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Phoning In This Whole Taking Ownership Thing

, , , , , , | Right | November 26, 2021

Quite some time ago, my girlfriend and I (now my wife of more than fifteen years) moved in together and had to set up everything: cable, Internet, phone, etc. We got our home phone number, our two cell phones, and we were off to the races.

Almost immediately, we started getting calls for an establishment that does custom framing and various other art-related things. Of course, we had caller ID, and we had friends that would call us, but inevitably, if we didn’t recognize the number, it was someone wanting to find out if their order was complete, or their frame was done, or what their hours were, or any of a thousand other questions.

I’m sure anyone else who has had this happen will recognize this exchange.

Us: “Sorry, that’s no longer their number. This is a residence.”

Us: “Yes, I’m sure.”

Us: “No, I’m not giving you my address.”

Us: “No, I don’t know their new number.”

Us: “Yes, I have a phone book, but so do you.”

After a thousand of these, we changed the message on our answering machine to say, “This is not, I repeat not, [Art Shop]. If you are trying to reach [Art Shop], please hang up, look up their number, and try that, because we aren’t them.”

Eventually, I got my gazillionth call.

Me: “Where do people keep getting this number?”

Caller #1: “It’s printed on my receipt. I guess I’ll just call this other number.”

Me: “Any chance you can give me that number? Thanks!”

I called the other number.

Owner: “Hello, [Art Shop].”

Me: “You guys are still giving out my home phone number on your receipts.”

Owner: “Yeah. So?”

Me: “Well, f****** stop it. It’s been at least a year since you haven’t had that number. At least cross it out or something.”

Owner: “That’s a pain in the a**. I’m not making my employees do that.”

Me: “So, you’re the manager?”

Owner: “I’m the owner.”

Me: “So, let me see if I have this right. You, what was your name again?”

Owner: “[Owner].”

Me: “You, [Owner], have decided that it’s too inconvenient to cross my home phone number off of your receipts, so you’re just going to keep giving it out?”

Owner: “What are you gonna do? Sue me?”

Me: “Maybe.”

Owner: “Whatever. I’ve got s*** to do. Bye.”

I called a lawyer, but I didn’t really have a leg to stand on.

I went to the store and asked for the owner.

Employee: “[Owner]’s not here. He’s hardly ever here, really. You want me to call him?”

Me: “No, I’m fine. I know this is going to sound odd, but is there any chance I can see one of your receipts?”

She picked up a receipt book and showed it to me. Sure enough, it had my phone number at the top, above another one.

Me: “I thought so. I couldn’t get you at the other number, some guy yelled at me, and I didn’t have my old receipt, so I had to come down here.”

Employee: “We’ve been having that happen a lot, ever since [Owner] decided we didn’t need two phone lines. But he had just bought like twenty boxes of these receipt books and business cards, and he’s too cheap to buy more until they run out. I’d hate to be that guy.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s gotta suck.”

I went home and hatched my evil plan. The next time I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize:

Me: “Hello, [Art Shop].”

Caller #2: “Hi, this is [Caller #2]. I dropped off [item] last week to be framed. Is it ready?”

Me: “Let me check. Yup. We finished it this morning. I hope you don’t mind, but we decided to upgrade the matting because of the weight of the piece. It’s the same color, and we won’t be charging you for it, since it was my decision.”

Caller #2: “Oh, thank you. I’ll be down to pick it up later today. What time do you close?”

I look down at the business card, with my number and the hours clearly marked 11:00 to 4:00.

Me: “Take your time; we’ll be here until 7:00.”

Caller #2: “Thank you so much. Can you tell me how much that was?”

Me: “$19.99, ma’am, plus tax, so $21.39.”

Caller #2: “Wow, that’s cheap. Are you sure?”

Me: “Of course. If anyone has a problem, tell them you talked to [Owner].”

Caller #2: “Okay, see you around 6:00.”

Me: “See you then. Thank you for calling [Art Shop].”

For WEEKS I kept giving out completely random information.

“How much is a 36″x48″ matted frame?” “Let’s say $24.99.” “Wow, that’s cheap. How much to have it done custom, how I want it?” “Custom is an extra $10, so $34.99.” “Wow, that’s cheap. I’ll be right down. What was your name?” “[Owner].” “See you in ten, [Owner].”

“How much to have the entire front page of the New York Times from 9/11 mounted and framed?” “$33.99, unless you want our special, proprietary newspaper frame and mat service, only $49.99 and guaranteed for life, only at [Art Shop]. Tell them [Owner] sent you.”

I can only imagine the number of pissed-off people who showed up to pick up orders that weren’t ready, and when they finally were, they were given a price WAAAAY higher than what “[Owner]” had told them over the phone.

Eventually, someone let slip that “they called the number on the receipt, and that’s what [Owner] had told them.” [Owner] was NOT happy.

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Art Shop]. This is [Owner].”


Me: “Why, [Owner], whatever do you mean?”

Owner: “Someone has been giving prices to my customers and telling them their orders are in when they’re not due for weeks.”

Me: “Well, [Owner], who called them?”

Owner: “Nobody called them; they called us.”

Me: “Then what’s the problem? If someone called you and got pricing information, that would seem to be your problem.”

Owner: “They didn’t call me; they called you.”

Me: “Well, how would that happen?”

Owner: “Your number is on my receipts and business cards.”

Me: “My, my. It seems to me there’s a very simple solution here. Take my number off your receipts and business cards.”

Owner: “Do you have any idea how much promotional materials cost?”

Me: “Is it more than it costs to do these jobs for the prices you’re quoting? Is it more than it costs to lose customers, or less than that?”

Owner: “This is extortion!”

Me: “Call it what you want, [Owner]. The choices, and consequences, are entirely up to you.”

A week later:

Me: “Hello, [Art Shop]. This is [Owner].”


Me: “Sure. Bye, [Owner]!”

I didn’t let him off the hook until the calls stopped, but it was only a week or so after he called me back. He must have paid for expedited shipping.

That Upgrade Is Now Frozen

, , , | Right | November 26, 2021

Guest: “My room does not have a refrigerator.”

Me: “No, ma’am. Not all of our rooms have them.”

Guest: “All rooms should have them! My room is missing mine. Bring one to my room.”

Me: “I can offer you a free upgrade to a room that has one?”

Guest: “No, then I would have to repack. Carry one up to my room.”

The guest has not paid for a refrigerator in the cost of her room. She has a second-story room and we do not have an elevator. I am seven months pregnant.

Me: “I am afraid I cannot do that, but—”

Guest: “Then get me your manager.”

Me: “Our manager is not here at this time of night, but—”

Guest: “I need your manager’s personal cell phone number to complain. I refuse to believe you have rooms without fridges. You’re just being fat and lazy.”

When I refused to give her the cell phone number, she asked for corporate’s number. I wrote it down on a sticky note with a smiley face. She came down later and asked to move rooms.

I made her pay the difference.

November 26th: Made Coworker A Laughingstock On NAW

, , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2021

No one likes [Coworker] at work. She is a suck-up and she’s terrible at her job. Any time she gets called out, she shifts the blame onto someone else or just tattles on them. It doesn’t even get her out of trouble; it just gets two people into hot water.

From her constant whining, it appears that [Coworker] has decided that she doesn’t want to work all her agreed hours anymore. She sees other people starting late or finishing early and expects to be able to do the same, even though those people don’t actually work any less; they make up their hours at another time.

The first I hear about this is from a text from her manager.

Manager: “Can you join us in meeting room one? You are going to want to hear this.”

I go and find [Coworker] sitting there with [Manager].

Manager: “Why don’t you repeat what you said to me?”

Coworker: “I don’t see why I have to work all these hours when [My Name] gets to come and go as he pleases.”

Me: “Whoa, where did this come from?”

Manager: “She has a log.”

She brandishes her notebook, and I go and grab my diary from my desk.

Me: “Okay, go ahead.”

Coworker: “May 24th, you didn’t show up for work. Didn’t book a holiday.”

Me: “I was with a customer, approved in advance.”

Coworker: “Okay. Well, on June 7th, you left two hours early.”

Me: “I caught a flight for work purposes.”

Coworker: “Well… Well, June 21st, you arrived late every day that week. And I know you didn’t get stuck in traffic because you came in with coffee.”

Me: “I spent the weekend here and I took my hours back as Time Off In Lieu.”

She frantically searches her little notebook.

Me: “We done here?”

Manager: “Yes. Thank you for your help, as always.”

I left but could hear her manager explaining that everyone has different work patterns, and yes, she could work fewer hours, but she would get paid less. It clearly didn’t happen because she was back at her desk on time the next day.

You Can’t Kiss And Make Up For This Makeup

, , , , | Right | November 26, 2021

In my teens, there is a drugstore situated in a small shopping center at the edge of our neighborhood. I go there to grab something and just happened to pass the makeup aisle. This drugstore is pretty large, so their makeup selection is also huge, with just about every brand you can think of, taking up one entire wall of the building.

I have just rounded the corner when I see this woman sitting on the ground. In the time it takes to process what I am seeing, a manager storms around the opposite corner and makes a beeline for this woman. He stops, arms crossed.

Manager: “Ma’am… I hope you know that you have to pay for those.”

Customer: “What?”

Manager: “The makeup, all those packages you’ve opened. You have to pay for them.”

He gestures roughly toward where I am standing, still at the opposite end of the aisle from them. I look down and see what he was pointing at: the pressed powder compacts. She has opened one of each shade, ranging from ivory to warm beige, and left the remains in piles at the bottom of each display. That’s right. I said “each.” She has gone through every single brand and opened one of each of every single color on that spectrum of packaged compacts.

To make it worse, each brand makes more than one type of pressed powder. I repeat: she has opened one of EACH.

Customer: *Agitated* “What do you mean? I don’t understand. Why do I have to pay for them when I only need one?”

Manager: *Nearly having a stroke* “Because you destroyed them?! And because you used them. We can no longer sell these to anyone else because they’ve been contaminated. By. You.

The customer becomes irate and responds in a “duh” tone of voice.

Customer: “Well, I needed to test them to match my skintone!”

I realize that next to all the compacts are the used makeup sponges that come with them, as well as what appears to be used baby wipes.

Manager: *About to have an aneurism* “Well, I hope it was worth all the money you now owe us!”

The customer, apparently realizing that things had gotten serious, began panic-crying and refusing to pay. I would like to establish that this was a full-grown woman, maybe in her mid-thirties, and she had very clearly been handed everything in life.

She argued repeatedly that she needed to test them to find the right shade and that she shouldn’t be required to pay for something that doesn’t match.

The manager repeatedly informed her that he didn’t give a fraction of a rat’s behind whether or not she WANTED what she had used, she WAS going to pay for them all, right now, or the cops were going to be called.

I had to leave at that point, so I didn’t get to see the outcome, but I did a little math when I got home. This was years ago, and the compacts cost between $5 and $6 each at the time. (They now cost two or more times that.) At the end of her little rampage through the makeup section, she would have had to pay for somewhere between $250 and $300 worth of products.

It’s Called Black Friday Because Of The Bruises

, , , , | Right | November 26, 2021

It’s Black Friday and I’m standing at the customer service desk. Our store has decided to try to space out sales this year. For example, from six to eight, women’s T-shirts, camping equipment, and video games are on sale. From eight to ten, baby clothes, toys, and candy are on sale. This is intended to keep people spread out so that the whole store is not mobbed, and people can plan their shopping accordingly.

Around 6:30 am, right after our sales began, a man built like a brick wall comes up to the desk carrying a bike with training wheels.

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “This bike isn’t on sale.”

He points to the Black Friday ad on the wall.

Customer: “But your ad says it is.”

Me: “The bike sales are at ten; that’s why it’s not coming up at the sale price.”

Customer:No, it’s [sale price] because that’s what your ad says.”

Me: “At ten.”

He begins flexing his muscles and rotating his shoulders.

Customer: “This. Bike. Is. On. Sale.”

Me: “At ten. Is there anything else?”

Customer: *Picks up the bike with one hand* “Sell me this bike or I will throw it at your f****** head.”

Me: “You can leave, sir.”

Customer: “F*** you, you low-life c***.”

Though my heart was beating out of my chest, I walked calmly into the back office and locked the door, watching on the CCTV as I called for security. The man threw the bike at the door, screaming and swearing. Our local police officers were on site that night — because, you know, big sales make people crazy — and came to remove the man from the store. It took several of them to get him out of the store, and only after he had been pepper-sprayed, wrestled to the ground, and cuffed did he leave.