A Sadly Familiar Pattern

, , , , , | Learning | July 9, 2019

I went to a private school from second through seventh grade. Each year, my school and the nearby private schools held a competition called Math Olympics. Basically, it was a Saturday where you took a math test against people in your grade, and people got ribbons for the top five scores.

I placed second in third grade, and was all prepared when the time came around in fourth grade. Like a spelling bee, there was a qualification round during class one day, where two “olympiads” and two alternates would be chosen.

The teacher passed out our tests during math time, but as people started getting to the last problem, she found that many people were asking for help. She went around just repeating, “Number 20 is a pattern,” to anyone with their hand up, dealing with other questions if they were on a different problem.

By the time my tablemate got to problem 20, I had already turned in my paper and picked up my book to read. He put his hand up, having been too involved in the first 19 problems to catch what the teacher had been saying, but there was a note on the board saying that she’d give a hint about it.

After what felt like a long time without the teacher coming over, he started waving his hand, trying to get attention. Eventually, he made small sounds when she walked by, which she did at least three times after I started paying attention. It was annoying, so I just leaned over and said, “Number 20 is a pattern.”

That, the teacher noticed. She snatched the boy’s test off the table before he could even pick up his pencil again, and told us both to stay in the room while everyone else went to lunch.

We sat there, alone, long enough to take our lunch boxes from the backpack area, eat lunch, and throw away our trash before our teacher brought back the principal.

The principal took us one at a time to tell her what happened, and I told her the truth of the situation — that the teacher had promised everyone a hint, but was ignoring my tablemate, so I told him exactly what she had been telling everyone else.

Despite explaining myself as best I could, it was deemed cheating, so neither of us were allowed to compete. I went on to win first place in later years, but I still find it unfair that I got labeled a cheater for that.

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Fast Food Or Your Money Back

, , , , , | Working | July 5, 2019

(My brother and I go to a [Popular Fast Food Chain] for lunch one day. The place is rather empty. We place our orders and then sit at a booth until it is ready. We get our milkshakes and drinks pretty quickly, but it is about 15 minutes before we get the rest of our order. We aren’t in any hurry so it doesn’t really bother us. After we get our order, we start to eat, but then the manager came to our table.)

Manager: “Excuse me for a minute, but I would like to apologize for it taking so long. Normally, we have food out within a few minutes. Since you had to wait so long, I would like to refund your meal.”

Me: *stunned* “Oh, no, really. It’s fine. We weren’t in any hurry; a refund’s not necessary.”

Manager: “Please allow me to refund you, anyway. It’s an issue for me when our service isn’t prompt. Our new employee was in back talking and there was no excuse for this. We don’t mind, and you’re getting a free meal out of it.”

(I ended up getting the refund after all. It’s wonderful to know that there are people who truly care about the quality of the service!)

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Unfiltered Story #154765

, , | Unfiltered | June 16, 2019

In our particular salon, there is a price for puppies under 5 months to have a basic “clean up” trim. It’s just the visor, the feet, and shaving the potty area. If the puppy requires an all over trim, or is over 6 months, the price goes up considerably. The reason for the lower price is that we’re trying to encourage owners to bring the puppy in frequently, to get used to being in the grooming environment, and to the processes and noises that go into the groom, plus being held and sitting still while scissors are near their eyes. The difference in price between the “puppy trim” and the full adult price is really steep, however, and more than one owner has been floored by the difference. Our prices are really competitive, however, and the groomers in my salon are often head-hunted by other salons because our quality is really outstanding, so even if a person has gone elsewhere, they usually end up back with us. On this day, a man comes in with a Shih-Tzu, who will be my client.

Me: Hi! Is this (dog)?

Him: Yes. Now listen: we just want a puppy cut.

“Puppy cut” is a term that only applies to poodles, where a poodle is trimmed all over, with a clean face and clean feet. It has no other purpose, and yet customers often use this term to refer to just about any haircut you can imagine, from a complete shave-down to a drop coat trim.

Me: Puppy cut means different things to different people. Why don’t we just go over what you want me to do. Are you wanting me to take any length off of your dog’s coat?

The dog has actually a really well maintained drop coat, but those are really time consuming, so I would never assume that a customer wants to continue with a long coated dog.

Him: NO! No, I just want a puppy cut! Like you did last time!

I look into his history on the computer.

Me: Okay, last time, you had a puppy trim, which is just the face, or visor area, rounding the feet, and shaving the potty area. I will brush his coat out as well, and of course he’ll have a nice bath and nail trimming and ear cleaning too.

Him: Yes, and that’s $16.00.

Me: For dogs under five months, yes. Your dog is now seven months. Your price will be $36.00.

Him: No, it won’t. $16.00 is a fair price.

$16.00 is actually really, really low, considering that we work on commission. The time it takes to complete a puppy is usually longer than a full grown dog who has been doing this for several years because the puppy gets upset, is frightened, and generally doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s the whole reason we encourage people to come in often.

Me: I don’t have any other option. Your dog is over the age limit, and the puppy price is not available to me.

Him: Fine! He’s under 6 months then!

Me: Your file says he was born on (date seven months ago). Is this not correct?

Him: You people are unbelievable! I can’t believe this!

Me: Sorry.

Him: I tried to come in last month, but you all kept saying  you didn’t have any openings! And now you’re trying to gouge me with this price? Because you wouldn’t take me last month?

We do book up quickly, but as long as customers don’t want same-day appointments, we can usually accommodate a dog within a few days of the customer calling. We do have customers, though, like this man, who think our work isn’t hard, and that there can be no reason why they can’t have a same-day appointment. Because I’m used to this, I don’t say anything, because I know anything I say will only make him more angry. I also don’t point out that if he had managed to make it in last month, he still would have paid the full price as the dog would have been six months.  At this point I just want him to leave, even though the puppy actually seems really cute and sweet.

He seems to realize that his yelling at me is getting him nowhere, so he tries one last dig.

Him: This is outrageous! I can’t believe you people! I sure hope I can complain about you on the internet!

I call out to him as he leaves: Have a nice day!

When my boss came back, I told her what happened on the off chance that he might try to call and complain. Thankfully, one of my coworkers was in the salon with me, and vouches for everything I say.

My Boss: Seriously? I booked this appointment for him last night, and we had almost the same conversation! I told him he had to pay the full price because the dog is now fully grown! He knew he’d have to pay that much!

The best part was that he didn’t hurt my business at all that day. There were people on the waiting list who wanted to come in, and they ended up being awesome folks who now come in a lot.

What A Day!

, , , , , | Right | June 10, 2019

I am working in a vet clinic one morning and a client comes in with her cat for an appointment. I look down at the book and notice her appointment is actually for the following day, Saturday. I mention this to the client and the blood drains from her face as she proceeds to yell, “Oh, s***, y’all! I’m supposed to be at work!”

The client had somehow gotten an entire day ahead in her own mind. She came back the following day on her actual appointment day and told us that, thankfully, her boss just laughed the whole thing off!

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Unfiltered Story #152559

, , | Unfiltered | June 2, 2019

This happened during my last month at my old part-time job. I was at the register, when two customers (a man and his wife) drove up to pump gas. As they got out, I noticed that they were smoking and not putting it out.

Me: Excuse me. I need you two to put those out before you start.

They both acknowledged what I just said. A few minutes later, I had just finished with another customer, when I noticed that the wife was still smoking.

Me: Ma’am. I need you to put that cigarette out. It’s a fire hazard.

She looked at me, apparently having heard what I said, so I went back to my register. A few minutes later, I saw that she was STILL smoking.

Me: Ma’am. This is the third time I’ve had to tell you. You can’t smoke here. It’s a fire hazard.

Finally, she takes out her cigarette and (without looking down to make sure there wasn’t any oil or something) throws it on the ground. She kinda scowled at me the rest of the time she was there. Her husband kept giving me an apologetic look.