Medical Bills Paid By Friends’ Bills

, , , , | | Hopeless | May 30, 2018

(I stop in the pharmacy to get some medications for my husband, who recently lost his job because of a medical condition. We were already on income support because I am physically disabled and this has been a hard hit to our income. We just found out the income support system is about to revoke our benefits unless we can prove that he does not willfully leave his job by the end of the month. With a toddler and both of us needing the medical coverage, this is terrifying. Our normal doctor is on maternity leave until January of next year and her covers won’t help us because they don’t want to deal with the system. The same story goes with every doctor we see. They all insist they need to have been seeing us for at least three months before they’ll even consider it. Neither of us have any family or support, as we were both runaways from abuse. By this point, I am counting change, trying to figure out if I have enough to get the medication we both desperately need.)

Stranger: *taps me on the shoulder* “Hey, let me get that for you.” *tries to shove a ten dollar bill in my hand*

Me: *close to tears* “Oh, no! I really can’t. Thanks, anyway.” *tries to give it back*

Stranger: “Nah, keep it. Or, hey, tell you what…” *hands me a twenty and takes the ten back* “There. Fair trade.”

(By now I was seriously crying and didn’t notice the older man’s mother coming up beside me. Gently she took me by the elbow and they both lead me away from the pharmacy counter. They started asking me questions and I admitted that we were struggling and how scared I was. They started brainstorming between the two of them and gave me numbers to doctors they trusted. They took my email and gave me their phone numbers just in case. As a last thing, they took the twenty-dollar bill, and the man shoved a bunch of money into my bag, saying he wouldn’t take no for an answer and just to pass it on when I had the chance to help someone else. I realized that yes, I needed that help right then. I stopped fighting, figuring it was at most forty bucks but would help pay my kid’s school fees. When I got home and took the money out, I was shocked to see that instead of just a small amount, he’d put five hundred dollars into my bag. That money did help keep us afloat for the next week as we paid bills. We finally found a doctor willing to help us and our income has since stabilized. I told the stranger, who is now a supporter and friend, that we’d pay him back. He refused and told me to help others, instead. I plan to.)

Cut The Hair, Not The Bureaucracy

, , , , | Right | May 10, 2018

(I am sitting in a barber shop waiting for my turn. This place is part of a chain and everyone is asked their phone number and name to go in their system.)

Hairdresser: “Welcome to [Store]! Have you checked in online?”

Customer: “No. I’m just here for a haircut.”

Hairdresser: “Okay, can I get your phone number?”

Customer: “I’M JUST HERE FOR A HAIRCUT! I DON’T WANT TO FILL IN YOUR STUPID DEMOGRAPHIC! I’M GOING SOMEWHERE ELSE!”

If The Shoe Fits

, , , , | Right | April 15, 2018

(I get this call at my office.)

Customer: “I love your company’s sandals, but I hurt myself while hiking!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that!”

Customer: “They really need to have more protection for the foot. My feet got all cut up on the rocks!”

Me: “Ah. Well, for hiking on rough terrain, sandals might not be your best bet. We have some hiking shoes and boots that might work better for you.”

Customer: “No, I prefer to wear sandals; they’re much more comfortable. I just wish they had something on top to protect my feet.”

Me: “Um, I really think a pair of shoes might be the way to go here.”

Customer: “No, you’re not listening. I want a pair of sandals with an upper to protect my feet!”

Me: “Uh… I’ll pass it along to the design team.”

A Combo Of Inattention

, , , , , | Right | March 15, 2018

(I’m in line to order behind three people: [Customer #1], [Customer #2], and [Customer #2]’s wife, [Customer #3]. [Customer #1] and [Customer #2] each step up, make their orders, and step back. They also both order the same combo. [Customer #1] ends up stepping away from the counter, causing [Customer #2] to pull ahead. The employee finishes the order and puts it on the line.)

Employee: “[Combo]!”

(As [Customer #1] steps up, [Customer #2] grabs the order.)

Employee: “No, sir. That’s his order.”

([Customer #2] ignores the employee and tries again to take the combo.)

Customer #1: “No, that one’s mine.”

Employee: “Please, sir, your order is coming.”

([Customer #3] steps in.)

Customer #3: “Honey, that’s the young man’s order. Ours is next.”

Customer #2: “He said [Combo]!”

(The wife grabs [Customer #2] by the arm and drags him back away from the counter.)

Customer #3: *to [Customer #1]* “Sorry about him. At times he’s not very bright. Enjoy your food.”

(When I get my order I still hear the couple arguing:)

Customer #3: “Our order is to go. That young man’s food was on a tray. How the hell were you going to carry it?”

Paying It Forward To Make The Line Go Forward

, , , , , | Right | February 28, 2018

(I am working the customer service desk. My manager has just arrived and is standing near me. I am currently helping a customer when another customer lines up behind and this happens.)

Customer #1: *in line, pointing to a small container of hummus* “Could you help me unwrap this?”

Manager: *opens package slightly for him* “[My Name] will help you check out.”

Me: *finishing with first customer* “Hello, sir. How are you today?”

Customer #1: “Fine.” *rips rest of package off before paying*

(Upon scanning the barcode of the package, I notice he has put some change beside it, but the item is slightly more expensive.)

Me: “Your total today is [price].”

(The customer throws down his unwrapped hummus container angrily.)

Customer #1: “NO. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE TWO FOR [PRICE]! THAT’S [SLIGHTLY CHEAPER PRICE] EACH!”

Me: “Unfortunately, you have to buy two items to get that price.”

Customer #1: “NO! IT’S BUY ONE FOR [SLIGHTLY CHEAPER PRICE] AND THAT’S ALWAYS HOW IT’S BEEN AT [THIS STORE] AND [COMPETITOR]!” *throws some random coins down, but it’s still not enough* “THERE! THAT’S ALL THE MONEY I HAVE!”

Me: *not sure what to do* “Uh, I… I’m sorry, sir.”

Manager: “I will go check the sign.”

(Another customer has just lined up behind the irate customer and has obviously heard him yelling.)

Customer #2: “Here.” *holding out enough money to pay for [Customer #1]*

Me: “Oh, are you sure? Thank you so much!”

Customer #1: *still yelling and flailing about*

Customer #2: “Hey, bud, it’s all right. I paid for it.” *hands him hummus*

Customer #1: “You’re a real gentleman, sir!” *gives me a dirty look and leaves*

(In [Customer #1]’s haste, he does not pick up his change, since [Customer #2] has more than paid his hummus. I deduct that from [Customer #2]’s order and thank him profusely. [Customer #2] is also buying a lottery ticket.)

Me: “Hopefully good karma is on your side and you’ll win big!”

(My manager came back and confirmed that not only was there not a current deal for buying two items, but the correct price was also clearly advertised.)

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