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It’s Getting Hot In Here And It’s Not The Worn Out Dehumidifier

, , | Right | August 29, 2021

Our store has a gracious three months return policy, so it’s not too hard to return anything that doesn’t work out for you. A lady comes in.

Customer: “I’m returning this dehumidifier.”

She had bought it back in November, at the start of when you need such an item around this area.

Me: “You’ve had this for three months, did you use this, ma’am?”

Customer: “I didn’t use it. Just give me my money back.”

I go around the counter and I check out the box, but there are few things wrong with it. Now if you’ve worked retail before you know when boxes of product are sent the tape that is used is flimsy, mildly useful at best. This lady made the mistake of using tape that was much much stronger and sturdier than what you get with items shipped to the store.

I take some scissors to open the box because already I’m curious as to why you have that item just laying around your house in a big box for three months.

Customer: “Oh no, you don’t need to, you don’t need to, it’s fine, it’s fine!”

Upon opening the box, the machine that should have been white was nothing but black across the whole entire front. I get my manager over and the customer tries to keep the box shut from him seeing it. My manager made her move and opened it anyway because he wasn’t about to tell me to do it when I had explained what I saw.

Customer: “I’m quite angry at you for not accepting my return!”

Manager: “We’re angry back at you for trying to dupe us and take a back and item that’s clearly gross.”

We made her take it back and we kept the receipt so she couldn’t try to return it anywhere else.

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Oh, Ye Of Little Faith

, , , , , , , | Working | August 26, 2021

My first job was working as a cashier in a grocery store. I was quite book smart at the time, though pretty naive in many other ways. Math has always come easy to me and I quite enjoy it.

A couple of months into the job, I had a man come to my register and pay for $11 worth of groceries with a fifty-dollar bill. Then, the fun started.

Man: “I’d like my change as one twenty-dollar bill, one ten-dollar bill, three five-dollar bills, and seven one-dollar bills, please.”

I pulled the twenty and the ten.

Me: “Sorry, sir, but that comes to more than you originally paid. I could offer you one each of a twenty, a ten, and a five-dollar bill, and then four one-dollar bills.”

Man: “Uh, right, sorry. Then make it one twenty, two tens, a five—”

Me: “Whoops, just to stop you there, you only have $39 in change coming back and you’ve gone over it already. I can only do one each of a twenty and a ten-dollar bill; the rest has to be a five or just ones.”

Man: “Yeah, okay, sure. So, two twenty-dollar bills and then nine one-dollar bills will make it even.”

Me: “I apologize, sir, but I can only give you one twenty-dollar bill. After that, your remaining change is less $20. If you can tell me how you want the $19 broken down, I’m happy to do so.”

This continued for about twenty different iterations. The guy kept asking for bill counts which meant he’d get back $45 to $55. I kept just correcting him on the assumption he was just bad at math, and I was glad I could be so helpful to him because I was so good at math. Remember I said I was naive, right? I had never heard of a quick-change scam.

Finally, the guy relented and took his exact change of one twenty, one ten, one five, and four one bills and left.

At that point, my manager came over, shut down my register, and told me they needed to pull my drawer because I had just gotten scammed. I was confused, but she explained the nature of the quick-change scam to me once we were off the sales floor. I mentioned that I thought the guy was just really bad at math, but it was okay because I knew he’d gotten exact change back and nothing more.

Manager: “[My Name], you don’t have to be embarrassed. They target new cashiers and they’re really good at these scams. You got fooled and we’re just going to document how much he stole for when we file the police report.”

Me: “Seriously, [Manager], he got his exact change and nothing else. I was keeping track the whole time.”

Manager: “[My Name], we’ll talk later. I have to write you up for the drawer being off, but it will just be a verbal warning because these scammers are so good. Just let me count the drawer now and you’ll see.”

I counted by watching over her shoulder. She compared the total to the report and found that my drawer matched to the penny.

Manager: “Hmm, that can’t be right.”

She counted the drawer again.

Manager: “No, I know that guy. He scammed me the last time he was in. I know your drawer must be off.”

She counted it a third time, and the drawer was still perfect.

Manager: “I don’t get it. He scammed you. I watched how many times he changed the bill count. No one could keep track of that.”

Me: “Umm, you know I’m studying calculus, physics, and computer programming at [Local College], right? I’m really good at math and assumed that dude was really bad at it. I felt bad for him since I had to keep correcting him on which bills added up to $39.”

Manager: “You got lucky, but I don’t know how. I’m going to pull the video for the police anyway. Get back to work.”

And that’s how I learned about the quick-change scam while totally ruining some scam artist’s flow with math.

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For Dessert We’ll Have Some Cinnamon Plot Twists

, , , , , | Right | August 26, 2021

I’ve recently moved to a busy college town and I’m out to dinner in a small restaurant with one of my roommates. We’ve just run into my law professor and her husband and had a quick chat with him before sitting down to separate tables. Halfway through our meal, a group of rowdy young adults jumps up from their table and rushes out the door, apparently to dine and dash.

Me: “Oh, my God! I think they just ran out on the bill!”

Roommate: “And the waitress has just realized it, too.”

The waitress walks over to their table, sees that the check hasn’t been paid, and gets visibly upset.

Me: “You don’t think they’ll take that out of her paycheck, do you?”

Waitress: *Overhearing* “They do, unfortunately. They left over $200 worth of food.”

She walks sadly back to clear the table. We finish our meal and ask for the bill and the same waitress drops it over.

Me: “If she has to pay their bill, I think it’d be nice to leave her a bigger tip so she doesn’t have to lose her whole paycheck.”

Roommate: “I was thinking the same thing.”

We leave a very generous tip. We stop by our lecturer’s table to say goodbye and find out they’re doing the exact same thing.

A few weeks later, my roommate and I go to the same restaurant and again, we meet our professor and her husband. We have a quick laugh about the coincidence and head to our separate tables.

Roommate: “I’ve got a bad feeling about that table over there.”

I turn around and see a large group of rowdy young adults, but I can’t make out if they’re the same people as last time. We notice that they start to get up quickly as though they’re going to run out on the check. Quick as a flash, my professor’s husband jumps up and tackles one of them as they’re about to head out the door.

Husband: “You guys thinking about running out on the bill again?”

The dasher starts to squirm and try to get away. The same waitress as last time runs over, looking very worried.

Waitress: “It’s okay, sir, you can let him go! I don’t want anyone getting hurt!”

Husband: “That’s okay, miss. I’m well used to it.”

My lecturer’s husband pulls out a badge and the waitress goes white. An older man that we assume is the manager comes running over.

Dasher: “Let me go. I’ve already paid [Waitress]!”

Manager: “Then why were you running out the door, young man?”

Both the dasher and the waitress look at each other, but the dasher quickly spills the beans first.

Dasher: “We pay [Waitress] before we eat. We only pretend to run out so she gets bigger tips.”

Manager: “[Waitress], go wait for me in the office. Young man, get out, and you and your friends are not welcome here again.” *Turns to the husband* “Thank you for stopping him.”

The waitress covered her face with her hands and ran into the back. We came back a few weeks later and — surprise, surprise — we didn’t see that waitress again. My professor does like to tell that story in class from time to time, though.

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Things Are Heating Up STUPID Fast

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: MacrossX | August 25, 2021

I received a help ticket for an employee in our office. “Desktop keeps overheating and shutting down. I am behind on work and missing deadlines because of this repeating issue that has resulted in lost work!”

She had a space heater under her desk pointing directly at the desktop “because her feet get too cold in the air-conditioned office.” I removed the unapproved heater and ran tests, and the desktop was fine. I checked the event logs and it had only ever shut down or crashed once from overheating. I explained this to the employee and told her that you can’t expect a PC to not overheat when heated. I made notes in the ticket and delivered the space heater to the facilities manager.

The employee raised a big stink with her manager, who talked with the facilities manager and had the heater returned with a facilities approval tag. They didn’t involve me at all, and the unit was placed exactly back in the same spot.

I received a second ticket for the employee the very next day. “Desktop is overheating again. I cannot continue to work like this. Fix it or replace my desktop with a laptop.”

I showed up and saw the heater right back where it was. The desktop was off, and actual hardware damage was done to the motherboard this time. I replaced it with a spare desktop of the same make and model. I routed all cabling and placed the computer on the desktop so it wouldn’t melt from the space heater.

The employee complained that the desktop took up too much room on her double-sized cubicle desk space and she should have a laptop. I explained that I didn’t have a laptop available, and it actually took up less space than a laptop anyhow once you factored in the docking station. I explained again that the space heater had killed the previous machine, and it should not be placed next to a heat source. I CC’d her manager on the ticket. I also let my manager know about the whole deal because both cases were totally avoidable.

The third ticket for this employee arrived two days later on a Friday. “New desktop is overheating and shutting down just like last one. I am weeks behind on project work at this point. Please give me a laptop that won’t have this type of problem.”

I showed up right after the ticket was created. She was packing up her stuff to leave and looked put out that I even showed up so soon to deal with the issue. The desktop was on the floor next to the space heater. I asked her why she had moved it back there after killing the previous desktop, and after I had clearly explained that it caused the problem. She wasn’t having it; she said it took up too much room and she should have a laptop anyhow. This time the desktop wouldn’t even post.

I noticed the heater was on the highest possible setting and was aimed directly at the PC this time. There was something about how visibly annoyed she was that I was going to fix it, like she was ready to take an early weekend since “she couldn’t work anyway.” I explained that I would have a replacement ready within thirty minutes (more to gauge her reaction than anything) and she looked even madder.

“Is it going to be a laptop?” she demanded. “I don’t see a replacement being worth it if it’s just going to melt under my desk again.”

I agreed that under your desk is probably a bad idea. If she wanted a laptop, she would have to get her boss to approve the purchase of one. I took the dead desktop and brought back a replacement desktop — we had loads of spare used stock — within twenty minutes. She was gone. Her cube-mates said she had left for the day since IT wouldn’t have a replacement ready.

I documented everything in the ticket and called my manager.

The manager didn’t seem to care at all. He did stress that I was not to give her a laptop replacement unless her department approved and paid for it, though. I was busy enough that this pissed me off. I walked over to Human Resources and explained the situation so far to the representative. She said she would talk to the user’s manager about it. I didn’t expect much.

Sure enough, the following Monday, I had a ticket to deploy a brand-new laptop to the user. The way the cubicle desks were built, there was a space behind the tops for cable routing. This meant the majority of hot air from the heater, still under the desk, would vent right up that space, which would feed directly into the air intake on the docking stations. Since that was the case, I deployed the docking station, laptop, etc., to the right of her monitor instead of the left where it would get hit with the heat.

Once again, she complained. “It’s taking up to much room there. Can’t we put it on the other side?”

I explained that heat would kill a laptop twice as fast as the two desktops she had already killed.

After closing out the ticket, I sent an email to her and CC’d her manager, my manager, and the Human Resources lady. I explained the problems the space heater had caused and that it was the employee’s refusal to listen that had caused damage to multiple pieces of company property. I told them that I’d let her know that moving the laptop to the other side of her desk would very likely damage the brand-new laptop, it should not be done, and it would result in further delays in her ability to finish her projects.

The fourth ticket came two days later. “Laptop will not turn on. Leaving for the day, please fix or replace.” It was 10:00 am on Wednesday. She wasn’t there. The laptop was moved to the left side of the desk and the space heater was still on full blast… pointing backward.

Without touching anything, I called the facilities guy. He agreed that the heater shouldn’t have ever been returned. He also agreed that this woman could have burned down the whole d***ed building. The brand-new laptop was toast.

We took photos of everything and emailed her boss, CCing Human Resources and my manager. Apparently, her manager didn’t even know she had left for the day. She was two weeks behind on a big project and kept blaming IT for messing up her schedule with PCs that didn’t work. I pulled the drive and dumped all the data, and I was able to easily show that she hadn’t done any work for said project at all in the last month.

I never saw that employee again. Much stricter rules were put in place for space heaters after that, so at least I dealt with fewer overheating issues.


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

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Playing Hard And Fast With The Rules

, , , | Right | August 25, 2021

Generally speaking, all casino games are strict on procedure. This is to prevent disputes, reduce the number of mistakes, and ensure that no one is taking advantage of the games. However, on rare occasions, and only if the Floor (supervisor) allows it, some procedures can be bent.

A high-limit player on Blackjack wants a fast game, with the cards dealt and the hands settled as fast as the dealer can manage. This requires skipping some of the procedures regarding hand signals. For the fast game, the dealer simply waits for the player to grab the chips and then pulls the card as the player is placing the chips.

The player is betting $100 a hand and is in the double-down situation. He grabs another $100 chip. The dealer being, well, fast, has already pulled the next card and then flipped over the dealer’s cards. The player has lost but is still holding on to the second $100 chip, and he refuses to place it on the betting spot.

Dealer: “Sir, please place the chip on the betting spot.”

Player: “What? I didn’t want to bet!”

Dealer: “You clearly did. You were going to place the chip down and bet as you normally would in this situation.”

Player: “No, I just wanted to hold my chip. I’m not betting!”

The dealer calls the Floor over and explains the situation.

Floor: “Technically, the player did not make the bet.”

The dealer then puts on his very best customer service “I actually want to bite you” smile.

Dealer: “Very well. I will endeavor to avoid making this mistake again!”

And so the dealer continues to deal… as slow as he reasonably can.

Player: “Deal faster!”

Dealer: “I apologize, but I need to ensure a proper game without any mistakes.”

The dealer continued to deal very, very slowly. The player left the table upset and went to another Blackjack table, but found that they, too, were not dealing a fast game.

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