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*Cries In American*

, , , , , , , | Healthy | January 23, 2023

A thirty-minute ambulance ride with three EMTs, one dose of steroids, and a nebulizer treatment (respiratory failure) resulted in a bill of over $1,500. Because I was on disability and only received about $800 a month, I just didn’t have it.

I called a couple of times to try to set up a payment plan, but no one ever called back, so it went to collections. I got the letter and saw that the collection agency had a specific phone line for setting up payments. 

Collector: “What kind of plan are you thinking of?”

Me: “I can pay about $100 a month.”

Collector: “Ma’am, are you aware of how much this bill is?”

Me: “Yes, I—”

Collector: “$100 a month will take you over a year to pay off.”

Me: “I know, but—”

Collector: “I’ll tell you what. We can set you up on four payments of—”

Me: “No. I can barely make this payment. I’m on disability. I only get $800 a month as it is.”

Collector: “Okay, so if you do $400 a month—”

I lost it.

Me: “Are you f****** kidding? Can you pay for everything in your life with $400 a month? I have to buy medications and food and—”

Collector: “Ma’am—”

Me: “I am offering $100 a month, and that is it.”

Collector: “I can’t approve that.”

Me: “Then find someone who can, or you won’t see a penny.”

Collector: “Hold on.”

I know it was rude. I know he was “just doing his job” and someone will undoubtedly say that I shouldn’t have taken the ambulance if I couldn’t afford it. Since the other option was dying, I took the ambulance.

After a few minutes, he returned to the line.

Collector: “I spoke with my supervisor. If you can make your first payment right now, we can approve $100 a month. But if you’re late once, the whole bill will be due. You will owe $100 by the fifteenth of every month.”

I get my payments on the tenth, so that worked.

Me: “Fine, thank you.”

It was a rough year, but with the help of my friends and family, I paid my debt in full.

In For A Penny… Part 4

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2023

I worked at a gas station as a teenager and, among many transactions, one customer interaction stood out. The customer asked for a fill-up and pumped all of the amount she wanted EXCEPT for one cent. I opened the register and took out one penny. 

Me: “Here you go. One cent is your change. Have a nice day.”

Customer: “Can you send the remainder back so I can pump it?”

Me: “You want one cent worth of gas?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I do not think any gas will come out. The pump may not even push any gas through.”

Customer: *As she walks back to the pump* “It’s fine. Thanks.”

Hope the effort was worth it.

Related:
In For A Penny…, Part 3
In For A Penny…, Part 2
In For A Penny…

The Barbecue Never Tasted Sweeter!

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Sleepyyypandawuh | January 20, 2023

I was a food runner at a Korean barbecue place. I had to give some meat to this middle-aged southeast Asian couple. I was surprised because I don’t see many southeast Asians around my area, and I was happy to see a fellow Southeast Asian.

When I gave them their food, I asked them what their ethnicity was.

Lady: “We’re Vietnamese.”

Me: “No way! There aren’t many southeast Asians here! I’m Lao and Filipino.”

Lady: “Oh, my! I haven’t met a Lao person before!”

Me: “Yeah, me, either. I only see them in my hometown.”

Lady: “Your hometown? Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m from [City]! I moved here because of university.”

Lady: “Oh, wow! You go to school and you work?”

Me: *Laughing* “Yeah, gotta pay for that tuition!”

After that, I had to go back to get more food. We waved and smiled a few times.

After the lady paid for their meal, she started asking my manager where I was. I went up to her and asked if she needed anything. She proceeded to ask for my name and what I was studying, etc. — just a nice conversation, which I didn’t expect.

She took my hand and put a $100 bill into it.

Lady: “I want you to enjoy school.”

I felt I was going to cry. It was so sweet. I thanked her so much and wished her well. Her husband was smiling, admiring the scene.

If that lady reads this, I just want to say thank you so much. You made my day that day. I wish the best for you!

Do Not Rent, Do Not Refute

, , , | Right | CREDIT: mstarrbrannigan | January 20, 2023

I work in a hotel. When I got in one morning, I noticed that the night shift had checked in someone I knew to be on our Do Not Rent list. I figured they were going to be my pain in the a** that day. It didn’t say exactly why they were on the DNR, but I think they had been a pain in the a** at checkout time or something. And based on what follows, I’m probably right.

They were marked down for a 12:00 pm checkout, and the guy came up to the desk at about 11:35.

Guy: “We’d like to stay for another night.”

Me: “No problem. It’ll be $83 added to your total.”

I did this knowing they were on the DNR because it’s usually easier to let folks leave on their own than to fight with them and kick them out.

Guy: “I don’t have enough money. I need twenty more minutes.”

Me: “I can’t do that; the payment is already thirty-five minutes late. I need you to pay or check out.”

Guy: “I have a 12:00 pm checkout!”

Me: “Payment is due at 11:00. 12:00 pm checkouts are for people who need a little extra time in the room, not people who want to pay late.”

Normally, I might give folks a little wiggle room on things like this, but at this point, I was getting a pretty good feeling this dude was on the DNR because he’s a pain to get payment from.

He attempted to argue about this with me for another five minutes. He tried to go over my head and got angry with the fact that I was the manager on duty. I don’t know why he thought he was going to get a different answer from me when he asked the same question thirty times, but he did not. He insisted he only needed twenty minutes. In my years of experience in the business, that almost always means closer to two hours.

Finally, I told him:

Me: “You need to get your situation figured out in the next five minutes or you will have to check out.”

Guy: “Okay, fine.”

Ten minutes later, he still hadn’t paid.

I messaged [General Manager], who had been working on our rooms under renovation, that I was probably going to need backup.

She went to knock on the door. The guy’s girlfriend opened it barely a crack, and she also attempted to argue with [General Manager], who shut it down.

[General Manager] came back to the desk.

General Manager: “They were definitely smoking in the room.”

So, these folks, who were apparently having so much trouble getting the money they needed for the room, were just going to throw away their $50 deposit? All righty, then.

The guy finally came back like ten minutes later and insisted he’d only been gone five minutes. He cussed at me and then attempted to argue with [General Manager] that we couldn’t put him on the DNR for no reason.

General Manager: “Maybe you’re on there for cursing at staff.”

He did not have a response to that.

We checked the room once they were finally out and found ashes on the bed, and they left a plastic bag over the smoke alarm. So stupid.

The Couponator 39: The Yarn Of Time

, , , , , , , , , | Right | January 19, 2023

I was in line during my lunch break at the craft store. This chain is known for the tons and tons of coupons they send out basically daily. This particular location is also perpetually understaffed. When I joined the line, I was about four people back, and three or four more joined after me as the lone cashier argued with a customer at the front over a coupon. I gathered from context that she has already argued over MULTIPLE coupons on this transaction, meaning she’d been there for quite a while.

Customer: “But I don’t understand why it’s not taking anything else off!”

Cashier: “This coupon states right here that ‘Sale, clearance, and [Brand] items are excluded.’ The only items you haven’t used a coupon on yet are all sale, clearance, and [Brand] items. I’m really sorry, but you can’t use this coupon. Do you want to take any of these items off?”

Customer:No! Stop trying to rob me, and just do whatever you need to do to apply this coupon for me!”

I felt like I saw the cashier’s soul leave his body as he geared up for round fifty-seven of this argument. Before he said anything, the elderly lady who had been waiting patiently to be served next shuffled up to the counter and set something down.

Customer #2: “Ma’am, while I was waiting for you to finish yelling at this poor young man, I looked up the item you want to buy here on my phone. It’s $9.00, and [Brand], so as this young man explained, you can’t use the 15% off coupon on it. But I’ve done the math, so here’s $1.35 to cover your hardship. Can you please pay so I can buy my [expletive] yarn and run along?”

There was a split second where I could see the Coupon Lady consider going full psycho, but instead, she handed over her credit card and finally paid for her order. The whole line did not applaud, but I definitely wanted to hug [Customer #2]. And the cashier gave her his employee discount for her basket of yarn.

Related:
The Couponator 38: The Sandwich Of Frustration
The Couponator 37: The Year Of Reckoning
The Couponator 36: The Counter-Coupon Cashier
The Couponator 35: Dog Food Day Afternoon
The Couponator 34: Blast From The Past