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Big Mistake. Big. Huge!

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 19, 2021

I was in my early teens and on a school trip to Stockholm with my class. We had visited the museums and gone on the tour we were there for, so our teachers let us loose for an hour to shop for souvenirs before it was time to head back home to our small city in the countryside. This was in the early nineties and kids had a lot more freedom then than they have now.

My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, but I had saved up for months for this trip so I would be able to buy myself something special. I have always been interested in fashion, and there is a very well-known fancy department store in Stockholm that I was dying to visit. My friends and I spent some time walking through the different areas, ahh-ing and ooh-ing at all the things we couldn’t afford. 

I still wanted a souvenir from my visit, so we went to the accessories department where I picked out a beautiful scarf that was pretty pricey but still within my budget.  

There was a line to the register, and I took my place in it, clutching the scarf in one hand and my little wallet in the other, while feeling very grown-up and fancy. 

When it was my turn, the lady behind the counter looked at my fourteen-year-old self, my mail-order clothes, and my mended backpack, and instantly turned to the next person in line and started serving them instead.

Me: “I’m sorry, I think it was my turn. I would like to buy this scarf, please.”

Cashier: “Go put that back where you found it, kid. We’re very busy right now.”

Me: “But we have to meet our teacher in fifteen minutes. Can I just pay for this, please?”

Cashier: “So, you found something on the clearance rack and you just want the [Department Store] bag. I get it. You’ll have to wait your turn while I serve the real customers.”

I was close to tears, but I was too intimidated to stand up to an adult in a place where it had been made clear to me that I didn’t belong. I also really wanted the scarf, so I dutifully stood aside, waiting for the line to clear. 

Eventually, the last customer in the line had paid, and I stepped up to the counter again.

Cashier: “Are you still here? All right, put that scarf back and you can have a bag for two crowns.”

Me: “I would like to pay for the scarf, please. I don’t need a bag; I’ve got room in my backpack.”

We were late back to meet with our teacher, and while it was a beautiful scarf, I rarely wore it because every time I looked at it, it brought the entire humiliating experience up again. 

Now, as an adult, I can actually afford to shop at that department store, but I have never been back because of the way they treated me back then.

And He Rode Off In A Puff Of Smoke

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Tapico18 | December 15, 2020

I work as a night manager in a hotel. I just started my shift, and I get information regarding a guest who is acting a bit shady, has a connection-reservation coming up which he has not paid for yet, and still has a few bar bills to pay.

One of my colleagues dialed him at 6:00 pm.

Colleague: “I was wondering when you’re planning to come down to finalize your payment?”

Guest: “I’ll be down in just a moment.”

At 9:00 pm, my colleague saw him run out of the lobby without saying anything to the front desk.

I start my shift at 10:30 pm and get all the info I need. I pay a visit to the room he has departed from. I stumble upon one of the dirtiest rooms I have ever witnessed. He has smoked a lot in the shower, and there is ash everywhere; we are a smoke-free hotel.

I go back to the front desk and try to charge his card for the bar bill and as well as the smoking fee. It is declined. I remember overhearing from a colleague that he opens and closes his card however he wants to avoid late payments.

Anyway, I tell myself that if he walks back in, I will make him pay for the bar bill and the smoking fee and then refuse to check him in again.

At 11:30 pm, the madman walks in again and orders me to finalize his connection-reservation.

Me: “I will finalize the payment from your previous stay, in addition to a smoking fee; I found evidence that you smoked in the room.”

Guest: “I’m not paying any smoking fee! I didn’t smoke in the room!”

I show him some pictures of the room.

Guest: *Shrugging* “The ashes must have fallen off of my clothes from when I smoked outside.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we have evidence.”

He gives up.

Guest: “I’m just gonna call a friend.”

And he takes off running.

I stand there confused. I know that his card will decline, and I feel like it’s not worth it to call the cops etc. After two minutes, I see that he has borrowed one of these electric bikes you can rent around town, and at the same second that he drives past our entrance, I realise that he has activated his card to be able to rent the bike! So, I pull up his folio and try to charge his card once again, and the missing payments go through! He tried to flee, but I feel like I outsmarted him.

He called us later and said that we did not have the right to charge his card after his stay. I simply answered that we do have the right to charge a card if there are missing payments. That is what he signed when he registered. He just said, “See you in court!” and hung up.

One Point To Sweden

, , , , | Right | November 26, 2020

I work in a restaurant in the tourist district; therefore, we still accept cash payments, a rarity in Stockholm. This means that we take out whatever card tips we’ve received in cash at the end of the night to divvy up. On occasion, we get tips in foreign currency; they’re usually small amounts so not worth the exchange fee.

American Tourist: “Do people tip here?”

Me: “Well, if they feel they have received good service, yes, they are welcome to, and it is much appreciated. Standard is five to ten percent.”

American Tourist: “Would you rather have the tip in USD, Euros, or on the card?”

Sweden uses the Swedish Krona.

Me: “Card would be great, thanks!”

American Tourist: “Okay, let me just try to work out how to do ten percent. It’s so difficult with other currencies. Can you help me work it out?”

Me: “Let me teach you a life hack; if you move the decimal one point, you get ten percent, regardless of what currency it is.”

Lovely people, but their minds were blown. This was a common question, with many conversions taking place turning it into dollars, working out the percentage, finding a new total, and then changing it back into krona. What kind of maths you learn in the States will always be a mystery to me.

If You’re Going To Be An A**, You’re Going To Get Slapped On It

, , , , , | Right | April 27, 2020

I am just at the end of my break, finishing off a call with my girlfriend right before going to the check out in time for my shift. A smiling young woman walks up to me with a few books, having overheard my call.

Customer: “Was that your boyfriend?”

Me: “No, that was my girlfriend, actually.”

Customer: “WHAT?! THAT’S DISGUSTING!”

I stare at her in shock, never having had a customer actually scream something bigoted at me.

Me: “Sorry, what?”

The woman grabs the books she bought and rips them out of my hands.

Customer: “DON’T TOUCH MY BOOKS, YOU GROSS LESBIAN! YOU’RE SICK!”

Suddenly, another customer walks by — a girl who looks to be about 14 or 15. Just as she passes us, she raises her hand and smacks the woman’s a**.

Girl: “Hey there, sexy.”

The girl winked at her with a grin and then sprinted out of the store, leaving the woman to just stand there in a stunned fury. She stomped out of the store, leaving her books behind.

A Battery Of Baptisms

, , , | Right | February 21, 2020

(I work at a gas station close to a major highway outside Stockholm. Due to its location, it is always busy. This particular day, it is even busier than usual and all three registers have a line at least five people deep. A man in his 70s enters and goes directly to my counter.)

Old Man: *at the top of his lungs* “I NEED BATTERIES!”

Me: “Okay, but you will have to wait your turn like everyone else.”

Old Man: “WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I NEED BATTERIES FOR MY HEARING AIDS!”

(Several people in line start to chuckle at the man who doesn’t seem to realize he is screaming.)

Me: *louder* “You need to wait your turn!”

Old Man: “BUT I AM GOING TO A BAPTISM!”

Me: “You still need to wait your turn like everyone else!”

(The old man turned quiet and looked at me blankly for a while and then left. I guess he didn’t hear much at the baptism.)