Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 43

, , , , , , | Right | March 25, 2021

I work at a cellular store. An elderly man comes in, all upset.

Customer: “You’ve purposefully cut off my service!”

Me: “Let me pull up your account and look into this for you.”

I pull up his prepay account. He holds out his phone and turns it on for me to see. I’m a bit confused but focus on one thing at a time.

Me: “Sir, it looks like your account is active. It’s not cut off and it seems you just recently started your new month of service.”

Customer: “I’m telling you, my service was purposefully cut off.”

At this moment, I notice that the phone had turned off immediately after the turn-on screen. I take it and try to turn it on and then go to plug it in — basic troubleshooting. 

Me: “Sir, your phone is dead.”

Customer: “That phone is brand new.”

I highly doubt this. The phone is beat to h*** and back, with a chip cracked out of the back piece in the corner. 

Me: “Well, I’ve plugged it in to see if it will charge.”

He asks for a chair, so I obediently grab him one so he can sit. He starts asking about a particular address of another cellular store and asking if it’s a corporate office. I explain it’s just another store, and he just kind of grumps to himself.

I leave the phone plugged in, trying different cords, but for the fifteen minutes he stays there, it only gets to 2%. My manager comes over.

Manager: “Sir, there seems to be something wrong with the phone.”

Customer: *Scoffs* “Ain’t nothing wrong with that phone; it’s brand new.”

Manager: “How long have you had it for?”

Customer: “Three months.”

Seriously? This thing looks like he played drop ball with it.

Customer: “Here, try my cord.”

He pulls out a ragged and tangled braided cord with a few places where the fabric cover has worn off. The thing gets debris and dirt on my hand when I touch it — praise hand sanitizer. I plug it in to confirm it’s charging but the percentage on the phone hasn’t moved past 2%.

Finally, the customer gets up and demands his phone back.

Me: “The phone is dead. Try charging it up for a little while.”

He obviously refuses to admit there is something wrong with his phone and fully believes we maliciously shut it off.

Customer: “You got a card?”

Politely, I hand him our store card.

Customer: “He got a card?”

The man juts a finger in the direction of my manager, who is helping another customer.

Me: “No, sir, it’s the store card.”

Customer: “Write your names on it.”

So, being the polite drone I am after years in retail, I write each of our first names on the card and hand it back. The man takes a step in front of my manager and almost squares up to him across the counter, then angrily flicks his pointer finger underneath his eye like he’s dramatically wiping away an eye booger, and then stomps out of the store.

Manager: “Have a good day, sir.”

Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 42
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 41
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 40
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 39
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 38

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You’re Like The Markiplier Of Retail

, , , , | Right | January 19, 2021

I manage a cell phone and computer repair store. I have been told by multiple people that I have a good “radio announcer” voice over the phone — deep and clear, and I enunciate every syllable.

One day, I answer a call at my store the same way I always do.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]! What can I do for you today?”

The man replies, sounding a little out of it — either really tired or really high.

Caller: “Uhhhh… Is this a real person? Or is this one of those animation s***s?”

I am in a silly mood today, so without skipping a beat, and using the same voice and energy as my greeting, I answer as follows.

Me: “This is one of those animation s***s, sir.”

Caller: “Danggg, I almost thought you were a real person! Can I talk to a real person?”

Me: “Not a problem, sir. Connecting you to a representative now.”

I put him on hold because both my employee and I were laughing so hard that neither of us could pick the phone back up for almost a full minute. After we finished composing ourselves, my employee picked up the phone, answered his question, and completed the call.

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All Of Europe Is Just North Africa

, , , , | Right | November 15, 2020

I work in a phone shop. A woman comes in:

Customer: *Demanding* “Why is my phone bill more expensive this month?!”

I take a look into her account.

Me: “It’s due to international roaming. At the moment, our customers can travel anywhere in the EU and use their phone at no extra charge. Countries outside the EU, such as Canada, Australia, the USA, etc., are not included, so would start to charge the extra. Have you been abroad?”

Customer: “I went to South Africa for a couple of weeks.”

Me: “This is the reason why you were charged extra.”

Customer: *With bewilderment* “South Africa is within Europe!”

Me: “No, it isn’t.”

The customer lets out a surprised gasp.

I can no longer take her seriously and find it hard to keep a straight face. As if this isn’t enough, she goes on to complain that the bank changed her password for her banking app without her consent — highly unlikely — and asks if I can do anything about it.

Me: “We are a mobile network provider, and thus can’t look into apps, especially those including sensitive information such as banking.”

The woman gives a sound between a laugh and cry, and from what I can see, she is starting to have a mini-breakdown. She quickly got up, exclaiming she would go to the bank, and walked quickly out of the store.

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In A Name Jam(ie)

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2020

This is how my morning begins.

Customer: “I got this the other day and they told me that I need to come back today to return this.”

Me: “Right. So, what are you returning, again?”

Customer: “I returned the phone already.”

Me: “Pardon, but I don’t think I’m understanding what you need.”

Customer: “The case! I need to return the case.”

Me: “All right. Do you have a receipt?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, what’s the phone number associated with the account?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “All right. What’s the name associated with the account?”

Customer: “My name.”

Me: “So, what’s that?”

Customer: “[Jay][Mee] [Last Name].”

Me: “Mind spelling your first name, please?”

Customer: “J-I-A-M-E.”

Me: “Sorry, that’s not coming up.”

Customer: “J-A-M-E.”

Me: “What? Can I just see your ID?”

The customer handed me an ID, and it clearly stated “J-A-I-M-E.” I’ll never be getting those brain cells back. How is it that people cannot spell their own names?

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A Continuing Rise In Cases… Of Racism, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | August 14, 2020

We have just opened after lockdown and it is our second day back at work. Due to government restrictions, we can only let a certain number of people in and can only allow for limited service — mostly sales. We have therefore put a barrier on the door with a staff member constantly manning the barrier. This time it is, unfortunately, my turn when a horrible old woman stops at the barrier.

Customer: “Well, are you open or not?”

Me: “Hi! Of course we are, but it’s only for limited service due to maintaining social distance. How can we help you?”

Customer: “Well, obviously, I want help with a phone. This is a phone shop, isn’t it?”

Me: “Yes, so tell me how can I help you with your phone. What seems to be the issue?”

Customer: “It’s obviously not working. I wouldn’t be here if it was working, would I? My phone isn’t working and I want to see what phones you have. Are you going to let me in or not?”

Me: “At this moment, due to how small our shop is, we are not allowing browsing because we cannot do that and maintain the two-meter social distance. I can, however, pass you to an advisor and they can discuss your options. Is that okay?”

Customer: “So, you’re saying I can’t look at phones? How am I supposed to know what to buy if I can’t look at different phones?”

I am slightly frustrated because I have literally just answered that.

Me: “As I explained, our advisors will go through certain phones with you on the computer; however, you cannot physically hold phones or even browse through the ones we have in store. If that is okay, please let me know.”

If she says yes, I will let her in.

Customer: “This is ridiculous! If you can’t serve me, why are you open?! You shouldn’t be open! And what are you, a security guard? People like you are usually…”

She trails off, rolling her eyes. I am a brown female, and because of what I wear, I am very obviously of a certain religion people associate with violence. I wish I could say I’m surprised.

Me: “Excuse me? People like me are what, exactly?”

Customer: “All you salespeople.”

It’s very obvious that’s not what she meant.

Me: “Look. I have already given you all the options. If you don’t want to speak to an advisor, you are free to browse our options online.”

Customer: “Open the door so I can speak to someone!”

Me: “Okay, there are guided markers on your right; please follow them.”

I open the door and the woman turns left.

Me: “Excuse me! Excuse me! Please go to the right!”

The woman pretends not to hear me and stops at one of the phone displays and begins looking at a phone. I am so mad at this point I have to regulate my breathing to not scream at her.

Me: “Miss, if you are going to ignore me and browse despite the fact that I told you not to, I am going to ask you to leave.”

The woman still pretends she can’t hear me and strolls on. I speed to one side and stand in front of her to block her. 

Me: “Please move HERE.” *Points* “You are breaking the government-mandated social distancing rule.”

She turns her head the other way and stays put. At this point, my white colleague comes over to my side.

Colleague: “My colleague has been very patient and very clear. Please move or leave this store. If you can’t do either, I am going to call the police.”

The woman rolled her eyes and moved to the right. My colleague motioned that she would take over so I could go back and destress.

When I went through the back, my managers asked me what happened and when I relayed the whole scenario, they said I should have asked her to leave when she began her racist rant. I know they would have supported me, but I am always afraid of being confrontational because of my ethnicity and religion. 

I later found out that my colleague kicked her out five minutes into their conversation because she kept making racist remarks about me.

A Continuing Rise In Cases… Of Racism

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