Crashing Headlong Into Jail Time

, , , , , | Legal | January 4, 2019

I work as the compliance manager for a haulage company. My job largely involves making sure the drivers follow the numerous laws, restrictions, and regulations placed on haulage drivers in the EU; however, my side job is that I handle all incidents or crashes involving our company vehicles, accident reports, statements, CCTV footage. It’s all run through me, and I send things off to the relevant parties who need them. Many of these accidents are very mundane, drivers reversing into posts or clipping someone’s mirror off. Every now and then, though, I get something rather more interesting.

In spite of the risks involved in deliberately taking a hit from a vehicle many times the size and weight of a regular car, lorries have always been a hot target for cash for crash scams. The arrival of full-coverage onboard cameras in the last five to ten years has somewhat reduced the amount of these scams in recent years, but we do still get one now and then. This one was a particularly brazen effort.

Our driver was travelling down a motorway at the vehicle’s top speed of 56 mph. The road ahead was clear until a Range Rover pulled in front after overtaking; the Range Rover was very slowly accelerating away, so our driver took no action. This continued for a further half a mile or so, and the Range Rover was 60 or 70 feet ahead when a BMW tore past our driver and dove in front of the Range Rover.

The BMW braked very briefly, but the Range Rover slammed onto the brakes and didn’t let off them. Our driver braked hard himself, but with passing traffic keeping him in his lane, he had nowhere to go but straight into the back of the Range Rover.

Our driver had a load of uncut steel on at the time, and his total vehicle weight was in excess of 40 tons. Our driver was still going just over 40 mph when he hit the Range Rover which by this point had nearly stopped. The impact was devastating, completely caving in the vehicle up to the rear axle, and sending it spinning into the embankment to the side of the road where it proceeded to roll before landing back on its wheels.

Further footage from the onboard camera showed our driver running to the vehicle whilst ringing the emergency services. The occupants of the car were an adult couple and two children aged 11 and 7. Both children, amazingly, were able to exit the vehicle unaided, but the parents were both removed by the ambulance crews.

The police took copies of our footage at the scene, and after reviewing it, released our driver without charge after concluding he did the best he could under terrible circumstances and that the accident wasn’t caused by negligence on his part. The following day, once his vehicle had been recovered and I received the footage myself, I had issues with several aspects of the crash, chiefly the extreme brake response exhibited by the Range Rover which led to the crash.

I passed the footage on to our insurance group citing possible insurance fraud. After reviewing it themselves, our insurance agreed and I left them to it.

They came back to me only a few days later regarding this incident to confirm that it was being treated as an attempted cash-for-crash scam and that the police were involved. It was several weeks later before they returned to me again with full details.

The couple in the Range Rover had conspired to take part in the scam, and had put their unknowing children in the back seats as extra collateral; however, the mother, who was driving, had braked much harder than intended, which caused the accident to be much more severe than they had intended. They might still have gotten away without charge had the BMW that cut them off not been owned and driven by the father’s brother.

As it was, the couple and the man’s brother were all arrested on charges of insurance fraud, dangerous driving, and reckless endangerment. The parents were also charged with child abuse for involving the children. They all received sentences of five to ten years, and the children were sent to the mother’s parents to live whilst their parents served their sentences.

Fifteen years ago, before dash cams were really a thing, this crash would have seen our driver likely lose his license and possibly face criminal charges. Crashes like this saw my company adopt vehicle cameras fleetwide six years ago, and now, thanks to them, we’ve defended against dozens of scams that would have cost our company thousands upon thousands of pounds otherwise — not a bad investment.

Failed The Credit Check

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2019

(Our store has its own credit card. Every cashier has a target of getting one person to sign up for the credit card each shift. The cash supervisor gets on us if we go too long without getting any, and often uses a certain coworker as an example because she always gets multiple sign-ups per shift. I try everything, even paying close attention to the things this coworker says, and parroting them to my customers. And yet, I can never hit my company-mandated target of one per shift, let alone get the amount my coworker gets. One day, I am discussing this with another coworker, who has been “moved up” to working at the returns desk.)

Coworker: *rolling her eyes* “Oh, I know how she does it.”

Me: “Oh?”

Coworker: “I have had so many people come up to me wanting to cancel their credit cards because they thought she was signing them up for the points card. She offers them the credit card, and when they say no, offers the points card. If they say yes to that, then she uses the credit card form, instead.”

(I doubt this was legal, but the store was due to close in less than a year at that point, anyway. Makes me wonder if the supervisor knew but didn’t care, because it kept our numbers up.)

She Slipped Up Big Time

, , , , | Right | January 2, 2019

(A woman comes into our store, and I recognize her as someone who made a huge scene a few months ago and got away with a refund and $25 gift card. I am DREADING her coming up to returns! There are a few people in front of her, and their kid drops their ice cream. I call for someone to come pick it up. We are severely understaffed, so I put a big sign in over it. The sign completely covers the spill, so unless you move the sign, you will not step on the ice cream. I see the woman eyeing the sign like she is debating whether to slip or not. As I cash out the man in front of her, I see the hazard sign go up in the air and hear someone scream. She says her back hurts and she refuses to get up. The woman then yells at me to call my manager.)

Me: “Do you want me to call 911?”

Woman: “GET ME YOUR MANAGER!”

(I run and get my manager. While in the back, I tell my manager to review the camera above my station that will PROVE she purposely slipped!)

Manager: *comes outside to see what happened* “[My Name], what happened?”

Me: “She claims she slipped.”

Woman:Claims?! I did slip! What are you talking about?”

Manager: “Okay, I’m going to get an incident form and we will figure this out, but ma’am, do you want an ambulance?”

Woman: “Incident form? I don’t want an incident form; I want a $200 [Store] gift card!”

Manager: “Ma’am, you’re clearly hurt; what will a [Store] gift card do for you?”

Woman: “If you give me a gift card, I won’t press charges.”

Manager: *looks around and pointedly looks at camera* “Press charges, sweetheart. Have a good day.” *walks away*

(The woman gets up, without issue, and follows my manager to customer service.)

Woman: *to customer service* “I AM HORRIFIED BY THE LACK OF CONCERN FOR ME HERE!”

Manager: “Ma’am, wait right here. I’ll help you.” *walks away and comes back out of the security room* “Ma’am, I want to show you something.”

(The woman follows the manager into the security room.)

Woman: *comes out of room* “Why would I fake something like that?”

(The undercover security come out and tell the women she is banned from this location.)

Woman: “I DON’T WANT TO COME BACK, ANYWAY!”

Really Trying To Shake Your Tree

, , , , , , | Right | December 30, 2018

(I work as a front end supervisor at a popular discounted retail store. Recently I’ve been working in the stockroom helping them with a large amount of merchandise coming off the truck, so I have not been on the register for roughly two months. My regular customers have noticed and aren’t happy. Our newer customers think I am a new cashier and have tried to bring in fake receipts, wrong item returns, etc. This morning I am the opening cashier; typically my managers will focus on other tasks since I am a FES and they do not have to worry about me. A lady walks up to the door and stares at the holiday hours. I notice she is holding a four-foot Christmas tree box. We do not, and have never sold Christmas trees. Ever. She comes to my register and the following occurs.)

Me: *sporting my lovely reindeer antlers to fit the season* “Hi. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “Oh! I love your antlers! They look perfect on you, and your eyeliner is beautiful, so perfect!”

(We call this the “kissing butt” routine to make them seem oh-so-innocent.)

Me: “Thanks! What can I help you with?”

(She slams down Christmas tree box. It’s horribly beaten up and poorly taped back together.)

Customer: “I bought this tree a few weeks ago and it just does not look good in the part of my house I wanted. Here’s the receipt”

(She hands over the receipt. I examine it, and then the price tag which has been obviously pulled off another item from our store and placed on this box.)

Me: “Well, unfortunately, the item does not match the description on the receipt, so I am unable to refund the amount.”

Customer: *obviously trying to contain her anger at her scam failing* “Oh, no, honey! I knew this would happen with you being so new; I have never seen you here before! This always happens to me! Just go get someone else to look at it.”

Me: *unintentional smirk* “This is actually my sixth Christmas working in this very store. I am the front end supervisor; I’ve just been helping another department. As I said, this Christmas tree does not belong to us and actually belongs to a larger brand name grocery and superstore that keeps their trees in the garden center. I can pull this exact tree up on their website if you want me to!”

(I see the anger in her eyes. Her lips twitch. I am ready. I hit the button on my headset, directly linking the conversation that is about to happen to my Manager on Duty.)

Customer: *after a brief moment of silence* “Now, young lady, listen here. I commend you for being a sixth-year retail employee, but this tree does belong to your store. If you are too dumb to realize this, then I need the number to your corporate office and your last name. Consider this your last Christmas here.”

Me: *talking on headset* “You heard that?”

(Not even three seconds pass before my store manager walks up with an angry face, snatches the receipt out of my hand, hands it back to the lady, and pushes the tree box towards her, not hitting her, but sliding it back to her side of the counter.)

Store Manager: “Take the tree and shove it up your a**! Don’t threaten my employees!”

(Never have I ever seen a customer run toward the door so fast.)

Me: “Merry Christmas!”

A Gluten For Punishment, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | December 29, 2018

(I work security and my main job is to check bags or folded blankets for prohibited items such as outside food/drink, knives, etc. We can make exceptions for medical reasons. One can also buy food, candy, and drinks inside.)

Me: *after explaining to a group consisting of a young girl and elderly couple that they can’t bring in outside food/drink*

Elderly Man: “This is gluten-free popcorn! It’s the only thing we can eat here!”

Me: “Okay, I can allow that. And the M&Ms?”

Young Girl: *scoffs, rolls eyes, and tosses candy in the trash*

Elderly Man: “Those were gluten-free M&Ms!”

(I give an apologetic smile but otherwise ignore him and move on because we’re swamped with people coming through the line.)

Me: *to the next lady* “Hello! Could I check your blankets, please?

Elderly Man: *appearing next to me* “THOSE ARE GLUTEN-FREE BLANKETS!”

Related:
A Gluten For Punishment, Part 2
A Gluten For Punishment

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