Should Have (Game)Stopped Right There

, , , , , , | Right | September 14, 2020

It is around the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One. We have a store meeting about the new consoles coming out, their launches, the holidays, and protecting our product throughout the season.

Technically, we keep our products locked up behind our counter and have empty display cases out on the floor. If a customer wants to look at something before they’re sure whether or not they want to purchase it, we’re supposed to go out on the floor and show them a display case for them to look at. We’re only really supposed to let them see live product at the time of purchase. Otherwise, they could possibly just bolt out of the store with it in their hands and we’ve lost the store product and money, and we’re not allowed to leave the store and go after them.

A few days after that meeting, last Wednesday, a gentleman was in the store asking about the FIFA/360 Controller bundle. The box had a special edition FIFA 14 controller and the game brand new.

He first asked if I could take out the controller and allow him to hold it and look at it, and I informed him that I could not open new product behind the counter without the item having already been purchased. So, he asked if he could hold the case for it, and I informed him that live product was not allowed from behind the counter, period, until time of purchase.

The customer got irate and began to talk about how at the other [Store] he’d been going to for twenty years, they would always allow him to hold something. While I said that, yes, typically, if we have a regular, trustworthy customer who we are used to seeing in the store, we’re pretty lenient; however, since he was not a regular at our store, I couldn’t make the exception.

He then asked to speak to a manager and I told him that I was the current manager on duty and that it is company policy. He asked if he could look at the brand-new NBA 2k14 that was behind me, and I said he could pick up the display case out on the floor but I couldn’t let him hold the game itself just to look at. And I even informed him that we had just had a store meeting involving this very subject a few days prior.

Two other customers, who are regulars and who typically don’t ask to look at things behind the counter, came to my defense, telling him I was just doing my job, and that just because other employees at another store might bend the rules, it didn’t mean I necessarily could in my area.

But the customer was so upset that he recorded a video of me on his phone saying that it was company policy that I could not allow someone to look at live product from behind the counter without having to physically ring them up through the transaction and have them pay.

The gentleman then went to another branch of our store and showed them the video of me saying that. They even told him there that I was correct, and doing my job properly, and that he really had no complaint against me. After he left, the manager on duty at the other store actually called me and told me about him stopping by and about them defending me. It was a nice experience, to be generous about it.

I have no problem with the customer; if his home store does it for him, then fantastic! We do it for our regulars half the time, as well. But I was going by the book for someone who I did not know fairly well, and I may have miscommunicated my attitude about the situation, but I made it very clear I was doing my job properly and thoroughly.

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The Enduring Durian

, , , , , | Working | September 14, 2020

My father owns several shophouses which he rents out to businesses. With the global health crisis, many of these businesses are struggling. One of them, a hotel, was unable to pay their rent for the month. The owner was getting pretty desperate, as he was nearly bankrupt, even with my father only charging him 30% rent for the past three months.

As things happened, that month was the start of durian season, so the owner offered to pay his rent in durians, freshly harvested from his uncle’s plantation, for that month. Seeing no other choice, and also being a big durian lover, my father accepted.

Two days later, a truck pulled into our driveway to unload over one hundred durians — not just regular durians, but all high quality and expensive durians. It was enough to cover the month’s rent and then some. We ate like kings for the next few months.

Unfortunately, the hotel owner managed to scrape together enough money to pay the rent for the next few months, so we never got rent in delicious delicacies ever again.

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So Much For No Child Left Behind, Part 3

, , , , , , | Learning | September 14, 2020

I am the author of So Much For No Child Left Behind. If you’ve read that, you know my dad had some behavior issues. However, this story makes me laugh because it really sets the tone for my life in general.

At thirty, I begin teaching at the high school my dad graduated from. I did some student teaching here, so I’m not unfamiliar with it. It’s worth noting that in Virginia, county and city schools are often separate, and I went to the county schools and my dad graduated from the city. It’s also very important to note that my family is not originally from here so my accent is somewhat confusing and instantly recognizable in my area.

I have been in my classroom for one year at this point, and I am rather happy with it. I had to do a lot of work to get it clean and in shape. The teacher that occupied the class before me left a mess, and the teacher who had the room before him was here for thirty years. I don’t think he threw away anything, and neither did she. There were books that had been in the closet since the seventies. I threw them away because, well, frankly, they were icky. I did notice that across the spines it looked like someone had slashed the word, “B****.” I may add that this was a glass front closet and it was just left there.

This will be important later.

Teachers have to help monitor and proctor standardized testing. I am helping an older woman I do not recognize and am later told was a teacher here and only became an administrator in her last few years to help out. It turns out she retired and was asked to help out this semester as we need a few extra people due to heavy cold and flu incidents.

After the testing, she’s getting me to sign forms necessary and she asks me where my room is. It turns out that her old room is my room! I’m so excited. I ask her if she wants to see what I’ve done and she declines, saying if she has to look at those books with “B****” on them she may scream.

Here is where I make my mistake. I say, “Oh, no, I tossed those out. They were old anyway.”

She narrows her eyes and says, “You threw out my books?!”

I am in WTF mode now. She retired! But I ask about it. She gives me this withering look. She tells me that she had a student she hated. He was loud, rude, and he somehow knew answers even when not really paying attention. She told me he once passed a test and she was sure he cheated because he skipped class several times. When she confronted him, he told her he knew his geography. She gave him some sort of detention, and in revenge, he slashed that on her books and waited.

She tells me that she called the principal the next day because he was the only one there. The principal confronted the student and told him he would have detention for a month. The student got mad, stormed out, and screamed, “I quit!” Incidentally, this was May, and they graduated in June.

She glares at me and says, “I would look at those books every day and remember that not all students are smart, and not all students are dumb, but some smart students make very dumb decisions.”

As an experienced teacher, I know you seldom forget names. So, I ask who this stunning pupil was.

She looks at me and says, “[My Dad].”

My jaw nearly drops to my toes. I tell her, “That was my father. He died eight years ago.”

Her eyes widen like she’s caught me in a lie. “I knew you had that same snotty Norfolk accent! His kid turned out well enough to be a teacher?!”

So, to sum it up, I ended up in the classroom where my dad quit school and I threw away the evidence that the teacher kept because she loathed my dad. By the end of the week, all of the teachers in the building and some of his former classmates who worked there knew about it. Then, the students found out about it.

It became a running joke to ask me who else I was destroying evidence for. It also made me super popular with the alumni, because they all liked my dad and said he was totally justified. The staff that knew the teacher always wanted to thank him for making her miserable when they could not.

So, thanks, Dad!

Also, he did go back and finish high school.

So Much For No Child Left Behind, Part 2
So Much For No Child Left Behind

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When In Doubt, Show Them The Truth

, , , , | Right | September 13, 2020

I work as a video editor at my university. We basically help people to make their videos whether they are for learning purposes or to show what different courses you can take.

A guy from the university’s library filmed a tutorial with us. I was tasked to cut the video and do whatever it would take to make it suitable for the website. It took me about thirty hours of work — usually, it only takes about nine — because in every sentence, he either stuttered so hard that you could barely understand anything or every second word was an “um” or “ah.”

When I finally finished, he wrote an email to tell us that it was outrageous that he was only visible on screen for about a minute out of the six-minute video. We tried to explain that it was not possible to cut out all his talking mistakes and show him on screen the whole time but he didn’t believe us. He wrote something like, “I am the best speaker, and if there is a problem, it is your fault, not mine.”

We showed him a video where all his mistakes were not cut out. He never answered. He just accepted the first video in silence and has never been seen again.

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Does Kevin’s Mom Know Her Son’s A Jerk?

, , , , , , | Healthy | September 13, 2020

I work in an assisted living facility. Due to the health crisis, we’ve had to stop visits to the elderly. After some work, we created a space where people could see their families through a glass, similar to those in ticket booths. In order to visit the elderly through there, families need to make an appointment.

Today, I got a call from a man wanting to visit his mum on the weekend. I told him everything was booked. He said, in a very aggravated tone, that he hadn’t seen his mum in two months. I said I understood, and he immediately cut me off, saying I didn’t understand a thing, that it was a simple request, and that I should be able to do something so basic.

After a bit of back and forth, I told him he could either book for the weekend after or see his mum through one of the gates this weekend. He said he was no dog to be left out on the street.

I couldn’t help but think, “If you wanted to see your mum so bad, wouldn’t you take what you could get?”

After being called incompetent for the seventh time, I couldn’t take it anymore and told him, “Well, sir, since you insist on coming this weekend but refuse to see your mother through the gates, unless you drop from a parachute onto the roof in order to see her, I can’t help you.”

He said, in a very high and mighty tone, that he was going to call my boss and tell him my answers. I called my boss to warn him about the headache heading his way and he laughed at the parachute comment.

It turns out that the guy is known for being impossible to talk to.

What do you call a male Karen? A Gareth? A Kevin? Either way, I had one of those. And I’m not looking forward to completing the set.

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