Driving Away Any Tips

, , , , | Working | January 20, 2019

(My girlfriend and I just arrived in Philadelphia. First order of business: getting to our hotel. We head to the first cab in the line, and at first the driver seems all right; he pops the trunk, loads our bags, and asks where we’re heading. That’s about where the professionalism ends. As soon as he sits down, he starts the cab, turns on the meter, and breaks out his phone. The cab sits idle, burning fuel, while he waits for whoever he called to pick up. I consider getting out of the cab and demanding he pop his trunk, but I don’t trust him to notice I’ve even stepped out. Once his friends finally answers, we’re racing off. And I do mean “racing.” This cab has a GPS that notifies drivers if they are speeding, and the only time it stops chirping is when we approach a red light. If we pass stop signs, he most certainly doesn’t care. And at no point does he get off the phone. Thankfully, the cab has seat belts, so we have some peace of mind. As we approach the street our hotel is on, he shifts into the left-most lane and suddenly stops the cab. There are no cars in front of us, and while there is a streetlight, we’re a good two car-lengths shy of it.)

Driver: “Here you are. Fare’s [price].”

Girlfriend: “Where’s our hotel?”

Driver: *points to the building we’re stopped in front of* “It’s right here. This is the restaurant entrance. It’s all connected. The front entrance is further down, and there’s no place to make a U-turn around here.”

(I am tempted to ask why he didn’t take a left turn at the previous intersection — which I later confirmed would have wrapped around the block and easily brought us to the front entrance within about 20 seconds — but following this ride, I am more than happy to get out. I slide out to get the bags, and notice he’s not budging like every other cab driver I’ve ever had would — including himself if we count when we first entered.)

Me: “Would you mind helping with our bags?”

Driver: *shakes his head* “I can’t get out of the cab while it’s on the street.”

(During a more malicious phase in my life, I’d have been tempted to take our bags and run for it just to see how true that was. Instead, after unloading our bags, I do the rational thing.)

Me: “You said it was [Price], right?”

Driver: “Yeah.”

(I don’t remember the exact price, but I remember it required 50 cents exactly. I remember this, because I couldn’t believe my luck. I don’t normally leave my apartment carrying coins unless I’m certain I’ll need them, but on this day I got a soda from a vending machine while waiting for my girlfriend to use the restroom, and I got three quarters in change. Thanks to that soda, I had the means to pay him the exact fare while making it perfectly clear I was deliberately not tipping. And I still learned he could leave the cab while it was on the street, even with the keys still in the ignition, the engine running, and the door wide open. Although, while I was checking us into the hotel, the company informed my girlfriend that was, in fact, something he shouldn’t have done, even if he was displeased with his tip.)

Your Attempts To Get Around The Policy Are Half-Baked

, , , | Right | January 19, 2019

(I am the manager at a bakery that does a lot of weddings. At this point in the year, we are usually fully booked for multiple weekends and have to turn customers away. I have a customer email with questions about having us do her wedding in October, and I have to tell her that we are already booked for that day and apologize for the inconvenience. About an hour later my coworker answers the phone and then has to pass it off to me.)

Coworker: “This woman says that she emailed about her wedding and that you told her we’re booked, but that she could call and we would try to schedule something, anyway.”

(I’m pretty sure I’d never say that, but okay. I answer the phone.)

Me: “Hello. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I sent an email about my wedding and was told by someone that you are booked.”

Me: “Yeah, that was me who responded to your email. I do apologize, but we are fully booked for that weekend and aren’t able to take on any more wedding orders.”

Customer: “Oh, but, umm… I called and spoke with your other location, and they said that you could still try to fit me in; I just had to call and talk to you about it.”

(Our other location is a storefront that we do all of the baking for, and I know that they wouldn’t give out this kind of information without asking me about it first. And if a customer calls and needs to talk to someone from our location, they usually just transfer them, which they didn’t do for this customer.)

Me: “I’m really sorry; I don’t know why they would tell you that. We already have five other weddings for that day, and just aren’t able to take on any more orders at all. Do you remember who you talked to, so I can find out why they would give out false information?”

Customer: “Oh, no. That’s fine. Thanks, anyway.”

(We get way too many instances of people trying to work around our policies and get us to do whatever they want, even if we physically can’t.)

Trying To Be Top Dog

, , , , | Working | January 17, 2019

(I am a dog trainer for a large chain store. My boss calls me into the office. We’ve had some tense conversations before, so I’m already on guard.)

Me: “You called?”

Boss: “I see you’re starting a class tomorrow.”

Me: “Yeah, puppy class. I’m excited; they’re so cute!”

Boss: “You have three dogs?”

Me: “Right.” *lists ages, names, and breeds*

Boss: “You’ll have to fix that.”

Me: “Fix … what?”

Boss: “Corporate says you need four dogs to make the class profitable.”

Me: “Oh. I didn’t know there was a minimum. Is that new?”

Boss: “You need to enroll a fourth dog or call those pet parents and have them reschedule in a new class.”

Me: “Okay. I can call up some people who haven’t paid yet. But what if they don’t want to switch to another class?”

Boss: “You cannot run a class with three dogs.”

(She turned her back to me, effectively ending the conversation.)

Me: “Okay.”

(I dutifully call each customer, explaining there is a policy in place that states I must have a minimum of four dogs in a class, and that otherwise I will have to reschedule them for the next one with other dogs. Understandably, they are very unhappy that I am canceling their class. I offer a discounted rate if they’re willing to switch to a class that starts a few weeks later at a different time. One takes the deal, but the other two spend a few minutes each teaching me about good customer service and promising they will never shop with us again. A few days pass and I’m back at work.)

Boss: “[My Name], did I not tell you to transfer those pet parents?”

Me: “Yes, and one did but—“

Boss: “We had to refund $250 in classes, and we received a corporate complaint about your attitude.”

Me: “The other two didn’t want to switch, and if I can’t run a class with three, I obviously can’t run one with two.”

Boss: “I’m going to have to write you up.”

Me: “What?! Why?”

Boss: “You cost us two sales. That is simply unacceptable.”

Me: “No. I’m sorry, but no. I did what you asked. I cannot force people to rearrange their schedules.”

Boss: “Look, [My Name], don’t be difficult. I’m just doing my job.”

Me: “So was I, but now I’m in trouble for it.”

Boss: “Just sign the paper.”

Me: “No.”

Boss: “[My Name], you are being unreasonable.”

Me: “But forcing customers to change their minds is reasonable? Being told to do something I have no control over is reasonable?”

Boss: “You have a minimum number you have to reach. That’s just the way it is.”

Me: “No. No, I’m sorry. Even if you’re just doing your job, this is bulls***. I quit.”

(I walked out of that job and applied at the store next door. When they asked why I’d left my previous employer, I explained that I was put in a position where I could either pressure customers into doing something they didn’t want to do, or I would be penalized. The interviewer called my previous boss on the spot to ask for a reference. She told them that I just wouldn’t cooperate with corporate policy, so SHE decided I wasn’t a good fit for the company anymore. He laughed and hung up. I’ve been working for my new employer for six months now. According to the friends I still have at my old job, they haven’t been able to find a replacement trainer and had to refund thousands of dollars.)

You Can’t Lease Out Friendship

, , , , | Friendly | January 17, 2019

(My friend bought a house and rented out the extra rooms to his (our) friends. The rent is $400/month, plus utilities. It’s a great arrangement – we’re all friends, we basically just hang out all the time, and we rarely argue. A year into living together, my friend wants to expand as a landlord and tries to buy another house that had been turned into three smaller apartments. For whatever reason, he suddenly has to have leases for his current roommates/tenants. He draws up a basic lease we all agree on, we sign it and life goes on. Each year we live together, we go over the lease and make adjustments accordingly before signing. About four months into our third year together, one of our roommates says he is moving out to live with his girlfriend at the end of the month. At the beginning of the next month, my friend comes to my bedroom door.)

Me: “Hey, what’s up?”

Friend: “Hey, uh, so about your rent…”

Me: “Did the check not go through? It should have. I can run to the bank in the morning.”

Friend: “No, it’s— I didn’t deposit it. Uh, you’re short.”

Me: “…How’s that?”

Friend: “Well, [Roommate] moved out.”

Me: “And?”

Friend: “And, uh, well, when we had five of us, it was $400.”

Me: “Right.”

Friend: “But now there’s four of us, so I need $500.”

Me: *I laugh, hoping he’s joking* “Funny.”

Friend: “No, man, I need the extra $100 from you. We’re all gonna have to split [Roommate]’s rent until someone else moves in.”

Me: “I… I’m not paying you extra. I’m sorry, I’m not.”

Friend: “But I can’t cover the extra $400 every month!”

Me: “Then find someone else to move in. [Roommate] moved out but that doesn’t change the lease.”

Friend: “Oh, f*** the lease, dude. That was a formality the bank wanted so I could get a loan to buy the apartments.”

Me: “Sorry. I’m not paying more.”

Friend: *getting angry* “Then you can move out.”

Me: “Nah.”

(I start to close my door but he puts his hand out and pushes it open again.)

Friend: “What the f*** are you smoking? Get the h*** out of my house!”

Me: “I pay $400 to live here every month. You don’t want me to live here because I’m not willing to pay more than we agreed, you go ahead and try to evict me.”

Friend: “You’re a f****** a**-hole! How am I supposed to afford another $400?!”

Me: “I can’t help you with that. I’m sorry.”

(He walked away and I thought that was the end of it. I went to work the next day, only to come home and find that my house key did not work. I called my friend.)

Friend: “What?”

Me: “Hey, uh… you wanna tell me why the locks were changed?”

Friend: “I told you, pay your rent or get out. You didn’t want to pay so your s*** is in the backyard.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Friend: “Get your s*** off my property by the end of the night or I’m burning it.”

Me: “So… let me get this straight. You lost $400 because [Roommate] moved out. Then when I refused to cover the difference, which is my legal right according to our lease, you kicked me out. Which means you’re out another $400. And you’re evicting me with no written notice because of that?”

Friend: “I’m done with this conversation. Get your stuff, get off my property, or I’m calling the police.”

(I got my stuff — which all conveniently landed in the one muddy spot in the yard, ruining some of my nicer clothes and my MacBook — and went to my parents’ house. They helped me through the legal process and I won. I’m sad it ended that way, but he wasn’t acting like a good friend or landlord at that point, so I don’t really think I’m missing out on much. I ran into [Roommate] a few weeks ago. He told me that our friend had contacted him after he’d moved out and tried to say he owed the rent for the rest of the lease period. [Roommate] pointed out that there was nothing in the lease that says he has to continue paying and hung up.)

Sob Sister

, , , , , | Related | January 16, 2019

(I work at a country club. At a large wedding, I learn that the only thing worse than a bridezilla is an I’m-not-the-bride-or-the-groom-but-I’m-making-it-all-about-me-zilla. This ‘zilla was the girlfriend of the bride’s brother. My manager and I are helping the family do some final cleaning up for the night, and I gradually realize that this one young woman is sitting in the corner, crying. Different family members, including the bride, keep going over to try and comfort her. As we’re all heading out to the parking lot, she’s trailing behind us sobbing loudly. My manager, a sweet grandmotherly lady in her 60s, asks her what’s wrong. Both the bride and her brother try and deflect, but the woman starts yelling how she needs a sister, and she misses her sister, and it’s so unfair she doesn’t have a sister. At this point, my manager and I assume that she has lost her sister — i.e., her sister had passed away — and that’s why she was crying. My poor manager starts telling this girl how she (the manager) lost her son when he was nineteen, and offering to hug her and get her water and stuff. The woman then screams at her boyfriend/the bride’s brother:)

Woman: “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME, [Brother]!” *lays down on the ground and sobs hysterically*

(The bride and her mother are now both pissed at [Brother] because he apparently “promised this wouldn’t happen.” Just as I and the manager are thinking these people are heartless monsters, the groom, seeing our expressions, tells us:)

Groom: “She doesn’t have a sister.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Is there anything I can—“

Groom: “No, you don’t understand. She’s never had a sister. She just gets really upset about totally random stuff when she’s drunk.”

Me: “Oooookay… So, she’s not upset because her sister died? She’s upset because she never had a sister in the first place?”

Groom: “Yup.”

(The brother pulled his car around, they loaded the hysterical crying woman into the car, and he made it all of ten yards before having to pull over so she could throw up. Repeatedly.)

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