The Bank Job

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

In my first real job, one of my tasks is to take cheques to the bank and bring back cash for the petty cash. I am given a handbag and am told I need to take my own wallet for ID purposes at the bank.

The accountant jokes with me, “Oh, if you get mugged, make sure you ask for your wallet back.”

I don’t take his joke too seriously until I am at the bank one day. I turn to see a guy watching the teller counting the money I am to take back. He then turns to me and gives me a creepy grin. I don’t think anything of that until I am a few doors away from the bank and turn to find him so close to me he’s almost touching me. I quickly dart between cars and across the road. He follows a short distance away, so I duck into a shop that I know has an upstairs exit into the next street. I sneak a look when I am going up the stairs to see him standing by the door I had entered. I run out the back door and through another shop before rushing back to work. Thankfully I had explored different routes and knew which stores had rear exits. My work only wants me to take one route to and from the bank, at the same time each day.

Not long after that, I move into a receptionist role and a new hire is given the bank job, which isn’t part of the job description. Her husband comes in to see the accountant and tells him that his wife is not doing the banking. The accountant agrees it is too dangerous for a middle-aged lady to do, but funnily had not considered it too dangerous for his teenage niece to do.

The Prices Are Not Going Down Under

, , , , | Right | October 19, 2017

(I am a customer in a nail salon in Singapore, along with another lady who’s Asian but not local.)

Lady: “I would like to remove the gel manicure and get a new one done.”

Manicurist: *in simple English because she’s from Vietnam* “To remove gel, $30. Classic mani at $26 and classic pedi at $36.”

Lady: “I’m sorry; I don’t understand you.”

Manicurist: “To remove gel is $30.”

Lady: “Why are you charging me so much? In Sydney, they don’t charge me to remove the gel, and for mani and pedi it’s only $65. I don’t understand; it’s dollar to dollar now. How come you need to charge me to remove the gel?”

Me: “This is how the service is here.”

Lady: “This is ridiculously expensive. I don’t understand. It’s dollar to dollar now. How come they are charging me so much compared to Sydney?”

Me: “Well, you’re not in Thailand or Indonesia, where their services are really cheap. At the same time, you’ll never know the quality rendered to you with that kind of price. Whereas here, their services are excellent and their products are good. I’m really happy with my service and I’ve been with them for many years now.”

Lady: “If I knew it was going to be this expensive, I would have done it in Sydney!”

Sew Cheap!

, , , , , , | Working | October 19, 2017

(I am a shift leader at a craft and fabric store. Towards the end of my shift, the assistant store manager arrives to take over for the rest of the day, and joins me at the registers. I am cashing out a customer and making small talk before I give the ASM my report for the shift.)

Customer: “I was so surprised to see these [Sewing Machine]s on display! None of your other stores have anything like them.”

Me: “Well, we are a pretty large chain, so different locations will often have very different merchandise. Do you have your membership card with you today?”

(I scan through all of the customer’s fabric and notions before I scan the sewing machine sitting in her cart. My ASM has been watching my screen the whole time, looking worried, and as soon as I scan the sewing machine, she swears under her breath and bolts for the back of the store like someone lit her hair on fire.)

Customer: *confused and slightly offended* “Well, that was rude.”

Me: *equally confused, since the ASM is usually extremely cool-headed* “Yeah, I’m not sure what that was.”

(I turn to look at the screen and realize the problem: the sewing machine rang up at $0.01.)

Me: “Well, lucky you. That machine is only ringing up at a penny. Your total is [amount less than $20].”

Customer: “What?! Can I go buy the rest of the display?”

Me: “I’m afraid not; I think that’s why my manager just ran off like that. But since this one is already through the system, you’re welcome to take it.”

Customer: *no longer offended, and actually quite cheerful, she pays and takes her receipt* “Any wonder. Well, have a nice day!”

(Since there were no other customers to cash out, I hurried to the back to help my ASM pull the sewing machines off the floor. There were over a dozen of that model. It turns out that our general manager hadn’t read an email memo earlier in the week, which said to remove that line of sewing machines from display, as they had been discontinued and were slated to be returned to the manufacturer. They were meant to go out with the shipment truck’s return trip the day this occurred, but no one had informed me. Somehow, the GM saw the email title with the model number, and thought it was a memo to put them on display. They’d been sitting on the floor all week as a result. When the system deleted the merchandise from our database earlier in the day, it converted the price of the machines to one penny. Fortunately, after checking with other staff, we’d only sold two of the machines since the price change. The first time, either the cashier and customer hadn’t noticed the discrepancy, or hadn’t cared to report it to me.)

Trying To Posit How Deposits Work

, , , , , , | Right | October 18, 2017

(A customer calls to accept her quote, and pay the scheduling deposit.)

Customer: “Okay, so, I am going to pay $300 deposit today, and pay the rest when the guys get here. I need you here September 8.” *in three days*

Me: “I’m sorry, that won’t work. We are currently booking the end of October, and we require a 50% non-refundable deposit, up to $2,500, now, in order to hold your place in the schedule. Your entire job will cost about $14,000, so that means we need the $2,500 now.”

Customer: “I don’t want to pay that much now, and I can’t wait until the end of October. I will pay $500 now, so you can hold my spot, and I’ll let you come September 15. Then I will call around and see if I can get someone out here sooner than that; if I can, I’ll get the money refunded back to pay them instead of you.”

Me: “Well, you are welcome to call around if you like, but I will need the $2,500 now if you would like your spot at the end of October held, and as it says in your contract, that amount is non-refundable.”

Customer: “Well, that policy is illegal. You can’t keep my deposit if I can find someone else to do it first! You probably lose a lot of money that way!”

Me: “We do lose some jobs because people need us to come sooner than we are able; that is why all deposits are non-refundable. If we lose another job because the end of October is booked with your job, and then you cancel, we can use your deposit to make payroll, keep our employees so we are able to do the rest of the jobs we have scheduled, and cover overhead even though we have nothing booked and have lost other potential jobs for it. We usually book out two to eight weeks in advance, at all times of the year, so I don’t think we are losing a lot of custom over this. It’s also not illegal, and clearly laid out in your contract.”

Customer: “Fine, I will just pay on credit card today; at least that way I can cancel the charge if I find someone else who can do it sooner.”

Me: “And you’ve just said the magic words! Now we require payment by certified cheque or bank draft for the whole amount before we will put you in the schedule. Whenever you drop that off at the office, I can book you in at that time. For every day you wait, our lead time gets two to three days longer until after Christmas, when our lead times start to drop. I will send you an email confirming the new terms of your contract.”

Customer: “You can’t do that; it’s illegal to charge for goods before the customer gets them. You can’t do this. Deposits are always refundable; it’s the law! You aren’t allowed to do this!”

Me: “You should go explain those laws to [Coffee Shop] and to every hotel, ever, ma’am. You have a nice day now.”

Spare A Nickel Of Charity?

, , , , , | Right | October 17, 2017

(Our chain has implemented a “roundup” feature; customers are asked if they want to round their total up to the nearest dollar, with the extra cents being donated to a children’s charity. The outcome means that it is impossible for the donation to ever be more than 99 cents.)

Customer: “What’s this prompt asking me?”

Me: “It’s asking if you want to round the total of your purchase up to the next dollar, and donate the extra to charity.”

(The customer hits yes before proceeding with her question.)

Customer: “Oh, now I remember. I think I donated two or three dollars with it the last time I was here. How much is it this time?”

Me: “Less than a dollar, ma’am.”

(The transaction proceeds normally, until we finally reach the end.)

Me: “All right, your total is $28.00.”

Customer: “It’s how much? Oh, no. That can’t be right!”

(She begins rummaging around in her wallet, still thinking aloud.)

Customer: “I’m sure I added everything up correctly, but I didn’t bring enough for that with me… Wait, I know! It was that donation! How much did you say it was?”

Me: “Less than a dollar?”

Customer: “Well, take it off. I’m sorry; I didn’t realize it was going to be so much.”

(I go ahead and cancel it, displaying her new total without the rounding.)

Me: “All right, your total is… $27.95, ma’am.”

(The customer promptly pulled out $28 in cash, and I handed her the nickel in change.)

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