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The Truth Hurts, Doesn’t It, Buddy?

, , , , | Legal | May 31, 2022

My mum has recently bought a house after divorcing my dad. I live with her and pay board each week to cover groceries and some bills. However, I am definitely not renting, nor do I have anything to do with mortgage repayments or homeownership.

I receive a call from an unknown number. Since I’ve been applying for jobs, I answer.

Me: “Hello, [My First Name] speaking.”

There’s a long pause, which I recognise as a scammer calling, about to begin their script.

Scammer: “Yes, is this [My Full Name] speaking?”

Me: “Yes?”

Scammer: “Do you own the house you are currently living in?”

Me: “Oh, no, I do not.”

Scammer: “Are you renting? We have ways of helping people who are renting.”

Me: “No, I am not renting.”

Scammer: “So, you own the house, then?”

Me: “No, I don’t.”

Scammer: “So, you are renting, then?”

Me: “Nope. Not renting.”

Technically, I’m not lying. Also, I have time to spare, so let’s have some fun!

Scammer: “So, you own the house?”

Me: “No, I really don’t.”

Scammer: “So, you don’t own the house, and you’re not renting?”

Me: “That’s right.”

Scammer: *Frustrated* “Well, it has to be one or the other! You can’t live in a place that you don’t own or rent! Do own the house or do you rent the house?”

Me: “I told you, neither!”

He let out an exasperated sigh and hung up on me. I told my mum, and she laughed and congratulated me for getting a scammer to hang up.

They’ll Learn Or They’ll Lose

, , , , , , | Working | May 23, 2022

It’s the late 1970s in Australia, and barcode scanners have just been introduced. Because each item no longer has its own stick-on price tag, a lot of customers are very concerned that they’ll be charged the wrong price at the checkout and not realise it. In response, many of the large retailers have instituted a policy that if an item scans at the wrong price, you get the first one free and any others at the right price.

I go in to buy a full carton of cigarettes, and when I go to pay, it scans at a price that is considerably more than the price on the shelf.

Me: “Sorry, that’s the wrong price. It should be [correct price].”

Cashier: “Just let me check…”

After a short check, the cashier admitted that it was wrong but re-rang it at the lower price. I pointed out their policy, which was listed on a card above the checkout — that I should be getting it for free. She flatly refused, so I asked to speak to a manager.

After a long delay, the manager put in an appearance and (very rudely) admitted that I was right and gave it to me for free. Given that it was the equivalent of about $100 in today’s money, I can understand his reluctance, but I didn’t make the policy!

Shift forward about a day, by which time I felt that they’d had more than enough time to fix the incorrect price in their computers if they had any intention to do so. I went back and got another carton, which promptly scanned for the same incorrect price!

At this point, the s**** really hit the fan, with the manager loudly abusing me while I pointed out that I had done nothing except take advantage of their own store’s policy. In the end, I was given the second carton free and told not to come back.

And, yes, I have long since given up smoking!

A Jandal Vandal

, , , , , | Right | October 18, 2021

What Americans call “flip-flops,” we Australians call “thongs,” and New Zealanders call “jandals.” At the time of this story, I have never heard the word “jandal” before and have no idea what it means.

Customer: “Hi, do you sell jandals?”

Me: *Thinking I may have misheard* “I’m sorry, do we sell what?”

Customer: “Jandals.”

Me: “I’m really sorry, I have no idea what that is.”

Customer: *Getting angry* “Jandals! JAN-DALS! For your feet?”

I’m really confused, and now I’m getting nervous as she is raising her voice.

Me: “Um, are they like socks or something?”

Customer: “Ugh! I can’t believe you don’t know what jandals are! You know, like—” *slowly and loudly* “—FLIP. FLOPS!”

Me: “Oh! Flip-flops! As in thongs? Yes, we have those!”

I start to walk her over to the aisle, but she continues ranting.

Customer: “No, not thongs, jandals. Thongs go up your butt. Jandals go on your feet. Back in my country, they’re called jandals. If you said the word ‘thong’ to anyone, they would laugh at you!”

Me: “But… we’re not in your country. We’re in Australia.”

She glared at me but had no response and stormed off. I have no issue with people of different cultures having different names for items, but don’t tell me I’m wrong when you’re in my country.

So Fake It Becomes Hydronium Behind Your Back

, , , , | Right | May 6, 2021

A lady comes to my register with a pack of bottled water. It’s nothing fancy, just a twelve-pack of water bottles. The only remarkable thing about the bottles is that the plastic is blue.

Customer: “Is this real water?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “But it’s blue!”

Me: “Oh, that’s just the packaging! It’s just spring water in a blue bottle.”

Customer: “Well, last time I was here, I bought some water and it was fake! I don’t want fake water; I can’t drink it!”

I’ve worked at this store since it opened nearly seven years ago. We’ve always had this bottled water, and this brand only. The only difference is that the company changed the bottles to blue plastic from clear at least a year ago.

Me: “I’ve had that water. I promise you, it’s fine, honestly!”

Customer: “Okay, then.”

She purchases three twelve-packs and leaves.

Coworker: “Did she say fake water? How on earth do you make fake water?!”

I’ve Had Worse Nicknames

, , , , , | Working | April 13, 2021

I work in a busy restaurant in Australia which has a popular high tea service on weekend afternoons. We have one new guy who is French and occasionally has some difficulty understanding broader Aussie accents.

The new guy comes up to me, quite confused, while I am stacking plates in the kitchen. 

New Guy: “A customer asked me for German cream. Where do I find it?”

I am initially a bit confused myself, as there is a huge tray of jam and cream sitting on the pass in front of him.

Me: *Pointing* “It’s just there.”

He looks at it.

New Guy: “But this is just normal cream.”

I realised what he had said initially and couldn’t help but burst out laughing. I stuttered out, “JAM and cream.” He went bright red and grabbed some to take out to the customer. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one in the kitchen at the time and the chefs gave him the nickname “German,” which was his moniker until I stopped working there.