Will Need To Sweet-Talk Your Way Out Of This One

, , , , , , | Working | November 23, 2017

(It is about 30 years ago, when I am starting out as a food chemist, and I have been invited to give a talk to the FDA in Washington, DC. After the talk, I am shown around one of the labs where they are doing some toxicity testing on aspartame, a synthetic sweetener about 200 times sweeter than sucrose. I have never heard of it, so I ask to take some back to my lab to analyze. They give it to me in a little unmarked plastic bag. After I land in Toronto, I have to go through Canadian customs.)

Customs: “Do you have anything to declare?”

Me: “No.”

Customs: “Any food?”

(I think for half a second, pull the unmarked bag of white, powdery aspartame out of my coat pocket, and say:)

Me: “Yes.”

(I have never seen armed men come that fast. They put me in a back room and a few minutes later a border agent comes in.)

Border Agent: “What are you doing with this much cocaine?”

Me: “What?! No, this is aspartame. It’s a sweetener.”

Border Agent: “Never heard of it. What is aspartame?”

Me: “You know, I don’t really know.”

(I open the bag and dip my finger into it and lick it.)

Me: “Good God! That’s sweet!”

(The border agent also tastes it and agrees it really is a sweetener. But before they let me go, the border agent makes a comment.)

Border Agent: “Makes sense it wasn’t cocaine; I don’t think anyone would be stupid enough to pull out a bag of cocaine when asked if there was anything to declare.”

This House Was Built On Plywood And Fraud

, , , , | Right | November 23, 2017

(I am a manager of a moderate-sized building supply store. We sell everything you need to build a house from the ground up. While the company is fairly sizable and modern, we still write up all our invoices by hand, with no computer system in place.)

Employee: “Um, [My Name], can you please help this gentleman?”

Me: *coming over to assist* “Not a problem. What can I do for you today?”

Customer: “Can I buy two culverts and have you write up the invoice for plywood instead?”

Me: *a little confused* “Sorry? You want me to sell you some culvert and some plywood?”

Customer: “No, I want to buy some culvert, but I don’t want the invoice to say, ‘culvert.’ If you could write up an invoice for an amount of plywood that equals the value of two culverts, then I will take the culvert and not take any plywood.”

Me: *thinking that he is joking* “I’m sorry. We can’t do something like that.”

Customer: “Well, why not?”

Me: “Because it is fraudulent and unethical.”

Customer: “Yes, you can do it. Can’t you?”

Me: “No, sir, I am not able to do this.”

Customer: “But why not?”

Me: “Because, if it were found out, or if we were audited, we could be charged and face jail time. So, again, I’m sorry, but I am not going to do this.”

(A couple of moments of awkward silence pass.)

Customer: “Okay, I guess I will have to bite the bullet and get them, anyway. I am trying to write the culverts off, but I guess I’m not going to be able to.”

(I finish the sale, flabbergasted at the gall this customer had to ask me to commit fraud and break the law. This incident was immediately followed by a quick information session to the staff about why it is bad and to never, ever, do anything of the sort.)

Getting Shirty About The Shirt That’s Dirty

, , , , | Right | November 22, 2017

(I am greeting customers at a retail clothing store, welcoming them and asking if I can help them. I am not part of the management team; however, I am the most trusted employee working the sales floor. A customer walks in wearing one of our dress shirts that is currently on sale for 25% off.)

Me: “Hey, welcome to [Store]! Is there anything I can help you find today? Those shirts are still on sale if you want to get another.”

Customer: “Actually, this shirt is too big on me. I didn’t try it on until I got home, and whenever I bend even a little bit it gapes open at the front. I want to exchange it for one a size down.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. We only accept returns and exchanges on unworn clothing, with a receipt and with the tag still attached.”

Customer: “But I only bought it two days ago, and I’ve just worn it today! I didn’t notice how big it was until I went out to the store.”

Me: “Ma’am, I am very sorry; however, I have explained our return policy to you. Would you enjoy buying a shirt another customer has returned because they decided it was the wrong size, after wearing it for several hours?”

Customer: “I guess I’m never shopping here again.”

Me: *internally* “YAY!”

Giving Voice To Their Concerns

, , , , , | Working | November 22, 2017

(I’m being called by our phone, cable, and Internet provider. They want to advertise their new package, probably in hopes of increase our payment. But I’m fine with what we have and refuse to change, especially to pay more for nothing useful to us. Everything is all right, until he tries to close.)

Caller: “And did I speak to Madame or her daughter?”

(I then decide, that, despite being the daughter, I’m the caregiver of my parents — meaning I pay bills, negotiate contract, etc — and that being 39 years old is old enough to be titled Madame.)

Me: “It’s Madame.”

Caller: “You have a really young voice.”

Me: *cheerful* “Oh, thank you!”

Caller: *almost angry* “No, you sound really young.”

Me: “Okay? Thanks?”

Caller: “No! It’s not a compliment.” *hangs up*

Roasting Them Over Their Scanned Roast

, , , , , , , | Working | November 22, 2017

(My daughter is vegan and likes a particular brand of meatless roast. They tend to be a bit pricey, especially when a special occasion like Christmas is just around the corner, so I am very happy to see that the price at a certain store is $19.99 – approximately $5 less than their competitor is charging.)

Cashier: “That will be $24.99, plus tax.”

Me: “That’s not right; the price should be $19.99, plus tax.”

Cashier: “It’s ringing up as $24.99, ma’am.”

Me: “Yes, I know, but the price in the freezer said $19.99.”

Cashier: *stares at me without saying anything*

Me: “Can I see a manager, please?”

Manager: “The price should have been $24.99, but somebody—” *glares at one of the other employees* “—forgot to change the freezer price-tag. I guess we’ll have to honour the lower price.”

Me: “Does this store offer SCOP?”

Manager: “Excuse me?”

Me: “SCOP: Scanning Code of Practice. If an item rings up for a higher price than the one on display, I should either get $10 off the price or the item for free.”

Manager: “You must be kidding. You’re already getting a deal on this roast, and now you want an even better deal?”

Me: “Just asking.”

Manager: “We’re giving you this roast for $19.99. That should be good enough.” *leaves*

Me: “Seems to me that if I’m paying for it, you’re not ‘giving’ it to me.”

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