Dying To Get Out Of Detention

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 2, 2018

(I’m a school receptionist. When students sign in late, they come to me.)

Students: “Miss, we’re sorry we’re late. [Road] was closed because someone died.”

(They give pretty specific details to the death, which I track down, but I put them on detention. They come back at break time.)

Students: “Why do we have detention?”

Me: “I looked into that accident and the road, and found out the closure was yesterday, not today.”

Students: “That’s not true!”

Me: “I pulled news sites and looked; they all give [date], which was yesterday. Now go to detention before I give you one after school!”

(I tell their head of year afterwards.)

Me: “I had half the mind to give them detention for that, too. It’s low.”

Head Of Year: “Keep it in your back pocket, and tell the parents when they come in for a meeting.”

Contactless Isn’t THAT Powerful!

, , , , | Right | December 2, 2018

(I’m still quite new to my job, and I’m working one of my first solo shifts when the following happens. Our till system uses both a mouse and a touchscreen, and sometimes they can be a little over-sensitive, which makes it not uncommon for us to bring up the wrong menu when using them. I’ve been there long enough to know about this, and to watch out for it whenever I’m serving. Our card payment system isn’t contactless, and customers have to physically enter their card and PIN number for anything to be processed. A woman comes up to my till with a single item. I say hi and go to scan it when the till prints out a receipt for the last transaction. I’m a little surprised by this, which must show on my face, but I quickly realise that I’ve simply left the cursor over the “print receipt” button, move the mouse, and put the old receipt in the bin.)

Customer: “What was that? What’s happened?”

Me: “The till just printed out a duplicate receipt for the last transaction; nothing to worry about.”

Customer: “Have I been charged for their stuff?”

Me: “No, not at all. It was just a copy receipt.”

Customer: “Are you sure, though?”

Me: “Positive. It didn’t bring their items up on my screen; it was just a copy of their receipt. Besides, the card machine isn’t ready for payment, your card was nowhere near it, you’ve not entered your PIN or any other details, and you’ve not handed me any money; there’s no way to charge you.”

Customer: “Are you sure? I don’t want to be charged for someone else’s things!”

Me: “Definitely. There’s absolutely no way for that to happen.”

(She still looks dubious, but there’s nothing more I can say, so I scan her item and tell her the total.)

Customer: “Are you sure I’ve not been charged?”

Me: “Yes, 100% certain. The total is [price], the same as is on [item], and you can see it up there on the till’s customer display.”

(She finally pulled out her card — which had been in her bag up to this point — and paid. I finished the transaction and handed her her item as she scrutinised her receipt, which, of course, only had one item on it. On her way out, she turned to her husband and said, “I need to keep an eye on that card; I think I’ve been charged for someone else’s stuff.”)

Hampered By Work Culture

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 30, 2018

Back in the 80s, I was new to my career, and one November I started work in the workshop of a fly-by-night company that provided basic computer equipment to the financial sector — little more than glorified monitors, badly designed and cheaply made. The management were as cheap as their product, and were ungenerous and demanding of their staff. However, this was made up for somewhat by the fact that they provided free lunch — toasted sandwiches, etc. — and by the legendary Christmas office party, at which all employees were to receive a lavish hamper, filled with sumptuous seasonal goodies and expensive delicacies such as champagne, caviar, VSOP brandy, cheeses, and the like. I was not getting on too well with my colleagues, some of whom — particularly one supervisor — were a brash and insulting bunch of bullies. No big deal, just a pain to work with.

Come the week of the party, I was taken aside by one of the team seniors and informed that as I had not been at the company long enough — just over a month — I was not entitled to take part in the Christmas party, and I would not be getting a hamper. A little disappointing, I thought, but not far off what I had come to expect from the management there. I shrugged it off, while working on preparing an exit strategy.

Come the week after Christmas, when we were all back at work, the supervisor in question came into the workshop and crowed, “You fell for it, then!” One of the other guys in the office said, “Yeah, we split the contents of the hamper between us. We weren’t wasting it; since you obviously didn’t want it, we all had it.”

Apparently my non-attendance was taken by the higher management as a bit of a slap in the face, and I was not looked upon with favour by the company director — not that I would have had the chance of speaking to him face to face, as one was not encouraged to communicate directly with anyone higher than one’s own direct line manager.

Within a month I had found a new place to work.

Her Heart Failed A Long Time Ago

, , , , , | Friendly | November 30, 2018

(My mum decides to hire out a hall at a very popular local park and run a Christmas Fair. Whilst she is deciding whether she should do the Christmas Fair or not, my dad goes for surgery six weeks after an unexpected heart attack and dies on the operating table. As a result, we decide that rather charge for admission we will ask for a £2-per-adult donation for a big national charity that researches heart conditions and supports those with heart conditions. Due to a mix-up that we only realise afterwards, the local park has advertised the Fair as “free entry.” Therefore, a few people grumble at having to pay. Since it is a charitable donation, we just inform them that we can’t make them pay if they don’t want to, and they can go straight in. The Fair turns out to be very, very popular, and there is a long queue to get in. Two of my sisters and I are running the front desk at the entrance. An old woman storms up to me.)

Old Woman: “Excuse me. This event was free entry! I’m very annoyed that you are now suddenly charging admission! I’ve brought sixteen people with me, and this is unfair!”

(She is fumbling around in her purse and slams 50p on the table.)

Me: “Well, we are asking for a charitable donation for [Heart Charity]. We can’t make you pay it if you don’t want to. We are just trying to raise some money.”

Old Woman: “Oh, good!”

(She leaves the 50p on the table and flounces in. As she moves away, she yells back to the group of women she has brought.)

Old Woman: “You don’t have to pay! Just walk straight in!”

(My sisters and I all dropped our jaws at the audacity of what she said. A few of the women in the party followed the old woman, but the majority of her party stopped. They pulled out their purses and donated the £2, looking noticeably embarrassed. In the end, we raised thousands for the charity in my dad’s name, and the event was a hit!)

Failing To Get A Good Deal As They Only Trade In Insults

, , , , , | Right | November 29, 2018

(I work in a retro and modern video games store that sells used consoles and games. Per policy, we don’t typically give cash refunds unless the item is faulty and we can’t get it fixed, but only within two weeks of purchase. Alternately, if it still works, it can be traded in for in-store credit. This information is printed on the receipt.)

Customer: “I’d like to return this game, please.” *slams down game case*

Me: *picking up the case* “Okay, what’s the issue with it?”

Customer: “I changed my mind.”

Me: “Well, we don’t give cash refunds for items due to changing your mind, but I can offer you an in-store credit of [amount], if you have your receipt.” *about to open the case to check the disc*

Customer: “No, I want a refund; it doesn’t work!” *slides a crumpled receipt towards me*

(I realise I’m dealing with a difficult customer.)

Me: *I pick up the receipt and notice it is for a sale about six months ago* “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t offer you a refund or credit, because you bought it six months ago.”

(I start to close up the case and hand it back to her, explaining that if she wants, she can sell it to us for a reduced amount of either cash or credit, if it works, but that we cannot accept a refund.)


(My assistant manager steps in at this point, as he can see I’m getting stressed out.)

Assistant Manager: “Do you know what the police will do when they get here? Nothing.”

Customer: *still yelling* “YOU’RE NOTHING!”

(She snatched the case and receipt from my hands, only to chuck them towards my face and leave. It took a few minutes, but eventually we both found it funny that she thought the police would do anything about it, and she left the game behind, anyway, so she got nothing out of it!)

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