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So Happy That You Missed A Payment

, , , , , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I received a phone call in mid-January from a credit card company. With the craziness of the holidays, I had managed to miss a payment. The agent I spoke with was understanding and we actually chatted about life and motherhood and the craziness it can cause in one’s life.

All in all, the total phone call was probably only about forty-five minutes, including making a payment.

A few days later, as I’m walking out to check the mail, I notice a box on the porch from an online flower delivery company. My first thought is, “Oh, no, someone misdelivered a package to my house.” I pick it up to see if the address is close so I can drop it off and, to my surprise, it not only has my address but my name!

I take it inside, and I’m not gonna lie here, I’m already teary-eyed. When I open the box, there are two dozen yellow roses in a beautiful white and blue vase. I find the card and the surprises just keep coming. Not only have I got flowers, but they are from a complete stranger located in a different state!

The agent has sent me flowers with a note of encouragement from one mom to another. I sit down on my kitchen floor and cry like a baby. I’m so touched that not only a stranger but someone I only talked to for less than an hour took the time to send me some encouragement and flowers!

I call the card company. The nice man who answers the phone tells me I can’t be transferred to a specific agent, so I ask for a manager. When I get one, I tell her the whole story and, while starting to cry again, ask if she can please pass on my thanks and let the agent’s supervisor know what an amazing person they have working for them.

To that agent, wherever you are, I hope you know you made my day, week, and possibly year. It is things like this that remind me that while there is trouble, anger, and hate in the world, there is also kindness, generosity, and love for our fellow man.

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Putting The Witch In Switchboard

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2021

I work as a telephone operator for an external switchboard company. We provide telephone and scheduling services for a number of companies who, for various reasons, do not have their own telephone operators.

Many of our clients are small, one-person contracting firms, where the owner is out all day and doesn’t have time to answer the phone. Most of them are in male-dominated fields, and people who call them and reach me assume they are talking to “the girl in the office.”

Every company has its own policy for how they want us to handle cold callers; the most common is to instruct them to send an email or to take a message. Telemarketers can be pretty aggressive when they don’t get their way:

Me: “Welcome to [Company]. How can I help you?”

Cold Caller: “I want to speak to the owner.”

Me: “He’s not in the office right now. Can I take a message?”

Cold Caller: “No, just put me through to him right now; it’s urgent.”

Me: “I can take a message and ask him to call you back. May I have your name and what this is referring to?”

Cold Caller: “No, just put me through already. He’s going to want to talk to me.”

Me: “Sir, the owner is probably standing on a roof somewhere right now. It’s not safe for him to answer his phone. I can take a message or you can send him an email.”

Cold Caller: “That’s ridiculous. I’m about to save him a lot of money. He’ll be so mad that you won’t put me through. Do you like your job?”

This client is one of my favourites because he’s always appreciative of our services and frequently thanks us for doing such a good job. His customers are also very nice and understanding of the fact that they can’t always reach him, so I know that this guy is not legit. Therefore, I decide to use the magic words: “company policy”.

Me: “I can’t put you through. For safety reasons, it’s company policy not to call the owner when he’s on a job.”

Cold Caller: “That’s ridiculous. It’s just because you’re a girl that you won’t put me through. Let me talk to a man, instead.”

Me: “There are no men available to take your call right now. You may leave a message or send an email.”

Cold Caller: “Do you know what? If you’d been a man, you would’ve put me through! I hate women; you’re all switchboard witches!'”

Me: “If I’d been a man and put you through, I still would’ve broken company policy. Have a good day.” *Click*

From then on, my colleagues and I proudly referred to ourselves as “switchboard witches” when we were talking to each other.

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Try A Bar Next Time, Buddy

, , , , , | Working | September 16, 2021

I just started working for an international company. Our company uses a messaging app to communicate directly across locations. During my first week, an employee from another location messages me.

Employee: “Hi! I’m [Employee]. I’m at [Location] but I’m equal to [My Boss].”

Me: “Oh, nice! What do you think?”

Employee: “I like it. I’m glad you’re here.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m just starting out.”

Employee: “It’s nice to have someone to be with.”

I’m starting to get a weird feeling.

Me: “Yeah, I’ve met some great people at [My Location]. They’re really helpful.”

Employee: “I can help, too, if you need. We can be together.”

Although he’s said nothing outright inappropriate, something about him unnerves me.

Me: “Well, I have [Supervisor] here, so I’ll probably go to him, but I appreciate the offer.”

Employee: “We can cuddle up and get through work together.”

There it is.

Me: “No.”

He says nothing for a while and then comes back

Employee: “Are you smart? You have to be smart to do this job.”

Me: “Yes, I am. I have work to do. Enjoy your day.”

An hour later…

Employee: “I’ll try not to think of you.”

Me: “We can be colleagues who talk about work, but I will not engage in anything else. Is that clear?”

Employee: “I saw your ID photo and thought you should know you’re beautiful. That’s all.”

I did not respond. Instead, I saved the whole conversation to my computer and emailed it to my supervisor, his supervisor, and human resources. He was fired.

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What Isn’t On The Menu Tonight Is Tolerance For Your BS

, , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I work at a restaurant that, while not exclusively vegan, offers vegan versions of many of our dishes. We offer the vegan menu separately. A group of four comes in consisting of an older and a younger couple. I go to seat them and ask if they want vegan menus in addition to the standard ones.

Older Man: *Scoffs* “Of course not!”

Younger Woman: *Looking slightly annoyed* “I’d like one, please.”

The older man looks at her like she has three heads.

Older Man: “Why?”

Younger Woman: “Honestly, because you always make a big production at the very idea of a meal without any meat, and it’s getting really irritating. Plus, it’s my dinner; no one’s forcing you to eat it!”

The older man went quiet, the other members of the group didn’t seem to have any strong opinions, and they were happily seated with their respective menus.

When I passed by the table later, the younger woman was enjoying her clearly vegan meal. People order from our vegan menu for a lot of reasons, but it was the first time I’d seen spite as one of them.

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Fluent In English And Jerk

, , , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I’m originally from a small town in Southern Italy, but I study foreign languages — one of which is English — in a big city. During summer holidays, I go back home and occasionally work in different supermarkets giving out free samples of new products. I work for an agency, not for the supermarket, and I rarely work in the same place enough to know where stuff is.

In summer 2019, I am minding my own business, giving out free samples of mozzarella. This guy comes up to me.

Customer: *In English* “Where are the chips?”

He talks VERY slowly, but we rarely get any foreign tourists, so I assume most people he has spoken to didn’t know English very well.

I don’t know where the chips are, so I try to tell him I don’t work here.

Me: “Sorry, I don’t—”

He cuts me off, thinking I am about to say, “I don’t speak English,” turns to his wife, and says something along the lines of:

Customer: “Jesus, do these people even go to school?”

Then, he turns to me and starts describing chips (I think) with his hands. I am starting to get really annoyed. First of all, YOU are in Italy, talking to an Italian in English, being outraged that I don’t speak YOUR language. Second, I do speak English, but you cut me off before I could answer.

Me: “Sir, I know what chips are. I just don’t know where they are located specifically in this store. As you can see from my attire and my badge, I’m not employed by the supermarket. I work for an independent agency. Oh! And I did go to school. I can actually speak five languages. How many can you speak?”

His face turned red. He mumbled something and left. I hope he never found the chips.

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