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    A Cent-less Cycle

    | York, PA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Money

    (I am returning an item.)

    Employee: “All right, you’ll be getting $4.24 back—oh no, I don’t have any pennies. Do you have any change?”

    Me: “I don’t, sorry.”

    Employee: “That’s okay. Here’s $4.25. Keep the extra cent.”

    (I walk around the store, find something else I want, and head to the checkout. The employee at the cash register is the same one who takes my return earlier.)

    Employee: “All right, that’ll be $4.24.”

    (I give the employee back the $4.25 she gave me earlier.)

    Me: “Keep the extra cent.”

    Employee: “Thanks!”

    Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Awesome Customers, Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Food & Drink

    (I’m a server in an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. I’m serving a party of 10 customers. Customer #1 has food allergies, and asks that her rolls not be on the same platter as the others. I pass that to the kitchen, who screw it up. Everything else she orders either gets forgotten, sent to other tables, or is delivered to the wrong people at her table, who eat them without realizing it. Some of her meal has to be reordered three times before she finally gets to eat. We’re approaching the end of the meal; the rest of her party is getting their dessert and she finally gets her meal. After she eats her ice cream, she finds a piece of plastic in her mouth. The ENTIRE table is getting upset, except, surprisingly, the customer with allergies herself.)

    Customer #2: “We’d like to see the manager, please!”

    (My boss comes over and says he solved all the problems when she got her meal, even though it was an hour late and didn’t include the missing orders. He also tries to convince her that the plastic is cabbage.)

    Customer #2: “We think she should get her meal for free.”

    Manager: “The best I can do is 15% off.”

    All Other Customers: “WHAT?”

    (They continue to argue with him, and I see all hopes for a tip from this group I’ve been working my butt off for disappear. He ups the offer to 20% off the $25 tab, but they aren’t biting. Finally, Customer #1, the woman whose food was the problem chimes in.)

    Customer #1: “You know what, guys? Forget it. I’ll pay what he’s asking. They just lost 10 customers, though.”

    (After the manager walks away, she turns to me.)

    Customer #1: “Can I ask you a tactless question?”

    Me: “Uh… sure?”

    Customer #1: “Do you guys pool your tips or can we tip just you?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, we pool them.”

    (She beckons me over and gives me what amounts to a 25% tip.)

    Customer #1: “That’s for you. YOU were great.”

    (One after another, each member of the party comes over and sneaks bills into my apron pocket or my hand, with instructions to keep them for myself. I choke back tears. How cool was it to get an entire group that doesn’t penalize the waitress for kitchen errors!)

    Their Jobs Are As Stuffed As Their Crusts

    | Atlanta, GA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Food & Drink, Liars/Scammers, Theme Of The Month

    (Business has been slow lately due to the opening of another, candidly better pizza place across the highway, and I’ve got a pretty good idea that we’ll be going out of business soon. I go to talk to my boss about it.)

    Me: “Hey [Boss], you know I see all the receipts when I close, so I’ve got a pretty good idea where we stand.”

    Boss: “Yeah, it’s not been good lately. But we’ll pull through!”

    Me: “Okay, but if we ever did have to close down, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know in advance. I won’t leave you in the lurch, and I promise to stick around to help you close out, but I’d like to at least have the warning so I can figure out my next move.”

    Boss: “Sure thing. I’ll give you at least a couple of weeks warning.”

    Me: “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

    (Literally two weeks later, I get a call from a buddy at the comic book store next door.)

    Friend: “Hey, what’s with the moving van in front of the pizza place?”

    Me: “What? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”

    (I call the store. My boss answers.)

    Me: “Hey [Boss], what’s with the moving truck in front of the place?”

    Boss: “Oh, ah, well, after seeing the receipts for last night I knew we couldn’t keep going, so…”

    Me: “So you managed to somehow decide to close down, go get a moving truck, and start taking everything out of the store all in the same day?”

    Boss: “Um, yeah.”

    (Irritated, I call up the other employees and we go down to make sure we get our final paychecks. The boss pays us in cash, and we part ways. A few days later, I get another call from my friend at the comic book store.)

    Friend: “Hey, you should come down here. We’ve got a bunch of cops here looking for [Boss]!”

    Me: “What?! Why?”

    Friend: “Well, apparently when he moved out, he took the pizza oven and a bunch of other stuff with him, and they were on lease from [Pizza Chain's] home office!”

    (The pizza oven in question? It weighed over a thousand pounds and I was certain that it had no wheels. I have no idea how in the world he managed to get it out of there or who the heck would buy it!)

    Overtime Crime

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Overtime

    (I am in my first full-time job after just graduating. I’m taken advantage of a lot, but I’m new so I just put up with it. My friend and I have been working 18+ hour work days, plus weekends, for the past two weeks to design a book for an important client. My friend is hired for temporary help while I’m their only employee. My boss doesn’t know how to use a computer, so we’re left to do absolutely everything. They also live in the same building as the office so they can just take an elevator to go home while my friend and I have to commute. It’s about 2 am; the bosses have been out of the office for about an hour, possibly eating, taking a shower, or sleeping while we’re working. It’s the day we need to send the file to the printer to get the book done.)

    Me: “This is so incredibly unfair.”

    Friend: “Yeah, your bosses are unbelievable. You need to find a new job.”

    (We finish up the project and the file is being uploaded to the printer’s server at 3:30 am. My bosses are chipper and trap us in a really pointless long conversation while my friend and I just want to sleep. I eventually have to cut the conversation short.)

    Me: “Okay, well, [Friend] and I need some sleep. Good night.”

    Boss: “Okay, thanks for the hard work. We have to catch up on all of our other projects, so could you come in at 10 am?”

    Me: “I guess I’ll manage with five hours of sleep. Sure…”

    Friend: *whispers* “Are they serious?”

    Me: “FML…”

    (My boss comes running once I get to my car.)

    Boss: “There’s an error with the upload.”

    Me: “Like what? If it timed out, you can just upload it one more time.”

    Boss: “Oh, I don’t know how to do that. Can you come back and fix it?”

    Me: *sighs* “Yeah, okay.”

    (My friend and I fix the error, everything uploads correctly and all that is left is to buy a copy of the book. It’s 5 am. We’re driving home and I’m 10 minutes away from my house when I get a call.)

    Friend: “Who is it?”

    Me: “F***! It’s my boss…”

    Friend: “Don’t answer it.”

    Me: “Oh d*** it; I have to.”

    (I put it to speaker phone.)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Boss: “Hi [My Name].”

    Me: “Hi. Is something wrong?”

    Boss: “Um well, we don’t know how to order the book…”

    Me: *dumbfounded* “Have you ever bought anything online?”

    Boss: “Yeah.”

    Me: “…do the same thing.”

    Boss: “But this is so confusing!”

    Friend: *whispers* “Are you kidding me?”

    Me: “Okay, are you on the page to order the book?”

    (I give a step-by-step detailed walkthrough of how to order the book, including telling them that they need to enter their credit card number in the field that says, ‘credit card number.’ I get home and I’m still on the phone.)

    Boss: “Okay, everything looks good! Thanks for taking the time to work on this and being flexible. And thank [Friend] too for your guys’ determination and dedication. We really appreciate it and…”

    (They go on forever.)

    Me: “Yeah, no problem. I need to sleep.”

    Boss: “Oh right, well, [Partner] and I decided that we should take the day off tomorrow. You must be pretty exhausted from all the work.”

    (My boss laughs. I clench my fist and cut the conversation short.)

    Me: “Yeah, thanks. I’ll see you guys Friday. Good night.”

    Friend: “Thank god for overtime.”

    Me: “I don’t get paid for overtime…”

    Paying By Cash Or Picard

    | San Diego, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Geeks Rule

    (I am bagging groceries and happen to notice a box of Earl Grey tea, sitting at the end of the register next to me.)

    Me: *out loud* “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.”

    (There are quite a few customers in the line I am bagging in. A customer in line pipes in, recognizing a popular ‘Star Trek’ phrase.)

    Customer: “Right on!”

    (The other customers look at us in confusion. Later on in the transaction…)

    Cashier: “Wait, did you put three or four of those in the bag?”

    Me: “There are four in the bag.”

    (By sheer coincidence, the customer and I both say, at the same time:)

    Customer & Me: “There… are… four… lights!”


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