Attack Of The Entitled Mummy

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I work for myself as a children’s entertainer, advertising mostly by word of mouth. I receive an email asking for a quote.)

Customer: “Hi! [Parent I have worked with] gave me your info. I’m looking for a quote for my little princess’s fourth birthday. How much are you?”

Me: “Hello, [Name from email address], thanks for reaching out! I need a few more details to give you an accurate quote:

1) What day and time is your daughter’s party?
2) How many little guests do you expect to be there?
3) Where will the party take place?
4) What services are you interested in? I do balloon twisting, glitter tattoos, face painting, and a limited number of character interactions.

Talk to you soon!”

Customer: “Wow! I didn’t know you’d be so invasive! How did you know my name? I’m not telling you where I live! Just give me a quote!”

(After blinking at my screen for a few minutes I shake my head and try again.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I assumed your email was your name. My apologies for startling you. I need to know generally where the party is to see if mileage charges apply, and when it is to see if I’m already booked. I don’t need your exact address if you’re having the party at your residence; nearby major cross streets would work to get you an accurate quote. Thanks again for the opportunity to make your child’s birthday a little more special!”

Customer: “Main and 1st.”

(My eye is now sporadically twitching, but business slows down in summer due to the crushing heat and I could use the money. After a deep breath, I reply:)

Me: “Fantastic news! You’re well within my standard radius, so no mileage fees will apply. I just need to know the day and time you’re looking to book me, how many kids I’ll be working with, and which of my services you’re most interested in. Just a heads up: if you’ve hired a bounce house, I likely will not be able to face paint, as it’s against the bounce house company’s policy.”

Customer: “Don’t worry about who or what else I’ve hired. You are very unprofessional! I just want a f****** quote and you’re taking forever! I’ve wasted an hour of my life with you now! For f***’s sake! This Saturday at three pm, for an hour. And, you had better give me a discount for this horrid service!”

(I glance at my weather app and see that it’s going to be nearly 115° at that time. My balloons require indoor space under 95°, and most private-at-home birthday parties are backyard events. My suited characters don’t perform in that heat, either.)

Me: “I am available to face paint and/or do glitter tattoos on Saturday! Yay! It’s unfortunately projected to be too hot to offer balloon animals or character meet-and-greets. My minimum booking for just face painting is for two hours at $100 an hour. Usually glitter tattoos are an additional charge, but to make the day extra special I’ll throw in a dozen free glitter tattoos for the birthday girl and eleven of her closest friends. I will need a ten by ten flat space to set up my canopy unless you have shade, table, and chairs provided. If you would like to book me, please fill out and return the attached contract. Once I have received the deposit and signed contract, we’re all set!”

Customer: “I only want an hour. I’m only paying for one hour! And $100 is outrageous! It’s only thirty kids; it shouldn’t take you two hours!”

(I’m now full-on headdesking. Industry average for face painting is twelve to fifteen kids an hour. My rates aren’t the cheapest in the city, but I’m far from the top earners, and my work is solid, I’m insured, and I only use top-quality supplies. This is exactly why I always ask how many kids there are, not how long the parents think I’ll need to get to everyone. Two minutes per kid to pick what they want, sit down, get painted, and admire themselves in the mirror just isn’t reasonable. At this point, I pretty much want to just write her off but, again, I could really use the money. Without much hope, I try again.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but my rates and timeframe are both very fair. I average ten to fourteen faces an hour, so getting to all thirty kids in only two hours will be very challenging. I do want to help make your little one’s birthday as special as possible and work with your budget, so I’ll make you a deal. For my usual two-hour rate I’ll guarantee all thirty kids get painted, even if it takes another hour. I’ll bring a sign-in sheet to make sure everyone gets painted while still enjoying the party. I hope this works for you; if not I hope it’s a fun filled day, anyway!”

Customer: “So, if my nieces and nephews show up, too, you won’t paint them?! I can’t believe [Parent I have worked with] recommended such a shady, rude person! I’m going to tell everyone I know that you’re a selfish, horrible person!”

(The next day, the parent who originally referred me reached out and apologized for their friend. The customer showed the complete email chain as evidence of how “rude” I was in a Facebook group, and is apparently now the laughing stock of her mommies group.)

I Feel Sorry For The Husky

, , , , , , | Right | August 9, 2018

(I run a pet boarding business out of my home. I provide high-end care for dogs while their owners are out of town or at work. In this area, I am in high demand, often dealing with clients that are willing to throw down a lot of cash for their dogs. One morning I receive this booking request in my email:)

Client: “Hi. My dog is a purebred Siberian Husky. She is two months old. I do not want her around any other dogs, but I will not leave her alone while I am at work every day. I will need you to watch her starting tomorrow.”

(She lists off dates and times for thirty-six days she wants her dog to stay with me while she is at work.)

Me: “Hello! She’s a beautiful dog! Unfortunately, I have other dogs booked with me every single day for the next month, so I would not be able to provide care for her without her coming into contact with other dogs, and I do not accept dogs that have not had their vaccinations. Her papers you sent me indicate that she has not yet had her vaccinations. If you need any assistance after she has received her shots, I would love to meet with you to discuss the details!”

Client: “She cannot be around other dogs. I am paying you $1,000 to make that happen.”

Me: “I do appreciate your interest in my services, but as I said, I have many other bookings, so providing solitary care for her would not be possible. I also would not be able to accept her until she has been vaccinated.”

Client: “I am not willing to pay you over $1,100.”

Me: “The issue isn’t with the money; the issue is that I have other bookings; so your dog would be around other dogs if she were to stay with me.”

Client: “Absolutely not. I am paying you $1,000 a month; she needs to be alone.”

Me: “Ma’am, every other owner that is currently booked with me has paid the same rates. I cannot cancel their bookings simply because you don’t want their dogs around yours and frankly, I cannot run a business by only watching one dog. And again, I would not even be able to consider care until you had her vaccinated.”

Client: “Then what am I even paying you for?”

(I explained my policies to her yet again and she stopped responding. I’m pretty relieved, honestly. Dealing with that attitude every day doesn’t sound worth the money.)


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The Emailing Dead

, , , , , | Working | July 30, 2018

(Everyone in the team uses the same shared email account, so when a new message arrives with a request that needs handling, the first person who opens it is supposed to deal with it. If we open something by mistake, or it’s a more serious issue and we decide we don’t have the time, the knowledge, or the authority to handle it, we are supposed to mark it as unread. I receive a message from my coworker.)

Coworker: “Oh, my God! I opened this email about [some complicated issue], and I have no idea what it even means. What am I supposed to do with it?”

Me: “No big deal. Either ask someone to show you what to do, or leave it for someone else.”

What I mean to type next: “Just mark it as unread.”

What I actually type: “Just mark it as undead.”

Me: *three seconds later, realizing what I sent* “I’m coming over with the holy water.”

(I walked over to there a minute later to find her giggling uncontrollably.)

It’s Just Not App-ening

, , , , , | Working | July 27, 2018

I’ve heard a lot recently about a clothing buy/sell app that is supposed to have a decent track record and strict rules to protect buyers and sellers. I decide to try it out, mainly because my husband’s favorite style of jeans was discontinued by the manufacturer, and now the only place I can find them is online or occasionally in thrift or second-hand stores. I’ll just call them “Bootcut” jeans for the story.

Almost immediately, I find a good condition pair of Bootcut jeans with the matching [Brand] style number in his size. They’re for sale for only $20.00. With shipping and whatnot, let’s say the total comes to $26.00. This is a steal, considering when they were new these jeans were usually $60 and up.

The package arrives a few days later, but to my surprise, the seller sent the wrong pair of jeans. She did, in fact, have two pairs of [Brand] jeans for sale on her page: the Bootcut pair and a pair of light-washed Dungarees. Not only are these jeans a style my husband doesn’t prefer, but they are two sizes smaller than the ones I ordered. I think to myself that she sent me the wrong pair by accident. These things happen; we can just exchange them. No problem, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.

This kicks off a two-week long battle to convince this woman she sent me the wrong jeans. I have to get the app support team involved, because she is adamant that she never even had those jeans in her “stock” to start with. She never even addresses the fact that I never received the ones I paid for, and flat-out calls me a liar on the group message window we have to initiate with the support team. It isn’t even about the money at this point; it is the principle of the matter. Also, considering how rambling and odd some of her comments are, I question whether she is totally “all there” or not.

I go to her seller’s page, take a screenshot of both pairs of jeans still side-by-side for sale, with the ones I purchased marked as “SOLD,” and the others still marked as “FOR SALE.” I put this next to a screenshot of my “Purchase History” screen, which includes a photo and description of the item I bought, plus pictures I took of the jeans I received showing they were the wrong ones. I send everything to both her and the support agent helping us.

After that, I will say the app team acts pretty quickly. They give me a refund, and say I can keep the wrong jeans as a “gift,” since the seller doesn’t want them back. By the end of it, my theory is that she was having a hard time selling those Dungarees and sent them to me on purpose to get rid of them. That still doesn’t make that much sense, because the app team took my money back from her, anyway.

I’m sure there are plenty of sellers on the app who aren’t like this woman, but the experience turned me off on the whole thing. The wrong jeans went into a box of clothing I’m taking to a local shelter, so hopefully someone will get some use out of them, and I’m sticking with thrift stores from now on.

I’m P(r)etty Pregnant

, , , , , , , | Romantic | July 27, 2018

There was a guy I met via a dating app, with whom I went on several dates. It got very serious, very quickly, and he started talking about me potentially becoming his girlfriend.

After a little over a month of going on dates, I got a Snapchat from him with the caption, “Girlfriend hack!” and a picture of some other girl. I immediately asked him about her, and he confessed that it was his girlfriend of over a year. I was heartbroken, and the fact that he wouldn’t add me on any social media platforms suddenly made sense.

A week later, I reached out to his girlfriend via Facebook to inform her of her boyfriend’s actions over the past few weeks with me. I felt that if I were in her situation, I’d want someone to tell me. I didn’t tell her out of spite, or to try to get him all to myself. I’ve always felt that when a man cheats, the women shouldn’t blame one another; they should blame him for his actions and his lies.

She didn’t feel the same way. She responded by calling me a liar and yelling at me for interfering in their relationship. I took that moment to remind her that he pursued me on a dating app, meaning that it was his intention to find someone to cheat with. She continued to defend him, and it became very clear to me that she was so in love with him that she’d never leave him, even for her own good. The way he spoke about her, it was obvious that she had low self-esteem, and I guessed that she assumed she couldn’t get another man as attractive and as seemingly sweet as he was. So I let it go.

A few weeks went by, and a mutual friend told me the guy and and his girlfriend got engaged. This really upset me, because I knew the girlfriend/fiancée deserved better, so I took it upon myself to text him and inform him that I was pregnant. He freaked out and started blaming me for getting pregnant, claiming it wasn’t his child. I convinced him that he was the only person I had been with, and that I’d definitely be having a paternity test, which would include him. I also sent him a picture of a positive pregnancy test. He began to panic, telling me to get rid of the baby, and then verbally attacked me personally, saying this would ruin his life. He asked me how could I be so selfish.

The irony was almost too much to handle.

I then told him that he had two options: he could either tell his fiancée himself, or I would. After several text messages convincing him I was serious, he stopped responding.

After an hour without a response, I got a phone call from him, and through tears he told me that he told his fiancée and she left him. He called me names and said I ruined his life. After I let him get it all out of his system, I calmly reminded him that he had no one to blame but himself, because he went on a dating app to find someone to cheat on his girlfriend with, and then broke not only my heart, but his fiancée’s heart, as well. He finally seemed to realize how badly he had screwed up. He asked me how many weeks along I was, because he was wondering if I was still early enough to have an abortion.

I responded by telling him I wasn’t pregnant.

He flipped out so bad. It was one of the funniest moments of my life. I told him that he got exactly what he deserved. I also told him to Google positive pregnancy tests, because he’d find the picture I sent him right at the top. I then hung up the phone and blocked him permanently.

The best part about this story, which happened several years ago, was that recently the ex-fiancée reached out to me to thank me for breaking them up. She told me it was the best thing that could have ever happened to her, and that now she was engaged to another man who treats her well and who she believes is truly her soulmate.

I confessed to her what I did to end her relationship, and she laughed for a good minute before catching her breath enough to call her ex-fiancé several explicit names, saying he got what he deserved. She apologized for all the names she called me, and told me that he constantly made her feel like she wasn’t good enough, so she didn’t believe she was, and let him walk all over her. If she hadn’t believed he had gotten another woman pregnant, she never would have been able to leave him. She and I are now quite good friends, and she even invited me to her wedding.

He, on the other hand, lost all his hair by the age of 30, has a beer belly, is still single, and had to move back in with his mom after the breakup, where he’s lived ever since.

I always felt a little petty for breaking them up, but I’m so glad it ended up working out for the best.

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