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Hampering Your Efforts

, , , , | Working | January 20, 2022

We won a raffle prize through my work (hosted by a third party). We won a medium hamper, full of posh preserves and things. It’s not something we will make use of, but we can regift it or sell it on and buy something we do want.

It is months before the prizes can be claimed, and after several attempts at calling the claim line, I finally get through.

Me: “Hi. I won a prize in [raffle] some months ago. I was told to call to claim.”

Woman: “Okay, what is your unique prize number?”

Me: “[Number]; it should be a hamper.”

Woman: “Hmm, okay. Has anyone contacted you about this yet?”

Me: “No, just this letter on how to claim.”

Woman: “Well, some of the prizes have changed. We no longer have the hampers available. We are offering a holiday in its place. How does that sound?”

Me: “Not great, to be honest. A holiday isn’t the same as a hamper. Are there any other options?”

Woman: *Shocked* “Oh, well, no, I don’t think so. Don’t you want to hear the details of the holiday?”

Me: “No, not really. Is there a cash alternative?”

Woman: “I don’t think so. Could you hold, please?”

We already have our holidays planned for the year. I don’t have much more time off I can take or spare cash to pay for the inevitable extra costs these holidays will bring.

Woman: “I’m sorry. I have asked and we do state that there are no cash alternatives.”

Me: “And where do you state that you can change the prizes as you please without notifying people?”

Woman: “Could you hold, please?”

We went through rounds of holding and escalations. They keep telling me that they could only offer variations of a (cheap, two-person, two-day, self-catering) holiday. But I maintained that this wasn’t a suitable alternative and wasn’t advertised when I bought the ticket or won the prize.

It went back and forth until they gave me an ultimatum: take the holiday or a refund on the raffle ticket (£5). So, I was being offered a holiday I couldn’t use… or £5. I thanked them and refused both.

Luckily, my work has free legal coverage, and a quick letter from them to the company was all it took to get a cash alternative of the hamper, plus a little more. I wonder how many people got scammed as they didn’t want to go through the hassle.

You’re Welcome, Random Citizen!

, , , , , | Working | January 20, 2022

[Coworker] is over-enthusiastic about anything not work-related she can do on work time. Every charity event, every tidy-up, every visitor, every excuse she can be paid not to do her job, she is first in line. All would be fine if she wasn’t so over the top.

This year, the charity event is car washes and cake sales for a children’s charity I already support monthly, so I’m more than happy to be involved. [Coworker], however, is all about spending as much time away from her desk as possible. She has printed flyers and spent most of the day handing them out and pestering people. I have dodged her so far.

A few days later…

Coworker: “Heeey, we had some extra time and cleaned your car.”

Me: “Oh, err, thanks.”

Coworker: “You know, you can donate to the charity for the car wash. The recommended amount is £5.”

Me: “Oh, I already bought a load of cakes, so I’ve donated plenty already. I’m a bit short of cash, to be honest — kids’ birthdays and things.”

Coworker: “Well, yeah, but that was for the cakes. This is for the car wash.”

Me: “Well, actually, I walked to work.”

Coworker: “So?”

Me: “So, I don’t know whose car you washed, but it clearly wasn’t mine.”

She still expected me to pay for her to wash someone else’s car. We found out later that it belonged to a visitor who looked very confused about why his car was suddenly very clean.

Customer Threw Tantrum; It Wasn’t Very Effective

, , , , , | Right | January 20, 2022

I work as a tourism counselor in a small town in Canada situated near a national park. We share a building with Parks Canada so that they can provide information about the park, and we can give information about the town.

National Parks have an admission fee, and if you don’t pay the admission fee, you receive a reminder that you need to pay. If you do not pay, then the reminder turns into a ticket and gets sent off to a collection agency, and you have to pay a larger fine.

I am able to deal with these tickets at my desk, in case of it getting too busy at the Parks desk. This does not mean I have anything to do with these tickets.

It is five minutes before closing and I’m getting ready to shut down when a clearly distraught man comes storming up to the door holding a ticket in his hand. He gets to the door and realizes he does not have a mask (still required in Canada at the time). He goes back to his truck to get a mask and doesn’t even put it on when he enters.

My desk and the Parks Canada desk are situated across the room from each other, and Parks Canada’s desk is closest to the door, so typically, people will go to the Parks desk first, but of course, this gentleman comes storming right up to my desk yelling about his ticket.

When he gets to my desk, he throws his ticket at my face which ends up being a critical hit and leaves me at low Health Points.

Man: “I was going to throw this ticket out, but my girlfriend convinced me to pay the fee.”

This fee is only $10. I ask him the required questions so I can charge him the correct amount and he starts yelling.

Man: “I’ve been coming to this park for fifteen years and I’ve never had to pay an admission fee! This is bulls***! How long have you been charging people to enter national parks?!”

I lean over so I can see the person at the Parks desk, who should be dealing with this lunatic, and ask her how long.

Parks Desk Employee: “Since 1984.”

This nice gentleman decided that the woman working at the Parks desk and I were lying about this and got fed up. After yelling at me a little while longer about how stupid I was and how I shouldn’t be working this job, he threw a $10 bill at my face, draining the last bit of Health Points I had, and stormed off.

The woman working at the Parks desk proceeded to thank me profusely for dealing with him as she should have been the one dealing with him.

Ah, The Delegation From Snob School

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2022

I work at a kids’ entertainment center with lots of different roleplay activities. We’re not like a wide-open area theme park, and everyone has to queue and wait for their time slot for the activities. And because we have lots of different activities and we’re indoors, we do not encourage running as it’s very easy to just crash into someone.

I’ve been having a pretty normal day with kids from local schools who are here for an excursion and behaving relatively well.

Then, an overseas school clearly here on a school trip comes in, and the students start running around screaming like monkeys, scaring all the other kids, and literally pushing their way through.

One of the teachers from the overseas school saunters up to my activity booth.

Teacher: “My students are from a well-known international school from [Country], and the students are excited to be here for their school trip. Is there a separate line for them so that they won’t have to queue and mix around with the local children?”

I literally gave her a blank stare for a moment and then put on my sweetest smile.

Me: “I am afraid not, ma’am. Over here, we encourage all children to be given a fair chance with one another, regardless of where they are from.”

I give a side-eye to their students running and screaming at the top of their voices like they own the place.

Teacher: “Oh.”

I kid you not, she literally walked away lifting her nose in the air.

My colleagues and I lost count of how many incident reports we had to fill out that day because the students from the overseas school were literally running around so much that they either fell down and bruised themselves or banged into other people.

Damsels And Stress

, , , , | Friendly | January 20, 2022

I’m doing some window shopping on a busy high street. A woman walking ahead of me drops something off the massive pile of boxes she is carrying. I chase after her.

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: *Exasperated* “What?”

Me: “You dropped this.”

Woman: “Oh, thank you! I thought you were— It doesn’t matter what I thought. Can you put it back on the pile?”

Me: “Sure.”

I carefully balance the box on top like a Jenga tower. I’ve barely stepped away when an old woman interjects.

Old Woman: “How could you let her struggle like that? A real man would offer help!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Old Woman: “Look at that massive pile you are making her carry.”

Me: “I’m not making her carry anything!”

Woman: “Excuse me, I never asked for help. I don’t even know this man.”

Old Woman: “Doesn’t matter. He should still help.”

Me: “I don’t have time for this. I’m sorry, I would help, but I do have other things to do.”

Woman: “No, really, thank you. You have done more than enough.” *To the old woman* “But you, you… You need to mind your own business.”

Old Woman: “Well, I never! In my day—”

Woman: “This isn’t your day. Men aren’t honour-bound to rescue women, nor are they any less of a man…”

I lost the conversation as I had to get back to shopping. But it sounded like a great lesson in minding your own business!