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Proximity Is Often Inversely Correlated With Lateness

, , , , , , , | Learning | December 2, 2022

I overheard this in a group project workshop.

Student #1: “Ah, sorry we’re late! Traffic, you know?”

Student #2: “YOU LIVE ON CAMPUS!”

A Long Overdue Overhaul

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 23, 2022

There’s an electronics store near my house that was notorious for being staffed by condescending older guys who were borderline creepy, the owner being the worst offender. I’m a software developer who works from home. I have been around computers since I was born because my dad was an IT technician for a major company.

While I, a female in my mid-twenties, have avoided the store as much as I could until now, one day, I pass by it and see an “Under New Management” sign. They also have some very expensive parts for my gaming computer advertised as on sale for almost 50% off. I decide to give them another try, hoping the new boss is better than the old one.

I walk in and notice that, while the last time I was here it was staffed by entirely middle-aged men, I can see three female employees and two male employees, all around thirty-five or younger. I get my hopes up, but unfortunately, there is still an older guy in a store shirt lurking around the parts I want.

I pick up the two parts I need and he starts in on his sales pitch, calling me names like “sweetheart” — which I don’t mind much — and “sugar” — which I DO mind — and generally telling me the wrong information and being kind of creepy. I grab my parts and walk quickly to the counter, where a woman about my age is running the register. Unfortunately, the old guy has followed me to the counter.

Old Guy: “You sure those are the parts you want, honey? I could do you a good deal on a [part I don’t need or want that is purely cosmetic]. You can make your laptop light up pink!”

Me: “Just these, please.”

He then decides to stand BETWEEN me and the register. Given the display behind me, even backing up only puts a few inches between us. I am wildly uncomfortable at this point and cursing whoever the new manager is.

Cashier: “[Old Guy], knock it off! You’re making her uncomfortable!”

Old Guy: “I am not! I’m just not letting her get her parts until she smiles for me. She hasn’t cracked one since she walked over to my section!”

Cashier: *Under her breath so I barely hear her* “For f***’s sake, not again.”

She waves frantically to someone behind me and gestures for them to come over.

Just then, I hear a man’s voice behind me calling the guy’s name. A guy around my age appears at my side and pulls the older guy away from me. I can see from his nametag that he’s the owner.

Owner: “We do not treat customers like that, [Old Guy]! Miss, I am so sorry. If you’d still be so kind as to give us your business, my wife will be happy to give you a discount for your troubles.”

Older Guy: “What troubles?! I just wanted her to smile!”

Owner: “Come on. Let’s go chat in my office.”

I quickly grab and pay for my even further discounted parts while the cashier apologises profusely. I give her my information for my warranty and run out of there.

Two weeks later, I get a card in my letterbox.

Letter: “Dear [My Name]: We here at [Store] are so sorry for the experience you had shopping with us a few weeks ago. When [Old Owner] passed, ownership of the store passed to [Owner], his son. We have been trying to repair the bridges that were burned under [Old Owner]’s management. While we have tried our best to retrain existing staff, unfortunately, sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The employee that accosted you has since moved on to other employment, and we promise you will never have an experience like that again. Please take this $50 gift card as a token of our apology, and we hope you can find it in your heart to give us another chance. Sincerely, [Store].”

Given their sincere apology, I head down there with my gift card. As soon as I step into the store, the cashier from before recognizes me.

Cashier: “You came back! Hooray!”

She walked around the whole store with me, answering questions about products and generally chitchatting. Every other employee was warm and polite. While there were still two older gentlemen selling air coolers, they were both incredibly polite and respectful, answering my questions about a reverse cycle without talking down to me.

While I settled on a new keyboard that day with my gift card, I’ve been back twice already with my boyfriend, who fixes computers and has bought a load of parts already from them. I doubt we’ll ever shop anywhere else. It’s amazing to see a bad business turn itself around, and I’ve been telling anyone who will listen to shop at [Store]!

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You Might Be Bluffing, But It’s Not Worth Finding Out

, , , , , | Legal | September 10, 2022

There have been some break-ins in my area recently, and a rumour says that the thieves have been calling homes pretending to be salespeople to fish for information about when people are at work and the house will be empty. I’m at my parents’ house when they get a phone call.

Man: “Good afternoon, ma’am! I’m from [Security Company] and our company is looking to fit free roller shutters to houses in the area, for advertising purposes.”

I know my parents wouldn’t want that anyway due to how their windows are shaped.

Me: “Go on.”

Man: “Is there a good time we can come over to discuss it? Do you work during the day? Is there any time where no one would be home?”

Me: *Pauses* “You know, actually, I think roller shutters would be really good at our house. My parents and I rehabilitate former attack and guard dogs, and one of them is something of an escape artist. I’m unemployed at the moment so I’m home literally all the time, so you can come whenever. You would need to get really specific about what time you’re coming, though; we have eight dogs at the moment and I would need enough time—”

The man hung up.

My parents have one dog who is elderly and adores strangers. I just couldn’t believe how obvious this guy was being!

The Truth Hurts, Doesn’t It, Buddy?

, , , , | Legal | May 31, 2022

My mum has recently bought a house after divorcing my dad. I live with her and pay board each week to cover groceries and some bills. However, I am definitely not renting, nor do I have anything to do with mortgage repayments or homeownership.

I receive a call from an unknown number. Since I’ve been applying for jobs, I answer.

Me: “Hello, [My First Name] speaking.”

There’s a long pause, which I recognise as a scammer calling, about to begin their script.

Scammer: “Yes, is this [My Full Name] speaking?”

Me: “Yes?”

Scammer: “Do you own the house you are currently living in?”

Me: “Oh, no, I do not.”

Scammer: “Are you renting? We have ways of helping people who are renting.”

Me: “No, I am not renting.”

Scammer: “So, you own the house, then?”

Me: “No, I don’t.”

Scammer: “So, you are renting, then?”

Me: “Nope. Not renting.”

Technically, I’m not lying. Also, I have time to spare, so let’s have some fun!

Scammer: “So, you own the house?”

Me: “No, I really don’t.”

Scammer: “So, you don’t own the house, and you’re not renting?”

Me: “That’s right.”

Scammer: *Frustrated* “Well, it has to be one or the other! You can’t live in a place that you don’t own or rent! Do own the house or do you rent the house?”

Me: “I told you, neither!”

He let out an exasperated sigh and hung up on me. I told my mum, and she laughed and congratulated me for getting a scammer to hang up.

They’ll Learn Or They’ll Lose

, , , , , , | Working | May 23, 2022

It’s the late 1970s in Australia, and barcode scanners have just been introduced. Because each item no longer has its own stick-on price tag, a lot of customers are very concerned that they’ll be charged the wrong price at the checkout and not realise it. In response, many of the large retailers have instituted a policy that if an item scans at the wrong price, you get the first one free and any others at the right price.

I go in to buy a full carton of cigarettes, and when I go to pay, it scans at a price that is considerably more than the price on the shelf.

Me: “Sorry, that’s the wrong price. It should be [correct price].”

Cashier: “Just let me check…”

After a short check, the cashier admitted that it was wrong but re-rang it at the lower price. I pointed out their policy, which was listed on a card above the checkout — that I should be getting it for free. She flatly refused, so I asked to speak to a manager.

After a long delay, the manager put in an appearance and (very rudely) admitted that I was right and gave it to me for free. Given that it was the equivalent of about $100 in today’s money, I can understand his reluctance, but I didn’t make the policy!

Shift forward about a day, by which time I felt that they’d had more than enough time to fix the incorrect price in their computers if they had any intention to do so. I went back and got another carton, which promptly scanned for the same incorrect price!

At this point, the s**** really hit the fan, with the manager loudly abusing me while I pointed out that I had done nothing except take advantage of their own store’s policy. In the end, I was given the second carton free and told not to come back.

And, yes, I have long since given up smoking!