You Try To Do Something Nice…

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2020

I work at a retail store for a major telecom company in the UK. We sell both prepaid sims and contracts, and we are not commission-based. Our goal is usually to ensure that customers get the best value for their money. A lot of customers feel, however, that contract sims equal money stealing, despite the fact that direct debit standards placed by the Financial Conduct Authority and OFCOM mean that I would literally lose my job if I tried that.

I had the cream of the crop today, though.

An old lady wants to top up her phone, so we sit down and she gives me her number. The moment I enter her number to top up her account, her top-up history loads up.

Me: “I notice you’ve topped up £10 thrice in the past month with us. That’s a lot of money. What do you use your phone for?”

Customer: “Just calling and texting.”

Me: “Well, you’re clearly calling and texting a lot. There are contracts from £7 a month that would give you unlimited texts and calls; it would be far cheaper for you.”

Customer: *Shaking her head angrily* “NO DIRECT DEBITS! I ONLY PAY FOR WHAT I USE THE PHONE FOR! I don’t use the phone for Internet.”

Me: “You’ll still be paying us for what you use the phone for, but you’re saving at least a quarter of your bill every month. This plan doesn’t include Internet. I wouldn’t offer Internet based on your phone, anyway.”

I motion to her tiny button phone. She snatches her purse from the table.

Customer: “I only top up once every few months. Your system is lying.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “All I want is a £10 top-up! Your money-grabbing schemes will never work on me!”

I top up the account with a shrug.

Me: “Sure. See you in ten days.”

She glared at me as she left the shop. But I bet I’ll see her again in a week and we’re going to have the exact conversation again.

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We Were About To Get Incensed

, , , , | Right | September 24, 2020

I work in a popular store where everything costs the same price. It is quite a small store: three aisles wide by two aisles deep.

Today, there are about four of us working in the back three aisles. A larger man staggers into the shop and clocks me.

Customer: *In a very loud voice* “Excuse me, love! Can you tell me where you keep those incest sticks?”

My three colleagues scattered and dissolved into giggles in the next aisles. I tried my hardest to keep a straight face while guiding him to the aisle that housed the candles and, of course, the incense sticks.

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A Deal So Good, You’ll Say, “WIIIIII!”

, , , , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

After the second edition of the Wii came out — the black version with motion sensors in the remote — my mum took my siblings and me shopping to main retail stores. We were there to get new shoes and socks and really just to waste time.

We went past the electronics section and saw a pile of the black Wiis, and my oldest brother pointed out to us that the price was wrong; they’d put them out at the price the old white Wiis were now worth — almost $200 difference.

My mum, thinking, “What the heck?”, decided to grab four of them — one for each kid — so we all got one when we moved out.

We got to the checkout and the first Wii scanned at the RRP of about $400. My mum immediately pointed out that the sign said $200.

Because that price sign was still up, they had to sell all four Wiis for the $200. We were all polite and the worker serving us thought it was great that we were taking advantage of such a great mistake.

Her manager, on the other hand, not so much. He tried to say they had a limit on how many they could sell, but without the signs and documentation to back that up, he was SOL.

As we were leaving, we saw two workers hurrying to the sign to fix the price before anyone else could notice it.

When we each moved out, between one and four years later, Mum gave us a Wii. I still have mine and used it to play WiiFit during the lockdown.

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Don’t Offer Her Your Two Cents; She’d Take It

, , , , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

I worked in retail in the late 1980s. One of my coworkers was an unbelievably stingy woman. Amongst the many examples I can give you: she would pay in exact change for anything, would walk a mile in the rain to save two cents on groceries, go to thrift stores or haggle to buy clothes for her children — and always at least a size too small, I noticed — and would wear the same outfit every day until it fell apart or she really needed a shower. Speaking of which, she would use soap from the employee bathroom during breaks instead of buying her own. Here are some memorable instances of her penny-pinching.

When we were being given a raise of $3.50 a day, she asked, “Could you possibly give me this week’s money in advance? I need to buy extra gas.”

My boss asked, “Why?”

She replied that her daughter needed a new Girl Scout uniform. When he said he couldn’t do this, she said, “Fine, I’ll sort it out myself.”

When I saw her daughter delivering Girl Scout cookies, she was wearing a uniform with a massive tear underneath her armpit and dried mud on the hem. I asked her why and she shrugged, saying, “Mom said she can’t afford to sew it up.”

Now, my family wasn’t poor by any stretch of the imagination. True, my coworker worked in retail, but her ex-husband earned more than enough to pay alimony checks. I asked why she hadn’t asked him for more and was told that she didn’t want to spend money on a stamp.

Another example is when we were holding a Christmas celebration. I had brought in a box of chocolates, as everyone was bringing their own food. There was quite a bit leftover, and even a quiche that had been out-of-date; the person who had brought it in had misread the label and threw it in the trash. Guess what happened to the leftover food? That’s right; my coworker took it all home. She said to me, “Why waste going to the grocery when this perfectly good food is enough to feed me for at least a day? Roughly three meals, to be exact.”

I had never heard of anyone who ate crackers, chicken Kiev, or quiche for breakfast, but there you go. She also took half my box of chocolates, in case you’re interested.

But what really took the biscuit didn’t happen at work, specifically. I was carpooling my own kids to soccer practice and had offered to take my coworker’s son, as well; I promised that I would give him a uniform as my own kids had outgrown theirs. I arrived back at the house with its overgrown front yard and saw that my coworker had stapled the curtains together in the front room and duct-taped cardboard over her kids’ window.

When I asked why, she told me, “Why bother getting a blind when this is much cheaper?” or something like that.

My coworker lived in a two-story house with excellent plumbing and heating and in a good area, but she washed laundry in the bathtub, sometimes after her children had been in it, collected bottles and cans that the family used and sold them to a recycling plant — not that that is a bad idea in itself — had oranges on forks as an after-dinner treat, made her daughter give her all of her babysitting money when she grew old enough to go on a regular basis, let a graffiti mark on the ceiling stay there for ten years, gave her son a Barbie backpack for high school because it was going for cheap at the retail and made him keep it for four years, and broke the handle off the freezer door and never got it fixed.

However, she died ten years ago at a relatively young age and left each of her children $70,000. So I guess that’s something.

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Not Bloody Cool

, , , , | Working | September 24, 2020

When my husband and I first moved into our house, the existing fridge was very old and outdated, so we decided to post it on a classifieds site and purchase a newer one secondhand.

We got the new fridge moved in before the old one sold, so my husband and his friend moved it through several doorways into the garage while we waited for it to sell. When we did have a buyer show up later that day, we led him to the garage, and upon seeing the fridge, with a completely straight face, the guy said, “No charge for the blood, hey?”

To my horror, there were several smudges of blood on the side of the fridge, which must have occurred while my friend was moving the fridge, which was a tight fit through all those doorways!

Sure enough, looking at his hands, there was at least one small wound that had transferred to the fridge without us noticing. I apologized profusely, but the buyer seemed more amused than anything and left happily with the fridge!

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