at a significantly discounted price

Passive aggressive chef gets a master class in passive aggression

TL;DR: Chef is rude after I politely inform his staff about a bad scallop. Chef loses a sweet contract to host my father’s holiday party.

I posted about this incident recently in a completely different sub, and realized I had a great revenge story!

During grad school, I very occasionally treated myself to a nice meal out. I was at the smallest of the Big 10 schools, and the restaurant scene was surprisingly decent. My favorite local spot was tiny, open kitchen, terrific food. On my third visit, I had a beautiful plate of shrimp and scallops. It was perfect, until I got to the last scallop. Bit into it, and sheer force of will was the only thing that kept me from spewing my dinner all over the table. I’d never had bad shellfish before, and I never hope to have it again.

As I’d really enjoyed my meal, and every other meal I’d had there, I wasn’t going to make a fuss. It happens, I get it. But I did want to give the chef a heads up so he could be on the lookout for more bad shellfish. When our server came over, I told her politely that my dinner was terrific, but heads up to the chef that the last scallop was off.

She brought the plate back to the chef, who is standing directly in my line of sight about 20 feet from me. She smells the scallop, rolls her eyes, he does the same. Then the chef proceeds to visit every table in this small restaurant except ours, dropping dessert tasting plates at the tables who were done. Between tables, he takes time to glare in our direction.

The server brings us our check without a word. Doesn’t ask if we want dessert. I pay, and I briefly considered dropping a business card on the table atop the cash as my parting shot. (I worked for the local health department.) On reflection, I realized that could come back to bite me, so I left quietly.

My parents lived about 30 minutes away, and I brought them to the restaurant on a previous visit. Dad was so impressed, he had decided to hold his office holiday party there. His assistant had done all the legwork, and as it turned out, had an appointment the following week to finalize the menu and drop off the deposit. This was in the days when holiday parties were quite the do and the restaurant was going to get a check approaching 5 figures for a night when the restaurant was closed.

Dad took that meeting for his assistant. By his report, he sat down with the chef and the front of the house manager and a server started bringing out a tasting menu. Dad mentioned the conversation he’d had with me after my last meal there, told them he had no intention of spending another cent at a restaurant where his daughter was treated so rudely.

The chef blustered something about food cost, people trying to scam him out of free food, and what was he supposed to think. I’d eaten everything else on the plate, what were the chances that the last thing on my plate was bad.

The chef offered to discount the price of the party significantly, offered free meals, but dad wasn’t having it. “This is a small town. Word gets around. And FYI, my daughter works at the health department.” The restaurant closed up shop within the following year.

TalesFromRetail: A trigger finger for sale stickers and daylight robbery

So this happened today. I wasn’t personally involved but I was 2 meters away from the situation as it occured.

This lady comes up to a register. I’m not sure how this all started. I’m pretty sure her excuse was that she needs the price to be adjusted for an item she bought because they charged her full price instead of the discount price, however the original price was significantly higher than the discount price, enough for her to realize this at the time of purchase when she was given a total significantly higher than what it should have been had these items really been discounted, you catch my drift?

So anyways, she explains this situation to the cashier who was newer, but nonetheless pretty polite and compliant. The first issue (and red flag) was that the lady didn’t have the items, just the tags and the receipt. Under no condition in the realm of hypotheticals can we process any sort of exchange, return, refund, etc., without the actual items being present. Naturally, the cashier calls over a manager to sort this out and explains the situation to her. Apparently this manager had dealt with this same customer over the same issue just last week.

So the manager tells her that the items need to be present for the transaction. This is when the lady starts flipping out. Something along the lines of “are you fucking kidding me?! I bought these, they were stickered! Your employees are incompetent! It’s not my fault! I can even show you where they were! They were all stickered like this so I deserve the sale price!” she even storms off to go find these said items to “prove” they are on sale, but she comes back seconds later saying they must have been moved.

Now mind you, not only is the lack of items a red flag, so is the fact that the items are pieces of clothing that retail for ~$100, on sale for $10 each. At my store, things NEVER go more than 75% off. That’s just a rule. Even when we kill price it, a $100 item would never go below $25 on sale. It’s a huge discount as is.

So anyways, my manager somehow ends up locating the item she allegedly bought for $10 and turns out none of them are stickered and all of them ring up full price. They are in fact brand new and very expensive and some of our highest quality pieces.

She explains this to the lady, who proceeds to screams more. The exchange goes something like this (M=manager, L=lady)

M: I’m sorry ma'am, I can’t do anything without the items physically present. Our return policy is thirty days so you have plenty of time to come back.

L: This is ridiculous! I don’t have the items! They were gifts!

M: Well if you could borrow them back from the people, that’ll work, but otherwise there really is nothing I can do.

L: Are you fucking kidding me? I just bought these yesterday!

M: Oh, you bought this yesterday? Perfect, I can go to the back and rewind the camera and we can see where things went wrong between you finding the stickered items and purchasing them

L: This is all a fucking joke. I want to speak to a manager.

M: I am the manager.

L: I want to speak to YOUR manager then!

M: Ma'am, I am as high up as you’re going to get right now.

L: Well give me your bosses cellphone number and email!

M: That’s private information I can’t give out. What I can give you is our customer service number and you can try sorting it out with them.

L: No! I want to speak to the general manager!

M: We don’t have anyone like that…?

L: You HAVE to! Give me their number!

M: We don’t have a general manager.

L: What’s your name?!

M: My name is Manager

L: Give me your business card!

M: My what? I don’t have one.

(mind you we’re like a super generic fast fashion brand similar to your local forever 21 and Abercrombie. We’re not some high end, commission place where every employee has their own contacts and clientèle)

L: You HAVE to have a form of identification with your contact information!

M: Yes. That would be my name badge and the store’s location. My name is Manager and this is Mall Location. Now would you like the customer service number?

L: FINE! Write it down AND your name!

M: Sure ma'am. You still have thirty days to return if you get a hold of the items. Now is there anything else I can help you with?

L: NO. EXPECT TO HEAR BACK ABOUT THIS!

And so she stormed out. My manager later filled me and the rest of the staff in on this particular customer. Apparently around the beginning of last week, she was able to steal a roll of our $10 sale stickers that must have been left unattended on the fitting room table as we marked down our seasonal sale and has been purchasing our most expensive items, stickering them at home, and bringing the tags back exclusively, saying the discount wasn’t applied. We’re talking sets of things around a hundred bucks “on sale” for $10.

Obviously without the physical item it is really difficult to find the item via a set of digits on a paper that have no physical description or anything, therefore making it harder to disprove whether whatever she bought was actually on sale or not. Our system sucks so it just states what the item is, for example: dress, top, sweater… the colours it comes in, and the price. Other than that, we have nothing to go off of. Try finding a 19.99 black sweater when there are like 20 styles around the store for that exact price as all of our sweaters go for. Even if it doesn’t ring up as $10, if all 20 of them are stickered that way, it is a mistake on our part and we honour that single sale and get rid of the rest of the tags that were mis-stickered. Basically, no item, no way to figure out where things went wrong.

We now have a photo of her in the break room but we’re anticipating that she returns a few more times. Luckily those sorts of things need to be approved by a manager AND done at the store of purchase so she won’t be able to slip by and new employees who aren’t aware.

By: MultiPoison

Tips for Cosplaying on a Budget

We all do it. We all spend way too much on cosplay at a con or right before a con and lament our lack of funds. We vow to do better next time, but we don’t actually know how and we just keep spending money on these costumes. How do people with limited budgets actually do it without going broke? Well, I’m no expert, but here are some of the things that help me save.

Note: Some of this may look familiar. I’ve talked about it before, but not on here. ;)

  1. Sales, sales, sales. If you’re on a budget, the only time to shop is when there’s a sale. If your cosplay has smaller pieces, go for the remnants section at the fabric store. Those are usually at least 50% off, which is a wonderful discount. Sales can drop the price of something significantly. If the sale isn’t good enough, wait; there’s always a better sale.
  2. Coupons are your best friends. Y’know what I get excited about? Coupons to JoAnn’s fabrics. I get really excited. If I get a 50% off or 60% off coupon in the mail, I want to go buy fabric just to take advantage of the coupon. Not even joking.
  3. Connect with your local fabric store. In line with the previous two, this is how you keep updated on sales and access ALL THE COUPONS. I get the newsletter from JoAnn’s, I get coupons via text and mail, and they know me when I walk in so if there’s another coupon that can apply, they provide me with it.
  4. Check Goodwill. You won’t believe some of the stuff they have in there. I’ve seen bolts of fabric, even. And don’t be afraid to buy and cannibalize clothing! It costs $3, why shouldn’t you rip the seams and use it to make something new? Remember too that different Goodwills have different stock, so you should check out multiple ones. And they don’t just have clothing! All sorts of stuff gets donated. Seriously, great resource.
  5. Plan ahead. This is seriously the BIGGEST tip I have in this whole thing. If you plan your cosplay in advance, at least 3 months, you have the chance to shop sales and wait patiently. Ideally, plan at least 6 months in advance. Then you’re not rushing to finish, you’re not hurrying to try to find the fabric and spending more than you should, etc. I know it’s tempting to pick up last-minute cosplays - heaven knows I’ve done it, especially when it’s to hang out with friends in a group - but it’s not cost-efficient. If you’re willing to be patient, you can buy things only on sales and with coupons. This can halve your cosplay cost and cut the stress, too.
  6. Budget, budget, budget. Set money aside so it’s not an instant drain on your finances. Maybe set $10/paycheck to the side for your cosplay. If you have money left over when you buy stuff, great! Just don’t spend it out of the blue, or you may have sticker shock and receipt regret later. Budgeting is a very good friend of yours. It helps to have your cosplay funds in an envelope you set aside with cash, because then when the cash is all gone, whoops, no more money to spend right now. It keeps money separate and makes a clear designation. (Unless you’re like someone I know who spends all the cash they get.)
  7. Think outside the box. It’s easier a lot of times to just buy the expensive, really nice materials. It’s also tempting because, duh, nice materials. But nice materials are expensive, and sometimes you can’t afford that extra cost. Look for mundane alternatives. Test them out before hand. If you’ve planned ahead, you’ll have time to do your trial runs. Sometimes, the really nice stuff is necessary, or you want to splurge. And that’s fine too! But know your options, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’ve given yourself plenty of time, you have plenty of time to do test runs and make sure it’ll work.
  8. Always bring references when you’re shopping for fabric. Do you know how frustrating it is to buy the wrong shade of fabric because your brain remembered it differently than the real deal?! Probably, you do. The way to avoid this is to bring in reference images. This also saves you money because you’re buying the fabric once, not twice. If you do accidentally buy the wrong shade, don’t throw it out! Use it for something else. And on that note….
  9. Always check your stash to see if you have something that will work. Need a lining fabric? Don’t go out and buy one just yet if the color’s not specific. Check your stock. Even things that aren’t technically lining fabrics can serve the purpose, and it’ll save you the cost of the lining fabric itself.
  10. Last, but definitely not least, measure twice, cut once. It’s an age-old adage, but it saves time, materials, and ultimately money. If you make 1000% sure you’re measuring right, you won’t run into issues later or be forced to buy more fabric. Yeah, we’ll all still make mistakes, but it’s a good habit to get into. I can’t count the times I’ve seen people (coughJ-Jocough) forget that seam allowances are a thing and cut on the line of the fabric. And then have to fumble and make tiny seams and somehow make it work but we can’t all have things miraculously work out (coughlikeJ-Jocough) when we screw up.

Those are my tips. 10 of them, to be exact. I hope they help you guys. I try to abide by these in my cosplaying, but I screw up too and get distracted by shinies. Good luck, dears!