Defaulted To A Con

, , , , | Legal | September 12, 2019

(Someone knocks at the door, so I answer it. The guy standing there says:)

Guy: “Miss [Mispronunciation Of My Name]?” 

Me: “Who’s asking?”

Guy: “Sorry to have to tell you this, love, but your brother named you on a loan that he’s defaulted on. We’ve come to collect the goods up to the value of three thousand.”

Me: *extremely suspicious* “Well, I never signed any such thing, and I’m sure you won’t mind if I call the police and a solicitor, will you? Just to make sure everything’s above board?”

Guy: “No need to worry about that, love. How about we come in, get the stuff, and we’ll say no more about it?”

Me: *desperately thinking about makeshift weapons I could grab* “No. How about you stay out there, and I’ll call the police? If you’re legit, that won’t be a problem, will it?”

Guy: “Oh, well, never mind, love. We’ll see if there’s anything we can do.”

(They then went across the street. I called the non-emergency police number and gave a description of the guy and an explanation of what was going on. Three hours later, I got a call from the local police. They’d picked up a group of three going around trying to rip people off.)

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Not The Photo Finish You Were Expecting

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

(The membership-based shopping warehouse where I work does not have a photo center, but does receive photos that were ordered online. I am responsible for the photos as they arrive — organizing a list of photos that have arrived with phone numbers and names, finding a home for them, organizing them alphabetically by last name, calling the customers when the orders come in, etc. Just before Valentine’s Day, one woman makes an order for a photo, but doesn’t come in to collect it. In early March, one of my coworkers calls the woman and leaves a message.)

Coworker: “[Customer #1], my name is [Coworker], calling from [Store]. Your photos have arrived and will be waiting at the service desk.”

(A few weeks later, in late March, I call her again and leave an almost identical message on her machine. I call again after a few more weeks and finally reach her. It’s now May 1st.)

Me: “My name is [My Name], from [Store]. I’m calling for [Customer #1] about some photos we have been holding for you. If you still want them, I have them at the service desk. Or I can destroy them for you, since they are unpaid.”

Customer: “Well, what are they? It’s been so long I don’t even remember what I ordered.”

Me: “I honestly don’t know, ma’am. I didn’t open the package to look.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I’ll be there to pick them up.”

Me: “Thank you, ma’am. Have a great day!”

(I hang up and think nothing more of it. Three days later, a woman comes to the service desk.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m here to pick up photos.”

Me: “For whom?”

(She gives me one first name and two different last names which both start with the same letter. I grab my photo records and check for the last names she gave me. They’re not there. Just in case I missed a delivery on one of my days off, I open the cabinet where we keep the photos and look under the last names she gave me. Nothing. I turn back to her with my photo list.)

Me: “When did you order them? Sometimes th–”

Customer: “I don’t know. It’s been so long.”

Me: “What was the name again?”

(She repeats the two names she gave me.)

Me: “Well, I have something for [Other Name]…”

(I think it’s a long shot — same first name, but different last name.)

Customer: *frustrated* “Yes! That’s it!”

Me: “Oh, okay!”

(I grab her photos from the cabinet.)

Me: “These haven’t been paid yet. I need your membership card.”

Customer: “Which ones are they? I had to go to [Other Location] to get them; it took so long.”

Me: “Let’s open it together.”

(I carefully open the envelope and remove a small canvas and cardstock frame.)

Customer: “Oh, I’ll take that one.”

Me: “Okay, I need your membership card.”

(She thrusts her card at me and starts shifting impatiently, talking about how she came here with her dad several times and we never had her order. As I apologize for the inconvenience, I scan her membership card and the barcode on her photo envelope. As I do so, I notice the name on her card matches her photo order.)

Me: “Oh, you know, when you place an order, the name on it will match your membership. If you don’t change your name with us when you legally change it, it won’t update on your card or your orders. You know, that might be why we couldn’t find it before. But I’m sure we called you. In fact, I know I left a few messages…”

(Her expression darkens immediately.)

Customer: “I don’t see why you’re being so rude!”

Me: “I’m sorry? I’m not trying to be ru—”

Customer: “Yes, you are!”

Me: “Oh, no, ma’am, I’m definitely not trying to be rude. I was just—”

Customer: “No! You’re being rude!”

Me: “I— I’m sorry?”

Customer: “We tried! And you said! My mother had cancer!”

(Stunned, I try not to anger her further. I hand her the receipt for her transaction and she tries to snatch it from my hand, twice.)

Me: “I hope your mother recovers.”

(She yanked her shopping cart back toward herself and stormed away, still fuming. To be honest, I was freaking out a little when she left. Customer complaints do lose people jobs for no good reason, after all!)

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A Concentrated Contamination Of Willful Ignorance

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

I worked one winter as a seasonal driver’s helper for a popular shipping company on a combined business/residential route. Most of the time the customers were happy to see us.

A small personal care and beauty products store received shipments at least once a week. The owner and sole employee was known to be highly eccentric but I didn’t realize just how bad it was until I worked for the shipping company. We always parked around the corner from the shop and scanned the items as delivered before exiting the truck. All packages were left on the sidewalk outside the door, and said sidewalk was almost always littered with soggy cardboard bits.

The regular route driver explained that the owner wouldn’t accept packages delivered from a foreign-built vehicle — the truck he drove was an import brand — or that he knew had been scanned with “the evil contraption.” He washed the packages open before taking the product into his shop, spraying the cardboard boxes with a high-pressure hose nozzle until they fell apart, because they may have been handled by “those people.”

My high-school-age daughter was a volunteer page at the adjacent public library and the shared wall was always wet and moldy. They discovered that he was not only washing product on the sidewalk, but also regularly hosing down the product as it sat on the shelves to wash away any lingering contamination.

That shop has closed — I believe evicted due to damage — the library has moved to a new, larger location, and a different business is now occupying an area of the shopping center that includes both storefronts. They said they had to totally strip, seal, and rebuild the interior where that shop was located due to water damage, mold, and mildew and even now, several years later, an occasional customer will comment about a musty smell.

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You Get All The Internets

, , , | Working | September 10, 2019

(I work in customer service for a big phone company. One afternoon this month, I get this call.)

Me: “Hello and welcome to [Phone Company]. My name is [My Name]; what can I help you with?” 

Caller: “Hi. This might be a weird question, but I figured I’d ask anyway.” 

Me: “Okay, shoot.” 

Caller: “I ordered Internet not too long ago and have been waiting for the router to arrive. Well, as it happened, I was out for a walk today when I got the notification telling me it had arrived, so I figured I’d go get it right away, since the router is kind of small, right?”

Me “Yes, that’s right. So, what exactly is the problem, sir?”

(A moment of embarrassed silence.)

Caller: “I got eight of them.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Excuse me. Can you repeat that?” 

(It turned out eight routers wasn’t all he got! The system had gone haywire and given him eight different broadband services too. Of course, I fixed it, and the caller was nice and even laughed about it.)

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Some People Shouldn’t Be Out Among Other People

, , , , , | Right | September 9, 2019

(At the restaurant where I work, there is a server who used to work at a different restaurant chain. He had regulars there who were really strange, and he tells me about them when he first starts working at my restaurant. I guess I don’t fully believe him until a group of three people — I assume a husband, wife, and maybe adult son — comes in. They request the aforementioned server. They’re very quiet people, and the woman has a dopey smile on her face. Her clothes have stuff all over them, which I can only assume is a mixture of food and bodily fluids. Her husband only responds to any questions I ask in grunts and groans, though he will use words when speaking to his wife and son. The son is obviously mentally handicapped, so I have nothing bad to say about him, because I don’t discriminate against the mentally disabled. However, his parents are honestly just weird.)

Me: “Hey, [Server], I sat you at table 72. These people are kind of weird, though.”

Server: *his face completely falls* “Oh, God, no.”

(It turns out they were his regulars at his old job. I worked there for about two years, and until the server left to work in a state penitentiary, this group came in every Wednesday wanting to sit with him. Some things I caught them doing were chewing up their food and spitting it into napkins as if that was all they wanted, farting loudly with no excuses or apologies, asking other hosts if they would be willing to change their son’s diaper, bringing cans of soda into the restaurant — we have soda! — but not drinking them and instead pouring them into our live plants outside, and worst of all, the woman would walk to the bathroom and on her way there she would take food off of dirty tables. Yes, this was food that another customer had bought and was sometimes half-eaten. She just walked by, grabbed half a steak with her bare hands, and ate it on the way to the bathroom. Apparently, when they came in to the server’s old job, they were told he’d moved to this new restaurant, so they followed him. And since my restaurant is much more expensive than the previous one, they yelled at the server until he gave them his employee discount. Not even the right one! Employee’s family and friends discount is 50% off two meals, 33% off three, 25% off four or more. They should have gotten 33% off, but they yelled until all three of them were crying so he would give them the full 50%, which almost got him fired. Luckily, he worked there for a year before he left. They’d come in and ask for him and I had the satisfaction to tell them he no longer worked there. They’d just get quiet and shuffle out but still try again the next week, as if he might suddenly work there again.)

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