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Being Polite Is Rewarding For All Involved

, , , , , , | Right | April 24, 2022

I worked at the prize counter of an arcade. I often had little kids come up and say, “I want that!” while touching the glass, pointing to something I couldn’t really see. I would use the scanner to scan the barcode to take away the tickets on their card.

I could also add tickets because we had a game that awarded plastic coins, each of which was worth one or five tickets.

Every once in a while, there would be a kid who would say, “May I please have a [prize]?” and say thank you when I gave them their toy. I would tell them and their parents how they could keep their cards for reuse the next time they came, and they and their parents would say thank you and that they would, but little did they know, I had added 500 to 1000 tickets to their cards for the next time.

I went mad with power when I worked the booth.

And The Gamer Gets Gamed

, , , , , , , | Friendly | April 24, 2022

In 1995, I decided to join the military. The day that this happened was one of the worst days of my year. What should have been an easy couple of hours turned into an all-day event — paperwork was lost, two recruiters were in car accidents on the way to get me, and I didn’t have a lot of money for anything. The one thing that got me through my ordeal was the small arcade they had in the waiting area. I had about $5.00 to spend to keep my mind from going nuts. I have been gaming since I was about three years old when my dad introduced my brother and me to his Atari 2600. I am now forty-four.

The arcade had “Street Fighter,” “Mortal Kombat,” and some other random games. I was in heaven. I put in a quarter and started playing “Street Fighter.” It’s one of the few fighting games I am not the best at but can make my way through.  

After a few games, I heard someone walk in behind me. I kept playing, and a few moments later, I heard, ever so quietly:

Young Guy: “Oh, the girl thinks she can play.” *Chuckles*

I snickered and turned my head to see a tall, young guy standing about six feet from me.  

Me: “Did you say something?”

Young Guy: “Oh, no, just watching you play. Do you know how to play that game? Looks like you are having problems.”

I smiled, hiding the glint in my eye.

Me: “Yeah, this one I’m no good at. It’s just passing the time while I wait.”

He smiled.

Young Guy: “Tell you what. I’ll challenge you to this one.”

He nodded his head toward “Mortal Kombat.”

Young Guy: “Do you think you can handle this one okay?”

Me: *Coolly* “Well, I’m not sure. It looks fun, but I’ve never played it before.”

He pulled out a few quarters and put in one for each of us.

Young Guy: “I’ll teach you. Pick a character.”

I picked Scorpion because, honestly, I knew a few moves, but he was not my favorite. I can button mash with the best of them though. Two rounds later, I played coy and asked for some pointers. After he played it off for a bit, I challenged him to another round, this time with my favorite character: Kitana. First round — flawless victory. The second round was more of a challenge because he got mad, but I still got him. Three dollars in quarters later, he started to cuss me out.

Young Guy: “You’re playing me!”

I smiled ever so sweetly.

Me: “Oh, this little girl is a gamer, and you just got your a** beat.”

He walked away, cursing under his breath.

In Desperate Need Of Cooling Off

, , , , | Right | February 9, 2022

I do repair work for beverage equipment — vending machines, glass door coolers. etc. My company provides the equipment and keeps ownership of it. We do all repair and maintenance of the equipment. Customers are supposed to call us as soon as there is a problem, NOT try to fix it themselves. We do NOT charge customers to repair the equipment, since we own it.

I receive a service call for a cooler not cooling at a children’s play/party business. I arrive within two hours of the call being dispatched — company policy is to respond within twenty-four hours — and am met by the woman in charge.

Customer:Your cooler stopped cooling. First, it started freezing drinks days ago! We turned the thermostat off to defrost it and then turned it back on. Now it won’t cool at all!”

This is a HUGE red flag for me. Customers aren’t supposed to try and fix things; that’s what we do. Also, I recognize the problem being described. If caught early, it is a quick fix — ten to fifteen minutes. At this point, I’m going to have to take the whole refrigeration system out and back to the shop.

I have to raise my voice to be heard over the loud games and louder kids.

Me: “I really wish you had called us as soon as the cooler stopped working. It can be fixed really easily if caught early, but now your cooler will be down for a few hours.”

I go out to my truck and get a handcart to wheel the refrigeration system out.

Customer: *After I come back in* “I talked to our office. We placed three work orders and you didn’t come! This is terrible service!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I only received the work order this morning. I don’t know anything about other work—”

Customer: “It doesn’t matter! You work for the company; it’s all of your faults! Also, since you sprung this on me by surprise, you need to move this cooler into the back and bring our spare cooler up front. I can’t be running to the back every ten seconds to get a cold drink!”

The cooler in question is eight feet tall and weighs around five hundred pounds empty, over double that full (which it is). The cooler is on rollers, but it’s NEVER safe for one person to move a cooler this size. Also, the place is carpeted and full of kids running around. Even if I had help AND the cooler was empty, this is an equipment move that I would have to refuse for safety reasons.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. It’s not—”

Customer: “I don’t care if it’s not your job. You work for [Company]. The coolers belong to [Company]. You will do this!”

Me: “I can’t.”

Customer: “I’m calling back and they will make you do it! Don’t you leave!”

She calls our service desk while I take the refrigeration system out to my truck. I come back in because, at this point, I know it will be more trouble for me if I just leave. I hear her on the phone with the service desk, explaining that she just needs a small cooler moved around. After a few minutes on the phone, she hangs up and tells me the service desk says I can move the cooler.

Me: “As I told you before, I can’t move it by myself! It’s unsafe!”

Customer: “If you don’t, I’m going to make a huge complaint!”

Me: “Go ahead.”

And I left. At that point, I had done nothing wrong, but I wanted to say a lot of things that would actually get me in trouble.

I went back to the shop and repaired the refrigeration system. I also let my manager know about the situation. He told me to take one of the shop guys with me when I went back and send him in so I won’t have to deal with the customer. Putting the refrigeration system back is an easy one-man job, so I was not putting my work off on someone else.

The return trip went without issue. The shop guy told me that the customer was very smug that she got her cooler repaired the same day — not unusual at all — and apparently felt that her complaints got me in trouble. 

Afterward, we checked to see if there had been any other work orders placed for that cooler. There were none except for the one I responded to.

Bumping Right Into Neglect

, , , , | Right | February 4, 2022

One of my coworkers found a pram with a baby in it in the middle of the floor. No one seemed to be watching it.

It turned out that the baby’s mother had left them there so she could go on the bumper cars with her other children. She didn’t even ask any of us to watch the baby.

Ah, The Delegation From Snob School

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2022

I work at a kids’ entertainment center with lots of different roleplay activities. We’re not like a wide-open area theme park, and everyone has to queue and wait for their time slot for the activities. And because we have lots of different activities and we’re indoors, we do not encourage running as it’s very easy to just crash into someone.

I’ve been having a pretty normal day with kids from local schools who are here for an excursion and behaving relatively well.

Then, an overseas school clearly here on a school trip comes in, and the students start running around screaming like monkeys, scaring all the other kids, and literally pushing their way through.

One of the teachers from the overseas school saunters up to my activity booth.

Teacher: “My students are from a well-known international school from [Country], and the students are excited to be here for their school trip. Is there a separate line for them so that they won’t have to queue and mix around with the local children?”

I literally gave her a blank stare for a moment and then put on my sweetest smile.

Me: “I am afraid not, ma’am. Over here, we encourage all children to be given a fair chance with one another, regardless of where they are from.”

I give a side-eye to their students running and screaming at the top of their voices like they own the place.

Teacher: “Oh.”

I kid you not, she literally walked away lifting her nose in the air.

My colleagues and I lost count of how many incident reports we had to fill out that day because the students from the overseas school were literally running around so much that they either fell down and bruised themselves or banged into other people.