Industry Is Not His Industry

, , , , | Right | July 19, 2021

I work for a relatively large industrial supply company that is known for its large selection. We sell, for example, over 1,500 different pressure gauges.

Caller: “I was wondering if you sold a pressure gauge that has a 1/4 NPT connection and can go to 3,000 psi?”

Me: “Sure.”

Narrowing by just those characteristics cuts down to 157 options.

Me: “Do you prefer a liquid-filled gauge or a dry gauge?”

Caller: “Uh… what’s the price difference?”

Me: “We’re not narrowed down quite far enough to compare yet, I’m afraid. Liquid-filled tends to give better readings for high-vibration environments. Is that what you need?”

Caller: “No. I guess dry, then?”

We are now at 78 options.

Me: “And did you have a preference for the size of the dial?”

Caller: “Uh… 3,000 psi.”

Me: “Well, that’s the pressure range you need it to measure, but did you need a particular size for the dial? Like, is it going into a big space where the size doesn’t really matter, or do you need to fit it in a tight space?”

Caller: “Umm… doesn’t matter, I guess. What’s the price difference?”

Me: “Still need to narrow it down. Do you need a bottom connection or a center-back connection?”

Caller: “Um. What? I don’t even know what that means.”

Me: “A bottom connection screws on at the, well, bottom. The connection on the center back is… well, in the middle on the back of the dial.”

Caller: “Oh… bottom, I guess. Whatever’s cheapest.”

At this point, I pick one randomly and ask if that’ll work for him.

Caller: “Well, I’m looking at one online right now on a different website that I think is like what I need. It has ‘B-A-R’ written on the gauge. What does that mean? Do you have one like that?”

Me: “Bar is a different scale for measuring pressure. You’ve been telling me psi all this time.”

Caller: “What’s the price difference?”

The scary part was that this caller was calling from a company that specialized in gas line installation. I seriously hope that this was the guy’s first day on the job or that he was just in purchasing and had no idea what he was talking about, in which case, put the end-user on the phone!

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Wait Until She Discovers Ball-Joints

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2021

The company I work for sells industrial supplies — pipe fittings, screws, etc. If the customer provides a part number, it’s standard for us to confirm what the item actually is just to make sure we’re sending the right item. The caller is placing an order over the phone, and her voice is like a sitcom stereotype of a proper Southern grandma.

Customer: “I’m looking for six of a [part number].”

Me: “Okay, that’s a pipe nipple, and I got you down for six.”

Customer: *Incoherent sputtering* “Oh, my stars!”

Me: “Ma’am?”

Customer: “I didn’t expect to hear that coming from a sweet young lady! They shouldn’t make you say such things! I know all these things have their own terms, but honestly, that’s just not proper!”

I realize she is objecting to the common industrial term “pipe nipple.”

Me: “Oh… um… sorry? Did you need anything today besides the pipe… ssss?”

Customer: *Suddenly calm again* “That’s all today, dear. Thank you!”

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Give Me A Little Credit!

, , , , , , | Working | July 5, 2021

I am standing in the checkout lane at a popular makeup store. There are several checkout counters open, including a “credit and debit card” only lane. I am called to the counter to checkout.

Employee: “Are you paying with a credit or debit card?”

I place my two items on the counter. I am purchasing an eyeliner for myself and a gift card for a friend.

Me: “Yes, I am paying with a debit card.”

Employee: “Okay. Do you want to sign up for a store credit card?”

Me: “No, thank you.”

The employee scans my eyeliner and then scans the gift card. The employee suddenly looks very angry.

Employee: “What are you trying to do?”

I am extremely taken aback and confused by the question. 

Me: “What?”

Employee: “What are you trying to do with this gift card?!”

I have no idea why the employee has changed from relatively pleasant to practically yelling at me.

Me: “I want to add $50 to the gift card.” 

I think this is a very clear request, but the employee looks at me with suspicion.

Employee: “You didn’t say that.”

At this point, I’ve only been at the counter for a minute. After the employee’s question about the store credit card, there hasn’t been time for me to say anything about the gift card. I’m also wondering why they didn’t just ask instead of yelling at me. But, at this point, I just want the transaction to be over.

Me: “Okay, sorry. I want to add $50.”

The employee continues to look at me as if I am trying to trick them. 

Employee: “I thought you were trying to pay with the gift card.”

Me: “No, this is the credit and debit card only lane. I am paying with a debit card.”

Employee: “Well, some people think that they can pay with a gift card in this lane.”

For the third time…

Me: “Okay, but I am not paying with a gift card. I am buying it.”

The employee grumbled but completed the transaction, still glaring at me. I left as quickly as possible. 

I’m not entirely sure what the employee’s problem was that day, but I think they thought I was trying to steal the makeup with a bad gift card.

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There Are A Million (Ft²) Reasons Why I Can’t Answer That Right Now

, , , , | Right | July 1, 2021

I work in the call center for an industrial supply company. The company has a half-million-square-foot warehouse that is attached to the office where the call center is. However, due to the sheer size of the warehouse and hopefully obvious safety reasons, it isn’t feasible for a call center employee to pull an item off the shelf during phone calls. We have to call or email them back to answer any questions that require someone to have access to the physical product. Some customers don’t understand this.

Caller: “I had a question about the mounting holes on part number [number] on your website. How far apart are they?”

Me: *Searches the internal documentation* “Unfortunately, it looks like my drawing doesn’t call out that dimension, but we can find out and get back to you. Would you prefer a call or email?”

Caller: “Can you just go measure it now? I’ll wait.”

Me: “No, sorry, I’m not able to do that, but I’m happy to take your information and get back to you.”

Caller: “No, that’s okay. I’ll wait. It’s gotta be faster than waiting for you to email me.”

Given that it takes fifteen minutes just to walk from the office to the warehouse, let alone find where the part is located, likely not. After a little more back and forth, I pretend to cave.

Me: “Okay, sir, let me put you on hold. In case we get disconnected, what’s a good number to get back to you?”

The caller gave me his contact information. I put him on hold, counted to ten, and disconnected the call. I passed off the information to someone actually trained in warehouse procedures like we’re supposed to do. I checked later; he got a call back in twenty minutes.

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Hehe… Phteven…

, , , , , | Working | June 23, 2021

Caller: “I asked you guys to email me a copy of my receipt last Thursday and I never got it.”

I find the transaction, and I can see that we tried sending it several times but it kept bouncing back as rejected by the customer’s domain.

Me: “Sorry about that; it looks like the email failed to send several times. Let me read back the email address we sent it to: S-T-E-V-E.[last name]@[domain]. Is that correct?”

Caller: “Yep, that should be right.”

Me: “Okay, well, let me get in there and email it again. One sec.”

Caller: “You spelled it with a V, right? Sometimes people put a PH, instead.”

Me: *Light bulb* “Sorry, was that supposed to go to steven.[lastname]@[domain]?”

Caller: “Yes, Steven with a V.”

Me: “Sorry about that. We sent it to just steve.[last name].”

Caller: “It’s weird that I didn’t get it if you sent it to steven.[last name].”

Me: “I just resent it. You should see it any moment.”

I swear, tunnel hearing is just as real as tunnel vision!

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