Humanity Hasn’t Completely Checked Out

, , , , , , , | Right | May 11, 2020

It is my fifth shift on the job and, as such, I am spending a large amount of time manning the checkouts. It is a quiet period in the store and two people approach the tills at the same time to pay. One is an old lady with a large number of reduced items while the other is a young woman with her infant with a basket full of what seem to be “top-up” shop items for restocking a home fridge and such.

The old lady places her basket next to the till.

Old Lady: “Could you ring me up slowly? I’m not too sure what I have the money for today.”

Me: “Sure, would you like a bag?”

Old Lady: “Please.”

I ring up and bag most of her items and tell her the total as I go along. It gets to about £6 or so and she takes out her purse and pulls out a £5 note and 50p explaining that this is all she has.

Me: “If you want, I can take the muffins off for you, and it should take the total down.”

Old Lady: “That would be great, thank you. Could you put the rest of my items behind the till, please? I might come back for them later.”

Me: “Sure.”

I go and place all the rest of her items behind me in a box and have her pay for the stuff she can afford. The young lady, who has been very quiet, speaks up as the older lady is turning to leave.

Young Lady: “Put the rest with mine, please.”

Me: “Are you sure?”

Young Lady: “Yes.”

I rang up the rest of the old lady’s items and she left with a smile on her face, seeming so happy that someone else was willing to help her. I am happy to have served both those people today.

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They Are Going, Going, Oregon!

, , , , | Right | May 11, 2020

Customer: “I’m from Oregon, so I don’t pay sales tax.”

Me: *Confused* “Um, what?”

Customer: “I’m from Oregon, so I don’t have to pay sales tax.”

Me: “Well, you are in California right now and we pay sales tax, so you have to, as well.”

Customer: “Isn’t there any way you can take it off?”

Me: “Ha! No, you can’t get out of paying tax.”

Customer: “What the f***?! This state is f****** ridiculous!”

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You Think YOU Hate Math?

, , , , , , | Learning | May 8, 2020

I work as a private tutor to help pay for college. I usually tutor math, but sometimes I’ll also tutor the more math-heavy sciences. Most of my students are regulars who have weekly or monthly appointments, but at exam time, I get a lot of new and often one-time students. They — or their parents — want someone to help them study for their exams.

When I get a three-hour booking for Algebra 2, I know it’s going to be one of those cram sessions. However, once I arrive, the mother asks me to also tutor her other two children in AP Physics and AP Chemistry after I’m done with the three-hour session. She makes it sound like they only need a little help with the math, so I agree on the condition that she pays a slightly higher rate for the last-minute change and understands that I haven’t had time to review any of the material for the second two subjects.

It turns out that all three of her children need an intense cram session to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in a single day. The first kid keeps to the three-hour time frame, but the other two need even longer. It’s not just the math they need help with, either.

I arrive at 9:00 am, and I’m there until 9:00 pm.

They provide me with two meals, since I wasn’t expecting to be there so long. However, there’s an ingredient mixed into the sauce at dinner that I’m allergic to. The allergy is mild, so I don’t even notice until after I’ve finished eating and don’t need medical attention. It does make my throat sore, though. For the last three hours or so, I’m progressively losing my voice, between the allergic reaction and the fact that I’ve been talking almost nonstop for hours.

By the end of it, I’m mentally exhausted. The mother states an amount of money and asks if it’s right while counting out bills — most other clients pay electronically or by check. I’ve never even seen that much money at once, so I just nod without thinking about it. It’s not until I get to the car that I realize the total doesn’t cover the number of hours I worked, even at my base rate. If it was just a few dollars, I might not bother going back, but it’s short by about $100.

I go back and knock on the door, feeling a little ridiculous to have not caught the mistake right away. I explain what happened, and the mother, of course, asks why I got the math wrong if I’m a math tutor.

The father is standing nearby and hears my explanation of the situation. Before I can answer, he comes up behind his wife and says, “Probably because you just had her work a twelve-hour shift of mentally taxing work when she was expecting a few hours, tops, and then nearly poisoned her. Just pay her, honey.”

The wife still seems reluctant, so the husband gives me two hundred-dollar bills from his wallet and tells me to keep the change. It was probably the most money I’ve ever made in a single day, but I decided I was never doing it again. This is why I now have a blanket policy of no unexpected extra students or school subjects.

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Now, That’s Just Trashy

, , , , | Working | May 7, 2020

I have a coworker that is always looking for a side hustle to make extra cash. She is in several multi-level marketing programs. We drink a lot of sodas and bottled water in the office. While the city has a recycling program, it only collects once a month. To avoid the cans and bottles piling up in our small office, I take them to an automated recycling center that is on the way home when we fill up our bin. 

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]. Where do you take the recycling?”

Me: “Oh, it’s a place on [Road] near my house.”

Coworker: “Do they pay you for it? I heard some of those places pay.” 

Me: *Shrugging* “A little. Just a handful of change, usually.”

Coworker: “How much do you get?” 

Me: “I don’t know. I never counted it up.”

Coworker: “But how much do you get paid for our recycling?!”

Me: “I really don’t know. A quarter, maybe.”

We went around like this for a bit before she dropped the subject. From that day on, she brought large trash bags to the office and emptied the bin into them at the end of each day. She’d also run up and down the street during her lunch to fish recyclables out of the city trash cans. 

Then, she’d take her hoard to the center to get her hard-earned pocket change… after spending $10 on trash bags and driving twenty minutes out of her way to drop them off.

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How To Round Up The Idiots

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2020

I work as a cashier at a fast food restaurant in a mall food court. Canada has recently discontinued use of the penny, so we are forced to round our change. An angry customer tries to barter with me one day.

Customer: “I’ll have a small root beer.”

Me: “That’ll be $1.93.”

Customer: “I don’t have any pennies. Can I just give you $1.90 and you round in my favour?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that. When a purchase is one or two cents above you round down, and when it is three or four cents, you round up. I need $1.95 from you.”

Customer: “I see the kind of establishment you’re running, but you won’t fool me! I’m never coming to this restaurant again!”

I stood there dumbfounded, watching him storm across the food court.

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