The Reason The Company Doesn’t Pick Up Her Garbage: They’re Scared

, , | Right | April 12, 2019

(I work for a municipality answering the information line. I pick up the phone and give the standard phone greeting for our city.)

Older Woman: “I need the phone number for [Garbage Pickup Company]!”

Me: “Well, that company doesn’t sound familiar; they don’t pick up garbage for us.”

Older Woman: “NO! I live in [Small Town about half an hour away] and they didn’t pick up my garbage! I need their phone number!”

Me: “Okay, we only look after garbage pickup in [City], but let me look up the number for you.” *starts typing*

Older Woman: “HELLO?”

Me: “Yes, I am just looking the number up. It’s 35—“

Older Woman: “NO! That’s long distance; I need a local number!”

Me: “Well, that is the only number listed for them.”


Me: “Sorry, I don’t have any other phone numbers for them.”

Older Woman: “Well, then, give me the number for your local garbage company. They will have it!”

Me: “I am not sure that our local company will have a phone number for a company an hour away…”


Me: “All right, but I am not sure if they will be able to help you.”

Older Woman: “GOOD! Now was that so hard?”

Me: “No?” *thinking* “YES!”

Wake Me Up When September Ends

, , , | Working | April 12, 2019

(I am browsing the Internet, looking to buy some merchandise for a musical group I like. The group in question is from another country, which can cause some issues with buying items —  the shipping can take longer and some things can be more expensive — but it’s worth the wait. I am looking into a company that sells the merchandise I’m looking for, and to my happiness, there’s a sale on a package that includes multiple items and posters. It’s still a bit expensive, but I decide to treat myself since it’s a really good deal compared to other sites I’ve seen. I check out the company a bit more and the reviews reflect good service, so I finalize my order and pay. I do this knowing that it will take some time to ship, but I don’t mind waiting. It is September when I place my order. Fast forward to October; I haven’t received any notification from the company other than the initial “We’ve received your order” email. I decide to contact their chat line to hopefully get an update.)

Me: *in the chat* “Hi! I was wondering if I could get an update on my order?” *gives order information* “I placed the order in September and I understand there will be a wait, but I was hoping it would ship soon.”

(I don’t get a reply until a few hours later.)

Chat: “We have your order. Due to the high demand for this particular item, it may take a little longer to ship, but it should still ship soon. We will send an email when it ships.”

(I am happy with this, and I thank them and close the chat. I don’t think about it for a little while until it’s almost November. Around this time I hear that there has been a postal strike in my province, which will undoubtedly cause issues with upcoming Christmas shopping. I am unaware if the strike has been happening longer than I’ve known about it, so I think that could be the reason my order hasn’t shipped. I feel bad now and figure that it will take longer to get here, so I wait until late November for an email. When I still don’t get anything, I decide to contact them through their direct email.)

Me: “Hi there! I was wondering if I could ask about the status of my order.” *gives information* “I talked to someone in your chat line in October and was told it would ship soon, but I haven’t received any emails yet. I am also aware there is a postal strike in my province; I understand that it is probably causing you delays and it may take a while to be delivered, but I placed my order in September and thought it would have shipped by now. Please let me know if there are any issues or if there is other information you need. Thank you!”

(I try to be polite as possible and, given the circumstances of the strike, I’m not frustrated or mad at all. I know what it’s like to work retail around the holidays and I don’t want to be a “problem customer” or anything like that. I don’t hear anything back until a few weeks later, now in December. I figure there’s no way my order will arrive any time soon, so I’m starting to get a bit annoyed. They send me an email.)

Email: “The item that you ordered is very popular and is currently on back order. We will ship it as soon as we can. If you are no longer interested in the item, please let us know if you want to cancel your package.”

(This is where I make my final mistake: I decide I still want my order and opt to wait. However, once Christmas has passed, I lose my cool and contact them again.)

Me: *gives order information AGAIN* “It is now after Christmas and I am still waiting for [order] to ship. I completely understand with the holidays and the strike that things will be delayed and I don’t mind waiting while things are sorted out. I placed my order in September, and it is now past Christmas, and the last thing I was told was it would ship ASAP in November. If you can email me and let me know the status of my order, it would be greatly appreciated.”

(Surprisingly, I get a reply a few days later, which is quicker than expected.)

Email: “We are having trouble figuring out the problem with your order. What we can do now is give you a refund or replace your order and get a new one sent out to you. Please let us know what you would like to do.”

(I immediately told them to refund my money, as my patience had run out. I still don’t know what “problem” there was with my order, but now I’m thinking I may have been scammed out of almost $60. I’m still waiting on the refund presently. Talk about a pain in the a**.)

Digging Yourself Into A Hole

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2019

(Since no one can see me when I’m taking orders in drive-thru, I like to joke around with customers who seem up to it. This almost gets me in trouble after one old man’s complicated order.)

Me: “So that’s [repeats complicated order]? Anything else?”

Customer: “Yeah, can you tell me what time [Coffee Chain’s namesake, a famous dead hockey player] gets in?”

Me: “Well, I’ll have to go dig him up for you.”

(All my coworkers with headsets whip around to stare at me in shock.)

Customer: *long, tense pause* “Huh. That’s a first.” *pulls up*

(Everyone cracks up, and I’m slightly afraid that I’ll get in trouble for such a morbid response. The customer gets to the window and I peek over shyly over the cashier’s shoulder. He and his wife are just about crying with laughter.)

Customer: “I ask that question at all the [Coffee Shop]s, you know, and no one has ever had such a quick, intelligent comeback. That made my day!”

(He left a dollar for a tip. Sometimes having a smart mouth pays off!)

Climbing Over Your Misogyny

, , , , , , | Working | April 11, 2019

(My mom told me this story about her experience while trying to buy my Christmas present. She goes to a popular chain sporting goods store ready to buy an expensive pair of rock climbing shoes based on an employee’s recommendation, not knowing much about them herself. She can’t see any employees on the floor, so she walks back to the front desk of the store and asks them to send someone to help her in the rock climbing section. The employee at the front tells her to go back to that section and someone will be there shortly. My mom goes back and, while she is waiting, a man around her age comes to the same area and starts looking at displays. A few minutes later, a male employee comes out of the back room, makes eye contact with my mom, and then immediately turns to the male customer and asks if he needs any assistance. Fuming, my mom returns to the front desk.)

Mom: “Did you call someone to come help me with rock climbing shoes?”

Employee: “Yes, I did.”

Mom: “And did you tell him I was a woman?”

Employee: “Yes, I did.”

Mom: “Well, he looked straight at me and turned to help a man, instead.”

Employee: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I’ll call him again.”

(My mom returns to the rock climbing section and sees the male employee on the store phone. He finishes his conversation — presumably with the front desk — hangs up, and, without acknowledging my mom standing just a few feet away, continues talking to the male customer. My mom waits several minutes for them to finish without any acknowledgement from the employee. Eventually, she gives up and returns to the front desk for the last time.)

Mom: “Just so you know, I’m going to [Competitor]. The reason is that your employee is still helping a man who came in after me and he didn’t even acknowledge me.”

(The front desk employee was silent, so my mom just left. Hopefully, that employee was reprimanded or at least spoken to about his prejudice losing them a customer. It’s unlikely, but a girl can dream!)

That Could Probably Be True

, , | Right | April 11, 2019

(We are currently cleaning our panini press which is smoking up the restaurant a little. A customer pulls up to our drive thru window.)

Customer: “Holy s***! Is there a fire in there?!”

(I am a little annoyed with this same question.)

Me: *jokingly* “Yes, sir. There is a fire in the back but we are required to stay and serve our loyal guests regardless of any emergency.”

Customer: *wide-eyed and totally fooled* “Seriously? That’s messed up.”

Me: “Um… Yeah… Have a good day.”

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