Why Did The Rubber Chicken Cross The Road?

, , , , | Right | September 9, 2017

(I have been experiencing Internet outages all day, and once a snow storm hits, there is nothing. I call to double check if there are any other problems in the area.)

Tech: “Thank you for calling [Service Provider]. This is [Tech]. How may I help you?”

Me: “My Internet is out, and I was wondering if there were any outages in the area.”

Tech: “I can certainly check that for you. Give me a moment…” *brief pause* “It seems there are only a handful of people who are without connection, so I don’t think it is an area issue. What is the modem doing?”

Me: “Well, it’s odd. All the lights are on as if it were working, but I definitely can’t access any websites.”

Tech: “Okay. Just a few questions for you to determine this isn’t the router. Do you have any baby monitoring devices in the house?”

Me: “No.”

Tech: “Do you have any new remote devices at all?”

Me: “No.”

Tech: “Is your home built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground?”

Me: *giving my fiancé a twisted face and giggling* “No.”

Tech: “Okay, then. I’m going to ask you to unplug the router from the modem so I may check the connection on our end.” *gives me instructions* “And don’t forget to stand on one leg while holding a rubber chicken. Most people forget that.”

(We go through a few more steps, the results of which are baffling him, because his system says there’s no connection, but my equipment says otherwise.)

Tech: “I knew it… you didn’t hold the rubber chicken.” *sigh* “Nobody ever listens.”

Me: *trying not to lose it, I giggle more* “You sure there aren’t any other outages? The storm outside is pretty bad.”

(A short conversation reveals he is in Louisiana and had no idea there was a storm.)

Tech: “Even though the storm may have something to do with it, I’m not ruling out the possibility of an ancient burial ground. However, I am going to recommend we replace your modem.”

(We set up an appointment for the next day.)

Tech: “I would like to thank you for calling [Service Provider], and for being patient with both the troubleshooting and my sense of humor. Have a good night.”

(I stay on the line to wait for the automated survey to give him an excellent review. I hang up and finally let my laughter go. Both my fiancé and roommate look confused. I tell them about the conversation.)

Fiancé: “I would have liked to hear his reaction if you told him you held a rubber duck instead.”

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Desperate To Put A Silver Lining On It

, , | Working | September 8, 2017

(My silver ring is very dear to me, because it was the last birthday gift I got from my dad before he died. It now has a crack in the band, so I take it to the local jeweler for repairs. A week after I drop it off, I get a phone call saying their silversmith has been sick, so it is taking a bit longer. I don’t think much of it when it does take a while, but after two weeks I decide to call. I get the store manager on the phone. He says he can’t find my order, so he’ll have to call me back. A few minutes later, he calls.)

Jeweler: “Hi. I am calling about the silver ring you inquired about. And, um… I really don’t know how to tell you this, but the ring was sent to our workshop, and it was already done and on its way back to the store… but it got lost in the mail.”

Me: “What? What do you mean, ‘lost in the mail?’”

(At this point, he has to explain it to me again, as I can’t believe my ears. It turns out that the one package that was missing from the postal service truck was the one containing my ring. The jeweler on the phone is stuttering with nerves, and it slowly dawns on me what the case is. I’m in tears at this point.)

Jeweler: “I will get a call from the postal services tomorrow, and see if they have found it yet. But it has been several days already, so I wouldn’t count on it…”

(This gives me a slight spark of hope. But the day after comes and goes, and no call. I go by the store the next day, and I meet with the manager. He explains to me that there has even been a full investigation looking into where the package went. The jeweler himself has searched the postal truck, and basically moved heaven and earth to find it. But no luck… the package is gone. I’m crushed by this news, and the jeweler keeps apologizing. I keep telling him he isn’t to blame. The poor guy is shaking with nerves.)

Jeweler: “I understand that the value of this ring to you can not be expressed in numbers. But I do want to ask you want you think it was worth in the first place, so I can at least compensate you.”

Me: *crying* “I don’t think any price you name can fill the gap for this loss… It wasn’t even a fancy ring. Honestly, it wouldn’t feel right to demand money from you for this.”

Jeweler: “I see where you want to go with this… but I can’t just let you walk away with nothing. Let me at least give you a gift card.”

Me: “Really, sir, you have done all you could to find it back. With all due respect, I’m in no mood to go shop for another ring, or anything else for that matter, right now.”

Jeweler: *with the most defeated face I have ever seen* “It would be so much easier for me if you just shouted at me…”

Me: “Why would I shout at you? Again, this isn’t your fault. It’s the postal service’s fault. I feel so sorry for you…”

Jeweler: “Don’t feel sorry for me! This isn’t about me, it’s about you! But I can’t let you walk away just like that. No.. no this won’t do. Let me just… hold on.”

(He gets up, gets a gift card from the counter, and writes a figure on it.)

Jeweler: “I won’t write an expiration date on it, so you can use this, unlimited. Again, I feel terrible for what happened.”

(He wrote quite a sum on that gift card… I still feel so sorry for the poor jeweler. I’m still heartbroken for never getting my ring back, but the service and compassion from this jeweler was unbelievable! I hope he quit beating himself up about it.)

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Art Always Gets A Pass

, , , , | Hopeless | September 4, 2017

(It is about seven pm and I have just walked into a museum in NYC that has my favorite painting in it. I did not know this previously, and found out after spending the day with my parents at another museum. We are tired, weary, and a tad short on funds. I approach the ticket desk to see how much it will be for one student and two seniors to enter.)

Employee: “Senior tickets are $17 each and students are $12.”

Me: *sullenly turns to my parents, who are sitting down*

Mom: “You go, we will sit here.”

Me: *turns to employee* “One student, please.”

Employee: *accepts my payment and looks thoughtful* “You know, I get free passes that I don’t use. Why don’t you all go?” *hands me three tickets*

Me: *tearfully and excitedly* “Thank you so much!”

(This was about five years ago, but I’ve never forgotten the act of kindness. I was able to see that painting with my family and take a photo with it. We really enjoyed the museum, all thanks to a kind employee!)

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His Work Ethic Is Not Broken

, , , , , | Working | August 31, 2017

(We have someone coming in for a job interview, which I’m preparing for. I get a call from one of the employees, who is freaking out and telling me to come down right away. When I get there, I see our interviewee leaning against the counter, covered in blood and with a clearly broken arm.)

Me: “Oh my gosh, sir! Are you okay? I’ll call you an ambulance right away!” *I notice that one of my employees is already on the phone with 911.*

Interviewee: *clearly in pain* “Oh, it’s okay, I’ll go to the hospital after the interview.”

Me: “What happened?”

Interviewee: “I tried to pull my cat from a tree branch outside and fell out of a second story window onto cement. Don’t worry about it. So, the interview?”

Me: “Sir, I know you want this job, but if you had called us and told us what had happened, I would have understood completely why you couldn’t make it in today and rescheduled!”

Interviewee: “Hey, while we’re waiting for the ambulance, do you think we can maybe quickly have that interview? I get the feeling I’ll be preoccupied the next couple of weeks.”

Me: “Uh… okay, sir.”

(Since the idea of the interview seemed to keep him calm, I agreed and gave him one on the spot while we waited, which he aced despite the fact that he was clearly in a lot of pain. When I told my boss what had happened, he told me to hire him, saying anyone who insisted on coming in despite a broken arm was clearly dedicated to getting that job. He’s been one of our best and most dedicated employees, to the point where we actually have to beg him not to come into work whenever he gets sick, because he refuses to call off.)

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Coffee For The Masses

, , , | Working | August 31, 2017

(I work on reception in an office located in one of England’s industrial estates, where there are few nearby shops. Twice a day, a coffee van drives past my work to sell snacks, and I go out every morning for a caffeine fix. One morning, an executive director walks past my desk and starts handing me some money.)

Director: “I’m going into a meeting with the other executive directors for a couple of hours. Can you get me [four coffees].”

Me: “No worries; [Coffee Guy] should be here any minute.”

Director: “How much will that be?”

Me: “No more than £10, probably.”

Director: “Here’s £15, and get one for yourself.”

Me: “Thank you! Are you sure?”

Director: “Of course. It’s not your job to get me coffee.”

(Almost everyone in my office is lovely. To have the directors respecting everyone in the building – even “lower” [for lack of a better word] people and people in completely different departments – just reminds me what a great job I have.)

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