An Extra Sprinkling Of Spice In Your Latte

, , , , , | Working | February 16, 2021

I’m on the road for a business trip and stop off for a coffee. With the masks, it takes a few attempts to get through my order, even face to face, but we get there and the cashier repeats it back to me. While he doesn’t say it, I definitely get the impression that this is all too frustrating for him — lots of sighs and terse replies.

I stand down the way and wait for the coffee. The same cashier puts a cup on the table with a slam.

Cashier: “Coconut latte!”

Me: “Sorry, is that mine?”

Cashier: *Sighs* “Did you order a coconut latte?!”

Me: “Well, no, I ordered a coconut vanilla latte.”

Cashier: “No, you didn’t.”

Me: “My receipt is here.”

Cashier: *Taking the receipt and muttering* “Should be clearer when you order.”

Another worker brought me my drink and I left. I understand getting fed up if you’ve had a long day, but this was only an hour after opening and it wasn’t even busy.

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Some Four-Year-Olds Are So Clingy

, , , | Working | February 15, 2021

A new small “independent” cinema opens near us. We don’t visit the cinema often, but our young daughter wants to see the new “ice princess” film, so we decide to go. We arrive, buy two adult tickets and one child ticket for the film, and go to check into the screen. The usher rips our tickets.

Usher: “That’s G12, E15, and H21. Enjoy the film.”

Me: “Pardon? Aren’t we together?”

Usher: “No, you’ve got three separate seats. Were they supposed to be together?”

Me: *Pointing at our daughter* “She’s four. Yes, we need to be together. Why did they give us separate seats?”

Usher: “Just a moment…”

He calls for a manager and tells him what happened.

Manager: “I’m sorry, just step over here a moment.”

He takes us to the concessions stand and tells us to order some drinks and popcorn on him. Then, we see him go to the ticket cashier and have a furious whispered conversation. He comes back with new tickets, and the cashier is red-faced and glaring at us.

Manager: “I’m so sorry. Here are your new tickets; please enjoy the film.”

We had a lovely time, but I’m still not sure what the ticket cashier thought she was doing!

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That’s Not Very Charitable Of You

, , , , , | Working | February 12, 2021

During the health crisis, I am grocery shopping for the elderly and vulnerable. This is through a charity that gives me a prepaid credit card to buy the groceries. I then collect a cheque from the infirm and deliver it to the charity to pay off the card.

The credit cards are old-fashioned and don’t have chips so I have to slide them in the machine and sign the store receipt.

One time, the cashier asks to see the card. She looks at the back.

Cashier: “The card isn’t signed.”

Me: “No. Well, it’s a prepaid card.”

Cashier: “Right, but it’s not signed. How do I know it’s yours?”

Me: “Umm. Well, I volunteer shop for [Charity]?”

I pull an explanatory letter from the charity out of my wallet — needed when shopping for multiple families so I can get more than the allotted supplies, like toilet paper.

Me: “They fill the cards and give them to the volunteers. When they’re out of money, we return them and they refill them again. We can’t sign them because we don’t know who will get them next.”

Cashier: “Sorry, but it’s a card that’s not signed. I can’t accept it.”

There was a grumpy line forming behind me and we had only scanned the first of three family orders I was buying, and it takes a bit of time to process each.

I paid with my debit card and my volunteer coordinator paid me back with her petty cash. I avoid that cashier now as it’s hard to lend hundreds of dollars to a charity for several days while unemployed.

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But Who Guards The Guards?

, , , , | Working | February 11, 2021

I am working a shift as a security dispatcher. I have this conversation with the same guy every time. This is the last time it happens, though, thankfully. It’s not the last time he doesn’t call for whatever reason, but it is the last time he uses this logic.

I call the dispatch in [City].

Me: “Hi. I have no call on duty or off duty from [site]. [Guard #1] was supposed to call on duty and [Guard #2] was supposed to call off duty.”

Dispatcher: “All right, I’ll see what’s up.”

I go back to my main job of keeping track of on- and off-duty calls and log alarms, that kind of thing. Finally, I get a call.

Guard #1: “Hello, I was told to call.”

Me: “Yes, I have not received an on-duty call from you, so I didn’t know if you were on site.”

Guard #1: “Did [Guard #2] call to say I wasn’t?”

Me: “He did not.”

Guard #1: “Then I was on site on time.”

Me: “Not necessarily. You could have called him to say you would be late and not called [City] dispatch at all and we would never know. You could have let [City] dispatch know and they didn’t inform me, leading to the same results. It’s more common than one would assume. I can’t count on him clocking off duty to be a sign that you are there, either, as sometimes guards clock off duty without being properly relieved. It’s really important that you clock on duty.”

[Guard #1] laughed like what I said was funny or didn’t matter and hung up.

I called [City] dispatch back and reported him because I’m not okay with being laughed at for doing my job, especially by someone who has worked for the company long enough to know how things work, like that just because I don’t hear from the guard being relieved that his relief is running late doesn’t mean he isn’t running late. The [City] dispatch thought that maybe his cultural baggage was causing him not to take me seriously because I’m a woman. But they talked to him, and now he uses the excuses “forgot to call” or “was busy with work” rather than his rather twisty logic.

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Not Phishing Until The Cows Come Home

, , , , | Working | February 11, 2021

My wife, an IT manager, is tasked by her director with arranging for more than a hundred employees to receive holiday gift cards from a very, very large e-commerce company. The initial process is actually very easy, as she creates a single file with all of the work email addresses and then submits the order on our personal account because my wife’s company doesn’t have a corporate account, at least that she can access. We are fortunate to have a lot of unused credit, so we are able to front the thousands of dollars until she is reimbursed, which will happen prior to our bill being due.

The next day, my wife answers a call from a man with an Indian accent.

Caller: “Is this [My Name]?”

She hands the phone to me.

Me: “Yes, this is [My Name].”

Caller: “Did you…”

The background noise is so loud that it sounds like the man is on the street in Mumbai or in a market in Hyderabad. We hear cows mooing, horns honking, and people yelling, and we can barely hear the man.

Me: “What did you say?”

I’m wondering if this is some sort of scam call.

Caller: “Garble, garble, garble…”

Now we hear two people yelling at each other in the background, but we still can’t hear the man. I’m getting more concerned that this is a scam, but I’m also getting interested in what the scammer is trying to do.

I finally hear the man ask:

Caller: “Did you authorize [same exact amount as we spent on Large E-Commerce Site]?”

I realize that rather than a scammer, this man is actually “fraud prevention,” because no scammer would know that amount, and a scammer would ask for some information from me.

Me: “Yes, I spent that money on gift cards at [E-Commerce Site].”

Caller: “Thank you.”

And then, with one last “moo” in the background, the line went dead.

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