Unfiltered Story #184485

, , , | Unfiltered | January 28, 2020

I commute to work via train, and the particular terminus also houses a major civic arena, which hosts 2 major sports teams and numerous concerts and other events.
One evening, I passed a trio of young ladies at the (event) ticket window. To get here they had to pass numerous signs that say “North Station”, “To Trains”, and “Commuter Rail”, as well as a large electronic signboard whereon are shown train departure times and gate numbers.
Observing commuters rushing by to get to their trains, one of them said:
“Why is everybody running?”

The Curse Of The Irish (Name)

, , , , , , | Right | January 22, 2020

I work in the credit customer service department for a regional department store in the northeastern USA. If someone calls and doesn’t have their card number, we can still look it up a few different ways, starting with the first four letters of their last name and the first five digits of their mailing address. 

One day, I am supposed to meet my father for dinner after work. Twenty minutes before the end of my shift, I get such a call. I ask for her name, which is not an uncommon Irish name, particularly in the Boston area. I ask for her address, and she tells me that when she opened the account she was living at a hotel and didn’t have a numerical address. So, I start checking every account with her last name and first initial. There’s a lot, and she’s getting angry at me for not chatting while I search. 

When I hit the seven-hundred mark, she says, “Wait, it might be under my husband’s name, [Name with a different last name initial].”

I start over again, searching every account with her last name. 

When I get to eleven hundred, she asks, “Would it help if I went to get the card?”  

Clenching my fist in rage, I say, “Yes, that would be very helpful, thank you.”

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Their Number Isn’t Very High

, , , , | Right | January 21, 2020

Customer: “Hi, I have a question about my order.” 

Me: “Great! Do you have your order number?”

Customer: “Yep!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…Can I have it?”

Customer: “Oh? You want it? Hold on, let me go get it.”

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Cubic Confusion

, , , , , , | Related | January 16, 2020

(It’s no secret in my family that I’m very good at mental arithmetic. As a result, I’m frequently used to calculate any number of things going on in their lives under the pretense of “save me from finding the calculator.” Usually, it’s just a minor inconvenience in my day. Then, my dad says the magic words.)

Dad: “So, it measures 7 feet, by 7 feet, by 4 inches. How many cubic feet is that?”

Me: “16 1/3.”

Dad: “No! That’s too small!”

Me: “You said 7 feet, by 7 feet, by 4 inches, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “And there’s 12 inches to a foot, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “So, 4 inches is equal to 1/3 of a foot, right?”

Dad: “Right.”

Me: “So, 7, times 7, times 1/3. That’s 16 1/3.”

Dad: “No! You have to convert it to cubic inches first!”

Me: “Really?! You’re making me do it that way?”

Dad: “Yes, that’s how you do it.”

(Groaning and shaking my head, I do this considerably longer calculation.)

Me: “That’s 28,224 cubic inches, so… 16 1/3 cubic feet. Again.”

Dad: “What?! How did you turn 28,000 into 16?!”

(I grab a pencil and paper and walk him through every step of my work. We arrive at 28,224 just fine, and then we get to converting.)

Me: “So now we divide by 1728.”

Dad: “No! There are only 12 inches to a foot!”

Me: “It’s a CUBIC foot, Dad. That’s a cube measuring 12 inches, by 12 inches, by 12 inches. That’s 1728 cubic inches to the cubic foot. Or are you going to tell me that you think the answer is 2352 cubic feet?”

Dad: “You did something wrong!”

(He storms off, right towards the calculator. Meanwhile, I’ve pulled out my phone and found a source that proves there are 1728 cubic inches to a cubic foot, just in case I still need it, which I do. By the end of this encore of a needless conversion, we have, once again, arrived at 16 1/3.)


Me: “Why don’t you show me what I’m calculating?”

(He leads me to the backyard and shows me a big, rectangular hole.)

Dad: “This is for the shed. I dug it out, and I just need to smooth it out. Tomorrow, I’m going to fill it. I need to know if I’ve got enough bags of cement. If it’s 16 1/3, I’d only need one bag, but I’m definitely going to need more like 30.”

(I see one of the bags he has out, and I start reading it to make sure all of his numbers are right. The bag says it’s good for 20 cubic feet of concrete, so by all outward appearances, my math is sound. Then, as I ponder why my dad insists he’s going to need 30, the gears in my head start winding.)

Me: “Dad, you are going to use concrete, right?”

Dad: “Yes!”

Me: *realizing how poorly I phrased my previous question* “Walk me through it. You empty this bag into the… whatever, and then?”

Dad: “Then I add the water until it’s the right consistency.”

Me: “That’s it?”

Dad: “Well, then I pour it, smooth it out, and build the shed.”

Me: *facepalming* “Oh, my God.”

Dad: “What?”

Me: “You don’t know the difference between cement and concrete, and you’ve done work on this house.”

(At least now we knew what the problem was. Now to figure out how many of his fixes around the house have to be redone.)

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Unfiltered Story #181205

, , , | Unfiltered | January 2, 2020

(We’re an academic bookstore, so we sell books for courses at a specific university. At the beginning of each semester, we hire a lot of temporary employees to help with the rush of customers. One of our young but fairly competent temps approaches the desk with a customer to ask for my help. I am in the middle of fixing an online order issue that I can’t pause to help elsewhere, but I can answer questions and give instructions.

Note, I am a white female, the customer is a white female, and the employee helping her is a black teenaged guy)

Employee: Um, can we have you help with a register transaction?

Me: Sure! What’s the issue?

Employee: She wants to rent the books, but pay with financial aid and it’s not giving me the option to charge her financial aid.

Customer: I just want to make sure I’m not charged twice!

I explain that she has to put a credit card on file for security, it won’t be charged, and that I’ll be over in just a minute to help with the payment step, just as soon as I’m done with the order. My employee responds confidently that he understands and can do this.

Customer: Oh, sure, but I’ll wait. I’d really prefer *your* help, if you understand.

Me: Yup, I’ll come right over, but I have to finish with this order first. He can set up the securing card. You won’t be charged.

She protests several more times that she wants me to help her and she’ll wait, because this is financial aid and “you clearly know what I am talking about. (wink, wink)” I promise I will be right over and she follows the temp back to the registers.

When I walk over a minute later, she has decided not to get half of the books on the transaction but, it turns out this is after she told him to try to charge her financial aid and it came back as an invalid account. She also oddly refers to my employee as “your gentlemanly colleague”. I remove the stuff she no longer wants and try to run her financial aid myself. It again comes back invalid.

Me: Can I just borrow your school ID for a moment to go look up your account?

Customer: Sure!

I look her up in the system, and as I suspect she doesn’t have an account. I suspect she has a scholarship that was set up as our campus currency instead of as financial aid. I go back and start to ask her about this as it should be easy to fix.

Customer: (interrupting me) I have the money! (Shows me the balance of her campus currency account) I never said financial aid! You did!!

Me: Okay, well there was a misunderstanding but we can help —

Customer: (again interrupting) I never said financial aid!! You really need to work on your customer service!

Me: I’m sorry, but you clearly said it was financial aid. Now do you want me to fix this for you or let [Employee] do it?

She quiets down a bit and lets me walk my employee through what is the second rental transaction he has done, but is clearly angry and answers any questions in a super sugary fake nice tone.

Me: Okay. Here are your books and your receipt, which has the full rental agreement and your books need to be returned by May–

Customer: (snatching receipt from me) Whatever. (Leans around me to read my employee’s name tag, and says very pointedly in the same fake nice voice) Thank you, [Employee Name]! *leaves*

Employee: She definitely said financial aid.

He also later said he felt insulted by the way she’d treated him.