Sealed With A Lie

, , , , | Right | March 19, 2019

(It is company policy not to return baby milk — both powdered and liquid — for safety reasons. Even if the seal is on the milk, we cannot guarantee it hasn’t been tampered with. This causes a few issues, as people get quite angry when they’re told we will not refund them for the milk. It should be noted that these products are sold in every supermarket and locally-owned corner shop. Also, the supermarket I work for puts security tags on their clothes disguised in the form of little cardboard tags that have the brand name on, and have security tags inside. My coworker deals with this lady.)

Customer: “Hi. I brought this baby milk and found the weirdest thing inside when I opened it! It’s quite dangerous in my opinion. Is it okay to get a refund?”

Coworker: “Well, it’s actually company policy not to return milk for any reason. What was wrong with it?”

Customer: “I found one of your security tags inside when I opened it!”

Coworker: “Er… Okay. So, the seal was broken already?”

Customer: “No, that’s the weird thing! The seal was intact. Here, I have my receipt for it.”

(My coworker rang a manager. Unfortunately, despite the fact she was obviously lying in order to get a refund, we couldn’t accuse her of it due to “keeping the customer happy.” The manager said to just refund it but to take down her details. I get that’s it’s annoying if you pick up the wrong milk and can’t get a refund. But at least come up with a plausible lie!)

The Amount Of Laziness Could Fill Up Pages

, , , , , , | Learning | March 18, 2019

I am a college professor and my university uses [Educational Software] to check for plagiarism. The program cannot read documents in .pages format — Mac’s word processor — which shouldn’t be a problem because my university offers Word free for students, but since Apple has all kinds of programs to get students their products cheap, most students have Macs. I warn the students in the syllabus, essay prompts, PowerPoints, and verbally in class to not submit essays with .pages because the plagiarism checker can’t read it, but there are always a few that slip through the cracks. When this happens, I give the students a 0 and ask them to resubmit, with no punishment; the 0 is to get the student’s attention since [Educational Software] has an app, and most students have it, so they get notified when a grade is updated.

This last semester, I had a lazy student who frequently came to class late or not at all, and who was missing several assignments. He turned in his first essay as a .pages document by mistake and I gave my typical response; I gave him a 0 and asked him to resubmit, no punishment. He took almost a month to resubmit, but since I had over 120 students that semester, and since I believe in mercy for students, I still didn’t punish him, even though it was well in my rights to do so.

Cue the end of the semester. I warned my students time and time again that I do not accept the final paper late because my school only gives us five days to turn final grades in, and I’m usually finished in three days or less so I can get to my break. Late work is simply not acceptable.

This same student turned his final paper in 20 minutes before it was due… and it was a .pages document. I followed protocol; I gave him a 0, notified him, and asked him to resubmit, which I technically shouldn’t have done because I said no late work. But, as I said, I believe in mercy.

Three days later, I had all the rest of the grades calculated and I still hadn’t heard from this student, nor had he re-submitted his essay. Since he didn’t have a great grade, anyway, I shrugged it off, thinking he just didn’t see it as worth his time. I submitted the class grades, awarding him a failing grade for the missing essay.

Two days later, he emailed me claiming he had only just now gotten my notifications and had re-submitted his paper… twenty minutes after my final grades were supposed to be due, and two days after I had already submitted them. He begged me to grade the essay.

I informed him that not only was his essay now five days late, but I had already turned in grades and I could not change his.

He fired back with, “But final grades weren’t due until today, right? You still have time.”

I still refused, reminding him, again, that grades were already turned in.

Two months into the next semester, he challenged his grade, demanding I grade his very late essay and give him a passing grade. I was seriously annoyed by this point because this meant I had to document everything that had happened and submit it for review, wasting valuable time.

To double-check his end of things and cover all my bases, I downloaded his original submission and used a converter to open the document in Word, to make sure the original submission matched his resubmission. Having a converter still does not make it okay to submit .pages documents — it still can’t be read by [Educational Software] — but at least I could have the document ready for review.

The .pages document, however, came back blank.

I tried two other converters. Still blank. I sent it to my brother-in-law who owns a Mac. Still blank. I tried downloading the .pages document from his first essay to test the converter and I didn’t have any problems converting it.

Then, I smiled gleefully and sent the information to my department chair, along with this note:

“Golly, Dr. [Department Chair], I was just checking to see if these essays matched, and for some reason, the first submission is coming up as a blank document. Can we have our IT guys look into it?”

Apparently, the student thought he could submit a blank essay to give himself extra time to submit the final essay because he thought I couldn’t open it. Needless to say, the student’s request for a grade change was denied and he’s now on academic probation for dishonesty.

Listen Here, Cupcake…

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(I work for a bakery in a fairly affluent area. Because of the owner’s ties to the community, many of our customers feel they are entitled.)

Woman: “I’m here to collect 200 cupcakes for my son’s birthday party.”

Me: “I wasn’t aware that we needed to supply this. Did you place an order?”

Woman: *scoffs* “Of course not. My kind doesn’t make ‘orders’”

Me: “Then you aren’t getting 200 cupcakes.”

Woman: *affronted* “How dare you! What about those?!”

Me: “Those are for the local hospital, to be donated to the children’s ward.”

Woman: “I’ll take those, for free because of your attitude.”

Me: “They aren’t for sale. As I said, they’re for [Hospital]. They’re for charity.”

Woman: “You do not know the meaning of the word! I’ll just get in touch with [Owner] and let him sort you out.”

(She steps outside and speaks on her phone for a short while. She stares at me triumphantly through the window, and I start to worry that perhaps the owner will take her side. He arrives and they talk. She is getting very irate, and refusing to follow him through the door.)

Owner: “I’m sorry, [Woman], but I would much rather do this inside.”

(She glares at me while following him in.)

Owner: “Okay, what is going on?”

(I explain, and she interrupts me enough that the owner is starting to get very annoyed.)

Owner: “So, did you even place an order?”

Woman: “Do I look like someone who orders?!”

Owner: “You have to order if you want something in bulk. Even with everyone in today, we wouldn’t have the facilities to make that large a batch in two hours!”

Woman: “Then give me those cakes. Be charitable for once, you greedy c***!”

(This pushes him over the edge.)

Owner: “Those are for the hospital that took care of my daughter while she had leukaemia. I might have tried to pull something together for you, but now, you are getting out of my bakery and never coming back.”

Woman: “BUT MY SON’S BIRTHDAY! YOU’RE RUINING IT!”

Owner: “I haven’t ruined anything; you have. You’re a self-entitled b****, and you are now leaving.”

(He dragged her to the door and pushed her out. She screamed for a while and threw her bag at the window, which smashed it. She went pale and fled. The police were called and her husband offered to pay for the window. It was then that we learned that it wasn’t her son’s birthday, but actually, she had agreed to donate to the same hospital we were. She knew we were donating, and just assumed we would do whatever she wanted if she lied about why she needed them.)

Put Them In A Scam Jam

, , | Legal | March 15, 2019

(I work at a book self-publishing company. Recently some letters have gone out notifying authors that they have money in their accounts that they can use. A man calls our post-sale department and gets one of my coworkers. I only hear half of the conversation, but she fills me in on the rest later.)

Caller: “Hi. I’m calling to change the deposit information for my account.”

Coworker: “Okay, sir, and what’s your name?”

Caller: “[Unisex Name].”

(A person by that name happens to be an author featured on our website.)

Coworker: *hesitating* “Um, sir, do you have the authorization to do this?”

Caller: “What are you talking about? I’m [Unisex Name]. I want to withdraw my credit. Quit hoarding my money.”

Coworker: “Sir, I’m afraid I can’t continue this call with you.”

Caller: “What? Why not?”

Coworker: “Well, because [Unisex Name] is a girl, and she’s giving me a really weird look right now. She works here.”

(The caller hung up immediately. We all got a kick out of a person trying to scam funds out of an account that belonged to an employee.)

The Cake Is Their Lie

, , , , , , , | Right | March 14, 2019

(Most cakes in our grocery store bakery are brought in frozen, already decorated, and ready to display. There are some that we decorate in-house, but those are baked elsewhere and thus are also brought in frozen. A customer has already ordered a cake and is asking about in-house decoration with my manager, which is the kind of question you would ask before placing an order. After a few more moments of conversation which I do not catch, my manager laughs, and the customer rips the cake box out of his hands and storms off toward the front of the store. My manager follows her and soon both are out of sight. I walk over to the packager.)

Me: “What was that about?”

Packager: “That lady has gotten the last two cakes from us for free because they were–” *air quotes* “–‘wrong.’ I had [Manager] take her order to try to keep her from scamming us this time, but apparently, she’s tried again. I didn’t really hear what was happening.”

Me: “She’s done this before?”

Packager: “Yeah, before you started, she badgered a free cake out of me. [Absent Coworker] took her order and double-checked it, but when she came to pick it up it was missing whatever birthday number was supposed to be on it. She never told [Absent Coworker] to put a number on it; it was not on the order slip at all. I offered to do it for her on the spot, but she said it was too late. I was here alone, so I tried calling the MOD, but she never came and the customer kept getting mad at me, so I gave it to her for free.”

Me: “Wow. She insisted on getting a free cake for that?”  

Packager: “Yep. The time before was kind of my fault, but still stupid. She had ordered a chocolate fudge cake, but I forgot that we have more than one brand of chocolate fudge cake, so I didn’t write down which one. Shouldn’t be a big deal, since we had her number. [Assistant Manager] called her to find out which one and she refused to tell her. I was on vacation so she guessed and guessed right, but the customer still insisted it was wrong, and [Previous Manager] made [Assistant Manager] give her the cake for free.”

(Our conversation is interrupted as the baker, back from her break, walks back into the department and up to us.)

Baker: “[Produce Colleague] said someone was trying to get free cake?”

Me: “Apparently, we have a frequent scammer trying to pull one over on [Manager]. I wonder how [Produce Colleague] knows about it, though?”  

(The packager and I fill her in on what we know. We speculate a bit on what is happening and then go back to our work. After a while, [Manager] returns.)  

Manager: “Well, that was entertaining. [Customer] is no longer allowed to order cakes from us. I just spoke to [Assistant Store Manager] to get the okay.”  

Packager: “Did she pay for this cake?”

Manager: “Oh, yeah. I followed her all the way up to the front, telling her we could go talk to customer service together if she was upset. She yelled at me to stop following her, told me to f*** off, and then tried to get [Produce Colleague] to get me to stop following her. She went up to cash, paid for it, and left in a hurry.”

Me: “What was she claiming was wrong with it?”

Manager: “She claimed that the person she ordered from had told her that the cakes are baked in-store. I corrected her and told her that we never discussed that, and she called me a liar.”

Packager: “She wasn’t supposed to pick that cake up until five pm. I’m betting she came in early thinking you were a new hire on closing shift and that you wouldn’t be here, so she could blame it on you and get it for free since you couldn’t defend yourself. She probably wasn’t expecting you to be here, and definitely wasn’t expecting you to be the manager.”

Manager: “Nope, she wasn’t. And now she’ll have to find someone else to scam because we’re not putting up with her s*** anymore.”  

Me: “You should probably put that in writing, especially if she likes to prey on new hires. You and I both know that [Absent Coworker #2] wouldn’t be able to stand up to her without something to back her up. It’ll help all of us if she tries it again when you’re not here.”

Manager: “You’re right; I’ll do that now.”

(There is now a note from [Manager] hanging prominently — but out of sight of customers — proclaiming that no more cakes for [Customer] at the cake decorating table. We have also been given permission, in case she does somehow manage to order a cake, to call and cancel her orders. It seems like a small thing, but after many years of customer service with bad, spineless managers, I am very proud to work for this one.)

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