Category: Time


A Pet Is For Life, Not Four Minutes

| MI, USA | Pets & Animals, Popular, Time

(An older man and his daughter come into the animal shelter. His daughter is wearing slippers in public.)

Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you with?”

Man: “Yeah, I want a kitten.”

Me: “Okay, well we only have one really young kitten right now. She is about four months old an—”

Man: *interrupts me* “Yeah, I’ll take that one.”

Me: “Well, you have to spend some time with her and make sure that she has the personality you’re looking for.”

(We take the kitten into the adoption room so he can spend time with her and so I can further counsel the adoption. The man spends about four minutes with the kitten and comes back out holding her. I go up and take the kitten.)

Me: “Is everything okay?”

Man: “Yeah, I want that kitten.”

Me: “Well, I need you to spend at least fifteen minutes with her. The time you spent with her isn’t enough to get to know her, and I’ll have to ask some questions.”

Man: *getting annoyed* “I just want this kitten.”

Me: “You have to spend more time with her so we can make sure she is going to the right home.”

Man: “I’m a good pet owner! I just want the kitten!”

Me: “I’m not saying you aren’t. You just have to spend more time with her.”

Man: “Well, I have stuff to do! I can’t spend all day here!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you are required to spend more time with her if you want to adopt from us.”

(The man stares at me blankly for a minute, throws his arms up and starts to walk out. At this point his daughter chimes in.)

Daughter: “You people are ridiculous!”

(She promptly followed her dad out and left.)


Missed Your Swansong

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Musical Mayhem, Popular, Time

(I am hosting the karaoke night at a suburban bar. It is popular now but was a ghost town the first several weeks. On a quiet night, I announce at 12:55 that I’m off the clock at 1:00, so to get the last couple songs in right away if anyone wanted to sing. No takers. At 1:05…)

Patron: “If I want to put in a song request, do I give it to you?”

Me: “Yes, but five minutes ago. I can’t get any more songs in; I’ve already shut down and started pulling the plugs.”

Patron: “Just turn it back on. It’s only like four switches.”

Me: “That easy, eh? Okay, go ahead. Turn it back on.”

Patron: “What?”

Me: “Well if it’s that easy, go ahead and turn it back on. If you can do that, I’ll let you sing your song, and I’ll even waive my $50/hour overtime rate.”

Patron: “So I guess I’m singing that song next week?”


Always Calls When It’s Showtime

| NY, USA | Popular, Time

(It’s Friday. One of the biggest movies of the year has just opened and we’re operating to near-constant crowds. As a result, we can’t always answer phones, and common calls like people asking for show times cannot be addressed and must be put on hold or given the number for an automated hotline for show times and similar inquiries. The phone rings. I manage to answer it between guests on concession.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Theater]! How can I help you?”

(An elderly voice responds.)

Caller: “Yes, can I get a list of the movies you’ll have playing tomorrow and the show times for each?”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, but we’re quite busy. I won’t be able to answer show time questions as all of our box-office registers are currently in use. If you’d like, I can either give you the number to an automated line that lists show times, or you could stay on hold and we can have someone help you when they’re available.”

Caller: “I’ll just call back.”

(The caller hangs up before I can even say “Good-bye” and I go back to my register. 15 minutes later we’re just as busy and the phone rings. I again answer it. It’s the same caller.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Theater]! How can I help you?”

Caller: “I was hoping I could get the list of movies you’ll be playing tomorrow and your show times.”

Me: “I’m sorry. We’re quite busy today. Can I put you on hold? Or give you the number to a hotline that can provide you with show times?”

Caller: *deep sigh* “I’ll just call back.”

(Less than five minutes later, the same person calls back. I see the number on the phone’s caller-ID, so I answer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling! I notice that this is the same number I’ve spoken to before. Unfortunately, we’re still quite busy and I won’t be able to provide you with the information you’re seeking at this time. May I give you the number of our automated hotline? It’ll give you the information you’re looking for.”

Caller: *shrieking* “I’LL JUST CALL BACK, THEN!”

(The caller calls back almost a dozen more times over the next hour. I stop answering, but each time I hear a coworker giving her the same spiel, specifically noting that we have an automated hotline that has the information she’s seeking. Finally, I answer the phone again.)

Me: “Thank you for calling! How can I help you?”

Caller: *furious* “Do you have a number I can call for show times?! I’m sick and ****ig tired of calling!”

Me: “Yes, we do. It’s [number].”

Caller: *screaming* “Why couldn’t you just have told me that an hour ago?!”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, I…”

(I hear a click.)

Me: “…told you. Repeatedly.”

Coworker: “Same lady? She finally take the hint?”

Me: “We can only hope.”


Forever Closed Minded

| MN, USA | Time

(We’ve already closed for the night, but because of breakdown and cleaning, staff is usually in the building for another half hour or so. I get this call maybe 10 minutes after close.)

Me: “[Restaurant]. I’m sorry, we’re closed.”

Caller: *sounding genuinely upset* “Forever?”

Me: “Uh… no, just for tonight. We open tomorrow at 11.”

Caller: *suddenly happy* “Okay, I’ll call then!” *hangs up*

(I make it a point to specify that we’re only closed for the evening now.)


Inject Some Common Sense Next Time

| Rocklin, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Popular, Time

(In the large multi-specialty clinic where I work, our endocrinologist sometimes orders a complex test that involves getting blood drawn at our lab downstairs, getting an injection in our clinic immediately afterwards, and then getting blood drawn again right after to see how the body reacted to the injection. The timing has to be very precise and this is all explained to the patient beforehand. My coworker sees that a patient has checked in for her injection up at the front desk, so she prepares the injection and goes to call the patient back — but the patient is nowhere to be found.)

Coworker: *to the receptionist* “Did you see where [Patient] went?”

Receptionist: “No, she just… disappeared.”

(My coworker returns to the back office and waits to see if the patient shows up. After 20 minutes with no sign of her, she calls the patient. I can’t hear their conversation, but as my coworker is speaking, she facepalms dramatically and rolls her eyes at me. When she hangs up…)

Coworker: “So, I asked her where she went, and she said, ‘Oh, I had some things to do, and I’d been waiting a while, so I went home.'”

Me: “But she’d only been waiting like 10 minutes! And she already got the first blood draw done!”

Coworker: “I know! And now this injection is wasted. I told her her insurance would probably make her pay for it, and she just laughed it off and said she didn’t think so. Bet she won’t be laughing when she sees her bill.”

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