Internalizing The Problems With The Workforce

, , , , | Working | April 6, 2018

I had just graduated university and was hunting for my first job, exclusively for entry-level positions and internships. On every online job platform, I selected the “entry-level position” filter. Most of these advertisements even had “entry-level” in their title. I believe many companies do not understand the concept. I would inevitably stumble on positions with a combination of — if not all — these requirements:

  • Minimum one to two years experience
  • Must have [very specific degree not required for low-level administrative work]
  • Must speak German, French, English, and Spanish/Italian/Dutch, etc. fluently
  • Must be willing to work overtime and irregular schedule
  • Must be currently enrolled at university or recent graduate with experience
  • Unpaid

I finally found an internship without crazy requirements, but have always wondered if these companies found their amazing quadrilingual recent graduates with experience who’d be willing to work for free (most internships in Switzerland are paid). Interns do valid work and deserve to be compensated.

Lost The Corded Connection To The Refund

, , , , , | Right | April 6, 2018

(I work at a local video game store, where we buy and sell used games and electronic accessories. Every item in our store comes with a 30-day same-item exchange warranty to insure the customer always gets a working product. I am helping another customer out when a new one comes in, approaches the counter and, seeing that all our employees are busy, tries to talk to me, anyway.)

Customer: “Excuse me, sir. I just have a quick question.”

Me: *while I am looking up prices for the previous customer already standing at my counter* “Yeah, shoot.”

Customer: “Well, I bought this charging cable for my [Console] controller a while back, but it doesn’t seem to be working. I was told last time I could bring it back for an exchange.”

Me: “Once I finish here, I will take a look.” *I finish helping my previous customer* “All right. Can I take a look?”

(The customer hands me a charging cable. It is covered in dust, and the inside of the USB is actually rusted over.)

Me: “Um, you just bought this?”

Customer: “Yes, very recently. I was told I could return it for another one if there were any problems, and it isn’t working.”

(I look over the cord incredulously, refusing to believe we could possibly sell something in such terrible condition.)

Me: “Can I see a receipt, sir?”

Customer: “Yup, I thought you might need it.”

(He pulls out a crumpled piece of paper and hands it to me. Upon inspection, I am not surprised to see that the receipt is from over six months ago.)

Me: “Sir, I am sorry. There isn’t really anything I can do here; this purchase is from nearly half a year ago.”

Customer: *looking at me as if I am some sort of madman* “But I was told I could return it.”

Me: “We only offer a thirty-day same-item exchange on all of our products. We can’t possibly begin to cover something that has been in your possession for so long.”

Customer: “Oh, I must’ve brought the wrong receipt. I have another one in my car. I’ll be right back.”

(After a quick trot outside, the customer returns to the desk with a new receipt. I almost facepalm after looking at the date.)

Me: “Sir, this one is from four months ago.”

Customer: “See? I told you I had a more recent one.”

Me: “We only cover it for thirty days.”

Customer: “Look. I can’t waste anymore time on this. I want to speak to your manager. I bought both these cords from here, and now you’re telling me I can’t return one that didn’t work.”

(My manager came over and had the exact same talk with the customer. After about twenty minutes of having the exchange policy explained to him, he threw a fit, claiming that no one ever told him about the policy before. When we pointed out that the policy was both written on his receipt and posted on signs within the store, he then threw the cord on the ground and stomped off. He started shouting to people outside that we were con artists and should be arrested for stealing his money.)

Won’t Even Wi-Fi Try

, , , | Right | April 5, 2018

(I work as a salesman in the computer section of an electronics store. We have a separate department that specializes in fixing and troubleshooting most problems. Despite this, many people think the salesmen at the store are miracle workers, and come to us for advice. I see a customer wandering into my section and I approach her.)

Me: “Can I help you find anything, ma’am?”

Customer: “Yes, can you find the Wi-Fi password?”

Me: “For the store?”

Customer: “No, for my house. I can’t connect to the Internet.”

Me: “Do you have the router with you?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Do you know model your router is?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Do you know what brand your router is?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Did you buy it at our store? Maybe you can point it out to me.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Most routers have a sticker with the password on it. Do you have one or know where it is on your router? Seeing as I have absolutely nothing to work with, the only thing I can suggest is to go home and take a look at that.”

Customer: “So, you can’t help me? [Troubleshooting Department] couldn’t help me, either!”

Me: “We’re not wizards.”

The Movie Managerial Magic

, , , , | Right | April 5, 2018

(I’m a supervisor-in-training and I am doing my third training session at the theater I’ll be promoted to in less than a week. I am helping my future staff clean a theater because it is large and the rest are helping to clean our other large theaters.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to get a refund on this movie.”

Me: *currently holding trash* “On the movie that just finished?”

Customer: “Yeah, I didn’t like it, and I want to get a refund. You guys do that, right?”

Me: “No, unfortunately, we don’t give any refunds after the printed start time. It is written on the back of your tickets and on a few signs around the box office.”

Customer: “But the product was bad. I should be able to get a refund if the product was bad.”

Me: “Sir, we don’t make the movies; we just play them. If you disliked a movie, I recommend taking it up with the movie studio or the director. It was your choice to come see a movie and stay for the whole thing.”

Customer: “But it was an inferior product.”

Me: “This would be like if you bought a sleeve of cookies, ate all the cookies, and then decided — after you’d finished eating all the cookies — that you didn’t like them and wanted a refund.”

Customer: “No, it is nothing like that.”

Me: “Had you left the movie earlier, we’d have been able to give you a pass to come see another movie, but we wouldn’t have given you a refund. Our policies are clear and are written on at least two separate signs in our box office and on the back of every ticket.”

Customer: “Well, that’s not right. I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: “Sir, as of Friday, I am a supervisor here. I’ve worked for this company for two years and know the policy like the back of my hand.”

(The customer’s girlfriend walks over to him, drags him by the arm out of the theater, and says something along the lines of ,“You’re embarrassing me,” and, “The girl’s right.” Then, my future manager, who also happens to be a close friend of mine, comes up to me having heard the whole thing.)

Manager: “Isn’t it so nice when you get to tell them you’re the person in charge?”

Me: “[Manager], you have no idea how much I loved finally getting to say that.”

H2-0 Calories

, , , , | Right | April 5, 2018

(I’m a smoothie maker for a chain store on the west coast.)

Customer: “Do you have anything that is zero calories?”

Me: “Um, no. We make smoothies. Fruit has calories in it.”

Customer: “What the hell? You guys are in California. You need to make a smoothie with zero calories.”

(My manager comes in, and the customer turns to her:)

Customer: “Do you have anything with zero calories?”

Manager: “Water.”

(The customer left rather quickly.)

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