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A Cup Of Coffee Goes To 100

, , , , | Right | December 20, 2017

(It has been a rough year for our family, and my mom is working at a popular coffee shop on Christmas Eve. It is snowing heavily outside and they have just opened the store. An old man comes in and orders a large black coffee.)

Man: “Do you have change for a $100?”

Mom: “No… I’m sorry. We just opened so I don’t have the proper change yet, but since it’s just a coffee you can have it on the house! Merry Christmas!”

(The man looks at my mom, and the coffee, and then drops the $100 in the tip jar.)

Man: *as he walks out the door* “Merry Christmas to you, too!”

(My mom was only working with one other person that day, so they both received $50 from him. It may not have made up for the whole year, but the kindness went a long way to making my mom feel a little more cheery.)

A Case For Upselling Humanity

, , , , | Working | December 19, 2017

(At some point it was decided that our tech support department should also always try to upsell. It is tempting; the usual pay is horrible and a bonus is offered, but it never sat right with me. I get a call from an elderly lady. She is lovely, living alone, and obviously not at all tech-savvy, and she has a simple enquiry: A friend told her that she was supposed to have hundreds of TV channels, but she only has about 30 — the very basic channels that, in Germany, are free to watch. After only a few questions from my side the issue becomes clear; someone sold her the most expensive cable bundle in connection with a set-top box that should be connected to her TV, only she has never, ever used it. She’s just been using her TV, hooked up to digital cable, and watched the free channels. All our calls are recorded, but this lady is awesome, and I’ve had about enough, so…)

Me: “Ma’am, before we continue, let me ask you one question: Are you happy with the service as it has been so far? Would you like to watch more channels?”

Caller: “Oh, I only ever watch the news for a bit in the evening. I don’t need anything else. I was just wondering about what my friend said.”

Me: “All right. You see, in order to get more channels, you would have to use the black box, and the remote that came with it. That’s one option. The other option is that I cancel your subscription for all but the basic functions.”

Caller: “I don’t want to deal with that box. It’s useless. But I want to keep the channels I used.”

Me: “Thank you, ma’am. Here is what we’ll do: Everything on your end stays the same, but instead of your monthly fee of [about 60] Euros, we’ll lower it to [about 20] Euros.”

Caller: “You can really do that?”

Me: “In this case, yes. Also, as I’m looking at your account right now, may I ask if you have a computer or use the Internet at all?”

Caller: “No, no. I can’t be bothered with that.”

Me: “And you’re not planning on buying a computer, either, I take it.”

Caller: “No, I can’t make sense of all that stuff.”

Me: “That’s fine. In that case, I will cancel your Internet subscription as well. That brings your new monthly total down to [less than 10] Euros.”

(The call took over 20 minutes as I walked her through the cancellation process and had her write down everything we’d discussed, since she wanted her son to check her contract, and I wanted them to be able to make an informed decision. I got written up for it, but I didn’t mind. You just don’t take advantage of lovely old ladies for a measly bonus. I just wish I had found out which colleague had sold an Internet contract to someone who didn’t own a PC, laptop, or smartphone, etc.)

Libraries Usually Come To The Rescue

, , , | Hopeless | December 16, 2017

(After going through a very rough time, I feel like treating myself, so I book a holiday apartment in a small town. There’s a well-known history museum in this town that I’ve been planning to visit for a while, so I check their website thoroughly to make sure it will be open. I also specifically book a place that offers Wi-Fi so I can distract myself on rainy days. It’s worth noting that I have a “water allergy”: aquagenic urticaria. It’s extremely annoying; trust me… Sadly, things don’t go as planned. After one night, the Wi-Fi cuts off and can’t be restored. I can’t even use my phone as a hotspot, since I don’t get a signal inside the house. The weather turns really bad for early summer, with mostly heavy rain and even some hail. Due to my water allergy [umbrellas don’t protect against rain coming from the side], I’m mostly stuck in the apartment, since the next bus stop is also quite far away, and I quickly run out of books. As the sun comes out again, I immediately decide to visit the museum I came here for. It’s half an hour’s walk; I could take a bus for part of the way, but I decide against it, happy to just be outside. When I arrive at the museum, I see some construction going on at the entrance. Moving closer, I notice a sign stating that the whole place is currently closed due to renovations. Frustrated, I trudge back to the city centre and get a flyer from the local information. Among some places that I can’t easily reach without a car, there’s something about an exhibition on the history of book printing in the local library. Awesome! I look up the library on the map and walk over. It’s still 15 minutes until it opens for the afternoon, but I wait patiently. When the doors open, I walk up to the librarian.)

Me: “Good afternoon. I heard that there’s an exhibition on book printing in the library, and I’d love to see it!”

Librarian: “Oh, I’m sorry… The exhibition is currently closed. We recently got a new manager, and she hasn’t decided on whether she wants to keep the exhibits at all.”

Me: *dejected* “Oh… okay…”

Librarian: *apparently noticing my mood* “Are you a tourist?”

Me: “Yes, I’m from [City]. I mostly came here to see the history museum, but I just walked there and it’s closed. Then I heard about your place and came here, but I guess it’s not my lucky day.” *I smile, trying to sound light-hearted.*

Librarian: “You know what? The exhibition might be closed, but it’s all still there in the cellar. I can ask my colleague if she’d like to accompany you there.”

Me: “Oh, you don’t have to do that! I really don’t want to be a bother.”

Librarian: “Don’t worry! Wait here; I’ll be back soon.”

(She walks away and soon returns with another woman.)

Librarian: “That’s my colleague, Miss [Name]. She can show you around.”

Me: *beaming* “Thank you so much, that’s incredibly nice!”

Other Librarian: “Oh, I don’t mind! I actually just started working here a few weeks ago, and haven’t had time for more than a casual glance at the exhibits.”

(She walked me to the stairs, lifting some security rope so I could pass through. We walked through an empty room and reached another one filled with printing presses, showcases with old books, and examples of prints and handwritten texts in several writing systems, from Hebrew to Hindi. As a language geek, I was ecstatic. The librarian and I started talking about the exhibition, quickly drifting off to related topics – such as the foreign languages her daughter was learning, volunteering as a language teacher for refugees (which I do), and my plans to study linguistics. After spending at least half an hour looking around and chatting, she found some bookmarks, from an earlier event, which showed examples of old German handwriting, and gave one to me. I still think fondly of my visit there. Huge thanks to the two friendly librarians who took pity on a sad tourist. I still own that bookmark, and looking at it brings a smile to my face every time!)

Poor Megan…

, , , , | Working | December 15, 2017

(We just got off a tour of a zoo.)

Driver/Guide: “Thank you for coming to [Zoo]. If you liked the tour, my name is [Name]. If you didn’t, my name is Megan, and get off my bus.”

Hello, Is This Surreality?

, , , | Working | December 14, 2017

(I’m a telemarketer and whenever I have a bad day I call this one number who always makes my day. The lady on the other end always seemed to get a kick out of getting telemarketers like me. Here are just some of my favorites:)

First Time:

Me: “Hello, is this [First name, Last Name]?”

Lady: “No, it’s the f****** Easter bunny and I’m on vacation. Go bother Santa.” *click*

Random Time:

Lady: “Hello, this is Warehouse of F***s. I’m sorry to say we have none to give right now. I would say try back later but our f***s just run out so darn fast, we almost never have any. Have a nice day! Bye!” *click*

Random Time:

Lady: “Hello, you have reached Mistress Iron Maiden, I can’t come to the phone right now, but feel free to give me your name, number, and how you want me to emasculate you at the beep and I’ll get right back to you. Beep!” *click*

Favorite of all Time:

Lady: “Hello, this is the Fairy Tail Bakery. I’m sorry we can’t come to the phone right now. We are either on the other line taking another order, closed, or the raccoons have burrowed through our walls again and we’ve all run for our lives because those raccoons are twice the size of a very large fat cat.” *click*

Me: “Oh, I need more than that.” *calls back*

Lady: “IT WAS THE RACCOONS!” *screams in terror, the phone sounds like it’s been dropped and then sounds of some sort of animal screeching in the distance* “COME AT ME, MOTHER-F*****S! THESE ARE MY CUPCAKES!” *click*