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A Most Receptive Receptionist, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | March 21, 2023

I work for a company with mentally challenged clients. They can do very basic things and hold simple jobs but will be forever dependent on government support financially. While not all clients achieve it, our goal is that they get their own apartments.

One of my clients shows great progress in responsibility and self-care and will move on from his housing group to his own place. Don’t worry; we don’t throw them out. We rent the place — fully furnished — and we check up on them regularly. Usually, I pick up the keys on my own, but this time, my client goes with me to the renting office.

Me: “Hello, I’m here to pick up the keys for [address].”

The receptionist is one I’ve never seen before.

Receptionist: “Oh, hello. I have them ready for you!”

She gets the keys and then asks, hesitating:

Receptionist: “Is your name [Company]?”

Me: “Haha, no, that’s the company I work for. Here is my work ID. We just rent the place, but my client here is going to live in it.”

Receptionist: “Oh, will he? Well then, I must discuss this with Mister personally.” *Turns to my client* “Sir, congratulations on your new home! You must be very excited. Let me check the keys for you before I hand them over.”

She checks the keys with the keys listed and then starts explaining things and giving instructions. She doesn’t dumb things down, but she’s explaining them in a way my client can easily understand. 

Receptionist: “Let’s make it official, then. Please sign here to accept the keys.” *Points to an empty piece of the paper* “And now I also need a signature from [Company].” *Points to the “sign here” piece* “Well, sir, congratulations again! And if there is anything wrong, don’t hesitate to contact us or [Company]. And here is a little gift from [Renting Office]. Do you have any more questions?”

My client shakes his head and we say goodbye. When we are outside: 

Me: “Well? What did you get?”

Client: *Visibly happy* “A tea towel! I have my own tea towel! I never had my own tea towel before! And she called me ‘sir’!”

Me: “Yes, she was nice, wasn’t she? Well, now you can invite me for a drink!”

Client: “And I’ll use my new tea towel!”

The next time I see the receptionist, I’ve got to thank her for making my client feel so special.

A Most Receptive Receptionist
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 20
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 19
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 18
A Most Unreceptive Receptionist, Part 17

No ID, No Idea: The Karmic Chronicles

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2023

My friend is a pediatric oncologist. In order to protect his patients as best as he possibly can, he has been wearing a mask whenever he goes out, even when it has stopped being recommended and advised.

He, another friend, and I stop by a liquor store one evening. He is the first one to check out, while the other friend and I are still looking around.

He gets to the counter, hands over his ID, and briefly lowers his mask so that the cashier can confirm it is his. All good, he pays for his stuff and steps to the side to wait for us.

This is when, suddenly, a RANDOM CUSTOMER appears.

Random Customer: *To the cashier* “You’re kidding. It’s obvious his ID is fake.”

Cashier: “Your total is $29.45. Cash or card?”

Random Customer: “Nobody’s wearing a mask anymore. Don’t you think it’s suspicious he just happens to wear one to the liquor store?”

Cashier: *Clearly not having it* “Cash or card?”

Random Customer: “You don’t think it’s suspicious that he doesn’t want you to see his face?”

Cashier: “Sir, I need to check the people behind you out. Cash or card?

Random Customer: “You’re not going to do anything about him?”

Cashier: “Sir, he showed me his face. It looks like his ID. Please finish your purchase so I can check other people out.”

The random customer acts all huffy and begins to get his card out. Suddenly, a manager steps over from the side.

Manager: “Sir, may I see your ID?”

Random Customer: “What? I’m clearly over thirty.”

Manager: “Store policy is to card anyone who looks under fifty-five. May I see your ID?”

Random Customer: “…”

The manager takes his purchase and puts it behind the counter.

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I can’t sell to you without a valid ID. We don’t close for another two hours if you’d like to come back with one.”

Random Customer: “…”

Manager: *Motions to the man behind the random customer* “I can take you up here, sir.”

The random customer finally moves and heads to the door, pulls out his phone, and DIALS 911!

Now, my other friend and I are totally invested in this, so we take our time browsing the aisles and “discussing” bottles we’re totally not interested in.

In enters Mr. Policeman!

Mr. Policeman heads over to get the story from both the random customer and the manager. After a moment, he approaches my friend and asks for his ID. He provides it and briefly lowers his mask so that Mr. Policeman can confirm his identity. Mr. Policeman also looks like he’s so over it.

Manager: “We’d prefer if he—” *points to the random customer* “—didn’t return to this location.”

Random Customer: *Flips out* “F*** you. F*** all of you. F*** all of your f****** mothers!”

Mr. Policeman ended up escorting him out. Business as normal resumed in the store. We all bought our booze and the three of us headed outside, where the random customer was arguing over a citation from Mr. Policeman for driving without a valid license.

No ID, No Idea, Part 50
No ID, No Idea, Part 49
No ID, No Idea, Part 48
No ID, No Idea, Part 47
No ID, No Idea, Part 46

Okay, What DIDN’T Happen To The Phone?

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2023

Back in the day, I worked in a call center processing cell phone insurance claims. Most issues were covered, except for water damage. We were required to get a description of what happened, though, even if the phone was lost. The management was pretty relaxed about it, but you did need to provide a description that fell within the allowed coverage reasons. I could give a brief overview of what their policy covered before I took their description, and most people were smart enough to understand that if their phone had water damage, it was better to just say it was at the bottom of a lake, i.e., lost. “It just stopped working” wasn’t covered, but “I dropped it and it doesn’t work anymore” was covered. You get the idea.

One guy thought it was ridiculous that he needed to tell us what happened to the phone. I reiterated the policy summary, hoping he’d take the hint and make up a story, and we could both move on with our day. He did… in the least effective way possible.

Me: “Could you please describe what happened that caused the phone to stop working? Please keep in mind that I cannot make any changes to your statement once you provide it.”

Caller: “I dropped it. My toddler hit it with an axe. It got left in the rain. I stopped quickly and it flew off the dashboard and out the window of the car.” *Insert several more unlikely scenarios here.*

Me: “To clarify, all of these things happened to the same phone on the same day, just before it stopped working, and this is the source of the damage? It wasn’t just one thing?”

Caller: “Yes. All of those things.”

I typed furiously because I was required to document all of the incidents. I read the summary back to him, asking if this was complete and correct, and reminded him again that once he agreed, I couldn’t change his statement.

Caller: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Me: “Based on your description, sir, I’m sorry, but I’m not able to approve your cell phone insurance claim today. As I mentioned earlier, any water damage is excluded from your coverage, and as you described water damage as part of the incident, I’m not able to approve the claim. I’ve also consulted with my supervisor, who has advised that we aren’t able to distinguish the cause of the damage based on your description of events.”

Caller: “I want to change my statement of what happened.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that isn’t possible. As I stated, no changes are possible once I’ve read the summary back to you and you agreed that it was correct.”

Caller: “Fine. I’ll call back later and start over.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as you’ll recall, we gathered details about your phone, including the serial number, before you described the damage. We have a record that you attempted to make a claim, and no further claims on this phone will be possible.”

Caller: “You’re the rudest customer service representative I’ve ever encountered! Get me your supervisor!”

Me: “Certainly, sir.”

This Is What Happens When You Branch Out Of Theme Parks

, , , , , | Right | March 21, 2023

I work in a restaurant in a historic quarter with wooden buildings on the west coast of Norway. The place is a cultural heritage site, and a part of my job is to know the history of the building and the area to give a special experience to the guests. We often get tourists as guests in the summer months.

It’s right after opening, before the large cruise boat rush, and I’m alone on the floor. In walks a mousy, middle-aged woman with a fanny pack. She looks around with eyes like saucers and murmurs exclamations like “Whoa!” and “Wow!” Her accent is American. Curious, I ask:

Me: “Welcome! Can I help you?”

Woman: *Ignoring me* “Oh, my God! Oh, my god!

Me: “…um?”

Woman: “Oh, my god! Oh… Oh, my God! Is it all real?!

Me: “I…”

Woman: “Is it all real?!

She looks directly at me now, while before she was gawking at the ceiling. I’m utterly bewildered and wonder if she’s crazy or high.

Me: “…yes?”

Woman: “No, all this!” *Gestures wildly* “Is it all real?! It’s all for the tourists, right?”

Suddenly, it dawns on me. She thinks the building and the area are fake — props or replicas. I am dumbfounded.

Me: “Oh… oh! No! This is a very old building. The building itself is from 1702, built after the city fire, but the area, structure, and some buildings are from the Middle Ages. It’s all real.”

The woman was literally speechless and just looked at me with wonder. I went on telling her more of the history, how the building was used, where the indoor well and old hearth were, etc., and ended up giving her a nice experience. She didn’t buy anything, but I didn’t mind since it was a slow morning anyway. As she left, I was still wondering: did she think we would fake our history? For the sake of tourism? How would that even work?

Apparently, This Dude’s Building A House

, , , , | Right | March 21, 2023

I work in a hotel. This guy walks in on a Thursday.

Guy: “Hi, I’m [Guy]. I am building a house that isn’t going to be finished for a year. I need your best room and lowest rate because I’m building a house.”

Me: “That’s great! I’ll forward you to our sales director; she can assist you.”

A few days later, he returns.

Guy: “Hi, remember me? I’m building a house.”

Me: “Yes, sir, I remember you. How can I help you?”

Guy: “Well, I am checking for a year. I talked to your sales director, and she said it is okay to pay daily.”

Red flag number one!

I listen to him tell me how great he is and how great this house is — I don’t know if I mentioned it, but he is building a house — and I get him checked in. All the while, I am curious as to how I can check in a thirty-day stay (that’s how we do long-term check-ins) with only one night’s payment. I do it and don’t say anything.

All the while my new trainee, a young kid, is falling right into this man’s bulls*** trap of stories and lies, and now the two are fast friends and talking at the desk, which is super annoying.

The next day, Friday, is super busy — seventy-five check-ins with a trainee. Halfway through my night, the phone rings, and it is [Guy].

Guy: “Hello, I was just on the phone with your corporate office and they issued me 60,000 [Reward Program] credits. I need you to apply those to tonight’s payment.”

Me: *Politely* “That isn’t possible, sir. You can call and make a reservation starting tomorrow using the credits to pay for that reservation.”

Guy: *Very angry* “I can’t do that! I need them to apply to tonight because my bank, [Nationally-Known Bank], is currently having a network glitch where all cards are coming back declined!”

I laugh out loud on the phone. I know that he has no money and that he is going to be one of those guests who can’t admit it.

Me: “I’m not sure what I can do. I guess you’ll have to wait until [Bank] fixes the… glitch… because I can’t issue you a new key until today is paid for.”

Guy: “That’s okay. I have keys.”

Me: “Yes, but they don’t work. I had to lock you out because we still have to receive money for tonight before I can let you back in.”

Guy: “This is crazy. I am building a house!”

The next morning arrives, and he hasn’t come back to the hotel. He finally comes in complaining that he had to sleep in his car because of the “glitch” at DBSL and that we wouldn’t give him a key. He pays for the previous night and tonight, securing him until tomorrow (Sunday) at noon.

So, here we are on Monday morning. I eagerly relay all of this information to [Sales Director], who is mad that [Guy] lied. She never agreed to daily payment, and he never signed his contract. Normally, for long-term guests, we collect a week’s pay minimum in order to honor special rates. [Sales Director] is going on and on about how [Guy] lied during the initial conversation, how she is going to not honor his rate now because he did not sign the contract in a timely manner, and how he isn’t going to be allowed to pay daily. She then turns back around with excitement on her face and says:

Sales Director: “Did you know he is building a house?”

Me: “I had no idea!” *Laughs* “I did know because he’s interjected it into every conversation 100 times.”

She then proceeds to contact [Guy] in his room and let him know that because he did not sign the contract and he is having payment issues, we will no longer be able to honor the rate they verbally agreed upon. He gets very upset.

Guy: “I am just going to have to find another place to stay.”

End of the whole problem. RIGHT?

Not right.

A few hours later, the phone rang, and it was our corporate guest help line. They had [Guy] on the phone, and he wanted a complete refund for all his reservations for the last week because he was unsatisfied. He had a laundry list full of complaints. There were children running around unattended, his bed was not made properly, the bathroom was dirty, we wouldn’t honor the agreed-upon rate, the staff was rude, etc. (You can insert more ridiculous complaints on your own because he probably tried them.)

I calmly addressed the guest help operator and let her know the entire scenario and the most important part: that he was building a house. She said the story she had been given was grossly different, all except for the fact that he was building a house. She mentioned that he was particularly upset about the rate withdrawal.

The bottom line is that he didn’t sign the contract nor did he pay in a timely manner. That gave our property all the right to nullify the offer. I couldn’t deal with hearing, “I am building a house,” for an entire year. I really don’t even think it was true. I think that’s the scam he probably runs from property to property. He also probably gets away with it.

I am just really happy we dodged the house-building bullet. Ugh. Sometimes I wonder why I do this job!