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Socket To Him

, | IA, USA | Right | October 18, 2013

(I take calls from customers about billing and any cable troubleshooting.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Your cable has blown up my TV! All I have is a black screen. The TV won’t even turn on. Your equipment is cheap, and you’re a bad cable company!”

Me: “Sir, let me see if I can help you.”

Customer: “I don’t think so; you are all stupid!”

Me: “I don’t see any outage reported in your area. Can you tell if your cable box has any lights on it?”

Customer: “Yes, it has a red and yellow one. But you have blown up my f****** TV! You’ll have to pay for it.”

Me: “Sir, can I have you pick up the remote and push the TV button, and then the power button?”

(Note: If the TV is just turned off, this will turn it on.)

Customer: “Nothing, I still have a black screen. This is a new TV. I spent good money on it!”

Me: “I understand, sir. Let’s start with simple things and work our way up so maybe we won’t have to send a tech out.”

Customer: “You’ll have to pay for my TV; that’s what you’ll do!”

Me: “Are there any kind of lights or buttons lit up on your TV?”

Customer: “No, you blew it up.”

Me: “Can I have you just check to make sure it is still plugged in?”

Customer: “I never unplugged it; of course it’s plugged in. But if it will make you happy…”

(He sets the phone down and I hear him swearing in the background and the TV come on.)

Customer: “Forget it. I’ll… fix it myself.” *click*

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They Are Gnat Worth The Trouble

| Massapequa, NY, USA | Right | October 18, 2013

(I am working in a women’s clothing store. When an item is marked down, we put a red line through the barcode of the tag attached to the piece of clothing. A customer and her daughter in her 20s bring up a dress.)

Customer: “Hi, we found this on the sale rack.”

(I scan it. It comes up full price. Confused, I check the tag; there is a black line through the barcode, instead of a red one. Someone must have marked it down by accident, realized their mistake, and tried to correct it by drawing a black line over the red one, instead of just printing out a new tag for the dress. And then someone else misunderstood the black line and put it on the sale rack anyway.)

Me: “Ah. Okay, so I’m afraid this is actually full price—”

(The two customers’ eyes flash, and I know I’m in trouble.)

Customer: “But this was on the sale rack.”

Me: “I know. I’m so sorry for the confusion. I think what happened is, someone accidentally marked this down, but realized their mistake.” *I show her the tag* “See, we usually put a red line through it; this is black. It came up full price when I scanned it.”

Customer: “Well, that’s false advertising!”

Me: “No, no, it’s not. It was just a mistake someone else made when they put it back. I’m sorry about that.”

(The customer and her daughter exchange a look.)

Customer: “Well, it’s really your attitude that’s the problem.”

Me: *flabbergasted* “What attitude? I’m just explaining what happened.”

(The daughter laughs condescendingly.)

Daughter: “Come on. We don’t have time for—” *she gestures at me with a flick of her wrist* “—this little gnat.”

Me: “I was just—”

(Another customer at the other register chimes in.)

Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

(We all look over. The other customer is looking through her pocketbook for her wallet, but it’s clear she’s talking to me.)

Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

(My customer and her daughter shut up. They leave the dress on the counter and walk away. My manager walks up, and I wonder if I’m in trouble.)

Manager: “What was THAT all about?”

Other Customer: “It wasn’t you. Seriously, they were really mean.”

Manager: “Ah, okay. That’s what it sounded like. Don’t let them get to you.”

(To the other customer, thanks for putting in the good word for me! It made me feel less like a gnat!)

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| Working | October 18, 2013


Doing A Real Job On Doing A Real Job

| Working | October 18, 2013

A Negative Reaction To A Negative Reaction

| Stillwater, OK, USA | Working | October 18, 2013

(I am at work on a particularly hot day, when my hands and ears start itching. At first I pay no attention to it, but eventually I start itching in other places, and I see welts appearing on my arms. Having never had an allergic reaction to anything, I have no idea what they are, but they keep getting worse and worse throughout the day, and then throughout the evening. Finally, my boyfriend drags me out to the car and takes me to the emergency room at the hospital nearby. The triage nurse appears very angry that another patient has showed up.)

Triage Nurse: “Help you?”

Boyfriend: “Yes, my girlfriend has these welts all over her, and they’re getting worse. She’s also having trouble breathing. I think we need a doctor.”

Triage Nurse: *without even looking at me* “It’s probably just heat rash. Fill out these forms and bring them back when you’re done.”

(She hands the forms to us, and I’m so out of it I have to have my boyfriend fill them out for me. He leaves me sitting in the waiting room to turn them in, and we settle in to wait. Nearly 45 minutes later, I’m gasping for breath and the welts have spread all over my chest, stomach, arms, legs, feet, hands, throat, and ears. Finally, we go up to the desk to see what’s going on; my boyfriend is practically carrying me.)

Boyfriend: “Look, my girlfriend is getting a lot worse while we’ve been sitting here waiting. How much longer is it going to be?”

Triage Nurse: *glaring at my boyfriend* “It’s just a heat rash; I don’t know why you two even came in—”

(Just then, a doctor happens to come out of the doors next to the desk. He takes one look at me, and then turns to the nurse.)

Doctor: “How long has she been here?!”

Boyfriend: “Almost an hour.”

Doctor: “Are you kidding me?!”

(The doctor calls to a couple of orderlies.)

Doctor: “Get her back here NOW!” *turns to the nurse* “What were you thinking, making her wait like that?”

Triage Nurse: “It’s just a heat rash!”

Doctor: “LOOK at her: does that look like a heat rash to you?! No, don’t answer that; I’ll deal with you once I’ve got her stabilized!”

(I’m taken back to be treated, and given several shots. At one point, I start to drift off to sleep and the doctor slaps me awake, telling me not to DARE go to sleep yet. Finally, I’m stable, and he sends my boyfriend in to sit with me while I’m recovering, and he goes to speak to the triage nurse. I can hear him yelling at her, and then he comes back in to us.)

Doctor: “Feeling better?”

Me: “Oh yes, much better. What happened? What were those welts?”

Doctor: “You had a really bad allergic reaction to something; those were hives. And your boyfriend saved your life. You wouldn’t have lived the night if he hadn’t brought you in, and to be honest with you, if that stupid nurse had made you wait longer, I’m not so sure we could have saved you, even in this short period of time! Next time you start breaking out in hives, take an antihistamine immediately, and then come see us right away if they get worse.”

(We thank him profusely, finish our paperwork, and leave. Ever since then, I’ve always been grateful to that doctor, and I always keep Benadryl on hand just in case!)

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