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Hope For Humanity Is Beginning To Fade

, , , , | Right | August 23, 2020

I am an Esthetician — skin therapist — at a spa. When I am not performing facials on clients, I manage the front desk and do minor marketing for the spa and salon. Today, I receive the oddest and most difficult of calls to date.

Caller: “My daughter got her hair dyed about a month ago. Since then it has faded. I’ve texted the stylist multiple times regarding the appointment and how to rebook, but no one called me.”

I scroll through the computer to find the woman’s daughter’s history.

Me: “Ma’am, according to our records, we have called you three times to rebook and never received a call back.”

Caller:What?! I do not understand. I never received a call.”

Me: “Ma’am, the number we have on record is [number]; is this correct?”

Caller: “THAT’S MY DAUGHTER’S NUMBER!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, now that I do have you on the phone and I do have some time I’ll be more than happy to assist you in booking the appointment.”

Caller: “No, no, no, no, no. I want to book with the stylist that did my daughter’s hair. And I need to know if I have to pay anything; the color faded so I shouldn’t have to pay anything.”

Me: “Ma’am, I will book you with that stylist. According to our records, your daughter was in here more than five weeks ago; typically color appointments should be booked every five to six weeks.”

Caller: “No. This is my daughter. She is a child. It shouldn’t have faded.”

Me: “Ma’am, I understand.”

Caller: “I want an appointment in which I won’t have to pay anything!”

Me: “Ma’am, the best I can do is just have you pop in with your daughter to see if the stylist can look at her hair and give you a price point.”

Caller: “Ugh, fine!” 

I booked the free consultation appointment and finally got off the phone with the woman who was insistent on not paying a dime for an appointment that was obviously needed.

About an hour later, I reported the client to our salon manager, who told me to call the woman back and rebook her yet again but on a day when a senior stylist was also present to enforce the needed payment.

I long for the days when answering the phone will no longer be my job. The woman’s daughter wanted bright red hair; red fades the fastest. We told her this and encouraged her to rebook every five weeks.

A Tour Of The Mind Of An Angry Customer

, , , , , , | Right | April 7, 2020

(A customer is upset because her child isn’t able to participate in a program because of an age restriction. She is mad and feels that she was given incorrect information, and she is yelling at me about it as I try to figure out the situation.)

Me: “Okay, we can go ahead and issue a refund since it sounds like there was some confusion when you purchased your tickets.”

Customer: *yelling* “And I suppose it will take several days for the refund to go through? How long will it be until I get my money?”

Me: “It can take three to five business days for the refund to process.”

Customer: *still yelling* “So, they can’t go on the tour and now I can’t get my money for three to five days. So, I’m just out that money for the next three days?!”

Me: *in my head* “Weren’t you going to be out that money forever if they went on the tour?”

Not What Is Meant By Giving A Voice To Minorities

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

(I am a white male working at a well-known fast food franchise in a predominately-black area. I am working the drive-thru order and payment window. A car pulls up to the speaker box and I talk into my headset.)

Me: “Welcome to [Store]. Can I take your order?”

Customer: “I’ll take a [order].”

Me: “That will be [price]. First window, please.”

(So far, it seems like a standard order. The customer drives around. The customer is a black woman. Before I can even repeat the price, she looks up with a shocked expression.)

Customer: “YOU’RE NOT BLACK!”

(I am speechless.)

Customer: “You sound black on the box! WHY DO YOU SOUND BLACK?!”

(I do not know what else to say except:)

Me: “That will be [price].”

(The customer pays and then drives off to pick up her food. Then, she starts talking to herself.)

Customer: “Shouldn’t be making himself sound black like that. He’s not black.”

(My coworkers at the food window told me later that she told them to tell me to stop pretending to be black.)

It’s Not As White As You Think It Is

, , , , , , | Learning | December 3, 2019

(I’m teaching a lesson on how Latin has influenced English, so the students all have lists of English words with their Latin equivalents. The students need to think about which words from Latin are directly related to English, indirectly related, or not related at all.)

Me: “Okay, what word did you choose?”

Class: “White.”

Me: “What is the Latin word?”

Class: “Albus, alba, album.”

Me: “Does that sound like the English word ‘white’?”

Class: “NO!”

Me: “Does it sound like another English word that is similar to white?”

Boy: *sitting in the back corner of the room* “Yes!”

Me: “Okay, what word is it related to?” *expecting “albino”*

Boy: “ALABAMA!”

They Made It Physical

, , , , , | Working | October 28, 2019

(Back in the 90s, my parents volunteer as treasurers for their community pool. Each year, the pool has to be inspected by the state before it can open. As the pool is only open from May to September, normally the inspection office will send a notice to the PO box saying when they will be around to do the inspection and someone with a key will meet them to let them in. One year, as opening day approaches, my mother begins to get nervous as she has been checking the PO box and no such notice has arrived. The pool cannot operate without the inspection, so after having no luck getting through to someone, she drives downtown and marches into their office.)

Inspector: “We sent someone down there but no one was there to let the inspector in.”

Mom: “Right. Because we didn’t know we had to be there. No one sent us a notice so that we could let them in. The pool is only open three months out of the year.”

Inspector: “We sent the notice.”

(They go back and forth on this. Mom checked the PO box diligently so she knows nothing has been sent.)

Mom: “What address did you send the notice to?”

Inspector: *flips her computer screen around so Mom can see it* “We sent it here.”

Mom: “That’s the physical address! There is no one there when the pool isn’t open, which it says in the notes.” *points to another area on the screen*This is the mailing address! It clearly says that on the screen. Not only that, but I also see that you have six phone numbers you could have called if you needed someone to let you in.”

Inspector: “Look, ma’am. We sent the notice. We sent someone out. You weren’t there to let us in. That’s not our fault.”

Mom: “Do you not know the difference between a physical address and a mailing address?”

Inspector: “I know the difference, but—”

Mom: “Good. Then set up another appointment for the physical address right now for any time before Memorial Day weekend when the pool is supposed to be open. I’ll be there myself to let them in.”

(Mom got her appointment and left. The week before the pool opened, some volunteers went over to the pool to clean and found the inspection notice stuck in between the gates.)