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Best. Tech Support Call. Ever.

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Boobel | August 4, 2021

I work for an online gambling firm. Rather than having loads of varying departments, we try to resolve as much as possible with one agent to create a better customer experience to save transferring customers.

On my first day, I am listening in on someone taking the calls. A technical call comes in.

An elderly lady is calling up because her screen is flashing lots of different colours and is making a lot of noise, so she had to turn the sound off. The agent asks what she has been doing, and she starts navigating around the account details as the lady is detailing what she sees on her screen. She describes what sounds like a broken monitor, but it’s only just happened.

It sounds like the lady puts the phone down on a surface for a moment as we can hear her, muffled, in the background. This is when the agent I’m listening in on starts to go white. She taps my hand, and on the screen, she has highlighted the balance of the customer’s account.

It’s £297,000.

Immediately, the agent throws her hand in the air to alert everyone of a big win. People start crowding around the desk. I feel SO pumped.

The lady comes back onto the phone.

Lady: “Sorry, I went to get my glasses.”

Agent: *Very calmly* “I think I have found the problem, but I need you to turn your sound on.”

The sound is duly turned on, the agent hits the speakerphone button on her terminal, and we all hear the sound of party poppers and general celebration sounds. The flashing screen and the sounds were the notification that she had won a progressive jackpot. The agent asks her to sit down.

Agent: *Still calm* “You’ve won £297,000. I have never been so happy to confirm that there is no technical issue.”

The lady is quiet for several seconds before shouting:

Lady: “’Albert, quickly come here! ALBERT, ALBEEEERT!”

A senior agent took the call and arranged to get the funds sent out.


This story is part of our Best Of August 2021 roundup!

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A Tale Worthy Of A Book

, , , , , , , | Right | August 3, 2021

My father has taken me to public libraries every weekend since I was almost three. It used to be a long walk, but I enjoyed looking at books. My schooling was in English and the books were in my first language, so I could not read much until about eight. The public libraries did not carry a lot of English books.

When I was about ten, we moved to a neighborhood where the public library was less than five minutes’ walk from my home. It was open for three hours in the morning and evening. Every evening, I would rush to the library soon after school. Usually, I would be there within five minutes of opening. Their usual practice was to set up periodicals first as evening newspaper readers would start coming in. Instead of waiting for them, I would just start dusting the kids’ section seats and turn on the lights and start my reading.

The librarian was the kind of man who just did not look approachable. I used to hear him being hard on people who had late returns or spoiled the books, and he used to be curt with my father when he joined me on Sunday mornings, so ten-year-old me was scared of this man.

Every day, fifteen minutes before the actual closing time, they would start announcements and ask people to vacate. The first few days, I just did not understand why someone would make me leave fifteen minutes early. And since I did not have a library card, I could not take my half-read books with me. I would simply put the book back and go back home. After a few days, the librarian must have silently observed my long face, because he started making announcements about closure only in other sections.

The housekeeper lady would just smile at me and leave the lights on just enough for me to read while they tidied up the rest of the place and did their closing activities. This gave me another ten minutes to read. Five minutes before closing, I would straighten the books in the kids’ section and join them in locking up. Very soon, in my head, I had become a part of their opening and closing team! Every Sunday, I would proudly walk in with my father as if I were taking him to my own place.

We lived in that house for about five years and I had read most of the books in the kids’, young adult, and basic science sections. The librarian, still curt and limited on words, had started to smile at me. He would simply point at new books and smile at my brightened eyes. If I missed going to the library, the housekeeper lady would be worried and ask why I had missed my routine. When we were moving, the librarian gave an additional borrower’s card to my father’s account and asked me to use it. We did not move far off and my aunt lived near the library, so I went back there at least twice a week.

The next year, when I turned sixteen, the librarian asked me to get my documents and registered me for my own borrower’s account and penned my name on my first-ever library card. That day was pure joy for me and him. During my college days, I would go there if I wanted some quiet place to study. He’d simply give me reading room keys and let me be. I knew the library layout very well and sometimes helped other patrons, too. When they closed for maintenance activities, I would join them for housekeeping tasks. They both knew they just couldn’t get rid of me!

Then, life happened. I moved places and lost touch with that library. The last time I was in that neighborhood, I saw a new librarian and heard that the old man had retired and they have smart cards now.

I still love books, all thanks to my dad, that silent librarian, and the sweet housekeeper lady. I still have that card with the librarian’s handwriting!

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The Masks Don’t Muffle These Idiots Enough

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: animasci_ | August 2, 2021

I’m a medical professional. I’ve been dealing with people who think the health crisis is a hoax or not serious, etc. I walk into a coffee shop and distance myself on the little circles they have that are six feet away from each other. There are just a few people in the store and it’s pretty big so, overall, I feel safe.

I’m minding my business when this woman walks in. I don’t notice her until I hear a barista say:

Barista: “Excuse me. You need a mask to be inside the store.”

I turn to witness a look of horror on this woman’s face, as if she didn’t see the countless signs stating you need a mask, and or she didn’t realize there was a health crisis.

Woman: “All I want is a coffee.”

Barista: “I’ll be happy to make you one when you put a mask on.”

Woman: “But—”

Me: “Nope.”

Woman: “What?”

Me: “Nope. These workers don’t get paid enough to make coffee and babysit children.”

Woman: “Excu—”

Me: “Nope.”

Woman: “I—”

Me: “Out.”

She goes to speak again.

Me: “Nope, out.”

It feels like I am talking to a misbehaving puppy, and she looks just as sad. She turns to the only line of defense she has left.

Woman: “I’ll get you fired!”

Me: “I don’t work here.”

Woman: “I’ll find your boss!”

Me: “I am my boss.”

She short-circuited, made a weird, grunting, angry sound, and left.

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A Tale Of Moms Helping Moms

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Potato-the-sloth | August 1, 2021

I checked in a guest who is sweet right off the bat. She tells me about her life and how she is a foster mother and how she has adopted most of her children. I gush over her and her inspiring life choices, and then she thanks me and leaves to get settled in.

While this is transpiring, another guest I checked in earlier comes up to the desk looking upset. I know exactly why. When she was checking in, she lied about how many people were in her room and my manager caught them. They were told about our capacity limit per room and how they would have to purchase another room if they wanted to stay. She has two adults and six children but our cap is five people for regular rooms and six for suites.

I release the hold on her card and cancel her reservation. I apologize and reiterate that I have to follow policy. She leaves, looking defeated.

Ten minutes later, the sweet foster mother walks up to the front desk.

Me: “Hey! Welcome back. What can I do for you?”

Guest: “Do you all have any adjoining rooms available?”

Me: “I’d have to check, but we should.”

Guest: “Great. If you do, I’d like to buy a room for the lady that just left with all of those kids.”

Me: “That is the sweetest thing. You don’t have to do that, but you are welcome to if you’d like.”

She left and went outside to tell the mother of the six kids that she could pay for the room while I stayed standing dumbstruck at the desk.

They came back in and asked for the price of the rooms. I let the kind guest know that she would be responsible for any extra charges and fees accrued if the room was trashed and that I could continue with the reservation process if she was comfortable and understood this. She agreed and we continued.

The mother of six, I could tell, felt so grateful. She said she wanted to celebrate her son’s birthday but it’s hard to find places that accept that many people. It made my night, her night, and her kid’s night. They only wanted to swim and enjoy a five-year-old’s birthday. The room didn’t end up trashed, either.

It may not seem like much, but the kindness of a stranger after a dumpster fire year really made me feel like there is hope for us all yet.

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Why Would Anyone Help Anyone Ever?!

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: HyperMushrambo | July 31, 2021

I work at a popular fast food chain. I am visiting a retail chain straight out of work. I am still in uniform and my hair is a mess, so I still have my [Fast Food Chain] hat on.

I swing by electronics to check out the games, and while I am looking at them, there is a pretty young kid and his mother talking to an employee about what game he wants to get. I overhear their whole conversation. He wants a Pokémon game but doesn’t know which one to get. His mom clearly has no idea and the employee, a very pleasant older gentleman who doesn’t know BEANS about something like Pokémon, is trying to help puzzle out the difference between two games.

I love the kid’s enthusiasm and totally understand his anxiety about wanting to get the right one, and since I can see his mother and the employee struggling, I go ahead and politely interject. I explain the general difference between the games and answer the kid’s questions about them. He eventually makes a decision and the (very relieved) adults head off to the register to check out.

I am about to leave when an older woman and her husband get my attention.

Woman: “I need help with the TVs.”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t really know anything about TVs.”

Woman: *Huffily* “Why not? Aren’t you expected to?”

I realized that, in spite of my uniform, she thinks I am an employee. I laugh.

Me: “Sorry, I don’t work here; I work for [Fast Food Chain].”

Woman: *Huffing again* “Well, you were helping those people just a minute ago.”

Me: “Yes, because I knew the answer and was able to help.”

Woman: *Snorting* “Why would you do that if you don’t work here?”

I am genuinely baffled by the question.

Me: “To… be nice?”

Woman: “I don’t know why you would do something like that.”

I just stare at her. How do you even respond to that? After a moment of silence:

Woman: “So, can you help me with the TVs or not?”

Me: “No.”

And I walked away. I don’t quite understand what about basic human kindness is so confusing, but there it sits. But the little boy got his game, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

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