This Part Is Always Self “Check” Out

, , , , , , | | Right | June 29, 2019

(I’m cashiering one slow evening. A regular customer comes through my line. I go through my usual spiel and start to scan his groceries.)

Customer: “D***, I forgot my credit card at home. Do you guys take checks?”

Me: “Yes, we do.”

Customer: “Great. The checkbook is in the car; I’ll be right back.”

(His order is large enough that I’m just finishing up when he returns.)

Me: “All right, the total is [total].”

Customer: “Okay.”

(The guy opens his checkbook to the next blank check, rips it out, and hands it to me without filling anything out. I stare at him, then I stare at the check, and then back at him, not sure what to say.)

Customer: “Oh, do I have to fill that out?”

(I have never seen a customer so trusting with their money that they would hand a complete stranger a blank check.)

Entitled To Training To Be Entitled

, , , , , , , | | Working | June 23, 2019

(I take over the responsibility of running a small team at work. It is clear that they are unhappy so I do all I can to help them out, talk with them regularly, and generally keep them running smoothly. Things improve quickly, but one person always has a complaint, be it work related or otherwise. He asks to speak to me in private.)

Worker: “I’ve got a problem. Why am I being paid much less than everyone else?”

Me: “I don’t know your exact wage, but I don’t think you are.”

Worker: “Well, I know that I am! [Worker #1] and [Worker #2] get paid a lot more than me.”

Me: “They have been in the position for much longer than you, have completed their training, and have had pay increases based on their yearly performance.”

Worker: “Okay, well, how do I complete my training?”

Me: “You have to show competence in each area of the job; there is a sign-off sheet for each skill. When you and I are happy with the skill we will both sign. When you have signed all of them, you are officially trained.”

Worker: “Okay, I want to do that.”

(I collect all of the training sheets. They have been written to cover one skill each; I improved them to make sure it’s very clear. You can actually use the sheet to help you with the job. Under each one, you sign to say that you are competent in that skill and have received training, and that if you fail to follow the instructions you may be questioned and possibly, in extreme cases, disciplined. I give the pack to him and hear nothing until I am called into HR.)

HR Manager: “We have had a complaint about unfair treatment and entrapment. Apparently, you have asked [Worker] to sign something that will get him in trouble.”

Me: “That would be the training document; have you read it?”

HR Manager: “Yes.”

Me: “And you can see that it is nothing like entrapment and everyone has been treated the same?”

HR Manager: “Yes, that was all. Thanks.”

(Not to be put off, I explain everything to the worker again and tell him how this is fair and normal. He accepts and I hear nothing back until I get called into HR again.)

HR Manager: “We have had a complaint that you are paying someone who works for you less, because of his race.”

Me: “This would be [Worker]?”

HR Manager: “I cannot say.”

Me: “Okay, I am going to pretend that [Worker] is the only person reporting to me of a different race and explain. [Worker] will be paid the full amount for the role, minus merit increases earned by others for their long service. He can only do this once he has signed the training documents. This has been explained.”

HR Manager: “And if he refuses to sign?”

Me: “No one can make a mistake and not face discipline if it is appropriate. That is what this is about. If he truly believes that he cannot do the job after several months and multiple training sessions, I will happily transfer him to any other department that needs him.”

HR Manager: “To be honest with you, I have already spoken to the individual, and I think that this is the case, but I need to follow the process.”

(I hoped that this was all over; I had been nothing but patient and tried to help and explain. He seemed to understand and be happy with the extra effort I was doing to get him more money. To my surprise, the worker took me to an independent tribunal, which sided in my favour. He then took me to another tribunal that sided in my favour. He later signed the documents and got the pay rise without issue.)

It’s Payback Time… Literally

, , , , , , | | Friendly | June 15, 2019

(I am broke, living with my broke friends. We won some tickets to an event in another city, and a well-off relative of mine is paying for a hotel stay for me, but he has asked for my friends to contribute their fair share back. This is easily agreed upon by everyone involved, with an invoice/contract for fairness’s sake. But, naturally, it can’t be that easy. [Friend #1] pays her share right away, [Friend #2] is paying in a couple of paychecks from now, and [Friend #3] is turning into trouble. [Friend #3] is the only one of us with a full-time job, and she is only living with us because she is fighting with her boyfriend. This takes place a few months after the event.)

Friend #3: “It’s no big deal; I’ll pay at the next paycheck.”

Me: “Okay, [Relative] is getting really impatient. You promised you’d pay him last month.”

Friend #3: *scoff and rolls eyes* “Well, I had expenses! The next check is Friday.”

(What she had was a fancy manicure, several new foreign comic books, two new video games, and five character plushies.)

Me: “Then, we’ll meet with him on Monday. Be ready so we can make it quick.”

(Over the weekend, [Friend #3] brags about her new anime plushies — which she bought on Saturday — has an entirely different manicure with acrylic nails and glitter-glaze, and has some new mid-range designer clothes, and her room REEKS of reefer. On Monday, [Friend #3] refuses to come to visit my relative.)

Friend #3: *shrugs and clicks her fake fingernails together idly* “I don’t have the money. I had bills to pay, so he can wait.”

(I’m pissed at this point, because my friend’s debt is causing tension in my relationship with the one relative who ever so much as tried being kind to me after I came out. I don’t reply; I just walk to [Friend #3]’s room and grab the nearest shopping bag of brand-name consumerist garbage, still new with tags. I check what’s in the bag to find four $60 figurines of popular anime characters.)

Me: *fake smile* “I’m sure this’ll be enough. I’ll just return these for you since you need to pay back your debts and you didn’t need to buy anime character figurines.”

([Friend #3] sputters and grunts; she can’t even come up with an argument. She follows me as I load the bag into my car. Just as I sit in the driver’s seat, she gets into the car.)

Friend #3: *dejected and quiet* “Take me to [Bank], please.”

(She got out the right amount of cash, so I let her have her stuff back and took her home. I brought the cash to the relative alone to avoid drama, but then he was upset with me because I couldn’t convince him that it was her money. He still thinks I covered for her. [Friend #3] helped herself to literally all the food in the house as revenge and gave it to her boyfriend, who she moved back in with. The rest of us were forced to go hungry for the next two weeks.)

These Boots Were Made For Walking Cheaply

, , , | | Right | June 10, 2019

(I work in a thrift store, and I am basically in charge of shoes and purses. On occasion, I get a rare or expensive pair that gets donated, and these go in a glass case for display rather than on the floor.)

Customer: “May I see the [Expensive Brand] shoes?”

(I bring them out and the customer eyes them critically.)

Customer: “This is a thrift store, isn’t it?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Most of your other shoes aren’t more than $5 or $6! How do you justify charging $30 for this pair?”

Me: “It’s actually quite easy to justify, actually. This brand retails for $200 each. I took $50 off because this pair is used, then took an additional 80% off because we’re a thrift store. We actually beat out [Competitor Thrift Store] in prices all the time.”

(The customer actually stops and looks wide-eyed.)

Me: “Of course… if that price isn’t low enough for you, I’m sure someone else would be happy to pay that price for those boots…”

Customer: “No! I’ll buy them right now! Sold! Ring me up, please!”

(I guess justifying my prices is quite easy when no one else in the city offers discounts like that.)

Tearing Up The Economy

, , , , | | Right | June 10, 2019

(I’m a “key carrier” — low-level manager — at a farm store. I’m putting away stock and I receive a page to the registers. Our cashier has a customer who is trying to pay with a five-dollar bill that has been torn in half.)

Cashier: *to me* “Can we take this as payment?”

Me: *to customer* “I’m sorry, sir, but unfortunately, I can’t accept this as payment.”

Customer: “Why not? It’s American currency!”

Me: “Yes, but half of the bill is missing. I wouldn’t be able to use it as change for another customer. If you take this bill to your bank, however, they may be able to swap you for a new five-dollar note.”

Customer: “Well, that sounds like your problem! If it’s so easy, you should go do it yourself! I’m sure you guys make deposits every day; take care of it, then!”

Me: “Sir, I’m not sure what else to tell you, but I can’t accept half of a bill for the full value.”

Customer: “So, you won’t accept American currency! I’d like to speak to your manager!”

Me: “You are, sir. This has zero to do with its country of origin. It’s half of a bill. I’m sorry but there’s nothing else I can do for you.”

Customer: “There’s no reason I should have to take the hit for this. You can override this; I know you can. You just don’t want to. Just give me the number to your corporate office. I’ll explain to them why you just lost a customer over five dollars, and you’ll be out on your a**.”

Me: *irritated beyond the ability to keep my mouth shut* “Okay, tell you what. Give me that bill plus $2.50 and we’ll call it even.”

Customer: “…”

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