Friday, March 28, 2014

Work Stories: Episode 67: Turned Up to 11

Previously on Work Stories, I wrote about a guy who was walking down the street outside my work.  He was drinking mouthwash and checking all of the parking meters for money.  Yes, it really happened.  Yes, I saw it.  I can’t say you read it because I’m never sure if people have actually read anything that I’ve written.  It doesn’t matter if you read it or not.  It’s what I wrote about.  You reading or not reading it doesn’t change that.

This week I’ll tell you another story.  This is the Work Stories.  Of course I’m going to be telling you another story.  If I didn’t tell you another story about what happened to me at work, it would be a failure of my duty to write Work Stories for you to read or not read.  I am supposed to write them to you.  I am supposed to share them with you.  I am supposed to open myself up to you and let you get to know a little bit about my working life.  That’s what this is about.  So let’s get to this week’s Work Story.

I’m going to break my streak of museum based Work Stories by telling you a story about when I was a parking lot attendant at the hotel I worked at during my high school days.  I’ve written about the job before so I’m not going to give too many details about the job itself.  I’m just going to say that the parking lot attendant part of the job involved taking the money of public people so that they could park in the hotel parking lot.  It wasn’t a tough job at all but it’s one that I did for three summers.

The parking itself was all day parking.  If a person paid, they could leave their car in the parking lot for as long as they pleased.  If they wanted to park there at 10am, go to the casino until 2am, then come back for their car, that was fine.  The only thing was that it was one entry.  If you left and wanted to come back, you had to pay again.  That’s mostly because I don’t know when you’re leaving and I am going to sell as many spots as I can.  If you leave and someone wants to park where you were, I am going to take their money and let them park there.  I don’t know if you’re coming back.

As you might have figured out, someone did come back one time.  They did want their spot back.  I told them that they had to pay because it’s pay per entry.  That’s what I would tell anyone who decided to come back after they had left.  Well, the woman driving the vehicle didn’t like that.  She wanted back in for free because she had paid for all day parking.  She paid to be able to drive in and out as she pleased because she had paid for a full day.  That’s what she was telling me.

I’m going to go somewhere completely different for a paragraph here.  Maybe not completely different.  I’m sticking to the hotel.  When I first worked in the dining room in the hotel, one of the waiters did something that has stuck with me for years now.  He was talking to a customer who had disagreed with him about something.  He smiled and said, “The customer is always right.”  Immediately after that, he took me around the corner and said, “Did you see that?  Let me tell you the truth.  The customer is never right.  They are never right.”  Those words are still in my mind today due to the fact that they are so often the truth.  The customer thinks they are in the right all the time even if you know you’re job and you know they are wrong.  They don’t know the rules or how things work because they don’t work where you work.  You do work there, so you know what’s going on.

Going back to the Work Story, the customer was not right.  She may have been yelling at me, turning the volume knob up to 11, but she was not right.  The rule was pay per entrance and leave your car there for as long as you want.  People weren’t paying to go in and out as they pleased for the day.  I knew that.  I told her that.  She said I was wrong.  I was not.  After a few minutes she left.  She knew I wasn’t going to change my mind and let her back in for free.

All of this might be doing nothing other than making me look like an asshole.  That might be true.  I could be an asshole for not bending the rules for the woman.  I was seventeen.  Teenagers and young adults tend to be asses.  That’s the way of life.  Would I have let her in again now?  I might have.  I don’t know.  It depends on her attitude towards me.  No matter what, though, I was following rules.  If she didn’t like that, then too bad.

That’s this week’s Work Story.  It’s not much but at least it’s something.  You got a Work Story this week.  Be happy about that.  I almost forgot to write one.  Maybe I’ll remember and get it up sooner next week.

Until then, I knew this was coming; this or something like it. There were warnings. Some people thought it was a con. I always believed in it.

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