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They’re Not Pay Pals

| Seattle, WA, USA | Liars & Scammers, Money, Popular

(I’m a freelance web designer currently negotiating a job with someone who wants to give their website a complete overhaul.)

Site Owner: “So, I’m a big fan of [Popular Movie Franchise] and was wondering if you could do a template based on that.”

Me: “Sure thing! I love [Popular Movie Franchise], too! I could show you a few designs I whipped up previously.”

(Things proceed as normal, with me growing increasingly excited at finding a fellow fan who wants me to indulge one of my own geeky passions.)

Me: “Okay, and I just need your PayPal address to send the invoice.”

Site Owner: “Sure thing. I’ll send it right now.”

(He emails me his address, which I recognize as one that belongs to someone I dealt with a year ago. Specifically, this someone asked for a site design that he then never paid me for, and proceeded to vanish without a trace when I tried to follow up on his non-payment.)

Me: “Wait… is this [Name]?”

Site Owner: “Yes, is there a problem?”

Me: “You’re the guy who asked me to design a site for [Web Address] in June of last year?”

Site Owner: “Oh… wow, you remember that, huh? Yeah I had to put an end to that plan due to budget problems.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I’ve been trying to get you to pay your bill on that ever since! Did you not get any of my reminders that you had an outstanding invoice?”

Site Owner: “Uh… maybe? Is this going to be a problem?”

Me: “Heck, yes, it’s going to be a problem! You still owe me $400 for that last job and now you expect me to do more work for you?”

Site Owner: “Well… I mean it was such a long time ago. I thought if you remembered it’d be like ‘Oh, it’s you!’ And then we’d have a laugh about the craziness that went on.”

Me: “That ‘craziness’ is why I was late on several bills due to not having your payment to cover things! This isn’t a sitcom! People don’t just laugh it off when you refuse to uphold your end of a business agreement.”

Site Owner: “Seriously?”

Me: “Much as I really wanted to do this job, I’m going to have to decline now, given you’re too great of a risk.”

Site Owner: “What?! Well, what if I agree to pay up front for the new job?”

Me: “You’d still owe me the $400 for the last job.”

Site Owner: “Well, I don’t have that kind of money right now! I’m trying to run a business here! Can’t you cut a break for a fellow [Popular Movie Franchise] fan?”

Me: “Sorry, I’m trying to run a business here too. You’ll have to find someone else.”

(I blocked the guy on IM and posted warnings to every forum I know telling them not to do business with him if contacted. Blows my mind anyone could be so brazen or stupid as to change their name and contact details but still use the same PayPal address for someone they previously stiffed on a payment!)

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Littered With Demands

| Orlando, FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Popular, Transportation

(I’m moving out of the country, and so am selling/giving away 95% of my stuff. I have a very expensive automatic kitty litter box that retails at $400 that I’ve posted on Craigslist for free, as I don’t feel like dealing with cleaning it and selling it in the next 48 hours before my plane leaves. The post stipulates that the interested party must pick it up. This is a phone conversation.)

Woman Caller: “Hello, I’m calling about the kitty litter machine. Can you deliver it to my house?”

Me: “No, you must come pick it up. I live in [Town]. It retails for $400 new. I’m just too rushed to sell it before my plane leaves.”

Woman Caller: “But that’s 2 hours from me… Can’t you deliver it to my house?”

Me: “No. I would charge a $300 delivery charge.”

Woman Caller: “That’s too much! Why is it so much?”

Me: “Because I don’t want my car to smell like a litter box and I don’t have time to do it before my plane leaves. You can come pick it up for free, though.”

Woman Caller: “I don’t want my car to smell, either! What can we do to work it out?”

Me: “I’ll just give it to someone who will want to come to my house. Bye.”

(30 minutes later, another interested party picked it up.)

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Obituary Required For Common Sense

| Perth, WA, Australia | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I work in online death notices. As we’re based in Australia, it’s worth noting from the outset that the caller had a Canadian accent.)

Caller: “Yeah, hi. I’m listed on your site, but I’m not dead.”

Me: “Oh no! Let me check this out for you. What name was it?”

Caller: “[Name].”

Me: “Yes, I see the listing. Just let me check something.”

(We do sometimes get incorrect notices for people who are alive, mostly imported from old archive records.)

Me: “This is strange; the listing was posted yesterday from [Funeral Home].”

Caller: “Well, it needs to come down.”

Me: “Where are you calling from, by the way?”

Caller: “[City] in Canada.”

Me: “Okay, well, this listing is for a [Name] from [Suburb of Sydney], so it’s not you.”

Caller: “But it’s my name!”

Me: “Yes, but this person had the same name.”

Caller: “People are going to Google me and think I’m dead. I’m applying for jobs, and I’m not going to get hired if people think I’m dead.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t remove the listing as the family of the deceased has requested it be online.”

Caller: “Can you change the name on the listing?”

Me: “No, if I did that the people who were looking for this person’s listing would not be able to find it.”

Caller: “I need a contact number for a family member for this guy. He must have had a nickname or something they can use.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t give you that information. There’s nothing I can really do for you here. I’m sure any potential employer will understand you’re not dead.”

Caller: “I just don’t understand why my name is even there.”

Me: “It’s very rare for a name to be completely unique. If you keep Googling you’ll probably find a lot of people with your name.”

Caller: “Well, make it stop!”

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