Boris Is Now Swedish

, , , , , , | Right | August 7, 2020

I work night audit in a hotel. Monterey is a tourist town drawing in people from all over the world. The surrounding towns, however, are generally much less attractive vacation spots. We regularly get guests who are from Monterey county but not from Monterey. They come to the town, usually for honeymoons, because we have a reputation of being a place rich people go on vacation, but we’re close enough to home they can drive.  

One night, I’m checking in one such couple, and a pair of our regulars have come in behind them. They are an older Swedish couple that stays with us every year for their anniversary.

Newlywed Husband: “Hey, man, so what’s there to do in this town? I mean besides golf and beaches.”

Me: “Well, there are a few museums, there is Carmel Valley, Cannery Row, several hiking trails, and of course, the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.”

His wife scoffs.

Newlywed Wife: “The aquarium, really? I’ve gone there every year since kindergarten on a school trip; you expect me to believe its world-famous?”

Mr. Swede, in the most stereotypical Swedish accent ever — much more exaggerated than his normal voice — with his wife nodding along, speaks up.

Mr. Swede: “Oh, ja, it is, it is. We come all the vay from Stockholm every year just to see it. Is amazing; so lucky you are to see as child.”

The wives start discussing the fish with each other, sharing funny stories while I finish checking in the newlyweds, hand them their keys, and send them on their way.

Mr. Swede changes to his normal voice as soon as they get on the elevator.

Mr. Swede: “So sad how little one appreciates the wonders close to home.”

Me: “I was concerned something had happened to your voice.”

Mr. Swede: “Ah, yes, it is aquarium you see, turns me into Outrageous Over Top Accent Man, makes your bored Americans suddenly see the magic of the place. You send a bottle of our usual wine to their room and put it on our bill. Put note on it; if they want to come with us to aquarium sometime this week we will buy their tickets. Outrageous Accent Man loves being tour guide.”

Mrs. Swede: *Sighs* “Ya, every year he finds a bored American to show around, is his favorite game. The Accent gets worse every year. This is the fastest it has ever found its new friend, though.”

According to the day shift, the couples met up in the lobby a few days later and left the hotel together. I hope The Accent had a good time that year. They weren’t able to visit like usual this year; I hope they are doing well and we see them next year.

In Soviet Russia, Accent Speaks You

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Third Shift, First Priority

, , , , | Right | August 7, 2020

I just started DJing at a local radio station, and since I’m new, I’m on air at odd hours of the morning. It’s about 4:30 am and I get a phone call. I’m thinking that since it’s so early, it’s my supervisor and something’s wrong. I’m tired and very nervous.

Me: “Good morning, this is [Station].”

Caller: “Hi, can I talk to the DJ that’s on now?”

Me: “This is her.”

Caller: “Oh, good. I just wanted to say that those of us working third shift love that you’re on air this late. We tune in every night. You guys do a great job and we really appreciate it.”

This was years ago, and I later worked my way up to being a drive-time DJ, but that is still one of my best experiences.

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Ten Cents Can Make Your Day

, , , , , | Right | August 6, 2020

I’m a cashier at a local grocery store. A customer walks up to me with just a few items.

Customer: *Counting money* “Shoot, I’m ten cents short.”

Someone just told me to keep the change less than two minutes ago, so I’m feeling generous.

Me: “No worries, sir; it’s taken care of.”

Customer: “Thank you so much! I won’t forget! I’ll pay you back, trust me. I’m not poor!”

I almost immediately forget about it after he leaves; after all, ten cents is no big deal. A few days later, I get the same customer at my register, but I don’t immediately recognise him. Then, just as he’s about to pay:

Customer: “Don’t forget to add an extra ten cents! I told you I’d come back!”

He happily paid the extra ten cents and I felt a little bit better about humanity.

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Breaking: Impatient Customer Still Manages To Be Kind To Workers

, , , , , | Working | August 4, 2020

When a customer orders groceries online at my store, they have the option to get their prescriptions filled provided it isn’t a controlled substance. Extra steps are taken to make sure we don’t violate HIPAA laws. However, we partner with a popular online grocery company to offer delivery. Prescriptions are not available through delivery for a variety of reasons.

One of my customers has asked to have his prescription filled on a delivery order. I call him to explain his options.

Me: “Unfortunately, we cannot give you your prescription through delivery.”

Customer: “Why not? We get all our other meds delivered through a service.”

Me: “It’s because it would violate all sorts of HIPAA laws. The [Online Grocery Company] drivers aren’t certified and can’t sign for it. If you want, I can get everything prepared for you, and you could come in and get it from the pharmacy.”

Customer: “I guess we’ll have to, but can I pick it up tomorrow, instead? Will it be ready then?”

Me: “Yes. I’ll have the pharmacy get it ready, and I can add it to your order today so it’s already paid for, so all you have to do tomorrow is come by and pick it up.”

Customer: “Could I come through the curbside pickup lane and get it? We’re in the age group that’s not supposed to be going outside right now, so we’d rather not come inside.”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine.”

I end the call and think nothing of it. A few hours later, the customer calls again. No one has come by to pick up his groceries and he’s wondering what’s going on.

Me: “We actually have nothing to do with the delivery part. We partner with [Online Grocery Company]. I can give you their customer service number to call. I find issues are resolved faster when they talk to the actual customer instead of us.”

Customer: “Have you had other problems with delivery orders today?”

This is in the middle of the current health crisis thing, and so many people are trying to get groceries delivered that it’s causing backup both on our system and with the online grocery company.

Me: “Yes, we’ve been having some problems all weekend. I think the main problem is that they don’t have enough drivers right now. But like I said, if you call them, they should get someone out here to pick your order up. The number is [number].”

Customer: “I hope my perishables aren’t going bad.”

Me: “Oh, no. We have coolers and freezers for the cold stuff, so nothing will be spoiled.”

Customer: “Thank you for your help.”

I hang up, and he calls again five minutes later.

Customer: “So, they aren’t taking calls from customers right now. Could you please call them? Maybe they’ll listen to you.”

Me: “I can try, but we have to call the exact same number, so I’m not sure if I’ll get any further.”

Customer: “If you can’t, that’s fine. We can come to pick it up tomorrow if we don’t get the groceries delivered today.”

I hang up and check our dashboard for delivery orders. The dashboard lets us see if someone has claimed an order, or delete a delivery if we need to, but nothing else. I see his order is still open and call the online grocery company. I am on hold for a good fifteen minutes listening to the most upbeat hold music I’ve ever heard, when the customer calls me back again.

Customer: “So, my wife doesn’t want to wait, and she wants her prescription today. Could we just pick it up today? Is the prescription ready?”

Me: “Yes, the prescription is ready. You are welcome to come to pick your order up at your convenience. I’m sorry about this.”

Customer: “It’s not your fault. It’s [Online Grocery Company]. You guys are doing your best. I’m sure you’re swamped right now, and half the shelves are empty right now. My wife just doesn’t want to wait anymore. She’s on her way now.”

I cancelled the delivery online. Not even five minutes later, his wife showed up for the groceries. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve had people not get their groceries within their delivery time slot, but this whole outbreak situation certainly has multiplied the number of people left waiting for their groceries.

At least this customer was understanding about everything. Too many people have yelled at us for deliveries being late and the store being out of everything, fights have broken out in the store, etc. We even had a customer steal a roll of paper towels that a coworker was using to clean the shelves. We really appreciate the understanding people right now.

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Not Afraid To Express Yourself At The Express Checkout

, , , , , | Right | August 4, 2020

I’m a cashier at a huge grocery store during a weekend shopping rush. I work at the fifteen-or-less lane, and the line is already quite long when a woman in her fifties gets in the line with a cart full of groceries. I remind her about the policy on the express lane — all we can do — and this ensues.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is fifteen items or less.”

Customer #1: “I’m not waiting in those f****** lines. I’m in a hurry. Just do your f****** job.”

Customer #2: “So are all of the rest of us. That is why we just stopped by to pick up the absolutely necessary stuff and came to the express line.”

Customer #1: “Just mind your own business.”

[Customer #1] starts piling up her groceries to the belt when I hear a loud whistle. It’s [Customer #2]. Everyone stops what they’re doing and starts looking for where the noise came from. [Customer #2] starts to talk with a loud voice to everyone in the store.

Customer #2: “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, could I please have a second of your time? I’m conducting a poll about a little situation we have here at the express lane. We have this woman here—” *pointing at her* “—who is refusing to leave the express lane even though she has a cart full of groceries and the cashier has asked her politely, and she is cursing at her. I would like to take a poll if people think she’s an entitled a**hole or not. If you think she is right and absolutely entitled to use the express lane, make some noise!”


Customer #2: “Aaand! If you think that she is an entitled b**** who should drag her cart to a normal line, make some noise now!”

People started clapping and making noise. The first customer, now beet red in the face, shouted, “F*** you!” and stormed out of the store. I had to call someone to put her things away, but that was definitely worth it!

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