His Reason To Be Angry Has Been Cancelled

, , , | Right | October 10, 2019

(I work in a call center for a government agency that helps people pay for their health insurance plans. It’s not uncommon for people to be confused about how to cancel insurance, to make mistakes, and to blame us when they make those mistakes, so I dread whenever someone calls and says they have an issue with a cancellation.)

Me: “Hello! Thank you for calling [Government Agency]! What can I do to assist you today?”

Caller: “I’m still being charged for insurance I cancelled four months ago! I’m getting really angry now and I want you to stop billing me!”

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that, sir. We are not the insurance company, so we aren’t involved with sending you bills, but I’m happy to do whatever I can do to help you!”

(I ask for his information and find his account.)

Me: “Oh, well, I don’t see that you called to cancel your insurance plan and it’s still active. When did you call us to cancel?”

Caller: “D*** it, are you calling me a liar?! I cancelled my plan and I want you to stop f****** billing me!”

Me: “I understand you’re frustrated, sir, but I am trying to help you. Do you remember approximately when you called us to cancel? Or did you maybe call the insurance company?”

(At this point, I’m thinking he accidentally called the insurance company to cancel, because that’s a common mistake. When someone’s insurance is partially financed through our agency, they can only cancel by calling us directly.)

Caller: “I didn’t call anyone, d*** it! I did what anyone does to cancel a service! I wrote ‘cancel’ on the bill’s envelope and had it mailed back return-to-sender!”

(Well, that’s a new one. I try very patiently to explain that that is not a valid method of making a cancellation and that those automated billing statements from insurance companies aren’t sent from an address where people can receive mail. I also gently explain that even if the insurance company had gotten the letter, they couldn’t have done anything with it. To cancel, a person needs to either call us directly and validate their identity or to go online and cancel using their password-protected account. This goes on for twenty-five minutes.)

Me: “Again, I do understand that you feel frustrated with this situation, sir, but that was not an accepted method of cancelling. I can cancel your insurance moving forward, but you will still be responsible for the past month’s premiums.”

Caller: “How stupid can you be?! This is how I’ve always cancelled things in the past! I don’t owe anything! Did you even graduate high school?! Give me someone with a brain! I want a supervisor!”

(I seriously doubt most places would accept what he did as a valid cancellation, but I apologized once again for his frustration and connected him with a supervisor who told him the exact same thing. He called back four times that day, trying to find someone who could give him a different answer.)

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The Writing’s On The Wall

, , , | Right | October 9, 2019

(I have just gone through a breakup, I have not been sleeping well, and I’m just finishing a full shift at work.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Do you have those letters you put on the wall?”

Me: *thinking of vinyl letter stickers since another customer asked about them recently* “Do you mean the kind you stick on the wall? Like with the adhesive—”

Customer: *interrupting* “Yeah, yeah. Those.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t carry those.”

Customer: “Where can I get them?” 

Me: “It’s possible another location has them. We’re much smaller than the others, so we carry fewer products.”

(It just so happens another customer comes up right after, asking about another product our location doesn’t carry, so I tell her the same thing. Meanwhile, the first lady comes back.)

Customer: *to the other customer* “Oh, he’s feeding you the same line!” *to me, with an attitude* “You said you don’t have them? You need to learn your store! I’ll show you!”

(I follow her. I’m annoyed with how she’s speaking to me, but I’d be the first to tell you I don’t know all the products in the store.)

Customer: *pointing down an aisle* “See? You got them right here!”

Me: *looking down the aisle and then at her* “The wood aisle? With our wooden letters?”

Customer: “Yeah!”

Me: “I asked if you wanted the adhesive kind, like the vinyl stickers, and you said yes—”

Customer: *interrupting* “No, you didn’t! You need to learn your store!”

Me: “All right!” *smiling brightly and walking away before I say something I’d regret*

(The customer spent the next few minutes loudly talking to the second customer about how I fed them both the same line, etc.)

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Wivout Grammer This Tital Wood Bee Fyne

, , , , , | Right | October 9, 2019

(I work at the customer service desk in a major bookstore. I’m helping a woman — who has explained that she’s heading back to school after a divorce — order some of her textbooks. Her daughter, who is in her late teens or early twenties, is also around, checking out things by the register.)

Daughter: “Mom! Can I have your card to get coffee? They’ve got a [Popular Coffee Chain] in here.”

(The mother hands over a card.)

Customer: “Okay, next is [English book with the word “Grammar” in the title].”

Daughter: *disdainfully* “Grammar is a social construct.”

Mother: “Go get your coffee.”

Daughter: “It’s just made up by the patriarchy as a way to keep non-native English speakers down!”

(The mother ignores her daughter and turns back to me.)

Mother: “I hope they don’t try to teach me any of that crap when I go back to school.”

Daughter: “Mom, how can you buy into this crap?!”

Me: “You realize literally every language has grammatical rules, right? Without grammar, language is nonsense.”

Daughter: “That’s racist!”

(The mother snatches her card out of her daughter’s hand and gives it to me.)

Mother: “You can have the coffee, instead.”

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High-Fiber, High Price

, , , , | Right | October 9, 2019

(It is my first job serving customers at a bakery. A bossy regular customer comes up during a busy time. She has used two rewards cards up to the point where she is entitled to one free loaf from each card.)

Customer: “I want four loaves of bread: two regular and two high-fibre, all sliced thick.”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

(I slice and bag her loaves and return with them to the counter.)

Customer: “I want to pay for the two high-fibre loaves and get the two regular ones free on my loyalty cards.”

Me: “Actually, you can use the high-fibre loaves as your free loaves and pay for the two regulars. It’s $1 cheaper that way.”

Customer: “No, I want the regular loaves to be free!”

(I have already rung through her order as two regular loaves. She hands me her money and I give her $1 change.)

Customer: “Why do I have change? I gave you the right amount for two high-fibre loaves! You’re not listening to me! I want to pay for the high-fibres and get the regulars free!”

(She has the $1 in her open hand so, losing patience, I literally take it back.)

Me: “I was trying to save you this but never mind, now you’ve paid for two high-fibre loaves. Have a nice day.”

(I could tell in her eyes that what I was trying to do had finally dawned on her but she didn’t say another word as she took her bread and left.)

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Rest(room) Assured, Someone Is In There  

, , , | Right | October 9, 2019

(I work in a fast food restaurant. I am cleaning some tables near the restrooms. There is one men’s restroom and one women’s restroom, each a one-stall facility. A woman and her son, aged seven or eight, walk up to the men’s restroom and try the door; it’s locked.)

Woman: *while jiggling the door handle* “It’s not opening!”

(The woman tries a few more times before turning to me.)

Woman: *flustered* “Why is this door locked? My son really needs to use the toilet!”

Son: *embarrassed* “Mom, it’s fine.”

Woman: *to me* “Is there a key so I can open this door?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I cannot give you a key. Someone is currently in there and opening that door would disturb their privacy.”

Woman: *realizing* “Oh…”

(I left the area while the mother and son waited for a few more seconds. I didn’t see the gentleman’s reaction when he left the restroom, but I can bet he wasn’t too happy!)

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