POP Goes Your Mooching Plans

, , , , , | Right | October 2, 2017

(Our library has a soda machine in the lobby to generate extra revenue. It’s been popular with patrons, especially the after-school crowd. My coworker is at her desk in the children’s room when this exchange happens.)

Girl #1: “I don’t have enough money for the pop machine.”

Coworker: “Oh, gee, I’m sorry!”

Girl #1: “I’m just a quarter short.”

Coworker: “That’s too bad, isn’t it?”

Girl #1: “I sure would love a pop, but I just need one more quarter!”

Coworker: *realizing the girl’s trying to mooch a quarter* “Well, maybe tomorrow you can remember to bring enough change.”

Girl #1: “But I want a pop now!”

(Meanwhile the girl at the front desk was much more direct.)

Girl #2: “Can I have a dollar to get a [Soda]?”

Me: “We don’t give out money here. Sorry.”

Girl #2: *huffs and stomps off*

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Found Yourself A True Renaissance Man

, , , , , , | Romantic | September 27, 2017

(This is the second year I’ve gone to the local Renaissance fair with my boyfriend, and the first year I’ve had any kind of money to spend, so I’m quite eager to head to one of the major costume shops along the main street. The capes from this shop are STUNNING, and I have been wanting one for years, so I’ve made sure I’ve got what I think is enough money to buy one. I drag my boyfriend over to the stall to look over which ones he thinks look best on me.)

Me: “Excuse me, how much are these emerald cloaks over here?”

Shop Lady: “Oh, the unpainted ones are [price way higher than I expected], but if you want one of the painted ones, it’s [higher price].”

Me: *heart sinking a good bit* “Oh, okay. Thanks!” *I sigh and whisper to my boyfriend* “Oh, well. I can always get it next year.”

Boyfriend: *smiling as he squeezes my hand* “You sure? I can lend you the money or something.”

Me: *awkwardly blushing, wondering if it sounded like I was guilt-tripping him to pay* “Nah, it’s fine; I don’t need it, and I don’t know when I could pay you back. Thank you so much for offering, though. It means a lot to me.”

(I go back to admiring the painted capes, making sure I knew which cape I’d want the next year when I could get one for myself. My boyfriend excuses himself for a moment and one of the shopkeepers chats with me for a bit. Next thing I know, my boyfriend is back with one of the bags the store puts purchases in. I stare at him for a moment before it clicks.)

Me: “Did you…?”

Boyfriend: *with a smile that I swear lit up the whole park as he hands me the bag* “Don’t worry about paying me back. Consider it a two-week-early birthday present.”

(I’m ready to cry, I am so touched! My whole face warms up as I blush, and I can’t stop grinning. He takes my hand and gives it a gentle kiss, looking at me adorably.)

Shop Lady: *winks* “Just so you know, those capes are waterproof if you ever wanna wear yours after a shower. Say, after he’s gotten home and you’ve got nothing else to greet him in…”

(Now it was his turn to blush as I giggled uncontrollably.)

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It Literally Pays To Be Nice

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2017

(I’m working customer service for a well-known bank when a young woman in her late teens or early twenties approaches my desk.)

Customer: “I’d like to see about getting overdraft fees removed from my account, please.”

(These types of transactions rarely go well. The customer is almost always angry and agitated, and I’ve been instructed to not write off legitimate overdraft charges unless there’s a really good reason. I’m allowed to use discretion, but if I do it more than once in a great while, I get in trouble. I steel myself for a tense interaction with this customer.)

Me: “Let me see here. It looks as if these overdraft charges are valid. You overdrew your account by [amount #1] on Thursday morning, and then made four more purchases over the next few days totaling [amount #2]. The $175 in overdraft fees you incurred are valid, and I can’t delete them. I could enroll you in overdraft protection though, so you won’t need to worry about this scenario again.”

Customer: “I’d like that, please. To be honest, I know this is my fault. I should have been more careful with my money, and I wasn’t keeping track of what was in my account. The blame is on me. I just figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to get these charges removed. Can you tell me how to enroll in overdraft protection?”

Me: *flabbergasted* “Wow. You’re the first customer in years to take full responsibility for an overdraft charge. I’ll take care of this for you, and delete the charges. Thanks for being so nice!”

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Prioritize Yourself

, , , , , , | Hopeless | September 26, 2017

I suffer from many disabilities, including one that causes debilitating chronic pain. I was having an awful day. I was told by an office they couldn’t hire me because I was a liability (uncontrolled seizures), and because some of the other office workers were afraid of dogs. (I have a service dog.)

On top of that, one of my clients for my virtual assistant business was dragging his feet on paying me. It got to the point that I refused to help him with anything else until I got at least half of what he owed me. That resulted in a less than kind email about how I was terrible and would never get ahead if I behaved this way to all of my clients.

Unfortunately, I had very few people to help me financially. My boyfriend, who I lived with and was one of my caretakers, was leaving for deployment in just two months, and I was having a very hard time. My parents were going through financial issues. Then, I found out some bills were about to be sent to collection. I panicked, ready to call it quits, when I tried my last-ditch effort.

I had another client who was amazing. She was always good at giving me work, and was on time with her payments. Even though she was not due to pay me for another week, and I was not high-priority, I sent her a text to see if she would pay me early. Her response left me in tears.

“[My Name], you are ALWAYS a priority. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Of course I’ll pay you today. You’re a blessing to me and deserve to be treated as such. God bless!”

Her kindness and encouragement meant so much to me. My future is still scary and uncertain, but I feel better knowing that I have people like her in my life.

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This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 69

, , , , , | Right | September 26, 2017

Me: “Your total is $31.39. You can insert your card when you’re ready.”

(The customer inserts her card, and it’s declined.)

Me: “Sorry, your card was declined. Do you want to try another card?”

(The customer tries the same card and it’s once again declined.)

Customer: “So, am I good?”

Me: “No, sorry. It was declined again.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I don’t get it.”

Me: “Your card was declined. You’ll have to call your bank if you think it’s a mistake. It may have a protection on it.”

(The customer hands me the card.)

Me: “I can’t do anything on my end. You’ll have to call your bank.”

Customer: “But it’s all the way in [Next Town Over].”

Me: “You can just call them, and I’ll hold your things.”

Customer: *pulls out cash, but not enough to cover all of it* “What about if I just buy one? How much is one?”

Me: “You can do that; just let me know which one to take off. If you buy one, it’ll be $15 plus tax.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Which color would you like?”

Customer: “So, now what? What do I do?”

Me: “You need to choose a color.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Blue or black?”

Customer: “…”

Me: “I need to void one of these items in order to finish the transaction.”

(The customer stays quiet for a few moments, as she processes this life or death decision.)

Customer: “I want the black one.”

Me: *quickly takes payment and waits for the customer to leave before turning to my coworker, who witnessed it all* “Are my ears bleeding?”

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