A Less Than 50% Success Rate

, , , | Right | June 1, 2018

(I work in a small store that sells kitchen accessories as well as both kitchen and sporting knives. There are usually two people in at a time so we have the chance to sit in the backroom and eat our lunch without being disturbed. My coworker has just gone for her lunch when a customer comes in.)

Me: “Hello, is there anything I can help you find today?”

Customer: “No, I know what I want I want this sporting knife by [Brand]. I have done my research and I’m set on this one.”

Me: “Okay, let me just grab it for you and I will bring it up to the till.”

(I grab the knife for the customer and ring her through.)

Me: “That will be $135.76; will that be everything for you?”

Customer: “That is way too expensive. Can you discount the price for me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unless the knife is damaged I can’t reduce the price.”

Customer: “Yeah, let’s do that!”

Me: “Do what?”

Customer: “Discount the price.”

Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am; the item is not damaged so I can not offer a discount.”

(At this point my coworker comes out and grabs her water, then goes back into the backroom.)

Customer: “Oh, if I had known she was working today, I would have just asked for her to help me. She always gives me a discount, because we know each other; she always gives me half off.”

(I know she is lying because she just “suddenly” remembered that my coworker gives her discounts, and the most we can give is 20% off to a customer; if we give any more than 50% off an item that isn’t marked down as 50%, we get locked out of the system and can not log in unless a manager is contacted, and we have to explain why we were issuing a 50% discount on an item that isn’t on sale.)

Me: “Don’t stand there and lie to my face. My coworker and I work every shift together because we are more productive as a team, and ever since we have worked together we have never seen you in here before. But if you would like, I can go grab my coworker and you can tell me again how you know each other and how she always gives you a discount.”

Customer: I can’t believe you treat your customers like this. Give me a business card; I’m going to be calling your manager and corporate to tell them your attitude is horrendous!”

Me: *puts a business card on the counter* “Feel free, and you can also tell them how you lied to me about knowing my coworker, just so you wouldn’t have to pay full price on an item. Have a nice day, and thank you for shopping with [Company].”

(She never called my manager or corporate, but according to my manager she came in two other times with my other coworkers and tried to pull the same thing. We have her picture up in our backroom, and are told to refuse her service.)

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Someone Is Dying To Get Out Of Class

, , , , | Learning | May 31, 2018

(I am a lecturer, getting a coffee from a local café. I get a call from one of my students while waiting in line.)

Student: “[My Name], I need to miss today’s lecture. My son’s been in an accident and I need to go to hospital.”

Me: “Your son?”

Student: “Yes. I’ve been told he’s critical. He might die. I’m so terrified.” *starts sobbing*

Me: “Um…”

(I put the phone to my chest and tap the shoulder of a man further down the line, waiting with his son. He turns around and smiles. I hand my phone to him. He sees his wife’s name on the screen.)

Student’s Husband: *confused* “Hello, [Student]? Why are you phoning [My Name]? Huh, she hung up.” *handing the phone back* “What’s going on?”

Me: “I’ll let her explain.”

(She later dropped out of my module, but I still see her around campus. I’ve seen her husband and their only son from time to time, as well, but since he hasn’t mentioned anything about the call, I assume she hasn’t told him.)

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Worth Checking Out This Checking In

, , , , , | Working | May 30, 2018

(Our particular chain of gas stations developed an app that, in addition to sending you discounts for certain items, allows you to “check in” whenever you are at one of their locations. After a certain number of “check-ins,” you get a code for $2 off a purchase of gas. It works via the GPS on your phone, so you don’t have to actually be AT the store to check in just nearby. Furthermore, while you can only use one discount per transaction, there is no limit to the number of discounted purchases you can make in a day, and no minimum purchase required. We have one customer who is some sort of delivery driver, just driving around all day. He comes in several times a day and asks for $2 in gas, presents his $2 discount code, and drives off with free gas. I ask him about it; he isn’t doing anything technically wrong, but I am curious. He says as he drives around, any time he passes one of our stores, he hits the check-in button, and racks up the $2 discount codes. When he has time to stop, he gets another free $2 worth of gas. This gets me thinking. I live pretty close to another of our stores. I discover I can “check in” from my living room. So, sitting at home at night, watching TV, I check in every 30 minutes or so. Next day, I stop and ask for $2 in gas, pump it, then go back in and ask for another $2, repeat, repeat… As long as they are separate transactions, I’m not breaking any rules. I admit, I am taking advantage of the poor design of the app; somebody didn’t think it through very well. One day I go into work and the manager approaches me.)

Manager: “Are you the one who’s been abusing the app?”

Me: “I’m not abusing it; I’m using the discounts it’s offering me.”

Manager: “Well, you’re not supposed to do that.”

Me: “Why not? The rules, restrictions, and limitations are clearly stated in the user agreement. I’m not violating a single one.”

Manager: “That’s just not how it’s supposed to work.”

Me: “Then the problem is with your app, not your customers.”

(It didn’t take long for the app to be changed to limit the number of discounts and frequency of use… and ultimately they scrapped the whole thing altogether. But at one point, I did go an entire month without paying for gas.)

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Only Trafficking Excuses

, , , , | Working | May 29, 2018

(I just moved to a new country and need to set up a bank account. The HR manager at my institution puts me in touch with a field representative of one of the major banks, who will meet me at work so that I don’t have to go the bank. The first time we are supposed to meet, she calls and says she’s running late because she’s stuck in traffic. When we meet, she has a bit of a strange vibe, very chatty and fake-friendly instead of just professional. She leads me to understand that it’s very complicated to set up a bank account for a foreigner. According to her, I need additional documentation to set up the account, so we have to meet a second time.)

Bank Rep: “I’m sorry; I’m stuck in traffic again.”

Me: “Okay, no problem.”

(Since I’m not familiar with the local traffic, I don’t make any assumptions as to whether or not it’s normal to have a jam in the midafternoon. She finally shows up 45 minutes late again. There are a lot of forms to fill out and she seems to be giving me conflicting information as to what documents I need, compared to the first meeting. While we are going through the forms, her phone rings:)

Bank Rep: “Hello! Yes, I’m sorry, but I’ll be late; I’m stuck in traffic.”

(She said this while we were sitting in a building, nowhere near her car or the road. That was the final straw. I took my documents to the nearest branch of the same bank and had an account set up in less than an hour.)

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Scammers Talk In A Different Toner, Part 2

, , , | Working | May 28, 2018

(We have been receiving calls from sales people claiming they are our printer vendor, but we don’t have a printer vendor so it’s easy to pick these out as a sales calls. They claim they just need the model of our printer to make sure they bring the right toner. After receiving multiple calls from these guys one week, I decide to start messing with them.)

Caller: “Hey, I’m [Caller], your vendor with [Company] for your printer. Can you give me the model number of the printer? I want to make sure I have the right toner.”

Me: “If you are the vendor for our printer, shouldn’t you already know what the model is?”

Caller: “Hey, I’m right outside; I’m just needing to confirm that model.”

Me: “You are outside the building?”

Caller: “Yeah, I’m just trying to confirm the model.”

Me: “I don’t see you.”

Caller: “What?”

Me: “I’m outside, too, and I don’t see you.”

Caller: “I’m just trying to get that model number.”

Me: “Do you see me waving? I’m right here!”

Caller: “Hey, I’m… Wait, what?”

Me: “Wait, are you in a van? I think I see you. You are going the wrong way! Come back! That is the wrong direction. I’m over here!”

Caller: “I… um…” *click*

(It’s at this point I notice half the office is looking at me.)

Coworker: “Well, I guess [Company] won’t be calling for a while. Good job.”

Scammers Talk In A Different Toner

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