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Why Even Bother Putting Text On Coupons Anymore

, , , , | Right | December 5, 2019

(During high school, I work as a fountain worker at a large chain of family restaurants. Every so often, the company sends coupon flyers in the mail to promote new entrees and new sundaes. All coupons state in fine print, “one coupon per party” — in other words, only one coupon per group paying together. One night, a woman at the window just doesn’t understand.)

Woman: “I’d like a [sundae and toppings].”

Man: “And I’ll take a [sundae and toppings].”

Me: “All right, anything else?”

Woman: “We have coupons!” *hands me two of the same coupon: half price for a regular sundae*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can only take one coupon; it’s one coupon per party. If you’d like, I can ring them up separately so you and your husband can both get the discount.”

Woman: *suddenly enraged* “What?! You’re kidding me! Where does it say that? That’s ridiculous!”

Me: *showing her the bottom of the coupon* “It’s right here.”

Woman: “’One per party’? That’s one coupon type per party! What, am I going to have a party by myself?!”

Me: “Ma’am, my register won’t even take two coupons on the same order. I really am sorry. Like I said, I can put them in as separate orders—”

Woman: “No! That’s stupid! Why the h*** would I pay twice?!”

Man: “It is kind of dumb…”

Woman: “Isn’t it?” *turns to the large group waiting to order behind her* “Isn’t it?! Who here can have a party with themselves? Huh? Anyone?! See? No one can! Now fix your machine!”

Me: “As I said, the machine can’t—”

Woman: “Fix it!”

Me: “Let me get my manager.”

(I shut the window and one of the senior waitresses near the window opens it to try and speak with the woman while I try and find the GM. I get to the back of the restaurant and I can still hear the woman in the front yelling about the coupons. The manager follows me up and talks with the woman.)

Manager: “Hello, ma’am, what seems to be the trouble?”

Woman: “Your stupid waitress won’t take my coupons!”

Manager: “All right, let me see.” *looks at the coupons* “Well, it says only one per party, meaning only one per check. Our system won’t even take two at the same time. If you’d like, I can split the order into two separate checks so you can use both.”

Woman: “No! Why would I pay twice?! I already told that teeny-bopper no! I’m not paying with my card twice!”

Manager: “I understand, but ma’am, our system—”

Woman: “No! You put it through!”

Manager: “All right, ma’am, I’ll pay for your sundae. Just remember for next time that it’s one per check.”

Woman: “Humph!”

(My manager rang them up and comped the sundaes, and when I handed them to the woman, she snatched them from my hands like I was diseased. At least the husband seemed to feel bad and slipped me $5 as a tip!)

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