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No One Messes With My Librarians

, , , , , , , | Working | February 8, 2023

As a student, I worked at my local library part-time over vacations and holidays. One of the library regulars took to following me around, cornering me alone, and asking for my name and number. My coworkers knew and took measures to ensure that I was rarely out in the stacks by myself, but the supervisor refused to intervene.

On my first day back after the semester ended, the regular found me and left a detailed and obscene note on my book cart. I walked back to the supervisor’s office to quietly throw it away and try and compose myself.

Coworker #1: “Have you met the new supervisor yet?” *Pauses* “Are you okay?”

Me: “I’m fine. That guy saw me, and he left this disgusting note on my cart.”

New Supervisor: “Wait, what?”

Me: “It’s nothing. There’s just this regular who likes to… watch me work. I’ve been ignoring him, but he doesn’t stop.”

Coworker #1: “He follows her around the shelves if he sees her and tries to get personal information.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, we do our best to keep an eye on her. He’s never written a note before.”

New Supervisor: “Let me see that.”

She took the note from me and read it, and there was pure rage on her face.

New Supervisor: “How dare he? How dare he treat one of the librarians like this? I can’t believe no one has done something. Did [Previous Supervisor] know?”

Me: “I told him when this started last year—”

New Supervisor: “LAST YEAR?”

Me: “Um, yeah, last year, and he said that I should ignore him, he wasn’t really doing anything, and I just shouldn’t encourage him.”

New Supervisor: “Can you point him out to me?”

We walked out into the stacks together, and the regular popped out from one aisle, grinning. He clearly expected me to be alone and scuttled back down the aisle when he saw [New Supervisor].

New Supervisor: “Is that him?”

Me: “Yes.”

New Supervisor: “I will take care of this, and he will never bother you again. You’re working in and around the office today.”

I never saw that regular again. He was banned from the library, and [New Supervisor] had me write up an account — with my coworkers’ testimonials and support — of his harassment to present to the Board Of Directors. After they read it, he was banned from every library in the county. I went on to work at the library for several more years, loving my job and fully confident that [New Supervisor] had my back.

Sounds Like He’s Polishing A Turd

, , , , , , , | Right | February 9, 2023

I work as a manager in a small perfumery. A guy no older than twenty approaches the counter and slams a bottle of perfume on it, making everything shake.

Me: “Can help you?”

Customer: “I want to complain and get a refund!”

Me: “All right, what’s your complaint?”

Customer: “I bought this perfume a week ago. One of your employees told me it was going to cover up most smells and make me smell of pine, and yet when I went to a party yesterday, everybody told me I smelt like somebody had taken a s*** in a pine yard and made fun of me all night!”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, sir, but we cannot refund you, only offer you a different perfume in exchange for the old one.”

Customer: “Don’t bother! I want my money back; I have no use for perfumes that can’t make up for skipping showers!”

It’s Hilarious When They Bring Themselves Up To Date

, , , , , , , , | Right | February 8, 2023

I am the manager of a grooming salon within a pet store. Because we are short-staffed, the salon is closed on Mondays.

On Tuesday morning, I arrive to an email from the corporate office informing me that I need to contact an irate customer. She claims that she had an appointment scheduled for that Monday and the salon was empty when she arrived. This is impossible as Mondays are blocked off and scheduling simply isn’t available when no employees are on the books.

I pull up all of her appointment information and give her a call.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] from [Pet Salon]. I had a message about an issue with your appointment?”

The next ten minutes are a profanity-laden barrage as she screams about how incompetent my employees and I are. How dare we schedule an appointment for her and not arrive to groom Fluffy?! And so on.

I allow her to continue uninterrupted until she tires herself out.

Me: “I see here we had Fluffy down for an appointment on the twenty-third.”

Client: “Yes, yesterday, Monday the twenty-third, you stupid b****!”

Me: “Ma’am, yesterday was the twenty-first. Wednesday is the twenty-third.”

Client:Yesterday was the twenty-third, you stupid little…”

Her rant trails off as she clearly pulls her phone down from her face to check the calendar app on her phone. Then, suddenly, she hangs up, presumably as she realizes that the twenty-third is, in fact, this Wednesday and that she spent ten minutes screaming and cursing at me because of her own incompetence.

I call back.

Me: “Oh, no, it seems like we got disconnected!”

She immediately hung up again. I marked a note on the incident report from corporate that the issue remained unresolved, as the customer had ended the phone call. I checked back later that day to see that the district manager had also contacted her, only to be immediately hung up on, as well.

Always Listen To The Sam

, , , , , , , , | Working | February 8, 2023

I am a female engineer with a fairly androgynous name; let’s call me “Sam”. After twenty years with the same company, I leave to work for a startup. Two years later, the startup fails. My old boss hears I’m looking for work and offers me a job.

My first day back is interesting. A recent hire comes to ask a question. We’ll call him [New Guy].

New Guy: “I don’t know why, but my boss told me to ask you if we have [obscure piece of equipment].”

Me: “We do. Let me show you. Don’t forget to dry your sample before running the instrument. It will catch fire if it runs with a wet sample.”

New Guy: “Wow! Thanks. I didn’t understand why he told me to ask you, but I guess it’s your name.”

Me: “My name?”

New Guy: “Yeah, before I started here, there was a guy named Sam. He knew everything because he had been here so long. For a long time, people kept saying how much they missed him. I heard he’s coming back, so we’ll have two Sams.”

Me: “I am Sam.”

New Guy: “Yeah, but this is Sam. He knows everything.”

Due to circumstances, my boss and I need to leave the building. That leaves [New Guy] alone, which should be fine.

I return to find the building filled with smoke, the doors open, alarms blaring, and [New Guy] standing in the parking lot with the local fire chief.

Me: “What happened?”

New Guy: “I started running my sample and it started to smoke. I unplugged it, but it was still burning, so I pulled the alarm and ran outside.”

I quickly confer with the chief, don the appropriate breathing apparatus, and run inside to grab the equipment. We drag it into the middle of the parking lot and disable the alarm.

New Guy: “Wow! When Sam gets here, he’s going to be impressed. That sounds like something he would do.”

Me: “Again, I am Sam. I used to work here and came back.”

New Guy: “No, this is a different Sam.”

I give up and deal with the fire chief. The engines arrive and begin to air out the building. My boss returns from his meeting as they are removing the fans.

Boss: “What happened?”

Me: “Looks like [New Guy] didn’t dry the sample enough, and the equipment overheated and caught fire.”

New Guy: “And this Sam dragged the equipment into the parking lot. Wait until the Sam hears.”

Boss: “This is Sam.”

New Guy: “But she’s a girl.”

And that’s how [New Guy] ended up talking to Human Resources and Safety at the same time.

Tapping Into Their Private Matters

, , , , , | Right | February 8, 2023

This interaction is mostly through email (and paraphrased).

Client: “I want to talk to someone.”

Me: “Of course. Please let us know what this is about, so I can redirect your email if needed.”

Client: “I want to talk to someone. It’s about my home.”

Me: “I understand, but what is the matter?”

Client: “That is private. Please redirect my mail to someone who can call me.”

Me: “I’d love to, but I need to get the gist of what this is about so I can ask the right person to call you.”

Client: “I want someone to call me.”

Me: “If you want to speak to someone live, you can call our customer service. If you want someone to call you, please tell us what it is about.”

Client: “You are invading my privacy!”

Me: “I understand that it’s an inconvenience to explain things, but we have over 600 people working here, from technicians to administrators. If you want me to redirect your email to the right department, I have to know more.”

Client: “Fine! My water tap is leaking.”

Me: “Oh, that is indeed an inconvenience. Luckily, I can help you with that. We can make an appointment with a plumber for you.”

Client: “I don’t want an appointment with a plumber. I want someone to call me!”

I decide I’ve had enough of it, leave my station, and pick one with a phone. I call the client.

Client: “Ugh, finally! That person in the email was so rude — not helpful at all! Anyway, now that you’re calling, my neighbour is parking outside the lines on the parking lot.”

Me: “I thought your email mentioned a leaking tap?”

Client: “I just said that because that annoying person kept on asking. Now, what will you do about my neighbour’s parking?”

It was a public parking place, so we did nothing. She did not like that.