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Gotta Do Tax Write-Offs By The Book

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2022

At a used bookstore, I am in charge of the donations for a local children’s hospital. People can bring in all kinds of kids’ books for the library at the hospital, but we ask that they be new or in perfect or like-new condition. They can’t have any writing inside, stickers, or anything like that. I have to go through all the crap people drop off. It is usually stuff their kids have drawn all over, has ripped pages, or smells like cat pee, which I don’t understand. It doesn’t seem very charitable.

There is this one guy who comes in all the time and just browses for hours. He never really spends any money. He brings a stack of children’s books to our “buy” counter one day, and all of them have stickers on the front that say, “Donated from the Library of [Customer].”

I get called up to explain to the guy that not only can we not accept his donations (because he’s put big stickers right on the front with his name), but he also isn’t going to get to write this off on his taxes; he also wants us to make him up a receipt for charitable donations.

He starts to get angrier and angrier as I explain that our bookstore isn’t like a 501(c)(3) organization, that the library service we do is really just for sick kids at the hospital to have something to read, and his “donation” is kind of offensive because the children don’t need to be reminded that they’re being given charity.

He ends up literally red-faced, spit flying out of his mouth while he fumes and screams at us for “screwing [him] around,” as well as his “elderly, wealthy mother” who, he claims, spends tons of money at our store and will no longer be coming in.

A Little Good Karma Goes A Long Way Down The River

, , , , , , , , | Right | September 12, 2022

One day, my partner and had some time to kill in the city center of Hereford. We didn’t really know [Shop], so we decided to go inside just to see what kind of shop it was.

It turned out that the shop was fundraising for Sports Relief. Sports Relief supports the most vulnerable people in the UK and Africa, such as children who have to act as carers for their parents, women’s shelters, cancer patients, etc. The charity has much support in Britain, and as such, we had already donated through our children’s schools. Also, the fundraising in the shop was a lottery where you could win sports-related prizes, and I had no interest whatsoever in winning tickets for football, rugby, basket, or tennis matches.

However, the young female clerk who was selling the lottery tickets had not only been forced into (I didn’t ask, but nobody would do that voluntarily) a Bananas In Pyjamas outfit that must have been unpleasantly hot, but when there were no customers who wanted to buy lottery tickets, she had to be on an exercise bike. I felt sorry for her, so I decided to buy one single lottery ticket. Then, I asked a lot of questions about the charity, even though I already knew most of the answers, just so that she could get a nice, long break from that d*** bike.

Weeks passed. Of course, I forgot all about the lottery ticket. Then, somebody called me to tell me I had won a prize. When they told me it was from the Sports Relief lottery, I sort of sighed inside, but I had won a half-day canoe trip on the river Wye, which is something we usually try to do every year, anyway.

Sometimes Karma does work. We had a great day on the river.

Mummy Will Be Very Disappointed In You, Sir

, , , , , | Working | August 10, 2022

One evening, I am at home with my wife. We’re watching TV when the doorbell rings. I go to answer it, and two young men are standing there: a taller man and a shorter one. They’re both wearing suits and carrying clipboards, and they have lanyards around their necks with ID cards bearing the logo of a charity I’ve never heard of.

The shorter man speaks to me.

Charity Worker: “Hello, sonny. Are your mummy and daddy at home?”

I pause. I’m not a child. I’m in my late thirties and married with a mortgage, a car loan, and a full-time job. I don’t look older than my years, but I also don’t look young enough to even be mistaken for a teenager!

Me: *Frowning* “Uh… no.”

Charity Worker: *Looks embarrassed* “Oh, dear. I’ve screwed that one up, haven’t I?”

I nod slowly.

Charity Worker: “I don’t suppose you’ll be interested in supporting [Charity] now, will you?”

Me: *Shaking my head* “Not particularly.”

He nods.

Charity Worker: “Fair enough. Sorry to bother you.”

He and his friend left and I closed the door.

That was possibly the most confusing encounter with a door-to-door canvasser I’ve ever had. I get that quite often they encounter children answering the door, but as I said, I don’t even LOOK young enough to be a teenager, so why he thought it was necessary to ask if “my mummy and daddy were at home” is beyond me!

F*** Them Kids, Apparently

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: whitetigerx8 | July 13, 2022

Back in the late 2000s, I use to work for a supermarket chain in my state where I would switch between cashiering and scanning departments. This chain of stores would occasionally have the cashiers ask all customers if they wanted a donation to be made to any school in the county by having the store donate about 6-10% of the bill to the school of the customer’s choice.

During one cashier shift, I was dealing with a small rush that hit my lane and going through orders as quickly as possible. As I got to this gentleman and his two kids, I greeted him as I have been with everyone and scanned and bagged up his items without incident.

Then, I asked if he had coupons, he said no, and I asked if he wanted to donate to a school. Immediately, he lost it. He went into a full, angry rant at me.

Customer: “How dare you ask me to give more money to this store? I put my kids through school with my own money, not relying on others!”

I couldn’t get a word in edgewise as he spewed more irrational hatred at me (I can’t remember whatever else he said), threw his money at me to pay for his things as I managed to get out his total for the groceries, and stomped over to the customer service desk. He then proceeded to yell at the manager for what I did to him and scream that he wouldn’t be coming back again. His kids didn’t do much except carry the groceries out behind him.

The customers behind him reassured me that I was just doing my job and hadn’t done anything wrong. Once the rush was done, I walked over to the customer service desk and asked the manager about that guy. She told me she’d heard the whole ordeal between me and him and that he was in the wrong; he was probably blowing off steam on me since I wouldn’t do anything to retaliate. I never saw the guy again during the time I worked there, and I never even had any complaints lodged against me by anyone.

Disappearing Clients Are Part Of The (Graphic) Design

, , , , , , | Right | July 11, 2022

I was 21 and working as an assistant graphic designer at a large charity and once had a colleague approach me and ask if I did freelance work. He was starting up his own consultancy business and needed a logo and stationery created for his new business. We met in our lunch breaks and after hours to discuss and I presented him with many options and refined the concepts, etc.

Once all the work was done and supplied and printed, he began avoiding me. I supplied him with my invoice, and he cut all ties. I spent a few weeks chasing him, calls, texts, emails, walking up to his (now unoccupied) desk, trying to get a hold of him, but he had disappeared.

Turns out he knew he was being made redundant from the organisation and had been trying to poach clients for his new business. I ended up bumping into him at the café around the corner and he rattled off multiple excuses for not paying me (not to mention that the total cost of the invoice was around $150) but ultimately, I told him that his payment was two months late and he agreed to pay it that day as to not incur and additional late-fee.

He paid me eventually but that’s how I learned the hard way not to supply final artwork until the invoice has been paid.