Bedraggle Their Haggle

| Norway | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Money

(My local grocery store is in a neighborhood with a lot of children, and right next to a primary school, so there’s a lot of kids going there on their own. I end up in line behind two boys, around 10 years old. They are counting their money.)

Boy #1: “I think we’re short.”

Boy #2: “It’ll be fine. We can get it for less; I’ve done it before.”

Cashier: *to the boys* “That’ll be [price].”

Boy #2: “We have [slightly lower amount]. That’s enough right?”

Cashier: “Sorry, it’s not.”

Boy #1: “Oh, please?”

Boy #2: “Yeah, it’s not that much.”

(While it’s a very small amount of money, I understand the cashier’s reluctance. The boys continue to haggle. Seeing this will go nowhere, I decide to step in.)

Me: “Here, I’ll pay the difference.”

(The boys thank me and leave.)

Cashier: “Thank you! It’s not a lot of money, but we have so many groups trying to haggle every day. It’s okay once in a while, but if I let all of them get away with it, my till would be short every day, and I can’t do that.”

Me: “It’s no problem. I’ve been here just after schools out. Sometimes it looks like half the kids there stop by on their way home.”

Cashier: *chuckles* “Sometimes it feels like that, too!”

A Bitter Drink With A Sweet After Taste

| Belgium | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Money

(Outside the coffee shop where I work, there’s a beggar who sits there just about every day. I always bring him a cup of coffee when it’s quiet. As I am not allowed to bring my own wallet behind the counter, I pay for it at the end of the day before I close the till. On this particular day, a customer I have just finished serving and has been watching me intently, follows me outside.)

Customer: “Excuse me, what the h*** are you doing?”

Me: “I’m bringing this gentleman coffee.”

Customer: “What, for free?”

Me: “Not that it’s any of your business, but no, I will pay for it tonight.”

Customer: “What, so you’ll pay for my coffee too?”

Me: “No, sir. Clearly you can afford to buy your own.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I work hard, I buy the most expensive thing on your menu every day, I pay my taxes, yet I don’t get free coffee! Does your boss know you’re doing this?”

Me: “Yes, sir. He approves.”

Customer: “F*** you. No he doesn’t. He doesn’t want bums walking around with [Brand] cups! I’m going to report you. Who’s your boss?”

(I point to the Catholic church across the street.)

Me: “That guy. If you want to file a complaint, you’ll have to wait. He’s usually only in on Sundays.”

(Amazingly, that was the end of that.)

Doing A Disservice To Service With A Smile

| UK | Bizarre, Liars & Scammers

(I work in a call center that directs calls to local benefits offices. It’s a dull job, but I try to keep positive when I greet people on the phone.)

Me: “Good morning, [Job Center] national switchboard, [Name] speaking; how can I help?”

Caller: “You sound very happy.”

Me: “Well, yes, it’s a nice day today! How can I help?”

Caller: “No one at [Job Center] is happy. You can’t be at [Job Center]! You must be a scam!”

(The caller hangs up.)

Me: “…what just happened?”