She was mortified and sent him back to the store to apologize. I wasn't there, but my manager refused the apology on my behalf.

  8. My most favorite job ever was a front desk clerk at Motel 6. Got to watch HBO while nothing was going on, and I could stay there for free whenever I wanted. People used to call down and ask for the concierge to bring up more pillows. It was a happy moment when I could say, "This is Motel 6. You may pick up your pillows at the front desk whenever you're ready."

    Nothing really funny ever happened, though. Unless you count the guy who stayed there for a month and left a thousand roses on his bed as a tip. He wasn't big on English; he just dropped off his key and said, "Beeg flowah, on bed, you can have."

  9. "Beeg flowah, on bed, you can have."

    I love that!

  10. HOLY SMOKES! I'll stick to film with divas and scary directors. Nothing that will end the world ever happens - even though at the time when you are being yelled at with 100 people watching you sure feel like it. (Yes I have been yelled at - even on this movie) You don't know that panic that sets in when you see an extra wearing red and he has already been seen on camera........ I think I'd rather clean up poop.