You Can National Trust There To Be Some Good Stories

, , , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(I volunteer under the National Trust at a property where visitors to the house are given tokens to give to us at the door as proof of payment. These tokens are about the same size and shape as a 10p coin.)

Me: “Hello, welcome to [Property]! Do you have your tokens for me today?”

Visitor: “Oh… yes… Hang on, they’re in this pocket… Here.”

(He holds out a token and a 10p coin. I joke with him, as I do every time this happens:)

Me: *laughing* “Ah, is this my tip?!”

(Immediately, the man pulls back his hand in horror and stares at me.)

Visitor: “We have to tip the volunteers? But… I didn’t tip the one at the gate? Was that rude? Should I go back? [Daughter], why don’t you run back and give the man on the gate—”

Me: “No, sir, no, I didn’t– Just the other token, please. It’s just a joke I do; a lot of people mistake change for the tokens.”

Visitor: “Oh, thank God! That really scared me! Don’t scare people like that! Why would you say that? You’ll get complaints!”

(I have done it since and no one else has had a reaction like that… or complained! Other stories I love:)

Tiny Little Girl #1: “Are there any ghosts here?”

Me: “Apparently a couple, but wouldn’t you be scared of them?”

Tiny Little Girl #2: “No! We’re ghost hunting!”

Me: “Ah, well, there are some in the study–“

Tiny Little Girl #2: “WHERE IS THE STUDY?”

Tiny Little Girl #1: “Has anyone died here?”

(Also: a drunk man drains his entire mini bottle of Prosecco in the entrance hall.)

Drunk Man: “Where can I put this?”

(And finally:)

Man: “This place really needs some newer furniture.”

Me: “This house was built in the eighteenth century.”

Man: “Exactly!”

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There’s No Contact But We Can Still Find You

, , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(I’m a front side service member, meaning I do everything from cleaning to taking orders to checking out customers. This happened a year or so ago, when contactless payments or card “tapping” started to become more commonplace.

A customer comes up to the till.)

Me: “Afternoon, sir! Enjoyed the meal?”

Customer: “I did, actually. Here, my ticket.”

Me: “Thanks. All right, we had [order]. That’s a grand total of [price].”

Customer: “Debit card, please.”

(The customer starts tapping his card to the side of the terminal.)

Me: “Oh, I’m afraid the tapping feature is disabled. Our register system isn’t set up to accept those yet.”

Customer: “What do you mean? This is a contactless card, and the terminal says I can pay contactless.”

Me: “True, it does say that. But all that means is that the terminal could, in theory, assuming the register is set up. Ours isn’t, so you’ll have to insert the card.”

Customer: “No! I can and I will pay contactless!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but that’s not possible at this time. We’ve tried to get it online, but it broke down right after. Just insert your card, please, and we can pay it the old-fashioned way.”

Customer: “No! This is ridiculous! I should be able to pay however I want!”

(The customer left without paying. Since he was a lot bigger than I am, and I had a line of customers to deal with, I didn’t stop him. Instead, I noted down his license plate, checked with the manager if the cameras were running, and sent the bill to his home address… paired with a lovely dine and dash fine.)

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The Wi-Fi Isn’t The Issue

, , , , | Right | March 30, 2020

(A woman comes into the library with her own laptop to use our Wi-Fi. As she’s signing in, she calls me over and points to a line in our user agreement.)

Woman: “What’s this mean?”

Me: “That’s just a notification that our Wi-Fi network is public and we can’t guarantee that it’s 100% secure.”

Woman: “Not secure? What’s that mean? They can steal my identity?!”

Me: “Any information sent over Wi-Fi is potentially vulnerable. So, if you send personal information or financial information, it could possibly be compromised.”

Woman: “That’s insane! Why don’t you have secure Wi-Fi? I’ve had my identity stolen twice, and this is unacceptable. I need to work online!”

Me: “To be clear, we’re no less secure than any standard Wi-Fi network in your house or another public place. We just need to let you know we can’t guarantee security.”

Woman: “That’s crazy! I’ve had my identity stolen twice. I need to be careful!”

Me: “I understand. If you absolutely need to send information online, why don’t you use one of our public terminals? Wired networks are a little more secure than wireless.”

Woman: “Are they secure, though? I had my identity stolen twice! I need them to be secure!”

Me: “They are about as secure as you are going to find. As I say, we can’t 100 % guarantee it, but it’s fairly unlikely anyone would be pulling your information from a wired library network.” 

Woman: “But I need to be careful! I don’t want my identity stolen again…”

(I finally manage to explain to her that if she absolutely needs to send personal information online, there is going to be some risk, but she can minimize it. She gets on a library terminal and works for a while. Then, I see her get up, fish a pack of cigarettes out of her purse, and begin to walk out — leaving her email account logged in and her purse, phone, and laptop on the table.) 

Me: “Ma’am! We don’t recommend that you leave your personal items—”

Woman: “Don’t be silly; this is a library! What’s going to happen?”

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When “Not Available” Means Exactly What It Should

, , | Right | March 30, 2020

(I work for an equipment rental facility that also offers online bookings. Sadly, I have some variation of this conversation more than I like to admit.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Rental Facility]; how may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I was on your website and I tried to book a reservation. I kept trying but it just kept giving an error message that you don’t have that equipment available for some reason. So, I figured I would give you a call and book it that way.”

Me: “All right, what was it you wanted?”

(They then proceed to give me all of the details about what they want and when.)

Me: “So, the reason why it was telling you it’s not available is that it’s not available for that time that you wanted.”

Customer: “Really? I just figured your website was not working or something.”

(What is worse is that they often tell me that they went through and tried to get it at another location or another time and it worked just fine, but not at the specific day/location they wanted. How do you figure it’s a website problem, then?)

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His Common Sense Blew Away Ages Ago

, , , | Right | March 30, 2020

Me: “Good morning, you are speaking with [Housing Company], [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Client: “Yes, I am calling you because the window in my roof is missing.”

Me: *pause* “Missing?”

Client: “Yes, last night I went to bed and the window was still there, but now it’s gone.”

Me: “All right, a missing window… Did you see it on the roof or ground?”

Client: “No, it’s gone. Now what do I do?”

Me: “Well, since you now have a big hole in your roof, I’ll send a mechanic to close the hole and then we’ll have to order a new window.”

Client: “Could it have blown away? I mean, it was kind of windy last night.”

Me: “Sir, there was a storm last night. Was your window open?”

Client: “Yes, I thought it was a great way to get some fresh air in the house.”

Me: “Right… I think I know what happened to your window, sir.”

Client: “Really?”

(He received a bill for this stupidity.)

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