Making Them Mad(rid)

, , , , , | Legal | December 28, 2019

(I rejoin a website that is for language learners. I have a couple of people say hello. One introduces himself as the head of a large bank in Dubai. My profile indicates that I am fluent in English and learning Spanish. His says he’s fluent in Arabic and is learning Turkish. His profile picture reveals that he’s a whiter shade of pale than even I am. On a whim, I do a Google search for his name and the bank. He turns up in every legitimate place a man in his position would be in: LinkedIn, Facebook, the list of the directors for the named bank, and high-profile interviews in business magazines. But I already know what’s coming even before I find the website describing a scam where someone claims to be him. I’m ready when this line comes through:)

Scammer: “Bien. Tengo una propuesta de negocios para usted que será de gran beneficio para nuestras dos familias, ¿qué dice?” *Good. I have a business proposal for you that will be of great benefit to our two families. What do you say?*

(Before his text arrives at my computer, I have already visited a gibberish website and pasted in a few paragraphs from a Spanish business news website and generated some Spanish gibberish:)

Me: “Casa de trabajo hasta la residencia de la jornada, añadieron las Palmeras, saludando a quienes estaban allí, y para iniciar sus actividades se irán conociendo el aire acondicionado de su domicilio en el titular de la madrugada de hoy y, en una agenda de hoy no finalizaron.” *Work house until the residence of the day, added the Palmeras, greeting those who were there, and to begin their activities they will know the air conditioning of their home in the holder of the early hours of today and, in an agenda today they finished.*

(He launches into his whole spiel after that. It’s the old Nigerian banking scam in a different guise. After he gets a few more garbage lines from me, he doesn’t reply.)

Me: “Estas allí?” *Are you there?*

(Yup. Gone. I can’t stop them, but I can have fun making them miserable.)

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The Gift Card That Gave Up Giving

, , , , , | Working | December 26, 2019

(My mother-in-law sends us a gift card for Christmas to a large department store. I seldom shop at that store because it is always a pain in the, er, neck. But, with the card being only good there, I have to suck it up. We pick out something for the whole family that would ring up to about the limit of the card and head to the register.)

Cashier: “That will be $101.62.”

Me: “Okay, I have this card for $100 of it, and I’ll pay cash for the last bit.”

Cashier: “We don’t take that card.”

Me: “It’s a gift card for this store. This is the only place it can be used.”

Cashier: “We don’t take it.”

Me: “You don’t take cards with this store’s name on it, purchased at a store with this store’s name on it?”

Cashier: “No.”

Me: “Well, you do. Run the card for $100, and I’ll pay cash for the rest or you can run $1.62 in cash and then run the card.”

Cashier: “We. Don’t. Take. That. Card.”

Me: “You. Do. Get. Your. Manager.”

(She rolls her eyes and calls a manager. It takes quite a while, and the whole time she stands staring at me and I just stare back. Finally, the manager arrives.)

Cashier: “She wants to use a card we don’t take.”

Manager: “You can’t use it.”

Me: “Would you like to see the card?”

Manager: “Okay.”

(I show the card with the store’s name clearly on the front.)

Manager: “We don’t take it.”

Me: “Try running it and see what happens.”

(The manager says nothing and half-heartedly swipes the card. The total drops to $1.62 on the screen.)

Manager: “See? It didn’t cover the sale.”

(Being completely fed up with this, I dropped the exact change in coins on the counter.)

Me: “Do you take cash?”

Manager: “The total was, what was the total? The total was over $100.”

Me: “Yes, and you ran the card for $100; the register clearly shows that. Here you have the rest. Now I need my receipt.”

Manager: “You have to pay first.” *actually getting pissy*

Me: “I have. Type in $1.62 and hit the cash button and see what happens.”

(She actually does, and the drawer pops open and a receipt spits out. The manager looks at the register, looks at me, looks at the cashier, looks at the receipt, and looks back at me with eyes a bit wide. I reach out, snatch the receipt, pick up the item, and walk out the door saying quite loudly:)

Me: “This is why I don’t shop here.”

(That chain has finally gone under. I shopped there one other time in the next decade. It just wasn’t worth the hassle.)

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It’s The Little Things That Make All The Difference

, , , , , | Right | December 26, 2019

(It’s the day after Christmas. It’s late and near closing time at the big chain grocery store. Even though there is only about 5% of the customers that are normally there, all the staff look weary. I approach the cashier to check out.)

Me: “I bet you’re glad all the Christmas chaos is over.”

Cashier: “A little.”

Me: *laughing* “Just a little? Do you mean it’s just a little over or do you mean you’re just a little glad?”

Cashier: *after thinking for a moment* “A little of both.”

Me: “Touché.”

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Why Santa Shouldn’t Outsource

, , , , , , , | Working | December 25, 2019

Some years back, I was ordering Christmas presents online. A few days later, the website informed me that my packages had been delivered, but I had nothing. I checked with apartment management. They were actually surprised that nothing at all had been delivered for two days — unusual for a large apartment complex.

I had a tracking number with USPS, so clearly the next stop was the post office. I showed the tracking number. They showed me that their computer said it had been delivered to me. I showed empty hands. I was frustrated and I’m sure they were thinking I was another crook wanting free stuff. They asked me again for the delivery address. I told the clerk and then her eyes widened and her demeanor changed. I was told that, during the Christmas rush, they sometimes hired independent contractors for deliveries. She suggested I try the neighboring apartment complexes.

Since I had no other choice at that point, I went to the one closest to me. I walked into their offices — which also housed their mini gym and lounge area — and was shocked to see the place looking like a warehouse. Boxes were stacked to eye level against every bit of open wall space. More were on tables and chairs.

I eventually found my packages. Apparently, the contractor wanted to make an easy score. He showed up at the first big apartment complex on the route with all the packages for three apartment complexes and about a square mile or more of residential neighborhoods and simply unloaded his truck into their offices. The lone secretary at the time was confused and overwhelmed. 

Ho! Ho! Ho! Thanks, dirty Santa.

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I Eat Customers Like You For Breakfast

, , , | Right | December 18, 2019

(I work overnight at a hotel. For some events — usually kids’ sporting events — our weekend breakfast hours are too late for when some in the groups have to be at their events, so they arrange it ahead of time to have breakfast open at the usual weekday time. One weekend, we have this arrangement with a group… but unfortunately, one rather crucial group was not informed of this change in schedule — namely, the actual breakfast workers. This leaves me having to very apologetically explain that our breakfast has been delayed to hungry baseball-parents for the last hour of my shift. Most of them are disappointed but understand that it wasn’t my fault personally, and I offer them a discounted rate for the trouble and they go on their way. Then, just as my relief shows up, there’s this guest.)

Guest:Why isn’t the breakfast open?!”

Me: “I am so sorry, sir, there was a miscommunication with our breakfast staff, and the breakfast is going to be delayed in opening.”

Guest: “This is unacceptable! Tell them to open it now!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but they don’t have everything prepared yet. Even if they were to let people into the breakfast area, there would be no food to serve. I’ll be happy to add a rate credit to your room for the inconvenience.”

Guest: “Oh, yeah?! And what about the rest of my group?!”

Me: “I– I’m sorry?”

Guest: “I want a guarantee that everyone in my group is getting a discount because of this!”

(Not only is this wildly out of my power to guarantee, I know for a fact that not everyone in his group will be affected by the mix-up — only the ones that had early matches, who I have no way of distinguishing from everyone else.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m afraid I can’t promise that for certain as it’s not in my power to do so. But I will absolutely have my manager notified of this issue, as well as the sales office your group booked through–”

Guest: “Hmph! This is ridiculous! Unacceptable! Do you have a card I can take?”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I hand him my manager’s business card, which he glares at for a minute.)

Guest: “And this is your card?!

(I am very obviously female; the name on the card is equally obviously not.)

Me: “No, that is my manager’s card.”

Guest: “No! I want your card!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I do not have a card personally as I am not a manager.”

Guest: “Well, what’s your name?!”

Me: *showing my name badge* “It’s [My Name].”

(He very carefully writes down my name from my name badge and then gives me a hard glare before stomping off. My coworker, who was trying to get ready for his shift, speaks up.)

Coworker: “I think he’s planning to report you.”

Me: “For an issue I had nothing to do with, involving a completely different department? I’m shaking in my boots.”

(I never heard anything about it. I do definitely understand that it was a huge screwup on the part of the hotel, but yelling at people who are trying to help and apologize as much as they can is just being ornery. Oh, and my coworker said that the next day the same guest came down to complain about the breakfast still being closed… only it wasn’t. He said he seemed genuinely upset not to have anything to yell about!)

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