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Spending Is Not His Strong Suit

, , , , , | Right | December 30, 2021

I work in a men’s clothing store known for huge discounts and sales. Our business took a huge hit with the work-from-home movement, so the savings now are tremendous to push through the extra inventory we are stuck with.

A guy and his wife come in on a Saturday evening to get a couple of suits as he put on some weight recently. He wants to know the price of the suits he selected.

Me: “The suits you have here are each $199.”

Customer: “No, no, no. How much are they on sale for?”

Me: “That’s the sale price. $199.”

Customer: “Well, how much can I get them for?”

Me: “Still $199.”

Customer: *Deep sigh* “Okay… When you look up my account and see how much I’ve spent here, how much will they be?”

Me: “Still $199. As the store manager, I cannot do better than that price as it has never been that low in the past year.”

Customer: “Okay… Whatever, I need them, so I guess let’s get them.”

We got up to the register and I asked for his phone number to look up his account. We tried his home, cell, and work number, and even his wife’s cell, but no account came up. Turns out it’s been about five years since he last shopped with us, so his account was automatically removed from the system. People frustrate me with throwing around how much they spend somewhere as a means of getting a better deal.

Pound For Pound Just Stupid

, , , , , | Right | December 28, 2021

I’m in line at the cash register of a grocery store. The fresh meat products at this store are priced “per pound”, as is fairly standard in the grocery industry. If you buy a three-pound package, you’ll pay three times more than the listed “per pound” price. The woman at the cash register in front of me does not understand that part. The cashier rings up a package of meat, and when the woman sees the price for the meat, she loses it.

Customer: “Excuse me, but that [meat product] rang up wrong. It’s supposed to be $8.”

Cashier: “Yes, $8 per pound. This is a three-pound package, so the total is $24, which is what it rang up as.”

Customer: “What do you mean, ‘per pound’? The sign said $8, so I should get it for $8.”

The cashier calls a manager to run over and double-check the price of the meat. The manager returns, confirms that the sign says $8 per pound, meaning her three-pound package will cost $24, and tells the woman that she can either pay the full cost of the package or she can leave it.

Customer: “Well, I have never heard of something being priced per pound. Everything is always priced for the entire package.”

Manager: “What kind of car do you drive?”

Customer: “What? Why does that matter?”

Manager: “I’m just curious.”

Customer: “Well, I have a Toyota Yaris.”

Manager: “That’s a pretty small car, right?”

Customer: “Yeah, it is.”

Manager: “So, let’s say you fill your gas tank, and there’s a great big pickup truck at the next pump. You both pay $60 for gas, even though his truck is way bigger than your little car. Is that fair to you?”

Customer: *Scoffs* “Of course not. My car can’t even hold $60 of gas.”

Manager: “That’s why gas is priced per gallon, right? That way, if you only use a little bit of gas, you only have to pay a little bit of money, but when someone with a giant truck uses a lot of gas, they have to pay a lot of money. Do you see what I mean?”

Customer: “…”

Manager: “That’s why grocery stores almost always charge per pound for fresh meat. Our butchers can’t always cut a perfectly equal amount of meat for every package, so by charging per pound, we can make sure customers only pay for the meat that is actually in their package. Does that make sense?”

Customer: “Well, I still think you’re ripping me off. I’ll take the meat this time, but you should really change your prices to be for the entire package. All this ‘per pound’ nonsense is just pointless.”

It’s A Good Thing You Can Pay Bills With Favors

, , , | Right | December 28, 2021

Client: “Here’s that $3,000 we owed you.”

Me: “Thanks! But where’s the rest?”

Client: “Well, we were talking about it, and we think the quoted price in the contract is a bit more than we’re willing to pay.”

Me: “But…”

Client: “We’re paying you in cash off the books. That means no taxes! Don’t you hate it when you work hard for money and the government keeps it from you? We’re doing you a favour!”

Three Sheets To The Wind And None Left For The Wedding

, , , , , , , | Related | December 27, 2021

When my fiancée and I got engaged, her parents invited my parents and me to their house for a meal to celebrate and to try and get to know them a bit better.

I offered to drive my parents and noticed that they were fairly “merry” when I collected them, but unfortunately, I didn’t realise just how drunk they actually were until weeks later.

My wife and I hadn’t discussed any wedding costs with them at this point, and although her parents had offered to put something toward it, we had assumed that we would pay most of the cost ourselves. However, on the drive to my in-laws’ house, my parents grandly announced that they insisted on paying for half the wedding.

They refused to hear of it when I told them that their offer was far too generous, and then they made the same announcement to my fiancée and my future in-laws several times over the course of the night.

My fiancée and I ended up planning a relatively small event. In the course of planning, we both sent my parents some of the plan information and some initial estimates by email and messenger, which they typically made some polite but non-committal comments about.

Then, I visited them one weekend and had this conversation with my Dad.

Dad: “Why are you sending us all this information? It’s nice that you want to keep your Mum in the loop, but the financial stuff seems like it would be a bit personal.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Dad: “Well, why do we need to know what this is costing you?”

Me: *Laughs* “Good one.”

Dad: “I don’t see what’s so funny about this. You don’t actually expect us to pay for any of this, do you?”

Me: “Are you being serious right now? We didn’t ask you for a penny! You offered and actually insisted on paying for half! We’ve been actively trying to keep the price down to avoid asking you for too much.”

Dad: “Rubbish. If you can’t afford to get married, then you shouldn’t be getting married.”

My mum later insisted on giving us a gift toward the total cost, but I was told that since my sister had eloped without getting married, they would need to give her the same amount of money as anything they spent on us, so they couldn’t afford too much for that reason. 

From offering to pay for half the wedding, their gift was reduced to a small contribution, which they then later reduced further to paying a token toward the cost of the reception. They didn’t have any change in circumstances and are fairly well-off; they were just so drunk on the night of the meal that they made an extravagant offer but didn’t remember making it. My parents are alcoholics and I knew they were drunk, but this was the first time that either of them had done anything like this.

Whilst I was grateful for any gift, having to explain all of this to my fiancée and in-laws — specifically that my parents weren’t keeping their promise because they had been so drunk that they didn’t even remember making it — was one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life.

If You Don’t Take The Time You Can’t Spend The Time

, , , , | Right | December 26, 2021

Me: “If you want a custom Christmas e-mail template, it’ll take at least two billable hours.”

Client: “We don’t want to pay extra. Can’t you just add a snowy background?”

Me: “It’s a bit more complicated than that. I’m sorry, but I do have to charge by the hour.”

Client: “No. Why don’t you spend a couple of hours figuring out how we can do this for free.”

Me: “You want me to sit here for a “couple hours” to figure out a way you can get me to work for a couple of hours for free?”