Expecting Millions But Only Got 132

, , , , , , | Related | December 29, 2018

(I am about eight years old. It is about nine am on a weekend morning and I am still in bed, half-asleep. Suddenly, both my parents barge into my room, waking me up.)

Dad: *eagerly* “[My name]! Quick! What’s 11 times 12?”

Me: *utterly bewildered and slightly terrified* “Wha?”

Mum: “Come on, [My Name]! 11 times 12! What is it?”

Me: *hesitantly* “132?”

Mum: “See? She knew it!”

Dad: “Yeah, she would have gotten it.” *leaves the room with my mum*

Me: *completely baffled*

(I found out later that they were watching “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” and one of the contestants had gotten to a very high round but, to my parents’ astonishment, ultimately lost because he couldn’t figure out what 11 times 12 was.)

How Many People Can You Fit On A Bike?

, , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2018

(I purchase a bike for my daughter for Christmas and pay the $10 assembly fee. It is a Monday. In the toy department:)

Toy Department Staff Member: “Our bike assembly guy comes in on Fridays. He’s supposed to give you a call after he’s done, but he’s been pretty slack with that lately, so just give us a call on Friday afternoon and we will check that it’s done and tell you when you can come and pick it up. Just take this docket to the registers to pay and fill out your details for the pickup.”

(At the registers:)

Cashier: “Our bike assembly guy comes in on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the lead up to Christmas. He’s pretty on top of things and will give you a call when he’s ready, so expect a call on either Tuesday or Saturday.”

(I get no call on Tuesday, and by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I decide to give them a call to see.)

Phone Person #1: “Our bike assembly guy comes in on Thursdays, so it should be done. Can I get your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Phone Person #1: “Okay, I’ll just pop you on hold and make sure.”

(Hold music.)

Phone Person #2: “Hello. I’ve taken over your call. It was something about a bike?”

Me: “Yes, I purchased a bike on Monday and I’m checking to see if it’s been assembled yet.”

Phone Person #2: “Can I get your name, please?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Phone Person #2: “Okay, I’ll just put you on hold while I make sure it’s here.”

(Hold music.)

Phone Person #2: “Are you there?”

Me: “Yep.”

Phone Person #2: “What did it look like?”

Me: “It’s a child’s bike, purple with green on the seat and handlebars.”

Phone Person #2: “We have a lot of purple bikes here. Do you know the product number? It would be an eighteen-digit code that was on the box.”

Me: “You have the box.”

Phone Person #2: “Hold, please.”

(Hold music.)

Phone Person #3: “Hi. Can I get your name, please?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Phone Person #3: “Okay, I’ll just put you on hold for a moment and see if I can locate your bike.”

(Hold music.)

Phone Person #3: “I believe I have found it. Would you like to pick that up today?”

Me: “Yes.”

Phone Person #3: “Great, I’ll take it down to our loading dock. Just go there, ring the pickup bell, and have some photo ID ready.”

Me: “Did I need to bring anything else?”

Phone Person #3: “No, just the photo ID you gave when you made the order.”

(Half an hour later, I am attempting to collect the bike at the loading dock.)

Loading Dock Staff: “Receipt.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Loading Dock Staff: “The receipt for the bike; I need it to sign off.”

Me: “I was only told to bring my ID.”

Loading Dock Staff: “We don’t accept ID. We cannot release the product to you until you provide your proof of purchase.”

(I drive home, find the receipt, and drive back to the store.)

Loading Dock Staff: “Got the receipt this time?”

Me: “Here.”

Loading Dock Staff: “I’m not signing off that you’ve taken it until you can prove to me that you can fit it in your car.”

Me: “It will fit.”

Loading Dock Staff: “I’ll be amazed if it does.”

(I have a small car, but the bike fits easily into the back seat; it is a children’s sized bike, after all.)

Loading Dock Staff: “That’s not what I meant, but cool. Have a Merry Christmas.”

(I have never encountered a store that needs a team meeting anywhere near as badly as this store appears to.)

Hopeless, Not Homeless

, , , , , , , | Related | December 22, 2018

(There is a guy that stands near my local supermarket every day, asking people for money. I don’t really carry cash on me; I just use my card. Whenever he asks me, I just say, “No, sorry,” which is usually fine, except on this day.)

Guy: “Any change. Any spare change, ma’am?”

Me: “No, sorry.”

(As I’m walking away just loud enough for me to hear, he says…)

Guy: “F****** stuck-up b****.”

(This pisses me off. If I ever have spare change, I’d much rather give it to a busker, who’s actually doing something for their money, rather than someone who just harasses people.)

Me: *turning back to him* “Excuse me! What the h*** did you just call me?”

Guy: “You heard me. Look at you, driving a fancy car, wearing expensive clothes, but you can’t help out someone that’s struggling with a few dollars.”

Me: “Can I ask you something? How much do you make a day?”

Guy: *condescendingly* “I don’t go home without making at least $50.”

Me: “Okay. I’m guessing that you get [government pension] and you live in [government housing]?”

(He nods slowly, trying to work out where I’m going with this.)

Me: “So, you get about $900 a fortnight from [pension], and then if you make $50 a day, that’s $700 a fortnight, which totals around $1600 a fortnight. So, you’re doing better than I am. And that’s before you take into account the fact you get incredibly cheap rent, pay next to nothing for medications, and don’t pay taxes. So, even though I work, you actually make more money than I do and pay cheaper rent. So, how about helping someone struggling with a few dollars?”

(By now there are a few other shoppers, homeless people, and the security guard from the supermarket watching and listening, and people start laughing at the shocked look on his face. Someone says, “S***, I’ve been giving him money for months when he’s better off than me!”)

Guy: “What? This is bulls***! You’re nothing but a stuck-up s***. You think you’re smarter and better than me.”

Me: “Well, you’re obviously pretty smart in one way: for months, if not years, you’ve been harassing people out of their money, while doing nothing for it. But you’re right; I do think I’m better than you, simply for the fact that I work for everything I have and don’t expect people to just give me money every day.”

(I walked away and got in my car with the guy yelling obscenities at me. For the next few days, I avoided that supermarket. When I did go back, the guy was nowhere to be seen, but the security guard came up to me to tell me that after I’d left the guy had started shouting at the gathered crowd and then took a swing at the guard. He was charged with assault and threats to kill, and given a trespass order for the whole street. While I know it’s not easy not being able to work and living on a pension, it doesn’t mean you have a right to abuse people when they won’t give you money for nothing.)

Don’t Judge A Thief By Its Cover

, , , , , | Legal | December 21, 2018

(My manager and I are discussing a few matters, including the fact that she doesn’t think I take customer theft seriously because I didn’t follow a customer around that she didn’t like the look of. Another supervisor has come to us.)

Supervisor: “There’s a woman who wants a refund, but I think there’s a problem with it and need someone to check it.”

Manager: “You’re a supervisor; just give her the refund and bring it to me later to authorise it.”

Supervisor: “She also wants $300 in gift cards.”

Manager: “Well, just sell them to her, and give her a refund for the sheets and sewing machine.”

Me: “Wait, what? Show me the receipt.”

(She gives it to me, and I notice it’s for some items I recognise, even though it’s from another store and also has $300 in gift cards on it.)

Me: “Oh, s***, [Manager], you need to come down for this; I think it’s that wom–“

Manager: *cuts me off* “I have other things to do;do what you have to.”

(I quickly head to the counter and find that the customer has left, leaving all of the items she is returning on the counter.)

Me: “Where’s the customer?”

Coworker: “She said she would be back; she just went next door.”

Me: “Okay, thanks. I just need to pull up a couple of sales from a couple of weeks back on the register before she comes back.”

(I pull up the sales, which were reported by the bank as credit card fraud. I note that the customer has joined our store incentive scheme for the sales and cross-check the latest receipt to see if the name matches. Two letters in the name are transposed. I quickly call our security officer so I can gain access to our CCTV footage, tell the staff to let me know when she returns, and race back to the office with the supervisor.)

Manager: “So, are you done wasting time doing something [Supervisor] should have done? What do you think you are doing with that? ” *indicating the CCTV system* “You can’t touch that without permission and a passcode.”

Me: “I have it; you need to look at this now.”

(I pull up footage that shows me turning a corner, and the customer spotting me coming and pretty much running out the door as she says something to the counter staff.)

Supervisor: “That’s her.”

Manager: “What’s her? It’s just a normal customer, nothing up there.”

Me: “It’s the credit card fraud woman.”

Manager: “Doesn’t look anything like her; she looked shifty and this lady looks fine.”

(I pull out my phone and show a picture I took of the CCTV monitor the last time she was in.)

Manager: “Oh, it is her. How did you know?”

Me: “She always buys the same things: sheets and sewing machines. Oh, and also $300 worth of gift cards.”

(I checked our outside cameras and found she’d driven off in a car that clearly showed the number plate. She had scammed our company for over $10,000, and other companies, as well.  She usually would hit each store once, but for some reason came back to our store. She ended up going to prison for five years.)

Kind People Don’t Have System Errors

, , , , , , | Hopeless | December 16, 2018

I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time lately and living from paycheck to paycheck. The day I get paid, I can’t sleep, and I head to the ATM at 4:30 am leaving my partner at home with our two kids.

Since I’m with a bank that has recently shut most of their branches, I have to use a different bank. The ATM gives my card back without the cash before displaying a system error. I check my online banking to find it has taken the money from my account but not actually given me the cash.

I call my bank to find out I have to go into a branch to dispute it and it will take up to two weeks. By the time the bank opens, I’m a complete mess, I have two kids that need nappies and formula, we have no food in the house, both my partner and I need medication, and we have rent to pay.

The first employee fills out a dispute transaction form and then tells me there’s nothing else they can do as I’m receiving government benefits — which actually is this bank’s policy on overdrafts. She then gets the branch manager. The manager spends over an hour on the phone but reassures me that if they can’t sort it out today, she will give me $100 out of her own account to make sure we at least have the basics until it’s sorted out or until my partner gets paid in a few days.

In the end, she manages to get an overdraft for the full amount I am due. I truly believe she would have given me the money from her own account, too. Before I leave she gives me a hug.

To the manager of the branch of a small, out-of-state bank in Melbourne City, if you’re reading this, thank you for going above and beyond for a very stressed-out, crying woman. Your kindness and understanding are amazing.

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