An Analog Ad Blocker

, , | Right | July 2, 2020

I am distributing printed advertisements for the local stores. I am instructed not to put anything into the letterbox when there is a “no ads” sign. I am about to put the ads in a letterbox when a man walks by.

Man: *Unfriendly* “No ads!”

Me: “Okay, but please consider putting a ‘no ads’ sign on your letterbox!”

Man: “Listen, this is my house and my letterbox, and you do as I say!”

Me: “Of course, but it’s hard to remember not to put the ads in your letterbox if there is no sign.”

Man: “That’s why I’m telling you!”

He went back into his house.

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The Tracking Is Lacking

, , , | Right | June 27, 2020

I work in a call centre, taking calls to track parcels and log complaints when deliveries don’t run smoothly. Occasionally, we’ll take calls where the tracking states a parcel has been delivered when the recipient hasn’t received it yet.

Me: “Good morning, you’re through to [My Name]. How can I help?”

Customer: “I need to track a parcel that I was meant to be receiving?”

Me: “Certainly. Can I take the tracking reference, please, sir?”

The customer reads out the reference.

Me: “Okay, according to our tracking, it actually says that your order was delivered a few days ago. I’m sorry about this. Have we left you any cards to say you have missed a delivery? Perhaps it was a mis-scan; it could be that the delivery person pressed ‘delivered’ instead of ‘no answer’ by mistake.”

Customer: “No, but I did get a delivery a few days ago, actually.”

Me: *Pause* “Right, well, this delivery would have been on Wednesday?”

Customer: “Yes! I did get a delivery on Wednesday!”

Me: “Okay… So, do you have another tracked parcel that you’re still waiting for?”

Customer: “Yes, I do, hang on… The reference is…”

The customer reads the same reference.

Me: “Sir, that appears to be the same parcel.”

Customer: “Oh! I’ll try that again.”

The customer reads the same reference again.

Me: “I’m sorry about this; that is the reference for the item that has been delivered. How many parcels are you waiting for, sir?”

Customer: “Oh, just the internet router from [Internet provider], but that is currently sat on the floor of my living room.”

Me: “So, you aren’t expecting any other parcels to be delivered?”

Customer: “No, I’ve got everything. I’m just waiting for [Internet provider] to come and install the router next week.”

Me: “Oh, okay… so… you aren’t waiting for any parcels to be delivered?”

Customer: “No, that’s everything. Thanks for your help!”

Me: “You’re welcome?”

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Boris Delivers When Boris Feels Like It

, , , , , | Right | June 23, 2020

A customer calls in tracking a package they had sent to Russia. We attempted delivery and no one was home. It is a Friday, so the next attempt will be on Monday. He is calling in at 5:00 pm.

Customer: “I tell you, your website is lying! You did not attempt this package! You’re lying to me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can, unfortunately, only tell you what we have in our system. We attempted at [time] and we’ll reattempt Monday.”

Customer: “This is unacceptable! I want you to call Moscow right now! Get this delivered right now!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that.”

At this point, he’s literally screaming.

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: “Well, firstly, I’m an inbound call centre. I can only make calls to the United States and Canada. And furthermore… due to the time difference, it is currently after midnight in Russia. And they’re closed on weekends. I can open a file for follow up Monday, but that’s it.”

The customer continued to scream and demand I call Russia. He ended up demanding my manager, who advised him the same.

I then found out from a coworker that he called back at 1:00 am to demand we call Russia. He then called back every hour on the hour that Saturday making the same insane demand. The package went out on Monday, was delivered successfully, and would have happened regardless of his behaviour.

Boris Can See Through You
Boris Now Fights Scammers
Leave The Accents To Boris
Boris Need No Warranty; Boris IS Warranty!
When Boris Busy, Use Marko
In Soviet Russia, Accent Speaks You

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Something Smells Fishy

, , , , | Friendly | June 17, 2020

When I am a naive student in the UK, I hear on TV that in Sweden they eat rotten fish, called “surströmming”. The show’s host, Stephen Fry, holds up a tin, but says he isn’t allowed to open it in case the audience passed out.

I am intrigued. I want to try some, but I can’t find it anywhere— not locally and not online at any price. I phone a friend in Sweden.

Me: “Hey, I want to try some of this surströmming. Do you know where I can get some?”

Friend: “Really? It’s absolutely rank. We only eat it outside at BBQs and things.”

Me: “Yes, really.”

Friend: “And you can’t find it locally?”

Me: “Nowhere. I’ve checked for hours.”

Friend: “Strange. They sell it everywhere in Sweden. It’s easy to make; you just catch some herring and then put it in a barrel. It ferments for six months. Or nine months if you’re totally nuts.”

Me: “Can you send me some?”

Friend: “Sure. I can get 1kg for about 300 krona, but I don’t have Paypal. You’ll need to send me cash in the post.”

Me: “I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Friend: “I hope this isn’t part of some prank? Also, we normally eat it with a bread called tunnbröd. I’ll send you that, too.”

I convert pound sterling to SEK300. I put it in an envelope and send it to Sweden. Two weeks later, a package arrives. It only has the tunnbröd. The surströmming is missing from the package.

Me: “Hey, I didn’t get any fish.”

Friend: “You mean it didn’t arrive?”

Me: “No… it arrived, but there’s no surströmming.”

Friend: “Oh, crap. I know what’s happened.”

After a quick check on Google, I learn that couriers really do NOT like rotten fish. I phone the courier to ask them about it. They put me through to the freight airline they used. The employee is clearly Swedish and understands what happened.

Me: “I was expecting a package of surströmming, but it seems to have been removed from the package.”

Employee: “How was it packaged?”

Me: “In a tin, in a cardboard box.”

Employee: “Tinned surströmming… You know the way it’s already rotten when it is made?”

Me: “Yes?”

Employee: “That’s an ongoing process. It continues to ferment in the tin and it makes more gas.”

Me: “In a sealed container?”

Employee: “In a sealed container, in a confined space, with low air pressure, and many other goods. We have no way of knowing when that tin will go pop.”

Me: “…and send rotten fish everywhere?” 

Employee: “Exactly. In the interests of air safety, we X-ray everything and remove surströmming tins. Sorry about your fish; you won’t get it back.”

Me: “Thanks for the thorough explanation. They really should think about the packaging.”

My Swedish friend and I split our small loss and went on our way. I have yet to taste surströmming, but I am organising another batch of it. I’ll try surface shipping.

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Maybe You Should Get Busy… Using Your Brain

, , , , , | Working | May 14, 2020

I order a package online, and after a couple of days, I get an email from the courier saying, “Your package has been delivered.” Since I have been working from home all day, I know no package has been delivered, so I contact the courier.

Me: “Yes, I would like some information about package [package number]; the website says it was delivered.”

Courier: “Let me just check… Oh, it looks like we returned the package to the sender.”

Me: “Then why does your tracking system say it has been delivered to my address?”

Courier: “That must be a mistake; according to our system we returned it.”

Me: “But why did you return it? There was nothing wrong with it.”

Courier: “Oh, because of the recent outbreak, our depot was too busy so we just returned it.”

Me: “Okay, then could you please let me know what I need to do to get my package?”

Courier: “Oh, just call the sender and have them resend it.”

Me: “…”

Courier: “…”

Me: “So, just to be clear, you returned a package to the sender because you got too busy, and your solution to solve that problem is to contact the sender and have them resend the package, because that will magically make your company less busy?”

Courier: “Yes! I am glad I was able to help you.”

Me: “I don’t think we were in the same conversation, but okay. I’ll take this up with the sender.”

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