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Number Fumbler

, , , , , , | Right | April 11, 2023

I’m waiting in a medical office that does diagnostic testing. It’s a Saturday, so they only have minimal staff (only the people running the tests), and due to the ongoing health situation, only a limited number of people are allowed in the socially distanced waiting room. The way it should work is as one person walks outside, and then another walks in from the line, takes a number, and sits in the now empty chair.

Inevitably, a person walks in and stands at the empty reception desk. They stare at the numbers and then stare at the large white sign with neon orange and green arrows pointing at the numbers, which says, “PLEASE TAKE A NUMBER AND TAKE A SEAT.”

They turn around and stare at the seat. Then they stare back at the numbers. Then they turn to the waiting area and ask:

Patient: “Do I take a number?”

This happens every single time I’m here.

Isn’t It Literally Your Job To “Figure It Out”?

, , , , , , , | Working | March 18, 2023

I had issues with [Phone Provider] after moving house which culminated in replacing much of our ten-year-old home equipment with upgraded versions. The issue was escalated to a case manager who provided close to $1,000 in credits once resolved.

Once the bill is issued, I try to view it to work out whether I need to pay anything this month, but I can’t see it on the app or a browser.

I contact tech support and they have me do the usual troubleshooting: uninstall the app and reinstall it. (That doesn’t explain the browser issues, but okay.) After several different steps, they escalate it to their IT team.

After ten days and still no action, the person I dealt with suggests raising a complaint to have a case manager assigned — it worked last time? — so we do.

The case manager is pleasant enough and contacts me several times over a period of weeks, each time to let me know there isn’t an update but that he will follow up with the tech team.

Twenty-five days in, the case manager calls me and tries the same troubleshooting steps we did on day one. (I’ve been doing this regularly just to check.)

I mention that we’ve uninstalled the app a couple of times already and ask how to do another step on my phone. (It turns out it’s a PC step, not meant for phone troubleshooting.)

Case Manager: “You’re smart; you figure it out.”

After several rounds of him giving a similar attitude, I reluctantly ask for his manager.

Case Manager: “You can call the ombudsman. I will not connect you with a supervisor.”

Me: “Can I have the number for the ombudsman, then?”

Case Manager: “You’re smart; figure it out.”

So I did.

Lodging a complaint with the ombudsman took less than five minutes, and they assured me someone would call soon.

A day later, someone did. They apologised for the experience and asked me to try logging in online and tell them if I could see my services. I explained that I could see my services, and it was only when I tried to view my bill that the services disappeared.

The employee immediately figured out the issue and checked my profile to see that my account had been linked to another account with no services or billing and all online services were showing me the other account, which is why I couldn’t see my bill. She showed me how to change the account and I could again see my bill!

From beginning to end, this person listened to my issue, confirmed what had been tried, and walked me through trying other steps. The entire call lasted less than twenty minutes, and after twenty-six days, the issue was resolved by a non-tech person — meaning this could have been resolved on day one if the original person had taken a little more time to understand the issue.

She finished up by saying they’d go back and listen to the call from the day prior, and she applied another $200 credit to my bill!

Strolling Into An Altercation

, , , , , , , , | Right | July 20, 2022

They have security at one of the local shopping centres in the morning, I presume to keep people from using the lot as a park-n-ride.

As I’m walking back from the store, I see a woman who has parked in the “for parents with strollers” space. She gets out of her car, unfolds her stroller, and walks toward the store. A female security guard who is of Pacific-Islander descent approaches her.

Security Guard: “Ma’am, you’re not allowed to park there. You don’t have a baby.”

Customer: “I have a stroller. It says, ‘For parents with strollers!’”

Security Guard: “It’s for parents with children in strollers.”

Customer: “It says nothing about children! It says strollers!

Security Guard: “I have the towing company on speed dial. And there’s a space right there—” *points* “—which is literally right next to that one. You can move your car. I’ll even stand here and hold the spot for you while you do. Or you can come out from shopping and have to call a cab.”

Customer: “What difference does one space make?”

Security Guard: “That…” *claps* “…is…” *claps* “…my…” *claps* “…point! Now you can move it or…” *claps* “…you…” *claps* “…can…” *claps* “…get…” *claps* “…towed.”

She moves her car. I am by now driving past with my window rolled down lest I miss anything else.

Security Guard: “Thank you.”

Customer: *Walking away* “F****** Moana.”

We All Need A Brain Reboot Occasionally

, , , , , , , | Working | June 30, 2022

In Australia, we are required to take our own bags grocery shopping or purchase bags there. Supermarkets are not allowed to provide single-use plastic bags free of charge. Like many others, I use one insulated “fridge” bag as a carrier and put the rest of my bags inside it.

I was shopping recently and put my bags up before my groceries so they could be packed directly instead of piling up on the counter. The young lad serving me couldn’t have been more than fourteen, and upon receiving the bags on the register belt, he proceeded to pull all of them out of the main bag and leave them strewn across the bagging area. He then scanned every item of my shopping and somehow managed to balance it all on the end of his till.

He then seemed to realise they needed to be put in the bags, so he grabbed a handful of items and stared at the mess he’d made of the bags. I’m not sure if his brain stopped working or the choices were just overwhelming because he stood for a good ten seconds while I was paying, just staring at the bags.

I finished paying and reached over, opened a bag, and held it out to him. This seemed to reboot his brain because he then successfully packed all my groceries into the bags, leaving about six bags empty at the end. A truly bizarre encounter.

You Keep Using That Word…

, , , , , , , , | Right | March 23, 2022

My three-year-old car has decided that it needs a new engine block, something not covered by warranty.

Mechanic: “We have found a secondhand engine for $6,328.00. We just need a deposit put down in order for us to order it in.”

Me: “Oh, okay, sure. How much are we talking for a deposit?”

Mechanic: “We need a deposit of $4,500.00.”

Me: “Um, that’s not a deposit; that’s basically paying the whole lot up front. A deposit for something is usually 10% to 20% of the cost of the item. Are you sure you know what ‘deposit’ means?”

Mechanic: “I know what ‘deposit’ means. This is our policy.”

Me: “I really think you need to look at the definition of a deposit.”