November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Category: Money


| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Money

(I run a daycare for folks around my town. On this particular day one of them calls me up saying they’ve run into some financial troubles and won’t be able to pay me this week. After crunching some numbers I decide I can take the hit to my budget and tell them I’ll still look after their child. The next week I add the amount they owe to their total when they come to pay me for my services.)

Mother: “Hey, why is the fee double what it usually is?”

Me: “You weren’t able to pay last week as you said, so I added what you owe to this week’s total.”

Mother: “What I owe? I said I wasn’t able to pay that!”

Me: “Well, now you can.”

Mother: “Uh, no, no that’s wrong. I pay you [total] per week to watch my child and that’s it! If I can’t pay one week that’s just how it goes.”

Me: “Uh… ma’am, if that were the case I wouldn’t be able to stay in business. You wished to make use of my service; I need you to pay for it.”

Mother: “And so I am. The same amount I pay every week and nothing more! I run my own business, too, and I know that if you want to hang onto a customer you should learn to respect when they are having problems and not bleed them dry!”

Me: “Be that as it may, you still owe me for last week.”

Mother: “NO, I DON’T! Now go get my son for me and stop being so rude!”

(After she leaves I take a few hours to cool down and think over what to do about this. Finally I pick up the phone.)

Me: “Hello, it’s [My Name] again. Just wanted to let you know that I thought over what you said and decided that if you aren’t going to pay for me watching your child then don’t bother bringing him to the daycare anymore.”

Mother: “WHAT!? No, you have to look after him! I’ll be terribly inconvenienced if you don’t!”

Me: “Too bad. I have a business to run. too, and I can’t keep it going if the customer expects me to work for free. If you aren’t going to pay what you owe for the services rendered then you’re going to have to find someone else to watch your son.”

Mother: “How dare you! This is going to terrible inconvenience me! Do you know how much the other places charge in this town!? You can’t do this! You can’t—”

(I hung up while she was still screaming. She still turned up the next day demanding I watch her kid, then left when I refused, screaming some more about how unprofessional I was and how I just lost a good customer.)

Call The Missing Parent’s Hotline

| Montreal, QC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Money

(I am the manager of the admission desk at a museum. While I am serving a client, a woman and her two kids (around 10 and 12 years old) enter the museum and try pass by the admission desk. I politely tell her to wait just one moment while I’m taking care of the client in front of me. I then ask her if I could help her.)

Woman: “Yes, I’m here for the free activity for my kids.”

(Our museum holds a workshop for kids each Sunday where they can do arts and crafts, themed with our current exhibitions.)

Me: “Of course, the workshop is one floor below. Kids 12 years old and under are always free and right now, we offer a 25% discount on the regular entrance fee. So, for one adult, it will come to [price].”

Woman: “I thought it was free!”

Me: “It is free for kids 12 and under. But as I said, we offer a 25% discount on the regular adult rate. Also, each kid visiting our museum will receive a free bag with other games they can do in our regular exhibitions.”

Woman: “No, no, no. I went on [Website that isn’t ours] and they say the workshop is free for families.”

Me: “I am so sorry, madam, but, unfortunately, while it is actually free for the kids, adults have to pay.”

Woman: “Well, then, I’ll leave my kids to you and be back in half an hour.”

Me: “Madam, I am really sorry but a responsible adult must stay with the kids at all time. By law, they cannot stay alone in our facility.”

Woman: “Why not? Just take care of them. Make them do the workshop. What’s so difficult about it?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we do not have the accreditations to do so. The volunteer in charge of the activity is not trained to take care of your kids… just to explain the activity and how it works. We need you to stay with your kids.”

Woman: “But the website says that it is free!”

Me: “I’m sorry but that website was wrong. It is, indeed, free for kids but not for adults.”

Woman: “It is false advertising!”

Me: “Actually, if you check our official website, it clearly state that parents need to pay. We do not have control on what other website posts. I will gladly take the website name again so I can make sure that the information they have is the right one.”

Woman: “That website says it is free, so you have to let me come for free!”

Me: “We cannot be held responsible for what other websites put online. Again, if you check our website—”

Woman: “Well, I don’t care. Why are you not taking my kids, then? We came here because [Other Website] said it was free! I’m from [Town about 20 minutes from here] and we took public transit, which cost money. I don’t have money for this.”

Me: “I understand your frustration, madam. I really do. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do except make sure that [Other Website] stops posting false information about our workshop.”

Woman: “Just take the kids, then. They can do the workshop. They’ll behave.”

Me: “Again, madam, that is impossible. The staff is neither qualified or trained to do it.”

Woman: “Why not?”

Me: “Just for the purpose of this, if your kids have allergies—”

Woman: “My kids don’t have any allergies!”

Me: “That is not the point. If something, ANYHTHING, happens to your kids, we don’t have the staff or the infrastructures to help them. That is why, when you want to register you kids for school, day camp, summer camp, you have all of those contracts to sign.”

Woman: “This is insane. You are not giving me a good customer service. I leave my kids alone all the time. Even at the grocery store! I leave them while I do other errands. There is nothing wrong with that! I want to speak with the manager.”

Me: “Actually, I am the one in charge of the admission.”

Woman: “Well, there must be someone more important in charge.”

Me: “There is, but the offices are closed during weekends. Do you want me to provide you with the phone numbers and names of the people in charge so you can contact someone?”

(I gave her all the names and phone numbers needed and she left saying that she was going to report me for not letting her kids stay unsupervised! You know what the worst part was? This was not the first time! We had to call the police because a couple left their kids at the museum while they went to a restaurant! They were absent for more than an hour. Thank god the police officer was on our side! We also had a woman who left her infant child alone so she could go shopping. In both these cases, none of the parents claimed to know what was wrong…)

Totally Free From Thought, Part 2

, | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Money

(We have a rewards card: one stamp with every purchase and every five purchases, you get a free doughnut.)

Customer: *picking up a rewards card* “What are these?”

Me: “One stamp per purchase. Every five purchases, you get a free doughnut.”

Customer: “Oh, okay, I’ll have a doughnut.”

Me: *stamps card*

(Customer walks away, comes back a few minutes later.)

Customer: “I’ll have another doughnut.”

Me: “Glad you liked the first one!” *stamps card*

(Customer wanders off again, comes back again… and again… and again…)

Me: “You know you’ve just spent $18 when you could have gotten the $14.95 pack?”

Customer: “Yeah, but this way, I get a free doughnut!”

Totally Free From Thought

H2Slow, Part 5

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(Over the span of a month there are several university students going through orientation. We have a deal for the orientation groups in which they receive coupons for our theater, one of which is a deal for concessions. They get a popcorn, a drink, and a candy for $7. This is clearly stated on the coupon, and yet many of the students are confused about how it works.)

Customer: “I just want a bottled water.”

Coworker: “All right, that’ll be $2.50.”

Customer: “But I have this coupon and I just want a water.”

Coworker: “Right, so that will be $2.50.”

Customer: “But I got this coupon for free.”

Coworker: “Even if you used the deal on the coupon you would still owe me money, but since you are just getting water it will be $2.50 instead of $7.”

Customer: “But I got this free coupon.”

Coworker: “You still owe me money.”

Customer: “But I just want a bottled water. I don’t want popcorn.”

Coworker: *turning to my manager* “I really don’t think it should be this difficult to understand.”

(The girl still didn’t understand but she paid for her water. Despite this conversation the other students were still confused as well.)

H2Slow, Part 4
H2Slow, Part 3
H2Slow, Part 2

A Day For A Dollar

| OR, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

(I’m grocery shopping at the local discount store. I pick the line that looks shortest, and set my basket down. The fairly well-off looking woman in front of me has apparently been accidentally overcharged a dollar, due to the ancient cash registers requiring the cashier to key in the amount to charge someone’s card.)

Woman: *angrily* “You do realize that this refund will take three days to go through? Three days I have to wait for my money! Couldn’t you just give me a dollar?!”

(At this point, it’s obvious that the woman’s been going off like this for some time. The manager is trying to calm her down while showing the cashier how to run the return. The poor cashier looks like he’s looking for a hole to crawl into and die in.)

Me: “You know, if you’re in such bad financial straits that being out a dollar for three days is going to completely wreck your budget, I could give you your dollar. I’m unemployed, on food stamps, and having to scrounge recyclables to return for cash to fill my gas tank, but if you’re making such a fuss over being out a dollar for three days, you’re obviously poorer than me.” *holds out a dollar bill*

(The woman goes beet red and signs the return in silence, then darts out to her car.)

Cashier: “Thanks, ma’am, you’re awesome.” *fistbumps me*