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First Date Nerves

, , , , , , | Right | July 23, 2020

A man comes into my grocery store to buy flowers and some chocolate. He is wearing a uniform for a local hot dog stand and grinning like a maniac. 

Customer: “Could you take the price off for me? I’m on a first date.”

Me: “Oh, congratulations!”

I take the tag off.

Customer: “Yeah, we just spent two hours at [Fast Food Place] staring into each other’s eyes.”

He produces a digital camera from his pocket and shows me several pictures of her.

Me: “Well, that’s a good way for a first date to start.”

I have finished ringing him up, but there are no other customers so I don’t feel the need to rush him off.

Customer: “Could I get a bag for the flowers? And do you have any of those little cards? Or a post-it note?”

Me: “I have a bag, but I don’t have a little card. I do have a post-it if you want. It says the store slogan on the bottom, though.”

Customer: “Sounds awesome!

I retrieve both items and we put his flowers in the bag. I advise him to write his note on the register belt as it allows for better handwriting. The whole time, he is giving me way more information about his date than I would like. He attaches the note to the flowers and sticks the chocolate inside. He goes to thank me and notices my name tag.

Customer: “Thank you… Hey! That’s her name! You guys have the same name!”

Me: “That’s odd. What a coincidence.”

Customer: “Can you take a picture of me with the flowers?”

I oblige and take several pictures of him trying to show me how to get his camera to focus before I get the shot he wants.

Me: “Well, now you’ll have the memory of the cashier that couldn’t take pictures.”

Customer: “Could I… get a picture of you, as well?”

I oblige and pose, and when the picture is over, it seems like the final goodbye. The customer is halfway to the door.

Customer: “Oh! And kisses are magic!

He pranced out the door into the night.

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for July 2020!

Read the next Feel-Good Story here!

Read the July 2020 Feel-Good roundup!

The IT Team Must Be Really Bored These Days

, , , , , , | Working | July 18, 2020

I work in what amounts to a call center, so 98% of my job involves talking to people. Due to current circumstances, my job has become 100% remote. This isn’t really an issue, as I have my own wireless headset which I purchased myself.

One day, however, I accidentally damage the dongle which allows the headset to connect to my computer, and now the headset is completely useless. I talk to my boss since I literally can’t do my job without a headset, and she tells me to contact IT for a replacement.

IT Person #1: “[University] Help Desk, how can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi. My headset broke and my team lead told me I should call you guys to get a new one.”

IT Person #1: “Certainly! We’ll ship it ASAP.”

She confirms my details and I assume that is the end of it. In the meantime, I dig up an old wired headset which is far from ideal but will get the job done until my replacement arrives. We use Internet-based software to make calls, so I need to use a headset with a microphone that can connect to my computer as opposed to, say, my cell phone. A few days after I make the call to IT, I get an email that a comment has been added to my ticket.

IT Person #2: “I am reaching out regarding your headset issue. Is the headset for [Software]? We would also need to work with you on troubleshooting issues. Please contact us to resolve this issue.”

Me: “It’s not an issue with [Software] at all. The dongle to my wireless headset is physically broken, and the headset cannot be used. I need a replacement headset.”

The next day:

IT Person #3: “Thank you for that information. I just need to confirm if this is a [Software] headset. Please contact us to troubleshoot.”

A few hours later:

IT Person #4: “Thank you for the information you provided on [Date]. Please contact [IT Manager] with the information on what needs to be replaced. I have escalated this request to a Level III representative.”

Me: “To be clear, I am not asking for help with my broken headset. I bought it from a private company with my own money and it is physically broken. I cannot use it and I cannot do my job without a proper headset. Should I still contact [IT Manager]?”

The next day, I get a private message through Microsoft Teams from [IT Person #5].

IT Person #5: “I will go ahead and email [IT Manager] on your behalf. Can you please clarify what is wrong with your headset?”

Me: “My wireless headset is broken. The tines of the dongle snapped off and it cannot connect.”

IT Person #5: “I meant the headset we originally gave you, not the wireless one.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. I left it at the office.”

IT Person #5: “Request submitted. I will be closing the ticket. Please let us know if you need any other help!”

I really hope my headset ACTUALLY gets shipped, and I won’t have to go through another five people to clarify a rather simple request.

A Pay-n In The Backside

, , , , , , , | Working | July 16, 2020

The company I work for uses an outside business to manage payroll. I have worked here for three years now, and it seems like every month there is yet another reason why I can’t believe we still use this payroll company. Here are a few:

I am supposed to get reimbursed for using the parking garage next to our office. I give my boss the receipts and she reports the amount to payroll. Apparently, though, payroll just cannot nail down the difference between a reimbursement and a deduction, because on three or four paychecks now, I have had to tell my boss that the cost of the parking garage had been subtracted from my paycheck instead of added to it so that payroll could reverse it.

I make sure to check my pay stub very carefully every time now because it seems to happen totally sporadically.

Last year, I enrolled in the company health insurance program for the first time, meaning that a certain amount of my paycheck would get automatically deducted every pay period to cover the premium. (Yay, USA!) This was supposed to start happening on April 1st. However, I noticed no difference in pay after my first April paycheck. My mistake here: instead of asking about it right away, I assumed it must be retroactive, meaning I would pay for the month of April starting May 1st.

But then, my first May paycheck came. No difference. I talked to my boss, who contacted payroll, to find out that they had just straight-up forgotten to start deducting it. Since I had still technically been enrolled in health insurance in April, though, I was still on the hook for the premium, meaning that for the rest of the year I had to pay more out of each paycheck to cover the difference.

This past March, our hours were reduced due to the health crisis, which — I believed — would translate to a $400 pay cut each pay period — a bit of a bummer but understandable, and better than being laid off. However, when I received my first paycheck, to my shock, it was over $1,000 less than usual!

Now very worried, as this was nowhere near enough money to live on, I asked my boss if this amount was correct. She seemed just as shocked as I had been and reached out to payroll right away. Lo and behold, when my boss had communicated the hours cut to them, they had totally misinterpreted the number of hours we were supposed to be getting paid for; essentially, we were working [hours] every week, but we were getting paid for working that many hours every two weeks.

A week ago, my boss informed me that I was getting a bonus in my next paycheck to make up a little bit for the hours cut since we had fared better than anticipated during the health crisis. Today — I am writing this in late May — I received my most recent pay stub, which was divided into two separate payments: my regular paycheck and the bonus. Both were paid out on the same day… and both included a deduction for my health insurance, meaning I unwillingly paid twice as much as I was supposed to for health insurance this period.

I wasn’t even upset; I just started laughing. A couple of hours later, on a video call with my boss, I casually said, “Hey, I also have a question about payroll…” and smirked as I watched an expression come over her face that clearly said, “Oh, for God’s sake, what have they done now?”

Maybe this is the final straw that will allow us to find a better company.

Who Needs Science When You Can Have Myths?

, , , , , | Related | June 29, 2020

I live in a rural area near a pond, so we see lots of wildlife. My mom and I are taking a walk when we see a baby turtle, no bigger than a quarter, crossing the street. I carefully pick it up and move it to the other side of the road, and then we continue on our walk.

Mom: “That was weird how it knew to go toward the pond. How do turtles know where the water is?”

Me: “It’s instinctual. How do you know how to breathe?”

Mom: “But that’s different. This is directional.”

Me: “I don’t know. I guess if they’ve been doing it for millions of years, it becomes a habit. How do birds know to fly south?”

Mom: “Well, the birds probably follow each other. But that turtle was by itself.”

Me: “But if the birds follow each other, at some point there has to have been a bird that started it all. How does that bird know to go south?”

Mom: “There’s a grandfather bird.”

Me: “A grandfather bird that flies all over the country?”

Mom: “Yes! He’s the keeper of the compass and he flies around the country telling all the birds to go south, and they all follow him there.”

Me: “And then, when he finally arrives in the south, he immediately dies and is reincarnated into another bird.”

Mom: “Yes, he passes on the compass to a new bird.”

Me: “I think we just invented a myth.”

He Rolled A One On That Encounter

, , , , , , | Right | June 26, 2020

My parents ran a tabletop gaming store when I was in elementary school. My father hosted a “Dungeons and Dragons” campaign, which drew in a fair number of teenagers from the local high school. As I had to stay at the store after school, my mother brought in a “swear jar” and made sure everyone was aware of it beforehand.

In the middle of one session, one teen decides to ask before he uses one such word:

Teen: “Hey, [Mother], does ‘d*****bag’ count as a swear word?”

My mother looks him in the eye and says:

Mother: “No. But seeing as you’ve said that two feet away from my eight-year-old, you get to tell her what it means!”

The look on his face was priceless.