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    Needlessly Needy

    | New York, NY, USA | Family & Kids, Money

    (I work for a private school which caters mostly to academically talented urban youth. Years ago, the school was not as diverse as the school is now; many of our students received substantial scholarships due to coming from low income households.)

    Me: “Good morning. What can I do for you today?”

    Parent: “I’m here to see the Director! You people have been overcharging me for years! *slams a thick folder on my desk* “These are all my statements and checks proving you’ve been cheating me!”

    Me: “Can you give me your name and the student’s name so I can look up your account, please?”

    (The parent gives me the information and I look up the account.)

    Me: “Ms. [parent's name], your son graduated in June 2002. That was almost 10 years ago.”

    Parent: “And? You took my money! I hear students are only charged $500 a year to go here, but I was charged thousands! THOUSANDS!”

    Me: “Please calm down. Let me explain: we have always given need-based scholarships to low income students, and—”

    Parent: “We are low income, but you charged me the full tuition anyway! I want my money back TODAY!”

    Me: “Ms. [parent's name], according to our notations your average total gross household income during your son’s tenure with us averaged around $170,000 a year.”

    Parent: “…AND?”

    Me: “Well, students who receive low tuitions through need-based and academic scholarships tend to come from extremely low income backgrounds. Off the top of my head, I believe some of the students who fall under need based-scholarships average gross household incomes of only $20,000 a year.”

    Parent: “You f***ing liar! Nobody makes so little money! I want to see the f***ing director, right f***ing now!”

    (She ended up seeing the director, who did not give her money back but offered her a lower tuition rate for when her youngest child is old enough to attend our school. When that day comes, I plan to work elsewhere.)