Your Dollar Holds No Quarter With Me

, , , , | Right | June 15, 2021

A customer hands me a handful of change to pay for her food. I count and it comes up short.

Me: “Oh… I need another fifty cents.”

Customer: “That big one is a dollar.”

I point at the largest coin in the stack.

Me: “This is fifty cents.”

She handed me two quarters and we finished the transaction. She called the store later to complain and I got in trouble. Apparently, not letting her use a fifty-cent piece as a dollar was rude?

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Every Vacation Has A Price

, , , , , , | Learning | June 15, 2021

When I was in fifth grade, there was this one kid who, to put it kindly, could never be accused of being in possession of general common sense. For example, he bragged to some kids about something mischievous he did — within earshot of the school principal!

One day, he did not show up to class, and no one thought anything of it. As usual, the teacher would leave whatever assignments and whatnot on his desk.

A week went by, followed by yet another week. I overheard the teacher mentioning to a faculty member that calls had been placed to the kid’s home, which had been both unanswered and unreturned, and that there was a serious concern that there might have been a serious personal emergency or illness.

Then one day, he popped up, as grand as you please, bragging to the kids about his “vacation” in Texas. The teacher saw him and obviously confronted him.

Teacher: “Where have you been the past two weeks?”

Kid: *Grandly, with a huge smile* “Texaaaaaas! Dad got a huge bonus at work and some vacation time and took us all! Yep! Got myself a heck of a tan, too!”

Teacher: *Turning a patchwork of purple and red* “You can’t just up and take a vacation smack in the middle of the school year without making arrangements with us first about your schoolwork! What is wrong with you?”

Kid: “Schoolwork? But I was on vacation!”

The teacher returns to her desk, produces a tower of paperwork, and plops it down on his desk.

Teacher: “I sure hope you’re ready to sacrifice your lunchtime recesses. And, on top of that, I hope your dad will understand why you will be in detention after school every day until every single assignment is completed!”

Kid: “That’s not fair!”

Teacher: “Unless you would like to get zeroes for everything. And, for your information, it’s not fair to the other students to let you skip out on your work while they are here every day trying and working hard. Anything else you’d like to share with the class about the spectacular time you had in Texas while they were hard at work? We’d love to hear it.”

The kid just scowled.

It took him a month to finally get caught up.

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Calling This A “Sticky Situation” Would Be Too Easy

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: bradley547 | June 14, 2021

I’m a cash register repair guy. I’m sent to repair a cash register at a mini-mart in a popular beach town. They have a service contract and two cash registers, so I don’t expect any drama. The drive out there takes about an hour, but it’s gorgeous, so I’m in a good mood when I get on site.

One of their registers “just stopped working” in the middle of a shift. I do the normal troubleshooting and find that the lights are on but nobody’s home; the machine has power but isn’t accepting any user input. While I am troubleshooting, the two cashiers are trading off on the one working register and the owners — a husband and wife couple — are deflecting rude customers. I pop the cover off of the register.

Me: “Well, there’s your problem.” *To the owner* “Looks like someone spilled into the keyboard. Looks like coffee with cream and sugar.”


My head snaps to my left and I see [Cashier #1] with her hand over her mouth and eyes wide as saucers. She then runs out of the shop, and [Cashier #2] and the owners burst into laughter.

It turns out that [Cashier #2] drinks his coffee black, like all truly good people. The owners drink tea, but I’m open to alternative lifestyles. Only [Cashier #1] drinks coffee with cream and sugar

Apparently, she had done the deed, but rather than fess up, she was hoping the problem would either go away on its own or not be traceable to her. My detective skills had convicted her of the crime.

Fortunately, the coffee never made it to the electronics, and I quickly replaced the keyboard matrix and retuned the machine to service.

As I was leaving, I saw the owners escorting the most hangdog-looking cashier back into the store. She was still there the next time I serviced the site, so I suspect her only punishment was a healthy dose of embarrassment.

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This Stresses Me Out

, , , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2021

I’m working for a multinational company that employs tens of thousands of staff; our site alone has about 700 employees. One afternoon, as I am merrily doing some design work, I get an email from someone at the corporate office. It’s completely blank and has been sent to everyone. I figure that someone accidentally sent this to everyone, hit delete, and go to get back to my work.

Then, a little message pops up.

Message: “[Email Sender] has requested a read receipt when the email has been read. Do you wish to send? Yes/No.”

Oh, dear. I hit no, figuring the sender probably wouldn’t appreciate a reminder of what they did. I also wonder how many people have their settings to automatically send the receipt without prompting. I manage about twenty seconds more work when I get another email alert. It’s a reply to the original email.

Reply #1: “?”

Someone has decided that the best response to a blank email was responding with a single question mark. But the “best” way of doing this was to hit Reply To All. I hit delete.

Message: “[Reply Sender] has requested a read receipt when the email has been read. Do you wish to send? Yes/No.”

The reply had inherited the Read Receipt request. I imagine the IT departments across various sites not being very happy as the email server starts to fill. I imagine their collective moods worsening when the next message appears.

Reply #2: “??”

This is followed shortly by…

Reply #3: “???”


Reply #4: “????”

…as a few people decided that this is funny. I guess it is, to a point. I and a few of my nearby colleagues laugh at the stupidity of these people and how they are going to get some grief for clogging the mail servers. All of these want Read Receipts, too. I think we reach “????????” before the emails start to change.

Reply #5: “Please remove me from this email chain.”

This is sent to everyone, of course; there are a few of those.

Reply #6: “Please stop using Reply To All as you are making the problem worse!”

The odd thing is that it wasn’t one person who sends that message; there are several. And they aren’t doing it independently. Each email includes all the text from previous emails, and I can see the previous warnings there.

Reply #7: “You’ve just hit Reply To All to send the message; don’t do that!”

…and so on. I have no idea if those who are adding their warnings are trying to be funny or helpful or are just desperate to be the one who gets everyone to shut up by having the last word. In any case, the last word comes through a few minutes later with a site-wide email from our IT manager.

IT Manager Email: “Please stop responding to the email that was sent in error. These responses are clogging the servers. The email network will be down for a period while we remove these emails”

This email does not request a read receipt. 

A day or so later, I see one of the IT staff and ask him about the events of that afternoon. He visibly deflates as the memories come back.

IT Guy: “We had to disconnect our server from the global network to stop anything else getting through and then go through the servers and strip out every single one. It took hours!”

Me: “What started it all?”

IT Guy: “One of the accountants at corporate was trying to test something and accidentally managed to send a blank message to everyone. You know the rest.”

Me: “What about all those who responded? I noticed that there were a couple of senior directors from this site who joined in the, uh… fun.”

IT Guy: “They were all spoken to. They were told in great detail about server space, exacerbating problems, and exponential growth!”

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The Word “Gallon” Has No Meaning Anymore

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Mika112799 | June 14, 2021

A customer comes up to the register holding a gas can.

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “How much gas will a two-gallon gas jug hold?”

Me: “Two gallons.”

Customer: “No, I mean, how many gallons will a two-gallon gas jug actually hold?”

I respond with a blank stare for a moment.

Me: “A two-gallon gas jug will hold two gallons of gas.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t know! I’m just trying to help out a friend.”

Me: “So, you want to get two gallons of gas in a gas jug? Okay! What pump are you on?”

Customer: “No! Listen to me! I want to get as much gas as I can. And I have a two-gallon gas jug. I want to put as much gas in it as it’ll hold!”

I stare blankly at her again, and I guess it dawns on her what I said.

Customer: “Oh!” *Laughs* “I get it now. A two-gallon gas jug… two gallons… I’ve really been answering my own question with my question, haven’t I? And you just repeated what I was telling you.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. What pump would you like for me to put it on for you?”

Customer: “The pump I’m parked on.”

Me: “Which pump are you on?”

Customer: “I dunno. It’s the one that I parked at.”

Me: *Frustrated* “Okay. Which vehicle is yours?”

Customer: “The white one.”

Me: “Which white one, ma’am? There are three white cars out there on pumps.”

Customer: “Well, the white one that is mine.”

Me: “Would you mind looking out the door and telling me which white vehicle is yours?”

Customer: *Looks out the door* “Oh!” *Laughs* “I see what you mean! I’m the one all the way on the far end!”

Me: “Okay. So, you want two gallons of gas on pump four? That’ll be $4.34.”

Customer: “$4.34?! For two gallons of gas? Why so high?!”

Me: “Gas is $2.17 a gallon. $2.17 times two is $4.34.”

This was my very first transaction after taking over the register this afternoon.

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