When Trying To Be Helpful Isn’t Helping

, , , | Working | May 14, 2018

(I am a US citizen on a long-term assignment in Canada. After three years, we need a new car. We have a US-based credit card, which gives us significant credit towards the purchase of a particular manufacturer’s vehicles, so we decide to see if we can get the credit transferred from the States. I call the Canadian bank and get a very helpful woman. We start the process and reach a point where I have to get more information for her. We disconnect, and I get the info from the US and call her back. Since she has a fairly unique name, I’m transferred through promptly, and we continue. We reach a last impasse, and I need to call the US again. This time, when I call the Canadian bank back, it does not go as smoothly.)

New Guy: “Hello, my name is [New Guy]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, please connect me with [First Person].”

New Guy: “I can help you. What do you need?”

Me: “I need to be connected to [First Person]. Please put me through.”

New Guy: “I can help you. What do you need?”

(This continues for a few more cycles until I’m ready to tear my hair out. I decide to go ahead.)

Me: “Okay, here’s the information you need to issue my credit card with the purchase credits on it.”

New Guy: *nonplussed* “Wait. What?”

Me: “Sure, it’s in the records. I needed to get [Bank] the following information to get my card issued. This is my third call, and it’s all you need.”

New Guy: “Wait, I have to look at that. Hold on…”

Me: “I’ve already spent the better part of an hour setting this up, and I don’t want to go through it all again. Why didn’t you connect me when I asked you first?”

New Guy: “Because I could help you.”

Me: “Here’s a tip. If a customer asks for a specific person, they almost certainly have a good reason. Put me through now.”

(A couple of clicks later, I was talking to [First Person], and the card was on its way within minutes.)

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I Just Don’t Have The Energy To Point Out The Irony

, , , | Friendly | May 13, 2018

(Overheard at a store:)

Woman #1: “Oh, you want to avoid those energy drinks; they’ll kill you.”

Woman #2: “Yeah, all that caffeine.”

Woman #1: “And all that sugar.”

([Woman #2] then sipped from her double-double — a coffee with extra sugar — while [Woman #1] talked about how she was off to get a slushie.)

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That’s Not How Price Match Works

, , , | Right | May 12, 2018

(It is mid-December. I work at a big box store in the photo department, located right next to the electronics department. First thing when the store opens this morning, a woman comes up to me and asks for help with the tablets, so I page the guy in electronics to the display case. He later tells me that their interaction went like this:)

Woman: *holding receipt* “I bought this tablet here a few weeks ago, and I want to buy another one for this price.”

Coworker: “That was part of our Black Friday sale, so it’s back to regular price now.”

Woman: “Well, isn’t there anything you can do for me? Don’t you price-match?”

Coworker: “We don’t price-match our own prices from an outdated sale.”

Woman: “Can I speak to your manager?”

(We spent the rest of the day laughing at how ridiculous it was.)

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Doesn’t Even Sound Good On Paper

, , , | Right | May 11, 2018

Customer: “I would like to get wedding invites done, but I want them on the paper you have on the shelf over there.”

Me: “Unfortunately, our wedding invites are done out of house, and we can only use the paper that’s provided through the vendor.”

Customer: “But it’s probably all white, isn’t it? I want it to look like this.” *shows me on her phone* “Plus, I want the favour tags and save the dates, and thank you cards and rsvps, too.”

Me: “Well, if you like, I can take down all the information about what you want, and send that to head office. They can get back to us letting us know if they can find a vendor who will do what you want, and they’ll give us a price and turnaround time, too.”

Customer: “So, you can’t do it on the paper I want?”

Me: “Not in store, or through our wedding program.”

Customer: “What if I give you the paper I buy from the shelf, and you print them here?”

Me: “We can only use the papers we have in the copy centre, because they’re already approved by Xerox.”

Customer: “So, you can’t do this at all?”

Me: “Well, like I said, I can send away for a quote.”

Customer: “But I want to see samples of the paper they have.”

Me: “They can probably send some samples over to us, actually.”

Customer: “Ugh. What am I going to do?”

Me: *pause* “We can send a quote request out?”

Customer: “I can’t believe you can’t do this for me!”

Me: “I said I could send a request for a quote.”

Customer: “But how will they know the kind of paper I want?”

Me: “I’m going to tell them.”

Customer: “But here: I also want to have this design around my invitation, but it’s $45 to buy the design from the artist! Do you think you could steal it?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because that’s how the artist makes their money. They won’t make a living if everyone steals their designs. You have to pay them for the file, or our graphic artists can create a new design for you. They could probably make it look similar.”

Customer: “Maybe I can steal it.”

Me: “Can I suggest that you don’t do that?”

Customer: “Ugh, but it’s so expensive! I don’t even want to spend $100 on this.”

Me: “Um, well, having an entire wedding package like this is going to cost you more than $100. Even if I could print it in-store for you, it would be more than $100.”

Customer: “So, you can’t do this for me at all?”

Me: “I didn’t say that. We can’t do it for under $100, but I can still request a quote for you.”

Customer: “But it’s going to be on white paper.”

Me: *screaming inside* “No, it isn’t.”

Customer: “Well, how will I know if I like the paper?”

Me: “I told you that they could most likely send us samples.”

Customer: “And what about when the order’s done? How am I supposed to pick it up?”

Me: “You would pick it up at the store.”

Customer: *looking through store paper sample book* “Ugh, I guess I could do it on this paper. Even though I don’t want this paper, at all. Ugh. I can’t believe I can’t get the paper I want.”

Me: Did you not want me to send out a quote request, to see if we can get the paper you want?”

Customer: “But I don’t get how you tell them what I want.”

Me: “I just type it up on the computer and sent it off. I just tell them what you want.”

Customer: “But we can’t get the paper I want.”

(OH, MY GOD! I was so frustrated with her. It went on forever.)

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Cut The Hair, Not The Bureaucracy

, , , , | Right | May 10, 2018

(I am sitting in a barber shop waiting for my turn. This place is part of a chain and everyone is asked their phone number and name to go in their system.)

Hairdresser: “Welcome to [Store]! Have you checked in online?”

Customer: “No. I’m just here for a haircut.”

Hairdresser: “Okay, can I get your phone number?”


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