Cancel The Nice!

, , , , | Right | September 5, 2018

(I answer the phone, transfer calls, and try to provide basic assistance after hours. One day at 4:50 pm Central time, I receive this call.)

Client: “Is [Representative] there?”

Me: “I’m not sure who you mean, exactly; do you know his last name?”

Client: “No! I’ve been calling him all day and I just keep getting his voicemail! I must have called eleven times! And he hasn’t returned my calls!”

Me: “Okay. How can I help you today?”

Client: “I need to know if my loads are going to be picked up today! And [Representative] won’t return my phone calls!”

Me: “Okay. Do you have any reference numbers for these shipments?”

Client: “No!”

Me: “Okay. What’s the name of the company paying for the freight?”

Client: “I AM!”

Me: “Do you know your account number? Or can you spell out the name of the company for me, please?

Client: “It’s [Company]! I have four shipments that need to be picked up today before 3:30 Pacific time!”

Me: “Okay. I found your account. I do see four shipments scheduled to pick up out of the same warehouse by 15:30 PT today, all scheduled with [Carrier], so most likely they will only send one truck to load all four shipments, as they are scheduled as LTL.”

Client: “But [Representative] hasn’t returned my calls! I need to know if they’re going to be picked up!”

Me: “Okay. Well, if you can hold for a moment, I will call the carrier and double-check that they will be sending a truck today.”

Client: “Then do it!”

(I call the carrier. All four loads have been cancelled by the representative this client is trying to contact. I am freaking out, so I try to call this guy’s manager to see if I can get any help. He is in a meeting. My manager tells me to try to calm the guy down and see if we have his rep’s cell number so we can see what is going on. I take the guy off of hold and find out what is really going on.)

Me: “I apologize; it looks like the carrier does not have these shipments scheduled to pick up today. I am attempting to reach out to your rep and his manager to see if maybe they had booked a different carrier—”

Client: “I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. That’s why I’ve been trying to call him all day! My secretary found a better rate, so we cancelled these pickups with you, but she’s an idiot and she booked them wrong! And now you have to get them picked up by 3:30 today! That’s in two hours! And [Representative] won’t return my calls! You have terrible customer service! Absolutely terrible! I need these shipped today! It’s Friday!”

Me: “I apologize. However, as your rep is not in the office today, we will likely not be able to reschedule these shipments on such short notice.”

Client: “Well, why isn’t he in the office?! It’s Friday! We’re all working!”

(Well, some people work different schedules and don’t cancel orders at the last minute expecting everything to be worked out by yelling at someone who didn’t cause their problem – but I guess that’s life.)

Just Blew Her Carrot Top

, , , , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(My family is at the store, buying groceries. This particular store happens to have a smoothie bar, and my mother decides that she would like something to drink. My parents wait in line while my brother and I go to get the smoothie for her. While there, we are treated to this interaction. There is a respectable-looking woman at the front of the line, who has just hung up on her cell phone.)

Woman: “One [smoothie], please!”

Cashier: “Sure. Small, medium, or large?”

Woman: “A large. Extra ice.”

Cashier: “Your total is [total]. [Employee near the blender], one large [smoothie] with extra ice!”

(The woman pays. The cashier moves on to the next customer and the woman moves over to watch her drink get made. The employee begins making the woman’s drink and puts a peeled carrot into the blender.)

Woman: *suddenly angry* “No, no, no! You don’t put carrots in first! You put in the tangerines!”

Employee: *looking surprised* “I’m sorry?”

Woman:Tangerines are first! Not carrots!”

Employee: *still surprised* “Ma’am, this is a [smoothie]. Both carrots and tangerines go in here.”

Woman: “But the tangerines are first!

Employee: *looks unsure of what to do*

Woman: “You f****** idiot! I’m going to speak to your manager!”

(She marches off, and most of the people in the area seem to roll their eyes or groan. When my brother and I get to the front of the line, this happens:)

Woman: *stomps back to the front of the line, shoving me backwards towards my brother and the two men behind me* “A MEETING! WHAT MANAGER HAS MEETINGS?!”

Cashier: *looking slightly irritated* “Ma’am—”

Woman:All of you f****** idiots should be fired!

(She stomps back out of the line and shoves me back again, loudly informing everyone that she plans to call the “boss of the stores.”)

Cashier: *sighs and turns towards me and my brother* “And what would you like?”

Me: *regaining my balance* “…”

Brother: *still staring in the woman’s direction* “Uh… We’ll have a small [other smoothie].”

Cashier: “That will be [total].”

Brother: *hands cashier money* “Thanks. Do you have to deal with her often?”

Cashier: *rolls eyes* “Oh, yeah, she’s a regular—”

Brother: “Ouch.”

Cashier: “But this was a pretty good day for her.”

Not All Fatherly Advice Is Good Advice

, , , , , , | Working | September 4, 2018

(I’m soon graduating university with a degree in computer science. Simultaneously, I’m also working as a working student — a concept in German academia where, rather than working in an unrelated side job, you’re working part-time in your future field of study to gain some experience and build a network, and are paid slightly less than someone with a degree. While the chances that they’ll hire me afterwards are rather high, my dad feels the need to help me get a job. He tells me a friend of his is searching for someone like me. I’m not too eager to apply, but it won’t hurt, either. Calling his friend, I learn that there’s no official job posting yet, and that I just should send an application with my experience and a salary expectation. I do just that, being careful to include a request to keep my application in confidence, and am invited to an interview.)

Interviewer: “First things first. Your salary expectations are a bit high. If [Dad’s Friend] wouldn’t had insisted, we likely wouldn’t have invited you.”

Me: “I think they are more than fair. It’s actually slightly below the average entry wage for someone with my degree, but I’m willing to compromise. What did you have in mind?”

Interviewer: “Something in the ballpark of 14€ an hour.”

Me: “That’s actually even less than I’m currently earning as a working student. I’d be willing to go down to 20€, but that’s about it.”

Interviewer: “I don’t know what to tell you. We simply don’t have that money in our budget for a graphics designer.”

Me: “Wait. What? I’m a computer scientist specializing in UX design, not a graphics designer. That’s a totally different area of expertise! I’m afraid I’m not the right applicant for this job.”

(With this I got up, said good-bye, and went home frustrated, suspecting they didn’t read more than my salary expectations. The next day I went to work and my boss called me into his office. Apparently, they’d also ignored my plea for confidence and contacted my department for a reference without my permission. Thanks, Dad!)

This Discount Is Not In The Bag

, , , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(The owners of the store where I work happen to own two other stores in the same shopping center. To convince people to go from one store to another, we have a promotion going on where you show your bag from one of the stores to get 10% off at the others. I work at the most expensive store, and on this particular day a woman is making a very large purchase.)

Me: “Have you been to our other stores today?”

Customer #1: “No, I haven’t.”

Me: “No problem. If you’d like to go to our other stores, just show your bag at checkout and they’ll give you 10% off!”

Customer #1: “What? Wait!” *takes her card back* “Can you hold my things here? I’ll be right back.”

(I am confused, but hold her items for her, anyway. After a while she returns.)

Customer #1: “There. I went to your other store!”

(She now has a bag from our other store, with a purchase of less than $4. I begrudgingly give the 10% off. Afterwards, my general manager comes to speak to me.)

General Manager: “I understand that you had to give her the 10% off, but from now on I want you to stop asking people if they’ve been to the other stores. They’ll only get the 10% if they show their bag and specifically ask for the discount.”

(I’m not a fan of this idea, but follow the instructions, anyway. A few days later another woman comes in to make a very large purchase. Note that she does not have a bag with her.)

Me: “All right, your total will be [total].” *rings her through* “If you’d like to go to our other stores today, just show your bag at checkout and they’ll give you 10% off!”

Customer #2: “WHAT?! But I just went to your other store! Where is my 10% off?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, as I said, you have to show your bag. They should have told you at the other store.”

Customer #2: “You should mention this before I buy anything! You’re just trying to take my money!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. If you would like, I can refund your purchase and ring you through again with the discount. I’ll trust that you have been to our other store without the bag.”

Customer #2: “No! That will take far too long! You took long enough the first time! I want [product worth more than her 10%].”

(At this point my store manager comes to help out.)

Store Manager: “That’s no problem, ma’am! We’ll get that [product worth more than her 10%] for you right away!”

(After a very long rant and rave about how we should have told her, and how we were trying to take her money, she finally leaves. Later I tell my general manager about the situation.)

General Manager: “Well, I still don’t want you asking people. You’ll just have to do the math in your head and issue cash refunds whenever something like this happens.”

(Whenever my managers aren’t around, I just ask about the bags, anyway.)

Not Keeping Their Cool Over The Cooler

, , , , | Right | September 4, 2018

(I am working a sandwich shift at a high-end retailer. Basically, I closed the night before and I’m opening the next morning. Therefore, I’m more aware about what has been going on in the store, but also more sleepy. We serve upper-class individuals, and right now we are selling a lot of holiday-themed items. I come up to customer who is looking around a bit confused.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. Are you finding everything you’re looking for today?”

Woman: “Well, I wanted this cooler that I saw a few days ago; it was big and red.”

Me: “Ah, the picnic cooler. I apologize, but we sold out of those last night.”

Woman: “But they were here yesterday.”

Me: “Yes, we sold out of our entire stock last night.”

Woman: “So, you don’t have any more in stock?”

Me: “At this particular store we do not. I know because I did a check last night and they said that we did not have any more. There are some coming in after the holiday.”

Woman: “That’s not acceptable; I need one of those for tomorrow.”

Me: “Well, we can order them to be shipped to your house, which you’ll get free shipping for, since we didn’t have them in stock, or I can check local stores which have them.”

Woman: “Okay, search which stores have them.”

Me: “Okay, so [Nearest Store] has six in stock. They are about twenty minutes’ drive a—”

Woman: “I don’t have time to go there; do you send them between the stores?”

Me: “No, but I can run a back order from the warehouse.”

Woman: “No, I need you to send someone out there to pick two up for me and come back and bring them to me.”

Me: “We… don’t do that.”

Woman: “Well, I don’t see why you don’t have those in stock. I wanted to buy one and you should have saved it for me.”

Me: “We can’t have saved it for you if you didn’t order it for pick up. Someone else saw it and they bought the last available ones.”

Woman: “But I didn’t buy it.”

Me: “Okay, but somebody else did last night.”

Woman: “But it wasn’t me.”

Me: “That’s correct; it wasn’t you. Now, I can back order them, I can ship them to your house, or I can give you other options, but those are the only things I can do for you today.”

Woman: “I need them. You didn’t tell the person who bought them last night that I needed them for tomorrow.”

Me: “He saw them, he liked them, and he was here when we had them. If you had purchased them yesterday afternoon, then you would have had the ones you wanted.”

Woman: “But don’t you know who I am?”

Me: “Who you are doesn’t make a difference to me, apart from that you’re a guest like he was. Now, I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but I’ll ask you how I can help you keep your cool.”

(The woman left without ordering the coolers, looking a bit upset about it. Even though we were indoors with soft lighting and good AC, she NEVER took off her Gucci sunglasses.)