The Couponator: The College Years

, , , , | Working | January 5, 2019

(In Slovenia we have student coupons; the government gives 2,63€ toward your meal as many times a month as there are working days in a month, up to twice a day, with a four-hour cooldown, between eight am and nine pm. The coupons are tied to your identity and phone number, which are confirmed by devices, kind of like the ones for paying with mobile phones, hence the term ”calling” for coupons. Since eating out with a coupon is often cheaper than cooking at home, students end up being the majority of customers in a lot of places. One day after work I go to a kebab place just down the street. It’s already 20:50, so I’m in a hurry to use my coupon since the price difference can be more than 5€ for a full meal.)

Me: *in Slovene* “Hi. I’d like to order with student coupons.”

Cashier: *English* “Huh? I don’t understand?”

Me: *English* “Student coupons?”

Cashier: “I don’t know how to do that. The guy who knows just stepped out. Would you mind waiting?”

Me: “No problem, but could I just call for coupons? It only works until nine pm.”

Cashier: “Sure. So, what do I do?”

Me: “I call—“ *pointing to the machine* “—and then you confirm my identity.”

Cashier: “Okay, do that.”

(I try but I see that it’s turned off. He has no idea how to turn it on, so I do it. When it comes to confirming my identity, however…)

Cashier: “So, what now?”

Me: “You look at my ID and hit confirm.”

Cashier: “Can’t you do it?”

Me: “Not really; it has to be you. I can’t confirm my own identity, can I?”

Cashier: “I guess that makes sense.” *hits confirm* “So, what would you like?”

Me: “Menu five, please.”

Cashier: “What comes with menu five?”

Me: “Kebab and fries, and since it’s a student meal it should have soup and salad, too.”

Cashier: “We don’t have any soup or salad.”

(They do; offering a menu with soup and salad is. a requirement for entering the program.)

Cashier: “But I guess I could make something. Uh, it looks like the other guy is not coming back. How much do you owe me?”

Me: *already regretting my decision to eat at this place* “3,30€.”

(Note that without student coupons a combo would cost 7,50€, so I could easily be trying to fleece him, but he doesn’t even question it.)

Cashier: “So, you give me 3.30€?”

Me: “Yes, and you give me a receipt.”

Cashier: “I only know how to do receipts for normal orders. Do you really need it?”

Me: “It’s the law that you have to give me a receipt and I have to take it. I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

Cashier: “Oh, right. But I don’t know how to do that for student coupons.”

Me: *trying to remember how these terminals worked from my old job* “There should be a button saying, ‘student meal,’ or something like that. They’re all the same price regardless of what is being ordered.”

Cashier: “I think I found it. It says 5,93€ for a student meal, but you said 3,30€. Am I doing this right?”

Me: “The government gives 2,63€, so I give you the rest. You should apply the student discount to the meal.”

Cashier: “I see. Sorry about. I’m new here, and I have no idea how the system works. I’m not from Slovenia; I just moved here a month ago.”

Me: “It’s all right. I’m just happy I got my food.”

(The food was all right, but I still don’t understand why would they leave an untrained worker to work alone without even an explanation of how the student coupon system works, especially when that is where most of your revenue comes from!)

Related:
The Couponator 10: Expiration Day
The Couponator 9: The Passive Aggression
The Couponator 8: The Fabric Of Reality

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Old Man Behaves Like Big Baby When Confronted With A Real One

, , , , , | Working | November 9, 2018

We just returned from the hospital after the birth of our son. The birth itself started at 5:00 pm and took over 24 hours. Naturally, even after one week in the hospital my wife is merely holding on, trying to get as much sleep at a time and generally moving like a robot with a near-dead battery.

Nevertheless, we decide to go grocery shopping; after a week in the hospital we have almost nothing fresh left at home.

The baby is not very content with the first drive in the stroller and decides that he definitely needs to be held in someone’s arms — otherwise he screams his head off — so I carry him through the store, which, of course, means my wife needs to handle all the produce.

Due to our lack of mobility we decide to use a traditional register as opposed to the self-scanning we regularly use. While my wife is very slowly putting the products on the conveyor belt, an old couple behind us simply starts to load their items on the belt, which means we can no longer place our remaining items, as the belt moves much faster than my wife. Luckily, she manages to put most of it on the belt and simply tells the cashier what’s left in the cart so she can ring it up manually.

After she manages to grab the wallet out of my pocket and pay for our stuff, we start loading the items into our stroller, which is empty due to the baby in my arms.

Naturally, the old man behind us decides it’s now his turn to bag his items, as well, and he literally pushes past my wife while mumbling, “I need to get my groceries, too, you know!”

The cashier, an older woman I never perceived as very friendly before, sternly looks at my wife and tells her to go home and sit down for a while. She literally leaves the old guy’s wife standing there waiting to pay for her items, exits her booth, and helps my wife to load the remaining items into our cart.

I have never ever seen any cashier bagging items in this country where the customer is expected to do this himself. Thank you very much for the support in our difficult situation. The longer I am a parent, the more I feel that only people who have kids themselves know how tough certain situations are.

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Jersey Girl

, , , , , | Working | October 15, 2018

(I go into an off-licence close to my house. I am twenty years old. I pick up a bottle of alcohol and go towards the counter.)

Cashier: “ID?”

(I hand my driver’s licence over and she takes one look at it, smirks, and then flings it onto the floor with her fingers.)

Cashier: “You’re too young to buy alcohol. Get out.”

(I look at my driver’s licence incredulously, trying to work out what it was that made her think it was a fake.)

Me: “But I’m twenty. This licence is genuine.”

(The cashier puts her hand on her hip.)

Cashier: “Kid, you’d better get out before I call the cops.”

Me: “I want to see your manager.”

Cashier: “Get out.”

Me: “Please!”

Cashier: “He’ll tell you the same thing.”

(She opens the door and calls for the manager. When he comes down, I tell him my side of the story.)

Manager: “Is this true?”

Cashier: *snickering* “He’s underage, [Manager]! And he didn’t even bother to get a fake ID; he just handed over his driver’s licence!”

Manager: “[Cashier], you’re not in New Jersey anymore; you’re in England. In England, the legal age to drink alcohol is eighteen.”

(The cashier looks taken aback for a moment.)

Cashier: *sneering* “No wonder the city folk are all [alcoholic slurs]!”

(She went upstairs. The manager apologized, saying that his niece was studying in Britain for a year. She was moved to the back after that.)

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That’s How The Cookie Nuttily Crumbles

, , , , | Working | October 4, 2018

(My husband and I are customers in this story.)

Cashier: “Crisps or cookie with your sandwich?”

Me: “A white chocolate and macadamia cookie, please.”

Cashier: “Okay, but just to make sure, you are aware that it has nuts right?”

Husband: “Yes? How many people don’t know that the cookie with macadamia nuts in it contains nuts?”

Cashier: “You’d be surprised.”

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The Bad State Of Your ID

, , , , , , | Working | September 15, 2018

(I am originally from Connecticut, but I’m attending college in New York State. Since I have no plans to live there after graduation and return home every summer, I have no New York documentation; my drivers’ license and plates are all Connecticut. I’m on a date with a guy who is a NY native, and we stop at a gas station to fill up his bike and buy smokes.)

Me: “A pack of [Brand], please.”

Cashier: “I’ll need to see your ID.”

(Obviously, this is expected, and I am well over the legal age to purchase cigarettes, so I happily hand it over)

Cashier: *handing it back* “No, I need your New York ID.”

Me: “What? I’m not from New York ,though. This is the only ID I have.”

Cashier: “We can’t take out-of-state IDs. It’s the law.”

Me: *by now completely baffled* “Um… I’m pretty sure it’s not. I’ve bought cigarettes in plenty of New York locations before; my ID being out of state doesn’t stop it being valid. Are you seriously telling me that someone, say, on a road-trip through the area, couldn’t buy cigarettes until they returned home?”

Cashier: *snottily* “I’m not getting arrested over this, ma’am. If you can’t show me a valid license, then I can’t sell you cigarettes.”

(By now I’m very annoyed, but my date cuts in.)

Date: “It’s okay, babe. Just go back out to the bike.”

(I resign myself to nicotine cravings and do as he says. When he joins me a minute later, he hands me the very pack I’ve just been attempting to purchase, while pocketing his own, different brand.)

Me: “Seriously?!”

Date: “Yeah. Idiot didn’t even blink when I asked for your brand.”

(So, to sum it up: accepting a perfectly valid license is illegal, but letting someone else buy cigarettes for someone you believe is legally unable to purchase them is okay!)

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