A Hurricane Of Stupidity

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2019

(A famous US retailer closed a number of its stores earlier this year, including the last one in our city. I take a temporary job there working the final clearance sales. This takes place during our final week, a few days after Hurricane Harvey hits Houston. Our city is hours north, in the next state, so the weather doesn’t affect us. A customer has two common questions.)

Me: “Hi. How may I help you?”

Customer: “When is [Store]’s last day?”

Me: “It’s [date], this coming Sunday.”

Customer: “Okay. What are you doing with the stuff that doesn’t sell?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I haven’t been told yet. I can get a manager if you like.”

(I don’t expect to be told since I am not involved in that aspect of the closure.)

Customer: “Oh… you know what should be done with it? Send it all down to Houston. The victims need the help; they can use all this.”

Me: *resists the urge to roll eyes and forces self to use a polite tone* “Yes, ma’am. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

(What was she thinking? The whole store is almost empty and 90% of what we have left isn’t merchandise; it’s movable racks and a couple of display tables, mostly empty. I moved from Florida, where serious hurricanes are a fact of life, and have been through them. Believe me, store fixtures aren’t what those poor people need.)

Mmm… Meat Slushies

, , , , , , | Right | March 8, 2019

(I work in a kitchen store which sells mostly gadgets, but we do have several appliances and cookware sets. The store is very busy, and it’s just the assistant manager and me working. I am up front, checking out customers, while she is off helping someone. My line clears up and I decide to walk around the store to see if anyone else needs help. As I am walking, I hear my assistant manager talking with some customers who obviously know very little English. They are looking at a very pricy blender.)

Assistant Manager: “Ma’am, you cannot use this to chop up meat. None of the blenders here will chop up meat.”

(I am very confused to hear this, as I have never heard of a blender being used to chop meat. We do, however, carry things meant to do so, which the assistant manager is trying to show the customers, a daughter and a mother. I listen for another minute, then notice my line starting to build up again so I rush off to help. Soon after, the assistant manager comes up, flustered.)

Me: “Are you okay?”

Assistant Manager: “They want to chop meat with a blender. I keep trying to tell them they can’t. I’ve shown them everything we have to chop meat, but they want none of it!”

(We switch spots, so she is now checking people out and I am walking the floor. I see the customers she was talking to. They have opened the box of the blender up in the middle of the floor to look at it, despite it being on display right in front of them. They notice me and flag me over. Again, it is very obvious that they know almost no English.)

Customer: “We get new box?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “This opened. We get new box?”

(This really irritates me, as they are the reason the box is opened and now looks horrid.)

Me: “Let me go see if we have another.”

(I go into the back room, wait about a minute, and go back on the floor.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t have any more of those blenders. If you wish to buy one, you will have to buy the one you have opened.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.”

(I take the box up to the front for them to fix it while they browse some more.)

Me: *to my assistant manager* “If they ask for a new box, tell them we don’t have one. *wink*

(After a moment, she catches on. I turn to the other register to help another customer, when the women buying the blender walks up to my assistant manager’s register to pay.)

Assistant Manager: “All right, if you buy this, and chop meat with it, and decide you don’t like it, you can not return it, because that is not what it is supposed to be used for.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Assistant Manager: “Got it? Chop meat, can’t be returned.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(They pay and leave.)

Assistant Manager: “They are gonna chop meat in that, aren’t they?”

Me: “Yep.”

(A few weeks later, we notice the type of blender they bought in the return pile. The store manager was in that day.)

Assistant Manager: *to manager* “Hey, who returned this?”

Manager: “Some foreign people; I think it was a mom and a daughter.”

(The assistant manager and I look at each other.)

Me: “Open it up and smell everything.”

(We open the box and smell every cup, with no meat smell until…)

Assistant Manager: “OH, MY GOD!* *gags*

Manager: “What?”

Assistant Manager: “Smell the blades!”

(The manager and I smelled the blades, and of course, it smelled like raw meat. We now inform every person who works there about situations like this to prevent it from happening again.)

Good Thing Stupidity Isn’t Contagious, Either

, , , , | Healthy | February 21, 2019

(My wife has been under the weather for a while. They send her home early from work one day, so I take her to our favourite urgent care clinic. They did really well when she had pneumonia last spring, so we have no reason to doubt their abilities this year. But… the nurse is inattentive. She walks in, sits down, doesn’t look up from her laptop while taking history, and then flees as soon as she can. In meanders the “doctor,” a nurse practitioner. I’m sure there are good ones out there, but I’ve yet to meet a truly competent one. He checks her ears, throat, and breathing, all from the outside. I don’t recall him actually looking in her mouth once. We tell him she’s sneezing blood, vomiting mucus, and having intense sinus pressure.)

Practitioner: “Sounds like an asthma flare-up to me.”

Me: *incredulous* “Asthma attacks cause sinus pressure, pain, and vomiting?!”

Practitioner: “Okay, with a minor sinus infection.”

Me: “Really?!”

Practitioner: “We’ll send over an antibiotic and a steroid and give her a shot.”

Me: “For asthma?”

(He is dismissive of my concerns and leaves. One week later, my throat is swollen and sore and I can barely speak. My wife, feeling a little better than me, calls the clinic.)

Wife: “I was in last week and saw your nurse practitioner. He said I was just having an asthma flare-up, but now my wife has it! I didn’t know asthma was contagious.” *pause* “He’s an idiot and you should screen your people better.” *pause* “No. Screen your people. Make sure they know what they’re talking about when they see someone.” *click*

Shut Up And Take My Money!

, , , , , , | Working | February 16, 2019

(My family is using a company for our cell phones, who in turn use a national carrier to actually provide the cell service. For a number of reasons — of their doing — we decide to close our account and change companies. We receive a last bill demanding “immediate payment,” which only offers the ability to pay online, in person at a store, or by calling a listed phone number — no mailing address. I attempt to pay online, but am not able to, as I don’t have an “active phone.” I decide to pay in person. This is the sequence of events, as I attempt to PAY my last bill. At the store:)

Me: “I need to pay our bill. We no longer have an active phone with you, so I couldn’t pay online.”

Customer Service Person #1: *looks up my information* “I’m sorry, but we cannot take your money. We no longer handle bills for [National Carrier] you were using. You can only pay by phone.”

(I go home and call the phone number on the bill.)

Me: “I need to pay our last bill. We don’t have an active phone, so I couldn’t pay online, and the person at [Store] said they no longer collect bills for [National Carrier].”

(I give him the account and the disconnected phone number.)

Customer Service Person #2: *collects my information from me* “I’m sorry, but we cannot take your money. We also no longer handle bills for [National Carrier], either. You have to call your old carrier.”

Me: “I have only ever used you to pay my bill. This is the only phone number on my bill, and I don’t have a [National Carrier] number. I have no one else to call, and I just need to pay my last bill.”

Customer Service Person #2: “Let put you on hold, so I can talk to my supervisor.”

(He disconnects me instead. I call back, and explain the entire story again.)

Customer Service Person #3: *recollects my information* “Let me put you on hold, so I can figure out what to do.”

(Five to ten minutes go by.)

Customer Service Person #3: “Unfortunately, you will have to call [National Carrier] to pay this bill, as we cannot take your money for [National Carrier].”

(However, this time she gives me a number to call which is not on the bill. I call the new number, which uses the exact same menu navigation, making me think it’s the same place. I explain the entire story again, and include the account and disconnected phone numbers.)

Customer Service Person #4: *collects my information from me* “I’m sorry, but I cannot take your money without an active phone. Once we suspend your phone for non-payment, you have to pay in person at [Store].”

Me: “Listen. It wasn’t suspended for non-payment. I cancelled my account with you, and this is my last bill with you. As I told you, the store already told me they couldn’t take my money, and that I could only pay over the phone. All I want to do is pay you what I owe you. Why can’t I pay you if I have the account number and old phone number, and you have access to my account?”

Customer Service Person #4: “Okay, let me put you on with my supervisor.”

(I’m transferred to the supervisor and explain the entire story yet again, with all the account information.)

Supervisor: *she collects my account information again* “I’m sorry, but I cannot take your money without an active phone attached to the account.”

Me: *explains to her entire story for a second time* “I don’t understand why this isn’t enough information to give you the money that I owe you, since [Store] can’t take my money in person.”

Supervisor: “Okay, let me see what I can do.”

(After a few minutes, she comes back on and asks me several new questions. Then she takes my credit card information.)

Supervisor: “Now, then, I must warn you that there is an additional fee, since you paid by phone, instead of paying online or in person.”

(I have had enough!)

Me:This is ridiculous! I will not pay a fee as if it is some kind of privilege to pay you! You wouldn’t allow me to make my payment online or in person, and are forcing me to pay you by phone! Listen. You have two options: take my money right now for only for the bill total, or I am going to hang up on you and never pay this bill. What can you do? Cut off my already deactivated phone? I cannot believe that you all have refused to take my money.

(She agreed to waive the fee and took only the bill amount. Who knew that trying to actually give someone money would be so hard?!)

Treating You Like Dogs

, , , , | Right | February 8, 2019

(I work at an Alaska-only pet store in a relatively small town; however, since we’re right next to Anchorage, we get a lot of customer flow. Our customers are, for the most part, relatively chill, but some can be quite demanding for no real reason. On this particular day I’m stocking dog food and not really willing to deal with nonsense.)

Me: *stops stocking to acknowledge a customer who happens to be on her phone* “Hello…”

Customer: *cuts me off* “Do you work here?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: *phone in one hand, dog leash in the other, kicks a bag of dog food* “I want this dog food.”

Me: “Okay, and you can’t get it because you’re on the phone?”

(Keep in mind I have no problem getting dog food for people who have undergone surgery or are just too old or weak to handle it. We do it every day as a courtesy. However, we are not required to lug food around for fully-capable people.)

Customer: *looks at me and laughs like she can’t believe I asked such a question* “Well, no. I mean, yes, but I’m telling you to.”

Me: *raises my eyebrow* “Righhhht.” *starts to grab food*

(At that point, the customer realized I was not really happy about stopping what I was doing just because she was lazy, so she told me to forget it and asked for my name and walked away. Of course, she went to complain, and when my team lead came to me, apparently I had “refused” to get her the food and said, “You have two hands; get it yourself.” She even said, “I’ve worked retail before, and that’s just not something you do.” I also learned that she smelled like alcohol that I couldn’t smell due to a sickness I’m getting over. To be honest, if she had at least said, “please,” then I probably would’ve gotten it, but I guess that was too much for her to do.)

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