No Vocation For Location, Part 5

| London, England, UK | Bigotry, Geography, Language & Words

(I work at a call center for charities where we call people to confirm their details and thank them for their donations. I have recently moved from South Africa and am still getting used to some of the pronunciations around the UK.)

Me: “Hello, this is Sarah calling on behalf of [charity]. I believe you spoke to John in Inverness on Saturday. Is that correct?”

(I’ve pronounced it ‘In-ver-niss’ as opposed to ‘In-ver-ness’.)

Man: “What?! How can you work in a f***ing call center and not even know how to pronounce the names?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. I’m not from England so I’m still getting used to all the names.”

Man: “How f***ing dare you! I am not from England! I am from Scotland, you dumb b****! They’re different places! How don’t you know that? Didn’t you go to school?!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. I meant to say I’m new to the UK. Some of the names of places are still a bit tricky for me.”

Man: *calmer* “Well, okay then. Where are you from?”

Me: “Johannesburg in South Africa.”

Man: “Oh, you mean Zimbabwe!”

Me: “No, sir, they’re different countries.”

Man: “They’re the same thing!”

Related:
No Vocation For Location, Part 4

Tai-Want It Now

| Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Geography, Technology

(I am a customer waiting in line when I hear this exchange between the repair person and a customer.)

Repair Person: “Alright, ma’am, we’re going to have to order some parts from the factory to get this fixed. They should be here in about 10 days.”

Customer: *very angry* “10 days?! Are you serious? Why the h*** is it so long? What is wrong with you people?! In Taiwan, they could get parts the same day!”

Repair Person: “Ma’am, in Taiwan, the factory is right next door.”

Customer: *leaves, defeated*

Getting Inside The Meat Of The Matter

| WI, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I work the night shift at a popular big box store and have answered a phone call at around 3 am.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [store]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “What is your return policy on food if I don’t have a receipt?”

Me: “Without a receipt, you can exchange food items for other food items, sir.”

Customer: “Well, I bought meat and it leaked blood all over my fridge!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that. If you bring in the meat, we can exchange it and make sure the new package is wrapped up so it won’t leak.”

Customer: “Well, how about I take it to the hospital and have it x-rayed to see if you tampered with it, hmm!?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I’m going to take this meat to the ER, right now, and have them x-ray it because you tampered with it!”

Me: “Well, sir, if you want to take meat to the hospital at 3 am and have it x-rayed, you’re certainly welcome to do so.”

Customer: “That’s right! I am!” *slams phone down*

Coworker: “Did you just say someone was x-raying some meat?”

Me: “I’m going on break.”

Not Quite Marrying A Prints

| Sacramento, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Top

(In our copy center, we regularly help brides with their DIY invitation kits. A man comes up to the counter, roughly half an hour before the store closes for the night.)

Customer: “I need these place cards printed, and I want to wait while you do it.”

(My coworker and I review the order, and we realize that the entire job would take several hours to complete exactly to their specifications.)

Coworker: “Unfortunately, sir, this order would take hours to complete. I can get started on it tonight, but we close in 30 minutes, and we’d have to continue working on it tomorrow morning.”

Customer: “What!? But it’s for my wedding!”

Coworker: “Well, when’s your wedding? I’m pretty sure we could work something out.”

Customer: “You don’t understand! It’s tomorrow morning! I need these done now!”

(My coworker and I, both women, stare at the man for several seconds in shock and then continue.)

Coworker: “Okay, well in that case we have two options. We can do [option 1], which but won’t look as nice but will be done faster, or [option 2], which will look more formal, but will take a little longer. Worst case scenario, I’m pretty sure we can have this done in time.”

(The customer is now irate as well as in a panic. The time my coworker had told him the order would be completed was only a couple of hours before his wedding. He starts to launch into a tirade about incompetent employees when my coworker interrupts.)

Coworker: “Sir, if I was your soon-to-be-wife, and I found out that you had waited until just now to have this order printed out, I would be furious. We just gave you two options to get this stuff done so she never has to know you procrastinated so badly. You can choose one of them, or you can try finding someone else to print these for you; and good luck doing that at this time of night.”

Me: “How long have you had to print these, anyway? Weeks? Months?”

(The customer snapped his mouth shut, chose one of the options we’d outlined, and stormed out of the store. When he came back the next morning, he was visibly stressed but showered us with thanks for saving his hide on the order.)

How To Treat Employees

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Bizarre, Pets & Animals

Customer: “Can you help me find these treats in the large breed size?”

Me: “Sure!” *goes to shelf and finds treats*

Customer: “Good girl! Who’s a good girl? You’re a good girl!”

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