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When You Mete Out Revenge Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain

, , , , , , | Right | September 26, 2022

I check into a hotel. For the first two days, nothing notable happens. Then, one night at around two in the morning, the room phone rings. Thinking it is an emergency, I answer.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller #1: “Are there any rooms available right now?”

Me: *Confused pause* “Sir, I think you somehow misdialed. This is one of the guest rooms in the hotel, not the front desk.”

Caller #1: “My God! I am terribly sorry!”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. Accidents happen.” *Hangs up*

The next day, the phone rings again.

Caller #2: “Hello! I’m looking to make a reservation—”

Me: “Madam, this is one of the guest rooms, not the front desk. I think there is a crossed line or something.”

The woman apologizes and hangs up. That’s when I go to the desk to complain. The manager at the desk rolls her eyes.

Manager: “These lines have been doing that on and off for some reason. We’ve asked over and over for someone to come fix it, but months later, it starts up again. I’m tired of dealing with it. Just tell them to hang up and try again.”

Me: “Excuse me, I don’t like being woken up at one in the morning—”

Manager: “Well… unplug the phone. Problem solved!” *Walks away*

Seriously irked, I return to my room. I do consider unplugging the phone from the wall, but this is during the mid-1990s when we don’t have cellphones, and the only way my business partner or my wife can get ahold of me in an emergency is by the phone number of my hotel room!

That night, at around one in the morning, the phone rings again.

Caller #3: “Hello, are there any rooms available?”

I look outside to see the “No Vacancy” light lit up.

Me: “Sure, we have a sale on a deluxe suite for [ridiculously low price]. Ask for [Manager’s Full Name].”

And the next call:

Caller #4: “Hello, we’d like to book a reservation for twenty-five people.”

Me: “No problem!”

I pretend to take down their details.

Me: “We’ll even give you a 40% group discount! Make sure you tell them that [Manager] booked it for you and authorized the discount!”

Next call:

Caller #5: “Hello, are there any rooms available?”

I look out the window to see the “Vacancy” sign lit up.

Me: “No, unfortunately, we are all booked up today. But, for the inconvenience, we do offer a 30% discount with our partnering hotels, [Competitors]. Give them the name [Manager] and the hotel number—” *reads the number from my receipt* “—and they’ll get you fixed up.”

I just wish I would have been around to watch the h** that that woman caught. And yes, that doggone phone was randomly ringing all throughout the week (and in the middle of the night!) with customer calls that were misdirected to my room phone.

Ceiling Cat Is Watching You Fail At Maintenance

, , , , , , | Working | September 9, 2022

I work for a vet. We rent clinic space in a small strip mall. We are responsible for interior fixtures, but the physical building, including the dropped ceiling, is the responsibility of the management company that “maintains” the property.

We need some plumbing work done, which necessitates shutting off our unit’s water, and the shutoff valve is in the ceiling. The plumber drops the ceiling tile he moved to access the shutoff valve. Being about thirty years old, it breaks, leaving a hole in the ceiling.

We immediately contact building maintenance and inform them that we need a replacement tile ASAP. No response.

We contact them again a week later. No response.

Another week later, we point out that there is a serious danger of a cat getting up there and being incredibly difficult to retrieve. They finally respond.

Building Maintenance: “Oh, we’ll get maintenance right on that.”

Maintenance never even came by to look at it.

About a month later, the maintenance guy came by, not to replace the ceiling tile, but to ask if we’d heard anything about a new management company because he’d heard a rumor but nothing concrete. I reminded him that we needed a new tile to keep cats from escaping into the ceiling. He said something vague about putting it on his list and left without doing anything.

Today, I got to send three voicemails and an email to the building manager saying that the thing we’d been warning them might happen for a month had happened, and there was a semi-feral cat running around in the ceiling instead of being spayed.

THAT they responded to. They came out in about half an hour to measure and cut a new tile for the space where the broken one had been, and they made plans to replace several other damaged tiles we had asked them to replace last year, as well.

The cat got away from my coworker on the way to being sedated for an exam and had not come out yet by the end of the workday, probably because she was already scared and the noise of an active vet clinic seems even scarier. We set up a trap on the cabinets near the hole overnight, with a bowl of water and some incredibly nasty-smelling warmed sardines as bait. Hopefully, she will be safely contained in the trap when we arrive tomorrow morning and we can proceed with her now heavily discounted spay.

Food Is Food, Apparently

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | August 11, 2022

I fully admit that I am a perfectionist and a control freak. I like to do things myself as then I will know that they are done right. It is doubly true when I have done the task before and know its difficulty level.

Unfortunately, like so many people, I get knocked out by the global health crisis and I am unable to go to the grocery store for the week. First, I attempt the pickup method, but for whatever reason, it takes my card information (that was not on file prior) and not the order. I figure it is because my order is small and consists mainly of soup.

I try again with delivery this time. I add a few more things like bread and cheese to my order, and I add a five-dollar tip because I live less than a quarter-mile from the grocery store, and again, the order is small.

When I get my order, I discover that I have soup, all right — a single can of lentil soup, compared to the six cans of chicken noodle and tomato soup I ordered. Additionally, all of my other food is substituted for the weirdest things, like avocado for bananas. And everything was packed in its very own plastic bag, down to each individual avocado.

I almost think I got the wrong order until I go onto the site and confirm that the shopper really did make all of those substitutions.

So now, I am sitting here, sick, wondering which one of us is higher — me on cough syrup, eating lentil soup, or the guy who delivered my order thinking hummus is the same thing as cream cheese — and whether I should bother trying again.

Entitlement So Obvious It’s Openly Admitted

, , , , | Right | July 28, 2022

I am buying snacks at a supermarket grocery store late one night after work, in a part of town infamous for its entitled and out-of-touch attitude. I am next in line at the only open manned register and there is another line at the self-checkouts. A young adult woman and her friend with a few things in hand get in front of me and look up at me with puppy-dog eyes.

Keep in mind there are several people also waiting behind me.

Customer: “We only have a few things. We can cut in front of you, right?”

Me: “Umm… why?”

Customer: “We didn’t, like, expect to have to wait.”

Me: “Oh. Then, no.”

I walked around her to place my two items on the belt. Her expression told me she was not used to hearing that one. They got in line.

No Good Deed Goes Well With Corporate

, , , , , , | Working | July 27, 2022

In my early twenties, I worked in a cell phone store in a strip mall. The store was an authorized dealer for a national, growing cellular provider. As an authorized dealer, my store could not do all the same things as a “corporate” store of the cellular provider, despite most of our branding looking identical.

As employees of the authorized dealer, we were sales agents, and our main focus was on selling phones, service, and accessories. Anything beyond that — warranty claims or exchanges, in-depth troubleshooting, most account maintenance, etc. — had to be handled at a corporate store. This often resulted in confused and/or frustrated customers.

One day, an elderly woman came in with an old flip phone that was no longer working properly. She needed it fixed or replaced. Upon looking up the woman’s account information, we discovered that she had obtained this phone several years ago, and as such, it was out of warranty. However, she wasn’t eligible for an upgrade, either; this was back in the days of two-year contracts, and she always gave her upgrades to the other family members on her account.

Unfortunately, this meant that she didn’t have many options apart from adding a new line of service to her account (which would significantly impact her monthly bill) or purchasing a phone “outright” at full retail price. She couldn’t afford (and didn’t want) anything fancy, and although smartphones weren’t around yet, most of the phones we carried were “feature phones” with things like QWERTY keyboards or fancy cameras. We only had a couple of “basic” models, and even then, the full retail price for those was at least $200.

I’ve always been service-oriented more than anything else, and the rest of the employees in my store — and even many of those from other stores in the region — knew me to be a very honest person who hated taking advantage of anyone just to make a sale. I really wanted to do everything I could to help this woman, so I grabbed a cheap pre-paid flip phone out of our stock room and explained to the customer that although it was marked for pre-paid service, we had a workaround that would allow us to activate it on her post-paid plan.

Technically, this wasn’t allowed under the authorized dealer contract we had with the cellular carrier, but it was a common tactic that we somehow managed to get away with for quite some time. An important caveat of selling a customer a pre-paid phone is that the sales representative doing the sale got virtually no commission from it unless they convinced the customer to purchase some additional accessories. I wasn’t invested in this particular transaction for the money.

The customer seemed a bit confused about the whole process — she wasn’t very tech-savvy or even fully understanding of how her service was set up in the first place — but decided to purchase the pre-paid phone and a phone case on clearance. (Read: still little commission for me.) My assistant manager helped me activate the phone in the system, and the elderly woman left the store with a working phone.

Alas, that didn’t last.

The woman came back the next day, complaining that the phone was dropping calls, failing to connect when she tried to place calls, etc. A coworker and I did some basic troubleshooting but to no avail. Pre-paid phones were often older post-paid phones that had been refurbished (poorly), and I suspected that this was the case with this phone, although I didn’t voice that concern to the customer. We encouraged her to visit the corporate store about three miles away, and this only furthered her confusion about the whole situation. Eventually, she conceded and left for the corporate store.

A bit later that day, we got a call from a representative at the corporate store, who asked us a number of questions about the phone and how and why it had been sold to this poor, frustrated woman. Despite my assistant manager’s explanations, the other store’s rep seemed convinced that we had sold the customer the pre-paid phone illegitimately in order to scam her out of her money, and they hung up.

I don’t know what the corporate store did to assist the woman, apart from somehow getting her a (different) working phone and sending her back to my store to return the pre-paid phone and case.

When she walked in the door, she was visibly angry, although calm, and she marched up to the sales counter and spoke to my assistant manager, who happened to be standing right next to me. She politely asked to return the phone and the case, and my assistant manager complied. Neither of them said much during the short transaction. Once the return was complete and the customer was assured that her money had been refunded to her debit card, she thanked the assistant manager and then turned to me and looked me in the eye.

Customer: “And you, young man. Shame on you, taking advantage of naive customers like me. You shouldn’t be allowed to keep working here with your unscrupulous sales tactics. I don’t know how you sleep at night.”

Keep in mind that I had made next to nothing on the sale.

While she was speaking, I maintained eye contact with her and waited a moment to be sure she was done. I then simply nodded my head and said, “Okay.”

This seemed to fluster the woman, whose expression passed through confusion and then further anger before she huffed and quickly left the store.

As soon as the door had shut behind the customer, my assistant manager burst out laughing at a customer telling me — who would rather take a punch to the face than be unkind to anyone, ever — “I don’t know how you sleep at night.”

To this day, I still appreciate him for recognizing how ludicrous that was and for making me feel better about myself.