Category: Money


Doesn’t Get The Sticking Point

| Australia | Extra Stupid, Money

(I work in a clearance store. We start selling last year’s left over Christmas stock mid-year and in the lead up to Christmas, all of it discounted. The sales change on the regular, however, and sometimes prices drop or increase with very little warning. When this happens we have to be really careful about stickered items that are lower than the scanned prices to make sure all of the stickers get removed. Human error sometimes means we’ll miss one or two items and have to drop the price for customers on the items still stickered. A woman approaches the counter with three packets of Christmas napkins, two in a smaller size and one in a larger size, but all with the same design. She puts down the largest packet and asks what the difference in price is.)

Me: *scans item* “This one is [price].”

(The woman then puts one packet of the smaller napkins on the counter and asks it to be scanned for price. It scans as a dollar less than the larger napkins. This is when she shows me the third packet of napkins, which have a sticker for $2 less than the scanned price.)

Me: “Ah, yes, I do apologise for the confusion. The smaller napkins have gone up in price to [scanned price]. You’re more than welcome to have that packet for [stickered price], though, since the sticker hasn’t been removed.”

Customer: “So, they’re both [stickered price]?”

Me: “No, they’re both [scanned price], but since we missed the sticker on that one, you can have it for the stickered pri—”

(Apropos of nothing, the customer heaved an over dramatic huff, rolled her eyes, and threw all three packets of napkins on the counter. She then turned on her heel and stormed out of the store, shouting about incapable salespeople as she went. I’m still not quite sure what I did wrong, exactly…)


Keeps On Turning Up A Bad Penny

| Galveston, TX, USA | At The Checkout, Money

Me: “Your total is XX.34.”

(The customer hands me bills and coins. I count out a quarter, a dime, one penny, two, three . . .)

Me: “I’m sorry; this last one is a Euro penny.”

Customer: “I don’t know how that got in there. Here’s another penny.”

Me: “Sorry, but this one’s a Canadian penny.”

Customer’s Friend: “Even Canadians don’t take those any more.”

Customer’s Other Friend: “How did you end up with all those?”

Customer: “I don’t know! I just did!”


This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 61

| PA, USA | Money

(A customer calls, asking me to ship a few items to her house.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we’d be happy to ship those items to you. You’d need to pay the Fed Ex fees, but you will get your [difficult to find clearance merchandise].”

Customer: “You mean I have to pay?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you have to pay for shipping.”

Customer: “What about UPS? Would they charge to ship?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Every delivery company has shipping charges.”

Customer: “Well, can you put it on hold for a few weeks? I’m going on vacation and I don’t have any money now.”

Me: “No, ma’am, we cannot do that. Unless you pay, you cannot store merchandise for weeks.”

Customer: “But I don’t have any money now…”

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 60
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 59
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 58


This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 60

| West Hartford, CT, USA | Money

(I work for an insurance company, and it is my job to meet with people to assess their life insurance needs. In order to do that we have to find out some background information about their personal financial situation. Today, I am at one potential client’s house doing just that.)

Me: “So now that we’re on the topic of debt, do you have any debt to speak of?”

Client: “Well, I have my mortgage, so that’s 350,000, and I have my car loan and student loans, so together that’s probably another 50,000.”

Me: “Is that all the debt you have?”

Client: “Yes. Well, besides my credit card debt and some I owe to the government.”

Me: “Oh, how much do you have in credit card debt?”

Client: “Well, between my husband and me, about 340,000 in credit card debt. But we don’t worry about that because we don’t pay the credit card companies any more.”

Me: *pausing to think of some way of explaining that you have to pay debt or risk going bankrupt* “So, you mean to tell me that you owe credit card companies over 300,000 dollars and you aren’t paying them anything?”

Client: “That’s what I just told you.”

Me: “Well, you can’t just not pay your debts. If you absolutely can’t, you can go bankrupt, but that will ruin your credit, and you won’t be able to buy that boat you were talking about buying, or finance any other major expense.”


Me: *taken aback by being called a gargoyle, but keeping my cool* “I think we might be done here. Have a nice day, ma’am.”


Me: “Goodbye, ma’am.”

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 59
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 58
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 57


The Story Isn’t Worthy Of The Magazine

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work at a large supermarket chain which releases a new free magazine for customers each month which includes recipes as well as information about new products we sell and promotions we are running. The magazines are very popular and as each store only gets a certain amount, and there is no limit to how many a customer can take, it’s not uncommon for us to run out before the month is over. This takes place the day the new magazine has come out.)

Customer #1: “I love these magazines! Would it be all right if I took three?”

Me: “You can have as many as you would like!”

Customer #1: “Awesome!” *jokingly* “I like to sell them on the black market!”

Me: *jokingly* “The trick is to wait until we run out, then you’ll make a killing!

(After Customer #1 has left, Customer #2 puts at least ten of the magazines in his bag.)

Customer #2: “I can’t believe idiots pay money for these! I can’t wait to make millions!”

Me: *laughs as I think he’s joking*

Customer #2: “I bet I can get at least $50 per magazine!”

(Out of morbid curiosity I later checked online. It turned out he tried to sell a free magazine online and got no bids. Clearly he thought free magazines would be a hot selling item at $50 plus $10 shipping each.)

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