File This One Under Crazy

, , , , | Legal | July 27, 2018

(The office I work in only has three employees for one lawyer: the legal assistant, the medical records worker, and me, the receptionist. It is a busy day, with a constant flow of clients and the phone constantly ringing. The medical records worker comes up to my desk after a lengthy phone call.)

Medical Records: “I just had a nasty call from a previous client’s daughter. She’s on the way up here for a letter from her mother’s closed file, even though I told her there’s no way we can get it right now.”

Me: “What did she say?”

Medical Records: “She told me that she’s still coming from [City 30 minutes away], and that we had better d*** well get it, even though it’s a closed case from 2012 and we filed it away already. I tried to tell her we won’t have it today, but that we may have it tomorrow, and she hung up on me.”

Me: “Well, [Legal Assistant] would know where that is, but she’s with clients all day. I’ll just tell [Client’s Daughter] that we can’t get those files.”

(Thirty minutes later, the client’s daughter shows up as I’m in the middle of a call with another client, loudly interrupting me.)

Client’s Daughter: “I called earlier about my mom’s letter. I need it now!

Me: “One moment, please.” *puts the caller on hold* “Yes, you were told over the phone that there’s no way we can get that letter for you right now. Our legal assistant is the only one who knows where those files are, and she’s currently with clients.”

Client’s Daughter: *looks around our now empty waiting lobby* “I don’t see anyone here. I need that letter now. My mom almost died, and she needs this letter to help her get healthcare. They told me I need to have that letter by tomorrow or she’s not getting it.”

(I can already tell she’s lying, because we talk commonly with doctors and healthcare agents. They never give an ultimatum like that — not without calling us first.)

Me: “I am truly sorry to hear that. And still, we cannot get that letter yet, because the legal assistant is with clients and is unable to retrieve that file. She will need a few days to find it and make copies of the letter. Which one is it that you need?”

(The daughter names off a letter that we wouldn’t even have.)

Me: “You could have saved yourself a trip. We wouldn’t have that one, anyway.”

Client’s Daughter:What?! I just drove 30 miles to get up here, and you couldn’t have told me that over the phone?”

Me: “Do you mean when you hung up on us?”

Client’s Daughter: “Whatever! While I’m here, I want my mother’s files. We’re going to take the case to someone else.”

Me: “We would still have to find the file, which is in storage at a location away from here. We would have to do this on a day we don’t have clients, since we are currently busy with clients–” *motions pointedly to my phone* “–and can’t take the time to drive to that location to get it. The best I can do is take a message to give the legal assistant. Or, you can wait an hour to see her. It’s 3:30 now, and we close at 5:00, so you’d have only 30 minutes to convince her to drive there and get it for you. Or, you can wait for us to get it for you and call you to pick it up at a later day.”

Client’s Daughter: “I’m not leaving without my mother’s file. You need to get it now.”

Me: “No, I don’t. I don’t know where it’s located. I’m not leaving my station because you were too impatient to let us get it for you and call for you to pick it up.”

Client’s Daughter: “My mother almost died last week, and you’re going to go get that file right now! She’s outside in my car, in the boiling heat, with my child and husband! They cannot wait a d*** hour for someone else to go get it!”

Medical Records: *messages me over our network* “Tell her to wait one f****** moment. I will go outside to see if it’s still here on premises or out in the storage room, or if we’ve moved it offsite.”

Me: *to client’s daughter* “[Medical Records] has kindly offered to go out to our supremely hot storage room to see if it’s out there, since your dying mother can’t sit outside in this unbearable heat. It can take her a while, so I would suggest you bring her inside.”

Client’s Daughter: “She’s fine outside. Besides, my husband is in a wheelchair, and it would take too much work to get him inside of here.”

Me: “We have a ramp you can use to bring him inside.”

(The client’s daughter ignores me and instead takes a call, so I resume my conversation with my previous client. As I’m talking, I can overhear the client’s daughter telling whoever is on the phone, “Yeah, they told me they were tired of fighting with me about it, so they’re getting the file right now.” I make a point to message the medical records worker and legal assistant. Almost fifty minutes later, the medical records worker returns with the file. She takes it to the legal assistant, who finished with her clients a few minutes ago. The legal assistant comes out shortly after.)

Legal Assistant: “We need to make a copy of your driver’s license. Here are your mother’s files. You were told over the phone that we do not have the time, and you still decided to disrupt our work period for something that was clearly not that important. Nothing in your mother’s file is going to help you to get insurance. You were told that. You still decided to keep your dying mother waiting in the hot, blazing car while you sat up here for this. I wish your mother the best in her endeavors, but you are not welcome up here for any reason. Do not return. Do not call. We don’t care to have anything to do with you any further, and no longer have a reason to. There is the door. Leave.”

Client’s Daughter: *to me* “It didn’t take that long to find her file.”

Me: “If your mother was really sick and near death, then she’d have died by now, waiting outside for an hour for you. Goodbye.”

Their Cup Runneth Over With Complaint

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2018

(I work for a very popular theme park that has a lot of resorts. Guests can purchase cups at the resorts to refill their drinks for free. The parks, however, don’t honor that. I get at least one or two guests a day that request a drink for their resort cups. Most of the time I tell them the parks don’t do that. But once in a while, if it’s a kid, or if I’m feeling nice, I’ll fill it for them, but warn them that other employees won’t.)

Guest: *approaches the counter I’m working at, with his wife and four children* “Hi, can we get drink refills?”

Me: “I’m sorry, this restaurant doesn’t offer refills—”

Guest: “No, for our resort cups.” *holds up cup*

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but the parks don’t honor drink refills from resort cups. “

Guest: “Ugh, you’re the third employee to tell me that! We’ve been lugging these around all day. It’s hot and humid, and these cups aren’t easy to carry!”

Me: “I understand, sir. If you want, I can fill them with water.”

(The guest’s wife bursts into tears, and the kids are beginning to look visibly distressed. I’m a little uneasy about this. I’m used to guests crying and breaking down in front of me. And I’ve had instances of kids crying just to get their way. But at the same time, I don’t like it when guests act like this.)

Guest: “If I wanted water, I would go to a f****** water fountain and fill them! We don’t want water! And now you’ve upset my wife and ruined our vacation!”

(I look at the family. After determining that, indeed, they are probably just exhausted and dehydrated, I decide to just fill the drinks and give them my usual warning.)

Me: “All right, sir, I’ll be more than glad to fill your cups.

Guest: “See? That’s not so hard is it?”

(I take all six of their cups and begin to refill them with their requested beverages, and hand them back to the guest.)

Me: “I just want to warn you, sir, not all employees will do this for you. These cups are meant for the resorts only. If you’re coming back on a different day, I would advise leaving the cups in your room, so you can better enjoy the park. Have a wonderful day.” *I smile cheerfully at him*

(The guest just glared at me, and walked away. The kids, however, lingered long enough to say thank you, and confirmed my theory that Mom and Dad were just tired and hot. I told the kids that it was nothing to be sorry for and gave them special straws. I probably didn’t have to do that, but I appreciated them staying behind to say thank you, at least.)

Bleed For This Job

, , , , , | Right | July 27, 2018

(I am a relatively new employee at this store. On this day I’m showing a customer an expensive “All-In-One” model of food processor.)

Me: “With the capacity and variable speeds, you can pretty much chop, slice, grind, puree, and do anything else you can think of, with pretty much any food.”

Customer: “How do you change the blades?”

Me: “Oh, they just pop out and can be snapped back in.”

Customer: “Demonstrate it for me.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “Swap the blades out. I want to see you do it before I put my hands anywhere near this thing.”

Me: “Okay. Well, just so you know, I’ve never done this before, but from the instruction manual, it looks like you just have to grip them carefully by the center, so you don’t get near the sharp parts.”

(I attempt to remove the blade that’s in the processor, only to find it appears to be stuck. Gently, I try to press different parts, seeing if there’s a part I have to depress to release the blade, and find nothing.)

Customer: “Is this going to take long? I can’t stand around all day.”

Me: “Just a moment. Again, this is the first time I’ve tried this, so I just want to be careful.”

(I keep trying to pop the blade out, to no success. Suddenly I spy a coworker walking past us.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], could you help me here? I’m not sure if I’m doing this right and—”

(I suddenly feel something hit the food processor hard, while my hand is still in it. My fingers promptly slip and get sliced open as they accidentally brush across the sharp edge of the blade.)


(I yank my hand out to see blood dripping down my fingers.)

Customer: “Okay, so, at least I now know it can cut like it’s supposed to. Can I get one that doesn’t have blood all over it? I don’t want to catch any diseases from you.”

(Mercifully, I only needed a few band-aids, but we had to damage the display model of the processor out due to the biological hazard.)

Tax Doesn’t Register

, , , , , | Right | July 26, 2018

(I am a student, working in the fifties-style diner in our college’s union. Normally, we are supposed to ask for student IDs to verify that the customer doesn’t have to pay tax, but if they look close, we’ll give it to them without asking. Our registers have very old touch screens, and sometimes you have to press a button multiple times to make it work. After the transaction has gone through:)

Me: “Thank you and have a nice day!”

Customer: “What is this?”

(She shows me her receipt, pointing to a line at the bottom. Apparently, her tax wasn’t taken off.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I guess I must’ve made a mistake.”

Customer: “Redo it.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Me: “Redo the order. I want my money back.”

(NO ONE besides our boss has the capacity to open the register outside of a transaction, let alone do a refund. I ask one of my supervisors, anyway, on the off chance they might be able to. No such luck. I tell my coworker on the only other register I’ll be back. My boss is nowhere to be found. I have to go all the way down to the accounting office to grab someone to help me. By the time we get back, the line is out the door. We redo everything, and the girl leaves with a nod, having gotten her money back.)

Coworker: “How much was the refund?”

Me: “Thirty-three cents.”

Coworker: “You’re kidding.”

Me: “I’m not. If I’d had my wallet, I’d have given her a dollar of my own money and told her to never come back.”

Missing A Little Nugget Of Information

, , , , , | Right | July 26, 2018

(I work weekends at a fast food restaurant to help out with the bills. This particular exchange happens when I am taking orders in the drive-thru one Saturday afternoon. Note: at this restaurant, meals include fries and a drink.)

Me: “Welcome to [Restaurant]. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I need two chicken nugget meals, one with a vanilla shake instead of a drink, and the other with a lemonade.”

Me: *repeats order back, prepares to give total*

Customer: “Wait, wait, wait. Now, I don’t want chicken nuggets.”

Me: *almost positive that she asked for nugget meals* “Oh, I’m sorry. Did you need a different meal?”

Customer: *with increasing frustration* “No, my son wants the nuggets, but I don’t.”

(At this point, I assume she’s accidentally ordered the wrong meal for herself, so I cancel one of them and wait for her to order the correct one.)

Me: “Oh, all right. And which meal did you need, ma’am?”

Customer: “I already told you, I want the chicken nugget meal, just with no nuggets.”

Me: “So… just an order of fries and a lemonade?”

(Keep in mind, the price for fries and a lemonade is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than any of our meal prices, so there’s no monetary reason for her to order this way.)

Customer: *exasperated* “Yes! God, what is so confusing about that?”

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