Ask Me Again And I’ll Tell You The Same

, , , , , , | | Learning | June 19, 2019

(I am working the textbook buyback at the end of the semester, which understandably makes the students grouchy when they get next to nothing for their expensive books. While I am sympathetic to their emotions, there are still regulations we have to follow when it comes to the condition of books we can accept. A customer approaches my counter, placing on the counter a textbook that has clearly been dropped in a puddle at some point. It is very obviously shriveled by water damage.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to take back this book.”

Customer: “Why? This was an expensive book!”

Me: “It’s got very obvious water damage. We’re not allowed to resell books to students if they’re in this kind of condition. I’m really sorry.”

Customer: “I’m not leaving without my money for this book.”

(At this moment the wholesale book representative, who helps during this time of year, sees the situation unfolding and steps in to help.)

Representative: “Ma’am, I overheard everything this employee said to you. They explained the university’s standards adequately when it comes to textbook condition.”

Customer: “I got it off the shelf like that!”

Representative: “While I personally don’t believe that, you have no way of proving it.”

Customer: “Here’s the receipt!”

Representative: “That just shows when you purchased the book at the beginning of the semester. And if you look at the bottom, it explains there the conditions on buying and reselling books in this store.”

Customer: “Wait, do you even work here? I’ve never seen you here before!”

Representative: “I’m a representative of the [Book Company], to help the student employees with any… difficulties that may arise during the buyback session.”

Customer: “I want to– No, I demand to talk to a manager who actually works here!”

Me: “Okay, I’ll go get the textbook manager.”

(I walk away from the counter, where the representative is still explaining the buyback conditions. I go into the office of the textbook department manager, where his desk is already stacked with books and paperwork. Apologizing for interrupting his backlog, I explain the situation. Sighing, he follows me back to the front of the store, where the customer and the representative are still arguing.)

Textbook Manager: “As my employee pointed out to you, and as the wholesale representative pointed out, we cannot take a book back in this condition.”

(To summarize, the customer goes on how she drove over 60 miles from her hometown to sell this book back to us. She tells us about some hardships in her life, which we feel sympathy for, but have no relevance to our refusing to take back a water-damaged book. She still insists she bought the book that way.)

Textbook Manager: “Is there anything else we can help you with?”

Customer: “I want to talk to your manager!”

Me: “I’m on it.”

(I make my way back to the bookstore manager, who not only oversees the textbook sales, but is also currently occupied by school apparel and memorabilia. Once again, I explain the situation. Groaning, he follows me up to the storefront.”

Bookstore Manager: “As my employee said, as the representative said, as my textbook manager said, and what I say is that our university policy prohibits us from accepting back a book in this poor of a condition. Plus, do you really think a student would buy something that’s like this?”

Customer: “I would!”

Bookstore Manager: “We refuse to take back this textbook.”

Customer: *some kind of noise*

Bookstore Manager: “No, ma’am, it’s non-negotiable. Now, unless there’s something else we can help you with, I’d like to ask you to leave the store.”

Customer: “I’m going to the president’s office to file a complaint against this store! You’re on notice!”

Bookstore Manager: “If that’s what you want to do, go ahead. Now, please leave the store.”

Customer: *more noise*

Bookstore Manager: “Ma’am, please don’t make me call university security to escort you out.”

Customer: “You know what? You can just f****** keep this book!”

(The customer tries to throw the textbook at us, but it falls onto the countertop and some pages fall out. Dumbfounded, we watch as the customer storms out of the store. She suddenly stops right outside the doors and turns around.)

Customer: “F*** you!”

(We never heard from the university president’s office. For the rest of my employment at the bookstore, this story would come up as an example for the new employees training for buyback. Apparently, even after I graduated, this was still a horror story the trainees would whisper to each other in the safety of the break room.)

Oh, That’s Not Water Breaking; That’s The Interns Crying

, , , , , | | Healthy | June 19, 2019

I studied medical laboratory science in college. As we were studying hormones, we came to hCG, which is the hormone tested for on a pregnancy test. The professor was explaining how, at the very end of a pregnancy, hCG levels can drop off, yielding a negative pregnancy test on an obviously pregnant patient.

Then, he added this gem: “You can really freak out nervous medical interns by calling them up and telling them the pregnancy test on a very pregnant woman is negative. I’m not saying I’ve done it, but I’m not saying I haven’t.”

Murder Is Apparently Only 80% Engaging

, , , , , | | Learning | June 15, 2019

(I am at a teacher’s college in a Classroom Management course.)

Professor: “This is a list of the 40 most common ways students act out or can be disruptive in class. There is one technique you can use to prevent 80% of these. Can anyone guess what that is?”

(I’m seated in the front row, and this comment comes out louder than I intended.)

Me: “Murder.”

Professor: “What?! No! Not murder! Engagement! Engage a student’s attention and they’ll be too occupied to misbehave!”

(She continues the lesson for two more minutes or so before suddenly saying:)

Professor: “How does murder only solve 80% of that list, anyway? What about the other 20%?”

Apron Strings Made Of Iron

, , , | | Learning | June 13, 2019

(I work for my college’s summer orientation program. I have to check in students and their guests, since they can stay overnight with us. Because of this, there is a charge for parts of orientation, like if the student gets a lunch or stays overnight in the dorms. Prior to coming to orientation, they are charged a fee very similar to the price of the overnight fee, but students HAVE to pay the first fee. They don’t HAVE to stay overnight if they don’t want to. We do not give students and guests the option to pay for their orientation items ahead of time because many students end up changing their plans and just staying in a hotel with their parents or not getting breakfast on campus, for example, which messes up our banking.)

Me: “Welcome to orientation!”

(I try to take the information from the student — he is the only one who has the paper I need to fill out for billing and records — but his mother steps in the way)

Mother: “Hi. I’m [Student]’s mother.”

(I simply smile. We are supposed to address the student, not their guests, even if the guests try to take over the conversation. Orientation is for the incoming student, obviously.)

Me: “I’ll take that paper for you. Okay, it says you’re staying overnight in our dorms with us, correct?”

Student: “Y—”

Mother: “He is.”

Me: “Okay. You’re getting three meals with us with that. Your total will be $54.”

Mother: “I already paid for this online; don’t worry. I’ll just take his room key.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t have the option to pay for this online. You probably received a separate fee that is related to housing, but that is for your son’s stay while he lives on campus in the fall. This is an unrelated charge.”

Mother: “No, nope, I paid for this. I remember.”

Me: “You really could not have paid online beforehand. We do not give the option on the orientation registration.”

Mother: “I remember it, though.”

Me: “I’m certain you’re thinking of the separate fee that is around the same price as this, but it is unrelated and completely separate. You have not yet paid for this. If your student wishes to stay overnight and eat three meals with us while he is here for orientation, I will need $54 in the form of a card or check.”

Mother: “I don’t know. I’m pretty sure I paid for this.”

Me: “Ma’am, there is literally no possible way you paid for this beforehand. We make it so that you have to pay in person so we don’t have to go through the trouble of refunding you if plans change, which happens often.”

Mother: “All right, well, I paid for this already.”

(At this point, the lines have reached capacity and I really need to help the next student or else we will not be able to finish check-in in time. I figure she is just trying to wear me down so she doesn’t have to pay.)

Me: “Well, I can actually bring over the director of housing for the university, if you’d like. She is in today.”

Mother: *purses lips* “No, no, that’s fine. I guess I’ll just…pay this again. I don’t want to be double-charged.”

Me: “You will not be charged for this orientation twice.”

Mother: “So, you’ll take the other charge off?”

Me: “No, ma’am. Even if I had the power to do that — which I don’t as I am just a student here — that would put you in trouble. Both fees we have discussed are necessary for your son’s enrollment and orientation.”

Mother: “Fine. I’d better not get double-charged.”

(I take her card and go through the transaction, ready to cry from frustration. I grab the key for the student and the mother takes it from me as her son reaches out for it.)

Me: “Ma’am, you are not staying in the dorm tonight. Your son is. This is his key for the night. I will give it to him.”

Mother: “He loses everything. I’m taking it.”

(Students and their guests often have to be separated for certain sessions, and I let them know that)

Me: “There is a charge of $150 if you lose the key. I recommend your son take it so he can keep track of his own room.”

Mother: “Just finish the d*** check-in.”

(We finished. The next morning during checkout, guess who was charged $150 for his mother losing his key while she was in a different session?)

That Relationship Was Over In A Flash

, , , , , , , , | | Romantic | June 12, 2019

A boy I dated in college thought it was great fun to try to get girls to flash him while he and his friends were driving down the highway. He never did it while I was in the car because that was disrespectful to me. But when he was with his buddies, it was okay because that’s what boys do. I tried to explain that it really wasn’t acceptable behavior, but he brushed me off. (Yes, I know, I should have dumped him right there, but I was young and dumb.)

The day after this conversation, he came to my dorm room to study before going out with his buddies. I asked if he intended to play this flash game again, to which he angrily replied that it wasn’t a big deal and I was overreacting. To quote him, “Tits are tits. You have them. So what?”

His friends arrived and crowded into my room, ready to go on their adventure. Before they left, I asked for everyone’s attention and lifted my shirt, showing my breasts to my boyfriend and all of his friends.

They cheered and clapped. He was livid. How could I do something so trashy? Why was I being such a w****? Did I want to bang all of his friends? What was wrong with me?

I stood there calmly waiting for him to run out of air before I replied, “So, you can look at other girls, but other guys can’t look at me?”

He gaped like a fish out of water while his friends stood there in awkward silence. I told him if he thought his game was acceptable, I was going to continue showing off my body to anyone who asked. He stormed out without saying another word.

When he returned that evening, he said he was willing to forgive me if I promised to never act like that again. I shut the door in his face.

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