Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

, , , , , | Healthy | June 5, 2018

(Shortly before we met, my husband left his job to start a new one, and his insurance lapsed for a month. During this month, he had to get an emergency appendectomy. A year and a half later, we’re down to the last $1,000 of the $10,000 he owes to the hospital. Due to my medical conditions, I’m a stay-at-home wife and mom to my step-kids, so we have had no choice but to stay with my parents during that time. We’re finally able to see the light out of the debt, and the same hospital calls me. This isn’t the first time they’ve called, but the first time I’ve answered.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, is this [My Name]? I’m calling to discuss your account with [Hospital]. I see here that you owe $200 for a visit.”

Me: “Yes, I’m aware of that. I had a pretty bad bout with bronchitis, and it didn’t play well with my asthma. I fully intend to pay that $200. But since I’ve been paying you guys $10,000 for my husband’s life-saving operation, we were kind of waiting until that was paid off before paying mine.”

Caller: “Uh… I’m going to send out some financial help paperwork to you, and make a note of this. It was headed to collections, but it’ll put a hold on it for you.”

(I’m not sure if the shock in his voice was because I was intending to pay my debt, or because of how much we had already paid them, but it made me giggle. People can be surprisingly understanding if you explain the situation to them.)

Someone Explain To Him What Single Currency Means

, , , , , , | | Working | June 5, 2018

I worked at a small charity running holidays for children. As we ran some holidays in France, we had a French bank account so that French parents could pay in euros. One day the elderly and rather confused boss stormed in to complain that he had been looking at the French bank statement and was horrified to see that a German family had paid into it.

“It’s only for French euros, not German euros,” he said.


Money Makes The Car Wheels Go Round

, , , , , | | Right | June 1, 2018

(A customer comes in looking for a quick check for a noise his car is making. It’s a Saturday and normally we are very busy, but today I have time to talk to the customer about his interest in buying a luxury car and the cost for upkeep on them. The mechanic checks it out and tells me what’s wrong. I price it up and give him about $80 in discounts.)

Me: “Well, sir, I have it all written up for you. It needs tie rods and sway bar links for the noise. It’s going to be $570 for everything, but I was able to apply some discounts and get the price down to $490. That’s the lowest I can go for the work.”

Customer: “This is too much money for me; I can’t afford it.”

Me: “I understand, sir, but unfortunately I cannot go any cheaper; I’ve applied all the discounts that I have to give. I’m not even charging you labor for one part.”

Customer: “Let me see your pen. I’m going to write a price down on this sheet, and you are going to do it at this price because I’m a good customer and its the price I feel is right for the work.”

Me: “No, sir, that’s not how it works.”

(He writes down $400.)

Me: “Sir, it’s $490 or nothing.”

Customer: “But I come here all the time! Look at my history!”

Me: “Sir, you’ve come in four times in four years: one for a bearing for which you ended up making us return your money and put the old part back on, then we didn’t see you again for two years, then you did two oil changes and one battery. You just spent thirty minutes talking to me about buying a Mercedes or a BMW. Honestly, if you can’t afford a $500 part on your Nissan, how do you plan on affording a $600 brake job?”

(The customer ended up taking his estimate and leaving.)

A Little Dishonesty To Earn An Honest Buck

, , , , | | Right | May 27, 2018

(I work at a pretty popular bank in a small city. We’re really focused on good customer interactions, so I greet each and every customer with a smile. On this particular day a father and his three sons walk in and come up to my window.)

Me: “Hi! My name is [My Name]; how can I help you today?”

Man: “Hi! My son, [Son], found this 100-dollar bill on the ground! And I want you to look up who it belongs to.”

Me: “What?”

Man: “You know, the codes on the bills… I want to make sure it wasn’t stolen money or anything like that. Can’t have my kids handling dishonest money! So, yeah, just track it.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not able to track a bill. There is no way to find out where it was or who it belonged to.”

Man: “Oh, I see. So, it doesn’t belong to anyone else?”

Me: “Well, it…” *I think hard about whether or not I want to continue to deal with him* “No, it didn’t! It’s all yours!”

Man: “Great! See, [Son]? You have $100 now!”

Food For Thoughtful

, , , | | Hopeless | May 23, 2018

(I am 17, and my sister is 16. I have gone off to college, while my sister is still at home. She works a part-time job at the local fast food restaurant. Our single dad is just finishing a messy divorce, and we are fairly poor. The following happens when I drop in on her shift to say hello.)

Me: “Hey, [Sister]!”

Sister: “Oh, hi! Are you going to come pick me up when I get off in a few hours?”

Me: “Yes! I can’t wait!”

Sister: “Okay. Do you have a couple of bucks? Dad wasn’t home when I left for work, the fridge is empty, and I’m so hungry.”

Me: *heart sinking* “No, I’m broke, too. I’m sorry. Maybe we can scrounge something up when I come pick you up?”

Sister: “Yeah, hopefully we can figure something out.”

(My sister turns away to handle something behind the counter.)

Customer: *to me* “Hey! I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but I overheard you and your sister talking. Take this.” *she hands me two five-dollar bills*

Me: “Thank you so much! But are you sure?”

Customer: “Absolutely. You make sure your sister gets something to eat there. Family takes care of family, don’t they?”

(And just like that, she turned and left. I gave my sister one of the fives so she could get some food at work, and with the other $5 and the change I was able to scrounge from my car and our sofa cushions, we were able to get a take-home pizza until my dad could get groceries the next day. Thank you, kind stranger!)

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