Pop Goes Their Scam

, , , , | Right | April 4, 2018

(I’m working the front desk one night. Around nine pm I hear a guest walk over to the vending machines. I hear them put in money, I hear the can of pop being dispensed, and I hear the change come out. The guest then walks up to me, empty-handed, with a suspicious bulge in his sweater pocket. This kid is no older than 13 or 14 years old.)

Customer: “Hey, um… I just put $2 in your machine and, like, nothing even came out. So… yeah. Can I, like, get my $2 back?”

Me: “So, nothing came out at all?”

Customer: “Yeah, it just kept my money and didn’t give me my pop.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry to hear that. Let me give you your money.”

(I fill out a little ticket with the guest’s room number, the amount, and the reason for the refund, and have him initial it. Then I take $2 from the cash drawer to give to him.)

Me: “Okay, here you go. That’s $2.”

Customer: “Okay, great. Thanks.”

(As he’s saying this, he takes the can of pop out of his pocket, opens it, and takes a sip.)

Customer: “I guess I’ll go try again.”

Me: *looking at the pop in his hand* “Um…”

Customer: *after a pause* “Oh, yeah. I brought this from my room.”

(He then went to get another pop and ran back to his room. Some people’s kids, eh?)

Oversold and Undertrained

, , , , | Working | April 4, 2018

In the hotel business, it’s fairly well understood that overselling happens. No one likes it, but corporate will always have a bug up its butt about selling out — and when no-shows don’t count towards your occupancy, often the only way to be sure of a sell-out is to oversell.

However, when this happens and other accommodations need to be found for a guest, most decent hotels will pay for their night at the other hotel as compensation for the inconvenience. It’s pretty standard operating procedure: If you don’t get to stay where you booked, you don’t have to pay for your relocated room.

One night my hotel gets a call from another hotel in our family of brands in town; they’ve oversold and need to relocate a guest to us. We say that’s fine. The first red flag comes when the agent calling doesn’t know what we need from them in this process. When advised to ask her Front Desk Manager, the second red flag appears: she is the Front Desk Manager. I explain to her that we just need a signed letter stating that their hotel consents to be billed for the guest’s stay. She says okay, and I give her our fax number.

The fax is yet another red flag: it’s handwritten, and comes through on 8.5” by 14” paper rather than normal letter size, even though it was clearly written on letter-sized paper — meaning their manager doesn’t even know how to properly send a fax.

At this point, my shift is over, but once I’m home I get a call from my night auditor. She was called by the other hotel’s night auditor, who informed her that they actually won’t be paying for the guest’s room. Further, even though the guest has not arrived at our property yet, the other hotel refuses to call him to inform him of this because “it’s too late at night.”

I tell my night auditor to comp the poor guy’s room when he gets there — none of this nonsense is his fault — but be sure to tell him exactly what the other hotel did. If they want to make a problem for us, we can make one for them right back.

Epi’s And Lockdowns And Police, Oh My!

, , , , | Learning | April 4, 2018

I am working a long-term substituting position as a front office secretary. I love it because I don’t have to deal with a big group of kids all day, and I get to hear all the juicy stuff going on in the school. A couple highlights from my first week:

  1. Yesterday, a student found an epipen on the PE field. Instead of turning it in, like a normal person would, he decided to inject himself with it. He got a free ride to the hospital in the back of an ambulance.
  2. We had a lockdown drill today. Yay. Everyone in the office — around 20 people — files into the supply room, which is thankfully big enough to hold all of us. We wait around ten or fifteen minutes when the resource officer opens the door to let us know that, apparently, the first announcement wasn’t heard by anyone because the rest of the campus is acting normally. Cue another ten or fifteen minutes of sitting around doing nothing while the police officers run another check of the school.

Planting The Seeds Of Refund Expectations

, , , , | Right | April 4, 2018

(Our garden centre’s return policy for live plants is already generous, and unofficially, we’re encouraged to allow most returns just to avoid customer temper tantrums.)

Customer: “I need to return these shrubs.”

(He gestures to three completely brown, bone dry, entirely dead potted cedars on his cart.)

Cashier: *sigh* “Do you have your receipt?”

Customer: “No. I bought them a little while back. I didn’t expect them to turn out so terrible, so I didn’t keep the receipt.”

Cashier: “All right. If you gave us your information, I can look you up in the system.”

(The cashier finds the record of his purchase.)

Cashier: “Sir, you bought these trees almost two years ago. That’s way outside of our return policy unless there was something wrong with them.”

Customer: “Well, they look pretty wrong to me!”

Cashier: “How long did they last? Did you water and feed them? Did they get enough sun?”

Customer: “Well, I mean, I probably watered them. I don’t know. I put them in the garage after I bought them, and I don’t know what did or didn’t happen after that.”

Cashier: “Did you keep live plants inside your garage for two years without any sun or water?”

Customer: “Yeah. So, can I get a refund?”

(Yes, he did get a refund.)

It’s Probably A Jennifer Lawrence Movie

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2018

(In the heyday of the video rental industry, I work at one of the largest national chains. As a big-time film geek, I can often figure out what title an individual is seeking with only the most basic of information.)

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a movie, and that guy over there—” *points to coworker* “—says I should talk to you.”

Me: “Okay, maybe I can help. Is it a new release or an older film?”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Did it come out recently, say, in the last year or two, or is it older?”

Customer: “Why does that matter?”

Me: “Well, that will give me some insight as to where it is in the store.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t know when it came out.”

Me: “Okay, can you tell me what it’s about?”

Customer: “Not really. It just looked good.”

Me: *trying a different tactic* “Do you know who’s in it?”

Customer: “It’s that girl. The one that’s in all those other movies.”

(I can feel my blood pressure rising.)

Me: “I’m afraid I’ll need a little more information than that. Do you know her name, or what other movies she’s been in?”

Customer: *shakes her head* “No. Your coworker said you could help me.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I’m trying, but you’re not giving me much to work with. Can you give me some idea as to what the movie is about?”

Customer: *groaning* “It’s about a girl who goes home.”

Me: *just taking a stab* “Is it Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael?”

Customer: *seemingly appalled* “No! I don’t even know what that is! Look. Are you going to help me or not? I’m looking for that movie. It’s about a girl who goes home!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but that could be any number of movies on our shelves.”

Customer: *shouting* “No, it couldn’t! It’s about a girl who goes home, and it’s got that girl who’s been in those other movies! You’re no help!”

(And with that, she stormed off.)

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