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An Open Window To Kindness

, , , , | Hopeless | August 23, 2017

(On the fifth of July, my husband and father of our child died on his way home from work. He had the truck locked and as a result, they had to smash a window out in order to get to his body and unlock the truck. After doing everything I had to in order to bury him, I started looking into getting a window even though I knew it would deplete what I had left for money when I get this call from my father in law.)

Father-In-Law: “Yeah, [My Name]? What’s the make and model of that truck?”

Me: “It’s a Chevy Silverado 1500, year is 2000, and a four door, why?”

Father in Law: “Okay.” *repeats all that back* “The church is going to buy you a new window and get it done professionally.”

Me: “W-what?”

Father-In-Law: “So don’t worry about that window at all! We got it taken care of.”

Me: “Oh, my gosh… thank you!”

Father-In-Law: “Don’t you worry about a thing; we’re going to take care of this.”

(The window was replaced today. Thank you to the church. I know you probably won’t read this, but on the chance that you do, you have no idea how much that helped. I really had no idea what to do, and having to raise a child on my own, and grieving the death of my husband, you made it so much easier! Thank you so, so much!)

A Drive Towards Technological Dependence

, , , , , | Working | August 23, 2017

(I’m waiting in for my husband’s new car to be delivered. Note: we live on a new estate that doesn’t always show up on old sat nav maps.)

Driver: *calling* “Hi, yeah, I’m looking for your house but it’s not on my sat nav. Are you on [Newly Built Estate]?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s right. Don’t worry, we’re used to this. I can give you directions.

Driver: Well I’m at [Supermarket] car park.” *about half a mile away* “I can leave the car here for you. Can you come and pick it up?”

Me: “No, I can’t. You’re supposed to deliver it to the house. Look, I’ll give you instructions; we’re easy to find.”

Driver: “I can’t drive without a sat nav! You’ll have to come and collect it. I’ll leave the keys in the visor.”

Me: “No! For one, that car’s not insured yet, and two, I don’t have a driving licence! So here’s the directions…”

(He found us with no trouble, in about the same amount of time it took him to argue with me.)

Will Make Them Come Clean

, , , , | Right | August 21, 2017

(I own and operate a vehicle detailing company in a small city. I am currently working on a vehicle and get a “ding” on my phone from a new message on my business email. A customer is inquiring about a detail service.)

Customer: “Hey, I’m wondering what you charge.”

Me: “What type of vehicle and which service?”

Customer: “I dunno, what do you do?”

Me: “Well, I do both interior and exterior. Interior includes all surfaces, glass, carpet shampoo, and leather wash and treat if applicable. There are two options for exterior: basic wash, or wash/polish/wax.”

Customer: “How much for the whole deal?”

Me: “What type of vehicle? The prices vary.”

Customer: “It’s a [less than one-year-old full size SUV] but it’s actually pretty clean, you know; it’s new and all. Just a grocery getter, leather seats.”

Me: “Interior you’re looking at $110, exterior wash/polish/wax is an additional $150, so $260 in total.” *this is less than half the price of all other local businesses that do this work*

Customer: “Oh, wow, that’s expensive. Can I get a discount?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no. For a vehicle that size, that covers my materials and chemicals and not much else.”

Customer: “Oh, someone whose car you did referred me, but he only paid $60.”

(I had a grand opening special pricing about three months prior. The only vehicle I did for $60 was a tiny car, similar to a Smart car, for a basic interior cleaning, and it belonged to a woman. I thought it was a simple mix up, or maybe he talked to her boyfriend.)

Me: “Well, being that you were referred and as you say the vehicle is mostly clean, I can discount the interior detail to $90, but the exterior service price only covers my materials. I only use [Brand #1] and [Brand #2] products, which come at a very hefty price tag. My rates are already heavily discounted.”

Customer: “What about just interior and then exterior wash? Shouldn’t need a polish. And like I said, it’s super clean being that it’s so new.”

Me: “An exterior wash would be $25 additional on top of the $90 interior service.”

Customer: “Perfect. So you polish the wheels and stuff too, right?”

Me: “No, sir, an exterior wash is just that: an exterior wash. I pre-soak, use [Brand #2] vehicle wash, hand-scrub the vehicle, then [Brand #2] spray-on wax via a pressurized sprayer, and then rinse.”

Customer: “Oh, okay, that works. Can I bring it today?”

Me: “I have an appointment until five pm; however, if you’d like to bring it by after that, I can have it done by nine pm.”

Customer: “Can I drop it off around four, then you can do it when you’re done with the other one?”

Me: “Sure, I’ll see you then.”

(4:00 pm comes and goes. At 4:45, I finish the first vehicle and notify the first customer, then re-set the shop for the second vehicle anyway, in case he’s just late. 5:10 pm, the first customer arrives to pick up his truck. The other customer FINALLY shows up and asks the first customer to check out my work, asks how dirty his vehicle was, etc. He looks pleased, then we move to his vehicle. It’s now 5:20 pm.)

Customer: Sorry I’m late; I almost forgot about this.

Me: “Not a problem! I can still get it done in time for you.”

(He leaves and I get to work. The vehicle is FILTHY inside. A bag of chips was spilled in the back and crushed into the seats and carpet. The seats can’t be moved because seven water bottles are underneath one, and four under the other. There is enough mud to build a brick house, and candy and other snacks were pushed and hardened into every compartment and area of the floor. Normally I’d stop what I am doing and notify the customer it will be full price, but I figure I’ll let it slide this time. True to my word, I work non-stop to get it done on time. At 7:15, I get a message from the customer, asking if it is done yet. I advise him it will be ready for 9:00 pm as I mentioned earlier. I finish five minutes to nine, and the customer pulls up to inspect the work.)

Customer: “Wow, the inside looks amazing, like a brand new car again! Thanks a bunch! But I noticed the wheels aren’t polished and there’s no shine on the tires.”

Me: “As I mentioned earlier, the exterior wash is just a wash. That work would run additional charges. [Local Automatic Car Wash] charges $28 for the machine wash so I like to think it’s a good deal at $25.”

Customer: “Can you just like grab a bottle of tire shine and do the tires quick, and polish the wheels really fast?”

Me: “Yeah, sorry, I close up shop at nine and I have an appointment first thing tomorrow morning. If you want to bring it back tomorrow afternoon I can for sure, but it’d be an additional $25. A wheel polish can take up to an hour to do them properly.”

Customer: “Just at least shine the tires, as like a favor for me coming here? I could have gone to the other places. They’d do it.”

Me: *internal sigh, thinking “yeah, they would, for $550″* “Yeah, fine, I’ll shine the tires. It takes about ten minutes and they’re all done.”

(He seems content staring at me doing that, which creeps me out. His friend emerges from the vehicle he came in and starts staring, too. I finish as quick as possible then go to get paid.)

Customer: “Cool, so, it was 90+25 right? Here, keep the change for the awesome job!”

(He hands me six $20 bills, totalling $120, $5 more than his fee. My typical tips are between $20-$80 but I’ll take what I can get!)

Me: “Thanks! Have a great night.”

Customer: “You, too! I’m gonna bring you so many customers, post reviews on all the local Facebook pages and on the classifieds websites, and everything! I’ll post a review on your Facebook page, too. Bet you’re glad you gave me a deal now, huh!” *winks* “I’ll bring my other vehicle in, too. I’ll message tomorrow to book an appointment.”

Me: “All right, thank you. Sounds great! See you!”

(Two weeks later, no reviews, no posts, no other appointment, no referrals. I found him on Facebook and discover he’s a car salesman… and sold that vehicle the next day. He literally stinged my price and made this whole show just to sell this vehicle without having to deduct anything from any of the other businesses in town! Better yet — the $60 customer he said referred him had no idea who he was, and she didn’t have a boyfriend… so he just pulled a number out of thin air to get a deal.)

Literally A Flammable Situation

, , , , , | Right | August 18, 2017

(Back in 1996, working an afternoon at the popular local convenience store with gas pumps. Gas is about $1.25 a gallon. We have multiple cars at the pumps and a line of customers waiting inside at the register to pay. A little old lady comes up…)

Old Lady: “What do I owe on pump four?”

Me: *checking the pump total* “$13.96.”

Old Lady: “That doesn’t sound right. Please make sure you’re looking at the right pump. Number four.”

Me: *checking again* “Huh, that’s weird. It’s $14.67, now.”

(My manager is organizing the shelves nearby and gives me a weird look.)

Old Lady: “That can’t be right; my tank has a hole in it and can only hold about $8 dollars of gas.”

(My manager, a 4’11” woman, LEAPS over the service counter, palming the emergency pump shutoff, races to the aisle with cat food, and shoots out the front door with a bag of kitty litter, shouting “Call the fire department!” at me and “GET AWAY FROM THE PUMPS!” to everyone outside.)

Old Lady: “So, will $8 be enough?”

This story is part of the Convenience Store roundup!

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Spewing A Lot Of Hot Gas About This

, , , , | Right | August 17, 2017

(A man walks in, really frustrated.)

Man: “Do ANY of your fuel pumps work?”

Me: *stares at the other people outside using them, plus my screen which shows all green* “Um. Yes. All of them. Which one are you on?”

Man: “I’m on ten!”

Me: “Ten is operative.”

Man: “My wife just came in and it’s not working!”

Me: “Did she pre-pay?”

Man: “No!”

(Unsure of why it was then relevant to mention it, I relent.)

Me: “Well, sir, I’ll come out and we’ll see why it’s not working for you!”

Man: “Good!”

(We walk out and he lifts the nozzle, selects the grade, and tries to pump.)

Man: “See! It’s BROKEN!”

Me: “Actually, sir, you didn’t scan your loyalty card. See the screen? It says to scan it, first.”

Man: “WHY?!”

Me: “It’s part of the process.”

Man: “This is RIDICULOUS! So how do I pump fuel?! I don’t have one of these cards!”

Me: “Well, you can come inside and prepay.”

Man: “This is stupid! You don’t even SAVE anything on your gas! ”

Me: “Sir, you save at least $0.03 a gallon with the card or $0.10 for every $50 you spend in our store.”

Man: “Uh. I’m an INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSMAN! I know these things and yeah, that is just a FLUKE! You don’t save anything!”

(Never mind what he said made no sense. We get inside to pay.)

Me: “So how much do you want to prepay?”

Man: “Six dollars. Where do I BUY one of those cards anyway?”

Me: “They are free at customer service across the lot at our main store.”

Man: “Yeah. I’m not doing that.”

Me: “Here, I will scan this courtesy card so you’ll save $0.03 off per gallon anyway.”

Man: “Why do you have to scan that card first anyway?”

Me: “Because if we didn’t, people could pump gas and drive off without paying and we have no way of finding them. With the card, if anyone drives off, we have their address and number and we can find them and collect.”

Man: “Oh.”

(And I ring him up and hand him his receipt.)

Man: “Yeah. I’ll pump that six dollars and put the rest of my gas on my credit card.”

(The man walked out and I burst out laughing. After six dollars, he was back to square one, got angry, and drove off.)