It’s A Fool-Time Job

| Working | February 12, 2013

(I work back in the meat counter and have several coworkers around. One is washing dishes, but three others are standing in the corner loudly goofing off. The coworker washing dishes is another part-time employee like myself, while the coworkers goofing off are full-time employees. I walk out of the cooler and notice a customer at the counter who doesn’t appear to have been helped yet.)

Me: “Sir, is there anything I can help you with today?”

Customer: “No, thank you.”

(The customer smiles and gestures towards my coworker washing dishes.)

Customer: “He already asked once. I have to say you two have been the politest guys back here.”

Me: “We do try. Let us know if you need anything.”

(I return to filling various items in the case. Suddenly, one of the full-timers notices the customer.)

Coworker: *to me* “That customer needs help! God, you guys never pay attention! You need to help the d*** customers! I don’t know why [boss] even pays you guys!”

Customer: *to my coworker* “Excuse me? You three have been standing around goofing off and didn’t even acknowledge I was here. BOTH of these two gentlemen asked me if I needed anything and I didn’t. If [boss] shouldn’t pay someone, it’s YOU… and I will be telling him!”

(And the customer did—turns out he was my boss’s brother-in-law.)

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At Least They’ll Stop Being Short With Customers For A Change, Part 2

, | Working | February 12, 2013

(My mom is ordering us lunch at a popular fast food chain.)

My Mom: “I’d like a number 2 with a diet iced tea, and a number 3 with a Diet Coke.”

Employee: “Okay, that’ll be $8.75.”

My Mom: *hands employee $10.75*

Employee: “Here’s your change. have a nice day!”

My Mom: “You only gave me back $1 instead of $2.”

Employee: “No, the change is $1.”

My Mom: “Here’s the receipt you just gave me. It even says the change is $2.”

Employee: *looks at receipt, confused* “But… I gave you $1.”

My Mom: “Well, you owe me $1 more.”

Employee: “I gave you a $1 already.”

Me: “$10.75 minus $8.75 equals $2. You only gave her $1, so you owe her another $1.”

(The employee runs off with a look of confusion on her face and gets the manager. The manager looks at the receipt, and then back at my mom.)

Manager: “So, my employee gave you $1 already. What seems to be the problem?”

My Mom: “She still owes me another $1. The total was $8.75, I gave her $10.75, she only gave me back $1 in change. So, I’m still owed another $1.”

Manager: “I really don’t understand. She already gave you $1.”

My Mom: *sighs* “If you get out a calculator, you’ll see that $10.75 minus $8.75 does indeed equal $2. So, since I was only given $1, I’m still owed another $1.”

Manager: “You already got your change! Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

My Mom: “Just give me my receipt. I’ll call tomorrow.”

(We called back the next day and asked for the owner. The owner gave us a $30 gift card for our trouble!)


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Badger Safe Than Sorry

| Working | February 12, 2013

(It’s a Saturday afternoon, and my coworker and I are working at the photo department when a customer shouts over.)

Customer: “Bye, [coworker]!”

(After the customer leaves, the coworker looks at me, terrified.)

Coworker: “How did she know my name?!”

Me: “Maybe from your name badge?”

Coworker: *looks down at her badge and turns red*

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See IQ

| Working | February 12, 2013

(It is 2004 and I, an American, am studying abroad in Australia for a semester. My credit cards all have “see ID” printed on the back signature line.)

Clerk: “Alright, your total is [price].”

Me: “Can I put it on a card?”

Clerk: “Sure!”

(I hand her my card, she rings it up, and then flips it over to look at the signature. Her eyes widen in surprise as she peers at it.)

Clerk: “What… what does this mean?”

Me: “Oh, sorry. Yeah, it’s something some people do in the states. It means you should compare the name on the card with an official ID to make sure it’s me. Beause signatures can be forged, and all.”

Clerk: “Oh, okay! So… can I see your ID please?”

(I hand her my Australian-government-issued ID. She compares the two, and then hands them back, beaming.)

Clerk: “Okay, looks good!”

(The receipts print up, and she hands me the one to sign. I start to sign my name. She watches me, then suddenly exclaims…)

Clerk: “No! Wait, that’s wrong!”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Clerk: “The signatures have to match, right? So it has to match what it says on the card.”

Me: “You…want me to sign ‘See ID’ on the receipt?”

Clerk: *nods*

Me: “But that’s not really how it works—”

Clerk: “But they have to match!”

(At this point, she’s starting to look a little panicked, so I decide not to debate the point. With a sigh, I sign “See ID” on the receipt, with a flourish.)

Clerk: *relieved & cheerful* “Have a great day!”

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Breaking Bank

| Working | February 11, 2013

(I was recently made redundant at the time this happened, and have had to cut back on expenses. I am paying off a cancelled credit card at about NZ$20 a week from my meagre unemployment insurance. At 9 am once a fortnight, I receive phone calls from the bank which are unhelpful but relatively pleasant. Then, this happens…)

Me: “Hello?”

Employee: “Yes, this is [name] from the credit facility of [bank]. Our records show you have been paying off the amount which you owe at a rate of $20 each Friday of each week. ”

Me: “Yes, and as I have explained, I am unable to pay any more at present.”

Employee: “I understand, but why are you not paying a greater amount?”

Me: “Because I am unable to pay any more with my current expenses and earnings.”

Employee: “I understand that. So, you’ll be paying more from this week? The more you pay, the faster you will pay off the debt, and you want to do that or else your credit rating—”

Me: “—will be adversely affected. Yes, I understand that. Thing is, I don’t earn more than $320 total each week.”

Employee: “I understand that. We would expect that you paid a relatively small amount of your earning each week, say a thousand dollars, as a minimum.”

Me: “A thousand dollars is and never has been a small amount of my earnings, even when I was working! I’d have to be running a methamphetamine lab to make enough to afford that each week!”

Employee: “That’s a good idea, sir! Would you consider such a venture?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Employee: “If that would assist you making the payments, [bank] would be happy to help you. Would you need some bridging finance to start this venture?”

Me: “You do realise what you are asking, don’t you?”

Employee: “Of course. You wish to start a small business venture and we at [bank] would happily—”

Me: “—finance a criminal enterprise?”

Employee: “I beg your pardon?”

Me: “You do understand that making methamphetamine is illegal in this country?”

(There are a few moments of silence, except for rapid typing noises.)

Employee: “…Oh, yes. I remember now. I had forgotten because I was thinking about the Rugby football match this weekend between the Blues and the Warriors, sir.”

(Note to American and foreign readers: this is like a person telling you they are in Cleveland to watch an ice hockey match between the Cavaliers and the Browns—two utterly different codes of sport between teams from the same town.)

Me: “I’ll pay you what I can when I can, okay?”

Employee: “That would be acceptable, sir.”

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