Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Their Math Is Not Grounded

, , , , , | Right | October 27, 2023

I manage a natural food store in a mall. In addition to the vitamins and “healthy” snacks, we sell some bulk food, and we make freshly ground peanut butter.

Customer: “How much peanut butter would I get from a pound of peanuts?”

Me: “A pound, ma’am.”

Customer: “But you grind it, and that changes it, right?”

Me: “Yes, but a pound makes a pound.”

Customer: “But you put a few scoops in the top; how do you know how much to put in?”

Me: “I don’t; I just grind it until a pound comes out.”

Customer: “No, you’re not understanding. Is it like two pounds of peanuts, four pounds?”

Me: “To make a pound of peanut butter?”

Customer: “Yeah, to make one pound.”

Me: “One pound. We don’t add anything or take anything away. A pound goes in, a pound comes out.”

Customer: “That must be because it’s natural, right?”

Me: “You mean some brands who add sugar and other stuff?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “I can’t say, but for us, we put in a pound of peanuts, and a pound of peanuts comes out.”

Customer: “But that doesn’t make any sense! Can you put in two pounds of peanuts just to be sure?”

Me: “Sure, but I need to charge you for two pounds of peanut butter.”

Customer: “Why? I only want one pound.”

I end up just grinding a pound. I weigh it and charge her. 

Customer: “See? I told you a pound would come out!”

You’re Not Just Uploading A Credit, You’re Also Uplifting A Soul

, , , , | Right | October 23, 2023

In our country, there a lot of people who don’t have bank accounts. Therefore, to get credit on their cell phones they need to buy prepaid cards and ‘load’ the credit on to them. Doing this can be an elaborate procedure, especially on older phones.

A lot of older customers have older phones, usually hand-me-downs from younger relatives who have found ways to upgrade.

I work in a phone kiosk in a mall, selling the prepaid phone cards along with other phone-related merchandise. A really old lady approaches me and starts speaking to me in very slow Tagalog.

Old Lady: “I… can… buy… load… for the phone?” 

Me: “Yes, I can sell that to you.”

This old lady then opens a plastic bag (she doesn’t have a purse) and starts putting out smaller bags, each containing coins. 

Old Lady: “I’ve… been… saving!”

I can tell from her accent that Tagalog is not her normal dialect. She actually sounds like she speaks my home dialect.

Me: “Excuse me, but do you speak Cebuano?”

The old lady’s eyes go wide and she suddenly explodes in a flurry of Cebuano.

Old Lady: “Yes, I do! Oh, The Lord has blessed me with you! I don’t like speaking Tagalog but I moved to the city, and I have to learn and usually my daughter helps me but she works two jobs now and I need to help her by helping myself and the least I can do is figure out my phone and…”

She continues on like this in a long, single, running sentence. Luckily, I have similar fast-speaking matriarchs in my family, so I am used to processing verbal information at this speed. At some point, I do need to steer the conversation back to why she is here, though.

Me: “—so, ma’am. You want to buy load for your phone? How much?”

Old Lady: “I’ve been saving! I think I have 500 pesos. Is that enough to call home?”

This is about $9 USD. It usually isn’t enough to do too much, but I get the feeling I am looking at the amount that this woman has been saving for a long, long time.

Me: “You need to call Cebu?” *Our home island.*

Old Lady: “Yes.”

Me: “I can set you up for a 500 peso deal where you can call Philippine numbers unlimited for a month.”

Old Lady: “A whole month! Bless you! I thought I would be getting maybe a phone call or two? One time I bought a 250-peso card and I only got one phone call.”

I didn’t say it, but sadly whoever this old lady spoke to before must have conned her. As for me, I also am telling a little lie; she would not be able to get a whole month of unlimited calls for 500 pesos. It actually costs double that, but I am not about to leave this poor old lady without a means to call home when she’s alone and scared in the big city.

Me: “I have a special card you can use, ma’am.”

She buys the card and then holds it in her hand, almost protectively. This $9 single piece of card in a plastic wrap is likely the single most expensive purchase she’s made in a while.

Old Lady: *Nervous and slow.* “I… don’t see too well. I can’t see all the numbers.”

Me: “Shall I add the load to your phone?”

Old Lady: *Quick and excited again.* “Yes! Bless you! The Lord sent me to you today!”

I go through the over-complicated process of adding the money on to her phone, and then selecting the package she will need to get unlimited calls.

Me: “You should be able to call home now.”

This old lady then reaches into the same plastic bag and shows me a phone number.

Old Lady: “I can’t see all the numbers. Can you call this number for me?”

My heart breaking, I decide I am going to make sure this old lady never has problems talking to her relatives back home ever again.

I save the number into her very old phone, and then I figure out how to speed dial the number using the minimal amount of button presses. I manage to set it up so that she simply has to press three buttons a second apart to be able to auto-dial the number she gave me.

I explain this process to her:

Old Lady: “Young people! Really you’re so smart! You speak Tagalog, and English! And you know the phones! When I was young we just knew about fetching the water and cooking rice. So smart! Young people are so smart!”

She tries it out, and it works!

For the next hour she sits down next to my kiosk and talks to her sister and tells her about all of her adventures since she moved from her rural province into the big city. She is overjoyed and talking furiously. She keeps coming up to me to ask if she will run out of time soon, and I happily remind her that she can keep talking for thirty more days and she still wouldn’t run out.

After her call she thanks me and eventually leaves, with me smiling from ear to ear.

Since that day she comes back every month, with a bag of coins and asking for me to upload it to her phone. I don’t even count the bag of coins anymore; I know she’s good for it.

It can be scary for an older person from the country to move to the big city. If I could help her maintain a connection back to the home village, then that was what I was going to do. 

I look forward to her visits every month.

A Different Kind Of Fire Rescue

, , , , , , , , | Right | October 5, 2023

I work at an animal rescue that happens to be connected to a mall. We’re technically retail as we have an animal supply and food store at the front of our space. We’re not part of the mall, but when they have a fire alarm go off, we have to evacuate also.

I’ve just started working here, and I am still going through some training. The manager and supervisor have stepped out for a moment to deal with something, and it’s just another trainee and me staffing the place for a few minutes.

Suddenly, in the worst timing ever, the fire alarm goes off, and we need to evacuate.

Me: “Oh, no! What do we do?”

Trainee: “We need to evacuate, right?”

Me: “But… the animals?”

We currently have fourteen dogs, nine cats, two hamsters, and a parrot (not a rescue, he just lives here) in the store.

Trainee: “I haven’t been trained on how to evacuate them!”

Me: “Me, neither!”

A customer is in the store area and has heard us talking.

Customer: “I have an idea! I left my shopping outside!”

He runs out, and we wonder what he meant by that. Then, we see him take his full shopping cart and tip EVERYTHING onto the sidewalk. He then rushes in with the now-empty cart and shouts:

Customer: “Let’s get as many as we can in here!”

Between some of the bigger dogs that we can walk separately, we are able to fit all of the animals into the large cart — thank goodness they all get along! — with the exception of one nervous cat we can carry in its case.

Thanks to the customer, we are out of there in roughly two minutes!

This is about as much time as it takes to see the manager and supervisor rushing over as quickly as possible.

Manager: “Oh, thank God! We heard the alarm and came running back!”

They both take stock of the situation: all the animals either sitting in the shopping cart, with my coworker and me carrying or holding a bunch more, with a crap-ton of grocery shopping all over the ground and another customer comforting a nervous puppy.

Supervisor: “How did you get all the animals out?”

We point to the customer who helped us and explain what happened. The fire alarm ends, and thankfully, we can get all the animals back inside.

Manager: *To my coworker and me* “Okay, ladies, we’re going to train you on what to do in a fire emergency right now!” *To the customer* “But not before we get this man free dog food for life!”

Customer: *Still holding the nervous puppy* “That will come in handy, as I don’t think I can explain to my wife why all our groceries ended up on the floor without coming home with this little guy as evidence!”

He took home the rescue puppy and lots of puppy food, and we helped him salvage as much of his groceries as we could and carry them into his truck! He’s been a regular ever since!

Bench, Please!

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 9, 2023

My partner and I are at the mall when I suddenly feel weak. We find a bench to sit down on, and I check my blood sugars, as I’m diabetic. It’s low, and I have nothing sweet on me, so my partner opts to go find something while I wait.

I’m sitting toward one side of the bench with plenty of room on the other side, even for someone who’s a bit less social. A woman comes up and tells me to move.

Me: “I need to sit, but there’s room for you, as well.”

Woman: “I don’t sit next to people. Get up. You’re just being lazy.”

Me: “I really need to sit. There’s a bench across the way if you don’t want to share.”

The bench in question is maybe ten feet away and is the same exact style as the one I’m on.

Woman: “No, you’re going to move! I want this bench!”

She stomps her foot. Literally. I can’t help but laugh a bit at this grown woman throwing a tantrum like a child over a mall bench.

Woman: Don’t laugh at me! What the f*** is wrong with you?!”

Me: “I’m not the one demanding someone get up from a bench simply so they don’t have to share it.”

She reaches for me, but I hear a loud “HEY!” coming from someone else. We both turn to see mall security coming toward the lady.

Security: “Ma’am, keep moving. We’re not doing this again today.”

Woman: “I… Well… He laughed at me!”

Security: “Probably because your attitude is a joke. Either keep moving or we’ll kick you out again.”

The woman glared at me and then stormed off. Apparently, she didn’t like people sitting on “her” bench and would yell at people until they moved.

My partner came back with a soda, and after bringing my sugars back up, I was able to go back to browsing the mall just fine.

I haven’t seen that woman there since.

Learning Some Harsh Retail Lessons At A Young Age

, , , , , , , | Working | August 25, 2023

I am a teenager at my first job at a clothing store in the mall. We have closed for the day and have been assigned areas to zone. 

Manager: “I’ll come and check on everyone in about thirty minutes to see how things look. Chances are that if you have your area done, you can go home early.”

Excited, I go through my area and get everything tidied and presentable.

After thirty minutes, my manager collects us and walks through our areas. My coworker has barely done anything, while my manager is complimenting me on how well my area looks. 

Manager: “Well, [My Name], your spot looks great. [Coworker], I’m going to send you on home and have [My Name] finish up your area.”

I ended up staying past my regular scheduled time because they told me I had to until the area was presentable and I was naive. I never did that again.