Needs To Donate An Explanation

| USA | Working | January 4, 2017

Me: *via phone* “Hello, how late do you accept donations today?”

Employee: “We’re open until six pm today.”

(I clear out the car, load it up, and drive over, arriving about 15 minutes later.)

Me: “Hi, where should I unload this?”

Employee: “I’m sorry; we can’t accept any more donations today due to the volume we’ve received already.”

Me: “What? I spoke to you on the phone not fifteen minutes ago and you said you were accepting donations. You’re telling me I loaded all these clothes up and you won’t even take them for free?”

Employee: “There’s another donation center 10 minutes away…”

Me: “But they’re not open today. That’s why I came here. Look, I’m just going to unload these here, and you can throw them away if you want.”

(I unloaded the car with the employee staring at me like I had run over his dog the whole time. Their whole business model revolves around reselling stuff that people give them for free. How can they stop accepting donations, especially for something like kids’ clothes?)

Ethel And Her Big Balls

| Folkestone, Kent, UK | Working | December 18, 2016

(My mum spots a bag of Christmas baubles in the window of a charity shop that she likes, so goes inside to buy them. She takes the bag to the till. It says on the bag that there are 15 baubles inside and that they cost £1. The shop is being manned by two old ladies, one at the till and the other in the stockroom.)

Mum: “Just these, please.”

(The old lady at the till studies the bag.)

Old Lady #1: *shouting REALLY loudly* “Ethel! How much is this bag of balls?”

Old Lady #2: “What was that?”

Old Lady #1: “This big bag of balls! How much are they?”

Mum: “It said they were £1 here.”

Old Lady #1: *picks up the bag* “Oh yes, £1. How many are there?” *shouting again* “Ethel! How many balls am I holding?”

(Mum and the other customers were trying really hard not to laugh at this point. Old Lady #2 came out of the stockroom to help Old Lady #1, and to stop her from shouting about “big bags of balls”!)

The Joke Worked Overtime

| Leeds, England, UK | Right | December 1, 2016

(I’m a volunteer at a charity shop, and am working the till when a couple come in. The man trips over a piece of furniture we have on display.)

Woman: *jokingly* “You’re wrecking the place!”

Me: *in the same tone* “Be careful. If you break anything you have to work it off. That’s what happened to me.”

Man: “Really?”

(We all laugh and they browse the shelves for a bit. As they are leaving they pass my till.)

Man: *leaning over and asking very seriously* “Do you really have to work here because you broke something?”

Woman: *giving him a pitying look* “I think she was joking…”

Me: “Yeah, I was just kidding.”

Man: “Oh, right.”

(They leave, the woman giving me a long-suffering look as she does so.)

Hindu You Know What You’re Talking About?

| London, England, UK | Working | October 13, 2016

(While volunteering in a charity shop in a fairly multicultural area, the discussion turns to how unusually hot the summer is, and the upcoming difficulty that will cause during Ramadan.)

Coworker #1: “It’s Ramadan soon! I feel sorry for anyone who has to fast in this heat!”

Manager: *turning to another coworker* “Will you be celebrating Ramadan?”

Coworker #2: “I’m Hindu…”

Manager: “So you will be celebrating Ramadan, or…?”

Needs To Change Your Change Tactics

| Cheshire, England, UK | Right | September 19, 2016

(I’m volunteering at a charity shop. Most of our customers are elderly or middle-aged. On this particular day I’m helping another volunteer put a picture up when a man in his early twenties comes in. He looks around for just a minute or so and grabs a card from the stand at the front of the shop.)

Man: “Just this card, please.”

Me: “Of course. Do you want a bag to put it in?”

Man: “Whatever.”

Me: “Just £1.00 then please.”

(The man takes a note out of his pocket. I take it and start to sort out the change and pass it over to the man.)

Man: “Wait a minute, love. I’ve got some right change here if it’ll help you out. If I give you some coins back can you give me a note?”

Me: *feeling a little confused* “Erm, okay. That won’t be a problem.” *I count the change; I realise he’s left me short* “Sorry, I need another £1 coin.”

Man: “Really? Okay. Tell you what. I’ll give you some coins to make that right. You just give me my money back and we’ll be even, right?”

Me: “Okay.”

(I feel uneasy but give him the money, and he starts to rifle through the notes he has again.)

Man: “Actually can you change this for me instead?”

(He’s leaning over the counter, is quite intimidating, and I am starting to realise something isn’t quite right.)

Man: “I just want my change!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’ve given you the money you need.” *I close the till*

Man: “But you still owe me change!”

Me: “I can call my manager down to deal with your request if you like?”

(I called upstairs to the manager and told her to double-check the change I had given the man. She came down to confront him and he looked shifty and decided to just leave, despite me “owing him change.” I told the manager everything that happened and she checked the till – he had somehow taken £10 from us, and had tried to take more. We reported him to the police and found out he had tried this on in a few other shops, including a well-known supermarket where he’d threatened the cashier. I later found out that this was a short-change scam or change-raising scam, where the scam artist confuses the cashier to get their money back plus extra. I printed out a warning and left it in the staff room. A few months later another man came in and tried the exact same thing. I said no, closed the till, they caught him on camera leaving the shop, and he was taken in by the police.)

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