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It Pays To Know The Law

, , , , , , , | Legal | May 27, 2022

We recently bought our first house and moved there from an apartment in a large complex in a neighboring city. Before moving out, we cleaned and scrubbed the apartment, but as we hadn’t had time to shampoo the carpets like the complex wanted everyone to do on moving out, we figured we wouldn’t get the full damage deposit back. Oh, well; we got all of our things out and left no trash or messes. Plus, we were happy to be done with the nickel-and-diming the apartment complex did at the slightest opportunity.

Two and a half weeks passed with no word about the deposit. In my state, the law says that a landlord must give former tenants an itemized receipt and any remaining damage deposit no later than three weeks after the tenant moves out. After three weeks, the landlord forfeits any right to the deposit; it all goes to the former tenant, regardless of what state the rental was left in. Furthermore, if the landlord attempts to recover a damage deposit at this point, the courts will award up to twice the damage deposit to the former tenant (except in extraordinary cases, of course).

Knowing this, I called the apartment office and confirmed that they had our new address. I didn’t tell them why I curious. They did. A month after we moved out (that is, one week late), we got an envelope from the apartment complex with no itemized receipt, just a check for a third of our damage deposit. The postmark was after the three-week mark, as well.

Next, I called my dad, an attorney who handles non-criminal law and has experience with property law. I told him what was going on. His advice?

Dad: “Don’t cash the check, at least not yet. Write a letter citing the law and the apartment complex’s violation of it — and go ahead and include that you’ve talked to your lawyer about it.”

That’s not a lie; in the instances when I’ve needed a lawyer, like writing up my will, Dad’s the one I go to.

I happily typed up a short letter along the lines of:

Me: “We received your check on [date] after moving out on [date four weeks prior]. According to [state code] — which you have violated — and on the advice of my lawyer, I must insist that we are refunded the full deposit in accordance with state law.”

A day or two later, I got a phone call from the apartment complex. A very tense-sounding person on the other end told me in very stiff, formal terms that they’d received my note and a check for the remaining balance was on its way. Once I got that, I took both to the bank and deposited them.

The moral of the story: know your rights and follow the rules. We would have been fine with the smaller amount had they just followed state law, but once they tried to pull a fast one on us, probably assuming that we didn’t know what they were doing? Pay up!

The Customer Has Too Much Data

, , , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I have a coworker on the neurodivergent spectrum. He essentially takes most spoken phrases literally and has difficulty understanding some societal nuances. Funnily enough, he talks at length about his love for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and how he relates to the character Data.

Customer: “I need to return this iPhone.”

Coworker: “What is the reason for the return?”

Customer: “It broke.”

The customer presents a phone with a cracked screen. The receipt puts it outside our return window.

Coworker: “Did you purchase a warranty with us or Apple?”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to! It shouldn’t break so easily! I need this refunded!”

Coworker: “I’m afraid that if you’ve not purchased a warranty, there is nothing we can do.”

Customer: “Look! The customer is always right! I need—”

Coworker: “That’s not true.”

Customer: “What?”

Coworker: “You’re not right in this instance. And you’re a customer. Therefore, the customer cannot always be right.”

The customer is dumbfounded for a moment, as calling out the obviousness of the biggest fallacy in retail isn’t expected in our field.

Customer: “No… I mean, you have to do as I say! I need you to—”

Coworker: “That’s not true. I am here to service our customers within the store policies. Outside store policies, there is nothing I can do.”

Customer: “Then I need to speak to a manager!”

A manager is called, and the return is denied. As the customer storms out, she passes my coworker.

Customer: “And you! You… it’s like talking to a robot!”

Coworker: *Beaming* “Thank you!”

This Strip Club Is The Hottest Place In Town

, , , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

A buddy of mine owns his own electrical contracting company. He has many customers that have been his for decades. One Friday night at about midnight, he got an emergency call from an old client that converted his bar into a topless bar which required an increase in electricity use. The lights were flickering on and off, certain outlets stopped working, and others were sparking. My buddy showed up and went to the electric panel box. The pipe coming out of the top was glowing red! That meant it was heated up to an incredibly dangerous level.

Buddy: “You gotta shut this down now! This is about to burn down!”

Client: “I can’t! It’s Friday night! Do you have any idea how much money I make on Friday and Saturday nights? I will shut it down on Sunday and you start working on it then.” 

Buddy: “No, you don’t understand. This will not make it another hour, much less the night. This is a huge safety and fire issue. This is beyond dangerous, and you are putting your employees and customers in extreme danger if you don’t shut this down now.”

Client: “No, I can’t afford to do that.”

My buddy took pics with his cell phone and left. He called the fire chief’s office but didn’t get anyone, so he left a message. About three in the morning, he got a call back asking him to get back to the bar. Yep, it burned to the ground. Thankfully, everyone got out okay. A few had to go to the hospital for smoke inhalation but were released a few hours later.

Fire Chief: *To my buddy* “So, the owner said you were the electrician that worked on this just a few hours ago. What happened?”

My buddy figured they had the idea HE did something to cause this fire. He explained everything and showed him the pics.

Buddy: “Look, Chief. I knew this would go up in flames. I told him. I even called your office when I left here and left a message for you. I did no work on this because I knew this was dangerous. I tried to tell him to shut it down.”

The chief immediately had charges brought against the owner who later had to pay all the hospital bills. Plus, insurance refused to cover the loss because of the negligence. The sad thing is that this was not the only case of someone not listening to my buddy and their business or house end up burning down.

Always listen to the professionals you hire. They know what they are talking about.

Jumping To Conclusions, Are We?

, , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I was working at the service desk. A man in a hoodie with the hood up came up and got behind the guy I was helping. Then, an old black woman came in. She walked right past the man waiting and plopped her things down as soon the man who was being helped was done.

I looked at the man in the hoodie and called him forward.

The lady immediately began to yell and accused me of being racist for helping the “white” man before her.

The man pulled his hood down. He was also black. The lady then went quiet.

Bobby Has A Different Calling

, , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

On a busy Friday night, we have a line of customers at the pickup window at my family’s pizzeria where I am the manager. I usually take care of the customers because I know most people’s names and orders so I can get them out quickly.

A man in his fifties is the last in line at the moment. He waits his turn, looking annoyed the whole time. Then, he comes up to pick up his order. He tells me it’s under “Theresa.”

We have two ticket rails for orders that are currently being prepared, and we have completed orders on top of the pizza oven to keep them hot.

The rest of the staff are busy either on the phone or preparing other orders, so I squeeze through and start looking for his order on top of the oven (ten to fifteen orders). After not finding it on top of the oven, I begin to look through the tickets that are currently cooking (twenty to thirty orders).

It’s a small place where you can see our entire kitchen, and the whole time I am looking, he keeps repeating:

Customer: “It’s under Theresa! Theresa! It’s a large [pizza] with a side of wings!”

Me: *Politely* “I am working on it, as you can see.”

I get through all the orders and there is no Theresa.

Me: “May I ask for your name to see if maybe she put it under that?”

Customer: *Agitated* “No chance! It’s definitely under Theresa! We order from you all the time!”

This happens a lot; one person will call the order in and put it under the name of the person picking it up. Usually, we get it figured out pretty fast, although some people have a hard time believing their food could be under a different name if their family/friend put it in. Weird.

I tell him we don’t have an order for Theresa and ask him again for his name. 

Customer: *Almost screaming at this point* “ROBERT!”

Me: “I don’t have an order for Robert. Is it possible you called another restaurant? That happens sometimes. There is another place across town with a similar—”

Customer: “No! We called you! We always call you! Are you an idiot?! How hard is it to find our order?!”

He pulls out his phone, calls the number he used to order the pizza, shoves the phone in my face, and says, “Look!” Then, he points to our phone, expecting it to ring. 

Not. Our. Number.

The phone doesn’t ring. 

Me: “Who’s the idiot now, Bobby?”

Got in his car and sped off. Haven’t seen him since.