Door-To-Door Murderers

, , , , , , , | Related | June 15, 2018

(Our family enjoys crime procedurals, and we┬áprefer to watch them over anything else. This particular night, we’re watching a late-night rerun of one such show, and this episode features a serial killer who’s murdering entire families. He gains access to his victims’ homes by knocking on the door, holding a dead cat, and explaining that he and his buddy accidentally ran over said cat and asking if it belongs to the family. The episode has just finished up, close to midnight, when we hear a knock on the door.)

Mom: “Someone get the door.”

Me: *exchanging deer-in-the-headlights look with my brother* “You get the door.”

Brother: “I’m not getting the door!”

Mom: “Holy s***, someone get the door!”

Me: “After that episode, we’re not getting the door!”

(The kicker? When Mom finally gave up and opened the door herself, it was the cat! Our cat has learned that if he bangs on the door with his paw, someone will let him in. It was just his luck to “knock” right after we’d watched that particular episode!)

The Gift Of Gardening

, , , , , | | Hopeless | June 2, 2018

My mom always tried to ensure my siblings and I had wonderful Christmases, even when money was extremely tight. This usually meant that Christmas was provided to us by thrift stores, grandparents, and/or my mom’s sewing skills, but we never complained; we were just delighted to have something under the tree.

One year when I was about five or six, I’d expressed interest in having my own plot in the family garden… so it was a stroke of luck when Mom found a kid’s gardening book at the thrift store. It even came with seed packets that had yet to be opened by the previous owners! Unfortunately, said book also had a sizeable chunk ripped out of the cover, meaning there would be no way to pass it off as new. Fortunately, my mom is a creative problem solver.

On Christmas morning that year, I found the gardening book under the tree… and a note from “Santa” that read:

“[My Name], sorry that Rudolph took a bite out of your new book. He thought it was food! I hope you enjoy it anyhow and grow a big garden this year!”

I was so excited to have a book that one of Santa’s reindeer had tried to eat, and had a lot of fun helping plant in the garden that spring. It didn’t occur to me until much later to question why “Santa” had handwriting just like my mom’s, but to this day I have fond memories of that Christmas gift, and a love of gardening!

Notified Defied

, , , , | | Right | May 24, 2018

(I work for a very large banking company in their call center. My job includes calling customers who are past due on their retail store credit cards to attempt to collect payment.)

Me: “Hello, may I please speak to [Card Member]?”

Client: “This is he.”

Me: “This is [My Name] calling from [Bank] on behalf of [Store]. It seems your payment is a little past due, so we just wanted to see if you could make a payment today for [amount].”

Client: “I made a payment. It shouldn’t be past due. I have my bank’s bill pay set up to send you a payment every month.”

Me: “I do see we received a payment from you. However, the payment you sent was less than the minimum due. The unpaid amount is unfortunately past due.”

Client: “But [amount paid] has always been the amount due each month!”

Me: “I apologize for the confusion. Your minimum payment amount is a percentage of your total account balance. I see you had a lower balance in the past, but you recently made additional purchases, which increased your card balance, which increased your minimum payment. Would you be able to take care of that payment today?”

Client: “But why didn’t anyone tell me the minimum payment increased?!”

Me: “I see we did send you out a statement to the address on file, so I apologize if you did not see the statement. Has your address changed?”

Client: “No, I received the statement. But no one reads paper statements anymore! Why didn’t you call or text me to notify me of the increase?”

Me: “I apologize, sir. We do have a very large number of cardholders and don’t have the ability to call or text every one of them every time their minimum payment changes. I certainly apologize. Would you be able to make a payment today?”

Client: “But no one reads paper statements anymore!”

Me: “You do have the option to sign up for e-billing so you’ll receive your statements via email. But by law, we are required to send out a paper statement each month to the mailing address on file, unless and until the card holder personally requests to change their statement method to paperless.”

Client: “But no one reads paper statements anymore!”

Me: “Again, I apologize sir. Would you be able to take care of a payment today, or do you know when you’d be able to?”

Client: “But this isn’t fair! No one reads paper statements anymore! How was I supposed to know?! Why didn’t anyone call or text me?!”

Me: “Again, I apologize, sir. Unfortunately, that’s not something we’re set up for. Would I be able to take care of that payment today?”

(This back-and-forth went on for quite awhile, with the customer just unable to comprehend why we “didn’t notify him” of the amount he owed. I never was able to collect any payment from him.)

Seriously Checked Out

, , , , , | | Working | May 18, 2018

(I am at the cashier to buy groceries, including a six pack. People under 18 are not allowed to sell alcohol. As the cashier sees the beer, he looks at me.)

Cashier: “I’ll need to call a manager over to ring this up since I can’t.”

(He calls for a manager on the phone, and then stands and stares at me.)

Me: “Um, how about you go ahead and ring the rest of my stuff up while we wait for the manager?”

Cashier: “But I can’t ring up your beer; I have to wait for him.”

Me: “But you could ring the rest of it up in the meantime, and then they could ring up the beer.”

Cashier: “I have to wait.”

Me: “But you don’t need them for the food, and this way you’d already have the rest of it rung up.”

Cashier: *looking very confused* “Why?”

Me: “Because it would save time for you, me, and the people in line behind me.”

(He looked at me suspiciously, then slowly began ringing up my groceries, eyeing me the whole time as though I was trying to pull a scam he didn’t quite understand. The other customers in line just shook their heads.)

A Ballooning Sense Of Security

, , , , , | Working | April 24, 2018

Our library has a security system with motion detectors that we set every night as we lock up the building. Like most security systems, you always set it hoping it never goes off… but early one morning, the day after a large party was held in one of our big meeting rooms, my boss gets a phone call from the police, saying they got an alert that the security system has gone off and they need to search the building.

The boss goes and unlocks the building, and watches the officer do a walk-through of the building with his gun drawn, getting more and more nervous the whole time. When the walk-through of the building is complete and they’ve found nothing, she starts to fret even more. She wonders out loud if someone attending the party hid in the library and is still hiding somewhere.

At which point the officer gives her a look and says, “Party? Balloons?”

As it turns out, the decorations for the party are still up, to be cleaned up by the opening shift… and among said decorations are balloons. When the furnace kicked on in the wee hours of the morning, the balloons were blown about by the warm air, setting off the motion detectors. Red-faced, my boss thanks the officer and sends him on his way.

We haven’t had balloons in the library since.

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