Not-So-Smart TV

, , , , | Legal | August 3, 2018

(I work at a big name shipping and retail store. The store is run by the owner, me, and one other coworker. Today it is just the owner and me. A few days previously someone had broken in after hours and stolen several high-value packages off the shelf in the back. We had filed a police report and reviewed the security footage. We did not know this person but our cameras clearly showed her face. Fast forward to today and she comes back. The owner and I instantly recognize her, and the owner goes to the back to call the police while I stall her. The customer storms in and slams down a large box containing a smart TV on the counter; I can hear glass rattling inside.)

Customer: “I picked this up the other day and it’s broken! You owe me $2,000!”

Me: *stalling for time and playing along* “I’m very sorry to hear that; let’s take a look.”

Customer: “It’s broken! What else matters?”

Me: “Well, depending on the extent of the damage, we may be able to replace it. If the shipper insured it, we will have to file a claim describing the nature of the damage.”

Customer: *sighs loudly, clearly annoyed* “Fine, but I don’t see why you can’t just give me the money.”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, false claims are very common. Some people will run scams in order to get free stuff. I know it’s a pain, but before we can pay out we have to make sure the claim is legitimate and that the damage was caused by our drivers.”

Customer: “So, I might not get my money back, then? Thats f****** ridiculous! You broke it, so you should pay for it! What kind of dishonest bulls*** is this?”

(This goes on for a good ten minutes with the store’s owner standing by to diffuse the situation if it gets out of hand while we wait for the police. Finally they pull in to the parking lot. At this point the customer is becoming more irate.)

Customer: “I JUST WANT MY F****** MONEY BACK NOW! DO YOUR G**D*** JOB!”

Owner: *chimes in as two officers enter the store* “He has been, ma’am; he did an excellent job stalling you.” *then to the police* “This is her, officers.”

(All the color drains from her face and her mouth drops open to a perfect comical O shape.)

Customer: “Wha… what’s this about?”

Owner: “It’s about the security footage from last Saturday.” *pointing to the cameras*

Police Officer #1: “Ma’am, I need you to put both hands on the counter, and spread your feet.”

(Her eyes dart around rapidly before she makes a break for the front door. [Officer #2] tackles her and she goes down hard, yelling something about police brutality.)

Me: “Looks like they can add resisting arrest to your charges now.”

Owner: “And next time you steal something, it’s probably best not to try to return it to the same store.”

(The total value of all the packages she stole — coupled with a list of other charges from other retail stores in our area — turned out to be enough to send her to prison. The majority was from the smart TV she was trying to get us to cover.)

The Language Of Disrespect

, , , , , , , | Working | August 3, 2018

(I’m a Caucasian woman, but as my stepfather is Indian, I speak fluent Punjabi. I regularly catch taxis for work, which are charged to a work account. I book a taxi four hours before I want to travel. The taxi is thirty-five minutes late. When I get in, the driver is on the phone through bluetooth — which runs through the radio — talking in Punjabi. He offers no explanation on why he is late. I give my destination, which he doesn’t comment on; he just keeps on talking, but starts driving. As the trip progresses, he is still on his phone commenting, among other things, about me.)

Driver: *in Punjabi* “I’m taking a b**** to [Destination], then I’ll get lunch.”

(I decide to record the conversation on my phone and start taking down his license number and the taxi number.)

Driver: *in English* “What are you doing?”

Me: “Just writing some notes for my meeting. Are you going to spend the whole trip on the phone? It’s incredibly rude and unprofessional, and it is giving me a headache.”

Driver: *in Punjabi* “This stupid, white b**** wants me off the phone. I’ll take her the long way and make her pay. I’ll call you back once I drop the [insult] off.”

Driver: *in English* “I was talking to my brother. We have many taxis and are coordinating our drivers. I’m trying to make a living here.”

Me: “If you have many drivers, why were you thirty-five minutes late? And I fully understand you’re trying to make a living, but if I turned up over half an hour late without so much as an apology or explanation, completely ignored the client, and then spent fifteen minutes on the phone, I wouldn’t have my job.”

(He looks at me angrily, but says nothing and continues driving. When his phone rings again…)

Driver: *in English* “This is my wife. It could be an emergency.”

Me: *giving him the benefit of the doubt* “Fine, but please make it quick.”

Driver: *in Punjabi* “Hi, sorry, I’ve got some white [insult] who thinks she’s too good and doesn’t want me on the phone. A man needs to teach the b**** a lesson.”

Me: *in Punjabi* “Pull over, now! I’ve had enough. I’ll be making a complaint and making sure my boss does, too.”

Driver: *in Punjabi* “You understand?”

Me: *still in perfect Punjabi* “Yes, I do. Now pull over.”

(The driver pulls over and stops the metre.)

Driver: “Okay, that’s [amount way higher than the metre].”

Me: “Seriously? One, it’s on an account. Two, that’s not what the metre showed, and three, after what just happened, you expect me to pay?”

Driver: *now really angry, locks the door* “You discriminate against me. Pay the fare; otherwise, I’ll call the police.”

Me: “Call the police. You’re holding me against my will. Plus, it should all be recorded.” *I point to a mandatory camera that by law should record audio and video* “I think they would be interested in what has happened.”

(He unlocked the door. I quickly got out and he took off. I called my boss to explain what had happened. My boss sent a coworker to get me. I filed a complaint with the cops and the taxi company. It turns out he was already under investigation for similar incidents and for not having the camera hooked up. He tried to say I had offered him sex in return for a free ride, then called him racist slurs and threatened to kill him. Luckily, I had enough of the trip recorded on my phone. He was charged with numerous offenses, including holding me against my will.)

Teaching These Days Can Be Murder

, , , , , | Learning | August 1, 2018

(I am in my first semester of college, and one of my teachers for a music theory class starts showing up irregularly. I am in his first class, which meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. After about a week of it, I happen to run into a classmate from that class.)

Classmate: “Remember how he canceled all classes on Wednesday?”

Me: “Yeah, that following Friday he said he’d been sick and didn’t want to spread it to any of the music students.”

Classmate: “Yep. And then his car broke down on Monday, so only our class was canceled.”

Me: “And now today.”

Classmate: “About that… as I was walking by his door and saw the note, I said, ‘What did he do? Die?’ One of the other teachers said, ‘Yes,’ and walked away.”

Me: “What? Was she joking?”

(It turns out… no, they weren’t joking. Later that evening word got out. The previous night, he had apparently collected his mother from the nursing home, strangled her to death with a rope, and then hanged himself. In the meantime, the college bent over backwards getting us a substitute and creating many memorials for him. I don’t know how long that lasted, however, because not everyone was pleased with the college’s decision to honor him. As one angry student said, “The ONLY reason he’s not in jail for murder is because he killed himself!” I suspect they eventually realized it was rather… awkward to memorialize a murderer, despite how much they missed him.)

Airing Out Your Dirty Laundry

, , , , , | Right | July 31, 2018

(I work for a large, well-known retail store. Our policy for returns states that you either have to have the receipt or a valid ID. This is an exchange I have with someone trying to return an item.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I need to return this laundry soap. I got the wrong kind.”

Me: “No problem. Do you have the receipt?”

Customer: “No, I just want to switch it out.”

Me: “Okay, do you have an ID? I can use that, instead.”

Customer: “Not a valid one.”

(At this point, I lean over to my manager and explain to her that he doesn’t have either, but ask if it’s okay because it’s just a small purchase and a straight-across exchange. She says it’s okay. I start ringing it up, until I get to the part where it asks for an ID.)

Me: “Okay, what do I do now?”

Manager: “Just put in his ID number.”

Me: “Um… he doesn’t have one.”

Manager: “Oh! Then we can’t do it.”

Customer: “I have an invalid ID; can I use that? The d*** state took and suspended it!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but no.”

Customer: “Seriously?! I drove all the way here, and you can’t just f****** exchange it?! It’s the same d*** thing!” *walking away now* “I can’t believe this f****** place!”

Me: *to manager* “If the state suspended his license, why is he risking going to jail to exchange some laundry soap?”


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Comes Into Work And Phones It In

, , , , , , | Working | July 20, 2018

(One day, I’m with my coworker who has a reputation for being really spoiled. His mom buys him everything he wants, and the only reason he has this job is because his dad forced him to get it. The day we’re assigned to work a shift together, he comes in late, helps one customer, and goes on a scheduled break.)

Me: “[Coworker]?”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: “What’re you doing?”

Coworker: “I’m taking my break. Duh.”

Me: “Maybe you could give me a hand? It’s really busy, and I’ve been doing all the work this morning.”

Coworker:  “No f****** way. I’m on my break.”

(I give up because there are customer waiting. Less than thirty minutes later, my manager walks in. She looks at my coworker, then at the line, and orders him to start working. He rolls his eyes, but starts helping… with all the simplest jobs. Finally, it’s my break, and I head into the break room and look for my phone to text my boyfriend. I can’t find it, and I start freaking out. It’s brand new, and I had to save up for a long time for it. I ask my coworker, and he says he doesn’t know. I search the break room and the cash register, and then go to talk to the manager. She knows I’m honest and never misplace things that important, since I’ve been working there for three years, so she says she’ll contact the security people, and look at the camera footage, but in the meantime I should head back to work. I do, and near the end of my shift, she approaches my coworker and me. She drags us into the break room, since there’s only two or three people in the shop.)

Manager: “[Coworker]… return [My Name]’s phone.”

Coworker: “I don’t have it!”

(The manager glares daggers, turns, and heads to his coat that’s hanging up on a hook. She digs in his pocket and, lo and behold, my phone’s there.)

Coworker: “That’s my f****** phone!”

Me: “No, it’s not; that’s my case.”

Coworker: “She’s lying!”

Me: “Then unlock it.”

Coworker: “Fine!” *snatches it and enters random numbers* “It’s not unlocking; something is probably wrong with it.”

(I yank it out of his hand, unlock it easily, and show the home screen to the manager: a photo of me with my boyfriend and our cat.)

Coworker: “SHE FRAMED ME!”

(Somehow, he didn’t get fired, and ACTUALLY HAD THE NERVE TO HIT ON ME TWO DAYS LATER.)

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