This Guy Blows

, , , , , | Right | April 24, 2019

I was working the sales floor one day when I was approached by a gentleman wishing to purchase a two-stage snow blower. He explained that he needed something heavy duty because he had a business and had contracted to clean the sidewalks for our city. It’s important to note that we live in a very small town, so it was likely the blower would get much use.

After chatting with him, he settled on a 30-inch, top-of-the-line model. We prepped the unit and he was on his merry way. The “merry” part didn’t last long, however. The following morning he was waiting for me when I came in for my shift. He was furious and explained that he’d had problems with his “defective” blower. I asked what was wrong and he told me the “feet” on it were defective.

Each blower has a pair of plastic, or metal — as on this guy’s blower — feet that the snow-catching part of the blower rides on. The intention is both to set the blower to the desired ride height, but mostly as a sacrificial wear item so the actual blower isn’t getting ground away. In my entire career selling and maintaining these blowers, I’d never seen feet worn down more than an inch or two at the most.

When this guy showed me what had just yesterday been a brand-new, top-of-the-line blower, I was speechless. The auger looked as if it’d been chewing cinder blocks, and the discharge chute was full of dents and bends. The most perplexing part: both feet were ground off completely, along with the bottom two inches of metal of the bottom of the blower. Imagine this thing having been dragged on a giant cheese grater for several miles and you get the idea.

The customer insisted he’d only been using it for “light sidewalk cleaning” in town and claimed the damage had been as a result of “defective equipment.”

To make a long story short, I tried to uphold company policy regarding returns on equipment that was obviously abused and not being used for its intended purpose, but he threw a fit and I had to get the store manager involved. He eventually caved and the guy got a replacement blower.

The following morning, you guessed it, he was back and the replacement blower looked the same as the first. This time, the manager stood his ground and wouldn’t let the guy have another one. The man threatened to get our corporate office involved and get us “shut down” but quick thinking on the manager’s part — a call to the office to warn them of the impending call — prevented any further shenanigans.

To this day, I still can’t fathom what the guy must have been doing with that poor blower… dragging it behind his truck?

The Morality Of Refunds

, , , , | Right | April 24, 2019

I’m the manager of a pet shop. This bloke comes in. Apparently, he’s a regular who buys lots of cat supplies — litter and food and toys and so on — and today he buys one of those self-assembly recreational climbing frames for cats sometime during the day. He brings it back sometime later and says it’s faulty, because some of the holes that should be in one of the platforms haven’t been drilled so he can’t thread the bolts through to secure the posts, or whatever.

The person on duty says to him to get another one off the shelf that he can swap with this one. But that was the only one, so he can’t replace it.

“Not to worry,” he says, “I’ll just pop up to the other branch.” This other branch is a few miles on the other side of town, and they’re bigger than our branch, so they’re more likely to have the same model in stock. And he leaves, gets in his car, and off he goes, leaving the old model with us.

He was quite right, by the way; we inspected it. He’s packed everything up in the box exactly as it came; just the bags holding the screws and things have been opened. He’s obviously got everything out and got so far putting it together, and then he’s taken it apart again and packed it up; we can tell by the scuff marks. And yes, there are holes missing in one of the platforms.

But he hasn’t got his money back at this time. He never even asked for it, just breezily left the thing here, happy as you like, and just went off.

Anyway, just as we’re about to close, we get a call from a woman who turns out to be his wife, asking if her husband can come round to get his money back. Seems he did go up to the other branch and got another climbing frame, same kind, and paid for it all over again.

He comes in the next day and says his wife tells him he may be able to get some of the money back for the one he brought back. But he can’t believe he can get all his money back. He seems to think it’s a point of morality, because he says he damaged the thing when he tried to put it up, and because he ripped open the bags, and because of the scuff-marks where he part-assembled it, it’s no longer as new, so he never dreamed he’d be able to get a refund for it. He gets quite upset about it, and at one stage he seems almost in tears at the thought that he may be causing the store to lose money, and surely it can’t be right that he should be able to sell something back to the store that he’s damaged, and it’s no longer worth as much as what he paid for it.

It takes me a good five minutes to explain to him how things work. In the end I have to say to him: look, I’m the manager of the store, and I have discretion in these matters, and I say to him, because you’re a regular customer, and because I value your custom, I’m going to do you a big favour, and I’m going to give you all your money back that you spent on this thing. He’s still not happy, but I manage to process the refund back onto his debit card, so at last, I can get the books to balance properly that week.

Six-Six-Sixth Graders

, , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2019

(While observing students in study hall, I am also trying to reply to some emails. One of my sixth-grade students come up to me with a cross necklace in her hand. She then takes the necklace and places it on my hand as I’m trying to type.)

Me: “Yes, what can I do for you?”

Student: “I’m blessing you so you won’t die old and alone.”

Me: “Umm… Thank you?”

(She smiled at me and returned to her seat, leaving me dumbfounded.)

Burger And The Beast

, , , , , | Working | April 23, 2019

(Some friends of mine and I are leaving a hotel parking garage in my car. I pull up to the payment booth. There are two employees inside; one is waving around a fast food hamburger and chewing out the other.)

Employee: “F****** idiot! How can you totally screw up a simple hamburger order?!”

(The angry employee turns to me and it’s like he flips a personality switch.)

Employee: *now calm* “Hello, sir. I hope your stay with us was pleasant. May I have your parking ticket, please?”

(I hand it to him and he begins yelling at the other employee again.)

Employee: *angry again* “I mean, good f****** God! Look at all this ketchup and s***!” *turns back to me, calm again* “That will be $[total], sir.”

(I pay, and as he counts the money he turns on his apparently hamburger-ordering-challenged coworker yet again.)

Employee: *angry again* “Were you always a f****** idiot or did you burn your brain out with drugs or something?”

(As the gate opens, he bids me farewell.)

Employee: *once again calm* “Thank you, sir, and have a safe drive home. Come back and visit us again!”

(As we drove off, we could hear him still yelling at the other employee.)

When The Tea-Light Goes Out The Dark Souls Come Out

, , , , , | Right | April 23, 2019

(A customer comes in with an oil burner he bought the previous week, which he wants to return as he says it is faulty. Our store will accept returns only in the case of goods being faulty.)

Me: “No problem. Let’s have a look… What’s wrong with it?”

Customer: “The bowl isn’t deep enough. The oil dried up before the tea-light finished burning, and now there’s a stain on the inside of the bowl. It’s shoddy.”

Me: “Erm. You need to top it up with oil now and again to make sure it doesn’t burn dry—“

Customer: “No! It’s faulty! It’s not fit for purpose! The bowl should be deeper so that the oil lasts the same time as the tea-light!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there isn’t a standard rule for oil burner bowl sizes. I can’t give you a refund for a product you’ve used if it’s not fa—“

Customer: “IT IS FAULTY!”

Me: “It’s not faulty. You shouldn’t leave a burning candle unattended—“

Customer: “This is fraud! You are fraudulent! It’s £5! Give me my money back. You’ve conned me. You may have a nice face, but you have a dark soul. A dark soul!”

(My manager escorted the customer out of the shop.)

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