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The best of our most recent stories!

The Customer Has Too Much Data

, , , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I have a coworker who is neurodivergent. He essentially takes most spoken phrases literally and has difficulty understanding some societal nuances. Funnily enough, he talks at length about his love for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and how he relates to the character Data.

Customer: “I need to return this iPhone.”

Coworker: “What is the reason for the return?”

Customer: “It broke.”

The customer presents a phone with a cracked screen. The receipt puts it outside our return window.

Coworker: “Did you purchase a warranty with us or Apple?”

Customer: “I shouldn’t have to! It shouldn’t break so easily! I need this refunded!”

Coworker: “I’m afraid that if you’ve not purchased a warranty, there is nothing we can do.”

Customer: “Look! The customer is always right! I need—”

Coworker: “That’s not true.”

Customer: “What?”

Coworker: “You’re not right in this instance. And you’re a customer. Therefore, the customer cannot always be right.”

The customer is dumbfounded for a moment, as calling out the obviousness of the biggest fallacy in retail isn’t expected in our field.

Customer: “No… I mean, you have to do as I say! I need you to—”

Coworker: “That’s not true. I am here to service our customers within the store policies. Outside store policies, there is nothing I can do.”

Customer: “Then I need to speak to a manager!”

A manager is called, and the return is denied. As the customer storms out, she passes my coworker.

Customer: “And you! You… it’s like talking to a robot!”

Coworker: *Beaming* “Thank you!”

A Window Into Home Ownership

, , , | Right | May 27, 2022

I sell my flat to a first-generation immigrant. After the sale, the buyer contacts me a few times to ask for help in dealing with the legal duties, as he’s always been a tenant. I’m glad to oblige, but everything has a limit. One evening, when I’ve just come home from work, the phone rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Tenant: “[My Name]! The windows! They is broken!”

There is a pause in which I wait for more information, and he waits for some input. I realize I need to say something to break the stalemate.

Me: “And why are you calling me about it?”

Tenant: “Because the landlord, he must fix the windows.”

Me: “Buddy, you’re not paying rent; you’re paying a mortgage. You are your own d*** landlord now.”

There were no more calls from him.

Bobby Has A Different Calling

, , , , , | Right | May 27, 2022

On a busy Friday night, we have a line of customers at the pickup window at my family’s pizzeria where I am the manager. I usually take care of the customers because I know most people’s names and orders so I can get them out quickly.

A man in his fifties is the last in line at the moment. He waits his turn, looking annoyed the whole time. Then, he comes up to pick up his order. He tells me it’s under “Theresa.”

We have two ticket rails for orders that are currently being prepared, and we have completed orders on top of the pizza oven to keep them hot.

The rest of the staff are busy either on the phone or preparing other orders, so I squeeze through and start looking for his order on top of the oven (ten to fifteen orders). After not finding it on top of the oven, I begin to look through the tickets that are currently cooking (twenty to thirty orders).

It’s a small place where you can see our entire kitchen, and the whole time I am looking, he keeps repeating:

Customer: “It’s under Theresa! Theresa! It’s a large [pizza] with a side of wings!”

Me: *Politely* “I am working on it, as you can see.”

I get through all the orders and there is no Theresa.

Me: “May I ask for your name to see if maybe she put it under that?”

Customer: *Agitated* “No chance! It’s definitely under Theresa! We order from you all the time!”

This happens a lot; one person will call the order in and put it under the name of the person picking it up. Usually, we get it figured out pretty fast, although some people have a hard time believing their food could be under a different name if their family/friend put it in. Weird.

I tell him we don’t have an order for Theresa and ask him again for his name. 

Customer: *Almost screaming at this point* “ROBERT!”

Me: “I don’t have an order for Robert. Is it possible you called another restaurant? That happens sometimes. There is another place across town with a similar—”

Customer: “No! We called you! We always call you! Are you an idiot?! How hard is it to find our order?!”

He pulls out his phone, calls the number he used to order the pizza, shoves the phone in my face, and says, “Look!” Then, he points to our phone, expecting it to ring. 

Not. Our. Number.

The phone doesn’t ring. 

Me: “Who’s the idiot now, Bobby?”

Got in his car and sped off. Haven’t seen him since.

The First Step Is Admitting You Have A Problem. Then, Ice Packs.

, , , , | Right Working | May 27, 2022

I work at the concession stand at a movie theater. We have a giant push-cart that we use to bring stock from our supply rooms to the stand. I’ve parked it next to the concession stand. I’ve just finished unloading about ten bags of popcorn kernels and several thirty-five-pound boxes of popping oil. I’m on a medication that gives me frequent urination as a side effect, and it suddenly hits and I have to pee like crazy, so I decide to run to the bathroom before taking the cart back to the supply room. Probably not a good idea, but if you gotta go… you gotta go.

I come out of the bathroom to see a customer — a man in his forties in a business suit — walking through the lobby, staring at his phone. I watch in horror as he walks around the side of the concession stand, hits his shin on the push-cart, and does what I can only describe as a “slow-motion fall.” He sort of crumples to his knees, then his butt, then… kind of flops down onto his back on top of the cart while muttering a surprised, “WWWUUUAAA!”

I rush over to him, assuming the worst. I’ve seen a few falls in the ten years I’ve worked here — almost none of which were actually our fault — and most of the people exploded and threatened lawsuits, demanded free stuff, etc.

Me: “Are you all right, sir?”

Customer: “Um… yeah, I think.”

Me: “All right. Hang tight. Let me get my boss, and she can contact an ambulance if needed.”

Customer: “No. No. Please don’t do that.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “I’m gonna be honest. I’d just rather… pretend this didn’t happen. This is the third time I’ve fallen this week because I was distracted by my cellphone. I really don’t want anyone seeing the security footage. I don’t think my pride could take it.”

Me: *Amused* “Are you sure?”

Customer: “Yes.”

He very calmly stood up, brushed himself off, dug out his wallet, placed a $5 in my hand, made a “Shhh!” gesture, and wandered away.

It Pays To Know The Law

, , , , , , , | Legal | May 27, 2022

We recently bought our first house and moved there from an apartment in a large complex in a neighboring city. Before moving out, we cleaned and scrubbed the apartment, but as we hadn’t had time to shampoo the carpets like the complex wanted everyone to do on moving out, we figured we wouldn’t get the full damage deposit back. Oh, well; we got all of our things out and left no trash or messes. Plus, we were happy to be done with the nickel-and-diming the apartment complex did at the slightest opportunity.

Two and a half weeks passed with no word about the deposit. In my state, the law says that a landlord must give former tenants an itemized receipt and any remaining damage deposit no later than three weeks after the tenant moves out. After three weeks, the landlord forfeits any right to the deposit; it all goes to the former tenant, regardless of what state the rental was left in. Furthermore, if the landlord attempts to recover a damage deposit at this point, the courts will award up to twice the damage deposit to the former tenant (except in extraordinary cases, of course).

Knowing this, I called the apartment office and confirmed that they had our new address. I didn’t tell them why I curious. They did. A month after we moved out (that is, one week late), we got an envelope from the apartment complex with no itemized receipt, just a check for a third of our damage deposit. The postmark was after the three-week mark, as well.

Next, I called my dad, an attorney who handles non-criminal law and has experience with property law. I told him what was going on. His advice?

Dad: “Don’t cash the check, at least not yet. Write a letter citing the law and the apartment complex’s violation of it — and go ahead and include that you’ve talked to your lawyer about it.”

That’s not a lie; in the instances when I’ve needed a lawyer, like writing up my will, Dad’s the one I go to.

I happily typed up a short letter along the lines of:

Me: “We received your check on [date] after moving out on [date four weeks prior]. According to [state code] — which you have violated — and on the advice of my lawyer, I must insist that we are refunded the full deposit in accordance with state law.”

A day or two later, I got a phone call from the apartment complex. A very tense-sounding person on the other end told me in very stiff, formal terms that they’d received my note and a check for the remaining balance was on its way. Once I got that, I took both to the bank and deposited them.

The moral of the story: know your rights and follow the rules. We would have been fine with the smaller amount had they just followed state law, but once they tried to pull a fast one on us, probably assuming that we didn’t know what they were doing? Pay up!