Money Disorder

, , , | Right | April 17, 2021

A lady I’ve served maybe once or twice arrives with some checks to deposit. They are all a little old but still within six months — except one. This is a money order for all of $20, dated from seven years ago. This particular brand of money order should be negotiated within a year of it being cut or monthly fees start racking up. This piece of paper is going to be swallowed by its own fees at best and rejected as a stale item at worst.

Me: “Uh, this is a little bit old, isn’t it?”

Customer: “Yeah, but it’s a money order, so it’ll be fine.”

No, it won’t, and I know it.

Me: “Let me see what we can do here.”

I rope my manager in, not because I expect her instincts to be any different to mine but more to make it look like I’m at least trying to do something. [Manager] looks at the date.

Manager: “Oh, wow, we really shouldn’t take this.”

Customer: “No, it’s a money order. It was paid for in full back when it was bought so it’s guaranteed.”

This goes on for maybe a minute; [Manager] first wants to refuse the money order and then deposit it on a seven-day hold, but the customer will have none of it. Bear in mind, if it gets rejected — which we both expect — that’s a $30 fee that the customer is going to have to pay.

Manager: “There’s a number to verify on there, right? Call that, and if it says the check is still good, then I guess we can deposit it.” 

I call the number and verify that the check hasn’t been cashed and it hasn’t had a stop put on it by the original purchaser. This is as good as we can do, so we go ahead and deposit it.

Me: “All done, but please bear in mind that this still could very well bounce because of how old it is.” 

Customer: “Yeah, sure.”

She left. I made sure to put an extensive note in her account explaining what had happened. A few days later, we got an email from our call centre; the customer was unhappy about a returned item fee that had put her account negative. Lo and behold, the money order had been rejected as a stale item. I made a point of not being the one to call her back because I had very little confidence in my ability to avoid saying, “I told you so,” in a less than polite way, though I did make sure the note I put in the account at the time got added to the email chain. I cannot fathom why she thought she knew better than me, a teller, how money orders work.

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Not Showering This Monster-In-Law With Praise

, , , , | Related | March 15, 2021

My husband’s mother doesn’t trust men. When my husband was eight he “broke up” with a classmate. His mother yelled at him, saying he was just like all men.

He had a girlfriend in high school for two years but they mutually broke up their junior year. When my husband and I got engaged, some friends, including his ex-girlfriend, threw me a bridal shower. At one point, I was in a small circle of women: me, my husband’s ex-girlfriend, his mom, his sister, and two friends. His mother turned to the ex.

Husband’s Mom: “[Ex-Girlfriend], this should be your bridal shower.”

I told my husband that night that when we got married, his mother could visit but her suitcases would never come through the front door. She also told us we couldn’t invite his dad to the wedding. I told her we already had and would let her know if he was coming so she could decide if she wanted to attend. If looks could kill…

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Black Hawk Rising

, , , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

In 2006, while deployed to Iraq, a Black Hawk helicopter went down and the people on board were killed in the crash. Every year since then, my dad and some of the people who were deployed with them have had dinner at the same restaurant in honor of them.

It’s 2020. The waitress has been working there for years and has served this group before. As she’s setting up a table, a man at the bar stops her and makes conversation.

Customer: “Hey, what’s going on?”

Waitress: “We have a large party coming. They’re regulars and come every year.”

Customer: “Oh, what’s the occasion?”

Waitress: “They all are or were a part of the army. They have this dinner to remember friends they lost in a deployment in a Black Hawk crash.”

Customer: “Oh, wow. Here. Take this and put it towards their tab.”

He handed her $100. The waitress told the group about what happened when they showed up and everyone pretty much had drinks for free!

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for February 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for February 2021!

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You Wish You Could Abbreviate Her Time Here

, , , , , , | Working | February 9, 2021

At the doctor’s office where I work, one person schedules appointments in a handwritten paper schedule book, and I create and print off the day’s fee slips the morning of. Her handwriting is difficult to read, and she frequently misspells or abbreviates patient names, so I have gotten in the habit of trying to find a close match for possible names when I make the fee slips. Usually, new patients are noted on the paper schedule with “NP” in a circle.

Today, we had two patients I could not find names for in the computer, but I found a close match for one; think “Mel Brooks” on the schedule but “Melvin Booker” on the computer. Given how bad my coworker’s handwriting is, the fact that it’s not marked as “NP,” and her history of misspelling and abbreviating names, I was fairly certain that Melvin is the person we were scheduled to see.


This afternoon, my coworker comes charging up to my desk and slaps a new patient chart with Melvin’s fee slip on it

Coworker: “Does this look like Mel’s name?”

She gets in my masked face with her unmasked face. (She believes the health crisis is a scam invented for political gain.)

Me: “Closest match in the system. He wasn’t marked as a new patient, and you sometimes abbrev—”

Coworker: *Snarls* “I never abbreviate! And you should never assume that I wrote it down wrong! He’s obviously a new patient!”

I sighed, remade a fee slip for “NP Mel Brooks,” and requested that she note new patients when she schedules them so I could avoid looking for them in the system.

She’s not the only reason I’m job hunting — our boss is much worse — but seriously!

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Childish Behavior, Part 4

, , , , , | Right | October 8, 2020

A couple enters the furniture store where I work. They are older folks, and they say they are looking for many things. I give them a very short version of the floor layout and ask them if it is all right for me to check on them sometimes to make sure their questions are answered. They say this is fine.

The first time I check on them, the very friendly husband asks me some questions, and I answer them and dismiss myself to allow them to keep looking in peace.

The second time I check on them, the husband finds a very nice oak CD rack and asks me if we have anything more narrow. I tell him I might and that I’ll check around the store and catch up to them in a few minutes. I dismiss myself after answering another question of his about a table.

I find an item that matches the description of the oak CD rack, but I cannot find the husband for the life of me. I see the wife walking by and go to inform her that I’ve found it.

Me: “Oh, ma’am, about that item your husband was looking—”

Woman: “Look, I didn’t come here to chat! I came here to just look!

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I didn’t mean to offend you.”

Woman: “Well, you did!’

Me: “Just trying to feed my children, ma’am.”

With that, I looked down at the floor, turned on my heel, and walked away pitifully. It had the desired effect — I don’t even have kids — and the customer lost all of her zeal, looked down at the floor, and walked straight out of the store in shame.

Maybe she’ll think twice from now on before she explodes on another retail salesperson for no reason at all.

Childish Behavior, Part 3
Childish Behavior, Part 2
Childish Behavior

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