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A Picture-Perfect Call Center Moment

, , , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Bridget_Kielas-Fecyk | July 26, 2023

Sometimes, a feel-good story can make a person smile, so here is my feel-good story.

I was working the late shift at a call center for a major retail chain’s website. Hey, it was money, and I had to pay bills. Our computers were crashing with every other order, and yet we had to keep taking calls.

I got a call from a woman who wanted to get a few electronics. Apparently, the website wasn’t behaving and she couldn’t get an order to go through. I was starting to help her when, yet again, our system went down. I told her we could either chat until it was back up, or she could call back later, but she elected to chat. It was slow, so our call times were not being monitored as heavily.

Caller: “What do you do as a hobby?”

Me: “I’m an avid photographer.”

Caller: “Oh, I love photography! I used to do modeling, and I always admired the photographers’ equipment. I hoped to do that after school, but I’m in a wheelchair now due to an accident.”

She started crying.

Caller: “My dream of being a photographer is gone because I can’t walk anymore.”

Me: “No, it isn’t. Just because you can’t walk, it doesn’t mean you can’t take photos.”

Caller: “Really?!”

I started talking about cameras and basic photography, and when the system finally came back up, I started taking her through some of the equipment the site had, told her what was good for beginners, and even told her some of my favorite photographers who are also disabled.

By the time she was ready to go through an order, she was getting camera equipment as well as the other items she had wanted to order. She was SO happy that she asked to talk to my supervisor after, and apparently, she went and gave me a big compliment to my supervisor. She went from crying because she thought her dream of doing photos was over to cry-laughing because I told a few corny photo jokes and got her to realize that she can still do what she wanted to do. I got a huge email later from my supervisor about it.

You get a lot of jerks — and I mean A LOT of jerks — when you work in a call center, especially since they think they can treat you however they want since they can’t see you, but calls like that really made the job not so bad after all.

Some Disabilities Are Hidden, Others Are… Not So Much

, , , , , | Right | July 6, 2023

I am a cashier sitting on a stool because I have a physical disability that affects my legs. My literal very first customer of the day says to me in a really accusatory tone:

Customer: “So why do you get to sit?”

Me: “It’s for medical reasons.”

Customer: “Pfft! Being fat isn’t a disability! I’m going to report you to Welfare!”

Me: “I’m not on Welfare.”

Customer: “Get off your lazy a** and give me the stool! I’ve been shopping for so long!”

I walk around the register, and she suddenly shuts up.

Me: “I would walk you over to customer services where you can enquire about a mobility scooter, but as you can see from my leg braces it might be quicker if you went by yourself.”

She paid in silence.

Their Ability To See Common Sense Has Been Disabled

, , , , , | Right | June 26, 2023

I have a small/medium shop in a very hilly part of the world. Just the nature of the piece of property I’m on means that the parking area and road are quite a bit lower than the store itself with a concrete staircase between where people arrive at the property and the front door. To be accessible for disabled people, I also have a smooth ramp, but due to the elevation change, the ramp is pretty long and zig-zags rather than just going straight up.

I have one particular regular who is… difficult. She has never done anything over the line enough to be banned, but she is always right on that line. It’s also relevant to this story that she happens to use a wheelchair.

One night, we have an intense but short storm. The next morning, I arrive at work to find that a tree has fallen across the accessible ramp; however, it doesn’t block the stairs or the door. I ask one of my employees to manage the store, and I go to get a chainsaw to clear the tree.

By the time I get back with the tools to clear the tree, I am met by the aforementioned customer in the parking lot.

Customer: “I can’t get to your store! This is unacceptable and discriminatory!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m clearing the tree as quickly as I can; I literally have a chainsaw in my hand to get it clear.”

Customer: “That doesn’t matter! Your store is open, and you aren’t allowed to be open and not accessible! Why did you open if you can’t actually serve your customers?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, the stairs are still usable to those that can utilize them. I have employees here to work, and I will have the tree cleared about an hour after I’m allowed to start working on it. I didn’t see a reason to leave the store closed to all customers when I was able to serve some of them while I worked on solving the problem.”

Customer: “That is simply unacceptable.”

She continued to rant at me for a moment before leaving. I figured it was just the customer being her typical grouchy self, so I cleared the tree and got back to work as usual.

I got a notice from the local government that I was being investigated for discriminatory practices. Even though everyone I actually talked to agreed my shop was accessible and in accordance with regulations, due to the joys of bureaucracy, I ended up dealing with calls, inspections, and paperwork for four months all because a tree blocked the ramp for an hour.

Your Behavior Makes Them Very Anime-ted

, , , , , , , , , , , , | Right | May 31, 2023

I am working at a food counter at a convention centre in the middle of a large anime event. I am extra happy to work this weekend, as I am an anime geek and I get to tell my customers how much I love their cosplays.

A timid-looking girl in a wheelchair is with her friend and they order some food from me. She is cosplaying as an anime character.

Me: “That’ll be £10.95. By the way, I love your outfit! Tougou Mimori from Yuki Yuna Is A Hero, right?”

With this, the girl suddenly breaks down crying.

Me: “Oh, no! Did I say something wrong? Did I get the wrong cosplay?”

Girl: *Through some tears* “No, you got it right! You’re the first person to get it right!”

Me: *Nervous laughter* “Oh, well, I am sorry to hear that. But it’s a limited-run anime from 2014, so I guess you kinda have to be a fan?”

Girl: “It’s just, she’s the only anime girl in a wheelchair, so I thought I would try her out. She’s such an inspiration to me, and I was getting so upset that not one other person at an anime convention got it. You’ve just made me soooooo happy!”

Her friend then gets a photo of us both to record the happy memory. I say thanks to the photographer, who responds in basic sign language.

Girl: “Oh, yeah, my friend is deaf.”

Me: “Ah. Is that why he’s cosplaying as Bojji from Ranking Of Kings?”

The girl’s eyes go wide, and I look at her friend who has read my lips. His cosplay is based on a deaf anime character, so for me, it was an easy guess.

Girl: “Who are you?!”

I got pics with both of them and shared Instagram details so I could continue to marvel at their amazing cosplays.

I would like to point out that I think those with and without disabilities should both be able to cosplay characters with or without disabilities, but in this particular instance, it was like putting two and two together. This will always be my favourite customer encounter.

This story is part of our Highest-Voted-Inspirational-Stories-Of-2023-(so far!) roundup!

Read the next Highest-Voted-Inspirational-Stories-Of-2023-(so far!) story!

Read the Highest-Voted-Inspirational-Stories-Of-2023-(so far!) roundup!

Should Be Throne Out

, , , | Right | June 22, 2011

(The theater has four wheelchair spots in the back for those who cannot get out of their wheelchair. A wheelchair patron comes in. The seat listed on the ticket is for row H in the center. I assume that she is able to transfer out of her chair and guide herself to the row.)

Me: “Here we are. When you are seated, I will take–”

Customer: “Why is there a seat there?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I cannot get out of my wheelchair.”

Me: “Oh, well in that case, let me show you to the ADA seating area.”

Customer: “No! I don’t want to sit back there! I won’t be able to see back there!”

Me: “We can sometimes accommodate wheelchairs to the front–”

Customer: “No! That is too close. I want to be in the center of the theater! Remove the chair that is there and let me sit in the seat I purchased!”

Me: “But the seats are attached to the floor permanently. I can’t remove them.”

Customer: “This is discrimination!”

(The patron begins yelling obscenities at me. The House Manager comes to intervene.)

House manager: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. That is the only way to accommodate you.”

Customer: “This is unacceptable.”

(The patron begins to wheel herself back up the aisle, finds it difficult, gets up, and pushes the empty chair back into the lobby.)

Me: “I thought you couldn’t get out of your chair?”

Customer: “I can, but I don’t want to!”