Great stories from our entire backlog!

Outsourcing 101

| Learning | July 10, 2013

(I am a secretary to the department chair, who is in her office. A student comes in.)

Student: “Hey, sorry, do you know where I can find Professor Aaronson?”

Me: “I’m sorry, who?”

Student: “Professor Aaronson. I’m in his every class twice a week. I couldn’t reach him by phone, and I can’t find his office.”

Me: “What course does he teach?”

Student: “Modern American Drama. Lit 317.”

(I look up the class, but it’s taught by Professor [name]. He has been with the university for 20 years and is well-known to all in the department. I tell the department chair, who calls the professor but gets no response. Later, she sits in on his class and returns with an odd expression.)

Me: “So, what was going on?”

Department Chair: “Professor [name] wasn’t there. He paid someone named Aaronson a fraction of his salary to teach his courses for him. I can’t find him, and Aaronson said he had been told it was all official and approved by the board.”

(I never met “Professor” Aaronson, and Professor [name] was fired, but props for coming up with an ingenious scheme to sub-let your own job!)

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A Slow And Ready Response

, | Right | June 6, 2014

(It’s an extremely busy Saturday, as usual, and even though we have all four tills open, there’s a massive queue. Everything goes smoothly however, until a family of five enters the line. The father starts immediately to complain about absolutely everything. I try to be extra nice to smooth things over.)

Customer: *uses a lot of profanities* “How slow are you people?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, Saturdays are really busy days for us. What would you like to order?”

(The kids want our most popular meal, which comes from our hamburger kitchen, and the wait for the burgers is minimal. The parents want kebabs from our other, significantly smaller kitchen, which is backed up for at least 15 minutes.)

Customer: “So, for how long do I have to wait until I get my darn food?!”

Me: “The hamburgers will take only a couple of minutes, but unfortunately the kebabs will take a while. If you’re in a hurry today, I recommend that you change our order to only hamburgers.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! You’re so f****** slow! We are really in a hurry. We need to be at the cinema in the city center in half an hour! You need to be faster than this!”

(I’ve done my best to be polite, but now I lose my composure.)

Me: “Sir, you saw how long our line was when you entered our facility. You had to know that the service would be a tad slower today and frankly, it is not my problem that you are late for your movie, especially since you insist on having kebabs, even though the line is really long and you’ll have to wait. Maybe you shouldn’t have come here at all, if you were so keen on making it to the movies!”

(The face of the customer was priceless and the rest of the transaction was made in silence. I was chagrined by my outburst and told my manager what I did, in case the family wanted to give feedback, so that he would know that I was the culprit. The manager just shrugged and said that things like that happen, and as long as I don’t do it again I wouldn’t get more than a verbal warning!)

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Hard Times Hit Hard

| Right | December 26, 2011

(I’m stocking soup when a man approaches me.)

Customer: “Where’s your bacon bits?”

Me:*looking up* “Down at the end of this aisle, on the right, at the bottom.”

Customer: “Hold on…aren’t you [my name]?”

Me: “Yes. Can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m [name]! We went to high school together. Wow, you sure must have had it rough, huh?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “Well, you know, all this time and you’re just stocking shelves…”

Me: “I’m the owner of this and two other stores. I went to business school for years and invested in the stock market.”

Customer: “Oh! Well, nice to see you again, then…”

(I found out later that he was a janitor.)

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Man, What A Wait!

, , , , , , | Right | September 19, 2018

(I work in a service department for an extremely busy dealership, and I am the ONLY woman in the entire department. We have a business office staff of ladies that filter all calls for the dealer. I get at least one call a week similar to this, but this conversation was particularly rude and has stuck with me.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Dealership] service department.”

Customer: “Are you f****** kidding me?! I just talked to you! I told you to transfer me to service!”

Me: “I think you spoke with one of the young ladies in our business office. I definitely haven’t spoken to you until just now.”

Customer: “But I asked for service and she transferred me to you!”

Me: “Seeing as how I work in service, I believe she transferred you to the right place!”

(I’m keeping my voice friendly because calls like this happen all the time. However, what this customer says next is one for the books.)

Customer:You… work in service?”

Me: *extra friendly* “Yep!”

(The man on the phone actually starts laughing.)

Customer: “Yeah, okay, sweetheart. Transfer me to one of the service men.”

(Oh, no, he didn’t.)

Me: “About that… They are actually all currently on the phone helping other customers, and it might be a while. Is there anything I can do for you?”

Customer: “I highly doubt that, babe. I’ll wait.”

(Truth be told, there is no wait to speak to a service advisor. I let the guy stay on hold for about ten minutes before I pick it up again. I am careful to keep my voice polite and bubbly, because I am actually pretty pissed off about the way this customer has been addressing me.)

Me: “Still waiting to speak with a service man, correct? I do apologize about the wait; they’re taking longer than expected. Are you sure there isn’t anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “I already told you that I want to speak with a man. How much longer?”

Me: “Shouldn’t be too much longer; I’ll transfer you as soon as the next advisor becomes available.”

(I put the customer on hold for another eight minutes before I pick up the phone again.)

Me: “I am so sorry, sir. I still don’t have a service man available. Would you like me to take a message and have someone call you back?”

Customer: “This is bulls***! All I want to do is make an appointment for an oil change!”

Me: “Oh, my, you should have said something sooner, sir. Our service department doesn’t make appointments for oil changes.”

Customer: “What?!”

Me: “I’m sorry if the line is breaking up, sir. I said, ‘We don’t make appointments for oil changes.’ They’re walk-in only.”


Me: “That is correct.”


Me: “If I recall correctly, sir, you specifically said you only wanted to speak with a man, and I did ask if there was anything I could help you with.”

Customer: “I’ll be at your dealership in fifteen minutes, AND I DON’T WANT TO F****** WAIT!”

(The customer hung up, and I went up front and told the service advisors what happened. They put a note in the computer, and they made the customer wait three hours for an oil change. Sexism doesn’t fly in our department.)


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Studiously Avoiding Responsibility

, , , , | Working | August 22, 2013

(I am in high school. During lunch, seniors are allowed to go out to eat. Due to not having a class scheduled afterwards, my girlfriend and I can actually take our time to get a proper meal. We go to a fast-food place that is fairly close to the school.)

Me: “Hello. I’d like three chicken sandwiches, a large fries and two small sodas.”

Cashier: “All right, sir, that will be [price].”

(We pay and move to the back of the restaurant to wait for our order. Since the restaurant is fairly crowded, we decide to simply pull out a pair of books and read for a bit. After a while I decide to see how our orders are going.)

Me: “Sorry to bother you, but we’ve been waiting fifteen minutes for our order; are you guys backed up or is there something wrong?”

Cashier: “Don’t you rush us, kid. Can’t you see we have a lot of orders to handle?! You’ll get your food when it’s ready and don’t you bother me again.”

(Not wanting a fight, I simply go back to reading. After another 10 minutes have passed, the restaurant has cleared out of the other students, and my girlfriend and I look up to see the assistant manager.)

Assistant Manager: “Look, kids, we can’t have you loitering around. Now, the [High School] lunch period is almost over, so why don’t you get back to class before you’re truant?”

Girlfriend: “Whoa, were not leaving without our food. How long does it take to make three sandwiches and a side of fries?!””

(My girlfriend hands the assistant manager our receipt.)

Assistant Manager: “Excuse me, miss.”

(The assistant manager goes into the back room and we hear some mumbling, followed by a yell.)

Assistant Manager: “30 minutes ago?! Why hasn’t this order been filled out yet?!”

(After several minutes scrambling, we finally get our order from a rather embarrassed assistant manager.)

Assistant Manager: “I am so sorry for the delay. Apparently one of our cashiers didn’t see you in the restaurant anymore, and figured you had already left and simply cancelled your order in the queue. If you don’t have time to eat, I can easily refund your money and offer you a gift card for $10.00 on any future orders.”

Me: “We actually do have time to eat due to our schedules.”

Assistant Manager: “Well that’s a relief. But I’ll still give you the card. Sadly, one of my employees resents the heavy student lunch rush, and frequently ‘forgets’ orders so he doesn’t have to deal with them.”

(I found out a few week later that the employee in question was transferred to the graveyard shift so he wouldn’t have to deal with ‘annoying students’ anymore. Now he’s stuck dealing with stoners and hangovers.)

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