The Best Stories Are Told At 3am

, , , , , , | Right | August 17, 2017

(I take a second job working the overnight shift at a 24-hour gas station and convenience store. It is my first time ever working third shift. Around three am, while preparing coffee and pastries for the morning rush, my mind starts to wander.)

Me: *thinking to myself* “I wonder what some of these customers stories are. Like, what’s going on in your life that you wander into a gas station at three am on a Tuesday morning? It would sure be interesting to get to know some of these people.”

(Then, just as I turn around and face the front of the store, a rusted out, windowless van pulls up to the gas pumps. What appears to be a little old lady climbs out and approaches the store. As this person gets closer, it becomes clear that this is no lady. This is a man, with full beard (in other words, not even trying to fool anyone) in a thrift store dress, sensible ladies shoes, white gloves, and your grandma’s purse draped over his arm.)

Me: “May I help you?”

Customer: *in the sweetest little old lady voice* “Just a coffee, regular, please.”

(He was very polite. I didn’t get the sense that this was some sort of prank or anything. Just seemed like that’s what he’s into. I’m not bigoted in any way and support all kinds of lifestyles, but remembering what I was thinking just before he walked in, I now thought “I REALLY want to know this dude’s story!”)

Some Customers You Have To Bear With

, , , , | Right | August 16, 2017

(The fast food restaurant where I work is located on a busy road with deep woods behind the building. Our dumpsters are located on the edge of our parking lot, closed in with fencing. I am cashing out a woman and her two small children (under five years old), the only customers in the building. My coworker, who had just been running out the trash bins, runs into the building through the side door and SLAMS it behind her, peering over her shoulder.)

Coworker: “[My Name]! There’s a BEAR in the dumpster!”

Me: *forgetting there are children* “Holy s***, no.”

Coworker: “I went to open the fence to the dumpster and a BEAR climbed over the side wall and ran into the woods!”

(My manager grabs the phone in the office to call the police or animal control while my coworker is still peering out towards the woods to see if the bear comes back.)

Me: *turning to the customer and her kids* “Well, ma’am, I’d say you’re going to have to stay in a while. I don’t feel safe letting you out of the building. I’ll get you some sodas, too, for the trouble.”

Woman: “I can’t stay here! My dog is in the car with the windows open. What if she sees the bear and starts barking? The bear could come back and get into the car to get the dog, or the stupid dog might jump out of the car and run after the bear!”

Me: “I… see… Where are you parked?” *hoping she was parked on the front end of the building facing the highway away from the dumpsters*

Woman: “It’s the blue van.” *this is parked on the same side of the building as the dumpsters*

Coworker: “OH, MY GOD, HE’S BACK!”

Me: *internally swearing*

(The woman is absolutely INSISTENT on leaving, so my coworker and I go out with her, my coworker keeping an eye out for the bear once he wandered back into the woods. The woman’s car is parked roughly twenty feet away from the side door, so I grab one child by the hand and she picks up the other, and we get the kids in the car quickly, buckle them up, and my coworker and I wave her off once we run (nearly peeing our pants) back into the building. An hour later my shift ends and I make my way out of the building toward my car. Two cop cars have arrived by that point to make sure that anyone who pulls in stays far away from the dumpsters and the woods and to make sure the bear doesn’t come back. I am parked right up along the dumpsters, so I talk to one of the cops as I got into my car.)

Cop: “Did you call in for the bear?”

Me: “Not me; my manager. I didn’t see the bear myself. Have you?”

Cop: “Yeah, it was a little baby bear.”

Me: “Oh, god, that’s even worse. Who knows what kind of mood Mama Bear is in?!”

Cop: “Yeah, I just had to try to explain that to some crazy woman with two babies. When we pulled in they were walking up the hill with their dog because they went into the woods to take pictures of the baby bear.”

Me: “They– Wait, WHAT?!”

Cop: “Yeah, see, they knew about the bear but when she saw it was a baby bear she said the staff was ‘being ridiculous,’ so she parked again to let her kids see the bear and they went down the hill. My supervisor yelled at her about endangering her children and molesting the wild life and stuff.”

(So to recap: I escorted this woman and her kids to the car, basically volunteering to be HUMAN BEAR BAIT if necessary so her kids could be buckled up and get home safely, and her response was to say “Screw it. I’ll just FEED MY KIDS TO THE BEAR.”)

There Is Mushroom For Improvement

, , , , | Working | August 15, 2017

(This story takes place in a diner late at night. I have just gotten off work and meet my parents and brother for a later dinner. We get seated and can already tell this is gonna be a rough meal: the waitress takes 10 minutes to come ask for our drink order, and another 20 before asking for our entree order. My mother orders a senior omelette, due to a food allergy in the regular omelette, and fruit, and I order a regular hamburger. This occurs once the waitress brings over our food.)

Mom: “I can’t eat this. This is the regular omelette.”

Waitress: “Oh, well, it’s bigger than the senior omelette, so really, you’re getting a deal here.”

Mom: “No, I specifically ordered the senior omelette due to my mushroom allergy. This will kill me if I eat it.”

Waitress: “Well, I guess I’ll take it back, then, but it will take a little bit of time to whip up a new one.”

(The waitress takes away my mom’s food, and she begins to eat my dad’s fruit to hold her. I go to take a bite of my hamburger, and realize it’s drenched in some type of barbecue sauce. Not wanting to make a huge issue, I eat a few bites, but can’t stand any more than that. 30 minutes later my mom’s food comes out; the manager bringing it out this time.)

Manager: “We’re really sorry about the mix up; we upgraded the omelette so that you got the size of the regular omelette, with the ingredients of the senior.”

Mom:“Well, thank you for that, but I ordered fruit, not hash browns, due to a diet restriction. But no point in waiting another hour to get fruit. My daughter will just eat them.”

Manager: *laughing slightly uncomfortably, she turns to me* “Well, I hope you’re hungry!”

Me: “I am. This hamburger was disgusting, and not what I ordered, I just didn’t want to sit here for another hour waiting for you to cook it, since we’ve been here almost two hours and my mom just got her meal. This was horrible service, and I would suggest you review your wait staff on proper customer service.”

(The manager assures me she will take care note of my suggestions, and leaves. We go up to pay.)

Waitress: “Your total is [total].”

Me: “No.”

Waitress: “What do you mean, sweetie?”

Me: “You expect my parents to pay full price for a horrible meal that took almost three hours to complete? Absolutely not!”

(My mother quickly ushers me out while my dad begins to pay. When he gets in the car, he turns to my mother.)

Dad: “We should take her out to dinner more often.”

Mom: “Why’s that?”

Dad: “She just got our waitress to give us our meal for free.”

Absolutely Megnificent

, , , , | Right | August 10, 2017

(I’m working a few hours into my shift when a man comes up and notices my name.)

Customer: “Meghan? That’s an Irish name. Was it always your name?”

Me: “No, sir, my name was originally Megatron.”

Customer: *completely serious* “Really? That must have been hard growing up, with your siblings and friends teasing you.”

(My brother, who works as a bagger in the store, walks by.)

Me: “I don’t know. Hey, [Brother]! This man wants to know if it was hard for me growing up with you teasing me because of my name being Megatron.

Brother: “We teased her all the time.”

Customer: “Huh, I feel kind of bad for you.”

Me: “Sir, my name has always been Meghan. I was kidding. The Megatron thing was a joke from Family Guy.”

Customer: “Oh. Well I heard something about the Irish calling their daughters ‘Meeghan’ from birth to age 16. Then they are called Meghan as a coming of age thing.”

Me: “Well, sir, I wouldn’t know. I’m mostly French-Canadian and I don’t think my family ever had that in mind. Have a good day.”

(He walked out, still looking very confused.)

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 68

, , , , , | Right | August 9, 2017

(I work for a bank where the majority of our accounts are with college-age students. Many of them have never before had a bank account or had any financial education. A lot of our calls deal with upset account holders with negative or overdrawn accounts, and they can’t understand how it got that way. This call lasts about an hour total, an hour that I will never get back.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bank]. I am [My Name]. May I please have your account number?”

Customer: *provides account number and verifies herself*

Me: “Thank you for that information; how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, um, I should have more money in my account. Why don’t I have any more money?”

Me: *pulls up statements and reviews them quickly* “I’m sorry, ma’am, it looks like you spent your funds in the last week or so. I’m seeing a lot of transactions on your statements. Have you looked at them yourself?”

Customer: “Yeah, I looked at them, and I know I bought all that stuff, but I should have more money. Where’s the rest of it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. It appears you’ve spent all the money currently in your account. The balance you see displayed is how much you have left.”

Customer: “NO! I know I should have more money. I did NOT spend that much. WHERE IS THE REST OF MY MONEY?!”

(As a way to calm the customer, I offer to go over their transactions with them one by one and explain how the money got spent. I proceed to spend the next half hour going line by line in their statement, explaining the debits of each purchase and the remaining balance after the purchase starting from when they received their deposit earlier in the week.)

Me: “So you see, ma’am, this is why your account is at this balance. The purchases we just went over brought your total to what you see now. Do you think any of the items should be disputed as an unauthorized transaction?”

Customer: “Hmm, uh-huh, yes, I do recall all of those purchases. I just don’t understand where all my money went.”

Me: “Ma’am, as we discussed, you spent the money. There is nothing left from your deposit. What you see is what you have.”

Customer: “So then why don’t I see the rest of my money? Did your company take it? Are you stealing from me?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure what money you are referring you. You received a deposit of [amount] on [Date] and since then you’ve spent all but the $5.14 you see now on your balance page. We just went over each transaction you made since the deposit and you confirmed them with me. You have spent all your funds; there is no more money left.”

Customer: “What do you mean? I KNOW I have more money. You took it! I know you did! Your company is a sham! I’m telling everyone to stay away from you.”

(This tirade goes on for over five minutes, with her screaming obscenities, calling me a liar, demanding I put the money back into her account, etc.)

Customer: You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!” *slams phone*

Me: *stunned silence*

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