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There’s Upselling And Then There’s Scamming

, , , , , | Working | December 7, 2023

While on vacation in a different city, my family and I decided to buy a biscuit that the city is known for. While I’ve encountered plenty of upselling strategies (who hasn’t?), this was an… interesting new one.

Me: *Holding a gift box to the cashier* “Just this, please.”

Cashier: “Would you like to buy a second one? It’s only MOP70 more.”

Me: “No, thanks.”

Cashier: “But your purchase will come out to MOP500, and two boxes cost MOP570. You’re losing out!”

Other Employee: “It’s true, you know. I can help you get another box, if you like.”

Because the product happened to be the most popular, a stack of them was also on the counter next to the cashier, with a price tag reading “MOP375” that could be clearly seen from where I was standing.

Me: “I’m still going to decline.”

Cashier: “But it’s not worth it to buy just one box!”

This back-and-forth went on for a bit until my father cut in.

Dad: “Actually, forget it. We have a bus to catch, so we’re in a hurry. We’re just not going to buy anything.”

Cashier: “Okay, one box it is, then. Tell you what: we’ll even give you the employee discount.”

Interestingly, the total after the discount was the exact amount on the price tag.

We Wonder How He’s Coping With Cell Phone Culture Now

, , , , , , , | Working | November 24, 2023

Maybe twenty-two years ago, I had a phone interview with a baking company. I didn’t care to have my peers know what I was up to, so I took the call on my cell phone in my car. The call was crystal clear and had no technical issues.

At one point, the interviewer mentioned the weather.

Interviewer: “How’s the weather where you are?”

Me: “I’m sitting in my car, and it’s actively snowing right now.”

Interviewer: “Are you taking this call on a cell phone?”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Interviewer: “Do you think that’s appropriate?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Interviewer: “I think it’s kind of rude to take a formal call on a cell phone.”

Me: “I would be more than happy to conclude the interview if talking on a cell phone is an issue. If you are interested, I’d be happy to continue it tomorrow when I’ll be at a desk.”

Interviewer: “It’s so rude that you called me from a cell phone. There’s no need to continue with the interview process.”

I disagreed with the first point but did agree with the second. 

To this day, I wonder what the h*** he was talking about and where he was coming from.

Spoken Like A Person Who Hasn’t Had To Fight For Their Rights

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2023

A post in Pride Month reminded me of a similar experience. I was a sixty-two-year-old woman with white hair and was conventionally dressed when this happened. I had moved into my very elderly parents’ home to take care of them. They lived in a relatively quiet, middle-class neighborhood in Queens, part of New York.

I shopped weekly in the local stores that my parents had frequented for decades. The woman who owned the bakery that I shopped in weekly was always complaining about something, usually the government and taxes.

My girlfriend/spouse “commuted” bi-monthly between our home abroad and my parents’ house. When the NY legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, I proposed, and we got married on her next trip to NY.

On my next shopping trip, the bakery owner was complaining again about the stupid government.

Owner: “Gay marriage! Who needs gay marriage?! They should do something about…”

Me: *Interrupting* “I needed it. It enabled my long-time partner and me to get married. We’ve been together for years, and we finally have the same rights that you do.”

She stopped dead in her tracks, mouth hanging open, while the employee did all she could do to stop from cracking up and did manage to grin from ear to ear when she caught my eye. 

The owner eventually started stuttering an apology — after all, I was a good customer. I don’t think she ever got over it.

Hats Off To The Easily Offended

, , , | Right | November 19, 2023

At the bakery where I work, we are required to wear a hat at all times, but we have the option of wearing either the company hat or one of our own. I choose to wear my own.

I am stocking the display case and notice a woman giving me a dirty look. Since the woman doesn’t say anything, and I am generally not a confrontational person, I try to ignore her.

About two minutes later, I am doing something in the back when my manager walks up to me, looking confused.

Manager: “Hey, there’s a lady out there who says your hat is offensive and you need to get rid of it.”

I bet I know who it is.

Me: “Um, okay?”

Manager: *Shrugs* “I don’t know. I’m just supposed to tell you that. Keep it on. It’s adorable.”

What is this offensive hat, you ask? A powder-blue ball cap featuring Snoopy and Woodstock dressed as hikers and the word “explore” in big letters. Maybe that woman just hates the outdoors?

The Cake Is Not A Lie, Part 3

, , , , , , | Right | November 11, 2023

I work in a fast food place that also has a bakery on the side. One of our regulars comes in every morning to get his breakfast combo before going to his construction job. He’s always polite, always puts his change into the tip jar, and always makes nice conversation.

Me: “Good morning, [Regular]! Your usual combo?”

Regular: “Yes, please. Also, could I switch it up today and get one of those mini chocolate birthday cakes?”

He’s referring to a cupcake that has an edible “Happy Birthday!” sign on it.

Me: “Sure thing!”

I ring him up, and he goes to sit down with his meal. I notice that he finishes his meal and then pulls a little candle out of his pocket. He puts it in the cupcake, discreetly lights it with a lighter, and just as quickly blows it out. Since it’s quiet, I leave the counter and pass by his table.

Me: “[Regular], is it your birthday today?”

Regular: “Oh… haha, yeah. Sorry, I thought I was being quick.”

Me: “Happy birthday! Why didn’t you tell us?”

Regular: “Oh, it’s not a big deal, really. I’m not superstitious or anything, but my momma always told me it’s important to make a wish on your birthday and have a nice slice of cake. She passed last year, and this is my first birthday without her. I wanted to continue the tradition.”

Me: “Oh… wow. I’m sorry to hear that, but I am so glad you’ve been able to maintain the tradition.”

We finished up our conversation, and he headed off to work. I told my coworkers and manager about his story, and we were all touched by it.

The next day when our regular came in, we all donned party hats, gave one to him, and had a full-sized birthday cake full of candles for him to blow out — albeit a day late! He was very touched by the gesture and finally agreed (after much effort) to take the remainder of the cake home after everyone had had a slice.

A year later, most of us are still working here, and our regular is still our regular, and we surprised him again! He was so shocked we remembered, and it made our day to surprise him. He said his momma would be so pleased.

The Cake Is Not A Lie, Part 2
The Cake Is Not A Lie