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A Store Is A Store Is A Store

, , , | Right | September 8, 2021

I work in the electric department, so I pretty much sell everything from PVC glands to solar systems. We have another major retailer in my country that sells food items in bulk that we aren’t associated with in any way; the only thing we do have in common is the fact that we both offer membership cards.

A young client comes in trying to purchase solar panels.

Me: “Do you have an account with us?”

Customer: “Yes, it’s [account number].”

I can’t find the account with the number he has provided. He then presents me with identification documents.

Customer: “This is my mother; I’m shopping for her on her account.”

Me: “I’m afraid you don’t have the right documentation to purchase on her behalf.”

He gets slightly annoyed with the fact that I refuse to even look for the account until he returns with his mother or the documents. A while later, both return, clearly irritated with the inconvenience. I inquire about the details of her account when she presents me with the above-mentioned retailer’s store card.

Me: *Calmly* “Sorry, ma’am, but I won’t be able to assist you as we don’t associate with [Other Retailer].”

Customer’s Mother: “WHY NOT?!”

At first, I think she’s joking, but then she explains:

Customer’s Mother: “I’ll just pay them and you’ll receive your payment from them!”

I tried my absolute best not to cry out of frustration after four separate attempts trying to explain that that’s just not how stores work.

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Some Things Can’t Be Tutored Away

, , , , , | Learning | August 2, 2021

I am studying to complete my honours degree. To make a little extra money on the side, I’ve started working for a company that tutors high school students. Due to the current health crisis, most of our sessions take place online and on a one-on-one basis.

One of my students didn’t show up for his lesson. I messaged him about it and he gave me an excuse that was along the line of, “I had a meeting with a prospective employer and forgot to tell you.” I was a bit inconvenienced but let it go. 

Cue next week when the exact same thing happened. At this stage, I was technically supposed to tell my boss, who would make sure that I was compensated for wasting my time — it’s about half what I would have gotten if we’d had a lesson, without actually having to do one. I, however, took a different route.

I drafted an email to my student’s mother. I respectfully explained the situation and told her to please ensure that her son comes to our future lessons. I also mentioned that I had not informed my boss, and they would not be penalized for the missed lessons. I was professional and respectful throughout. I even had both my parents read the email to make sure that it did not portray me as condescending or disrespectful.

About a day later, the student’s mother emailed me back. She went on and on about my disrespectful tone and how she could not believe that I had not informed her earlier. She also told me, “I also CC’d in [My Boss], so don’t bother trying to hide it.”

I just don’t understand her reasoning here. Someone emails you after your son missed two lessons — it happens because high schoolers are idiots — and explains that there won’t be any disadvantage to him because my boss never found out, and your response is to yell at them and inform their boss?

I got paid for both missed lessons and all my boss did was tell me to rather go through him in the future.

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Here’s Hoping That Train Of Thought Gets Derailed

, , , , , , | Learning | June 17, 2021

I’ve just moved to a new school. Neither of my parents is able to consistently pick me up after school, so I’m given money for a train ride. After school, I walk up to the train station, sit on the bench, and wait for my train to arrive.

This is my second time riding the train, so I’m a little bit nervous. Cue [Classmate]. This guy comes up and sits next to me. There aren’t a lot of benches, so I think nothing of it and continue to draw in my notebook.

Classmate: “So, you go to [School]?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, you?”

Classmate: “Same, it’s my first year.”

I’m feeling pretty good, and we start chatting about school stuff. I’ll admit, I think he is pretty hot at first. After a bit, he starts talking about all his previous girlfriends, the one that got away, the one from another country that still loves him even though she had to move away, etc. He goes on for a bit, and I am thoroughly uninterested in this topic.

Me: “Yeah, I don’t really relate. I’m gay, so…”

Classmate: *Chuckles* “Yeah…”

He then continues with his line of thought. Being the young little innocent queer that I am, don’t know a lot about South Africa’s very homophobic opinions despite how our constitution says it, so I shrug it off and continue to mildly chat with this guy from time to time.

A bit into the year, I’m walking to the train station, and a bit up ahead I see [Friend] and [Classmate]. [Friend] and I were friends before coming to this school and she admitted to me after I came out that she’d had a bit of a crush on me, but this didn’t affect our friendship. I rush over to them and we start a conversation. After a while, [Friend] asks me:

Friend: “So, did you end up asking that guy out?”

Me: “Yeah, I did, but he said no because he’s straight.”

[Classmate] does a dramatic turnaround. I can hear the reality show stinger as he opens his mouth.

Classmate: “Wait, you’re gay?!”

Me: “Yeah… I said so when we first met.”

Classmate: “I thought you were joking!”

Alarm bells in my head that young queer baby me has never heard and doesn’t understand are going off, and the gods decide that this divine comedy is not yet over. Next, my dear [Friend] leaves because she takes a bus and her stop is just on the way to the station.

I’m trapped. I’m sitting on the bench, my drawing book firmly in my bag so I can leave quickly. I still don’t know why I’m feeling such dread when [Classmate] speaks.

Classmate: “So, like, when did you decide to be gay?”

My school is very liberal, so I have not yet had to deal with ignorance like this, so it takes me a second.

Me: “I didn’t. I was born this way.”

Classmate: “Ah, I see… Are you a virgin?”

Oh, so that’s what my gay spidey sense is for.

Me: “Dude, you can’t ask someone that. How would you feel if I asked you that?”

Classmate: “Nah, dude, it’s not the same.”

Me: “Yes, it is. It carries the same emotional weight and the STDs. Pregnancy isn’t what makes sex special.”

[Classmate] brushes it off and continues to ask me some more personal questions.

My prayers answered, the train arrives and [Classmate] drops this dazzling gem.

Classmate: “By the way, don’t have gay sex. One of my friends from my old school died of gay sex.”

I’m just all for getting away from this guy now, and I hurriedly go to my usual cart. He tries to get me to sit in a different cart with him, which I refuse. Yeah… not so hot anymore.

A few weeks later, I’m still processing this whole thing, and then I realise how homophobic he was being. I share it with some of my friends and they are shocked, but I never go to the administration because I feel I took too long to realise what happened.

We share a drama class, and we end up getting assigned to be partners for an activity. Done with this man, I refuse to work with him, and I am forced to sit in silence in the drama room while others do trust activities. He confronts me about it after class.

Classmate: “What was that?!”

Me: “You said a lot of homophobic things to me and I refuse to work with you”

Classmate: “I can’t be homophobic; my sister’s gay! Name one thing I’ve said.”

I then went on to recap everything he said and left. He tried to act like he was going to defend himself, but he heroically shrugged it off like he was being the bigger man and letting it go. I didn’t see much of him afterward. Apparently, he got expelled because he was caught stealing a phone before an exam. Self-inflicted karma is sweet.

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Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 15

, , | Right | May 24, 2021

I’ve basically grown up in my dad’s electrical store and work there now that I’m old enough. My dad has been sick and I’ve been in charge for a few days, and we have decided to close for stock take. A customer comes to the locked door and bangs on it.

Customer: “Why are you closed? What’s happening?”

Sales Employee: “We’re closed today for stock take.”

Customer: “You’re lying! I spoke to the owner yesterday and he told me to come.”

My dad hasn’t been to work the whole week.

Me: “The owner told you to come?”

Customer: “Yeah, he did. It’s my granddaughter’s birthday and I really need coloured globes; I came from really far.”

Me: “Are you sure, sir? We’re closed and aren’t serving today.”

Customer: “Yeah, he was wearing [description of what my dad usually wears].”

Me: “He’s actually sick and hasn’t been to work all week, I’m sorry.”

Customer: “He was here! Are you calling me a liar?!”

He starts ranting about how I’m lying, he’s going to get me fired, and he personally knows the owner, etc.

Me: “Sir, I can 100% assure you that my dad has been sick at home the past week and hasn’t even left his room. Would you like me to call home?”

He turned around and abruptly walked away.

Related:
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 14
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 13
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 12
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 11
Getting Owned By The Owner, Part 10

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Not Quite The Photo Finish You Wanted

, , | Right | April 4, 2021

I work in customer care for a large manufacturer that makes a variety of food items. Sometimes if food is stored incorrectly, or for too long, or in negative environments, it can be affected by insects.

Customer: “Hi, I bought this [item] yesterday and it has worms. What are you going to do about it?”

Me: “Hello, sir, we are so sorry to hear that! I can definitely assist you further; we just need a few details in order to proceed. If you can provide me with your email address, I can send you a mail asking for further details like which store you got it from, photos of the affected food, and batch details so we can see what is going on and trace when it was made.”

Customer: “What? I don’t want to touch it! Why don’t you come here and look at it, instead?”

The customer is at least four hundred miles away, and even though we have agents, it’s a bit silly to drive out all that way to look at a $5 item when the customer can easily give us these details.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I’m unable to come out and look at it myself, but if we can have these details, I can have your concern raised with our team, and send you a replacement [Item].”

Customer: “No! I refuse to touch it and take photos. I don’t know what has contaminated it. It’s a health risk to myself and my family! But I will be taking a lot of photos to put all over social media and Whatsapp, so people know what a terrible product you have and how you refuse to help me!”

Me: “Apologies, sir, if I’m understanding correctly, you don’t want to take a single photo for me to assist you further, but you would like to take a variety of photos to put over social media, to say we won’t help you?” 

Customer: “Yes! You are being difficult and putting me at risk, so I’m going to put it all over social media and Whatsapp!”

Me: “Well, sir, if you don’t have an email address and would prefer sending it over SMS, instead, we do have an office number and a Whatsapp number that can be used.”

Customer: “No, I don’t have a Whatsapp number. I can’t do that. You just refuse to help me. I’m going to record this conversation so I can put it on social media, too! This is terrible service!”

He just said that he has Whatsapp, and now he doesn’t?

Me: *Pauses* “All right? Well, if you can give me any information over this call, I should still be able to assist you further. It’s no problem at all. Whichever is easiest for you.”

What followed was a fifteen-minute call while the customer held the [item] in his lap to read all the information I required and gave me his address to send the replacement [item], instead of taking a photo of it to send to me. I’m still confused about the whole ordeal.

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