Go Fund Me But In Real Life

, , , , | Right | February 21, 2019

(The pet salon where I work has a different monthly spa special you can add to your dog’s groom for an additional fee. This month we are partnering with a rescue to raise money for vet bills for a dog who broke his leg. We have a jar in the lobby guests can put change into if they don’t want to buy a spa, but still want to donate.)

Teenager: *comes in to pick up a dog*

Me: “Okay, your total is $59.”

(The teenager paid with $63, but when I handed him back the $3 and a $1 from the drawer, he didn’t say anything and took it, which was unusual because people tend to overpay like that to tip the groomer. I went back to get the dog, and when I came out, the guy had his entire hand in the donation jar! He pulled it out as soon as I approached, but I couldn’t see any money in his hand, so I couldn’t outright accuse him of stealing. Pretty sure he did, because he grabbed his dog and left as fast as possible.)

His Brain Needed More Fuel Than The Car Did

, , , , , | Legal | February 15, 2019

It was almost at the end of our shift when the dispatcher called out information that a driver had fuelled up his car at a petrol station, left the fuel nozzle on the ground — a clear indicator of a fuel thief — and driven off without paying.

Usually, fuel thieves use stolen license plates that frequently don’t even match the make of the car. Nevertheless, I ran the license plate. Surprisingly, everything matched. Even the registered owner’s address was nearby.

I told my partner the address, and although we both agreed that nobody would be stupid enough to go to their registered address after stealing in broad daylight, we still gave it a shot. When we were almost there, we saw the same car stopping in front of the house, with the owner in the driver’s seat. When he saw our police car, his eyes went wide and he froze. I could see that he honestly assumed that his plan of filling up and going home without an issue would be perfect.

We arrested him for theft, and he also had to pay for the fuel.

Stop! Or We’ll Stare Disapprovingly!

, , , , , , | Working | February 7, 2019

(We’re going through a busy spell at self-check, so my coworker and I manning the area are both running back and forth between customers while trying to keep an eye on all of them to prevent theft. Two men at a register have one item, but it’s from electronics and has an anti-theft tag, which they flag me down to remove. The policy is to remove it after they have asked and you see that it’s scanned. If they ask before they pay, you’re not supposed to argue or make them wait, just remove the tag as long as it’s been scanned. I have to help another customer, but the men have been at the register a while, and since I just finished helping that customer and my coworker is busy with a different customer, I go to check on them. Just as I get there…)

Me: “Is everything–”

Customer #1: *storms off, completely ignoring me*

Customer #2: *sheepishly smiles at me and starts to follow his friend*

(I look down and see their item still sitting on the bagging platform. Before I can do anything:)

Customer #1: *abruptly turns around, snatches the item off the platform, and storms back off*

Me: “Have a nice day?”

(As I say this, I’m glancing towards the register, having found it very odd that they would only purchase one item and then almost forget to take it. Sure enough, there’s a message on the card reader showing that their card was declined a couple times. I rush after them. As a cashier, I’m not allowed to go after customers myself.)

Me: “Security, that really tall guy by the door: theft!”

(Even though we’re a high-crime area, I guess due to violent reactions, security cannot actually detain anybody, nor can they follow them outside. All they can do is ask somebody to stop and see their receipt or turn over an item. The two men are almost to the door, so I am rushing, trying to get the guard to move quickly before they leave and there’s nothing more we can do.)

Security: *slowly scanning* “Those two?”

Me: “Yes, yes, the tall man in the brown jacket with the short man in the gray sweatshirt.”

Security: *finally starts after them, then quietly asks* “Sir? Sir, please?”

Customer #1: *continues walking at brusque pace and pays the guard absolutely no attention, walking right out of the store, his friend right behind him*

Security: *turns back to me and shrugs*

Me: “…”

(I just walk back to self-checkout. I’ve only been working a month or so and have not dealt with blatant theft like that before, so I catch my coworker, who is regularly stationed at self-check, tell her what happened, and ask what to do. She comes over to look at the register they left, which, fortunately, other customers have left alone.)

Coworker: “That’s a hundred-dollar item!”

Me: “I know; it sucks.”

Coworker: “And they just walked off with it… D***.”

(She printed out a receipt of the transaction thus far so she could take it to down to customer service where there’s usually a manager and give it to them to log. I later made sure to confirm with a manager that we couldn’t wait until after a transaction was finished to take off anti-theft tags if asked. I explained why I was asking, and the manager just shrugged and told me, yeah, remove the tag when asked. It just needs to be scanned first. I don’t particularly care because it’s a huge corporate business that pays their employees dirt, but it’s kind of a silly policy, though no more so than our security guards being there just for show.)

Microwave Results In A Micro-Transaction

, , , , , , | Working | February 7, 2019

I’m moving out of my studio apartment. The landlord has promised me he would come by on my last day there to inspect the place after it’s been emptied, but despite calling and texting him repeatedly, he never shows and never picks up or replies. The only message I get from him says I should leave the place unlocked for the team of workers he’s hired, who’ll be in first thing next morning to fix up the place to be rented out again. So, when leaving, I shut the door but leave it unlocked. It seems reasonable enough; in over two years of living there, I haven’t had any attempted break-ins or anyone even trying my door at night.

One of the few things I was provided was a small cheap microwave, which I am supposed to leave there and do so.

After waiting for three months for my security deposit check, never receiving it, having to involve the city’s tenant-landlord dispute resolution department, and being told my ex-landlord claims the check he “sent” — as he was strictly, legally obligated to within 30 days — got “lost in the mail,” it turns out the ex-landlord has decided to also deduct $50 from my deposit money for the microwave, which according to him wasn’t left in the apartment. This is the apartment that I left unlocked overnight on his instructions, which he refused to come to inspect, and which would have been swarmed and turned over by some unknown-to-me crew of workers first thing next morning; unsupervised, they could have done absolutely anything to the place and its contents.

Music To My Fears

, , , , , | Related | February 4, 2019

(Ever since I joined my middle school music program in sixth grade, I’ve fallen in love with music. Not only was it basically the only thing keeping me from spiraling down even further into my social anxiety and depression, but it was also something I really cared about, so much that I wanted to become a musician. My parents, on the other hand, are less than enthusiastic about my dedication and love for music, stating that:)

Parents: “Music is just a hobby and you’ll never be able to feed yourself or have children properly.”

(Of course, as a depressed and moody teenage sophomore, it is pretty hard to hear. Things come to a head when my parents decide to go behind my back and ask my counselor to remove me from my school’s music program. Mind you, I’ve been doing band for nearly a full five years at this point, and considering how much I’ve done for it, paying for private lessons out of my own pocket — which is DEFINITELY not cheap — staying up every night until 4:00 am to finish my schoolwork — my family are first-generation Chinese immigrants, so understandably, their expectations of their youngest are a little bit high, to say the least — trying my hardest to be first chair — band-speak for “being the best in your instrument group” — in the best band at my school, and fending off my social anxiety and depression all the while, hearing about how my parents went behind my back to purposefully prevent me from doing music as a career was quite the experience. And not one I’m willing to go through again. Long story short, my counselor realizes the situation, switches my schedule back to what it was before, and my music teacher, private tutor, and the three people I call my friends are happy to have me back in the music program and not seeing me mope around school with a dead look in my eyes anymore. My parents, on the other hand, are less than pleasant towards me afterward. After realizing they can’t force me to quit music as a career, they become cold, and sterner than ever before. They refuse to drive me to concerts, and when I ask my friends for a ride or if I can stay at their house until the concert, my parents call their parents and explain about how I “need” to get home. When I finally get my driver’s license, they lay down rules that are nearly impossible to follow, such as “being home by 10:00, even though the drive to your school is 30 minutes round-trip and the concert starts at 9:30.” They basically do everything in their power to restrict me from doing anything related to music. A few days after I turn 18, I receive a letter from a very prestigious music school. Obviously, I am ecstatic, and my siblings, who are all older than me, are excited at the fact that I managed to get into such a prestigious academy. My parents, on the other hand, are surprisingly happy about my acceptance, as well, at least I tell them what kind of school it is. Fast forward a couple months or so: on graduation day, my friends and I decide to “hang out” afterward. I come back home — no alcohol was involved, just a lot of fast food and video games — I see that save for my bed, my desk, my bookcase, and my nightstand, my room is completely barren. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but when you realize that my room is usually full of expensive instruments hanging on the walls and instrument cases pressed into the corners of the room, then it becomes a problem. After calling my friends and teachers, I finally manage to corner my parents. My brother, along with one of my friends who decided to stay the night, is with us.)

Me: *barreling down the stairs* “Where did all my instruments go?”

Friend: *slightly confused* “Are you talking about the, like, fourteen flutes and trumpets in your room?”

Me: *slowly getting more and more agitated at the fact that all that “junk metal” in my room could be worth well over $50,000* “Yes!”

Brother: *rolls his eyes and shuts off the game he and my friend were playing* “Son of a b****.”

(My brother, my friend, and I manage to find my dad smoking out in the backyard. My brother taps on the glass sliding door and my dad opens it.)

Brother: “Dad, I saw Mom leave the house an hour ago with a bag. Where is she going?”

Dad: *takes another long drag on his cigar* “A friend.”

Brother: “What friend?”

Dad: “[His Friend]’s home.”

Me: “What for?”

Dad: *standing up and looking down at me in the eye* “Your mother and I talked about this, and we decided that that college you got accepted to isn’t a good fit for you.”

Me: *sputtering* “W-what? Of course it was! It was a music school!”

Dad: “Your mother and I already told you: music isn’t a real job. It’s just a hobby, and if you do choose to do it for a living, you’ll never be able to raise a house and family.”

Brother: *finally catching on* “No f****** way. Did… did you sell [My Name]’s instruments?”

Dad: “Yes. We decided all the money you could gain from selling those instruments could be used to pay for [College].”

Me: “But I’m not going to [College]! I’m going to [Music School]! And besides, I didn’t even apply for that college! The application deadline has been over since last January, so what’re you trying to do here?”

Dad: “You are not going to that college, [My Name]. That school is filled with fools who’ll end up homeless and pregnant on the streets, with no husbands or family to care for them. You will go to a college besides [Music School], and you will not be getting your instruments back!”

(My friend decided to call the police, and since my parents did technically steal from me, since I bought or rented all of those instruments with my own money, we took it to court. Fast forward quite a few years. I’ve decided to change my last name to match that of [Friend]’s, who is now my husband. I cut off all contact with my parents, though my brother still tells me that they’ve also erased me from their own memories. Truth be told, I’m glad for it.)


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