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» The most childish thing you've done as an adult

The pharmacy
I used to work in a pharmacy in Leeds train station. After several years, the store was taken over by a new manager who promised to bring about some great changes. One of these involved pinning a notice to the till, asking all staff to write down any customer requests for items we didn't stock; the idea being that she would order the most frequently requested and boost our profits.

Much hilarity ensued over the week as my colleagues and I added various items to the list. It began quite sensibly with hair dye and nail clippers, onto the less pharmaceutical 'fags and booze' (which people genuinely asked for on a daily basis), and how we laughed as we jotted down 'Tina Turner's Greatest Hits', 'Faberge Eggs' and 'Marzipan'.

The end of the week comes and our manager goes through the list with those of us on the late shift. She rolls her eyes at the Tina Turner album, but stops to question us about the marzipan. "Who wrote Marzipan?"

Without a moment's hesitation, our pharmacist du-jour speaks up; a big Asian guy with a very dry sense of humour, the kind of guy who you're never quite sure is joking or being serious until they crack a big grin after keeping you hanging. He calls from inside the dispensary in his Bradford-Indian hybrid accent; "It's medicinal innit. Marzipan yeh? People use it for headache." We wait for his cheeky grin, but it doesn't appear until the manager has left the shop floor.

And when I come in for my shift the next Saturday, there it is. Standing proud with the hair dye and nail clippers. Eight cubes of delicious, golden Marzipan, like a beacon of joy in the otherwise gloomy pharmacy. Every dull moment, every rude customer, I'd look over at the neat row of Marzipan and couldn't help but smile.

It took just three weeks to sell out, but was never re-ordered.
(Sat 19th Sep 2009, 0:17, More)

» Sticking it to The Man

o2 discount
I very much enjoy getting one over on companies with poor customer service, and in my experience o2 are terrible, which makes them my target of choice.

I remember a time when I was battling with a shop assistant to get a new BlackBerry 9700 for a friend, trying to haggle it down to less than £30 a month (because we're cheap). o2 refused, saying there was absolutely no way they could do it for less than £35. So we went across the road to get a written quote from T-Mobile, who whilst also refusing to give us the phone for any less than £35, did write down all the information on a piece of T-Mobile paper for me. I simply borrowed the assistant's pen, crossed out '£35 a month' and wrote £25, crossed out '500 texts' and wrote 'unlimited' and then drew a big circle and wrote "new join offer!". I took this back across the road to o2 who immediately agreed to match it. I now do this whenever my friends' contracts are up for renewal.

The previously mentioned friend has just set off traveling. Whilst her travel-partner was effortlessly allowed to suspend her phone contract with Orange for nine months, there was no such joy from o2 who said there was "nothing they could do unless you're in the army". With this in mind I fired up Microsoft Word and, using some dubious military themed images I'd found on Google, knocked together a letter reminding 'Lieutenant Parker' to pack enough warm jumpers for her military service in Norway. o2 accepted this and suspended her contract - but why make your customers jump through hoops to get what they want?

Perhaps this is less 'sticking it to the man' and more 'casual fraud', but either way it feels delicious.
(Sun 20th Jun 2010, 21:24, More)

» Celebrities part II

Tess FAIL-y
My Grandad is a taxi driver in Blackpool, and a few years back when Strictly Come Dancing came to Blackpool, he was busy shuttling crew back and forth between the Tower and hotels. Towards the end of his evening shift, he's given a job over the radio and picks up a lady from the back of Blackpool tower.

"Are you working on this Come Dancing as well then?" he asks.
"Yes", replies the blonde, "Have you been following it?"
"Nah" says Grandad, "I'm always working Saturdays, and me wife can't stand her what presents it".

The conversation ended there, and he only realised who his mystery passenger was when my parents asked if he'd switch the results show on whilst we were having a Sunday dinner.
(Tue 13th Oct 2009, 23:00, More)