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  1.  (4956.1)
    - If you bump into a beggar who is asking for money "so they can get into a hostel for the night" it will most certainly be untrue. All homeless hostels in London work by referral from a certified agency so you can't just walk in and get a place. Even if they were to get into a hostel, they are asked to pay a surcharge by putting a claim for housing benefit. There are only 2 charity hostels i know of in London, and they don't ask for money. Nearly all begging is to supplement booze and alcohol intake.

    I'm usually more inclined to give a guy money if he says it's for booze.
  2.  (4956.2)
    @mybrainhurts, I have to agree, somebody who says they only need another quid to get drunk is far more likely to get it from me than a tit who shows up outside the bus station twice a week for three months telling you that 'last night he was kicked out by his girlfriend boo hoo' and he just needs ten pence for bus money.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2009 edited
    I work in tech support.

    We always assume you're lying to us when we ask you if you did something, because you usually are. Did you plug your ethernet cable directly from the modem to the computer, bypassing the router? You did? Then why are you pulling a 192 IP? Oh, you forgot? Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    Don't try to bullshit tech support, it wastes everyone's time.
  3.  (4956.4)
    I've had so many jobs I can give a good bit of insiders advice :p
    Theme parks in Orlando:
    Univ*rsal hires mainly little pricks with IQ's in the low digits. If there's urine in the seat more than likely they've sent it through the ride a couple times to dry it off, yeah that wasn't a drop of rain.
    The Mous* will do anything to make you happy. We were allowed to give almost anything away, and I did. If someone looked like they were having a bad day they probably walked out with something (popcorn, other foods, items from the gift shop). The happiest employees are in the front of the park, Liberty square, and Pirates. I don't know why but that was my experience. TomorrowLand people were just mean.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2009
    Graphic Designer.
    My trade secret? All the things I learned for my degree are now obsolete. Skip it and learn Flash.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2009
    Right on.
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2009 edited
    The classier the restaurant seems, the dirtier is really is - when people are busy folding napkins into swans and retrieving your jacket from the back room, they have less time to re-wash the stained plates or mop the floor.

    Oh, and - yes, the staff really will fuck with your food if you're an asshole.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2009
    If you work in an office that has potted plants, and one day they are gone, and when you ask why you are told they were getting to be too expensive to maintain, you should at that point begin looking for another job. Do not wait.
  4.  (4956.9)
    Worked at the Dept. of Taxation in Nevada (where people apply for LLC/business licenses, etc.), and we were so backed up that often times we would be processing applications from 2 years prior, and then slamming those people with all of the tax for the intervening time. Also, all of the training to do the job was completely useless and the laws and practices are so insane and pointless, anyway, that I guarantee you that the person processing your business license has only a very basic understanding of what they're doing.

    Worked at Hollywood Video for 5+ years:

    Every time a customer swears up and down that they returned a movie, they didn't. It is either sitting under the seat of their car or is behind their entertainment center or is at another video store location.

    Lots of movies from other stores will end up sitting in a drawer forever, never claimed by the people who returned them there or by the other stores themselves. Since it is a pain in the ass to do the "nice thing" and drive all over the place every week to return movies that you don't give a shit if they're late or not, for the most part it doesn't happen. Anyway, returning movies that don't belong to you can lead to problems for video store clerks, anyway, because then the people who get late fees from not returning their videos to the correct place bitch that they didn't return the movie late, or that it is not their fault that they couldn't be bothered to return it to the right place.

    While cash refunds are technically not "allowed", the computer doesn't stop you from doing them, and so MANY of the movies that end up unclaimed, I just refunded as if they were returns for the full price (of a used copy, although sometimes people would return personal movies, which I would repackage as "new"...), between $5 and $15 each, usually, sometimes getting a total of $200 in my pocket (every month or so...).

    I got fired for doing that, and now can't get jobs at places that use that same background check company (Target, Blockbuster...), but they couldn't do anything to me (criminal charges or making me pay a fine or whatever, even though they tried) because I was not "stealing", but simply trading out "my" movies for cash instead of credit.

    The current DVD case locks at Hollywood Video are disabled by a strong magnet, and if you check, quite a few of them aren't even locked all the way, either because they are broken or because new employees typically can't grasp the concept of how they work.

    If you buy a NEW DVD from there and then take it home and remove the disc and shrinkwrap it back up (put it in plastic, a candle will seal the seam shut, then blowdry it, but not too hot or it will get holes in it...), no one will ever know the difference, as most of the new discs will never be bought, anyway (they just keep getting sent around from store to store for various promotions and holidays...).

    Also, we always ate free candy and drank free sodas from there. 2 free sodas a day for 5 years? Thanks Hollywood!
  5.  (4956.10)
    +Non slip shoes they have you buy in some food service jobs are a joke. I can't tell you how many times I've fallen on my ass in them.

    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    "Transient network latency" is a good functional resolution to many an end user's unreproducible web application errors.
  6.  (4956.12)
    Spent about six days working for an amusement ride company — the kind that sets up ferris wheels and shit at State Fairs. Operated a ride. Miserable job.

    Every day before opening, I'd ask a different manager which of the bolts on the machine I was supposed to be greasing.

    And every day, every manager pointed out a number of bolts I didn't know existed, and which the other managers clearly didn't know about either.

    By the end of the few days I worked there, my machine was making hideous metal-on-metal noises. Part of why I quit was that I was honestly worried about the safety of the ride.

    Spent nine summers working State Fairs. One of the most instructive things I learned was that the people who couldn't pass the piss test to get a job working at the rides... would go get a job at fair security, where there *was* no drug testing. No, we didn't exactly feel safe there, and we've had a *lot* of problems with the security guards over the years.
  7.  (4956.13)
    When the guy behind the counter at your comic shop tells you they can't order something, it usually means "I don't trust you to pay for this when it comes in."
    • CommentAuthorE0157H7
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    Those stacks of boxes with the name of your book fair written on them, on the dollies, right where we told you to pick them up? Those are for your fair. Feel free to take them to the freight elevator.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    I'm a signwriter. If your sign has a number of small air-bubbles under the film and I tell you those will drift out of their own accord over a few days due to thermal expansion, I'm just getting you off my back so I can go back to the workshop and NOT spend the next half hour carefully pricking each one of the bastard things. I have no idea if they actually do sort themselves out, but I rarely get a callback so maybe it DOES happen. I don't know.

    The old-skool paintbrush signwriters are all problem drinkers. They hide alcohol in various strategic stashes around the workshop. First thing in the morning you'll see them pick up their brush and mahl stick, move their shaking hand toward the signboard, stop, put everything down and disappear behind the signpanel shelves for a few minutes, then come back with hands as steady as a rock.

    If you call up and ask "How much does it cost to get a sign made?", My answer will immediately be "$35,000." When you then angrily ask why this is, I'll say "Well, if you're looking for something actually specific, it'll almost certainly be substantially cheaper." How can I tell you how much it is if you don't tell me what you want to buy?

    Wide format digital printing uses solvent-based inks. These take a minimum of 24 hours for the solvents to evaporate out. MINIMUM. Do not press me to have it done quicker. Your sign will bubble up like Tetsuo before long if I laminate it too early. Yelling at me doesn't change this.

    If you are opening a new retail outlet or similar for the first time, FOR FUCK SAKE YOU NEED SIGNS! Please GOD have this revelation as early as possible. More often than not I get the call to arrange a full shopfront branding in about a 6-day timeframe. Two weeks is a more realistic scale, even that can be a stretch.

    I do have other customers. I don't spend my time waiting for YOU to throw me some business so I can devote myself wholly to it 24 hours a day till its done. All signs are custom made. There are no stock parts. Making them takes time.

    Whew. That was more of a lengthy rant than an industry expose... Its no secret that signmakers hate their clients.

    P.S. - No, its not spelled wrong. No, it is actually straight. YES, I was on the piss last night.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    As a student, worked for five weeks over a summer loading delivery trucks for a parcel company.

    - The people who load delivery trucks are, for the most part, either idiots or actively malicious. They don't give a shit about the state of your parcel, they get paid minimum wage to put boxes in heaps. That's it. If there isn't a manager looking, they don't care. This extends to using long, narrow parcels in mock-swordfights, and drop-kicking small packages marked "FRAGILE" from one end of the truck to the other.

    - Playing Tetris does make it easier to load trucks neatly.

    Also used to work for a company subcontracted to upgrade staff computers for a bigger company - transferring data across from the old machine to the new one. I was in the booking office rather than tech.

    - The most dangerous thing in the corporate world is numbers in the hands of a manager. Even if they have no concept of what the numbers mean, even if they have no idea what influences those numbers, they will lean on the lower-level workers to Make Them Bigger, even if this is effectively impossible - i.e.: book in more people for machine upgrades even though the upgrade budget is set by the client company, not us. This leads to much frustration and resentment.
  8.  (4956.17)
    Hmmm. Having worked at a number of retail joints, cafes, and other assorted crap jobs, all I can really say is this:

    - treat your employees right. the less you respect/trust your employees (treat them with racism/sexism/etc), the more they will steal from you. You cannot stop me from stealing from you, not with your cameras, or alarms that go off when the register is open too long, or preventing the register from opening unless there's a transaction, or whatever high tech means you invent (I'm looking at you Starbucks and Web2Zone). I can count in my heads at speeds never thought imaginable. I can steal more money a day than I'll make after taxes all week long. The only thing keeping me from scheming is my own morality and feeling of guilt. use them against me, because I'm poor.
  9.  (4956.18)
    i used to x-ray the mail at a certain airport in england - so...

    don't even try to stick that sub machine gun in the box of car parts and posting them. the royal mail x-ray scanners can see what you did and the nice men with flashing lights on their cars will be seeing your addressee soon.

    don't write 'danger - bomb inside' on that box you posted thinking it's hysterical when your friend receives it. the police will be seeing you shortly. and they will press charges.

    we can see everything you post no matter how you wrap it up.

    we are all laughing at that latex fist and lube you ordered.

    wrap up your fragile items thoroughly or, even better, deliver them in person, as it's frightening to watch full sacks and boxes being hurled into containers and the like.

    don't try to send guns in their component parts as we can see them.

    the uk mail service is the most paranoid with regard to security and items being x-rayed either coming into the uk or leaving, which is more than can be said for other larger former british colonies.

    wash your hands after handling semtex.

    don't post bleach, solvents or similar. it's just stupid.
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    Computer games design:

    -A good computer games designer has the capacity to advocate an idea even if they think something else works better, have the discussion, by all means but when it's over you better get on board and make sure it happens, do this a bit and you'll get far more sway in the next discussion.

    -Talk to people, leave your desk, take an interest in things you don't understand.

    -Being a bully does not make you a good advocate.

    -Write short, clear documents. Pictures are good, examples are good, follow up in person, check it's understood.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    The only valuable thing I've ever learned from the world of work:

    Local government workers (ie The Council) actually do care about the banal things that you phone up to complain about - probably even more than you do, and certainly more than they should care - but they just really hate having to talk to irate members of the public.

    Not really a secret but wholly true & worth remembering

    Amen to that!

    I work in school personnel for local government.

    -The world of teaching is amazingly cutthroat. Accusations of bullying between colleagues, whispering campaigns, and states of high paranoia are pretty common. The stories that make the press are the ones of teachers being falsely accused of something innapropriate by their pupils, but if I were a teacher it'd be my colleagues I'd watch out for.

    -A surprisingly high number of applicants for jobs in schools will have something come up on their police check. Most of the time it's a minor misdamenour like petty theft.

    -As for payroll - if you've ever had your paycheck screwed up by an administartive error, you might have wondered how such a big deduction or overpayment of wages could go unnoticed. It's really easy - a matter of one keystroke in the wrong place, often.


This discussion has been inactive for longer than 5 days, and doesn't want to be resurrected.