November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Optional Advice

| Toronto, ON, USA | Crazy Requests, School, Spouses & Partners

Student: “This is an emergency! I need help NOW!”

Me: “Did you need me to call 9-1-1, or simply directions to the nearest hospital?”

Student: “No! I need to talk to a career counselor NOW!”

Me: “The career advisors work on an appointment basis. How does next Tuesday work for you?”

Student: “No! I need to talk to somebody NOW!”

Me: “Well, I suppose I can help you. What question do you need answered?”

Student: “I was offered two jobs and I need somebody to tell me what to do.”

Me: “Congratulations on the two job offers. Please tell me more about each position.”

Student: “One job is in Toronto and the other is in Windsor.”

Me: “Well, is relocation an option?”

Student: “I don’t want to leave Toronto.”

Me: “Well, I believe you’ve made your decision.”

Student: “But the job in Windsor pays $20,000 more per year.”

Me: “Is relocation an option?”

Student: “My wife doesn’t want to leave Toronto.”

Me: “Is divorce an option?”

The Emperors New Clothes

, | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Crazy Requests

(I am the manager. I am only a few years older than the student who is working at the window, but today I decide to dress in more ‘manager-like clothes’ than my usual jeans and oversized t-shirt, while the student (who is on his third shift) is wearing gym clothes. A fancy-looking couple come to the window.)

Student: “How can I help you today?”

Woman: “We want tickets to all the dance performances this season, and we’d like to sit in the mezzanine. That’s the only place you can REALLY see the dancing.”

(We have had tickets on sale for several months, so all of the mezzanine is sold, as are most of the best seats.)

Student: “I’m afraid those seats are unavailable, but I can show you on this chart what we do have?”

Man: *leaning toward the window* “I don’t think you understand. We want to be able to SEE the dancing. Do you understand?”

Woman: “What do you have in these rows? This row should have a very good vantage point for us to really see the dancers.” *she points to rows that are no longer available*

Student: “I’m afraid those seats are sold, but these ones I’m showing you will have an excellent view, I can assure you…”

(The couple are beginning to get frustrated, and the student worker is not able to get a word in. I decide to go to the window.)

Me: “Hi, I’m one of the managers. Can I help you?”

Woman: “He won’t sell us mezzanine seats! How are we supposed to see the dancers?”

Me: *toward the computer screen and pretending to scrutinize* “Oh, yes, I see the problem. If it were me, I would want these seats.”

(I point to the exact same seats the student has picked, just on the House Left instead of House Right.)

Me: “That way, you’ll get a full empty aisle view and fewer heads in the way. Plenty of room to see the dancers!”

Woman: “Thank you!”

(They ordered “those seats the lady said were good” for the rest of the dance shows. I told the student later that he could have me do that same thing any time as long as he checked that I was wearing nice clothes!)

The Request Is Not Relative To The Situation

| UK | Crazy Requests, Technology

(I work in the admissions office.)

Caller: “Can you email me to confirm that I’ve paid the deposit?”

Me: “No problem. I’ll do it as soon as I get off the phone.”

Caller: “It’s very urgent…”

Me: “Okay, just give me a second… Right, I just wrote you an email and I’m sending it now.”

Caller: “Can I get it sooner? I don’t have much time.”

Me: “Sooner than now?”

Caller: “Yes, please.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 15

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Extra Stupid, School

(I am a PhD student. It is 7 pm on Friday night, and everyone is down at the pub, except for me. I have just come back from an experiment. To my great surprise one of my coworkers is still at her desk.)

Me: “Oh, you’re still here.”

Coworker: “I’m about to go. A guy called your phone just now, looking for Mr. ‘No-One-Who-Works-In-Our-Office.'”

Me: “Huh. Must have got the wrong number.”

Coworker: *suddenly looking pained* “I tried to tell him that. But it was really weird. He said he would call back in a few minutes, though. I think you better wait to speak to him. Anyway, I’m off. See you Monday!”

(I get on with some paperwork. About 20 minutes later, the call comes.)

Me: “Hello, this is room [Room Name]. You’re speaking to—”

Caller: “Hello. Please pass me on to Mr [Name].”

(I don’t recognize the name.)

Me: “Ah, it is you! You called before. I’m afraid you got the wrong number—”

Caller: “This is about my son. I want Mr. [Name] to send me the financial statements for his enrollment. It is a very urgent matter and I want them immediately.”

Me: “Yes, I’m afraid you have the wrong number. There’s no person by that name in this office. I think my colleague was trying to tell you before—”

Caller: “So, he is out? In that case, I will give you my son’s name and student number and you will tell Mr [Name] to telephone me as soon as he returns. My son’s name is—”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that for you. I have never heard of that person, so I wouldn’t be able to pass anything on to him. It sounds to me like you want to get admin or accounts or someone like that.”

Caller: “That’s right. I am calling international accounts.”

Me: “Erm, I’m afraid you’re not. This is one of the PhD offices. You have the wrong number. Actually, hang on, let me find the right number for you—”

(I pull up the university search page to find the right number for him. I am quite new myself and know that it can be a confusing system, especially since it sounds like English is not the caller’s first language. Before I can get it for him, however, he starts shouting.)

Caller: “How can I have the wrong number? HOW? I cannot understand how this can happen.”

Me: “Maybe you wrote it down wrong? Or pressed the wrong button? I don’t know how because, well, I’m not you. But I’m trying to get the right one for you.”  

Caller: “Mr [Name] told me to call this number. How can he tell me the wrong number? What sort of institution is this? It is completely unprofessional! This is how things are run in this country. Every time I call it is like this, some excuse to waste my time. I called only two minutes ago and was speaking to Mr [Name], and he told me to call this number back. He wouldn’t give me the wrong number. You are just trying to slack off work! You are lying so you don’t have to help me!”

Me: “Erm, I don’t know what to say to you except that you definitely have it wrong somehow. There are only six people in this office and he’s not one of them. And you didn’t call this office two minutes ago because I was here and the phone didn’t ring. Unless you mean about 20 minutes ago, in which case you would have called [Coworker], who is a girl and is definitely not the guy you’re looking for. It sounds to me like you simply got the wrong number somehow. I’m sure he wouldn’t have given it to you deliberately, but maybe he made a mistake. It’s pretty easy to do.”

Caller: “So, are refusing to help me?”

Me: “I’m not sure that I can, really. But I’ve been trying to find the right number through the university website for you so—”

Caller: “I don’t want to call again. You will write down my son’s name like I told you and find out about his accounts for me.”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Caller: “Write down his name and find out the information I want. Then call me back straight away as this is a very urgent matter. I will give you my phone number. I don’t want to call back here again. I am overseas and it is too expensive and have been wasting too much of my time and money already!”

Me: “But they’re closed. It’s 7:30 on a Friday night! And—”

Caller: “So do it on Monday morning! But do it first thing and call me as soon as possible.”

Me: “And I don’t even work in accounts!”

Caller: “What?”

Me: “I don’t work there. There I do not work. Work there, I do not. I am a student. I am not responsible for helping you find out about your son. They don’t pay my wages. I don’t work in accounts! This is not an accounts office!”

Caller: “You… don’t work for accounts?”

Me: *relieved* “Yes! That’s what I’ve been trying to say!”


(He hangs up. Another coworker walks in to find me still gaping at the receiver.)

Coworker #2: “You look like you need a drink.”

Me: “You have no idea.”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 14
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 13
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 12

Closing Time Is Not In Their Books

| Denver, CO, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

Me: “Hello. Thank you for calling the Student Center. How can I help you today?”

Customer: *sighs* “When the h*** does the bookstore close?”

Me: “Let”s see… The bookstore closes at 5:00 pm, sir.”

Customer: “Then why the h*** didn’t they pick up their phone?! I’ve called four times!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it is now 5:47, so the bookstore has been closed for nearly 50 minutes. Can I help you with anything?”

Customer: “Well, why the f*** aren’t they open until 6:30?! This is bull-s***!”

Me: “Well, sir, I believe the bookstore has shortened store hours. They will resume normal hours in September. I apologize if this has caused any inconvenience.”

Customer: *breathing heavily and getting worked up* “Well, transfer me to the manager. Jesus Christ!”

Me: “Upon looking online, sir, I see that the manager does not have a direct line. I am sorry, you will have to call the bookstore during normal business hours.”

Customer: “WELL, THE WEBSITE IS WRONG!” *hangs up*