Doesn’t Know How To Politely Decline

, , , , | Working | October 11, 2017

(I am 23, at an interview for my job as a technical service rep for a copier company, which means I would go to the customers in the field to fix copiers. They have 21 people complete a written test. Of those, seven are chosen for interview and at the end, one is hired, all within the same day. Of the first 21, I recognize one of my former classmates, who was somewhat on the “wild side.” Since I’m fresh out of an industrial electronics course, the technical tests go easy. Then the interview: Two men are bombarding me with questions.)

Interviewer: “I have you and someone else, equal; I don’t know which one to choose. I go see one of your pals and I ask him why should I choose you over the other one; what would they answer?”

Me: *thinks for a moment* “Because I’m the best of the two.”

(It’s a job interview. You have to sell yourself. They silently take some notes. To me, it seems they simply want to know how sure of myself I am. That is fine. A few hours later, I get a call that I have the job. A couple of weeks later, I happen to see that former classmate. He comes to me and congratulates me on the job.)

Former Classmate: “Did they asked you that weird question about you and someone else being equal and stuff?”

Me: “Yes.”

Former Classmate: “What did you answer?”

Me: “That I was the best of the two. Why? What did you answer?”

Former Classmate: “I told them to ask me questions that made f****** sense.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “Wow… Well, see ya.”

(About a week later, I happen to meet one of the men that was interviewing. I ask him if he remembers someone answering something like that to that question.)

Interviewer: “Yes, I do remember.”

Me: “What did you do?”

Interviewer: “We put our pen down, asked a few questions to be polite, and as soon as he left the room, we put his file down the trashcan. Can you imagine someone with this behavior dealing with customers?”

(For the record, I worked for that company for over ten years before being laid off following cutbacks. As for that other guy, although he had somehow managed to get a diploma in industrial electronics, he found a job as a janitor at the local mall.)

The Alarm Tag Wasn’t Designed For This Alarming Situation

, , , , , | Right | October 11, 2017

(I work in a big retail store. Our clothes have those annoying plastic tags on them that require a cashier to slide them into a magnetic setup at the registers to remove them. This happens one day as I am working the returns counter, and an elderly woman approaches me.)

Customer: “I bought pants here, and they didn’t remove that alarm tag. Can you do that?”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry about that.”

(I see that she has no shopping bag, but I think perhaps they are in her car or purse.)

Me: “I can take care of that for you right here. It is store policy that I ask to see a receipt before removing any tags, though.”

(The woman places her purse on the counter and takes the receipt out. I can see there is, indeed, a pair of pants on her receipt.)

Me: “Okay, I can see the pants here on the receipt, so if you want to go ahead and bring them in I can certainly take care of that for you.”

Customer: “Perfect! Where should I stand? Should I sit up here?” *gestures to my counter*

Me: “Pardon?

(The woman then lifts up her leg a bit, and I can very clearly see the nub of the tag on the seam of her pants, near the hem.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t remove the tag with them still on you. That’s quite impossible with our setup.”

Customer: “You mean I need to take them off?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry. I have no way to remove that tag while you are wearing them. You would have to come back with them not on so I can take off that tag.”

Customer: “Okay, then.”

(She steps back, and I assume she is going to leave and come back, when, I kid you not, this woman then proceeds to unzip her pants and starts to remove them.)

Me: “Ma’am? I’m sorry, what are you doing?”

Customer: “You said you can’t get it off while I’m wearing them. What does it look like I’m doing?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t have you do that, here, in the middle of the store.”

(I begin looking around now because there is a line behind her, and I am nervous that at any point my manager will come around, and that I will somehow be blamed for this woman trying to strip down.)

Customer: “Well, how the f*** are you going to get it off?”

Me: “You will have to come back on another day with them not on?”

Customer: “That’s a waste of my time! I came all the way here, just to find out you can’t take this tag off! You deserve to be fired for lying to the elderly!”

(She stormed off. I saw her again a week later, wearing the same pants, with the same alarm tag still on.)

Is He Still Dead?

, , , , | Working | October 10, 2017

Me: “Hello, may I speak to [Client], please?”

Receptionist: “[Client] is dead.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Receptionist: “[Client] died.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.”

(I end the call and go to my boss.)

Me: “[Boss], I can’t get [Client]. According to his office, he has passed away.”

Boss: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes, I asked twice.”

Boss: “Well, call them again to make sure.”

(I had to call again. It was awkward.)

Urine Trouble Now

, , , , | Right | October 10, 2017

(My style is punkish, with colorful hair and piercings. It’s a slow day and I am working the counter on my own when an angry, rather posh-looking customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “Go tell your manager to buy some urinal cakes. Here is 10€, since it seems that your restaurant can’t afford them!”

Me: *confused* “Uhm… Okay?”

(I refuse to take the money, since he’s made his point. He then throws it on the counter.)

Customer: “Take it and go to your manager!”

(As he leaves the counter new customers arrive, so I temporarily put the money in my pocket and take their orders first. While I am quickly serving the last customer, my manager joins me at the counter. Before I can say a word, the angry customer is back.)

Customer: *to the manager* “Did she give you the 10€ for the urinal cakes? Your toilets are really dirty and disgusting, and you should do something about it!”

Manager: “I am sorry that our restrooms seem to be dirty, sir. I will go and check them myself. But what money are you talking about?”

Customer: *to the manager* “I gave her 10€ and told her to give them to you, so you can buy some urinal cakes!” *to me* “You little piece of s***! You put the money in your own pocket without even telling him!”

Me: “I was going to tell him, but then I had to serve new customers. Here: you can have the money back. I didn’t even want to take it in the first place, but you made me.”

Customer: *looking me up and down* “It seems that you are in need of all the money you can get. So, keep it, you poor piece of s***! What a crappy place!”

(He then storms out of the restaurant. My manager takes me to the back to ask what just happened there. I tell him the whole story, afraid that I’m in trouble for this.)

Manager: *laughing* “What an idiot! Just keep the money!”

I Tyre Of Your Timing

, , , , , | Working | October 10, 2017

(My car is due for its MOT, a yearly safety check required by law in the UK, and the tread on my two front tyres is getting close to the legal limit, so I book a mobile tyre company to come change them for me. I book online and get an email that gives me a reference number and confirms that my time slot is from 8:00 to 11:00 am. It also says that on the day of my appointment, I’ll receive text updates. At 10:00 am on the day, I’ve heard nothing, so I call the office to check.)

Me: “Hi, I’ve got a booking today between 8:00 and 11:00, but I’ve heard nothing from you. Could you check what’s happening for me?”

Staff #1: “Okay, what’s your name please?”

Me: “It’s [My Name]. I’ve got my booking reference, if that would help?”

Staff #1: “No, we can’t look up bookings by references. Can you tell me your…” *list of details*

Me: *confirms all details*

Staff #1: “Okay, I’ve found your booking. It’s [reference number], correct?”

Me: *face-palming* “Yes.”

Staff #1: “Right. Thank you for confirming your booking. One of our team will call you back shortly to answer your query.”

Me: “Wait, what?! Why does someone have to call me back? My appointment slot is 8:00 to 11:00. It’s now 10:20, and I have to leave for work by 11:30. I need to know what’s happening.”

Staff #1: *sighs* “Okay, I’ll let them know it’s urgent.”

(She hangs up before I can say anything. Almost half an hour later, having heard nothing from them, I ring back. I have to confirm all of my details again, and I finally get transferred to a member of the sales team, to whom I explain the situation. By now it’s 10:55.)

Staff #2: “Right, I see from your booking form that you could also do after 3:00 pm, is that correct?”

Me: “I said I could do after 3:00 pm if you gave me at least 24 hours notice to rearrange my customers. You sent me an email confirming that my time slot was 8:00 to 11:00 am, so no, I can’t do 3:00 pm any longer.”

Staff #2: *pause* “Oh… Well, the problem is that we don’t actually have your tyres in stock yet, but they should arrive by about 2:00 pm.”

Me: “Why didn’t anyone call to tell me, then?!”

Staff #2: “It says on our notes that someone tried to ring you three times.”

Me: “I’ve been in all morning. My phone has not rung once, and I have no missed calls or voicemails.”

Staff #2: “Umm… Well, I guess we have an incorrect number then.”

Me: “I have the booking confirmation in front of me. Both my home and mobile numbers are listed correctly.”

Staff #2: *stammering now* “What I mean is we must have DIALED the number incorrectly.”

Me: “Three times?”

Staff #2: “Yes. Well. Umm… Is there any way you could do this afternoon? At any time?”

Me: “I can be home at 3:30 pm, but I would have to leave again by 4:00 pm, or I’ll be late to my last customer.”

Staff #2: “Okay. I promise I will have one of our mechanics waiting at your house for 3:30 pm, so they can start as soon as you get there.”

(I get home at 3:30 pm and there is a van outside my house that has the logo for a completely different mobile tyre company on it. I go over to check anyway, and it turns out it is the mechanic there for my booking. When he gets out of the van, he’s wearing a pair of work trousers that have a third mobile tyre company’s name on, and a jumper with a fourth company’s logo on.)

Mechanic: *handing me a bit of paper* “Sign here, and we’re good to go.”

Me: *reading the paper* “I’m not signing this until you’ve finished the job.”

Mechanic: *sighs* “Just sign and I’ll get started.”

Me: “This says that you’ve changed my tyres successfully, that you didn’t damage my car, and that I’m happy with the work you’ve done. I am not signing this until AFTER you’ve changed my tyres!”

(The mechanic grumbled a bit but did start the work. Luckily, after that, things improved. My tyres were changed correctly, and I made it to my last customer on time. When the head office sent me the invoice, they’d also knocked 10% off as an “apology for the error and inconvenience.” I still won’t be using or recommending them again in the future!)

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