Getting You Where You Need

, , , | | Hopeless | August 2, 2019

(Around four months ago, I got the call from my mother that my grandfather had suffered a massive brain aneurysm and was in ICU. She didn’t tell me that they didn’t expect him to live, but I knew from my experience in healthcare that his time was limited. I told my mother I was coming home to see him. The only problem was that I live 1,000 miles away from home. My wife helped me get a rental car so that I could begin the trip. We called a car rental place that had a location at the local airport. The customer service representative for their 1-800 line asked for a credit card to book the car, and I informed her that I only had a debit card. I asked if I could use my wife’s card, and she told me I couldn’t unless my wife was coming with me. She told me that I could use my debit card if necessary, but that a $100 deposit would be placed on my card until I returned the car. I agreed and booked the car. My wife drops me off at the rental place, and my conversation with the location’s customer service representative is as follows:)

CSR: “All right, I have Nissan Altima booked for [MyName]. I just need your ID and the credit card you’ll be using to pay!”

Me: *handing him my ID* “I spoke to a woman over the phone who told me I could use my debit card, but a $100 deposit would be charged to my card.”

CSR: “I’m not sure why you were told that. We don’t even offer the option to use a debit card for in-state drivers.”

(At this point, I begin to cry. I don’t know what I’m going to do to get home before my grandfather passes. I’m a wreck. Before I can decide what needs to happen next, the customer service representative addresses me again.)

CSR: “You look like you really need to get to where you’re going, though, don’t you?”

Me: “Yes. I’m trying to make it to Iowa to see my grandpa in the ICU. I don’t think he’s going to make it.”

CSR: *nodding* “I’m going to do an override. I do have to place a $250 hold on the account, though, because the transaction will be considered high-risk. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yes! Thank you so much!”

CSR: “Travel safe!”

(I sign the paperwork, get in the car, and begin my 17-hour drive. When I return the car to the rental place near the hospital, I ask the representative when the deposit will be returned to my account.)

CSR: “Oh. There’s no deposit on your account. You’re good to go!”

(It warmed my heart that the man in Maryland was so willing to help me in such a trying time. I made to the hospital in time to see my grandpa before he was too sick to speak to us, and got to be with him while he took his final breath, all thanks to this man’s kindness. Rental care employee, you made me feel that it’s not always hopeless.)

Staying Here Is Fines

, , , , , , | | Working | July 25, 2019

(My husband, two daughters, and I decide to spend a week in one of our favourite cities for a vacation. Rather than book a hotel, we go through a popular house-rental site, instead. We find what sounds like a really nice place. Things… do not work out as planned.)

Owner: “Oh. You’re early. You were supposed to arrive at 4:00; it’s only 3:30.”

Me: “Is that a problem?”

Owner: “Yes. I’m still cleaning. I need you to come back later.”

Husband: “Couldn’t we just bring in our stuff and stay out of your way? We’re a bit tired.”

Owner: “No, that won’t work.”

Me: “Okay. We can go buy some groceries.”


Owner: “I’ll show you around. This is the kitchen.”

Me: “Wow. Those statues are really… something.”

Owner: *proudly* “Aren’t they? They’re life-size fertility statues.”

(They sure are. Anatomically correct, too. Exactly what you want to look at while eating breakfast.)

Owner: “See that kitchen counter? It’s brand-new. Don’t scratch it! Otherwise, I’ll charge you to fix it.”

Me: “Okay.”

Owner: “Make sure you take the garbage out before you leave; otherwise, I’ll charge you a $50 fine.”

Me: “Sure.”

Owner: “I’m very particular about my things staying nice. If I find that you’ve damaged anything, you’ll be paying for it.”

Me: *thinks, “Why on earth do you rent out your house if you’re that worried about damage?”* “We’ll be careful.”

Owner: “I hope so. Oh, and don’t make noise after 10:00 pm.”

Me: “Why not?”

Owner: “Because you’ll disturb the people renting the downstairs level.”

Husband: “What? I thought we were renting the entire house. You never said anything about sharing it.”

Owner: “Well, you are. And if I hear that you made noise after 10:00 pm, I’ll charge you a $100 fine.”

Me: *sighs* “Your ad said that there’s a pool?”

Owner: “Yes, there it is.”

Me: *cheers up at the sight of the pool* “Wow, that’s lovely. Um, what’s that noise?”

Owner: “Oh, next door is doing some construction.”

Husband: “It’s really loud. Are they going to be doing that for long?”

Owner: “Probably. They’ve been at it for several months, and they don’t seem to be close to being done.”

Me: *heart sinks* “It’ll be kind of difficult to enjoy the pool with all that racket.”

Owner: *shrugs*  

(She leaves shortly after that, and we get settled in.)

Older Daughter: “Mom, do you mind if I switch bedrooms with you and Dad?”

Me: “I don’t mind, but why?”

Older Daughter: “I’m pretty sure some of the ‘decorations’ in my room are urns containing ashes of dead pets, and they’re kind of creeping me out.”

Me: “What?!” *checks* “You’re right. Okay, sure, we can switch.”

Younger Daughter: “I’m going to go and use the pool. I don’t mind if it’s noisy.” *comes back a few minutes later* “Never mind.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Younger Daughter: “[Owner] is doing some work in the garden shed, and she keeps glaring at me.”

Me: “She’s still here? I thought she left.”

Younger Daughter: “I’ll wait until later.”

(An hour later, my daughter goes to use the pool again, only to return a few minutes later.)

Younger Daughter: “Forget it. Now she’s mowing the lawn, and she’s glaring at me again.”

(The following day:)

Husband: “How’d everyone sleep?”

Me: “Well, apart from the fact that I kept thinking there were ghosts of dead pets in our room, not bad.”

Older Daughter: “Not great.”

Husband: “How come?”

Older Daughter: “Well, remember those downstairs renters that we were warned not to disturb? They had a screaming fight at midnight and woke me up.”

Younger Daughter: *looks out the window* “[Owner]’s back, and she looks pissed. It’s going to be hard to relax when she’s always around and looking like she hates us being here.”

(That was a lousy vacation. In case you’re wondering, none of that “don’t do [thing] or else I’ll fine you” was in the fine print of our agreement; I checked. And she definitely didn’t mention that we’d be sharing the house. In hindsight, we should have packed up and left, but we were in a popular city and didn’t know if we’d be able to find anywhere else to stay at short notice. We were able to laugh about it later, anyway, and the next time I rented a house from someone, I asked, “Do you have giant fertility statues and/or urns full of dead pets’ ashes? I have a reason for asking!”)

Children Can Be A Real Pay-n

, , , | | Right | July 5, 2019

(A middle-aged customer returns a DVD.)

Customer: “I want to return this, and I want you to not rent out movies to my son anymore.”

(This is generally a valid request, as our customer cards are transferable and friends and family members can rent in the cardholder’s name if they know the correct PIN. But the cardholder can, of course, put a lock on that, in which case we put a corresponding note in the account. When I scan the DVD to take it back, I see that this is not the case here, as it was rented from the son’s own account. He is 19 years old.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it looks as if your son is a legal adult and this is his own account. I cannot stop somebody from using his own account, just because somebody else says so.”

(The customer looks at me with a grim expression, but says nothing.)

Me: “That will be 15€, then.”

Customer: “See, that’s what I mean!”

Me: *with a smile* “Well, it’s his account, and his responsibility. You don’t have to pay for him, you know?”

Customer: *grumbles something unintelligible, pays, and leaves*

(People, it’s not my fault that you can’t teach your children to be responsible with money!)

Is Your Cousin’s Mom Betty White?

, , , , , , | | Related | June 24, 2019

(A second cousin of mine told me this story. She’s renting a car.)

Agent: “What brings you to Missouri?”

Cousin: “I’m here to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday.”

Agent: “In that case, why don’t you upgrade to a nicer car? Think how happy your mother would be if you took her for a ride.”

Cousin: “Thanks, but if my mom wanted to go for a ride, she’d have her boyfriend take her out in his convertible.”

(She wasn’t kidding.)

Unfiltered Story #155530

, , | | Unfiltered | June 24, 2019

A notorious family of customers has just walked into the store. We’ve got to be quite brusque with them, otherwise they just don’t leave the store and talk your ear off while you try to get work done.
This happens on a public holiday, when the shopping centre we are adjacent to is closed.
Me:*internally groaning*
Mother: (she begins a long winded complaint about the centre being closed and how it’s going to make family arguments worse)
Me: (vaguely): You’ve got it right, just us open today.
Mother: (continues long story about an argument that happened on this holiday)
I’m trying to keep working without appearing rude, or encouraging her, serving a couple of customers.
Mother: that reminds me, do you sell apples and carrots?