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There’s Really No Diplomatic Way To Handle This

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 2, 2021

My son and I were on the last row of an airline flight. Three teens were in the seats across the aisle. They seemed quiet during the flight and I really didn’t pay attention to them. Then, it happened. They jumped up from their seats before the plane came to a stop at the gate.

Teen #1: “Let’s get out of here!”

There was no way in h*** I was going to let them rush to the front of the plane, so I stepped out into the aisle to block them.

Teen #2: “We’re late for our connecting flight!”

Me: “No, you’re not. The plane landed fifteen minutes early.”

Teen #3: *Shouting* “We’re diplomats!”

Me: “All three of you?”

Teens: “Yes, we’re diplomats!”

Me: “You mean you have a parent who is a diplomat?”

Teens: “No, we’re diplomats! We need to get to our connecting flight!”

Me: “You need to wait your turn like everyone else.”

Teen #3: *Shouting* “You’re being racist because we have brown skin!”

Me: “No, you’re in the back of the plane and need to wait like the rest of us.”

Teens: “BUT WE’RE DIPLOMATS! YOU’RE BEING RACIST!”

The teens then started crawling over the tops of all the seats, over people’s heads, toward the front of the plane. At some point, I lost track of them because my son and I had to gather our belongings. When we finally made it into the terminal, several airport staff, including security, had detained the teens and were explaining to them that they could not possibly be late for their connecting flight because we arrived early. One of the teens spotted me and started pointing vigorously at me.

Teen #3: “There she is! She wouldn’t let us pass! She’s being racist because we have brown skin! WE’RE DIPLOMATS!”

I explained the whole situation to security. They asked me if I wanted to press charges. Since none of the teens had actually touched me, I declined and went on my way.

A few minutes later, my son and I were sitting near our connecting gate, and guess who came laughing, scampering, and skipping through the terminal without a care in the world? The teens saw me and one took out a camera phone and started filming me. I just sat there, bemused. 

Teen #3: “Ooo, you’re in trouble now!”

I checked social media for a few days after that and never saw a viral story about some old white lady being racist. Go figure.

Purchase Disorder

, , , | Right | December 2, 2021

I work at a distribution center. The biggest plus to the job is that our boss has a strict attitude toward pricing and clients. Thus far, we’ve had very few problems with our clientele.

The following takes place over our chat service.

New Client: “Heyo, [My Name], what’s up?”

Me: “Good morning! How can I help?”

New Client: “Saw you had three copies of [item model] advertised and wanted to see if I could get a quote and then reserve them.”

Me: “Certainly. Those are going for about $1,395 each and I can place them on reserve as soon as I have a Purchase Order.”

New Client: “’Kay, bear with me, then, dude.”

I leave the chat window open and run a check on [New Client]’s company. They haven’t done business with us previously, so I’m going to need to set up an account for them.

Me: “Also, as I see that you’re a new client, could you send me a copy of your reseller’s certificate and a short list of references from companies you’ve worked with previously?”

An hour slowly clicks by without any response. Eventually, my colleague tells me he’s gotten a request for the same items. Unfortunately, since [New Client] hasn’t sent the purchase order yet, I can’t put them on reserve, so I tell my colleague to go ahead and quote.

Me: “Also, as a heads up, my colleague just got a request for those same items. I’m really going to need a Purchase Order if you want to have them held for you.”

Thirty more minutes click by, and then, finally:

New Client: “Hey, dude, when can you ship those out?”

Me: “I can ship them as soon as I have a Purchase Order, along with the other aforementioned documentation.”

New Client: “K, can you do anything about the price? That’s a little steep.”

Me: “Well, since you’re buying all three, I could add a bulk discount and drop the price to $1,210 each.”

New Client: “Mmm, still steep. I was thinking more along the lines of $500 for each.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we can’t discount that much on new stock.”

Silence descends across cyberspace again. My colleague eventually says he’s got a Purchase Order for the items — strangely his new client seems okay with our asking price — but is willing to defer to me since [New Client] called first dibs.

Me: “My colleague just got the order for those items. Again, I really am going to need the same from you if you don’t want them to be sold to someone else.”

More time passes. My colleague says his customer needs the items shipped today. I wait another thirty minutes and then tell him to go ahead and process his order since the lack of response would indicate [New Client] is no longer interested. My colleague gets approval for the sale. I go down to help him get the items from storage, leave for lunch, and come back to update the inventory. By now, several hours have passed. My colleague goes out to get packing materials for the shipment. Literally upon his return, my chat window blinks.

New Client: “All right, well, I gotta leave soon, dude, so I’ll send the Purchase Order now. You can still ship today, can’t you?”

You have got to be kidding me.

New Client: “Oh, and I’m still not digging your price. Get them down to $500 and all is well.”

You have GOT to be kidding me!

Me: “My colleague sold those items two hours ago. When you didn’t respond, I thought you weren’t interested anymore.”

New Client: “What? Dude, I had other stuff to do! Why didn’t you hold them like I asked you to?”

Me: “Didn’t you get my previous messages?”

New Client: “Well, yeah, but I thought you were bluffing. I mean, come on, dude. No one actually pays four digits for that model, do they?”

I am not entirely sure how to respond, not that it matters, as [New Client] immediately leaps back in.

New Client: “Never mind, just tell your colleague I need ’em and get back to me when you have a tracking number.”

Me: *After a minute of reminding myself to be polite* “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that, [New Client]. He got the order and the approval to sell them. Per our policy, the sale is his, fair and square.”

New Client: “But I got you the Purchase Order first!”

Me: “But you didn’t give it to me. How long have you actually had the Purchase Order?”

New Client: “Since this morning. I just wanted to wait until you agreed to my price before sending it.”

Me: “Send me a copy now.”

He sends it and I check it out.

Me: “[New Client], as I told you before, I can’t drop the price to this amount. Plus, as I also stated before, I need your reseller’s permit and a reference list to get you set up with a shipping account.”

New Client: “I don’t have time to do all that! Can’t you just check the feedback on our site and take their word for it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but our policy states that we need those two documents to do business with you.”

New Client: “Well, that’s bulls***! I need those items tomorrow!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but they’re sold. Actually, as I type this, my colleague just finished packing them up and is wheeling them out to the post office.”

New Client: “[My Name], my company is like one of the biggest in California! You do this for me, $600 each since you aren’t good for $500, shipped overnight, and I can promise you a heck of a lot of business from us in the future!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I told you what we needed to hold the items for you and what our prices were this morning. You chose to wait until it was too late, so there’s nothing I can do for you now.”

[New Client] does not respond. After several minutes, I close the chat window and get on with some paperwork… until said window rudely pops back into view again.

New Client: “You’re actually going to do this, dude? You’re really going to turn down a perfect opportunity to land a major league new client and thus cut yourself off from a reliable source of six-figure sales?”

Yeah, right, bud, you can’t even handle four figures.

Me: “I don’t know what else to tell you. Our owner wants to make a profit, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that at your requested price. I’ll be happy to help you out if there’s something else in our stock that you need.”

Again, I get the silent treatment as [New Client] no doubt tries to think of a decent comeback. Ten minutes later, he finally comes up with the following carefully crafted witticism.

New Client:WELL, F*** YOU, THEN!

He actually bolded and italicized it. [New Client] signed out, I saved the chat log to send to my manager in case a complaint was lodged, and then I silently broke my brain over the logic of the day’s nonsense. Seriously, in what region is it a sensible business practice to wait on a time-sensitive deal, thinking that the other side will panic and give in to your demands?

If he had just sent the Purchase Order to me when he got it, he could have at least bought himself more time to stall and negotiate. We’d never have agreed to his asking price, but furthermore, that’s the brilliant thing about electronic documents: you can go back and edit them if changes need to be made!

Regardless, his threats aren’t going to matter in any respect. Even if we lost a deal with HIM, there’s still every chance we can sell to another rep in his company, so we haven’t cut ourselves off from anything, and if he tries to dissuade his colleagues from contacting us, we’ve got the evidence to prove he’s at fault.

This Is Why I Avoid My Old Classmates

, , , , , , | Working | December 1, 2021

I stop at a food stand I haven’t tried before. The guy serving me looks familiar but I can’t place him. I order anyway and wait to the side. When my food is ready, I go back up and the employee starts to hand me my food.

Me: “Wait, [Employee], isn’t it?”

Employee: “Oh, yeah.”

Me: “I knew I recognised you. I wasn’t sure earlier.”

Employee: “Yeah, I thought you were just blanking me.”

Me: “No, not at all. Sorry, it’s been a while; I didn’t recognise you. How are you? How have you been?”

Employee: “Yeah, good, thanks. I, err, let me just remake your food.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Employee: “I think I made it wrong.”

Me: “Wrong? How could it be wrong? Wait. Did you spit in my food?”

Employee: *Laughing unconvincingly* “What? No!” *More nervous laughing*

Me: “What the h***? You’re in your thirties and still acting like a child?”

Employee: “Yeah, well, no one liked you at school.”

Me: “Mate, you’re in your thirties. School was a long time ago. Grow up.”

I thought long and hard about reporting him and about how he may do this same thing to someone else. But what proof was there? Would they believe me or even do anything?!

In the end, I didn’t think it was worth it. I avoided the stall for a few weeks, and then, after all that, I never saw him working there again anyway. Sometimes the best revenge is just being happy despite them.

You Can Tow Someone To A Sign, But You Can’t Make Them Read

, , , , | Right | December 1, 2021

I worked at a very small grocery store (four aisles) to help pay for grad school. I was the manager of the restocking shift.

My job consisted of preparing the space for the delivery truck to arrive by asking people to move their cars or having them towed if they blocked access. I would then remain onsite until the truck arrived at any time from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am. Once it arrived, I would text the rest of the shift members to come in and we would restock shelves.

The signs in our parking lot clearly stated that the driver had to remain on the property with their vehicle or risk a tow. Still, many people would miss this. I became very used to dealing with upset people whose cars I had gotten towed.

One shift was on a holiday, so the store had closed early and I was the only employee present. All other stores on the property were also closed. A single car was parked in a spot directly in the way of the truck access and directly in front of a parking sign. I had to have it towed.

About an hour after the towing, I came out to the parking lot to do one of the various small things I had to do to prep and found a group of teenagers standing in the spot. I approached and asked if they were the owners of the car. One girl stepped up and said yes. 

Me: “I’m afraid that your car had to be towed because it was blocking access to the property for the delivery truck. You weren’t on the property with the vehicle, as required by our parking policy.”

Driver: “I was just visiting my brother.”

She gestured to an apartment complex across the street.

Me: “I’m afraid that the sign clearly states that you have to remain on the property with the vehicle.”

She was upset but seemed to accept it. I returned to the interior of the store. I left the rolling door for the back storage room up – a mistake – as I’d have to go back out soon to make sure no one moved the traffic cones blocking spots and parked to block access. About forty minutes later, I heard this.

Voice: “HELLO? IS ANYONE HERE?”

I came out to find the girl and her mother standing in the middle of our storage room. I informed them that they were trespassing and directed them out into the alley behind the store.

Mom: “Are you the one that had my daughter’s car towed?”

Me: “Yes. I–”

Mom: “That’s ILLEGAL! You can only have a car towed during store hours!”

Me: “Actually, our parking agreement, as stated on the signs, does not specify any time, only the location of the driver. This is becau–”

Mom: “YOU SPECIFICALLY TARGETED MY DAUGHTER! YOU WATCHED THEM PARK AND THEN IMMEDIATELY HAD THEM TOWED!”

Me: “Actually, I first found the car at 6:15. I left a note on the window and checked in over the course of the next hour before I called the truck. I’m required to clear that space by 8:00 pm as we don’t know when the truck will arrive.”

Mom: “SHE WAS JUST ACROSS THE STREET!”

Me: “Which isn’t part of this property, putting her in violation.”

The next twenty-five minutes or so involved a phone call with the store owner and the mom repeatedly lying about what the signs said. After the fourth time I corrected the mom about the signs, her daughter went to go read them and tried to tell her mom. Her mom covered the receiver and told her to shut up. When the mom lied a fifth time, I again corrected her.

Driver: “Stop it! I already told her!”

Me: “If she wants me to stop correcting her, she is free to stop lying.”

In the end, she got nothing new from the owner. I got a lot of threats; at one point, the brother walked by later and said that he would beat me up because the truck hadn’t shown up yet, so I was clearly lying. It showed up as he was talking. The mom threatened to take me to court if I didn’t pay for the tow. I didn’t pay. She didn’t sue. Shortly after this, I quit. The little bit I was saving on student loans wasn’t worth that.

Customers That Will Give You Blisters

, , , | Right | November 30, 2021

I’m a doctor, working at a public night shift service. It’s kind of like an emergency room but for non-emergencies, to keep the hospitals clear of white codes. We treat anything from a fever to a sore throat to prescriptions for urgent treatments.

A woman walks in at 3:00 am asking for a prescription for hypertension drugs, which isn’t unusual, as people sometimes don’t notice they’re running low.

The law (not a rule, not my decision — the law) states that our service can only write prescriptions for potentially life-threatening conditions’ drugs for a maximum of seventy-two hours’ coverage, so if you take one pill a day, I can only prescribe you a single blister.

While I’m writing the prescription, she casually mentions:

Customer: “I’m an insomniac. I was cleaning the medicine cabinet and I realized I’m down to my last full blister.”

My pen stops and I ask her to repeat.

Me: “Full blister?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

I void the prescription and explain to her the law. She gets mad, starts yelling, and threatens to call the cops.

Me: “Go ahead.”

The cops come, and she triumphantly announces:

Customer: “He is refusing to treat me!”

I explained the situation, and they asked her if it was true that she had a full blister. She, of course, confirmed it. The cops looked at her — still with her look of triumph, waiting for them to arrest me — then at me, and then ask her politely to leave, as I was in the right. She was livid.

The day after, my boss called me and cracked up because she went back during the day to talk to “the manager”, and my boss told her the exact same thing. Never saw her again.