Very Difficult To Balance The Books

, , , , , | Right | January 16, 2020

I take care of lost and damaged books in our library.

When a patron loses or damages a book, they can either buy a new copy themselves and bring it to us or we can buy a new copy and then send them an invoice.

One patron, in particular, has been a big problem. She borrowed six books that were very, very late. After months of trying to reach her by email, phone, and physical letters, she finally brought five of the books back. Those books were all very damaged — torn pages and covers, some coffee spills inside, scribblings everywhere, etc. We knew for sure that she was the one responsible because those were all new books and she was the first patron to borrow them.

We told her that she would have to bring back the last book she still had and that she would have to pay for all the damaged book,s as well as the late fee.

She finally did pay her invoice, after months of constant reminders once again.

She still hadn’t brought back her last book, though. But she finally did bring it back, weeks after paying her first invoice, this one also very damaged.

So, I told her that once again, she would have to pay for it. She then sent me an email saying the following :

“Dear Madam,

This book is actually written by a group that has it available for free on their website. To avoid cutting down more trees and to do something for our planet, I suggest you could put the PDF on your catalog instead of making me buy a new copy.”

Obviously, I’m going to send her an email back saying that even if we decide to take the PDF instead of buying a physical copy, she still has to pay for the book she damaged. But I am just baffled at the nerve she has. If she cares so much about trees, then maybe she should take care of the books she borrows.

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She Stole My Books, Not My Brain

, , , , , | Friendly | January 16, 2020

(I am sharing an apartment with a now ex-friend. We get along well until one day, without warning, she ends up taking around $200 worth of my stuff and selling it off so she can have some pocket money. I am, naturally, really upset with this. The police get called, and we recover about two-thirds of the stuff, and she ends up being required to pay the difference. Among the stuff we manage to recover are a few older books that were a gift from my late grandfather, which were the things that I was most afraid to lose. After this, I cut ties with that friend very thoroughly. However, we have mutual friends that still are in contact with each other. I never tried to force them to cut ties with her or anything, but I likewise never shied away from being up-front about what she had done.)

Mutual Friend: *via text* “Hey, [My Name]. Do you have a copy of [Book]?”

Me: “Yeah. I have the whole series.”

Mutual Friend: “It’s a series?”

Me: “Yep. It’s really good.”

Mutual Friend: “Cool. Hey, can [Ex-Friend] borrow it? We were talking, and she mentioned how much she enjoyed it when she was living with you.”

Me: *kind of shocked at what I’m reading* “Are you kidding me?”

Mutual Friend: “What?”

Me: “She stole from me! This was one of the things she tried to steal! Why would I ever lend it or anything to her?”

Mutual Friend: “Oh. Well, that was a while ago, though.”

Me: “No no no no no no no. I am not lending her anything.”

Mutual Friend: *after about twenty minutes of silence* “Could you lend me the book?”

Me: “Are you planning to turn around and hand it to her?”

(Total silence after that, and that particular mutual friend is now looking like another ex-friend, as she has stopped speaking with me. Sooo sorry for being defensive after being burned by a thief in the past.)

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Not A Very Rewarding Attitude  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(I have to stop by a local big box electronics store in the middle of the workday to grab some USB drives for our IT department. I typically don’t shop here, but the usual store is several miles out of the way. I quickly grab what I need and go up to the first open register, where the cashier in uniform is wearing a name tag which says, “In Training,” and there is a woman in civvies wearing a “Trainer” name tag.)

Trainee: “Welcome to [Big Box Store]. Did you find everything you need?”

Me: “Yup.”

Trainee: “And did you have our [rewards plan] card with you?”

Me: “Nope, don’t have one.”

Trainee: “Well, sir, would you like to sign up? It’s free and you earn points with every purchase.”

Me: “Not today, I’m in a hurry, thanks.”

Trainee: “It only takes a few minutes to sign you up, sir; are you sure you don’t want it? It costs nothing!”

Me: “Nope, not interested.” 

(Normally, I’d take a harder stance on saying no, but the dude is in training so I figure I’ll let him practice his spiel and let it go after the “three-peat” rule is satisfied.)

Trainee: “But you can use your rewards points to get [Branded Item #1] and [Branded Item #2], in addition to coupons.”

Me: “Seriously, not interested. Just ring me up because I’m in a hurry.”

Trainee: “Okay, sir, no problem let’s get you checked out.”

(As the trainee reaches to start ringing up my stuff, the trainer taps him on the shoulder.)

Trainer: *super condescendingly and more than loud enough for me to hear her* “No, he didn’t sign up for the [rewards plan] card. Let me show you how it’s done.”

(The trainer then steps up to the register to take over the transaction.)

Trainer: “Now, sir, I think maybe he didn’t explain that the plan is free and—”

Me: *cutting her off* “I heard three times. I know about the plan. I’m in a hurry and very clearly not interested. This is now a hard no, which means you stop and ring me out.”

Trainer: “Oh, sir, you really aren’t listening to what I’m telling you. I’m trying to help you! Now—”

Me: *cutting her off again, crescendo-ing my deep voice into a full blown roar* “I understood every d***ed word! Stop insulting my intelligence. I know the plan is free, I know what the points can be used for, and I’m not bloody well interested. And I’ve made it very clear that I am in a hurry and trying to get out of here. Now, either you step aside and let the polite gentleman—” *pointing at trainee* “—ring me up, or I will shout loudly enough for the store manager to come here and take my complaint about your piss-poor service. If you’re going to waste my time and belittle both me and the guy who was actually doing his job right, I might as well make sure my time is being wasted filing a complaint ABOUT YOU!”

Trainer: “Well, you’re a lost cause.” *to trainee* “He’s your problem now.” *walks over to meet a security guard from the entryway, who is now halfway to the register*

Trainee: “I’m really very sorry, sir.”

Me: “Dude, you did your job right. I could have been a jacka** up front, and I would have if you hadn’t stopped after the mandated three attempts. You were fine and following your training; we have no problem.” *actually manages to pay for my three products as the security guard gets to the register*

Security: “Sir, you can’t be in here causing a scene. You need to pay and leave.”

Me: “I just paid. I’d have paid sooner but the idiot behind you—” *pointing at trainer* “—refused to ring me up because I won’t sign up for [rewards plan] card. Also, she was super rude to me and to the guy she’s supposed to be training. If being upset over that is a problem, please call the store manager and pull the recording from the camera there on the wall.”

Security: “Uh… You want me to pull the audio and video? Sir, that will show exactly what happened. If you’re lying, I’ll have you banned.”

Me: “Please, pull it. Watch it with the store manager.” *hands over business card* “Here’s my contact info, so if you need to ban me after what you see and hear, please do so.”

Security: “Okay, sir, I’m going to pull the recording.”

Trainer: “No, not necessary; I think he’s learned his lesson!”

Me: “It is necessary. Tell the store manager I look forward to hearing from him. Now, I have other places to be.”

(I emailed a complaint to corporate and I did hear back from the store manager the next day with an apology for the way I was treated. He offered me a free membership in [rewards plan] and a $50 coupon to win back my business. I told him I was voting with my wallet and taking all future business to the local independent shop, instead. The big box place has since gone out of business. Can’t imagine why that location was underperforming.)

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Karen Is Coming And She’s Bringing Friends

, , , , | Right | January 15, 2020

(One Sunday lunch, we are running with six servers on the floor, which is a bit sparse, but we are managing. At 11:30, a group makes a call-ahead for twenty people at noon. The manager pulls one of the food runners to take the party in the party room so that I won’t lose a chunk of the main floor. By the time all these folks are seated, it is actually a party of thirty. They do not call to update the number in advance. They just all keep showing up, so we keep expanding their tables. There are eighteen adults, twelve kids. Now, twenty people can easily be taken by one server. Thirty’s a stretch, but can be done if the guests are kind and patient. Spoiler alert: they weren’t.)

Soccer Mom: *suddenly and without warning approaches behind me at the hospitality desk* “Excuse me. You need to get us another server.”

Me: *as I am VERY obviously trying to check in three separate parties that have just walked in* “I’m very sorry, ma’am. If you’ll give me a moment to check these folks in, I’d be happy to fetch my manager.”

Soccer Mom: “One server’s just not cutting it.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m very sorry. I’ll have the manager to you as soon as I am able.”

Soccer Mom: “We were here first! All these people should have to wait so that we can have another server.”

Me: “I’m so very sorry, ma’am, but until I can fetch the manager for you, I’m afraid I’m not powerful enough to fix it.”

(The soccer mom stands behind me and taps her foot loudly as I continue trying to help the folks that have walked in and witnessed her tantrum. Time passes. My manager and the thirty-top’s server are at the hospitality desk and struggling to split all the checks, as there have been MANY complications with the party. The soccer mom storms up to the hospitality desk.)

Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We’re still working to sort everything out. I’m so sorry.”

Soccer Mom: “Y’know, you keep saying that, and it doesn’t fix anything! I don’t care if you’re sorry. We’ve been here for two hours. Our kids are playing hide-and-seek in the bathrooms because you can’t expect children to sit for two hours, and we have twelve of them. You have five minutes to fix this.”

(I am thinking 1. Go step on a copper d4. 2. Two hours for an unexpected party of THIRTY is not at all unreasonable. 3. As a matter of fact, I CAN expect children to sit still for two hours. I’ve seen it done. Did it myself often when I was young. 4. Turns out, YOU are the adults of the group, and YOU should actually make an effort to control the twelve children you decided to bring out. 5. You told us twenty people. The fact that you don’t seem to understand why bringing an unannounced extra ten shows me that you’ve never had to work a job like this. If you HAD ever worked customer service, perhaps you wouldn’t be such a rampaging bint. Five minutes later:)

Soccer Mom: *standing in the entrance to the kitchen, WELL past where guests should be, phone alarm and light blaring, BELLOWING at the managers across the kitchen* “IT’S BEEN FIVE MINUTES!”

(Y’know… I’m so happy that I’m me and not her. I only had to tolerate her for two hours. She has to BE her for her whole life… and that’s gotta just suck.)

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This Driver Is Bus(t)  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(Since my wife takes the car to work, I take the bus to school. There is a bus stop right next to the house so it’s no trouble. Normally, there’s no problem with this arrangement as the majority of bus drivers are relatively attentive and will stop if they see people. Then, there’s this time. He flies right past me, leaving me screaming and chasing the bus. A passenger yells at the bus driver which forces him to stop after a couple of blocks. I decide to be cool about it, even though it seriously irritates me.)

Bus Driver: *passive, not even looking towards me* “Sorry ’bout that.”

Me: “I guess we all have off days.”

(I pay for my ride and sit. During the ride, he stops for people who start talking to him; clearly they know each other. They don’t even pay but he lets them sit and keeps talking. They don’t even ask for a stop but he does stop where they need to go. Right as I’m starting to think it was just a one-off moment, he blows past the next bus stop, where an old, thin man with a walking cast is holding his cane up to ask to get on the bus. I shout at the bus driver to stop. He backs up the bus about 200 feet back to the stop, incredibly dangerous. The old man gets on the bus, and the driver doesn’t apologize. Now my stop is coming up, so I pull the stop-request lever, naively assuming that the bus driver knows this means the next bus stop is where I want to go. I am mistaken and he blows by my stop.)

Me:Excuse me! I pulled the lever! Stop the bus!”

Bus Driver: “This isn’t one of my stops! I don’t have to!”

Me: *standing up, which means if he keeps driving he is knowingly endangering passengers so he’s forced to stop if he doesn’t want to get fired* “Actually, you do. The official stops are to denote expected timing. You have to stop whenever people are at bus stops, and at the next stop when someone pulls the lever!”

(He stops the bus in the middle of a busy intersection, a couple of blocks away from my stop.)

Bus Driver: *aggressive and angry* “GET OFF MY BUS!”

Me: *mocking and snarky* “WITH PLEASURE! Have a NICE. DAY.”

(I got off the bus and immediately called the bus dispatch and complained about him, both about what happened to me and to the old man. It turns out he had just barely gotten out of mandatory retraining, and this was his first day back after having been forced off the job for a legal infraction. I don’t know if he’s still working for the bus company, but he was taken off my route and one of the good bus drivers returned!)

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