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Trying To Posit How Deposits Work

, , , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(A customer calls to accept her quote, and pay the scheduling deposit.)

Customer: “Okay, so, I am going to pay $300 deposit today, and pay the rest when the guys get here. I need you here September 8.” *in three days*

Me: “I’m sorry, that won’t work. We are currently booking the end of October, and we require a 50% non-refundable deposit, up to $2,500, now, in order to hold your place in the schedule. Your entire job will cost about $14,000, so that means we need the $2,500 now.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay that much now, and I can’t wait until the end of October. I will pay $500 now, so you can hold my spot, and I’ll let you come September 15. Then I will call around and see if I can get someone out here sooner than that; if I can, I’ll get the money refunded back to pay them instead of you.”

Me: “Well, you are welcome to call around if you like, but I will need the $2,500 now if you would like your spot at the end of October held, and as it says in your contract, that amount is non-refundable.”

Customer: “Well, that policy is illegal. You can’t keep my deposit if I can find someone else to do it first! You probably lose a lot of money that way!”

Me: “We do lose some jobs because people need us to come sooner than we are able; that is why all deposits are non-refundable. If we lose another job because the end of October is booked with your job, and then you cancel, we can use your deposit to make payroll, keep our employees so we are able to do the rest of the jobs we have scheduled, and cover overhead even though we have nothing booked and have lost other potential jobs for it. We usually book out two to eight weeks in advance, at all times of the year, so I don’t think we are losing a lot of custom over this. It’s also not illegal, and clearly laid out in your contract.”

Customer: “Fine, I will just pay on credit card today; at least that way I can cancel the charge if I find someone else who can do it sooner.”

Me: “And you’ve just said the magic words! Now we require payment by certified cheque or bank draft for the whole amount before we will put you in the schedule. Whenever you drop that off at the office, I can book you in at that time. For every day you wait, our lead time gets two to three days longer until after Christmas, when our lead times start to drop. I will send you an email confirming the new terms of your contract.”

Customer: “You can’t do that; it’s illegal to charge for goods before the customer gets them. You can’t do this. Deposits are always refundable; it’s the law! You aren’t allowed to do this!”

Me: “You should go explain those laws to [Coffee Shop] and to every hotel, ever, ma’am. You have a nice day now.”

Sizing Up To Be A Nice House

, , , , | Romantic | August 25, 2017

(After years of scrimping, planning, and renting a tiny room in a small condo to save money, my husband and I are buying a house. We’re still constantly staggered by how big it feels, especially compared to what we’re used to. He takes a picture of me in front of it, and then shows me the picture on his phone.)

Husband: “You look so small!”

Me: “Yes, but in my defense, almost EVERY house is bigger than me. Not just this one.”

My Knife, Your Problem

, , , | Working | June 27, 2017

(My dad owns a small business for tinsmithing. We recently hired a new employee. For this story let’s say my dad’s initials are M.K.)

Dad: “Hey, didn’t I give you my knife today on site?”

New Hire: “Yeah, I gave it back to you right afterwards.”

Dad: “Are you sure? Because I can’t find it anywhere…”

New Hire: “Well, I don’t know what to say to you. Maybe you lost it somewhere?”

(A few days go by. My dad sees New Hire working with a knife that looks exactly like his. He lets him turn it around and, sure enough, there are the initials M.K. written in permanent marker on the clip.)

New Hire: “What do you mean?! That’s mine! I bought it a few weeks ago!”

Dad: “Well, then why is there written M.K. on YOUR knife?”

New Hire: “It stands for… my knife!”

(My dad did let him keep the knife since it was a cheap one and it may have been a honest mistake and he simply was ashamed to admit that he took it. However, New Hire was let go shortly afterwards, still in his probation period, when money went missing from the locker room.)

Stubbornness Is Digging In

, , , , | Friendly | June 21, 2017

I’m a lorry driver and drive a tipper trailer for a living. I’m at a jobsite that is more or less across the street from a kindergarten. The site is an elevated lot with a wall separating it and the street. A digger, clearly visible from anywhere on the street, is on the lot loading rocks on a trailer standing on the street no more than a metre from said wall. While we have no guards, there are signs in both directions telling pedestrians to go on the other side of the street.

I’m standing behind the lorry being loaded talking to my colleague who is driving it. He has a passenger who has decided to stay in it. While we’re talking, we suddenly see a woman with a kid in each hand hurriedly emerge from between the trailer and the wall and then cross the street towards the school while the two of us stand there mouth agape, too stunned to say anything.

We go to the front to see if the sign is still there, which it is, and we talk to my colleague’s astonished passenger who tells us he told the woman repeatedly that she could not walk there but she ignored him. One of her little girls however did react, stopped, and told her mother they shouldn’t walk there but the mother grabbed her arm and dragged her along.

This was a few years ago and I have since stopped being surprised at the sheer stupidity of people but really, did she really need a someone to tell her you do not walk between a digger and the lorry it is loading?

Makes You Yearn For A Real Bullet

, , , , | Working | June 6, 2017

(I am the only IT person on site, supporting about 50 users of varying skill levels. This user is about 50 years old, and is very nervous around computers. I’m helping him prep a document for a meeting.)

Me: “Okay! And now, if you want, you can simply copy and paste the text from that email into this PowerPoint slide.”

User: “I want to keep it the same.” *indicating formatting, such as bullet points*

Me: “We can totally do that. When we paste, we’ll tell it to copy the formatting.”

User: “But I don’t want all those dots.” *tapping the screen where the bullet points are*

Me: “Okay. We can tell it to just paste the text then, instead of formatting.” *we do so*

User: “Where did my dots go?!”

Me: “The bullet points? I thought you said you didn’t want them.”

User: “I don’t. I just want the dots in front of the words.”

Me: “Those dots are the bullet points.”

User: “No. I just want the dots.” *again, indicates the bullet points*

Me: “All right. Let’s change that, then.” *two quick clicks and the bullet points are restored*

User: “NO! I don’t want those! Just the dots!”

Me: *running out of patience* “Which dots?” *I highlight the bullet points* “These dots?”

User: “Yes! Is that so hard?”

Me: *silently cursing my decision to enter IT* “No. I’m sorry for misunderstanding. Does it look okay now?” *indicating the PowerPoint slide with the bullet points*

User: “No. Take those things away! I told you I don’t want them.”

(I change the style of the bullet points from small dots to squares.)

Me: “How about this? Is that better?”

User: “Yes. Finally. I don’t know why that was so hard for you.”