I Have A Sinking Feeling, Part 2

| IL, USA | Right | January 23, 2014

(Our beach normally has a 15-minute swim break to clear the water to make sure no one is missing, and to allow the lifeguards a short break. Today is incredibly busy and hot, and we are extremely understaffed since most of the college students have returned to school. The manager has just announced a 30-minute swim break. I am at the beach gate, where we collect the entrance fees.)

Woman: *in a rude tone* “Who just made that announcement? Where is that person?”

Me: “The beach manager. They are in the lifeguard office. Is there something I can help you with?”

Woman: “What do they mean a 30-minute swim break?! That’s ridiculous!”

Me: “Well, we always have a 15-minute swim break, but today they are extending it to 30 minutes for a few reasons. For one, since there are so many people it takes more time to clear the water. Also, we are understaffed today and have already had one lifeguard go home sick. The longer break allows the lifeguards time for a break so they can be focused when they go on the stands.”

Woman: “This is insane! I can’t believe this place! How inconsiderate!” *storms off*

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Mr. Tambourine Can

| ON, Canada | Right | January 23, 2014

(I work in a music store that sells musical instruments and sheet music. The phone rings.)

Me: “[Music Store]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hi. Do you have a ten-inch tambourine?”

Me: “We might. Just a minute, I’ll go check.”

(I come back to the phone holding the requested item.)

Me: “Hello. Yes, we do have one in stock.”

Caller: “So can you tell me how big it is?”

Me: “Um… It’s ten inches.”

(There’s a moment of silence, and then I realize that it’s a somewhat valid question as the caller may not know how tambourines are measured: diameter, circumference or radius… although the latter two would be pretty strange, I think. Still, I give him the benefit of the doubt and add:)

Me: “… in diameter.”

Caller: “So, is that like, the size of the lid on a paint can?”

Me: “I don’t know. Is it a ten-inch paint can?”

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Beware Of Customers Bearing Gifts

| CO, USA | Right | January 23, 2014

(I am working as a cashier during the holiday rush. One of my jobs is to ask each customer if they would like a gift card or gift receipts with their purchase. I have just finished ringing up a woman and have moved on to her boyfriend, who only has one item: pants, clearly for himself.)

Me: “How’s it going today, sir?”

Customer: “Good. You?”

Me: “Good thanks. Would you like any gift cards or gift re—”

Customer: “No, man. I’m good. Just ring me up.”

(I nod and continue the transaction. I tell him the total. He slides his card and I press the button that prints the receipt, also clearing the transaction from on screen.)

Me: “Here’s your receipt.”

Customer: “Can I get a gift receipt?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. It’s already too late.”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: “Well, sir, since you already confirmed the transaction and it has gone through the system, you would have to return the item and re-buy it to allow me to get to the gift receipt option.”

Customer: “Are you kidding me? What happens if the pants don’t fit and I need to return them?”

Me: “We do offer a 30-day return policy. All you need is the original receipt, which I just gave you.”

Customer: “This is bulls***! What happens if it takes me longer than thirty days to decide if they fit?”

(Before the customer gets anymore worked up, his girlfriend jumps in.)

Girlfriend: “Don’t worry about it, honey. He asked you at the beginning of the transaction if you wanted a gift receipt. You said no. Now you have to deal with it. Now let’s go before you gotta walk out of this store single.”

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A Hearty Breakfast

| Stuart, FL, USA | Right | January 22, 2014

Me: “Ms. [Name], I need to take your vital signs. Your heart monitor is alarming.”

Patient: “Do you ALWAYS interrupt people when they are eating their breakfast?!”

Me: “Yes. This is a hospital, not a hotel. The vitals are more important right now than your breakfast.”

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Got Their Cables Crossed

| AL, USA | Right | January 22, 2014

(I work in tech support for a national car insurance company.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] auto insurance tech support. My name is [Name]. How can we help today?”

Caller: “Yeah. I need to know why the repairman hasn’t arrived yet to look at my cable box. I’m still not getting any of my channels right now.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you’ve reached [Company] auto insurance. It appears you have the wrong number.”

Caller: “I know that. I don’t even have a car. This was the only number for [Company Name] I could find.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but again this is [Company] auto insurance. We are not your cable television provider. You may need to double-check the number you dialed.”

Caller: “Look, just give me their correct number already! They hung up on me last time I called, and I need to get my cable back on now.”

Me: “Ma’am, I am sorry, but we are not affiliated with your cable provider and do not have information on their contact numbers. You may want check the phone book or possibly your most recent billing statement or other mailing. I know my cable provider has their number plastered all over the mails and bills they send to me. Yours may have a similar practice.”

Caller: “Look, why are you making this so d*** difficult?! I don’t want your d*** insurance! I don’t have a d*** car, so I don’t need it! Just give me the d*** number so I can get someone out here to fix my cable box!”

(This back and forth continues for several more minutes with the caller confirming she is completely aware she’s called the wrong company, but expects us to provide her with the right contact info.)

Me: “Again, ma’am, this is [Company] AUTO INSURANCE. We provide CAR INSURANCE. We do not have anything to do with cable television, satellite television, television of any kind or any other type of service other than CAR INSURANCE. We can’t give you the number for your cable repair, because we are not that company. We do not have contact information for other companies except for those involved with our CAR INSURANCE policies or the DMV for your state for concerns with your driving record. You’ve dialed… the wrong… number.”

Caller: “Don’t condescend to me you little s***. I demand to speak with your supervisor right now!”

Me: “I apologize ma’am, but the supervisors here at [Company] INSURANCE will only speak with callers who have legitimate concerns regarding some aspect of their CAR INSURANCE policy with us. As you are not a [Company] INSURANCE policy holder and do not have a concern regarding our INSURANCE services, I will not be able to transfer you to a supervisor. Again, ma’am, I advise you to re-check the number you have dialed or take one of the many suggestions I have offered to locate the correct company regarding your cable service.”

Caller: “How dare you treat your customers in this manner!”

Me: “Ma’am, you have repeatedly confirmed that you are not, in fact, a customer of [Company] AUTO INSURANCE. I have attempted multiple times to explain that you have dialed the wrong number and have reached the wrong company. You need assistance fixing your cable television service. However you have called a car insurance company. We simply cannot help you with this.”

(My supervisor has noticed I have been on a call for much longer than usual, and has been listening for the past few minutes. He decides to jump in.)

Supervisor: “Hello, ma’am. This is [Name], a supervisor here at [Company] auto insurance. I have been monitoring the call.”

Caller: “Oh, finally. Maybe I can get some actual help now instead of dealing with this useless—”

Supervisor: “—and you really need to hang up and call the right number.”

Caller: “WHAT?!”

Supervisor: “Unfortunately, you’re either being willfully obstinate and called solely to waste the valuable time of my techs, or you are so painfully stupid that you can’t comprehend the simple concept of a wrong number. Frankly, I don’t care which one it is at this point. What you are doing now is the same as calling McDonald’s restaurant to complain about Joe McDonald’s Plumbing not coming to fix your sink.”

Caller: “How dare you! I demand—”

Supervisor: “You can demand all you want, but this call is over, lady.”

Caller: “I will not stand for this type of treatment. I will be cancelling my service and never use you again.”

Supervisor: “Good luck with that, since I imagine to cancel your cable service you’d still have to actually call the right number.” *click*

(The supervisor comes over to my desk chuckling and shaking his head. He takes me off the phones and we are chit chatting. A few minutes later, one of the new techs walks up to us looking nervous.)

New Guy: “Um, I’ve got this really pissed-off lady demanding a supervisor to give her the number for her cable company. And she just starts screaming at me when I tell her this she has the wrong number.”

(The supervisor grabs the new guy’s headset right there and takes it off hold.)

Supervisor: “This is still an insurance company, lady. You’re still calling the wrong company. Get your s*** together and stop bugging us.” *click*

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