Never Ever Off The Clock

, , , , | Right | October 21, 2019

(I’m back at work after a day off. I’ve opened the store and my colleague comes in an hour later.)

Coworker: “[Customer] called for you yesterday.”

Me: “Oh, okay. I spoke to her on the phone earlier this morning.”

Coworker: “Yeah, she was quite agitated and insisted that she had to talk to you immediately as it was urgent. When I told her you weren’t at work, she asked for your personal number so that she could call you at home.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Coworker: “I refused to give it to her, saying that I couldn’t give out personal information. Eventually, I managed to get her to tell me that she wanted to pay off the balance on her order. I said that I could process the payment for her, but she refused my help and asked for you to call her today.”

Me: “She didn’t mention any of that to me! I even emailed her to say that I wouldn’t be in yesterday, but that I’d be back today. I don’t know why she didn’t just speak to you. It’s not like I could have helped her on my day off. I don’t have access to the order system at home and I don’t have a PDQ machine, either! Does she think I just carry a portable PDQ machine with me at all times?”

Coworker: “I guess so!”

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This Is The Last Cut  

, , , , , | Right | October 21, 2019

(We have had a customer in the store for a couple of hours trying to choose curtain fabric. I’ve spent time with her but my supervisor has decided I’ve been with her for too long and pulls me aside.)

Supervisor: “What’s taking so long with this customer?”

Me: “I can’t get away from her; she wants curtain fabric and can’t decide.”

Supervisor: “Just show her where the fabrics are and leave her to choose.”

Me: “I’ve tried that.”

Supervisor: “Well, I’ll do it, then. It’s getting late and you need to finish [assigned work] before you leave.”

(I happily leave her with the customer while I go to complete my work. I also close the doors an hour later, noticing that the supervisor is still with the customer. I finally complete my work half an hour after closing and have finalised one of our registers. I’m doing some general tidying while waiting for the supervisor and customer come to the counter with the chosen fabric. I hear the woman wondering whether her husband would like it.)

Supervisor: “I think it would be a good idea if you took a sample home for your husband to see; we don’t refund on fabrics if you change your mind.”

Customer: “No, no, he’ll like it. Now I just have to work out how much I need. You will cut it to size, won’t you?”

Supervisor: “No, sorry, we don’t. It’s company policy.”

Customer: “Oh, you can do it for me, can’t you?”

Supervisor: “Sorry, but it’s already way past our closing time and cutting to size will take too much time. We would need exact measurements, anyway; you told me that you weren’t completely sure of the window sizes.”

Customer: “I know now. My husband sent me the sizes; they’re on my phone.” *shows phone with ten different window sizes on it*

Supervisor: “No, sorry, but again, that will take too long. It’s already 45 minutes after we closed. Nor can I risk going against company policy if I cut any of the measurements wrong.”  

Customer: “Oh, well, think of the lovely overtime you both will be getting.” *looks at me and grins*

(We both look at her like deer caught in headlights.)

Supervisor: “We don’t get overtime. We get paid only to closing time, and now we still have to stay until the register is counted and finalized.”

Customer: “Oh, that can’t be right.” *looks at me*

Me: “Yes, it is.”

(The supervisor has finally measured out the fabric and is about to cut.)

Supervisor: “Now, are you sure about this measurement and fabric choice? As I mentioned, there are no returns on fabric.” 

Customer: “Yes, yes it’s fine.”

(I ring up the sale and let her know the price before any cut is made. The customer is fine with the cost and pays before finally leaving.)

Supervisor: “Oh, my God, what a time-waster. How long was she in here for?”

Me: “Four hours.”

Supervisor: “I know she’s going to try to return that fabric. It will be over my dead body.”  

(We finally complete our closing duties and leave almost an hour and a half after closing. I have the next day off, and when I get back the day after, I see a bag of fabric at the counter.)

Me: “Uh, isn’t that the fabric that annoying woman bought?”

Supervisor: “Yes. Apparently, her husband didn’t like the colour and she came back for a refund. She told [Store Manager] that I told her that she could return it if he didn’t like it. He had a go at me about it, even giving her the refund after I told him she lied. She also complained that she wasn’t told what the final cost was before it was cut.”

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Signs Of Good Faith Stopped Happening A While Back

, , , | Right | October 18, 2019

(I recently started working in a call center for a large cable and Internet provider. I will admit, my company’s not-so-great reputation is not entirely unearned, but some of our customers consistently leave me stunned at the level of entitlement. One of my favorite examples goes as follows:)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thank you for calling [Call Center]; how can I help you today?”

Customer: “I know I have a past due balance, but I need you to turn my cable back on.”

(This is a common opening remark and I’m always willing to do what I can to help out. Unfortunately, in this case, the only way to get his cable working again is to pay the past due. When I explain this, the customer has one zinger of a remark.)

Customer: “I’ll pay you the past due only after, as a sign of good faith, you restart my cable.”

(At that point, I could only tell him that no, that’s not how that works. He proceeded to swear up a storm and hang up. What did he expect when his account was $1300 in the hole?)

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Call, Cancel, Call, Cancel, Become A Millionaire

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(I am working as a call center representative for an appliance service plan, in which members of the program can call in to have someone come out to repair their appliances while only paying a monthly fee. We work with a select group of vendors whom we contract the work out to and cover their costs for the visit.)

Customer: “I want to cancel the service call I have today for my central AC, if it is not too late.”

Me: “Certainly, give me a moment.”

(The customer has an appointment for later today, which I cancel with the customer’s reason.)

Me: “Okay, that order has been cancelled. Anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “Yes, how much do you pay your people to come out here?”

Me: *pause* “I’m not entirely certain, sir. It varies depending on the company we send and the work that is done. I’d guess that the cost of the visitation would be anywhere from $100 to $150 before costs for parts and labor.”

Customer: “So, that means I saved you the cost of them being sent out, right?”

Me: “Uh, yes, sir, that’s right.”

(Awkward pause.)

Customer: “I guess what I’m saying is, can I get credit to my account for that?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir, we don’t offer credits for cancelling your service orders.”

Customer: “But I’m saving you some money, so shouldn’t I get something?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t really offer anything like that; the cost of operations is just something we cover whether it happens or not.”

Customer: “Well, it was worth a try, I guess.”

(Sometimes I wonder if customers really think about these requests from a business standpoint. If we gave money out to everyone who cancelled an appointment, we wouldn’t be around for very long.)

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Bags And Bags Of OCD

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(I’m a cashier at a grocery store that also has baggers. It’s a busy weekend, so every lane has a line. My next customer is a woman who doesn’t have too many items.)

Customer: *to the bagger* “I’m sorry, but could you bag at a different lane? I have OCD, so I need things bagged is a very specific way after everything is scanned.”

(The bagger complies, and I assume she will just bag her own items. Since it is a small order, waiting to bag until the end won’t cause too much of a wait.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, your total is [amount].”

Customer: *organizing, but not bagging her items* “Okay, but first—” *hands me three of her items* “Could you please put these in five bags?”

Me: “Five?”

Customer: “Yes, I need every set of items in five bags, and the bananas on their own, but still in five bags.”

(I am wondering why she sent the bagger away if she’s not even bagging her own groceries, as she could have given him the same instructions so he could bag while I cash her out.)

Me: “All right, ma’am…” *starts bagging and putting the bags in the cart while noticing the growing line*

(One of the things we’re taught in training is to try to keep the fragile items near the top or in the child’s seat if it is empty; however, after I place her bananas there…)

Woman: “Oh, wait! I didn’t wipe that area down earlier; could you please put those bananas in different bags and put them in a different spot?”

(I take the fifth bag off and attempt to put another one on, but she insists that all five bags need to be replaced. After a decent amount of time has passed, I have bagged everything to her standards, but my supply of bags is low and the line has more than doubled in size.)

Woman: *finally getting ready to pay* “Sorry about that. I have OCD.”

Me: *trying to act cheerful* “That’s all right, ma’am. Again, your total is [amount].”

(She pays in cash, and her change is $2.00, but she insists on having the newest-looking bills I have. I have absolutely no new-looking $1 bills, so I get two from the very bottom of the stack since they are the flattest. She reluctantly accepts them, thankfully without a fuss, and finally leaves me to take care of the other customers. An hour or so after the rush finally dies down, a supervisor approaches me.)

Supervisor: “Hey, [My Name], what was up with that line? You’re usually faster than that.”

Me: “Sorry, I had this customer who needed everything quintupled bagged.”

Supervisor: “Was it a woman?”

Me: “Yes. She said she had OCD.”

Supervisor: “Okay, I know who you’re talking about. I’ve dealt with her before. I get that she has a condition, but if she knows about it then she could at least try to do something about it, like bringing her own washable bags or something, instead of wasting so many of ours.” 

(I completely agreed with him. Thankfully, that customer isn’t a regular, but still, you can only put so much blame on your mental conditions.)

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