(This was posted a year and a half after it happened due to legal affairs)
When I was working at a small hardware store (Busy Beaver), I had a guy come in and ask me for a wire stretcher. Thanks to this board, I know what a wire stretcher is, and I was about to tell the guy that he had been duped, but I decided to have my fun. I told him, "I don't have one in stock, but it's been dead all morning, and I have the parts to make one. It doesn't need a UL listing, so it will be fine."
I had a few pieces of all thread and some other hardware that I had just written off because it was damaged. I made a scissor-looking device that had a hook on one end that you wrap the wire around and the other end had a flat bar that you clamp the wire to. It took me 2 minutes to make itI told him he could have it for free since it had just been written off.
I got a call a few hours later from his boss. He apologized to me. "I swear I thought they didn't exist, I thought it was just a joke." I told him we now stock them because of increased demand. I also asked his name and his company's phone number because I was looking for an electrician.
Another hour goes by, and all we sold all day was a generator and our remaining stock of gas space heaters, as it was winter and there was a power outage because of ice. Bored out of my mind, I decided to call the boss back and come clean. He told me, "but that's impossible, I just talked to the other guy and special ordered ten wire stretchers. I already ordered them and gave my credit card number." I got a little dizzy just then, and asked him to hold.
I asked everyone if they took a phone order for wire stretchers. Everyone said no, so I asked my boss. He said, "yeah, a guy called wanting ten of them, so I called our supplier and asked for twenty." I nearly fainted because I knew the store and/or the electrician was getting ripped off. I told my boss to cancel the order, but he told me he couldn't.
I went to the lunch room and started writing my 2 weeks notice. It was my first mistake at the store, but I figured it would also be my last.
The next day, we got a truck in. It was my job to put away stock. I go to open a box, and I thought I was gonna throw up. Twenty wire stretchers, made with all-thread and flat bars, in the shape of scissors, One end had a hook, the other end had a place to clamp the wire. So, I put ten aside for the electrician, and put the other ten aside sice we didn't have a spot on the shelves for it.
The elecrician's boss came in not long after I called him to let him know his wire stretchers were in. I had never stuttered so much in my life. He came to pick them up. He said, "You've been so helpful to our company, the guys and I decided to get you something." He handed me an envelope. I open it, and there's a thank you card. Inside the card were a few coupons for the donut shop taped to it.
I had never felt so bad in my life. I read the card. "Thank you for all you've done. We would have never gotten this far without you." was written on the left side. I removed the taped on coupons, only to see the personal message on the right side of the card. "A student has his books. An apprentice has his tools. A journeyman has his experience. A master electrician can kick some serious a$$ at practical jokes." It was signed by the boss, his crew, and my boss.
I ended up getting the rest of the day off with pay because I couldn't stop laughing. The apprentice drove me home.