Fake 20/20 Vision

, , , , | Right | April 27, 2018

(I work in a bank. A guy I’ve never seen before walks up to my window.)

Customer: “Yeah, can I exchange this $20 for a better-looking one?”

(He hands me an obviously fake $20.)

Me: “Uh, sir, this is counterfeit, and I can’t exchange it. In fact, I can’t even give this back to you.”

Customer: “I got it from my buddy, and he said it went through the wash!”

Me: “I’ve put several 20s through the wash by accident, and none of them have come out looking like this. I’m sorry, but we cannot exchange this.”


(He reaches over my window, grabs the $20, rips it into tiny pieces, walks into the lobby, throws them all over the waiting area, and stomps out the door. The branch manager walks out of her office while he’s doing this, then heads up to my window.)

Branch Manager: “What was that?!”

Me: “Counterfeit $20. Happy Monday to us!”

What A Waste Of A Phone Call

, , , | Right | April 24, 2018

(I work at a call centre for a waste services company. It is Friday evening at 4:30; we close at five. I need to make some calls to confirm to people that their hazardous waste is getting picked up in the next week.)

Me: “Hello. This is [My Name] for [Company]. Am I talking to [Garage] in [Town]?”

Customer: “Yeah, that’s us; what do you want?”

Me: “Well, sir, I’m calling to confirm that your hazardous waste is going to get picked up next Wednesday. But we were wondering if you had an email address so we could email you in the future?”

Customer: “You don’t need my f****** email!”

Me: “An email would be to your advantage, sir, as you would have written proof should something ever go wrong.”

Customer: “You don’t need my email, and I didn’t order anything; cancel it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I can’t cancel anything unless I have written proof, but you can email me at [my company email address].”

Customer: “You b****! You can’t trick me like that! CANCEL IT!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry that there is some confusion; you are [Garage], correct?”

Customer: “Yes, and I didn’t order anything!”

Me: “Sir, it says you ordered an emptying of your hazardous waste on [date], and you gave us your personal code.”

Customer: “You can’t prove that that was me; cancel it!”

Me: “Sir, I can’t cancel anything unless I have written proof, so you can email me or fax me.”

Customer: “You can’t f****** prove it was me, b****! CANCEL IT!”

(This little back and forth continues for 20 minutes, at which point two of my colleagues and my manager are listening in, as well, because I’m only doing a summer student job here.)

Customer: “I’ll f****** burn down your building and dump my waste on your head, you b****, and you can’t f****** prove that it was me, so CANCEL! I DIDN’T F****** ORDER ANYTHING!”

Me: “And I could be the bloody queen for all you know. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

Manager: “You had more patience than I would have thought you had; well done!”

Me: “Yeah, but do I need to mail the sales representative or something?”

Manager: “Nah, never mind that. If he doesn’t accept our services the fee for refusal will be enough for us to laugh about!”

Our Heart Is Not With The Children

, , , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

(I work as a bagger at a grocery chain well known for its great customer service, assigned baggers at each till, and complimentary service to take customers’ carts out and load their cars. I wear a small heart monitor that has wires connected to leads on my chest, slightly visible under the shirt if I am standing straight. If my heart rate goes too fast or there is an unusual-looking rhythm spike, the monitor lets out a loud beep and I have five minutes to press a button telling it that I don’t need emergency services. If I don’t or can’t hit the button, EMTs are dispatched to make sure I’m not passed out from a dangerous rhythm and unable to get help. A nanny pulls up with a half-full cart and two young boys. One boy is probably four years old and the other is about six or seven, obviously the worst-behaved of the two.)

Me: “Well, hi there, big guys!”

(I start bagging and carefully setting things in the cart around them. The older boy stands up in the cart and leans over to start hitting me in the shoulder and upper chest, with a huge smile on his face.)

Me: “Uh…”

(I pat his head gently to move him back a bit. It’s only my second month working, and I’m afraid to talk back to any customer, no matter how young. The nanny is having a conversation with the mother on the phone, is obviously very overworked, and doesn’t see what’s happening. A few minutes later, I finish bagging and put two hands on the side of the cart to offer to take them out and load their car. I’ve quietly asked the boy to stop several times, but he keeps hitting me. It’s gentle enough, since he’s young, so I tolerate it. The nanny finally notices as she begins writing out the check.)

Nanny:  “Hey, now, she ain’t afraid of you. Stop it.”

(She goes back to her check. The older boy gets nose to nose with me, as I turn my head back to adjust my hold on the cart, and blows a very spitty raspberry in my face before landing a rather hard punch right on one of my monitor leads.)

Me: “Hey!”

(The monitor goes off. I have to pull my shoulders back so I can reach it on the back of my belt to shut it off.)

Older Boy: “OH! WHAT’S THAT?!”

(Then, he grabbed the now visible wire bumps and ripped my leads off my chest. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone as mortified as that poor nanny. Next time, when the mother actually came in with her children, the manager told her that she could no longer bring the kids into the store because her son had practically assaulted me. She left all huffy after they showed her the security tapes of her “little angel.”)

Interview To A Kill

, , , , , | Working | April 18, 2018

(I am conducting interviews for new employees at the small shop where I am manager. I have one interview scheduled towards the end of the day. He has not arrived yet, but I get a call.)

Interviewee: “Hey, I had a family emergency and I’m running late. Can we push the interview back two hours?”

Me: “We close in a half hour, and I have plans for later tonight. However, I can reschedule for later this week or next week.”

Interviewee: “No, that won’t work. Just stay after close.”

Me: “I told you, I’m unable to do that. We will have to reschedule for another day.”

Interviewee: “No, I can’t do that. Come on; work with me. I need to do this interview today.”

Me: “No, and I don’t think we need to continue.”

Interviewee: *aggressively* “But I need to do this interview today!

Me: “I’m hanging up now. Good luck on your job search.”

(After work, I go to a movie with friends. I get back to my apartment complex to find a security guard waiting for me.)

Security: “Are you okay? We need you to contact the police right away.”

(I spent the remainder of the night on the phone with police. It turns out the interviewee had tracked down my address through a pizza place that had my information on file from previous deliveries. He managed to get past the front door, but security caught him lurking around and turned him over to police. Apparently, he told them he was going to show up at my door to make me interview him, as a way to impress me. Understandably, I didn’t hire him. I also complained to the pizza place, where they now have a policy to keep personal addresses from being shared!)

Anger Mismanagement

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2018

This story took place years ago, when I was very young. Due to some nasal spray I was using for my hay fever, I would have frequent but unpredictable nosebleeds. I also attended a taekwondo class.

I was paired for sparring with a kid who everyone knew has anger management issues, but hadn’t caused any trouble. I was a higher belt than he was, and I had padded sparring gear, but I was also a year younger and quite small for my age.

As soon as the teacher called, “Go,” the kid raised his fists and started to slam them down, clearly aiming for my head. I held my arms up over my head to defend myself, but quickly ended up just on the ground with him battering my arms like he thought he was the Hulk. I could hear the teacher yelling and he was pulled away from me. The whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds, but it felt longer.

The teacher called both our parents, telling mine that there had been a minor incident and they were needed, but telling his that they needed to come and collect him because he was no longer welcome as a student.

My mum, a nurse, arrived first and checked me over; I was fine. I took off my sparring helmet and just sat with her on a bench, while the two oldest students tried — unsuccessfully — to distract the rest of the class. Then, coincidentally, one of the nose bleeds from my nasal spray started.

The boy’s parents arrived, absolutely furious and demanding to know why their son had been kicked out of the class. The first thing they saw as they entered the hall was a tiny blond child in sparring gear, while their mother held a bloody tissue to their nose. Their anger instantly redirected to their son, and they apologised profusely to the teacher before taking him home.

I felt kind of bad that they thought their son gave me the nosebleed, but I realised that he would have done it to someone eventually, and it was best to have him removed from the class until his anger was successfully under control. Years down the line, he was permanently excluded for starting fights at school, so I guess he never did.

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