Category: Holidays

Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

Christmas Complaints Have Hit The Roof

| Kent, England, UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(The call centre takes calls from tenants of housing associations who need to report repairs. It is Christmas Eve and the night before there had been some extremely high winds and a lot of rainfall resulting in a massive amount of calls regarding roof leaks. Half of the engineers are on holiday, some of the call centre staff have called in sick, and call waiting times are over 45 minutes.)

Me: “Good morning, [Company]. Sorry for the wait. How may I help you today?”

Tenant: “I’ve been on hold for ages! I went outside this morning and found lots of broken roof tiles on the ground. My living room is flooding and my fence has fallen over.”

Me: “Ma’am, is there any room above your living room, another floor, or a loftspace?”

Tenant: “No, just the roof.”

Me: “Ma’am is the water coming through the ceiling or down a wall?”

Tenant: “It’s coming through the roof! So will you have someone out in the next couple of hours? I need to get my Christmas shopping done.”

Me: “Unfortunately due to the extremely high winds I have been advised that we cannot allow our roofing engineers to go up on roofs as it is too dangerous and they are at risk of falling. I can, however, get someone to you on 27th to resolve the roofing issue. However, your fence will not be repaired until January.”

Tenant: “WHAT? How dare you say you can’t get anyone to me today! This is ridiculous. My flat is flooding!”

Me: “Ma’am, there is no way I can get a roofer to come out and repair your roof today. There are 70 mph winds.”

Tenant: “That is no excuse! I have water coming into my living room and it is going to spoil CHRISTMAS!”

Me: “The only thing I can advise is to put a large bowl, bucket, or pot under where the leak is coming from until the 27th. There is not much more rain forecast so the leak should stop. I know it is a few days away but we just cannot allow someone up on a roof today.”

Tenant: “I can’t hold Christmas with a pot in my living room. This is not good enough! I WANT SOMEONE HERE TODAY!”

Me: “Ma’am, please stop shouting at me. I am trying to help you.”

Tenant: “SOMEONE. HERE. TODAY.”

Me: *getting a little exasperated* “Ma’am, I don’t know what else to say. It is just too dangerous for our roofers to go out today. Would you be happy to climb a ladder today?”

Tenant: “Of course not. It’s windy. Now go type on that little computer of yours and book someone to COME TODAY.”

Me: “Just a moment, ma’am, and I’ll speak with one of the engineer’s supervisors.”

(I put the tenant on hold, and explain the situation to a supervisor.)

Me: “Is there anything we can do?”

Supervisor: “What does she want us to do? Become omnipotent and turn off the wind? You know what, I live nearby and I was just heading home. I’ll go out and see if there is anything we can do from inside.”

Me: “Oh, thank you!”

(Resumes call.)

Me: “Sorry about keeping you on hold.”

(I hear the tenant shouting in the background.)

Tenant: “No, don’t you wipe up that water. Let them do it. It’s what they are paid for! Those little f***s never come out when we need them!”

Me: “Ma’am, are you there?”

Tenant: “That was so disrespectful and rude! I can’t believe you put me on hold!

Me: *trying to hold my tongue* “Ma’am, one of the engineer’s supervisors will be with you today.”

Tenant: “Well, see what happens when you kick up a fuss?”

Me: “Have a wonderful Christmas.”

Tenant: “Yeah, whatever. You should be fired.” *click*

(Three hours later, the supervisor called in to say that her roof wasn’t leaking. She’d left a tap on in her en-suite bathroom (which, it turned out, was above the living room). Best thing about this? The tenant had to pay for the repair bills and the callout charge.)

Be Open-Minded About Holiday Closing

| KY, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(It is Christmas Eve and we are closing at six pm. The manager is standing by the front door telling the customers we are closing in five minutes. A customer runs in.)

Manager: “Excuse me, ma’am. Just to let you know we are closing in five minutes.”

Customer: “But I have a lot I need to get.”

Manager:  “Yes but we are closing at six pm so our employees can be with their families tonight.”

Customer: *in a huff* “Well, in that case I am going to [Competitor] across the street.”

Manager: “Then you’d best hurry; they are closing at six tonight, too.”

Customer: “What? Why?”

Manager: “Because it’s Christmas Eve and their employees want to be with their families, too.”

Customer: “Well, what time do you open tomorrow?”

Manager: “We’re closed all day tomorrow. It’s Christmas.”

Customer: “What about [Competitor]?”

Manager: “They’re closed, too. Same reason.”

Customer: “Well, that is so rude!”

(The customer storms off. The manager locks the door after her.)

Manager: “I haven’t worked retail for 38 years for nothing.”

Make The Yule-tide Gay

| Folkestone, England, UK | Bigotry, Holidays

(I am browsing the Christmas cards. Next to me is a man also looking at the cards. He has two different ‘for my brother and his boyfriend at Christmas’ cards in his hand, deciding which one he wants. A woman walks past.)

Woman: “Disgusting! They shouldn’t sell such filthy cards in this shop!”

Man: “Um…”

Woman: “It’s a sin! Political correctness gone mad! They should NOT be promoting queers!”

Man: “Er…”

Woman: “What sort of thing does that say to my children?”

Man: “It would say that I would like to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to my brother and his wonderful boyfriend, whom the whole family adores, and it would teach them tolerance and understanding of others.”

Woman: “Well!” *storms off*

Man: *sweetly* “Merry Christmas!”

Unhappy Holidays, Part 2

| Panama | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(We’ve been told not to say Merry Christmas to the customers at work and to say Happy Holidays instead, as someone might get offended. But sometimes, once or twice a day, a Merry Christmas will slip out, and this happens one of those times.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “No, that will be all. Thank you!”

Me: “Thanks to you for calling. Have a nice day and a Merry Christmas.”

Customer: “What did you just say?”

Me: “Thanks to you for calling—”

Customer: “Don’t you dare! You said Merry Christmas! I don’t celebrate Christmas! I’m an atheist! Do you know how offended I am?”

Me: “I’m really sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to offend you. ”

Customer: “I want to speak with your supervisor immediately!”

(I go get a supervisor and I explain him what happen, and as it is something normal to happen, she goes to the phone to apologize to the customer.)

Supervisor: “Thank you for holding, sir. The agent explained to me what happened and I’m really sorry about this occurrence, and I can assure you it won’t happen again.”

Customer: “What kind of sick people are y’all hiring? I’m an Atheist, why will you wish me a Merry Christmas?”

Supervisor: “Again, sir, I’m really sorry about that. But as it happens I don’t celebrate Christmas either and I’m not creating a fuss about people telling me Merry Christmas! So suck it up, get a life, and stop calling for this!”

(Later on, she explained to me that this guy had been calling several times during the day for the same thing, waiting for someone to wish him a Merry Christmas.)

Related:

Unhappy Holidays

Christmas Eve Reprieve

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I am a pet groomer in a very affluent part of town. It’s Christmas Eve and people have been calling and showing up all day expecting to have their pets groomed on the spot. I’ve been dealing with irate clients all day who don’t understand why I’m not open Christmas Day, when a regular calls:)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Regular: “Are you open today?”

Me: “Yes, but we’re all booked up-”

Regular: “Are you open late tonight?”

Me: *sighs* “We’re open this evening, yes, but—”

Regular: “Great, I’ll be by around 5:30.” *click*

(Sure enough, the customer shows up at 5:30 knocking on the door.)

Me: “Hi, [Regular], I actually don’t have any spots open…”

Regular: “Oh, I assumed. I just wanted to bring you a Christmas card and some special dog treats for you. You’re always so accommodating and wonderful. I just wanted to say thank you. Merry Christmas!” *whisks away*

Me: *speechless*

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