Using Baked Goods To Do Good

, , , , | Right | May 13, 2021

Every time this customer comes in, she comes up to the registers with some bakery item that she has pulled out of a bag and tries to insist she should be able to buy it separately — something like a single roll out of a bag of rolls or a single chocolate chip cookie out of a package.

We never actually sell it to her, but our spineless manager never kicks her out, either. He just wrings his hands and says it isn’t worth the trouble. Finally, one day, I have had enough when she approaches me with yet another product — a bagel this time.

I pull it out of her hand before she can say anything.

Me: “Oh, thank you.”

I drop it directly into the wastebasket behind my register.

Me: “I don’t know how these baked goods keep getting loose from their packaging, so thank you for bringing that up so we can dispose of it.” *Big slasher smile* “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Apparently, my sudden actions had stunned her into silence, as she just kind of gaped before scurrying off. Shortest interaction with her yet. I told a few of my coworkers, and they are going to do the same thing. Maybe we can drive her off with kindness if our manager isn’t willing to do it with policy.

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When Hand-Holding Is Just The Beginning Of Service

, , , , | Right | May 12, 2021

My store is in an upscale area, nothing at all like the small town thirty minutes away where I grew up. I had never encountered entitled individuals on this level until I started working here. I’m in the children’s clothing department, folding pants on a table, and a woman comes up to me.

Customer: “Can you help me find a pair of pajamas for my grandson in a size six?”

Me: “Of course! Right this way.”

I lead her to the area with dozens of pajama sets, all sold with pants and tops together.

Me: “And the size sixes are right here. Let me know if you need anything else.”

Customer: “But I was hoping you could help me find a pair of pajamas. Can’t you help me?”

Me: *Pointing and touching* “Ma’am, these are the size six pajamas. There are a few colors and patterns to choose from. Was there anything else you needed?”

Customer: “Well, I guess you just can’t help me at all.”

And that was how I learned that some people expect you to choose what they want.

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Making A Deposit Of Facts

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2021

For the last six weeks, we’ve had a lady coming to my hotel location every week for one night per visit. Every time, she pays in all cash, including the $100 deposit that’s required for cash-paying guests; we give this back during checkout after the room has been inspected.

My coworkers and my boss suspect she’s a sex worker, which isn’t legal in my state, but we haven’t had any hard evidence to consider reporting it yet. She always pays cash only and gives us the wrong phone number. She always checks in alone, but it’s clear that someone else has been in the room with her when housekeeping comes to clean the room for the next guest.

My personal guess is that she’s probably cheating and is giving the wrong information so that her significant other doesn’t find out about it. She’s always checked in on my days off so I’ve never seen her until today.

Everything has been fine up until a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, she did some… things to her room two weeks ago and we had a repeat of the same issue again last week.

She comes in again.

Guest: “Hello, I’d like to rent a room for tonight. Just use the deposit that I left here from last time for today’s deposit, please.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t do that. I was left notes here about your previous stay with us stating that you had left your room smoked in, as well as some… damage in the room.”

Guest: “What? Do I look like I smoke to you? I don’t do any of that stuff. Quit joking around and just use my deposit that I left here from last week; it should be in your drawer.”

She waves her hand in the direction of our cash drawer where we would normally keep our deposits.

Me: “Once again, I’m sorry, but I’m not able to do that, ma’am. Your previous deposit was forfeited for the smoking and damage done to the room. I’m not able to use your deposit again because your deposit is no longer here. Management took your deposit and used it to deep clean and repair the damage that you caused to your room.”

Guest: “I’m tellin’ you, I ain’t done no damages to the room, and I didn’t smoke in it, neither. Just use my deposit again and let me pay for my room.”

Me: “Ma’am, even if that was the case, your deposit isn’t here; I have no deposit waiting here for you. We don’t normally keep deposits here for weeks on end because you are supposed to come to the front desk to have us inspect your room before we can give you your deposit back. The front desk notes state that you kept forgetting them here. When we make attempts to call you so that you can come retrieve your deposit back, someone answers the phone and states that you gave us the wrong number and for us to remove the number from our system. Deposits aren’t supposed to be carried over for the next visit; you’re supposed to retrieve it from us as you leave our hotel.”

Guest: “That’s clearly a lie. [Coworker #1] knows to just leave it in the drawer for me for when I come back every week.”

Me: “That’s because [Coworker #1] can’t contact you because you keep giving us the same wrong number. She tries to reach you in order for you to come get your deposit, but since it’s the wrong number, we are unable to contact you.”

Guest: “Well, I live outside of town, so I just leave my deposit here each time so I don’t have to keep doing it. Just call [Coworker #1]. She knows me; she’ll tell you to do this for me.”

Me: “Ma’am, neither [Coworker #1] nor I can use your deposit from last week because you smoked and damaged the room both last week and the week before. The first time it happened, my manager let it slide, but you repeated the same damages and smoked in the room again so she had to decline the return of your deposit to use toward fixing the issue.”

Guest: “You keep saying I smoked and damaged the room. I already told you, I don’t smoke. What do you guys claim I damaged in the room, anyway?”

Me: “Well, um… the notes state that both last week and the week before, you smoked marijuana and peed the bed during both visits, ma’am.”

Guest: “What? This is ridiculous. I didn’t piss in no bed!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s what my notes state. I only have that to go off of; I have no more say in the matter.”

Guest: “This is crazy! Call [Coworker #1] so she can sort you out and get me checked in.”

Me: “[Coworker #1] isn’t a manager, and neither am I, so neither of us can do anything else. Only my boss can decide if she wants to return your deposit at this point. The deposit is no longer here and so neither myself, nor [Coworker #1], will be able to use it.”

Guest: “Well, what the h*** am I supposed to do, then? You guys won’t sell me a room anymore?”

Me: “We can still sell you a room, but we won’t be able to use your old deposit. We aren’t supposed to do it that way, anyway, because then we would be liable if it got misplaced or went missing by the time you decided you wanted it back. You’re supposed to retrieve it during check-out after each visit. If you want to check into a room today, you will have to pay for the room and leave a new deposit with us. There is nothing else I can do because it’s out of my hands and only the manager can do anything for you.”

Guest: “Well, when is she coming in? I want this sorted out, and I’m not giving you guys more money for a deposit; you’re going to give it back to me.”

Me: “She’ll be here in the morning. I don’t know if she’ll do anything for you because we are technically allowed to charge cards $250 just for smoking in the rooms, but since you did cash and most aren’t okay with having to pull out $250 in cash, we request $100. She’s already lost $150 for the smoking and damages from this event, so I wouldn’t keep your hopes up; since you didn’t attempt to collect your deposit at check-out, she can’t re-examine the room to see if your claims are valid anymore because the room has since been cleaned and repaired.”

Guest: “Well, I guess we’ll just have to find out and see, now, won’t we? I’ll be making sure I call her in the morning. Make sure she knows to expect my call!”

She huffed and walked back out the door. I guess she decided not to stay.

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She Can’t Turn The Plane Around But You Can Turn Your Attitude Around

, , , , , | Right | April 28, 2021

Our flight was delayed, so we end up missing our connecting flight; it’s annoying, but things happen. I go to the check-in desk to get booked on the next DC flight. There’s a man in front of me who’s in the same predicament but is far more upset than I am. He’s shouting, red-faced, at the woman at the check-in desk, demanding he get on the flight we were originally booked for.

I want to be sure I get on the next available flight, so when he pauses for breath, I interject:

Me: “Hey, do you think she can turn the plane around?”

The man stops, turns, and stares at me.

Me: “The flight’s gone. She can put you on the next one, and I want to get on it, too. Let her do her job. She can’t bring back the one that already left.”

He glared at me but stopped yelling, and all of us who missed the original connection were able to get booked on the next one.

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Contracting A Serious Problem

, , , , , | Working | April 27, 2021

I am having some remodels done to my home, and while I consider myself pretty handy, I simply don’t have the time to devote to the work, so I hire a contractor and crew. The problem is that the lead contractor keeps calling for countless questions. It’s not things like, “Do you prefer this color or the other one?” but rather questions like, “How are we going to build this?” It begins to feel like I am supervising the lead rather than hiring him.

Finally, I get fed up.

Contractor: “Hey, I tried to call you. Why didn’t you answer?”

Me: “I’m working. That’s why I hired you guys to do this.”

Contractor: “Well, I’m trying to figure out how to do [task], and it’s giving me a headache. I need you to come sort this out.”

Me: “Look. At the end of this, one of us is going to have a headache and the other is going to have a bill. Which would you like to have?”


This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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