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Thankful For That Last Call

, , , , , | Right | November 24, 2022

I work as an at-home technical support advisor for a popular electronics company. It is Thanksgiving Day, and for the first time in seven years, I get to spend it with my family. I am scheduled to clock out at 4:00 pm. At 3:20, I take a call from a very sweet, elderly woman. We resolve her issue in about fifteen minutes and we begin to just chat.

Caller: “Do they have you all working from home?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Most of our physical locations are still closed.”

Caller: “That’s good. Do you get to have dinner with your family?”

Me: “Yes! For the first time in seven years. I’m so excited.”

Caller: “Oh, that’s lovely! What time are you off?”

Me: “I’m off at four.”

Caller: “If someone calls just before the end of your shift, do you have to take the call?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. And I won’t be able to clock out until that call has been resolved.”

Caller: “Oh. In that case…”

She asks me the most random questions. Can our earbuds hear our thoughts? Do they talk about us behind our backs while in their charging case? Why are they called smartphones when their intelligence is severely limited? It is hard not to laugh; she seems so serious. We ponder possible answers, and then…

Caller: “Well, my dear, I think it’s time we both join our families for dinner.”

It took me a moment to realize she had intentionally kept me on the phone so I wouldn’t have to take another call right before the end of my shift. It was officially 4:00 and she was clearing me to clock out on time.

My voice cracked as I practically declared my undying love for her. We wished each other happy holidays and ended the call.

I had a wonderful time with my family. I will always be incredibly grateful for that woman.

A Memorable Voice(mail)

, , , , , , , | Working | November 2, 2022

I have a medical condition that sometimes causes sudden episodes of hoarseness. It does not respond to water, but sometimes it responds to extreme throat-clearing. I work in a vet’s office and I am calling customers to confirm tomorrow’s appointments. This client’s answering machine picks up.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] with—”

Cue the most severe episode of hoarseness I’ve had in years. After using up a lot of voicemail time trying to clear my throat, I manage to force out the rest of my message in a voice that sounds like a bad case of laryngitis.

Me: “I’m so sorry, this is an awful message, but I have [Condition] and it hit really suddenly. I’m just calling to confirm [Pet] for 8:00 tomorrow.”

The next morning, the client came in laughing and told me they were glad my voice had recovered.

A Few Donuts Short Of A Half-Dozen

, , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2022

I am at a coffee and donut shop behind a gentleman who is giving the cashier his order. 

Man: “I’d like a half-dozen donuts, please.”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, sir, but we only have six or twelve donuts.”

Man: “I know. I’d like a half-dozen.”

Cashier: “We only have six or twelve.”

The man turned and looked at me like, “Is she serious?”

He asked for the manager and explained that the cashier didn’t know what a half-dozen was. He said that he didn’t want her fired, just retrained.

A Sign That You’re Better Off Without Her Business

, , , , , | Right | October 3, 2022

I work as a graphic designer in a sign shop in a rather busy city. Each one of our locations is individually owned and operated, which is something we have to tell clients frequently. We don’t share our clientele with other stores and vice versa.

Besides designing all of the signs that come through this shop, I am also in charge of taking phone calls, setting up orders, etc. All orders, regardless of size, have to have a signed estimate sent back to us before we can send them a payment link. This is to ensure that we have something on our end to prove they agree to our terms and conditions, which are listed on the estimate.

One day, a woman calls in for some real estate signage. She gives us the details of her sign, the quantity, and all the other information we need. I set up her order and send it over, along with her proof. She approves the proof via the portal and then emails me about payment.

I reply to her email:

My Email: “Hello. Thank you for your proof approval. We also need a signed estimate sent back to us before we can send you a link for payment or take payment over the phone. I can resend the PDF if you didn’t receive it. Let me know!”

Client’s Email: “I did receive it, but I’m not going to print it out and sign it and send it back. That’s too much work. Why can’t you just take payment?”

I’m in the middle of replying when she calls our shop.

Me: “[Sign Shop]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Client: “Hi. I wanted to call in and make the payment for my real estate signs.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without a signed estimate, we cannot take payment yet.”

Client: *A bit more frustrated* “Why is that? Why do I need to take the time to send you a signed document when I can just pay right now?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we do need a signature. That estimate lists out our terms and—”

Client: *Interrupting* “Okay, but why do I have to sign it? Why can’t I just give you my card right now? I’m ready to pay so you can make them!”

Me: “I understand but, per our policy—

Client: *Interrupting again* “And what is your policy?”

I try to explain the policy again, but she keeps interrupting me as I try, ranting about how she can’t fathom that and going on for what seems like forever. At one point, she even says something about, “You can buy so many things online and you don’t have to sign anything for them,” and that just makes me internally groan. I want to say, “Well, we aren’t an online store, and we have our policy,” in a snarky tone, but I bite my tongue.

The client is finally done ranting but is still snarky.

Client: “Well, fine. Let’s see if I can figure out how to send this to you.” *Hangs up*

My boss has overheard this.

Boss: “What was that all about?”

Me: “That real estate lady doesn’t want to sign a paper.”

My boss also sees the emails.

Boss: “You’d think with her being a realtor, she’d understand the concept of signing a document.”

Me: “No kidding.”

Not even five minutes later, the lady emails us back.

Client’s Email: “Cancel my order. I’m going to [Sister Store] to get my signs. Remove me from your system.”

That store is further away than ours, but I guess she wants to make it seem like she has won.

My Email: “We have canceled your order. We apologize and we hope you have a good day.”

Client’s Email: “You shouldn’t say, ‘We apologize.’ You should say, ‘We understand your frustration.’”

I guess we dodged a huge bullet. I hope that our sister store fared better with her.

When You Mete Out Revenge Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain

, , , , , , | Right | September 26, 2022

I check into a hotel. For the first two days, nothing notable happens. Then, one night at around two in the morning, the room phone rings. Thinking it is an emergency, I answer.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller #1: “Are there any rooms available right now?”

Me: *Confused pause* “Sir, I think you somehow misdialed. This is one of the guest rooms in the hotel, not the front desk.”

Caller #1: “My God! I am terribly sorry!”

Me: “Don’t worry about it. Accidents happen.” *Hangs up*

The next day, the phone rings again.

Caller #2: “Hello! I’m looking to make a reservation—”

Me: “Madam, this is one of the guest rooms, not the front desk. I think there is a crossed line or something.”

The woman apologizes and hangs up. That’s when I go to the desk to complain. The manager at the desk rolls her eyes.

Manager: “These lines have been doing that on and off for some reason. We’ve asked over and over for someone to come fix it, but months later, it starts up again. I’m tired of dealing with it. Just tell them to hang up and try again.”

Me: “Excuse me, I don’t like being woken up at one in the morning—”

Manager: “Well… unplug the phone. Problem solved!” *Walks away*

Seriously irked, I return to my room. I do consider unplugging the phone from the wall, but this is during the mid-1990s when we don’t have cellphones, and the only way my business partner or my wife can get ahold of me in an emergency is by the phone number of my hotel room!

That night, at around one in the morning, the phone rings again.

Caller #3: “Hello, are there any rooms available?”

I look outside to see the “No Vacancy” light lit up.

Me: “Sure, we have a sale on a deluxe suite for [ridiculously low price]. Ask for [Manager’s Full Name].”

And the next call:

Caller #4: “Hello, we’d like to book a reservation for twenty-five people.”

Me: “No problem!”

I pretend to take down their details.

Me: “We’ll even give you a 40% group discount! Make sure you tell them that [Manager] booked it for you and authorized the discount!”

Next call:

Caller #5: “Hello, are there any rooms available?”

I look out the window to see the “Vacancy” sign lit up.

Me: “No, unfortunately, we are all booked up today. But, for the inconvenience, we do offer a 30% discount with our partnering hotels, [Competitors]. Give them the name [Manager] and the hotel number—” *reads the number from my receipt* “—and they’ll get you fixed up.”

I just wish I would have been around to watch the h** that that woman caught. And yes, that doggone phone was randomly ringing all throughout the week (and in the middle of the night!) with customer calls that were misdirected to my room phone.