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Putting A Wedge In Your Pledge

, , | Right | May 23, 2021

My grandparents own a camping site near a lake and offer to rent pedal boats and cabins. They are the only workers there, so I, a fourteen-year-old girl, decide to help them during the summer and look after the reception.

It’s kind of a boring day and only one of the pedal boats is being used. A middle-aged woman comes into reception.

Me: “Hello!”

Customer: “I would like to rent a pedal boat. How much for an hour?”

Me: “3€. But I will need a pledge.”

Customer: “A pledge?”

Me: “It can be anything you don’t want to lose during your trip.”

This is a standard process for safety and we add tiny papers with their start time to them. She hands me 20€ cash.

Me: “Sorry, I can’t accept cash. But people usually leave some documents—”

Customer: “Documents? I won’t give my passport!”

Me: “I can’t accept passports, either. You can leave your driver’s license, ID, wallet, phone, etc.”

Customer: “But I’m renting a cabin in this camping area and I left all my belongings there.”

Me: “It’s our policy.”

Customer: “Actually, how old are you? Can you even work there?”

Me: “I’m fourteen, and from this age, you can legally work with parents’ permission.”

She starts asking for some “grownups” and so on. My father comes into reception and sees me almost crying.

Father: “What’s the problem?”

Customer: “She doesn’t want to accept my pledge or my passport!”

Me: “I said that neither cash nor passport is an acceptable pledge.”

Customer: “I’m staying there. Why can’t she just accept the money?”

Father: “Because the money doesn’t give a guarantee that you won’t go across the lake and steal the boat.”

I don’t remember what happened next because I was crying, but at one moment, my grandfather came into reception. It turned out that the customer’s kids had rented one water bike just a few minutes before and left their phone as a pledge.