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Category: Money

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Time To Coin An Idiotic Phrase

| Marion, VA, USA | Extra Stupid, Money, Technology

(I work at a grocery store as a bagger. Part of my duties include gathering the shopping carts from the parking lot and bringing them back to the store lobby. I am doing this when I am hailed by a man standing beside the drink vending machines on the store sidewalk/porch.)

Man: “Can you help me? How do you get this thing to work? I can’t get it to work. I already put in three quarters.”

(I go over and see him press the drink dispense button. Nothing dispenses, so I look up to the display where it shows the price – it says “Sold out.”)

Me: “Sir, it looks like that one is sold out. Is there another one you might want to get?”

Man: “Well, the strawberry or peach.”

(I press those, and note that it still says “Sold out.”)

Me: “Um… hm. Those appear to be sold out as well…”

Man: “Well, any of them. I put in my quarters.”

(I proceed to press all them, checking after each one that they are ALL “Sold out.”)

Me: “Uh, well, since they’re all sold out, I think this lever here is the coin return.”

(I push down the coin return, don’t hear anything, check to confirm that it didn’t return his money, and then try again a few more times to no avail. The store will give refunds to customers when the machines eat their money, so I prepare to instruct him on going up to the front desk to get his 75 cents back.)

Me: “Huh, it’s not giving you your change back. Well, sir, since it isn’t working, what I would do is go inside and—”

Man: “It didn’t even take my money!”

Me: “What…?”

Man: “See, look! You can see the quarters just sitting there!”

(He points. Our vending machines have a lock cover, a piece of metal that has a vertical rectangular hole that connects with a prong to keep people from accessing the lock and getting inside the machine. There is a small gap between the edge of the hole and the prong on this particular machine, and he has placed all three quarters side by side in this gap. These quarters are clearly visible now that I know where to look, but they aren’t accessible.)

Me: “Uh…” *I try to pry the latch unsuccessfully. I spot a coworker nearby* “Are you going inside?”

Coworker: “Yeah, why?”

Me: “This man has put his money in the lock cover instead of the coin slot. Could you get someone to come out and help him get it when you go in?”

Coworker: *look of disbelief* “Yeah.”

Me: “Sir, someone will be out to help you get your money.”

(I return to collecting shopping carts. I see one of the managers come out a minute later. I don’t hear most of the conversation, but I see that he has gotten the latch off and given the man his money. I overhear a little bit.)

Manager: “Well, sir, that’s not the coin slot; that’s just a cover.”

Me: *shaking my head*

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Should Have Cashed Out Early

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | At The Checkout, Math & Science, Money

(I’m a customer in line for an ice cream fundraiser. There are three teenage girls in front of me and one cashier. Ice cream is $3.)

Girl: *to friend* “Hey, do you have change for a five?”

Cashier: “You need change?”

Girl: “Yeah, do you have five ones for a five?”

Cashier: “You’re buying ice cream…?”

Girl: “Yeah, but I need five ones for a five.”

Cashier: “I can just… You want me to keep three of them?”

Girl: “No! I want five ones for a five.”

Cashier: “Okay… here you go.”

Girl: “Thanks. Ice cream is $3?”

(The girl takes three of the ones the cashier just gave her and hands them back to the cashier.)

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Wifibyby

| Åland Islands, Finland | Money, Technology

(I work at the reception of a camping site. As I’m handling one client, another one asks for the wireless password.)

Client: “Do you have a wifi?”

Me: “Yes, right over there.”

(I point to a glass bowl in which we keep pieces of paper with the password of the wlan written on. I finish with the other customer and turn to the lady, who is still standing at the desk, looking concerned.)

Me: “So, it’s fairly slow, and it works when it wants to, but at least it’s free.”

Client: “Sorry, what did you say?”

Me: “Only that the wireless is really slow, but it’s free and sometimes it works.”

Client: “Oh! Oh! I read this sign and it said 65 €, and I thought, wow, that’s kind of expensive!”

(Turned out she had been reading the price list with the prices of accommodation and camping with us. We laughed it off as she gratefully took a free password.)