Not In Receipt Of Any Empathy

, , , , | Right | June 7, 2021

I work as a volunteer for a charity shop that helps people in other parts of the world. During lockdown due to the health crisis, we had a new till system put into our building. We’re all still trying to get the hang of the receipt printing options and the new till in general. This morning, I’m working on till for a bit while we wait for another volunteer to be available. A woman approaches with a dress.

Customer: “I’d like to return this, please. I just bought it yesterday and it doesn’t fit.”

Me: “Can I see your receipt?”

Customer: “I wasn’t given one. They said I could return it anyway.”

I internally groan.

Me: “Without a receipt, I can only do an exchange, I’m afraid. Sorry that the till didn’t give you one. We’re still getting used to the till.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not my fault. I won’t be accepting an exchange. I want a refund.”

I repeat what I said again and offer the exchange.

Customer: “You’re breaking your promise. I know my rights. I deserve a refund as it was your fault I didn’t have a receipt!”

She is starting to get angrier. I’m not good with confrontation, so I try again to respond nicely.

Me: “Again, I’m sorry that you weren’t given a receipt, but as I’ve explained, we have a new till and are having a few learning difficulties with the first few runs of a day while we figure the printing out.”

The lady begins to tell me off as she believes I am in the wrong. At the end of her rant…

Customer: “I am the customer and the customer is always right. Give me my refund.”

By this point, there was a small queue forming with the other four customers that had been allowed in and a queue growing longer outside to come in. My boss was at the door that morning, so she suggested that we switch places as she could tell I was starting to get a bit worried with the woman yelling at me.

My boss ended up giving her a refund to get her out of the shop, and as she walked past, she smiled at me and was as sweet as possible, as if nothing had just happened!

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Biggers Can’t Be Choosers?

, , , , , | Friendly | June 5, 2021

I am Australian, and I’m at a company-wide meeting with colleagues from all over. I find myself explaining to an American the difference between Kiwi and Aussie accents; they are similar but there has been a vowel shift in New Zealand.

A few minutes later, we join another group who are asking a new colleague what he thinks of the city so far.

Colleague: “Before I got to London, I’d never seen a bigger.”

Everyone But Me: “What’s a bigger?”

[Colleague] holds his cupped hands toward us.

Colleague: “A person who asks for money.”

Everyone But Me: “Oh, a beggar!

My American colleague leans towards me and speaks with the pride of a student finding a practical application of a recent lesson.

American Colleague: “He’s from New Zealand, isn’t he?”

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Turning Trolling Into An Art

, , , , , | Right | June 4, 2021

My job sometimes means hand-delivering scientific equipment across the country. I often use the train as it’s safer for the equipment, but occasionally this leaves me waiting around for hours for the next train back.

I find out the next train home is cancelled, meaning an even longer wait than normal, when I realise that there is an art museum nearby and it’s free admission! I figure, while it’s not my normal choice of activities, I can still enjoy my time.

As I’m checking out the pieces, my view keeps getting interrupted by a woman standing right in front of them. I move, she moves; I wait, she waits. 

It doesn’t take long to realise that she is doing this on purpose. Clearly, she is no art snob; she looks about as out of place as I do. She is doing this just to be spiteful.

I have loads of time to kill and no particular interest in the artwork, so if she is trying to get a reaction from me it isn’t going to work. But I am bored, so I play her game and see how committed she is to being a nuisance.

I start speeding up, making her dash from piece to piece. I stop randomly, then move slowly, and then move fast again. The woman is clearly out of shape and is starting to struggle to keep up. I am quietly impressed with her dedication.

It is a disappointingly short time before I “win” her little game. She just can’t do it anymore and has to sit down, red in the face and angry. 

I don’t have much time to enjoy my victory as security is already approaching. I pretend to look at a nearby painting with interest as they eject her from the museum for “disturbing other visitors.” Clearly, she forgot about the many CCTV cameras in every room.

I take my time with the rest of the museum. I enjoy it more than I thought I would, but admittedly not as much as I did in the first room.

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Taxing Taxing, Part 10

, , , | Working | June 4, 2021

My wife gets a letter from the UK tax office in January telling her she has overpaid and she is to get a refund of about £800. This is not a life-changing sum but not a trivial amount of money for us, so she is well pleased with this news. They tell her it will arrive in about two weeks.

A month later, she realises she still has not received this cheque. She rings the tax office up, and after about an hour on the telephone, she finally gets through to them.

Operative #1: “We delivered the cheque a month ago and made it payable to [Accountant Firm] you authorised it to go to. That’s where we posted it.”

Wife: “Excuse me? I made no such authorisation.”

Operative #1: “We have the form right here, with your signature attached and everything.”

Wife: “But I know of no such thing!”

Operative #1: “I’ll send you a copy if you like.”

Wife: “I don’t want a copy of a form I never filled in! I want my money to be paid to me!”

Operative #1: “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do. We have paid the money, and as far as we are concerned, that’s that.”

My wife is fuming. She spends the day ringing round every accounting firm called [Accountant Firm] she can find, wishing now she had asked for details from the less-than-helpful tax operative she spoke to in the first place, but she has no luck.

Wife: *To me* “If I hadn’t been so angry and worried, I would have been calmer with her and asked her to send me all the details she had, but she was so snooty and dismissive I was seriously not in the mood.”

After attending to this all day, she rings the tax office again, and this time speaks to someone different. She explains what has happened so far.

Operative #2: “Thank you for telling us about this. We will indeed look into this. You confirm that you never made any such authorisation?”

Wife: “I certainly did not. Is there anything you can do?”

Operative #2: “Certainly, we can. It appears that they never actually got round to processing that cheque. We can stop that cheque now and issue you a new one.” *Pauses* “There, that’s done. You should now get your new cheque. It may take a few weeks to put it through the system, but it should arrive in due course.”

Wife: “Why couldn’t that be done when I first rang up?”

Operative #2: “It could and should have. I’ll look into it. Anything else I can help you with? No? Good day, then, and apologies for the inconvenience.”

We took that to mean that they will investigate what actually happened, as it looks as though there has been an attempt at fraud.

Taxing Taxing, Part 9
Taxing Taxing, Part 8
Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6
Taxing Taxing, Part 5

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Apparently, They Don’t Work On Weekdays, Either

, , , | Working | June 3, 2021

I was just made redundant and have to complete a form claiming unemployment benefits.

A copy of the form was returned to me as having been completed incorrectly. After checking all my responses, I can’t find a mistake, so I call the person who returned the form.

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name], and you said I’ve made a mistake on my form.”

Worker: “Oh, yes. You stated that [date] was the final day you worked.”

Me: “Yes.”

Worker: “That’s a Saturday.”

Me: “Yes.”

Worker: “Nobody works on a Saturday.”

Me: “Do you work on a Saturday?”

Worker: “Of course not.”

Me: “And on your days off, do you go to a restaurant, or shopping, or the cinema?”

Worker: “Oh… I see what you mean. I’ll process your claim.”

These are the people who decide if everyone else gets money to live on while job hunting!

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