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Thread: The inside scoop on [fill in job]

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The inside scoop on [fill in job]

    We've had a few threads over the years that dealt specifically with some of the 'inside scoop' associated with pizza joints, grocery stores, and fast food drive-thrus, to name a few. Nearly all of us have worked various other jobs working through college, or pursuing other career paths. I'd like to open open the floor now to everyone else to share their insider perspectives on any job they've worked. Tell us what goes on behind the scenes with whatever jobs you've worked that John and Jane Q. Public may not know about. Tell us all about the good, bad and ugly (ok, let's be completely honest... we're not so much interested in the good as we are the 'bad' and 'ugly'). Spill the beans. Expose some Dirt. Discuss.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    I worked for a few years at a car dealership and I suggest that anyone who owns a fast car be very cautious when asking someone to test drive their vehicle. There are plenty of mechanics who will see that as an open invitation to push the vehicle to the limit. Remember the two guys from the garage in Ferris Buellers Day Off? Yea, that really will happen.

    Also, during my stint as a telemarketer at the FOP, when you donate to these organizations, only about 30% or less is actually "donated", the rest goes to "operational costs" to run the call centers. Unless it's the FOPA, it's NOT a non-profit agency calling in most cases.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    My first taxable job was as veterinarian's assistant. Cleaned cages & kennels, mopped floors, bathed animals, restrained dogs getting their nails trimmed, transported blood donor "volunteer" dogs to and from exam rooms, assisted vet while he performed some surgeries (mostly lifting animals up and down from the table). Worst duty was assisting during euthanasia while owners were present, second worst was taking the dead animals out behind the clinic and throwing them in a burial pit (mass grave) after the owners were gone. We're so sorry for your loss.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  4. #4
    When I worked for a major van lines, we kept commercial touch-up pencils of various wood stain colors in our tool box. Anything that looked like a fresh scratch got a nice color-matched rubbing with the pencils. We once unwrapped a small table and noticed one of the legs that we had taken off was broken. We found our handy-dandy wood glue and vice and glued it back together, let it sit under a burlap skin to dry, then delivered it as if nothing had happened. (We later got a letter from the owner thanking us for fixing the table leg 'that had been broken by Allied Van Lines many years before"!). We kept old style toothpaste (when it really was paste) to fill holes gouged in walls. Worked like a charm, but then I can't say what it looked like once it dried. We never did it, but you could park the front wheels of the cab in such a way that the scale operator couldn't see you were partly off the scale, providing a lighter tare weight. Many folks illegally put 400 gallons of diesel on board before getting their gross weights. When you get paid by the pound, and the line-haul is discounted 55%, well, some guys and gals will get the odds back in their favor.

    Of course, if we sound like no good, dirty, rotten scoundrels, I could tell you some eye-opening stories about what kind of crap the shippers were pulling on us and/or their employers (who were footing the bill) ...

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Which job -
    shipyard - unions
    oilfield & explosives
    grocery store,
    hotel - construction, security, or kitchen
    sewer line - cleaning - things found.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Which job -
    shipyard - unions
    oilfield & explosives
    grocery store,
    hotel - construction, security, or kitchen
    sewer line - cleaning - things found.
    I think the explosives and hotel security sound most interesting.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Oilfield & explosives -
    part of completing a oil/gas well before fracting (in the news) was the wireline service I worked for would go down hole with a perforating gun - directional cone shots designed to shoot through the steel casing, concrete (to hold the casing in place) out into the rock formation. Just imagine what that would do to you ?

    Static electricity, and explosives near a wellhead is not a mix you don't want any part of.

    Hotel Security -
    in a ski resort town, easy getting the job because I was a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT.
    peak periods were X-mas and spring break.
    imagine hot tubs, drunks, and potential for altitude sickness.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Ice cream parlors - one of the reasons everything is so expensive is because they plan on losing x% of their inventory to employee theft.

    Military communications centers - for every top secret 'oh man, that's gonna be front page news tomorrow' message there are 5000 that are a cure to insomnia.

    Eye doctors' offices - you know how sometimes you could swear the technicians are just flooding your eyes with that dilating medicine but think they must know what they are doing when it comes to dosing.....they do know what they're doing, but if they don't like you it's possible you might get a little 'extra'

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Pharmaceutical sales: there are two kinds of people in pharma sales.

    Type 1: Overly goodlooking, making incredible money, completely over-sexed and shallow.

    Type 2: Think, "Death of a Salesman". I got out because I was shaping up to be this type.

    Big secret: all of them steal samples of whatever drugs they want or need for themselves and or family and never ever pay for prescriptions. You probably could have guessed that, huh?
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    At Macy's, I completely upselled you constantly, especially in Men's and Children's department. Everything always looked good on you even though the colors and print patterns made you look like a giant Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon or your children looked like a scandalous hooker in the cheetah print outfit that was shrunk from milf to toddler with tiaras status.

    Not only did i always ask if you want to use your Macy's charge account, but if you didn't have one, and I would do some math for you and tell you that you could not only save 15% of today's purchase, but over $X, especially if what you bought was more than a $100, cuz that sounds way cooler and than 15%. I got a commission for every 20 charge accounts i opened up, and believe me, I always opened those up for you.

    Merchandise damaged because of a stain or smudge, sure why not. I'll mark it out and of course take it home cuz it is nothing tide or clorox 2 can get out.

    Did i date girls at my job.. sure did.. three at the same time from different departments... aww that was a great summer!
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    As you can probably guess . . . don't ever get McDonald's employees angry when they're making your food. On second thought - just don't eat at McDonalds.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Musician. Late hours, long drives, little appreciation (at least for the trombone player)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    At Macy's, I completely upselled you constantly, especially in Men's and Children's department. Everything always looked good on you even though the colors and print patterns made you look like a giant Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon or your children looked like a scandalous hooker in the cheetah print outfit that was shrunk from milf to toddler with tiaras status.

    Not only did i always ask if you want to use your Macy's charge account, but if you didn't have one, and I would do some math for you and tell you that you could not only save 15% of today's purchase, but over $X, especially if what you bought was more than a $100, cuz that sounds way cooler and than 15%. I got a commission for every 20 charge accounts i opened up, and believe me, I always opened those up for you.
    You got a commission?! I spent a whole year working for a department store, signed up loads of customers for charge accounts, and I never got a %&# commission! All I got was a measly $4.15 an hour (this was in the mid-1980s).

    Sale prices are bogus. The discount is often based on the original marked-up or "suggested retail price."

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    You got a commission?! I spent a whole year working for a department store, signed up loads of customers for charge accounts, and I never got a %&# commission! All I got was a measly $4.15 an hour (this was in the mid-1980s).

    Sale prices are bogus. The discount is often based on the original marked-up or "suggested retail price."
    Commission isn't the best word.. how about "sales bonus"
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  15. #15
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Waitstaff... Do not be a jerk to your bartenders. We can under pour, slow down your order, mix poorly, and about anything else that will cause you to lose tips. Just be nice and share properly.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
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    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Pizza Hut cook/waitress:

    The cook cleans the men's room.

    The waitress cleans the women's room.

    We will do everything possible to accomodate your bizarre pizza request, but we really have to draw the line when you insist on standing in the cook area to make sure that not a single drop of animal fat or meat touches your pizza. Step away from the cook.

    Bookstore manager:

    Yeah, we all really talk about the "different" special order you made. But we won't gossip to other customers about your orders.

    We really love that you want a certain book because you're such a dedicated reader, but sometimes the book you want just can't be found in your price range. Get over it.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    The inside scoop on overnight Walmart stockers:
    We all tend to take our 1-hour lunch break around the same time: 2am-3am. And yes, most people really eat lunch. Or 4th meal, or whatever you want to call it.
    And we all tend to take our 15 minute-breaks at the same times: 12am and 5am.
    You start to get excited about work almost being over when the bakery people come in at 5am
    All the pallets and cardboard boxes need to start being taken off the floor around 6am
    Nightly meetings are held at the start of the shift at 10pm, in which important notes are mentioned and workers are assigned to different sections
    A handful of people will come in at 11pm instead of 10pm. This is done to cut costs.
    When the manager finds out that the district manager or some other big-shot is coming in, we are directed to work extra-hard to make sure the aisles look nice
    The process of facing items on the shelves and making sure the aisles look good is called "zoning". Go figure.
    Yes, we really are all over-tired and sleep-deprived. Sleeping during your breaks is normal.
    Almost everyone smokes. I didn't, so I didn't really fit in.
    We all have our certain aisles or sections that we typically like to work in more.
    Speed is valued over accuracy. So if the stuff on the shelves is screwed up, this may be why. Because I'm such a perfectionist, I felt my time was running short there (especially when the nice manager went on sick-leave and a harsher manager came on instead), so it's a good thing I got out when I did.
    Your best friends are a Sharpie permanent marker (for marking items as "over-stock") and a box cutter (but only a Walmart box-cutter)
    All too often, the pallets are full of items that we don't need and absent of stuff we do need. How they determine what pallets to send us, I will never know.
    The process and procedures for cleaning up a spill are absolutely over-the-top, bureaucratic, and ridiculous
    Your hands get ridiculously chapped and if you're working in cereal, you will come home smelling like cereal; if you work in pet foods, you will smell like pet food; etc.
    Canned goods and pop/juice are the most hated aisles to work. Canned goods because it's so tedious and pop/juice because there's so much and the items are so heavy
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    Fast food general rule #1: Ask for no salt on everything. Then they have to cook it fresh.

    When you get your food, ask for some salt
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tarf View post
    Fast food general rule #1: Ask for no salt on everything. Then they have to cook it fresh.

    When you get your food, ask for some salt
    My sister taught me this one over 30yrs ago; go to Burger King or McD's, say you're watching sodium,get freshly cooked fries.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tarf View post
    Fast food general rule #1: Ask for no salt on everything. Then they have to cook it fresh.

    When you get your food, ask for some salt
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    My sister taught me this one over 30yrs ago; go to Burger King or McD's, say you're watching sodium,get freshly cooked fries.
    Most fast food places don't mind doing this, but some customers get pissy when they have to wait all of 3-4 minutes waiting for the fries to cook.

    More from the fast food (or quick service as they like to call it) world:

    It's harder than it looks to work here and not just any idiot can do it.

    The work is hard, imagine being on your feet 7-8 hours on a hard tile floor constantly walking back and forth.

    You learn just how dirty people can be.

    Adults care more about the damn happy meal toy than the kid does and will get mad when you don't have a particular toy in the restaurant, sorry the distribution center ships two designs per week and not necessarily in order.

    If you didn't know how to clean, scrub toilets, mop floors, or do dishes before you came to work there you will me an expert in all of these after one month.

    Most people are genuinely nice and treat you with respect.

    The people most likely to complain or be a pain in the ass are the ones that appear poor or wealthy.

    People from all walks of life eat fast food, during 15 years in the industry I've served everyone ranging from homeless people that scrounged a $1.25 to eat a sandwich and soda to NBA players to governors and everything in between.

    It is not a dollar business, it's a penny business: the average profit after all expenses and overhead is 5 cents for every dollar in sales. Profit is largely won on volume which is why some places charge you for extra sauce, a few cents for a cup of water, and don't automatically give you ten ketchup packets.

    The biggest profit margin items are soda and chicken products.

    Seating is designed to be comfortable for a short period of time because they don't want you to hang out all day like you do at Starbucks.

    Unless the location is owned by the corporation, franchisees have the right to set their own prices for most items and can opt out of promotional pricing or seasonal offerings. People working in the restaurant don't have any control over this.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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