No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 15

, , , , , , | Right | February 22, 2020

(I work for a company that has only one sale a year, both in our stores and on our website. The sale is treated by many as a very big deal. I’ve been on the phone with a customer for almost half an hour as she complained that the website was slow — because so many people were on it — some items sold out before she could get them, and not everything she wanted was covered by the sale. Annoying, but at least true, until…)

Customer: “And another thing! Why does the sale start for the people on the West Coast before it does for people in Ontario?! That’s not fair! It should start at the same time for everyone!”

Me: “It does, ma’am.”

Customer: “It does not! I’m looking at your website and it says 6:00 am Pacific time, 9:00 am Eastern time! People in Toronto should get a chance to buy stuff at 6:00 am, too!”

Me: “Ma’am, 6:00 am Pacific time is 9:00 am Eastern time.”

Customer: “You’re trying to claim six is the same as nine? What do you think I am, stupid?!”

Me: “We’re in different time zones. If you’re in Toronto, it’s now five o’clock, right?”

Customer: “Of course, it is!”

Me: “Right, well, I’m in Vancouver and it’s 2:00 pm here right now.”

Customer: “I know that; I’m not an idiot! I don’t see what that has to do with why people in BC get to start on the sale earlier than the rest of us!”

Me: “But that’s what I’m trying to tell you. The sale only started at one time. It’s just that that time was 6:00 am for us, and 9:00 am for you, just like right now it’s 2:00 pm for us and 5:00 pm for you.”

Customer: “I can’t believe you’re lying to me like this! This is f****** ridiculous! I want to talk to your manager, right now!”

(I dutifully got her my supervisor, who spent the next fifteen minutes trying futilely to explain to a grown woman how time zones work. The customer finally hung up, still calling us liars.)

Related:
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 14
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 13
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 12

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