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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Money

    In Need Of A Sanity Check

    | Federal Way, WA, USA | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a retail financial institution that cashes all types of payroll checks. The customer that walks up to my window is a regular that comes in once a month to cash her government check that has an image of the Statue of Liberty on it. We are almost finished with the transaction.)

    Me: “Did you need anything else today, like money order or stamps?”

    Customer: “No, but I had a question about my check.”

    Me: “Ask away! I’ll do my best to answer!”

    Customer: “That picture of the Statue of Liberty on the check, does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

    Me: “Uh, no. It does not let you fly to New York for free.”

    (I hand the check to her to sign, as I start to get cash from her transaction.)

    Customer: “You’re a liar! It does mean I get to go to New York and see the Statue for free! You’re just trying to keep the ticket for yourself!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the picture on the check is just a symbol representing America. It is not a plane ticket.”

    Customer: “LIAR! You’re a LIAR!”

    (At this point, she snatches the check from the tray under the glass separating us, and runs off screaming about me being a liar.)

    Coworker: “What was that?”

    Me: “I seriously don’t know.”

    They Are In The Lower Percentile

    | CT, USA | Extra Stupid, Math & Science, Money

    (I’m a sales associate at a popular clothing store. I’m in the middle of an eight-hour shift on Black Friday, when a customer calls on the phone. The customer speaks in a very confused tone the entire time.)

    Me: “Hi, thank you for calling [store]! This is [name] speaking; what’s on your wish list?”

    Customer: “Hi. So you guys are having a sale, right?”

    Me: “Yep! Everything is 40% off today!”

    Customer: “Okay. So is that 40% off our entire purchase, or 40% off each individual item or our purchase?”

    (Thinking I must have heard her incorrectly, I just repeat myself)

    Me: “Right, everything in the store is 40% off today.”

    Customer: “Okay. Well, whoever rang me up today clearly did it wrong. They rang my entire purchase as 40% off, instead of each item separately as 40% off.”

    Me: “Well, that adds up to the same thing.”

    Customer: “Wait, really?”

    Me: “Yes. 40% off the entire purchase is the same thing as 40% each thing in the purchase.”

    Customer: “Oh… thanks.”

    (The customer hangs up. My coworker is staring at me.)

    Coworker: “Please tell me that did not just happen.”

    Self-Service And Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

    | UK | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Top

    (I am buying lunch at a local supermarket. I approach the self-service machine, which is clearly labelled ‘CASH ONLY’. An employee quickly comes up to me.)

    Employee: “Sir, are you aware this is a cash only self-service machine?”

    Me: “Yes, thank you.”

    Employee: “And you’re paying in cash?”

    Me: “Yes, of course!”

    (I am insulted that the employee would see me as such an idiot. But then remembering all of the stories I’ve read and heard, I calmly breathe and look at her.)

    Me: “Sorry, I work in retail, too. I know that the general intelligence of the average customer is why those questions are necessary. Don’t worry; I’m one of the good guys.”

    (I smile at the employee and she smiles back with a sad look of self pity for industry in which we work.)

    Me: “We’ll escape it one day.”

    (I am walking away and realise I forgot to buy something. I head back just in time to here a customer screaming.)


    (I smile that same sad smile back at the woman, knowing it is going to be a long day for her. Good luck to all of the workers out there, and keep smiling.)

    Flying Off The Handle Will Get You Handled

    | USA | Food & Drink, Money

    (I handle our catering and delivery orders at my store. A customer wants her check split between two credit cards. The second card number doesn’t work. Unless it’s fixed before the driver leaves, we cannot send a receipt with the driver. The customer doesn’t answer when I call, or return my call before the driver leaves. The customer later calls, but she never got my message, and actually would like to place another order for the next day. I finish up with the order for tomorrow,before bringing up today’s order.)

    Me: “While I have you, I actually called earlier and left a message. We had an issue with your charges today. Did you receive my message?”

    Customer: “Oh? No, I’m out of my office.”

    Me: “No problem, ma’am. We had a small problem with one of your card numbers; whoever you spoke to may have copied it down incorrectly. The driver will be unable to bring you a physical copy of the receipt today, because we were unable to charge the card before he left. We will still be able to split the payment, and fax over a copy of your receipt for your records after he returns.”

    (We go over the card numbers, and she gives me the number I needed. Whoever copied it added an extra zero into it.)

    Me: “Thank you, ma’am. When our driver returns, I can fax over a copy of this receipt.”

    Customer: “Can you e-mail the receipt?”

    Me: “We can’t really e-mail receipts. They don’t show up in our system for a few days and we don’t really have a professional method of e-mailing them.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t really have a fax number right now. Can I just call tomorrow with a fax number, and you can do it tomorrow?”

    Me: “Sure, if that works for you, that’s fine.”

    (When the driver returns, I split the payment and everything is fine. The next day, my coworker talks to the same woman on the phone when she calls to give us her fax number.)

    Customer: “I’m very upset. I had to go through a lot of trouble to get my payment split yesterday.”

    Coworker: “Unfortunately, our system isn’t designed to split payments, so it’s a little involved to make it work. I’m sorry you had so much trouble; what actually happened?”

    Customer: “Well, I just wanted my payment split between two cards. It’s not difficult!”

    Coworker: “Splitting a payment is not a normal function in our system. I’m sorry if you had some issues yesterday, but it seems to have worked out fine in the end.”

    Customer: “Yes, well—”

    Coworker: “I mean, was anything else wrong with your order? Was it late, or was the food not good?”

    Customer: “No, it was on time. The food was fine.”

    Coworker: “Did we forget anything with your order? You seem to have liked it enough to order with us again today, which we of course were happy to see.”

    Customer: “Well, no, nothing was wrong with the order.”

    Coworker: “So it was just getting your payment split that was a problem?”

    Customer: “I was told that I could have my receipt e-mailed to me.”

    Coworker: “I don’t know who you spoke to, but we aren’t readily able to e-mail receipts. They don’t show up in the system for a day or two and faxing them is really the fastest way to get them to you.”

    Customer: “Well, this has just been such a hassle. I’m going to want to speak to a manager about this problem.”

    Coworker: “Well, I am a manager, ma’am. What is it that I can help you with?”

    Customer: “Oh… Well, that girl that I spoke to yesterday about this, she just really didn’t seem like she knew what she was doing at all.”

    Coworker: “From what you’ve told me, she did everything exactly as she was supposed to do it. As I’ve said, splitting payments is not a normal function on our system.”

    Customer: “I don’t know about that. She just seemed all over the place and unorganized. I think you really should talk to her about getting her act together.”

    Coworker: “Well, ma’am, I really cannot see anything that she did incorrectly that I would need to speak with her about. Your order’s payments are accurately in the system, and split right down the middle. Is there anything else that I could do for you?”

    Customer: “No, I guess not. Thank you.”

    Coworker: “Thank you, ma’am. We’re happy that you enjoyed your lunch these past two days! Have a great day!”

    (Later, I fax over her finalized receipt, with everything charged just the way she wanted it. I haven’t heard back from her yet!)

    Blind To Change

    | Charleston, SC, USA | Food & Drink, Money

    (Part of my job as a hostess is to stand out front and try to convince tourists to eat at our restaurant. Most nights a server or two will hang out there with me. Across the street we have metered parking, but that’s free after 6pm. A server and I are watching a man put change in the meter at 8pm.)

    Server: “Sir! You don’t need to feed that; it’s free after six.”

    Patron: “You don’t know that.”

    Server: “Well, yes sir, I do. You don’t need to bother with that anymore.”

    Patron: “No! I have to go to dinner, so I’m sure to be gone for the next hour and a half! I don’t want a ticket!”

    (The server gives up.)

    Server: “Understandable. Have a good meal, sir.”

    (About two hours later, rotation has me standing back outside. This time I’m alone. The same man returns to his car.)

    Patron: “I just found out there was no need for me to pay this meter after six. That would have been nice to know two hours ago!”

    Me: “Sir, I was outside when my coworker told you there was no need to feed the meter.”

    Patron: “That’s just not true. I wouldn’t have paid if someone told me not to. You should really inform people of that.”

    Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. Have a good night.”

    Patron: “Would’ve been better if I hadn’t stuffed all my change into this stupid meter!”

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