This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 70

, , , , , , | Right | October 8, 2017

(I work for an automobile insurance company. My customer is responsible for an accident and I am trying to help out the innocent party. We have already inspected her vehicle in person and given her a check for the estimate at the time of inspection. The total damages are $2,000.00, rounded down, and her vehicle is safe to drive. A couple of weeks later, we have set her up in a car rental while the vehicle is in the the body shop of her choice. She calls me when the repairs have been completed.)

Caller: “I got a call from the body shop and they told me that the repairs are done.”

Me: “That’s great! Go ahead and return the car rental, and then pick up your fixed vehicle. Hopefully the shop has done a great job on your vehicle. If not, let me know.”

Caller: “Well, that’s the problem. I can’t pick up the vehicle; the shop needs to be paid first.”

Me: “No problem; just give them the $2,000.00 check that we gave to you at the time of inspection. I don’t see any notes that any additional damages were found, so that should cover everything.”

Caller: “I don’t have the check.”

Me: “Did you lose it? I can cancel and reissue it if needed. I can even send it directly to the shop to expedite it.”

Caller: “That would be great. Thanks.”

Me: “Okay, hold on.”

(I look at the system and realize that the check has already been cashed.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not able to cancel this check, as the system says it’s already been cashed.”

Caller: “Yes, I already cashed it.”

Me: “Okay, then just go ahead and pay the body shop directly.”

Caller: “I can’t afford that! I don’t have $2000!”

Me: “But I thought you cashed the check?”

Caller: “I did, but I cashed it at the check-cashing store and they took 4% of it!”

Me: “Why didn’t you just give the check to the shop?”

Caller: “Nobody ever told me that I can do that!”

Me: “All right, but you can still pay the shop the other 96% and we can try to figure out how to cover the balance.”

Caller: “I spent all of it! I don’t have that money anymore.”

Me: *assuming she spent it on necessities such as rent or food* “I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask what you spent it on?”

Caller: “Oh, I bought myself a new purse that I’ve been really wanting.”

Me: *stammering* “You bought yourself a new purse? Well, I would highly recommend that you return it so you can pay the shop.”

Caller: “I can’t do that; I already used it, and it’s been a few weeks, so I don’t know if I can return it anymore.”

Me: “Just to confirm, you are saying that you received a check that we wrote to you for the repairs of the vehicle, and you cashed that check at a check-cashing service and spent it on a new purse?”

Caller: “Yes, but this is your customer’s fault for hitting me. So, you have to pay to fix the car.”

Me: “No, we already paid for it; we don’t owe for anything more.”

Caller: “No, you have to pay to get my car out of the shop. You promised me you guys would cover everything.”

Me: “We did pay for everything; you just chose to use the money on a new purse, and we certainly do not owe for a new purse!”

Caller: “You better pay for it, or I’m going to say that I was injured, and then you’ll have to pay for that, too! I’ll get a lawyer and sue you!”

Me: “It has been over five weeks since the accident and this is the first time I am hearing about injuries. As a courtesy, I will let the body shop know what is going on and I will cover tomorrow as the last day of authorized car rental. You are welcome to stay in the car rental longer at the insurance company’s discounted rate, but we will no longer pay for anything further.”

Caller: “Oh, no, you don’t! I’m going to sue all of you!” *hangs up*

(I looked into it again a few months later. She never returned the car rental and the rental car company filed a police report as a stolen vehicle. She never picked up her fixed vehicle, which was thus considered “abandoned,” and the shop had to sell it! I have never heard from her or her lawyer. I waited until the statutes of limitations expired prior to sharing this story.)

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Seeing A Lot Of Red Lights Here

, , , , | Working | October 5, 2017

(After working at a job vetting loan officers for a mortgage broker for a while, it comes to my attention that one of the industry rules that I’ve been enforcing with our subcontractors is incorrect. I thought licensed real estate agents could also originate mortgage loans as long as the loan officer was not also the real estate agent on the deal, which is not true — you cannot be a licensed real estate agent AND originate mortgages, period. A lender calls us out when one of our loan officers does just that, and they cite the federal regulation. I review it, and I learn that my understanding and our enforcement were incorrect. I bring this to the attention of the executives and they say, “We know. Keep doing it the way we’ve been doing it.” I respond in objection, not being comfortable with knowingly going against a federal regulation. The CEO calls me into his office.)

CEO: “[My Name], I understand your hesitation, but this isn’t that big of a deal. The way we’re following this rule is the way they really meant it.”

Me: “But the rule isn’t written that way, and the lender that discovered the issue clearly cares about the rule.”

CEO: “There are a lot of rules out there that aren’t really meant to be followed. Nobody gets hurt by not being too concerned with them.”

Me: “Okay. I have to be honest, though. This rule sounds like it’s in place to protect consumers from fraud.”

CEO: “Let me put it in a hypothetical. Let’s say you’re driving your car out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and you know there are no cars for miles. You come to a red stop light on this dead road. You sit there for a couple of minutes, there are no other cars for miles, and you know it will take at least two or three more minutes for the light to turn green for you. What would you do?”

Me: *through my teeth* “I’d probably run the light.”

CEO: “Yeah, you’d run the light. We all would. There are rules in place, and they’re good rules sometimes, but other times they are unnecessary. And that’s all we’re doing. We’re running a light on an empty road in the middle of the night. It’s not hurting anyone.”

(I submitted my resignation within 24 hours.)

To Get The Purse, One Must Overcome A Purse

, , , , | Right | October 5, 2017

(A nice elderly lady is paying by check, when her back suddenly cramps and she has to grab hold of the counter.)

Me: “Ma’am, are you okay? Do you want me to grab a chair or something?”

Customer: “No, no, it’s this stupid back of mine. It’s been going out for years. Let me finish this check and get out to the car.” *finishes writing check*

Me: “I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well. I’ll hurry this along so you can get out of here. May I see your driver’s license?”

Customer: “My what?”

Me: “Your driver’s license. I need it to key in for the check.”

(It’s how our store confirms the person doesn’t have hot checks out on them.)

Customer: “Oh, no; it’s outside in my car.”

Me: “Is it far? I can help you out there. Do you want me to get the purse for you?”

Customer: “I’m parked right outside. Would you be a dear and grab it? The purse is right there in the seat.”

Me: “I most certainly will!”

(I run outside, click the button, and reach in. About that time, someone screams at me and I get hit in the back by a fat purse. It hurts a lot, so I scream and fall down in return, only to get hit in the head.)

Stranger: “You’re stealing someone’s stuff! You’d better put that back right now!”

(She is still hitting me as she says this.)

Me: “Ow! Ma’am! Please stop! I’m getting this for the lady inside!”


(She hits me again as I go running back in the store with the customer’s purse. My nose is bleeding, my glasses are broken, and I’m in tears.)

Customer: “Oh, my God! What happened to you?”

Me: “Someone was protecting your stuff for you.”

(I went on break after that so I could clean up. No cops came by, luckily.)

Leaver’s Remorse

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2017

(I have been working at my current job for five years. I have been in my office for over an hour, when someone I have never seen before comes in and tries staring me down.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “You’re at my desk.”

Me: “Your desk?”

Man: “Yes. MY desk!”

Me: “Who told you it was yours?”

Man: “[Manager].”

Me: “He hasn’t told me about any change. Are you sure you have the right office?”

Man: “That is my desk. I work HERE!”

(I decide to call my manager to resolve the situation. He sounds just as confused as I feel and agrees to come over. He recognises the man instantly.)

Manager: “[Man], what you are doing here?”

Man: “Finally! [Manager], what’s this a**hole doing in my office?”

Manager: *looking between us* “What?”

Man: “What is this p****—” *pointing accusingly* “—doing at my desk?”

Manager: “[Man], you haven’t worked here for a year. You just disappeared one morning, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces.”

Man: “What are you talking about?”

Manager: “You left in February; [My Name] replaced you in June. I just thought you had found something else, and didn’t want to stick it here for another month. You don’t work here anymore.”

Man: “So, you just decided to fire me without warning?! That’s illegal. I’ll be chatting with [Senior Manager] about this. Your a** is cooked!”

(The man rushes out, screaming at the top of his lungs about the injustices he’s faced, calling my manager a crook and waste of a human being.)

Manager: “I don’t know what to say. I tried everything to get in touch with him. He didn’t even return his work laptop or phone, and the department was charged because of it.”

(I later heard that the man did, in fact, try to contact the senior manager, by barging into his office about 30 miles away. They had to call the police to have him removed. The work laptop and phone were found in his car, both in states of disrepair. We’ve all agreed he was rather stupidly trying to sneak them back in, but when he saw me he panicked and decided he was in too deep to admit what he was trying to do.)

If The Shirt Fits…

, , , , , , | Right | October 4, 2017

(Our restaurant is open late to accommodate the late-night, usually drunk, crowd of college students. This particular night is exceptionally busy due to a now-traditional party weekend created by students a few years ago. As I am wrapping sandwiches, an obviously drunk customer is looking at t-shirts we have on display on our counter.)

Customer: “Hey, how much are your shirts?” *picks one up to look at it*

Me: “They’re [price], but you’ll have to go back to the register to pay for it.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(He continues to hold the shirt while I go back to wrapping sandwiches. Out of the corner of my eye, I see him slowly lower the shirt below the counter and start fumbling with his shirt, trying to stuff our t-shirt into his pants to steal it.)

Me: “So… are you going to pay for that, or just try to steal it while I’m obviously watching you?”

Customer: “Oh. I, uh… I was, uh… I mean…” *puts the shirt back on the counter*

Me: *removing the shirts from the counter* “Right then. I’ll just move these out of your way.”

(The customer was fine after that, and since he didn’t technically steal anything, and since we were super busy, I decided trying to kick him out wasn’t worth it. The rest of the employees and I just laughed at him for being a poor thief.)

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