Of Pitbulls, Cigarettes, And Credit Checks

, , , , | Right | January 15, 2019

(I’m a property manager working an open house for one of our small rentals. I’m just packing up when this woman, smoking a cigarette, comes through the front door.)

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but we don’t allow smoking inside our residences.”

Customer: “Well, why the f*** not?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, aside from the smell, which is darn near impossible to get out, the nicotine adheres to the paint, making it very hard on our maintenance crews when you move out.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine!” *flicks her cigarette out front door* “This is $950 a month, right?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, so with approved credit, you’re looking at $2,000 to move in, a $1,000 security deposit, $950 first month’s rent, and a $50 application fee.”

Customer: “Background check?! This is America! Ain’t nobody gettin’ my social!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, without an application, there’s really nothing I can do. We have to know what your credentials are before we can sign a lease.”

Customer: “I’ve been renting a four-bedroom, two-bath for $1,600 a month for the last six years, but my a**hole landlord just told us we need to move because he doesn’t like my daughter’s pit bull. If I can afford $1,600 a month, I can easily pay $950 for this s***hole!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, our leasing requirements don’t allow pit bulls in any of our units, so this house won’t be a good fit for you, either, I’m afraid. But best of luck in your search!”

Customer: “Well, why the f*** not?! There’s nothing wrong with pit bulls! You just don’t want to rent to me because I’m black! You racist f***! I’m going to report you and you’ll get fired!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am.” *I’ve gotten her to the front door at this point* “First off, I’m a licensed realtor, and can’t approve or deny you based on race. Second, you’ve stated that you refuse to do our application, and third, you’ve admitted that you have an animal I can’t approve.” *closes front door and locks it* “I suggest you look on Craigslist for a private owner that might be willing to accept your animal, but our company policy is to follow the restricted breeds list. Have a great day!”

(I got in my company car, while she stood in the driveway and screamed all kinds of things at me. She followed me back to my office and proceeded to tell my broker how I’d told her we couldn’t rent to her because she was black, that we were all racists, and that she was going to report us to the state and get us “shut down for good.” That is, until my boss’ wife walked in. She’s a taller WOC who gave her back everything she gave and then some. Cigarette lady RAN out of our office, and no, we haven’t received any complaints from the state.)

Driven To The Edge Of Reasonableness

, , , , , | Right | December 6, 2018

(I’m working the front counter on a slow day. A customer walks in; she looks to be in her mid-twenties.)

Customer: “I want to rent a car for the weekend; I’m going up to see family in Los Angeles.”

Me: “Not a problem. I have compact car available for [price] per day.”

Customer: “That’s a really great price. I’ll take it.”

Me: “Okay. I will need a credit or debit card for the security deposit and a driver’s license.”

Customer: *surprised look comes across her face* “Oh, you need a driver’s license to rent a car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I need a government-issued license.”

Customer: “I don’t have a driver’s license.”

Me: “That’s okay if you’ve misplaced it; a temporary paper one is accepted here, as well, as long as it has the DMV watermark on it.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I never got a driver’s license. I never learned how to drive.”

Me: *shocked at this information, because a car is almost essential to live and work in San Diego* “I see. Well, how did you expect to drive the car to Los Angeles if you don’t know how to drive?”

Customer: “I… I honestly don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I really need to have driver’s license to rent a car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you really need a driver’s license to rent a car.”

(The customer thanks me for my time and walks out. I go back to cleaning and organizing the front office. Two hours later, the same customer walks back in, and my coworker is working the front counter. I am on my lunch in the next room and overhear entire conversation.)

Customer: “I want to rent a car to visit family in Los Angeles.”

Coworker: “Okay, not a problem. We have a compact car available. I will need a driver’s license and a credit card.”

(The customer opens her purse and places a credit card and a driver’s license on the counter.)

Coworker: *grabs credit card and license and looks them over* “Ma’am, I need your driver’s license; I think this is your husband’s.”

Customer: “That’s not what I was told earlier by the other guy. He said I just needed a driver’s license.”

Coworker: “That is correct. You need a driver’s license, issued to you, in your name. Not a driver’s license you found on the street. Besides, the driver’s license you gave me is six years expired, anyway. I can’t take this because it is no longer valid.”

Customer: *begins yelling* “I was told I needed a driver’s license. I never got a driver’s license, so I went and bought one. I paid $200 for this license off a guy from Craigslist. Here is a driver’s license; now give me a car!”

Coworker: “Let me get my manager.” *goes to the next room and asks me to come out*

Me: “Ma’am, I have overheard everything from the next room, and [Employee] is correct. You need a driver’s license issued to you. Not one you bought online, and definitely not an expired license you bought online. We will not be renting you a car; I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “You told me I needed a license. Take my license and give me or car, or else I will call the police!”

Me: “Don’t bother. I will call them, instead. Have a seat.”

(The customer sat in a chair. When a police officer showed up, she explained to him why they were called. He asked to see the driver’s license and promptly arrested her for identity theft.)

Give Them An Inch And They’ll Want To Drive Miles

, , , | Right | December 5, 2018

(An employee and I work at a truck rental location, and every so often customers come in asking for the wrong size truck. On this day the employee chooses to give the customer what they asked for.)

Customer: *walks up to counter where employee is standing* “I’d like to rent one of your 15-inch trucks.”

Employee: *with a puzzled look on his face* “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “What aren’t you understanding? I want to rent a 15-inch truck!”

Employee: *looks over at me before reaching for the toy truck on the sale rack behind us* “Okay, sir. That is one 15-inch truck. That’ll be $10.55. Would you like to pay cash or card?

Customer: *visibly frustrated while others in the lobby giggle a little* “You think you’re funny, boy? That not what I said!”

Employee: “Yes, sir, it was. You asked for a 15-inch truck. If you are looking to rent a 15-foot truck, I’d be more than happy to help you with that, as well.”

Customer: *looks confused, then finally puts it together*

(The next day the manager called stating the employee had a complaint against him. The manager laughed and asked if the customer got the truck. The employee stated he got them both.)

You Have The Devil To Pay

, , , , , | Right | October 23, 2018

(I worked in a truck rental place in Texas. I am with my manager on a Sunday mid-afternoon. My manager is assisting one customer with an issue in their rental and all of us are talking while he is trying to fix it. Another customer walks in and grabs a few mattress bags. He comes to me to ring out and notices my pentacle.)

Customer: “Isn’t that the devil’s symbol? Do you worship the Devil?”

(I am used to this sort of thing; I keep smiling. My manager does look over to check on me.)

Me: “Nope, it’s something else entirely. Just the two bags?”

Customer: “I’m not sure I want to purchase anything from a place that has a Satanist in the store, but I need these today.”

(Mind you, I am far from that.)

Me: “Well…” *tells him the price*

Customer: *obviously getting nervous* “Why would you wear that? It should be against the law.”

(He is starting to move around a little more. My manager and the other customer have stopped talking and are now watching the other man.)

Me: *repeats price*

Customer: *stands far back and tosses the money on the counter* “Keep the change… I don’t want you touching anything of mine.”

(He left the two bags on the counter and grabbed two others from the rack… that I had just stocked. He practically ran from the store, crossing himself. My manager and the other customer both started stating how impressed they were how I kept it together.)

They’re Not Going Far In Life

, , , , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(We not only rent equipment, but sell bulk material — topsoil, sand, and gravels, etc. We load customers’ vehicles, but cannot tie down loads or do maintenance on their vehicles for liability reasons. A customer has just had a large, top-heavy piece of equipment loaded into the bed of a pickup.)

Me: “Okay, you’re good to go as soon as you tie that down.”

Customer #1: “Oh, I don’t have anything to tie it with. Do you have any ropes?”

Me: “No, unfortunately, we don’t do that anymore as they were never returned. All we have is twine, and you’re welcome to that.”

Customer #1: “It’s okay; I’m not going far.”

(Later, another customer has just had half a yard of gravel loaded into a utility trailer that looks like it hasn’t been on the road since the 1950s. The threadbare tires are so flat that the trailer is practically riding on the rims.)

Me: “Ooh, that doesn’t look good. If you can pull around to our service bay, we have an air hose so you can top the tires up.”

Customer #2: “It’s okay; I’m not going far.”

(Later, yet another customer has rented a 40-foot extension ladder — 20 feet long and quite heavy. He has us put it on top of an old compact car with no roof rack. We give him some cardboard to protect what’s left of his paint.)

Me: “Okay, you’re good to go as soon as you tie it down.”

Customer #2: “I don’t have any rope. Can’t you do that?”

Me: “Unfortunately, we can’t; you have to do that.”

Customer #2: “Well, what do I do?”

Me: “Well, we can give you as much twine as you need, but you have to tie it down yourself.”

(The customer takes about half an hour and half a mile of twine to strap down a ladder that’s far longer than his car. Finally, he’s done.)

Me: “Are you sure that’s going to hold it?”

Customer #2: “Sure. Besides, I’m not going far.”

(The customer was traveling to another town about 30 kilometers away. Sadly, just about everyone who failed to understand their responsibility to safely transport goods or equipment had the same answer: “I’m not going far.” We had a running joke that there must be a vast, subterranean city beneath us, as nobody seemed to ever go “far,” and feared for those who had to share the road with these stunned weekend warriors.)

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