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Customer Comeuppance: Activate!

, , , , , , | Right | June 28, 2022

I work in a movie theater. Our digital rewards card accrues points with each purchase that you can exchange for store credit and use like a gift card. In order to use the points, you activate them on either our app or website. You can activate as much or as little as you want in $5 increments. That way, you can choose how much you want to use or save.

The system is quite popular with our regulars since they can do things like buy tickets and then later use the points to get free concessions one day. Or, they can split up their rewards points so that everyone with them saves $5. And activating the points is an easy process that only takes a few seconds; you literally just click on as many “Redeem $5 Rewards” buttons as you want based on how many points you have.

A customer comes in and has me scan his digital rewards card on his phone, and then he orders a large popcorn and a large drink.

Me: “All righty, that will be [total under $20].”

Customer: “I have $100 on my rewards card that you scanned. Use that to cover it.”

I proceed to the checkout screen, but the “Use Rewards” button is not highlighted, meaning there are no activated rewards on his card.

Me: “Hmm, that’s odd. It’s saying you don’t have any activated rewards. Did you activate the rewards on your app?”

Customer: *Immediately annoyed* “Uh, yeah. I activated them. Obviously.”

Me: “Let me go back and rescan your card and try it again.”

I cancel out the order and re-scan his card. The same result. No active rewards.

Me: “It’s still saying you don’t have any active rewards.”

Customer: “But I have $100 in rewards! I come here all the time and have been saving my rewards for over a year!”

Me: “You’re sure you activated the rewards? You do that on the app. They need to be activated in $5 increments in order to use them.”

Customer: “I told you I activated them!”

Me: “Let me look at your account.”

I do a drop-down of his account information. There are indeed $100 worth of points on his card… which have not been activated.

Me: “I’m seeing that you have $100 on your card… but it’s saying they haven’t been activated. You’re absolutely sure you activated them?”

Customer: *Shouting* “I know how the card works! Of course I activated them!”

Just to be safe, I try scanning his card one last time. Once again… there’s $100 worth of points, but it has not been activated.

Me: “Might I suggest seeing if you can activate them now? Maybe it just didn’t go through when you tried before?”

Customer: “I already activated the d*** rewards! I can’t activate them a second time! Use my g**d*** points!”

Me: *Knowing full well he didn’t activate them* “Would you like to speak to a manager? Maybe they can sort this out for you.”

Customer: *Demeaning tone* “Yeah, I’d really appreciate that!”

I gesture the customer to wait at the next register, which is empty, radio a manager, and call up the next customer. A manager arrives about thirty seconds later. They have an intense discussion. After about a minute, I overhear this.

Manager: “I can take your account number and contact our help desk. But again, I’m going to ask one more time… Are you absolutely, positively sure that you activated the rewards? They need to be activated to use them. They can be activated in $5 increments right on the app there.”

Customer: “I activated the motherf****** rewards! How many times do I have to tell you people this?!”

Manager: *Jotting down the card number from the app* “All right, if you’ll wait here, I’ll go call the help desk.”

Customer: “F****** finally! It took you idiots long enough to help me!”

My manager wanders away, chuckling to himself. The customer continues playing with his phone at the empty register. About two minutes later, I hear this.

Customer: “Wait…”

I look over.

Customer: “Hold on… but…”

His eyes go wide. He turns to me and holds up his phone. He’s reached the point activation screen. There are, as expected, twenty “Activate $5 Rewards” buttons.

Customer: *Dumbfounded* “I have to activate my points to use them?”

Me: “Yes… like my manager and I told you repeatedly. You need to activate your points to use them. You told us that you did. Repeatedly.”

Customer: *Turning red* “I… I… I didn’t know I had to activate them…”

Me: “Again, we asked you repeatedly if you activated them and explained that they needed to be activated in $5 increments.”

Customer: *Sheepishly* “Um… can I activate my points and use them?”

Me: “Sure.”

He finally activates $20 worth of rewards, uses them, and walks away with his food. I go over to the manager’s desk.

Me: “Yeah… he didn’t activate the rewards.”

Manager: *Laughing* “I knew it!”

Me: “Did you actually contact the help desk?”

Manager: “Nope. I was just gonna come back in five minutes and tell him that the help desk said that he needed to activate his points. I knew he didn’t. You could just tell from his tone that he didn’t actually understand what we were asking.”

Me: “Yup… pretty much.”

What Has She Got Against Geeks?

, , , , , | Related | June 21, 2022

I work at a vacation resort in the children’s center, a place with various activities for entertaining children. Two younger girls have been brought in by their mother. The older one is carrying a stuffed flamingo and the youngest has an owl in a doctor outfit.

Me: “I love your stuffies. Do they have names?”

Older Girl: “This is Mango! And Sissy’s is Doctor Who.”

Me: *To the younger girl* “I like your stuffie’s name. Why did you name it that?”

Younger Girl: “She a doctor.”

Older Girl: “And owls say, ‘whoo’.”

Mom: “They haven’t even seen the show, if that’s what you’re wondering.”

Me: “I was, actually. So it’s just a coincidence?”

Older Girl: “What show?”

Mom: *To me* “No, their godfather is a self-proclaimed geek and is quite proud of himself for convincing them to use that name.”

Older Girl: “What show, Mom?”

Mom: *To the girl* “You will have to ask your godfather about it.” *To me* “And I’ll have to figure out if it’s too late to swap their godfather for a less geeky model.”

Not Quite The Ride You Were Expecting

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 19, 2022

I am visiting a major theme park (well before the health crisis) with my uncle, a Vietnam Navy vet with mobility issues, and he is in a wheelchair I am pushing around. We are queued for the latest must-ride attraction that simulates riding a flying creature, and the wait is almost two hours from start to finish.

As the line loops back on itself, a woman well behind us leans over the railing and addresses my uncle, who is wearing a cap with his ship on it.

Woman: “Thank you for your service.”

Uncle: “Thank you.”

Woman: *To me* “Do you need help with that? I’m sure you’re tired from holding that on this hill.”

Me: “Nope, I have it, thanks.”

She turns away, the line moves us apart, and I think that’s the end of it, but a short while later, behind me, I hear:

Woman: “Excuse me, please, I’m with them. Here, let me take that.”

Suddenly, she’s nudging me out of the way to take the handles of the wheelchair, insisting it would be an honor for her to push a veteran’s wheelchair. [Uncle] is craning his neck around trying to see what’s going on as the wheelchair is starting to rock from the struggle, but he isn’t really in a position to do anything but hold on. I’m not a small guy, and I try not to budge, but she’s no slouch, and I really don’t want to get in a physical altercation at the happiest place on Earth. We’re also in a sea of people waiting, so even if there was a staff member in hearing distance, backup getting to us would take time, and the rest of the line is just gawking, confused.

Panic takes over and I end up shouting out a meme:

Me: “That’s my uncle! I don’t know you!”

Somehow, that’s what makes her slink back off to where she was originally. I’m not sure if she was abandoning the rest of her group or the plan was to bring them up once she’d secured her place, but she was only gaining maybe ten or fifteen minutes in the line and was relying way too much on us letting a stranger grab our wheelchair.

On the bright side, when the ride properly starts, my uncle, who has been grumbling for the rest of the time we waited in line, bellows out:

Uncle: “This was worth the wait! This was worth the whole trip!”

Can We Come Train With You Folks?

, , , , , , | Working | June 17, 2022

During training at work where I had to sit and listen to a presenter for a two-hour session, my kitten decided they wanted to fall asleep on my shoulder and be held. As I get to work from home, this typically isn’t an issue if they are in my lap as I can still work, but being held for any length of time doesn’t happen often as I have to type a ton of reports. My kitten was very happy and fell asleep, and I got to pay full attention to the training. 

At the end, the presenter asked if anyone had any questions, which several did, but then one of the people in another department asked:

Employee: “[My Name], how did you get your cat to stay on your shoulder for the entire training?” 

As everyone had been on camera, including me, I guess people noticed me cuddling and petting my kitten during the training, which derailed the rest of the questions as everyone else brought their cats, dogs, birds, and a giant lizard onto their cameras so we could do a giant show-and-tell. 

Best training ever.

Ducking Out On Their Responsibilities

, , , , , , , | Working | June 15, 2022

Almost fifteen years ago, I lived in an apartment that could have been better managed by a pair of monkeys. Any type of maintenance request would take weeks and would have to be redone multiple times as it was either done incorrectly or they would state it was done but never came by to fix it in the first place.

I lived on the second (top) floor and started to hear some strange sounds in the crawl space in what would be an attic if there was one. I took a look in the maintenance hatch and came face to face with a duck!

There was a duck in my ceiling!

I contacted maintenance to let them know.

Me: “There must be a hole somewhere. A duck has taken up residence and is making a bunch of noise. Can you please fix the hole and remove the duck?”

They didn’t believe me. I sent over photos of the duck — and now a whole nest and a second duck. They finally opened a ticket.

I came home from work and it seemed that they had come over while I was gone. They had taken one of my boxes of personal belongings from the closet, dumped everything out on the bed, and left a note that they had taken the duck out from the “attic”.

I took a look in the hatch and there were two very angry ducks.

I called maintenance, a bit upset at this point.

Maintenance: “We removed the duck.”

Me: “Did you patch up whatever hole they’re coming in from? No? Because they’re back. Why did you use one of my personal boxes to remove a duck if you were not going to remove the way they were getting in?”

During this whole time of living with the ducks in my ceiling, I kind of got used to the noise, but when I would have friends over they would notice it. I would just say that they were my new neighbors upstairs and that I had called the front office multiple times about the noise.

My smarter friends would quickly figure out that I was on the top floor — so how did I have upstairs neighbors? My other friends, well… it was fun to clue them in on it later.

Maintenance never patched the hole.

A while later, I had itty-bitty little ducklings jumping off the roof onto the ground giving me a minor heart attack. All of them made it down safe, but it was a scary two or three hours or so while Mom and Dad tried to get them to come down, and I was disappointed in my fire department as they didn’t want to come out and help.

I moved out to another apartment in the same place to finish out my contract, with no moving fees due to the duck issue.

I was at the mailbox one day, and I saw a lady getting her mail from my old apartment.

Me: “How’s the duck issue going?”

She about blew up complaining about the noise and how maintenance used her good comforter to try to wrangle the ducks.

I don’t miss that place.