Might Have To Walk Them Through This Cake Walk

, , , | Right | November 7, 2018

(A customer is ordering a wedding cake.)

Customer: “This is what I want: a hundred pieces, four-tiered cake, and here is a picture of the model. There’s nothing too special about it; it’s just a simple design, so it shouldn’t be hard to make.”

(She shows me a picture of a wedding cake with a luscious, top-to-bottom cascade of roses, covering almost half of its surface. I know that to make that number of flowers it will take me at least a week and will probably involve me staying after working hours, more than once, but I put on a brave face and calculate the cost.)

Me: “The price of your order will be [price].”

Customer: “What?! Why so much?”

Me: “Well, it does sound lovely, but this particular model is thickly covered with roses. Sugar flowers are expensive, because they are slow to make.”

Customer: “But it’s only a simple model!”

Me: “I admit, the rest of the design looks simple enough, but the sheer amount of flowers will lift the price up.”

Customer: “But it’s only a simple wedding cake!”

Me: *getting fed up* “Look! I counted nearly a hundred individual roses. It’s hard work making them, because they are so time-consuming. The price of one single rose is [price of rose] and put together, they will actually cost more than the edible part.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “It’s still too expensive, and I can’t see why.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I just explained to you why.”

Customer: “Fine! I’ll just pick another model, then.”

Me: “I think that’s a good idea.”

(The kicker in this story is that the customer was one of our own employees, she was a cake decorator herself, and she had years of experience making both wedding cakes and sugar flowers.)


Unfiltered Story #124772

, | Unfiltered | November 4, 2018

I work as a SME/Supervisor in a Bulgarian call center and most of my agents are local and have sometimes difficulties in the English language. I was monitoring some chats when I saw this:

Customer: I am having a problem with one of my orders.

Agent: We are sorry to hear about your order issues, Could you please provide me with your order number?

Customer: (provides order number).

Agent: Could you please bare with me for a moment while I check your account?

Customer: No problem dear, I will take off my clothes for you. Will you do the same?

Agent: (confused). What do you mean?

Customer: I think you meant bear with me :)

Toxic Masculinity Is Always Caffeinated

, , , , , | Working | September 19, 2018

(In the office kitchen, the coffee maker has a part that won’t go in properly after cleaning the grounds container. There’s a trick to doing it that I know, but most other employees don’t. It is literally just pushing slightly on a spot and everything clicks into place, but you need to know where to push. I usually end up doing it for people several times a day. Almost every day, some variation of this happens. I am female.)

Me: “Need help with this?”

Struggling Female Employee: “Yes, please.”

Me: *helps replacing the container*

Struggling Female Employee: “Thanks. You should show me how you do that.”


Me: “Need help with this?”

Struggling Male Employee: “Nah, I got this.” *after several minutes of more struggling* “Okay, you do it.”

Me: *does the magic touch*

Struggling Male Employee: “Yeah, I guess that was easy, now that I’ve done all the hard work.”

Unfiltered Story #119358

, | Unfiltered | September 2, 2018

(I’m nineteen and I have a summer job as a tour guide/souvenir salesperson. I work at a nature phenomenon in the heart of a wildlife preserve, so there isn’t any electricity or running water. Add to that the average of 40°C we often get in the summer over there, and a very busy day with many groups and use of all the languages I know, and you can understand how exhausted I am by the end of the day. My coworker gives me a ride home and I ask him to stop a bit further, so I can go buy a few things from a local supermarket. At the register though…)

Me: “Hello, just this, please, and I’d like a bag with that.”

Cashier: “No problem at all. And… wow I must say this is the weirdest purchase I’ve seen so far and I’ve been working here for three years now.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Cashier: “I mean, I have seen some strange things. But fresh raspberries and imported Dutch beer… this is really the best. Can I please tell my husband? He’ll love the combination.”

Me: *finally getting it* “Oh… Oh I meant to get something completely different. I’ve been working under a hot sun all day and I’m a bit distracted.”

Cashier: “It’s all right, it happens to all of us. And your purchase just made my day!”

Me: “Always glad to help!”

(We both laughed and then I got home to continue laughing and to enjoy my beer and my raspberries. Fortunately I had the next day off, so I slept in and got some rest. Years later I still describe this to my friends as the weirdest purchase ever.)

Refund Me For Your TIME

, , , , | Right | August 27, 2018

(I work for one of the biggest energy providers in Germany; the company that employs us to work for them has people based in Germany, and two offices in Bulgaria. Because people tend to react funny when customer service agents are based abroad, we are forbidden from telling people where we are, and instead must name two German cities, according to the customer’s location. This customer has received contract information by mistake, and I’m calling him to ensure him he doesn’t have a contract or anything to pay. We aren’t allowed to hang up unless the customers get offensive.)

Me: “Good morning. This is [My Name] of [Energy Provider]. Can I speak to Mr. [Customer], please?”

Customer’s Wife: “Sure thing; just hold a bit. [Customer], get over here! It’s for you!”

(Greetings follow.)

Me: “So, Mr. [Customer], apparently you got some contract info which you returned to us with a note that it can’t be right.”

Customer: “That’s right. I don’t live on that address anymore, so it isn’t right.”

Me: “Okay. I’m just calling to tell you it’s been a system error that sent some people contracts for their old addresses, even though the customers have moved out more than two years ago, in most cases. I apologize for that. I want to assure you, though, that there is no new contract for you on that old address, and you don’t have to pay or cancel anything.”

Customer: “This is good to hear, because I wouldn’t have to do it, anyway. If anything, your company owes me money!”

Me: *confused* “Can you tell me more about that?”

(I am seriously thinking he has an incorrect invoice and we might actually have to refund him.)

Customer: “The old house, you know. I sold it to this company, and they use a lot of electricity for their computers and all, and I convinced them to sign up with [Provider]. They’re paying you a lot. So I deserve a bonus!”

Me: “Well, I’m not really authorized…”

(I can give a small bonus if a customer is upset for some reason, or a “loyalty” bonus for long-time customers.)

Customer: “You have to talk to your boss, then. You do have a boss, don’t you?”

Me: *stifling a laugh* “Of course I do.”

Customer: “Good. Then talk to them and tell them I want a thousand euro!”

(I wish I could say this is all of it, but no… He proceeds to tell me about the company that bought his old house, about the transformer built in the town, about the cables in his street AND in his old street, what his son has told him about it, all about his son’s job and where he studied and where he lives… All in all, it takes about fifteen minutes.)

Me: *managing to squeeze a word in* “Okay, Mr. [Customer], now that it’s all clear, I’d like to wish you a nice day. Call us again if you have any questions.”

Customer: “Right, right, will do. Just don’t forget about my bonus. Say, you’re talking funny; where are you from originally?”

(Another five minutes of talking follow…)

Me: “Okay, now I really have to hang up, Mr. [Customer].”

Customer: “Yes, absolutely, we’re hanging up… Where did you say you’re working from?”

Me: “[City not too far from his town].”

Customer: “Oh, right! Tell me, how is the weather there?”

(I look through the window. It is June on the Black Sea coast, so, of course, it is hot enough to fry an egg on the window sill.)

Me: “Well… It’s overcast and a bit rainy.”

Customer: “Oh, just like here. Okay. Thanks a lot!” *hangs up*

(My project manager was nearby and had laughed for the last ten minutes. He didn’t get his bonus, poor chap, although he deserved one for making us laugh. I guess I could say he was bored and wanted to talk to someone, but his wife was also there.)

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