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Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 2582955 times)

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Elfmama

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1635 on: September 22, 2013, 11:16:34 AM »

We used to sit around the dinner table and plan how we'd rob and bank, and where we'd hide  out (under the greenhouse) in town to wait for the dragnet to drop. Could we hide food there, would it keep, when would we go out for air, etc.

Several years ago, while I was on holiday on a cruise, I was trying to put together a detective story (family challenge: everybody was going to write a story over the course of the holiday. Mr Chick and the Younger Chick completed theirs; the Elder Chick and I bombed out). Nowadays when you get off or on a cruise ship, you go through security and present your photo-ID card, which is also your room key. The card is scanned, and if people are late, the crew members know precisely who they're looking for.

I reckoned that I had worked out a way to bypass security (on a one off basis suitable for a detective novel, I hasten to add; any of you involved in national security needn't come looking...) but I wanted to know what actually happens on a cruise if somebody disembarks on a port visit and doesn't come back. I'd been thinking about my plot on and off all day, so when the Entertainments Manager came round to chat with everybody, my mouth ran slightly ahead of my brain. As he shook my hand, I said brightly, 'now you're just the person I need to talk to: I'm going to do a murder and I need your help.'

The poor Entertainments Manager was so completely flummoxed that he actually forgot to let go of my hand and his expression was priceless. Apparently he'd never had a passenger ask him that before, and he developed a tendency to walk away hurriedly and hide behind doors when he saw me again, possibly in case I landed him with disposing of the body.

I still think my plot device would have worked, though.

HA!  I was writing a story and was having a hard time coming up with the most effective way to kill off a character.  We were at a restaurant and I was telling my husband about my plotting issues.  Just as I said,
"I've poisoned her.  I've pushed her car off a cliff.  I've shot her.  Nothing has worked!" the waitress walked up to our table. 

Her eyes went wide and she closed her order notebook.  "I'll give you a few more minutes."

Once DH and I stopped laughing, we asked the waitress back to our table and explained that I was writing a story and was not actually trying to murder someone.
Throw her into an icy river and make sure that the current sweeps her under the ice.  Hey, if it's good enough for Rasputin, it's good enough for anyone!

I once asked my doctor how long it would take to die of peritonitis once your appendix ruptures.  I did not ask her the best place to cut a human sacrifice so that he bleeds out slowly instead of quickly.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Acadianna

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1636 on: September 22, 2013, 11:24:39 AM »
Just as I said,
"I've poisoned her.  I've pushed her car off a cliff.  I've shot her.  Nothing has worked!" the waitress walked up to our table. 

We had similar experiences, except that we were discussing Dungeons and Dragons.  There was nothing quite like the reaction of fellow diners who overheard one of our group saying, "I whacked him with my axe."

PeterM

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1637 on: September 22, 2013, 12:32:40 PM »
The two people who tried to buy a $2 items with $100 bill.  (This may not be a scam but I am still not taking it)

There seems to be a contingent of people who carry $100 bills around for the express purpose of using them to pay for small purchases or debts. We get them at the library, paying their $2 fine. When we don't have enough to break it and I ask them if they have anything smaller, at least half the time they'll say, "I just came from the bank, that's all I have."

You know what banks are good at? Giving you five twenties instead of a hundred. All you have to do is ask. But no, it's better to not have to carry the weight of four extra bills all the way from the bank to the library, or the yard sale, or the girl scout cookie table.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1638 on: September 22, 2013, 01:48:32 PM »
The two people who tried to buy a $2 items with $100 bill.  (This may not be a scam but I am still not taking it)

There seems to be a contingent of people who carry $100 bills around for the express purpose of using them to pay for small purchases or debts. ...

Around here most stores won't even accept $100 bills unless your purchase is over at least $50.  Apparently hundreds are the most frequently counterfeited of all the bills and some of them are very hard to detect as counterfeit.  So making a small purchase with one always raises eyebrows.  It's one thing for a store to be "out" $2, but quite another to lose all $100.

andi

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1639 on: September 22, 2013, 01:51:37 PM »
At my store w're wary of the $100 bill for small purchase due to "short changing" - where they get the cashier confused and wind up with the $100 and the change from their $2 purchase. 

Thipu1

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1640 on: September 22, 2013, 04:05:39 PM »
Just as I said,
"I've poisoned her.  I've pushed her car off a cliff.  I've shot her.  Nothing has worked!" the waitress walked up to our table. 

We had similar experiences, except that we were discussing Dungeons and Dragons.  There was nothing quite like the reaction of fellow diners who overheard one of our group saying, "I whacked him with my axe."

When my friend and I were writing our performance mysteries, we tried to make sure that things would really work.  The cause of death for our first victim was to be a poisoned dart from a blow gun. 

One Saturday afternoon, we were at the building checking out if it would be possible.  A volunteer victim sat at the desk in a small office.  My friend was kneeling down in front of the closed door and, using a standard drink straw, blew a toothpick in his general direction through the keyhole.

As we were doing this, the manager of the building was giving a tour to a couple who were considering the place as a venue for their Wedding reception.

You can imagine the facial expressions of all concerned when the manager and the HC came upon a middle-aged woman on her knees and blowing a straw through a keyhole with her DH photographing the event. 


« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 04:08:05 PM by Thipu1 »

Cherry91

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1641 on: September 23, 2013, 03:48:47 AM »
Just as I said,
"I've poisoned her.  I've pushed her car off a cliff.  I've shot her.  Nothing has worked!" the waitress walked up to our table. 

We had similar experiences, except that we were discussing Dungeons and Dragons.  There was nothing quite like the reaction of fellow diners who overheard one of our group saying, "I whacked him with my axe."

My group of friends all play video games, D+D, and there's several writers as well. I truly don't know how we haven't been stopped for a little "chat" with the boys in blue yet...

(I think it helps that a member of the group is a trainee police officer)
All will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

AfleetAlex

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1642 on: September 23, 2013, 10:51:20 AM »
re: the $100. My dad was selling pop (soda for all you non-Michiganders  ;D) at fifty cents a can for a community organization during a popular festival in our hometown. A (local) guy tried that $100 bill thing. My dad made him wait while he hunted down $99.50 in change.  >:D
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

2littlemonkeys

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1643 on: September 23, 2013, 01:37:51 PM »
The change thing reminded me of a few issues I've had with cabs in the past before paying with a card was so prevalent.  Lets say I had to take a cab to deliver something to a partner agency across town.  I'd hop in a cab and when I get to my destination, the fare was, say $7.  All I had is the $20 I was able to get from the ATM before I left.  Lo and behold, the driver didn't have change.  And so began the stand off.  I can not give a driver a $13 tip on a $7 fare, as he clearly expected me to do.  Eventually, the driver would go find another driver from the same company and make change for me.   It was very irritating.  Now I just use my card.

I understand they probably get lots of 20s but I would also assume they go back to dispatch from time to time to make change.  Or I just don't understand how the whole thing works.

Twik

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1644 on: September 23, 2013, 01:57:50 PM »
I think business people such as cab drivers should be prepared for twenties. Anything bigger than that is iffy.

For some reason, when I work the church rummage sale, the first person every year is buying $2 with a $100 bill. It's not even that easy to *get* $100 bills in Canada.

I suspect at least a few cab drivers, and rummage sale purchasers, expect you to "let it go." Give the driver his $13 tip, and give the person at the sale the $2 for free, because hey, it's just two bucks, right?
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siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1645 on: September 23, 2013, 02:08:31 PM »
The two people who tried to buy a $2 items with $100 bill.  (This may not be a scam but I am still not taking it)

There seems to be a contingent of people who carry $100 bills around for the express purpose of using them to pay for small purchases or debts. We get them at the library, paying their $2 fine. When we don't have enough to break it and I ask them if they have anything smaller, at least half the time they'll say, "I just came from the bank, that's all I have."

You know what banks are good at? Giving you five twenties instead of a hundred. All you have to do is ask. But no, it's better to not have to carry the weight of four extra bills all the way from the bank to the library, or the yard sale, or the girl scout cookie table.

And at my CU, they will ASK how I want my $$, if I'm getting a larger amount and not at the ATM. So there's really no excuse. I got cash back at the grocery store yesterday, and the cashier was very apologetic when she told me she had to give me 5's and 10's, for my $50, rather than 20's as she didn't have any. I told her I actually preferred that, so not to worry!

lilfox

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1646 on: September 23, 2013, 02:20:04 PM »
So far I've only had one cab driver pull the "no change for a $20" routine - my friend and I had a cab fare of $42 and between us we had three twenties.  Since the cabbie had earlier refused to turn down or change the radio station (he was blaring music we didn't want to listen to), we weren't inclined to tip him more than a few bucks to begin with.

The plan was for me to wait at the cab while my friend ran up to get some small bills from her apartment, but luckily (?) a couple showed up wanting a ride and the cabbie settled for taking $40 and the new customers rather than wait and lose the next mark fare.

Yarnspinner

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1647 on: September 23, 2013, 04:14:14 PM »
The two people who tried to buy a $2 items with $100 bill.  (This may not be a scam but I am still not taking it)

There seems to be a contingent of people who carry $100 bills around for the express purpose of using them to pay for small purchases or debts. We get them at the library, paying their $2 fine. When we don't have enough to break it and I ask them if they have anything smaller, at least half the time they'll say, "I just came from the bank, that's all I have."

You know what banks are good at? Giving you five twenties instead of a hundred. All you have to do is ask. But no, it's better to not have to carry the weight of four extra bills all the way from the bank to the library, or the yard sale, or the girl scout cookie table.

It always seemed to me that they were hoping that by pulling out the 50 dollar bill or the hundred dollar bill to pay for a .15 cent copy that you would say "Oh, it's not worth trying to make the change.  Have it for free."  When we tell them "no breaking of fifties and hundreds" we get "Really, you're going to be all hard a** over fifteen cents?"  "Really, you have the money to pay for the measely fifteen cent copy, but you won't bother to break it down?"

I know I have told this story before here, but I do recall one dreadful patron who never had change to pay for his fines.  He would hand you a one hundred dollar bill even though he had a fistful of dollars.  One day he started telling me he didn't have anything smaller (despite having a wad of ones in his hand) and another patron leaned over to him and told him in not so ehell approved language to give me a one and get out before he got hurt.

The lengths people will go to to feel they are putting one over on "the man".

BB-VA

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1648 on: September 23, 2013, 07:59:14 PM »
The two people who tried to buy a $2 items with $100 bill.  (This may not be a scam but I am still not taking it)

There seems to be a contingent of people who carry $100 bills around for the express purpose of using them to pay for small purchases or debts. We get them at the library, paying their $2 fine. When we don't have enough to break it and I ask them if they have anything smaller, at least half the time they'll say, "I just came from the bank, that's all I have."

You know what banks are good at? Giving you five twenties instead of a hundred. All you have to do is ask. But no, it's better to not have to carry the weight of four extra bills all the way from the bank to the library, or the yard sale, or the girl scout cookie table.

And at my CU, they will ASK how I want my $$, if I'm getting a larger amount and not at the ATM. So there's really no excuse. I got cash back at the grocery store yesterday, and the cashier was very apologetic when she told me she had to give me 5's and 10's, for my $50, rather than 20's as she didn't have any. I told her I actually preferred that, so not to worry!

Back in my tellering days, I ALWAYS asked how folks wanted their money, unless they were regulars and I already knew.  In general, men wanted big bills, women smaller ones.  I formulated the theory that men preferred the big bills so their wallets weren't too thick to sit on.
"The Universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are, it's the right place and the right time. Pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born."
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Kimblee

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1649 on: September 23, 2013, 08:11:25 PM »
The two people who tried to buy a $2 items with $100 bill.  (This may not be a scam but I am still not taking it)

There seems to be a contingent of people who carry $100 bills around for the express purpose of using them to pay for small purchases or debts. We get them at the library, paying their $2 fine. When we don't have enough to break it and I ask them if they have anything smaller, at least half the time they'll say, "I just came from the bank, that's all I have."

You know what banks are good at? Giving you five twenties instead of a hundred. All you have to do is ask. But no, it's better to not have to carry the weight of four extra bills all the way from the bank to the library, or the yard sale, or the girl scout cookie table.

My bank's tellers love to foist $100s on me. Usually at the drive through lane, then they'll just keep saying "Have a Nice Day!" every time i push the call button, as people honk at me from behind.

Know what does a great job of breaking one without any problems/whining/angst?(Not that someone at a yard sale not wanting to break a hundred is whining or angsty, just customer service people who throw a big fit if you ask them to make change for you.) Self check outs at the grocery store. I go buy a soda with a C note and get my small change money, usually in tens for some reason. (I swear, I haven't gotten a twenty from a self check out in over a year.)