They Put That Freeloader In His Place
“There was this cheap guy at work I didn’t like one bit. You know the type, one of those idiots who does the big innocent eyes every time he gets called out. ‘Whoa, I didn’t mean it like that!’ or whatever.
I had invited a few work friends to come by and have some drinks and appetizers on me when I bought a new house. They had been listening to me talk about it for months, it was the least I could do.
So about ten minutes in, who showed up? The cheap guy. He actually plopped down at the far end of the table. Not only that, but he starts ordering everything. Top shelf drinks, about four appetizers (which he didn’t eat, they were left on the table), just living it up.
I was watching out of the corner of my eye, my plan was already fully formed.
I saw him gathering up his stuff to slip away, so I called the waitress over. ‘Everything is on me, except that guy. He’s not my guest, I didn’t invite him.’
Everything just stopped. He was looking at me (mouth open) and everybody was looking at him.
The waitress brought the check, I paid and tipped generously. The cheap guy was trying to get someone to help him pay for his $60 worth of uneaten stuff because he didn’t have any money. No one liked him, so the response was a bunch of ‘Are you kidding me?’ looks. When I left, he was calling people to try to get them to come up and pay for him. (Note that he had a brand new Charger in the parking lot.)
That guy hated me so much after that. He didn’t have the stones to say anything to me, though. And the story became office lore.”
Big Baby Bertha’s Cake Days Were Numbered
“In a previous job, I organized cakes for people’s birthdays. It was totally voluntary to have a cake on your birthday and some people did opt out, that’s cool. It was also voluntary to donate for cake.
What wasn’t cool was everyone chipping in $2 for said cake and this one lady, who I shall call Big Baby Bertha – BBB for short – who would always refuse.
BBB had worked there for years, same role, same daily tasks, you know the type. BBB believed that her ‘seniority’ afforded her perks. She never paid for a single cake! BBB would be first in line for a slice, though, a big slice, aka twice the size of everyone else.
So I monitored for four cakes, BBB didn’t give me a cent. I discreetly asked around if this was normal for her, was she experiencing hardship? Nope, BBB had always been like this.
So I waited and with the next cake, I sent the usual email but also included ‘to ensure everyone who contributes receives a piece of cake, I will be noting who donates. You are still welcome to sing happy birthday but if money isn’t received by x date, you will be unable to have cake.’
Then the glorious day came! BBB made a beeline for me (swear that she could smell cake from the carpark).
We sang happy birthday, then I started cutting. I had my list and those people would get the first pieces. Birthday person got to decide what was done with the leftovers because there would be leftovers!
BBB pushed into the front of the line.
Me: ‘BBB, you didn’t donate so the cake is not for you, sorry (sickly sweet smile on my face).’
BBB: ‘I need my cake now, I have important things to do. I’ll give you money later.’
Me: ‘That’s not going to work, I brought this cake with the budget of donated money (side note I would chip in my own cash if donations were low).’
BBB: ‘This is not appropriate, this is discrimination! I’m reporting you to my manager.’
Me: ‘Ok, do what you need to do. Please move aside or get back to your important work.’
BBB stormed off, hollering about cake and discrimination.
Cut to four hours later, I was called into a meeting with BBB’s boss, my boss, and the boss for the entire site. To summarize, BBB accused me of discrimination based on her weight. I ‘shamed’ her by not giving her cake. It was then that I produced my email (which they were all on), the spreadsheet where I had noted who paid and when, and the cake receipt. I’d love to say the bosses collectively tore BBB a new one and she was on thin ice. But they didn’t and she wasn’t.
There was, however, an email sent to everyone advising that from now on when people gave me a donation for a cake, they also needed to sign next to it. Then once the due date had passed, I was to scan and email it to management. I did this for three glorious years. It was a pain for everyone concerned but BBB never ate free cake on my watch! No one gave her a piece from their leftovers, it became an unwritten part of induction.
I’ve been out of that company for over 10 years, BBB is still there, so are some of my friends. BBB still doesn’t get free cake!”
Sharing Is Not Always Caring
“My brother and his family hit a Dairy Queen drive-thru one day and they were giving away free cones. The DQ guy asked my brother how many cones he wanted and he says just one. He had his wife and two kids in the car and when his wife asked him why he only got one, he said, ‘Y’all can share.’
We still give him crap for this and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.”
Only Their Fare Share
“This is the absolute worst.
A few years ago, a group of us, all couples, went out for dinner as part of a weekend trip. We all split several appetizers, got 1-2 drinks, and all the main courses were similar in price. The check came and out came three cards to split it down the middle (it was a difference of $5-7 per couple). Couple #4? Well, they were determined to contribute their exact dollar amount, plus a 10% tip. We all balked. They ended up begrudgingly throwing in their owed amount, minus tip, and stormed out of the restaurant. They got in a cab and headed back to our hotel.
The only problem, however, the reservations were in my name and we hadn’t checked in yet.”
They Were The Hosts With The Least
“Some of my guy friends, who I was forced to hang out with because my girlfriend was friends with their girlfriends type deal, threw a BBQ a few years back. One of my other friends, who we can call Fred, called on his way and asked if there was anything he could bring over. They asked him to get everything you need for a BBQ. Fred showed up and they had lunch meat at the BBQ, that was it.
Luckily, Fred is super nice and bought everything the party needed and even grilled it for the hosts. Never in my life have I been to a party where the hosts didn’t supply anything. Fred called everyone out at the end, started a commotion, and I never had to see those friends again.”
A Little Mistake Lead To A Big Waste Of Time
“I was at Dunkin Donuts at the beginning of my hour-long commute to work a few days ago, and the line was a bit longer than usual because they were training a new cashier. When I was about to place my order, the woman ahead of me placed an order for a few strawberry smoothies, two egg sandwich things, and a few donuts, but the brand new cashier forgot to charge for one of the items. The cashier realized his mistake immediately after he handed her the receipt, and offered to correct it immediately. However, this lady decided that she deserves all her money back because of the sign that said something like: ‘Your order is free if your receipt is incorrect.’ To be fair, she was technically right, but who would actually apply it in that situation? It wasn’t some egregious mistake made by a cashier trying to make a few extra bucks on the side (which I’m sure what the law is intended to protect against), it was a genuine mistake that anyone would make on their first day on the job.
So she starts yelling and yelling about getting her money back, and the workers were being really respectful and courteous (I would have probably lost it), then the manager finally came out and corrected the situation. However, by then, 5-10 minutes had passed and the line of commuters was out the door, all so this woman can get 12 bucks for a dumb mistake.
I guess in the end, she won, but at the expense of a lot of good people’s time.”
The Parents Lived It Up While The Kids Just Made Due
“When I was a server, I had a family come in. Mom, dad, and four kids between ages 4 and 15. Dad ordered a coffee, mom ordered an iced tea. The oldest daughter ordered a lemonade, and before the next oldest kid (about 12) could order, the parents butted in and ordered a single water for the other three kids. Throughout the night, the mom would order multiple refills of her tea and the dad ordered two more coffees. The four kids pass the lemonade and water around between them until they were both empty. I asked the 15-year-old if she’d like another lemonade and the parents interrupted to say, ‘No.’ Okay, whatever, maybe they don’t want their kids rotting their teeth out with a bunch of sugar. I went to refill the water and the parents scramble to stop that as well, so it dawned on me what their game is, but the kids aren’t protesting so whatever.
When they got the bill, they noticed the lemonade and water weren’t on it and mentioned that to me (hey, cheap, but at least they’re honest?). I said that children’s drinks and water are free with the meal. The horror on their faces was amazing. Felt bad for the kids, though. Mom and Dad got to drink to their heart’s content, and they had to share a single ice water between the four of them in the name of frugality.”
They Had To Show Them How You’re SUPPOSED To Treat Your Guests
“When I was a child, my grandparents had an apartment at the seaside and every summer, we would go to spend a month there, meeting other families that were going on vacation from all around the country. My parents became friends with a couple who had two children and the eldest girl was my age.
Probably due to the husband having gambling problems in his youth, the wife was the worst cheapskate I’ve ever met, even if they had a pretty generous income.
When we were out of the house, the husband was ‘in control’ of the finances, being the main bread-winner of the family. So we would go to the restaurant altogether, eat fish, spend about $50 per person and he’d have no problem putting out this amount of money.
In the house, though, the wife was the queen. So they’d have no hand soap in the bathroom because it was a waste of money. When I was visiting, she would get a jar of Nutella from the top drawer and spread the tiniest amount of it in an almost invisible film on the cheapest bread. Her children’s faces told me that when they had no guests, the Nutella would not even come out of that drawer.
The pinnacle was the one time they invited us to their place for dinner and they served the main course of… ONE PIGEON for four adults and three kids.
My parents’ response, as a good Italian family, was simply inviting them to dinner for the next week and preparing a massively huge and delicious dinner. They willingly exaggerated the size of the dinner, we ate leftovers for days.”
There Are Just Some Things You Cannot Cut Corners With
“My parents drive over an hour to go to this store in Ft Smith, Arkansas called A-Z. They sell expired food or overstock items. I have absolutely no problem with overstock type things, I literally went to Ross today for candles and stuff I don’t need. But my parents exclusively grocery shop there, including their meat and stuff.
Every time they bring me food (which doesn’t happen as often, as I live in another state), I would have to throw it away because one time my sister found DRIED BUGS in the Mac and cheese she got from them. She thought it was bacon bits somehow… It wasn’t the first time my parents gave us super gross food (either boxes of it, or meals they made for us), but it was definitely the last straw… Very happy to be an adult and buy my own groceries and cook my own fresh food.”
Her Frugal Ways Lost Her A Friend
“When you eat out with a group of friends and instead of splitting to bill equally, you pay for only your meal and justify that you only took a few pieces of a side dishes so that doesn’t count.
When you transfer money to your friend and you count it to right down to the cents instead of rounding it up because you want to save those few cents.
When you badger your friend to buy something to share even though your friend is not interested just so you can split the cost.
That’s right, I am thinking about you, Claire.”
Save Some For Later
“My great-grandma, step-grandma, and I went to a KFC that had a buffet. In the end, my great-grandma was full but still had a chicken leg on her plate. She straight up wrapped it in napkins and stuffed it in her purse.
When we went back at the hospital where my great-grandpa was, I took a short nap. I woke up to a crunching noise. I looked over to see my great-grandma eating her purse chicken leg.”
Dinner Time At Lights Out
“We had Thanksgiving lunch at my aunt’s one year instead of having lunch at my grandma’s as usual. My aunt lives in this large house by herself. She’s divorced and her oldest son is well into his 30s and moved out so maybe she was struggling financially.
Everyone sat down to eat and my aunt actually wouldn’t even turn the lights on for us while we ate so she could conserve electricity. Not the most drastic frugal thing I could imagine, but it blew my mind at the time. There were some windows so it wasn’t completely dark or anything, but I just really couldn’t understand her justification of keeping the lights out for a 30-minute meal.”
She’ll Be Forever Remembered As A “Mean, Cheap Tart”
Bless her, she’s like 96. She’s been a mean little frugal thing all her life.
She’s a terrible cook. Makes the most disgusting rock hard muffins you’ll ever taste. Her husband has had dentures for the past 30-40 years, and you can just imagine how funny it is to watch him eat her food.
My grandma had five children, while her sister (great-aunt) only has one child. During the holidays, my great aunt would bake a terrible lemon boxed cake (everyone hated but was her favorite), and bring only half to Christmas! She would tell my grandma, ‘I cut it in half. Half for my family, half for yours.’
Whenever she cuts portions, they’re somehow impossibly thin. Cheese is her specialty. She can cut the thinnest slice of cheese you will ever see. I have 80-year-old relatives who still joke about how much light shines through her cheese slices.
At cookouts, she brings the chips and dip. She will spend the entire time hyping them up to people. Telling them how delicious the Lays chips and Frito onion dip is. Then pulls a chair up to the chip table, parks her butt down for at least 4 hours, and makes sure to eat the majority of what she bought to ensure she got her money’s worth.
Her son, he’s 50 now, is loaded with cash and is constantly spending it on traveling, but he will never forget how his mother made him wear the same high water pants from elementary to the start of high school.
Money was a little tight back then, but things were even tighter for my grandma raising five kids. Grandma is seen as the generous, angel of the family, while great-aunt will forever be known as the mean, cheap tart.”
His Roommate Wasn’t Just Cheap, He Was Entitled
“One evening, my roommate came home all exhausted after finished his part of the college task project and I happened to be cooking. He moaned that he was starving but was not in the mood to go out to buy food nor to cook something. In a move of sincerity, I offered to make him fried eggs, which would go well with warm rice, something always available any time in our small place. Not so much problem for me at that time as I was cooking at the moment.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
The next day, he along with some other pals got home after playing football and saw me preparing dinner. In a jerk move, he said to me, ‘Hey, cook me some fried eggs again like last night.’ Not even hesitating, not even in question form, not a word ‘please’ was used – not that those would change my mind though.
But before I could make a remark, one of the football pals immediately berated him, asking if he thought of me as his personal cook or servant, and told him to cook it himself. He got slightly defensive, telling his pal to chill as he was only joking. In my opinion, he was not. When he took a bath, all the other pals instantly asked me if I really cooked for him and told me I was being too nice to the point of being used. I assured them I would’ve never let myself be taken advantage of.
I never offered him anything again and he never got the guts to ask for anything as well.”
She Got In On A Discount, But She Still Demanded Payment
“My mother-in-law wanted everyone to go to Old Country Buffet because she had coupons she needed to use. After arguing and annoying the staff, she managed to nag them into submission and they let her use something like 15 coupons at once. Eight people ate for under $3.
She then proceeded to go over her receipt to ensure they didn’t mess with her. At the end of the meal, she wanted everyone to pay their $11.99 or whatever the price was.
Now any time we have to go to eat with my in-laws, I take my family and go somewhere else for 20 minutes if it is a place where you pay in advance, or pay our portion and get out of the restaurant as quickly as possible. That lady is actually crazy.”