They’re Blinds To Reason

, , , , , | Working | August 10, 2018

(A year previous to this story, my husband and I moved down the hall in our apartment building. We did everything the landlord asked of us, including taking our blinds to be professionally cleaned. This turned out to be a huge inconvenience, as the landlord required a receipt from one specific cleaning company, who did not make house calls and was located outside the city in a near-rural area. We had to make two round-trips to drop the blinds off and pick them back up. We also did not get reimbursed for doing this. Now fast-forward a year: We are moving overseas. My husband has already left, and I am extremely stressed from dealing with vacating the apartment on my own, as well as the emotional toll of saying goodbye to all my family and friends. I also no longer have access to a vehicle. This conversation takes place on moving day as I am handing my keys over.)

Property Manager: “Okay, I’ve had a look through your place, and it all seems really clean. The only thing is that I haven’t got your receipt from [Blinds Cleaning Company].”

Me: “That’s because I haven’t done the blinds.”

Property Manager: *condescendingly* “Well, that’s going to come out of your damage deposit. The fee for bringing someone in to clean the blinds is [fee].”

Me: “Oh, I know. That’s fine.”

Property Manager: “Why didn’t you do it?”

Me: “Because I did it last year, paid [same fee] to the cleaning company, and didn’t get reimbursed. It also took ages to get out there and back.”

Property Manager: “But you’re supposed to get the blinds cleaned!”

Me: “I know, but it doesn’t make any sense if you’ll just take the same amount out of my damage deposit. The way I see it, by not spending the gas money going all the way out there and back — twice — I’m actually likely saving a bit.”

Property Manager: *silence*

Me: “To be honest, I don’t know why anyone even bothers going out there if you just charge them, anyway.”

Property Manager: “But… it’ll come out of your damage deposit.”

Me: *sigh*

(I don’t think he ever really understood my point!)

Slaves R Us

, , , , | Right | August 9, 2018

(I am shopping at my workplace on my day off.)

Public Announcement: “[My Name] to Cash, please. [My Name] to Cash.”

(Confused, I go to the cash register where I was summoned.)

Coworker: “This customer needs help with something.”

Me: “Uh, you do realize I’m not working today, right? I’m not even in uniform.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, [My Name], but he insists that it must be you who helps him.”

Customer: “Come on, man! It’s just one little thing! You can help me!”

Me: “Nope, I’m not here to help you. I don’t work for free.”

Customer: “That attitude isn’t going to take you very far! If you worked at my company, you wouldn’t last very long!”

Me: “You’re right. I wouldn’t work for a company that operates on slave labor.”

(And with that, I walked out the door. I’ll admit that was a bit snarky of me, but strangers who waste what little free time I have are one of my biggest pet peeves.)

Beautiful Moments Do Come Out Of Ashes

, , , , , | Working | August 8, 2018

(I work with an older guy who can be considered a “classy gentleman.” He is kind to everyone, is virtually uncontroversial at every angle, and has very modest taste in just about everything.)

Coworker: “I was watching the new Celine Dion music video the other day. As always, she was very elegant with her performance.”

(Okay, so, he likes Celine Dion; we all saw that coming more than a mile away.)

Coworker: “They also took a very interesting approach. I wasn’t sure what they were going for, but I very much enjoyed watching the talented gentleman in the red suit dancing with her.”

(That’s a really weird way to describe Deadpool, but I don’t disagree!)

Pay It Forward Never Needs To Go On Sale

, , , , , , | Hopeless | August 1, 2018

(This happens over 25 years ago, when I am just a little girl, probably about seven or eight. I am a big bookworm, and always get a certificate to our local bookstore for birthdays and other occasions. These are always special occasions for me, because as a single mom, my mother doesn’t have much money to spare, even working double shifts more often than not. I am at the till by myself while my mom browses, with three books I’m going to buy with my gift certificate. In line behind me is a guy probably about ten years older than me. I am leery of him for no particular reason other than that he is a “big kid” and I am shy and reserved.)

Cashier: “That will be [amount a lot more than my certificate has].”

Me: “Oh… I don’t have that much. I thought these were on sale.”

(I point to a big sign, no more than a few feet away in front of a shelf.)

Cashier: *dismissively* “It’s an old sign. I haven’t gotten around to taking it down.”

(I’m too awkward and anxious to do anything other than try to pick which books I’m putting back, feeling flustered and embarrassed.)

Cashier: *impatiently* “Just go find your mom and get her to pay the difference!”

Me: “She can’t! This is all I can have!”

(I’m feeling very embarrassed now, because how little money my mother and I have has always been a sore spot and something I feel ashamed of. Suddenly the teen leans past me, holding out some money.)

Teen: “Hey, I’ll pay for it. Don’t worry about it. Kids should be reading more, anyway. Oh, and let me get that for you.”

(He makes a show out of plucking the little plastic sale sign off the shelf and handing it to the cashier with a smile.)

Teen: “No more misunderstandings. Right?”

(Looking annoyed and embarrassed, the cashier rang me up. I thanked the teen profusely; he just waved me off with a smile and told me to pay it forward one day. Looking back, it might have been a small gesture, but it meant a lot to me to have a complete stranger have my back like that and show me a token of kindness. Ever since then, decades later, I have tried to do the same when I’m able and the opportunity arises — be it for groceries or whatever — because I remember how that felt, and I hope it makes other people feel and do the same. It may seem minor, but minor kindnesses add up, and hopefully lead to others like them.)

Making A Point, Twice

, , , | Right | July 26, 2018

(I work at a major grocery store that has a rewards program. Head office is restructuring the program, and has ordered for all of the kiosks that print points coupons to be removed. This is unpopular with customers, but there’s nothing we peons can do, except manually add points if the customer asks. At the end of a transaction, a customer asks me about her points.)

Customer: “What about the machine at the front of the store? How do I get my points now?”

(I go into the spiel about the changes that I have been telling every customer that asks for the last week, and offer her points.)

Customer: “Oh, that’s what you told me last week. Okay.”

(I adjusted the points for her, wondering what response she was looking for from a different employee.)

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