No One In This Restaurant Is Being Server’d

, , , | Right | September 19, 2019

(My company sells and supports restaurant computer systems — hardware, software, and maintenance. I’m on the software-support side programming, taking client calls, and remoting in to fix things. We have everything from fast food to fine dining. The level of experience is random with every caller. We have a site where the system server is around ten years old and it starts crashing daily. This means the rest of the system goes down for about fifteen minutes. Everyone hates when the restaurant has to use pen, paper, and calculators. This keeps happening for about two weeks but the owner wants the server repaired, so he won’t have to pay the thousands of dollars to replace it. The owner calls about fifty minutes before they open.)

Me: “Good morning, tech support.”

Owner: “Hi, this [Owner of Restaurant]. I need someone to log in and reload all the software and stuff that runs our computers.”

Me: “Wait, what happened to [the main products that we sold you that has to be loaded in our office before the system leaves our office]?!” 

Owner: “We got a new machine.”

(Dumbfounded, I hit mute to talk to the team.)

Me: “Did we send [site] a new server?!”  

Team: “No.” *team’s interest is peaked*

Me: *unmute* “Where… did… it come from?”

Owner: “Oh, picked it up! I just need someone from your company to do that thing where they take over the computer and make [Vital Program] work. I just switched out the old with the new one; it’s all hooked up and ready to be worked on.”

Me: “But where did it come from?!

Owner: “I picked up from [Membership Warehouse Store]. It was $2000 cheaper than the one [My Company] tried to sell me.”

Me: *double dumbstruck, putting the pieces together* “Hold on a minute, okay?” *relays details to the team because I’m not fully believing it*

Team: *wide-eyed* “PUT. IT. BACK!”

Me: *back on the line* “[Owner]… this won’t work. You have to put it back. Put the old server back. All the things you want done to that PC you bought are impossible. We have to have a system server built with special specs, transfer data from the old server, and program it before they are installed in restaurants. There isn’t time to explain. Just put back and call back. We have forty minutes to fix this.”

Owner: “But, but… that one is broken!”

Me: “[Warehouse Store] does not sell plug and play servers. That’s just a personal computer. Put the server back or your site is running on pen and paper all day, not just part of it.”

(Later that day, they were finally convinced to buy a new server from our company. But what a go-getter, albeit a very misguided go-getter!)

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That’s Why They Call It A Day Job

, , , , | Right | September 19, 2019

(I work part-time as a cashier at a major grocery store. I am also completing my second university degree. A rather posh-looking, middle-aged woman approaches my register and unloads her basket.)

Customer: “Is this what you do all day?”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: *gesturing to my register* “Is this what you do all day? You stand here scanning things. Is this what you plan to spend your whole life doing?”

Me: “No, I do… other things.”

Customer: “Well, I should say so. Hmph!”

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So Angry He’s Blacked Out

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(I work at a call center doing customer service and technical support for a major sports organization. We offer an online streaming service for customers to watch the games live, which is subject to what are known as “blackouts.” What this means is that the individual sports teams sell the rights to their games to the sports networks, like FOX Sports or ESPN, and the networks then have the exclusive broadcasting rights to those games in that area. This means that we cannot stream those games to customers in that market. Our service determines your location based on your IP address and blacks you out from the correct teams. On occasion, a person is blacked out incorrectly due to the Internet connection being routed through a different location than they are currently in. If this is the case, we can manually input the person’s location so they can watch the game they want to watch. There are a lot of customers who are very upset about the blackout policy because often, the blackout area extends beyond the actual area the game is broadcast to. I can understand this frustration, and I’m used to dealing with callers who are upset by the blackout policy. However, this call stands out as one of the most ridiculous calls I have EVER taken on the subject.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Sports Organization]. My name is [My Name]. Are you a registered user?

Customer: “I want to speak to a manager right now!”

Me: “All right, sir, I can definitely get you a manager on the line. May I please have your email address so I can pull up your account first?”

Customer: “Well, I want to complain about these blackouts! I’m in [City] and I’m being blacked out from [game that he shouldn’t have been blacked out from]. I want to talk to a manager right now!”

Me: “I apologize for the inconvenience, sir, and I definitely understand your frustration. Give me just one moment to pull up your account.”

Customer: “Why do you guys do these darn blackouts? It’s inconvenient and you need to stop it!” *continues ranting while I pull up his account and look over the information*

Me: “I definitely understand your frustration, sir. Who—”

Customer: *interrupting me* “No, you don’t! I want to know why I’m being blacked out from [game]! I’m in [City nowhere remotely near either of the teams]! I can’t watch the game on the television and you’re blacking me out! You need to stop it!”

(I am beginning to suspect that the customer has been incorrectly blacked out based on where he said he was and what game he was trying to watch.)

Me: “Sir, if you’ll just give me one moment to look into this, I can check the blackouts in your area. What is the zip code you are currently located in?”

Customer: *gives zip code* “Now, why do you black people out in the first place? It’s inconvenient and you need to stop it! When I was in [State], I was blacked out from watching [Team], and now I’m in [Other State] and I’m blacked out from [Team that he shouldn’t have been blacked out from]. You need to stop it! You need to stop blacking people out right now!”

Me: “Well, sir, the reason that the blackouts occur is that the teams sell the rights to their games to local sports networks, such as FOX Sports and ESPN. The networks then determine the area that is blacked out from each individual team.”

Customer: “So what? You need to stop it! You need to stop making deals with the networks and let us watch our games!”

Me: “I apologize for the inconvenience, sir. Sometimes, an Internet connection is routed through a different location than it is actually in. When this happens, the website reads you as being in a different location than you actually are. In your case, this seems to be happening. If you’ll let me, I’d be happy to help you and get you watching your game.”

Customer: “You need to stop it! You need to stop blacking people out because of some insignificant deal you’ve made with some insignificant networks! You need to stop it!”

(After about fifteen minutes going on like this, in between which I manage to get him to give me the necessary information to manually input his location, I finally get him watching his game.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?”

Customer: “Yes, you can tell your boss to stop blacking people out! The number of people who are out to screw the networks is so small it’s insignificant, and you need to stop it!”

Me: “I will definitely notate your concerns in my notes from this call, sir. [Sports Organization] does read these notes, so they will be made aware of your concerns. Now, is there anything else I can do for you tonight, sir?”

Customer: “Yes, you can put lots of capital letters in your notes! You need to stop it!”

Me: “Well, thank you very much for calling [Sports Organization]. You have a great evening.”

(Note, from that entire fifteen-minute call, my notes read as follows: “Customer was very frustrated with the blackout policy and was yelling that we needed to stop making deals with the sports networks.” I then detailed the steps I took to get him watching his game. Also note that even if the customer had spoken with a manager, the manager would not have been able to do anything more than I did for the customer. This policy is due to multi-million-dollar contracts that we have made with the sports networks and it is highly unlikely it will change any time soon.)

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I Have Seen The Light… And It Is Not Good

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(I’m stocking shelves when an elderly female customer approaches. Important to know is that in the store, the ceilings are about twenty feet high.)

Customer: “Can you tell me where the sauerkraut is?”

Me: “Sure, it’s actually in this aisle a few feet ahead.”

(There are only two different kinds of sauerkraut: one on the top shelf and one right below it. The ones on the lower shelf are sold out.)

Customer: “Oh… you don’t have more of this one on the lower shelf in the back?”

Me: “No, sorry, we’ve just received our order and didn’t get it in. There is more of the other kind on the top shelf, though.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, I can see that, but I couldn’t possibly take it. It’s too close to the light.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “The lights! They’re shining directly on everything on the top shelves, and they make it all too hot to eat. It’s not safe.”

Me: “I, uh, don’t really think that matters too much.”

Customer: “Oh, sure, you say that now. But just you wait; one day you’ll eat warm sauerkraut and die, and whose fault will it be then?”

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Solving Issues With Software Is Hard

, , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(I work tech support. Anything hardware-related needs to be brought into the store since our technicians do not carry all the required tools for various hardware-related problems.)

Me: “Thank you for calling tech support. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I have a power bar that my computer is plugged into and it’s making some strange noises.”

Me: “Have you tried replacing the power bar?”

Customer: “Well, it’s not a power bar; it’s one of those things that keep the computer going if the power goes out.”

Me: “Oh, okay. We can definitely help with that. However, since it is a hardware-related problem, you would have to bring it to our store so our technicians can take a look at it.”

Customer: “But I had someone come to my house before to fix other problems!”

Me: “We do offer in-home services; however, since it is a hardware problem, our technicians are not able to carry all the tools and parts required to fix any and all hardware-related problems. The problem they fixed last time was more than likely software-related.”

Customer: “Well, it’s a software problem, then! It’s making noise!”

Me: “Unfortunately, power supplies that make noise are a hardware problem, so you would need to bring it into the store.”

Customer: “But I can’t bring it to a store; I don’t have a car!”

Me: “Maybe you can get in touch with a friend or family member to help?”

Customer: “But I want someone to come to my home to fix it!”

Me: “As I said, we, unfortunately, do not offer in-home hardware support.”

Customer: “Fine.” *click*

Coworker: “I have software that makes noise! It’s called music!”

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