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    Category: Money

    The English Only Tip Their Hats

    | London, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I’m visiting my long distance boyfriend in London. We decide to stop for lunch during our walk through the streets of London. I’m from Canada.)

    Worker: “So, your total is [total].”

    (I hand him a little more than he asked for.)

    Me: “Keep the change.”

    (He looks confused for a moment and tries to give me back the money.)

    Me: “No, no, keep the change. It’s money for you.”

    Worker: “What…?”

    My Boyfriend: *to me* “In London, no one ever uses the term, ‘keep the change.’ It’s unheard of for people working behind the counters to get tips.”

    Me: “Oh, geez… I had no idea.” *to the worker* “I’m actually from Canada. Over there, we use the term ‘keep the change’ when we don’t really need the change back. It’s considered giving a tip. I honestly had no idea that you guys here didn’t do that. Still, it’s just a little bit of money and I don’t need it that badly. Go ahead and pocket it. It’s for you!”

    Worker: *huge smile* “Thank you for explaining!”

    (He kept the change. It seemed like such a minor cultural difference, but I think we both learned something that day!)

    Just Stole His Thunder

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Money

    (I’m volunteering at my school’s concession stand at a football game. An elderly man comes up to the register. There’s a very long, impatient line.)

    Me: “Hello sir, welcome to [school name], home of the [mascot]! How may I help you?”

    Man: “I’ll have two hot dogs, a pretzel with cheese, nachos, a Diet Coke and a Sprite.”

    (I hand him the hot dogs and sodas. The kids in the back are still working on the nachos and pretzel.)

    Man: “Where’s my pretzel and nachos?”

    (Right as he says this, the pretzel is ready. It comes wrapped in wax paper with a cup of cheese, and I hand it to him.)

    Man: “What’s this?”

    Me: “A pretzel with cheese.”

    Man: “No! I want it in a tray!”

    (I take the pretzel back and ask for a nacho tray. The nachos are still not yet ready.)

    Me: “That’ll be $7.50, please.”

    Man: *has money out and I attempt to take it* “Hold on, don’t take my money until I get my prize!”

    Me: “Sir, there is at least $200 in cash in this register. If I wanted to steal money, I’d just grab some when nobody was looking, not from some guy who’s holding up a line!”

    Man: *takes his food and backs away sheepishly*

    Customers Providing Change For A Change

    | Oakville, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I have seen only one customer all day: a regular contractor who normally goes to another location.)

    Me: “Hey! What do you need?”

    Contractor: “Just a roller sleeve; am I the first you’ve had all day?”

    Coworker: “Well, with the roller you’re buying, so far we’ve made $13.79 today.”

    Contractor: *throws a $50 bill on the counter* “Wow. Use the change to buy some magazines and snacks so you aren’t just sitting here anymore.”

    Me: “Thank you! Oh, wow! You should keep this, but thank you so much. I’m dying of boredom!”

    (Five years later, all I remember about that job was how awful my boss was, and how nice the contractor was every time he came in, no matter what was happening or how long it took to get his paint. He was always wanting the employees to be happy, and whenever he walked in we were.)

    Reaching The Tipping Point

    | Princeton, NJ, USA | Awesome Customers, Money

    (It’s our delivery day at the store, and most of the employees are unloading onto the shelves. The store is very busy with customers. I’m stocking shelves when an older gentleman walks into my aisle.)

    Me: “Good evening. Can I help you find anything?”

    Customer: “Oh, no thank you, I’m doing alright. I appreciate you asking, though.”

    (I go back to stacking when the customer comes down to my end of the aisle.)

    Customer: “Thank you very much!”

    (As he says this, he reaches for my hand, and I think that I’m holding what it was he was looking for. When I look down, however, I see he’s placed a five dollar bill in my hand instead.)

    Me: “Oh, uh…”

    Customer: *with a smile* “Every little bit helps!”

    (Before I can say anything, he walks away. A little while later, I get called up to the registers. While there, I see the same gentleman has just finished his purchase. A coworker of mine walks up to join me.)

    Coworker: “Hey, see that guy over there? I was in the aisles just now and he came up to shake my hand and thank me for helping him. In his hand was five bucks!”

    Me: “Wow, that’s really nice!”

    Coworker: “The thing is, I helped him last time he was here, but I didn’t do anything this time. I wonder if he’s been going up to all of us like that.”

    Me: “Sounds like it.”

    (Just then, we notice two carts full of shopping bags sitting alone, near where the gentleman had been standing a moment ago.)

    Coworker: “I think those must be his carts.”

    Me: “That’ll take him a couple trips. Why don’t we take these out to him?”

    (My coworker and I wheel the carts out to the parking lot, where we see the customer loading his car on the far side. We bring them over to him.)

    Customer: “Oh, thank you! I don’t normally shop like this, but I had a lot of stuff to get this time. I can take care of it from here.”

    Me: “All right, sir. You have a good night!”

    (Later on, we checked with some of the other employees; as we suspected, he had gone around and tipped all the employees!)

    Setting Back But Moving Forward

    | Sacramento, CA, USA | Awesome Customers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in a watch repair shop and one of the services we perform is re-setting a customer’s watch when the time changes, which we do for free. Some digital watches are difficult to set the time on. An older man with an Irish accent comes up to my counter.)

    Customer: “Pardon me, could you set my watch for me? I can’t figure out how to set it back an hour.”

    Me: *smiling* “No problem. These things can be pretty tricky to set.”

    (I proceed to set his digital watch to the correct time in about a minute and hand it back to him.)

    Me: “Here you go, sir.”

    Customer: “You did that fast! What do I owe you?”

    Me: “Oh, there’s no charge for that.”

    Customer: “Really? No, I can’t go away without giving you something.”

    (He proceeds to pull a $5 bill out of his wallet and hand it to me.)

    Me: “Really, sir, you don’t have to do that, and there’s no charge. It was my pleasure.”

    Customer: “Well, you’ve been so nice and did that so fast, stop by the pub on your way home and have yourself a drink! You deserve it!”

    (He waves as he walks away. And yes, I did have that drink!)

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