Don’t Give Her A Token Of Your Kindness

, , , , | Friendly | December 30, 2020

I drive a little convertible sports car that I bought a few years ago, second hand, thanks to a small inheritance. It’s not a high-end brand or anything, but it’s my pride and joy, the sort of car I never thought I’d be able to afford. Unfortunately, it’s not very cheap to run, but with careful monthly budgeting, I am able to afford to keep and run it reasonably easily, alongside all the usual household bills and life expenses.

One of the ways I keep within my means is by shopping in a discount supermarket. I am going through some other life changes and temporarily living in a kind of rough area of the city. It doesn’t bother me; everyone I’ve met here is lovely and I’ve never seen much in the way of trouble, despite the reputation the area has.

That is, until I meet Pyjama Lady.

It’s early afternoon during the week, so the supermarket is blissfully quiet. I had a half-day from work, so I am in office dress, which means heels, so my feet are starting to ache. I have done my shopping and loaded the car, and I’m returning my shopping trolley to the park. I’m more than ready to go home, release my feet from their prison, and have a nice cup of tea.

In this supermarket, they have the £1 release mechanisms, but because I never seem to have change on me, I have one of those charity tokens that are the same size as a £1 coin to get the trolley with.

I am about halfway between my car and the trolley park when I hear a screechy, “Excuse me, luv!” I look up to see a lady around forty years old, dressed in actual pyjamas, a bomber jacket, and Ugg boots, bearing down on me from across the car park. I stop in my tracks.

Pyjama Lady: “Excuse me! Luv! Wait a second!”

I wait for her to reach me and just stand there looking at her expectantly, at a bit of a loss for words at the sight.

Pyjama Lady: *Grinning like an idiot* “All right, luv? If I give you two 50ps, can I have your trolley? I haven’t got a pound coin on me!” 

Me: “Sorry, I would, but I’ve used a token.”

I smile at her and shrug apologetically. I go to move off but she puts her hand on my trolley and stops me.

Pyjama Lady: *Still grinning* “That’s okay, I don’t mind.”

Me: “Sorry, but I want the token back.”

Pyjama Lady: *Less smiley* “What for? It’s not like you can spend it.”

Me: “Because I bought it and it cost me more than a pound? If you go inside, I’m sure they will change your 50ps for you.”

Pyjama Lady then actually stamps her feet, her hands balled up in fists like a petulant child, and wails.

Pyjama Lady: “But I don’t want to! Just give me yours!”

I shake my head at her in disbelief and go to move off again, but she grabs my trolley and yanks it towards her.

Me: “Let go! Just go inside and get a coin!”

Pyjama Lady: *Screeching* “Selfish f****** cow! It’s just a bloody pound! It’s not like you can’t f****** afford it; you don’t even need to shop here if you can drive a fancy f****** car like that around! YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE!”

And with that, she stomps off, phone in hand, frantically texting. I think that’s it and, after watching her go around the corner of the shop, I finally make the rest of the way to the trolley park and retrieve my token.

I turn to go back to my car and, lo and behold, there she is again, standing right next to my car! I start to jog over, mentally preparing for whatever may happen, and as I get closer, I see that she is leaning on the door, cigarette in hand, an evil grin on her face.

Me: “Excuse me, what are you doing?!”

Pyjama Lady: “You have no f****** business being here, fancy b**** in your fancy car! F*** off back to Waitrose where you belong, c***!

And with that, she PUTS HER CIGARETTE OUT ON MY CAR BONNET! I am so shocked that I just stand there, frozen, and she just walks off with a smug grin.

The supermarket was no help; their CCTV just covers the front of the shop and, while they were sympathetic, they just repeated the mantra that “cars are parked at your own risk.” Luckily, I have a dashcam with a parking mode, so even when I’m not driving, it records footage. I took it to the police, as there was a lovely shot of her face peering through all my windows while I was shopping, not to mention a clear view of her cigarette antics later.

I ended up having to get my entire bonnet resprayed — my insurance paid — and she ended up with a community service order along with the cost of my insurance excess, court fees, and a fine. All over a trolley coin.

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Free To Complain Does Not Mean Free Room

, , , | Right | December 27, 2020

I work at a small hotel on a popular tourist island. After the boats leave for the day, there is no other way to leave the island, and there is no other choice but to stay in a hotel or sleep outside.

This guest is someone who has missed the boat and is desperate for a room. We oblige, though because it is late, this involves calling in housekeepers who are off the clock. It is important to note that normally we are an expensive hotel, but the walk-in rate this time of year is 50% off.

It is about ten minutes after the guest has checked in.

Guest: “Excuse me, I have an issue with my room.”

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. Could you tell me what the problem is so I can help resolve it?”

The guest slams the hot water knob for the bathroom sink onto the counter.

Guest: “I am appalled by your establishment. My son went to use the hot water in the bathroom, and the knob fell right off! I paid a lot of money to be here, and this is unacceptable! I NEED TO SPEAK TO A MANAGER THIS INSTANT!”

I know for a fact that this can’t be true, as I had helped the housekeeper get the room ready, and the knob itself looks like it was ripped forcefully from the base it attaches to. But we have been taught to never question a guest. My manager does not live on the island, so I get ready to fill out the appropriate forms myself.

Me: “I’m so sorry that this happened. Unfortunately, there is not a manager on property right now. However, if I can have you fill out this form, I will make sure you are not charged for the damage, and I will either call maint—”

The guest interrupts before I can give her the options.

Guest: “I know it wasn’t our fault. How dare you accuse me of that?! I can’t believe the service here! I am an important guest here! You need to do something about your behavior! Let me speak to a manager! You don’t deserve to work here!”

I am starting to lose my patience.

Me: “As I said, I’m sorry about the issue you are experiencing, but there is no manager here right now. I will let him know you would like to speak to him tomorrow. Now, I can call maintenance to fix your sink, or I can call someone to clean another room so you can move. What would you like to do?”

Guest: *Starting to yell* “I am an important guest! I don’t deserve this treatment! It’s late and we are tired. Those would take too long. You are forcing us to wash our hands in cold water like dogs!”

Me: *Taken aback* “May I suggest that, if the water is an issue but you don’t want us to fix it tonight, that you use the sink in the kitchenette next to the bathroom?”

The guest shrieks angrily and throws the faucet handle on the floor.

Guest: “I refuse! We will have to use cold water and it is all your fault! I will be back tomorrow to talk to your manager! I’ll have your job! I demand you give me the room for free for this treatment! This is not how you treat VIP guests!”

I am just done with this situation entirely.

Me: “I will see what can be done. Here is my manager’s card.”

The guest takes the card and storms off, still shrieking. I send an email detailing the entire situation to my manager, and the rest of my shift passes uneventfully. The next day, when I come into work, my manager asks to speak to me.

Manager: “I just wanted to let you know you don’t have to worry about the guest from last night.”

Me: “What ended up happening?”

Manager: “The guest told me you were rude and swore and refused to give her a room, and then, once she got one, it was trashed and you wouldn’t do anything. But I know you, and from the report you gave me and the housekeeper’s account, you did nothing wrong. When she checked out, I told her that we wouldn’t be giving her a discount for that, and she ran out screaming that we rob innocent people who just want a place to sleep.”

It turns out that she didn’t want to pay for a room after missing the last ferry boat, and didn’t want to pay for her mistake. I’m just glad that, for once, my manager stood behind me instead of the guest! The things people do…

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It’s Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Christmas

, , , , | Right | December 24, 2020

I am cleaning the store on Christmas Eve and the two managers are running around trying to figure out where a burning smell is coming from. They find a guy burning the incense we sell in the store. I don’t know what they say to him when they find him, but the bell rings and I hop on a register to manage the line.

A guy and his girlfriend come through my line with over an $80 total and the manager tells me to ring them up for an extra stick of incense, which is only 20 cents. The guy gets angry, yelling, “I’m not spending another dime! If I wanna light things on fire in the store, that’s my prerogative!”

My manager has to explain that since he used up the stick of incense he has to pay for it, just like people who eat candy in the store still have to pay for it. Their total comes to over $80 and his girlfriend, who looks super embarrassed already, is $10 short and he makes her start going through their bag looking for stuff to take out. She looks like she is about to cry before he finally gives her the $10. As they are leaving, he threatens to go back to shopping at a competitor, to which my manager’s response is, “Good!”

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Has No Reservations About Making Death Threats

, , , | Right | December 23, 2020

Many years ago, before Internet purchases were common, we ran a travel agency. We had one woman call to reserve and hold a ticket.

Me: “Ma’am, this ticket can be held for twenty-four hours. If not paid for by then, the reservation will be canceled, and it will be quite likely that you will not find another seat at this price.”

She called back to pay for the seat two or three days later, and of course, the reservation was gone.

Customer: “This is ridiculous! Get me that price or I’ll kill you!”

I hung up and called the police, supplying them with all of the personal information that the genius had conveniently provided to make the reservation.

Ten minutes later, she called back and made ANOTHER death threat, this time in retribution for calling the cops. Another police call was made. We never heard from her again, but I can’t imagine that things went very well for her after that point.

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Off The Clock, Customer Block, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2020

I am a cashier at a big box retail store. I have clocked out of an eight-hour shift, exhausted during the Christmas season, and changed into my normal-people street clothes — jeans and a hoodie — not the dress code dress pants and shirt.

A customer recognizes me and flags me down.

Customer: “You! Help me!”

Me: “I apologize, but I am off my shift and another associate will assist you.”

She grabs my arm and digs her nails into me! If I wasn’t wearing long sleeves I think she would have broken skin.

Customer: *Screaming* “I’ve been standing here waiting for you because I saw you walking into the staff room! Now that you’re here, you’re going to help me!”

I just look at my arm and back to her.

Me: “Ma’am, unhand my body or I will ask my manager to call the police.”

She loosens her grip but doesn’t let go, and instead, she tries tugging me towards the cash registers.

Customer: “The lines are too long! I’m not waiting! You’re head cashier, so do your job!”

Since I have to be bag-searched at the exit near the registers, I allow this deranged woman to pull me towards them. She pushes me behind a register where I then pick up the phone that pages for a manager.

Me: “Available manager to till four, please.”

The woman is busy unloading her basket on the counter. The manager comes over and I open my backpack; they peek inside.

Me: *Smiling* “Okay, see you tomorrow!”

I then walked out to catch my bus.

The next day, my manager told me that the customer screamed for fifteen minutes about how I needed to be fired for my lack of customer service skills. I got written up because that particular manager hated me, but it was worth it to know that the woman could have waited in line for eight minutes and been out of the store instead of spending thirty minutes trying to beat the system.

Related:
Off The Clock, Customer Block, Part 2
Off The Clock, Customer Block

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