Don’t Give Them Credit (Cards) For Trying

, , , | Right | August 15, 2017

(I’m at an online gaming company, getting trained for call-ins from customers. This is my first call, so my trainer’s looped in and can take over at any moment, and my entire class is listening in. No pressure, right?)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Game Company]. This is [My Name]. How may I assist you?”

Caller: “Hi, I need help recovering some account information so I can play.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what we can do. What’s your name, sir?”

Caller: *long pause* “My name is…”

(The customer proceeds to badly mispronounce an extremely common Asian name — think someone trying to pronounce the “h” in Thomas.)

Me: “Thank you, and for your secret question, [question]?”

(I begin typing up a report of the likely sale or compromise of the account as my trainer mutes his line and covers his mouth to keep from laughing.)

Caller: *correct answer, again mispronounced*

Me: “Thank you very much!” *look to the trainer, who’s biting his hand but nods as I lock the account for investigation* “What can I do for you?”

Caller: “Well, I’m on vacation in California–” *caller is calling from LA on an account registered to Boston* “–and I left my credit card at home, so my account’s expired. Is there any way you could tell me the credit card number on the account?”

Me: *quickly muting the call as several of my fellow employees are now laughing* “I’m so sorry to hear, but if you like we can associate your account with another card that you do have.”

Caller: “No, I left my wallet at home and don’t have any of my cards. I need that card so I can play again.”

Me: “Is there nobody you know who can go to your home and retrieve it? Having a vacation without any funds can’t be easy.”

Caller: “No, I want that card’s number. Give it to me.”

Me: “Well, I’m afraid we only have the last four digits visible. The rest is encrypted.”

Caller: “What? This is horrible service! I demand you tell me my full card!”

Me: *muting again as several coworkers are leaving the room; they know where this is going* “Sir, I’m afraid that the encryption is for your security. This protects against potential credit fraud.”

Caller: “I don’t care! I’m the customer. I called customer service! Service me!”

Me: “If you can visit one of several common stores in the area, they can sell you a time card, but I’m unable to share any credit card information on the account with you except for the last four digits and the expiration date; anything else is encrypted, and our company would be in breach of several consumer safety laws if it weren’t.”

Caller: “Fine! I’ll tell all my friends about how awful you’ve been. You’ve just lost over a hundred customers!”

Me: “I understand. I do hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation, Mr.—“ *copies caller’s pronunciation of customer’s name* “Have a good day.” *disconnect the call*

Trainer: “I don’t know whether to write you up or commend you for that.”

They’re Gunning For You

, , , , | Learning | August 15, 2017

(This story was told to my class a few years ago by our teacher, about something that happened to him in his old school. There was a kid in his class that always wanted to pick a fight and was always angry.)

Angry Kid: *to another student* “You wanna f****** fight?! Let’s go!” *tries to get in the guy’s face*

Student: *backs away from the kid*

Teacher: *gets in-between them and tells the angry kid to stop*

Angry Kid: “Shut the f*** up!” *grabs a squirt bottle of water and tries to hit my teacher*

Teacher: *grabs his arm and twists it behind the angry kids back and shoves him against the whiteboard*

(The kid was sent to the office and the next day my teacher is walking through the halls before school.)

Passing Student: “See you, Mr. [Teacher]!”

Passing Student #2: “Good luck, Mr. [Teacher]!”

Passing Student #3: *looks at him with concern*

Teacher: *thinking, what the h*** is going on?!*

(My teacher found out that on the way to school that day, the angry kid had apparently told another kid that he was going to shoot Mr. [Teacher] and he had hid different parts of a gun around the school. After that incident my teacher had to go sit in a meeting with the angry kid that had been planning on shooting him, along with the kid’s parents. Certainly one of the more interesting stories.)

Answering The Call Of Duty

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2017

(I’m working the graveyard shift at our dispatch center, answering 911 calls from the public. Usually this is the time when we receive our most interesting callers.)

Caller: “I’d like to speak the head honcho, you know? Who is ever in charge of the… uh… department or police or whatever?”

Me: *thinking he wants to speak to a supervisor to make a complaint* “What is this in regards to?”

Caller: “About a job. How to get one with the police.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Caller: “I’m asking about how to get a job there.”

Me: “You’re asking about getting a job… on an emergency line?”

Caller: “Yes, I think I’m really good at what I’m doing now. I could help out, work as… uh… what’s it called… for an undercover cop. That’s what I mean. I could work as an undercover cop. How can I get a job doing that?”

(Just to make sure he’s not doing anything that could endanger himself or the public, I decide to continue and ask questions.)

Me: “And what is it that you’re exactly doing right now?”

Caller: “I’ve been noticing a lot of crime and drug sales in the area. At my home and at [Major Intersection on East side of town.] I play a lot of Call of Duty and I know what I’m doing. I’m just watching all the activity around me. I think I could be a real help. I just have this one little thing in court that I need to take care of, but other than that, I don’t have anything else. I’m clean.”

(At this point, I’m too flabbergasted to be my usual stern self when someone abuses the 911 system. I remain patiently polite, already imagining telling this story later.)

Me: “Okay… well… you will need to go to the town’s website and look for any job openings for the police department. I think they’re hiring officers now, so go take a look. Just don’t call 911 asking for a job here. And if you do see anything drug deals or anything like that going on, don’t confront the people, just give us a call and let us know.”

Caller: “Yeah, yeah, of course. I won’t confront them. I’m just watching. So, just go to the town’s website?”

Me: “Yes. You can fill out an application there.”

Caller: “Thank you so much! I really think I could be a big help.” *click*

Dispatcher: *next to me* “Did someone really just call 911 for a job? Were they serious?”

Me: “I… don’t… know.”

Completely Blowing Up

, , , , | Right | August 8, 2017

(A customer is talking about something that she wants me to blow up to poster size, and telling me that it’s from a certain magazine, and as she’s talking I’m just thinking ‘oh man, I don’t even know if I can copy this’ … So when she’s done talking about it, I start to tell her it might be copyrighted.)

Me: “So, since this is from a magazine, and the page has been cut out, I don’t know what their copyright says. Maybe I can Google the magazine and see if it says anything on their website or something.”

Customer: “I’m not selling it or anything, so it’s fine.”

Me: “Depends on the copyright. Some copyrights specify more than others, and since we don’t have the whole magazine here, I can’t see what it says. Some copyrights are quite strict.”

Customer: “But it’s just for a present. I want a poster of it.”

Me: “Yeah, I know, but for example, if someone wanted a poster of a celebrity, they are supposed to find a poster from a company that is licenced to sell a poster of that celebrity. People aren’t supposed to get a picture off the Internet and blow that up to poster size.”

Customer: “People do that all the time.”

Me: “I’m sure they do, but they’re not allowed. Let me just Google the magazine, in case their copyright information is listed. What was the name of the magazine again?”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Um, but you just told me the name of it a few minutes ago.”

Customer: “NO, I DIDN’T! YOU WEREN’T LISTENING TO ME!”

Me: *confused at this strange turn* “Um… okay… maybe I can still find it.”

(I begin Googling names I thought I remembered her saying, to see if something comes up.)

Customer: “I don’t understand why can’t you just blow this up!”

Me: “Because I’m not sure what the copyright on it says. It’s just our company copyright policy. It’s protecting the magazine company, just like any other people who have copyrights.”

Customer: “Can I talk to you manager!? Anyone else! I need to talk to your manager!”

Me: “Sure.” *I sigh when I say sure*

Customer: “Well, aren’t you sassy!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say it like that.”

Customer: “You just have horrible customer service, you know that?! I can’t believe you!”

(After my manager comes out, and tries to explain our policy to her, and how I’m correct, she interrupts him to say that I have horrible customer service and that I was “flippant” with her.)

Me: “I apologize. What did I say that upset you? I didn’t mean to be rude and I don’t want to continue to do that, so if you tell me what I did, maybe I can correct it for the future.”

(I’m trying not to cry at this point, and I’m sure you can hear that through my voice.)

Customer: “You were FLIPPANT!”

Me: “How?”

Customer: “Because you have HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! YOU WERE FLIPPANT!”

Me: “Okay, again, I apologize, but I didn’t mean to be. I know when I said ‘sure,’ it came out a little rude, but what else did I do?”

Customer: “I SAID YOU WERE FLIPPANT! What you should have done, is tell me ‘I’m sorry this isn’t something we can normally do, but let me get my manager so we can work something out’.”

Me: “Yes, but you see, when it comes to copyright, there is no ‘working out’ that we can do. It’s a serious offence, and we can’t just bend the rules for it.”

Customer: “You should just let the customer be right!”

(My manager stepped in to explain how we couldn’t do that, and how I could be fined personally, so it was a chance we can’t take. I ended up booking in an order of plaque mounting for her photo, instead of blowing it up to poster size, and I was afraid the whole time that she would accuse me of being ‘fake’ or something since I was being polite. After the customer left, my manager called me into the office to tell me that the customer spoke to him afterwards, apologizing, and taking back her accusations about me. She said that I was very nice and helpful, and she was just mad at the situation and took it out on me. SERIOUSLY?!)

The Great Zucchini Heist

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 3, 2017

My grandfather is a landscaper and gardener, so my grandparents have a massive vegetable garden in their backyard. It produces way more food than they actually need. My grandmother has a deal with one of her neighbors, who is an amazing cook and baker as well as a good friend to my grandmother, where she can come over at anytime and take as many vegetables as she wants and she’ll bake my grandparents several loaves of chocolate zucchini bread in return. She is the only person they have this deal with, though my grandmother will sometimes give free vegetables to neighbors who ask for them.

One day her friend comes over for some zucchini because she is having a get together and decides to make some bread for the dessert table, only to discover that the plants are completely barren of fruit. There aren’t even any unripened, not quite ready to pick zucchinis on the plant despite the fact that it’s peak season for them. She asks my grandparents about this, wondering if they’re having a bad year with their plants, but my grandmother shows her a zucchini she just picked the previous day and claims there were dozens more at least.

A week later, someone takes most of the tomatoes and digs up almost all of the carrots, which is discovered because the neighbor came over for a couple of onions for a soup she’s making for a dinner party she’s hosting. After the theft is discovered, her husband, who is a retired, disabled Vietnam vet who doesn’t really do much other than stay at home and entertain friends because his disabilities make it difficult for him to walk or travel, sits outside for two days, watching the garden while my grandparents aren’t home, until he catches the thief.

It turns out another one of the neighbors saw that my grandmother’s friend was going in and out of their garden and just taking vegetables whenever she wanted and decided that meant it was open for anyone to just take whatever they wanted. He was stealing the vegetables and selling them at a local farmer’s market.

When my grandfather confronts him, the guy tells my grandfather that it was his own fault for not telling him that he couldn’t just take all of them for profit. He never asked if it was okay or even indicated that he was doing it in the first place…

He later got arrested after security footage revealed he was the one who was stealing another neighbor’s prized, show-quality lop rabbits from an outdoor hutch and it turned out he was butchering and eating them. He had even cut a lock they had installed to try to prevent the theft. I guess she never told him that he couldn’t just take and eat her pets, either.

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