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Some People Just Don’t Get The Whole “Charity Shop” Concept

, , , , , | Right | December 9, 2022

After his retirement, my dad spent some time volunteering in a charity shop. He had to deal with all kinds of customer stupidity, but one of the strangest interactions he had was this one.

A woman who ran a local designer clothes shop donated several pairs of gloves to the charity shop. They were new and there was nothing wrong with them, and they were placed on the counter next to the till with a price tag of £5 — significantly less than their retail price.

One day, my dad was serving a woman who was purchasing a few small items. As he rang her up, she started looking through the box of gloves.

Customer: “How much do these cost?”

Dad: “They’re £5 for a pair.”

Customer: *Angrily* “Why are they so expensive?!”

Dad: “They’re new.”

Customer: “I want to talk to a manager! This is a charity shop; you’re not supposed to sell new things!”

Pickling Your Way Out Of A Pickle

, , , , , | Working | December 9, 2022

I use to manage a bunch of programmers, though I’m not one myself. I mostly worked to protect them from our customers, vet and filter requests down to them, and basically do my best to ensure they could focus on their job. They did quite a good job of managing the technical parts themselves.

One of my programmers was absurdly cheap. [Programmer] would eat dry, non-name-brand bagels every day for lunch, with the occasional “splurge” of some knock-off condensed soup. He got some good-natured teasing from the team for his cheapness, though he probably mocked his own cheapness more than anyone else. Since his cheapness was primarily so he could save more money to donate to charity, we couldn’t really fault him for it.

While I tried to shield my team from time-wasting meetings, we did have a group one every other month. As compensation for wasting their time with a meeting, I would buy food from one of the local fast food joints for everyone to eat during the meeting. [Programmer] refused to order when everyone else did, claiming that since he knew he would never be buying food for anyone in the office, owing to his cheapness, he didn’t want to mooch off of any of us. I tried to point out that I was paying for the team and didn’t expect him to repay me, but he still insisted on showing up to the meeting with his dry bagels while everyone else had a real meal.

Then, one day, through some sort of mix-up, we ended up receiving far more pickles than we needed with the meal order, more than anyone could eat.

Programmer: “I hate pickles, but I can’t stand to see food get thrown out! Please don’t throw the extras out.”

And he started eating one even as he clearly loathed them and looked like he wanted to gag.

I’ll confess the team had a little fun with this, taunting him with the threat of pickles being thrown out to pressure him into eating more pickles and laughing at the look of disgust on his face. The programmer was good-natured about it and didn’t seem to mind some friendly teasing, and in the end, he managed to eat a bag full of pickles all by himself.

This gave me an idea, though. At the next team meeting, after collecting everyone’s orders, I added one extra meal to the list. I then happily informed my frugal friend that I had an extra meal I planned to throw out if he didn’t eat it. Despite his jokingly complaining that he was being forced to eat under duress, it worked; he accepted the extra meal rather than see it go to waste.

From then until the day our contract ended, I would buy random meals for him each meeting and “force” him to eat with us via the threat of throwing it out otherwise. He never did admit defeat and start ordering the meals he wanted, though, so I had fun having him try every meal option I could find. Only once, a few days before April 1st, did that meal come with extra pickles.

Fighting Crazy With Crazy, Part 3

, , , , , , , , , | Right | December 9, 2022

I work in a pharmacy in a large grocery store. I am speaking to one of my coworkers about how uncomfortable some of the men who come to the pharmacy counter make me feel. They often call me pretty, try to touch me, or ask me when I’m leaving. 

Coworker: “You know, you’re pretty small, but if you can’t physically beat a man, you can always out-crazy him.”

Later, I am taking the trash out. In order to do so, I have to go into the back of the store which is usually empty of people. As I’m putting the trash into the bins, a man approaches me.

Creepy Guy: “What’s a girl like you doing back here all by yourself? You know there’s no camera back here, right?”

Remembering my coworker’s advice, I put my hands up like a cat and hissed at him. 

He didn’t seem scared, but he did back up. He also now refuses service from me. 

“If you can’t physically beat a man, you can always out-crazy him” was and still is some of the best advice I have ever received.

Related:
Fighting Crazy With Crazy, Part 2
Fighting Crazy With Crazy

The One Time You Want To End Up With Blue Balls

, , , , , , | Working | December 9, 2022

When I was a young teenager, my family and I went on a trip to Martha’s Vineyard along with a bunch of other relatives — and when I say a bunch, I mean all our aunts and uncles along with their thirty-plus kids. On the first day, I got a terrible case of sun poisoning, which kept me inside for most of the vacation. But I could wander about with family once the sun went down.

During one of these nights, I was feeling a bit tired from my extreme sunburn, so we started to walk to the hotel from dinner earlier than everyone else. On our way, we stopped at a street vendor to look at the souvenirs and other knickknacks. My eye caught on a set of Baoding balls, also known as Chinese meditation balls. They have a set of chimes in them, and as you roll them around in your hand, they softly chime in two different notes. These had beautiful enamel inlays. I couldn’t resist using the money I had saved up all year long for this trip on a pair in an azure blue with black and white yin-yang symbols.

The seller was very charming. He talked to my mother and me about our trip and other things as he bagged up a pair from behind the cart in a nice padded box and exchanged it for my cash. He reminded me to be careful as they are rather delicate and to not play with them as we walked home in case I dropped one or both.

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a look at them as we walked home. About a block away, I opened the box as my mother watched to make sure I was careful. My heart dropped. The enamel decorations on the balls were chipped and falling off in places. This was impossible. I was absolutely careful, and I hadn’t dropped them, swung them around in the bag, or jostled them in the least. My mother, on the other hand, got a dark look on her face, closed the box, put it back in the bag, and turned us around to go back to the vendor.

Mom: “Excuse me, but you gave my daughter a broken set.”

Vendor: “Let me take a look.”

The vendor took the box, opened them, and spoke without hesitation.

Vendor: “These look like they were dropped. I cannot give you a refund. I did warn you that they are very delicate.”

Mom: “She hasn’t dropped them. I was with her the entire time between you selling her these and our return.”

Vendor: “Lots of parents say that after their kid has dropped these. You understand, I’m running a small business all by myself and can’t afford to pay for your kid’s clumsiness.”

Mom: “Either give my daughter’s money back or give her a new set.”

At this point, my extended family had begun to catch up with us, and all thirty or so of my cousins were starting to crowd around the street vendor’s cart. Most were oblivious to our conversation, but my aunts and uncles definitely recognized the look on their elder sister’s face as she faced down the vendor.

Vendor: “I’m sorry, but I cannot be responsible for broken items, especially if your daughter took them out of the box and dropped them on the cement.”

I was getting fed up with the guy implying I was a complete blundering klutz.

Me: “If I had dropped them, there would be missing pieces of enamel. It’s all there. You just gave me broken balls.”

Due to my forcefulness and unfortunate choice of words, a fair number of my cousins started laughing at what they had just overheard. Some of my aunts and uncles, now aware that this vendor was trying to cheat a young girl out of her money, started to usher their kids away from the stand. 

The vendor started to realize that this entire group of potential sales knew each other.

Vendor: “Fine. Let me look for another set in the same colors.”

After checking in front of him that the new set he gave me was intact, we continued on home. I did have to sit through numerous jokes from my cousins about my “broken blue balls” for the rest of the trip.

The Adventures Of Mrs. Coat Factory

, , , , , | Right | December 9, 2022

It’s a few weeks before Christmas and I am working in a department that’s known for its coats. This store sells all types of things from clothes to baby products and house wears.

The main registers where you can check out, do returns, and set up/pick up layaways are set up in a large square almost U shape, and there are two registers on either side. Each side has one line to form and the person at the furthest register just calls the next person in line up to their register. I am at the furthest register, closest to the entrance, when this peach of a lady walks up.

Customer: “I ain’t waiting in this long-a** line!”

Me: “I’m not sure what you want me to do. This is the way the lines are set up and I can’t let you cut in.”

Customer: “Just bring my layaway up and let me pay for it!”

Me: “Ma’am, as I said, I can’t allow you to skip the line as I’m sure other customers in this line are looking to do the same.”

Customer: “Can’t you just ask them to let me or just do it before they notice?! I have other places to be than this stupid-a** line that doesn’t make sense!”

Me: “Ma’am, do I look like Mrs. Coat Factory? I didn’t make the store setting; I simply work here. Either get in line or go somewhere else!”

I was quitting shortly after that as I’d had my fair share of retail! But seriously, where do some people get off being so self-important they think their time is more valuable than others? Sheesh!