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    Still Staying Strong

    | Long Island, NY, USA |

    (My area was hit hard by Sandy. Way too many of my friends and family have lost their homes and/or personal belongings. None of us, including myself, even have gas in our tanks or electricity. It is two days after the storm. Nevertheless, I am on the phone with a customer.)

    Customer: *over the phone* “Excuse me, but I tried to get a refund over the phone for products I purchased on Sunday, and you guys never answered.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, we’ve been closed for a couple days because of the storm. We will try our best to get to you as soon as we possibly can.”

    Customer: “So, when did you reopen? You’re there now, aren’t you? Why did you not contact me?”

    Me: “We reopened today, but our manager is unfortunately draining water from our other store right now, so he will be unable to contact you until early tomorrow.”

    Customer: “But I emailed you Sunday night! I want you to refund me my money!”

    Me: “Have you returned the products to the store Sunday or today?”

    Customer: “Are you kidding?! I don’t have gas to come there with the products.”

    Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot refund you until I physically have the products and a manager here, and since unfortunately he is busy due to the hurricane, it will be a few days until I can help you.”

    Customer: *starts cursing me out* “How dare you not be open the last few days? Do you know what it’s been like for me?! I haven’t had electricity for the last 24 hours! I only got it back today! And you won’t return my products for me?! And you talk too fast, slow down! Tell me your name right now! I’m going to get you fired! This is ridiculous! I lost my power!”

    (I hung up the phone right in her face. Normally, I’m not so rude, but I had no patience that day. I have taken off of work every day since to volunteer at shelters for free, meeting the most humble people who have lost their entire homes and everything they own, and they are still so polite and grateful. I love NY so much. Stay strong, beautiful people!)

    Editor’s note: Although this story tells the lighter side of things, the devastation caused by Sandy is very serious. Click here to visit FEMA’s dedicated Sandy page and learn how you can donate and volunteer.