Some People Have Never Been Told “No” And It Shows

, , , , , | Right | January 22, 2021

Because of current events, California has recently placed even more restrictions on businesses and my store is currently only allowed to have eighteen customers in at a time, or we risk getting shut down.

I have just let the eighteenth customer in and am conversing with them a short way inside the door when a lady comes charging into the store. I hold my hand up, “stop in the name of love” style.

Me: “Ma’am, we’re at capacity right now.” 

The woman reels back dramatically.

Customer: “Oh, my God! I’ve never been so assaulted in my whole life!”

She stomps out after I attempt to explain the regulations to her. Sometime later, my coworker gives me the heads-up that the lady is back in the store and is going around telling all the staff how “assaulted’ she was.

She runs into me near the register counter and demands my name, which I calmly give.

Customer: “I’m going to write to corporate about how assaulted I was!”

I understand that folks are under a lot of stress these days, but that woman must live a charmed life if her idea of assault is being told to wait her turn!

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Okay, But What TIME On Friday?

, , , , , | Learning | January 21, 2021

I am a teacher at a college preparatory high school in the USA. We have returned to on-campus learning but occasionally students will need to remain home in quarantine due to the current health crisis. Our school uses Google Classroom and I do everything I can to provide support for our students. Some though, need more help than others.

I receive an email.

Email: “[Student] has added a private comment on the assignment: ‘Activity Guide due Friday, January 16.’”

I click to view the comment.

Student: “When is the project due?”

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The Biggest Spreader Is Selfishness

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2021

This is during the global health crisis and the government has just recommended that all public libraries should close down for a period of time. We are all very anxious to find out if that means that the municipality will decide that we’ll have to close down completely.

We have been closed for visitors for a month and a half, but patrons can still put books on hold and make an appointment to collect them outside. The appointments are to make sure we don’t get a huge crowd of people outside at the same time, and also to give us time for things like answering phone calls and emails, hunting down books, making sure we can arrange the hand-off in a way that won’t spread disease, etc. In between all this, we’re fielding calls from desperate patrons who are now unable to get essential computer and Internet access. 

Most regular patrons are very understanding and grateful for the very limited services we are still allowed to provide. Then, there are patrons like this lady on the phone.

Patron: “Hello, I want to pick up my books.”

Me: “Of course! If I can have your name and details, I’ll check if your reservations have come in.”

Patron: “My name is [Patron]. There should be a bag there for me.”

I go to check, and sure enough, there is a bag with the patron’s name on it with a note from a colleague that she’ll call and make an appointment to pick them up later. Apparently, this is “later.” Fair enough.

Me: “All right, I have your bag here ready for pickup. The first free slot today is 13:45; will that be convenient for you?”

It is now around noon, so that’s a pretty good slot.

Patron: “No, of course not. I’m heading into town right now; I’ll be there in ten minutes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, that time slot is already taken. It’s not really possible to make an appointment with that short a notice.”

Patron: “What? You can’t do this. Are you expecting me to plan my entire day around your scheduling? I’ll be there in ten minutes and I expect my books to be there when I am!” 

I want to say, “Oh, so you’re expecting us to reschedule our entire day around your poor planning?” However, I am a customer service veteran, so I know I am not allowed to say that.

Me: “It’s really important for us to keep to this scheduling because it’s the only way we can keep offering this service. We don’t want people to crowd each other outside and risk spreading the disease.”

Patron: “Oh, I promise I’ll keep my distance. Besides, you’re closed anyway; it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do.”

I’ve been on pickup duty for an hour already. I’m wearing latex gloves I’m allergic to and a visor I can’t hear through, I’ve been bathing in hand sanitizer since early morning, I’m warm, I’m stressed, and the phone has been ringing off the hook since I started my shift.

Let’s just say that I scheduled this woman’s unscheduled pickup while grinding my teeth with anger, because our policy is to try to extend our poor excuse for a library service as far as we can, but I have to say, there are people who definitely do not deserve it.

And yep, you guessed it. She definitely did not keep her distance when she came to pick up her books.

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Even The Author Can Smell Nuts

, , , , , , , | Working | January 20, 2021

In the office kitchen, bright and early, I am pouring myself a mug of coffee. There are three others in the kitchen with me.

Coworker #1: “I smell lavender. Do you?”

All agree but me as I put the pot back on the warming plate.

Coworker #1: “Do you smell it?”

The question is now directed at me and I turn, shrugging.

Me: “I don’t know. I can’t smell.”

Coworker #2: “What?!”

Me: “Yeah. I’ve never had taste or smell my whole life.”

I move to leave but [Coworker #2] shrieks.

Coworker #2: “YOU CAN’T TASTE?”

Me: “Nope. I’ve never tasted anything ever.”

Coworker #2: “You could have [rapidly spreading illness]!”

Me: *Pause* “No. I’ve never had the sense. I didn’t lose it. I don’t have [illness].”

Coworker #2: “You’re hiding symptoms.”

Me: “Wait. What? No.”

[Coworker #2] staggered away from me in fear (everyone was wearing a mask in the kitchen and in the workplace) and disappeared down the hall. Within minutes, an [illness] trace was started by our Compliance Officer until the other coworkers who’d heard the kitchen conversation quickly stepped in to tell about what had happened and about my disability.

It took a bit for the hysteria to die down and gossip flew around the office for days afterward. [Coworker #2] avoided me to protect herself from [illness] and I just did my best to keep working.

The lavender turned out to be a box of cupcakes, hidden for an afternoon birthday celebration.

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Please Call Our Crystal Ball Hotline For Assistance With That Enquiry

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2021

I work at a resort in a tourist town. For the holidays, we have set up special outdoor tents for dining. We only have twelve, and they book for all of December and January within two weeks. Our waitlist is monstrous, and people are usually understanding of this.

We get the occasional interesting call, but this one sticks out. I inform the guest that the tents are fully booked, but that we can add her to our waitlist.

Caller: “Okay, can you put me on the waitlist?”

Me: “Certainly! I will need your name, phone number, and the date you are interested in.” 

Caller: “Which date would be the best?”

Me: “Well, whichever date you like! Which date would work best for you?”

Caller: “No, no. Which date would I be most likely to get a call back about?”

Me: “I am terribly sorry, ma’am, but I don’t understand. We have a waitlist for every day that the tents are available, so no one day is better than another. If you would like, I can put you on the list for every single day so you have a better chance?”

Caller: *Deep sigh* “I don’t want to be put on every day. I just want to be put on the list for the day that I will get a call back for. You’re the employee. You should know which day is most likely to open up for me.”

Me: “I am very sorry, but I do not have that information. It would depend on each individual reservation. A day with two people on the waitlist might have no one cancel, and a day with ten people might have twenty cancellations. There is no way for me to know. The best option would be for me to add you to the waitlist for every day.”

Caller: “I do not want every day. There are only certain days I can do. I want you to tell me the days that will have cancellations so that I can tell you if that works for me or not. Why is this so hard for you to understand?! You’re the employee! This should be easy for you!”

We go round and round for fifteen minutes, repeating the same things back and forth. I offer a manager a few times, and she refuses, so my manager gives me the signal to end the call however I can.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I am not psychic. I have no way of knowing who will or will not cancel. You can either give me your information so I can add you to our waitlist for every day, for certain days of your choosing, or for none at all. Those are your options. Nothing else.”

She hung up on me without ever providing her information. Some people.

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