Wrong About Tax Rights

, , , , , , | | Right | May 20, 2019

(I am ringing up a customer.)

Me: “Your total is… [total].”

Customer: “Hmm. I did the math; that seems high. Aren’t these items $[price #1] and $[price #2]?”

Me: “Well, yes, but then another $[amount] was added for sales tax.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I don’t have to pay sales tax.”

Me: “All right, then. If I can just see the state-issued document that includes your tax-exempt number, I’d be more than happy to remove the tax from the transaction.”

Customer: “I need a form?”

Me: “Yes. Otherwise, how would I know you are actually tax-exempt?”

Customer: “That would impede my rights to have to go to the government in order to not have to pay tax. That’s illegal!”

(My manager approaches, mainly because the man is talking rather loudly.)

Customer: *looks at manager* “So, can you take the tax off of my purchase?”

Manager: “Sure! I just need to see the tax-exempt form.”

Customer: “I just told your employee I don’t have that because that would impede my rights.”

Manager: “Unfortunately, I cannot prove that, and I cannot authorize a tax-exempt sale without that form, which includes the tax-exempt number.”

Customer: “Well, I will be reporting both of you to the police for breaking the law!”

Manager: “Okay!”

Me: “Sounds good.”

(The customer left, and we just started laughing at the craziness.)

A Regular Hero

, , , , | | Legal | May 18, 2019

(I’m working the counter at a fairly popular café. It’s the afternoon and it’s surprisingly busy for our store. Besides me, there are two other people in the store: a regular customer and her boyfriend of three months. The regular is a short, very sweet girl, an extreme pacifist, and generally a very pleasant person to talk to. She’s been coming to the store for as long as I’ve been hired, and we’re close enough that we talk all the time through text. She’s one of my closest friends. Her boyfriend is a giant dude with piercings in his right ear and a long Mohawk that he’s dyed bright neon green. He looks like a classic “punk” and honestly looks like he could throw a coffee machine across a room if he wanted to. The regular, on the other hand, is pretty much a classic “schoolgirl” type person. She brought him in to meet me, and for a date, so they both seem really nice. They chose a small table with metal chairs at the end of the bar, and the girl is looking in my direction as this goes down. A middle-aged man walks into the empty café and stands by the bar in front of me.)

Me: “Hello, sir, welcome to [Café]. What can I get for you today?”

Man: “Oh, just my regular—“ *shifts his hand out of his hoodie pocket to show me a rather large knife* “—and don’t talk to those two while you’re getting it; I’m in a bit of a hurry.”

Me: *glances at the regular and the boyfriend* “Of… of course, sir.” *opens the register with a rather loud clack — they tend to slam open if we don’t catch them*

(The regular looks up from her drink, looking confused at the loud noise. The boyfriend doesn’t look up from his phone.)

Me: “And will that be for h-here or to go, s-sir?”

(I notice the regular stand up really slowly from her chair, and the boyfriend looks away from his phone to look at her.)

Man: “To go, obviously. I just told you I was in a hurry. Get it out here already.”

Me: “Right, sorry…”

(I notice the regular wrapping her hands around the back of her chair, and the boyfriend is leaning forward slightly, like he plans on getting up. I’ve collected all the larger bills in my hand and I’m starting to reach over the counter to hand it to the man.)

Me: “Here’s your change, s—“

Regular: “HAH!”

(Both I and the man looked towards the regular and her boyfriend in surprise, just in time for the regular’s metal chair to crash into to man, throwing him to the floor and making him drop his knife. The regular had thrown the heavy metal chair right over her boyfriend’s head and into the man who had been attempting to rob us. This and the chair stunned the man long enough for her boyfriend to run over and keep the man pressed to the floor until the police arrived. This regular is pretty well known among the employees now, and I have yet to see anything else that could possibly top how stunned I was to this day.)

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The Fluster Buster

, , , , | | Right | May 14, 2019

(I work in an electronic retail store as a manager. Over the past year, we have been hit by a scammer doing fraudulent returns on items he has stolen. Basically, all of the managers have been tricked by him, including me. I see him come into the store and immediately greet him, and he luckily doesn’t recognize me. It would be easy to simply call him out and refuse his return but it’s a slow day.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help you?”

Customer: *said to the person he is on the phone with* “This girl is standing here looking at me like she doesn’t even want to help me! I’m just a big inconvenience to her!”

(I remain calm, as this is part of what he does: try to fluster the manager.)

Me: “Sir, I don’t believe I have given you any reason to think you are an inconvenience. If you would let me know what I can help you with, I would be more than happy to assist you.”

Customer: “I have a return. I bought these laptops for a summer camp, but we ended up not needing half of them. I already talked to [Store Manager] and she approved it.”

Me: “Great! I can certainly help you with that. Can I see your receipt?”

Customer: “I don’t have it, but as I already said, I met with [Store Manager] and she said that you would take care of me. You’re going to do that, right? I would really hate to have to bother your bosses and let them know you aren’t helping me out.”

(I know he is lying. Our manager would never approve such a large return without a receipt.)

Me: “Sure, let’s go over to the return desk and I’ll get it started.”

(He continues to talk to the person on the phone, again stating that I am giving him attitude and that he is going to have to have a talk with the store manager about how rude I am. I ignore him, start to scan the items, and call the store manager at home. She picks up after a few rings.)

Me: “Hi, sorry to bother you on your vacation, but I have a gentleman here who says that he talked to you about doing a receiptless return on about $3,500 in laptops.”

Store Manager: “I absolutely did not talk to anyone about a return. Is this that same guy that keeps coming in?”

Me: “Yep, it sure is. Just wanted to confirm.”

(The entire time I’m having this conversation, the customer isn’t paying attention and is still bad-mouthing me on the phone, trying to be intimidating.)

Me: “Sir, I just got off the phone with [Store Manager] and she has no idea who you are. Honestly, I’m surprised that you keep coming back and running this same scam. You’ve actually already pulled this same thing with me a year ago, so I know exactly what you are doing.”

(The customer goes pale and starts to back away. He tries to push the cart full of stolen laptops with him. I grab it firmly.)

Me: “You can leave those here, as I know you stole them. I have you on camera and I will be immediately calling the police.”

(He bolted out the door. One of my coworkers who was nearby chased him down and wrote down his license plate. I called the police and gave a report. We later found out that upon searching his house they found close to $50,000 in stolen merchandise from stores all over the city. He had also been flagged by numerous loss prevention teams in other stores.)

If You Get Into An Argument With A Pregnant Woman, You’re Trucked

, , , , , , , | | Legal | May 8, 2019

(It’s been a bad day; my father had a stroke yesterday and is having brain surgery today, and I am nine months pregnant with my third child and just a had a scary meeting with a mean doctor wanting to induce me. I’m stressed, tired, and emotional. I’m sitting in my parked car, gathering my thoughts, when a truck drives past too close and scrapes my car. It keeps driving, so I leap out of the car and wave it down; it’s hard to miss me in my current state. The driver gets out of the car. He looks barely sixteen — not old enough to drive that big a truck.)

Me: “Um, you scraped my car.”

Driver: “Oh, sorry.”

(Due to my state of mind, I don’t remember all the details I am supposed to get. We take a photo of each other’s licenses, which confirms the driver is sixteen, and the damage on my car. I’m trying to be nice because the guy is so young.)

Me: “Okay, well, I hope your day gets better from here.”

Driver: “I don’t know. I’m having a pretty bad day.”

(Thinking of my poor dad and looking at my pregnant tummy, I decide to ignore that, and we part ways. Seconds after he drives away, I realize I don’t have a phone number or the truck’s registration. I call my husband in a panic; he writes a letter to the driver asking for the details and sends it to the address on the license. He quickly receives an emailed response stating the driver “wasn’t at fault that night” — it happened at nine am — and that I had told him I wouldn’t be pursuing the matter — I never did — and he refuses to give the information. We’re at a loss what to do. Without the truck registration, the insurance company will have to charge us excess for the repairs, which we don’t want to pay. The insurance company suggests physically visiting the address or contacting the local police. I go for the latter option and visit the local police station. The police officer takes all the details, then spends ten minutes on her computer and phone before coming back to me.)

Police Officer: “Well, I couldn’t find a phone number for him, but I did find his mum. So I’ve spoken to her and she’s going to have a talk to him.”

(The insurance company had the details within hours. It still makes me chuckle imagining that boy getting a bollocking from his mum for his irresponsibility. In the meantime, my dad made a full recovery and my baby was born without any drama.)

Guitar Stringing You Along

, , , , , | Right | April 26, 2019

(We’ve had a new customer come into our guitar store three to four times a week, usually for around thirty minutes each time. He always goes directly into the room with the most expensive guitars, shuts the door, and starts playing one of the most expensive electric guitars we have. Keep in mind, this is around a $15,000 guitar he’s playing. He always plays the same expensive, vintage guitar. As would be expected in a retail store, either my coworker or I always go to check on the man and ask if he has any questions about the guitar. He is usually very polite and declines our help, before continuing to play again without waiting for our response. After five visits from this gentleman in less than two weeks, we genuinely believe he is very seriously contemplating purchasing this expensive guitar, so we attempt to be more proactive and check on him every five minutes to try to make the sale. However, rather than his usual polite response to our assistance, this time the gentleman cranks the amplifier as loud as it can possibly go and begins playing the guitar at deafening volume in response to our questions. Not wanting to also be rude, I leave the customer and close the door. After five minutes of this loud playing, we’ve had two calls from the stores next to us complaining about the noise, which we’ve never, ever had a complaint about before. I go into the room to calmly ask the customer to lower the volume, which I have to literally shout at the man. He glares at me and turns up the volume on the guitar itself, which raises the volume to levels so loud I cannot think. I quickly run over to the amplifier and turn it off.)

Customer: “What the h***? Why do you keep f****** bothering me?”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but I cannot allow you to continue to play at this volume. We’ve had complaints from other stores, not to mention that we cannot hear the phone ring. You are more than welcome to keep playing this guitar, but you’ll need to keep the volume at a much lower setting.”

Customer: “Man, f*** that! I come in here all the time and this is the service I get?!”

Me: “Sir, again, I am very sorry, but we cannot have our customers playing the guitar so loud that it bothers other customers and the businesses next door.”

Customer: “I don’t give a f*** what those people think! You are offering a service here and I am using it! Screw what those other people think! I am having a bad day and I just wanted to come here and let out some steam without anyone f****** bothering me every five minutes.”

Me: “I’m sorry you’re having such a bad day. I know you’re really interested in this guitar, but the only situation in which you’ll be able to play it as loudly as you were is if you were to take the guitar home with you.”

Customer: “Seriously? I can take it home? Why didn’t you guys tell me that the first d*** time I came in here? This is horrible service!”

Me: “I’m so sorry about that, sir. I would have assumed that it would be a given that you can take our guitars home if you decide to purchase them.”

(The customer has already begun to gather his things and unplug the guitar, but stops when I finish my sentence, looking at me like I’m insane.)

Customer: “Purchase them?! What the f*** kind of place is this?!”

Me: “A guitar store…”

Customer: “No, it’s not! This is one of those places where you can go and play guitar as much as you want for free!”

(Now it’s my turn to look at him like he’s insane.)

Me: “Those places don’t exist.”

Customer: “Yes, they f****** do! That’s why I come here so much! You all let people play guitars without having to buy them!”

Me: “Well, while we do allow people to test out guitars here, our main goal is to sell them. That’s why each guitar has a price tag dangling off it.”

Customer: “No, those are to tell you information about the guitar.”

Me: “There’s a price on each tag, as well as a barcode.”

Customer: “That’s just so you know the value of the guitar. Dumb b****. I can’t believe they hire such idiots here.”

Me: “Sir, how do you think we stay in business if we don’t sell the guitars?”

Customer: “You sell s*** like strings and pedals and crap. Now, grab me the case for this f***er so I can take it home like you said.”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry that you had the wrong idea about this place, but we are in fact a store. That guitar in your hand is for sale. I cannot let you leave with it without you paying for it first.”

Customer: “Fine, if it’ll get you to shut up! Jesus, how much can this piece of s*** guitar cost?”

(I show the customer the price tag, which reads $14,950; this causes the customer to go bug-eyed.)

Customer: “I am not paying that much for this piece-of-s*** guitar, you money grabbing w****! This guitar has been played! It isn’t new! See, it even has a scratch right here!”

(He points to the smallest scratch right behind the strings, which honestly wasn’t there before.)

Me: “Huh, I haven’t seen that scratch before. But since you’re the only one who has played this guitar since it came in three weeks ago, I cannot discount a guitar for any damage you may have personally done to it.”

Customer: “You f****** b****! How could you possibly know I’m the one who did this?! Maybe it was you with your fat fingers! I will pay you no more than $500 for this worthless junk.”

Me: “Well, sir, being that I’m the manager of this store, who is not only here every day we’re open, but also photographs every single guitar when it comes in so we can list them online, I’m pretty sure I have a fairly good idea of whether or not a guitar has a scratch on it.”

Customer: “Why, you little b****! No one would ever hire you as the manager. You’re just a stupid little girl. Now, you’ll give me this guitar for $400 or I’m walking out of here right now. Actually, f*** that. I’m leaving now, and you can’t stop me.”

(The customer pushes me aggressively hard onto the ground and takes off for the door. Luckily, one of our regulars, a decorated police officer, walks in the door right as the customer makes a break for the door with the guitar in his hand.)

Officer: “What’s going on here?”

Me: “Stop him!”

(The officer grabs the man by the collar with one hand and grabs the guitar out of his hand with the other. The officer has about seven inches and 75 pounds on the guy, so there is no issue when the customer tries to put up a struggle. The officer has him subdued in seconds. The officer hands me back the guitar as he cuffs the man, who all the while keeps yelling at the officer.)

Customer: “But the guitars are supposed to be free here!”

(The next time the officer came in, we had a box of donuts waiting for him. Apparently, the customer he arrested had tried this in several guitar shops throughout the region, refusing to believe that any of them actually SOLD the guitars in their shops. He had caused $4,500 worth of damage in one shop, which had caused a warrant for his arrest. We ended up filing a police report, as well, for a fair amount of money, as he put a huge ding on the front of the guitar when he tried to make a break for it, lowering the value of the guitar by about $3,000. It may seem insignificant, but the smallest of dings on an expensive, vintage guitar can lower the value drastically. The customer also broke my wrist when he threw me to the ground, so we filed for my medical bills. Thankfully, he was sentenced to three years in prison for a slew of charges, all of which seemed to involve guitar shops and assault.)