They Haven’t Got A Glue

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

Customer: “Excuse me. Do you sell cake toppers with numbers?”

Me: “Yes! They’re right over here.”

Customer: “Perfect! This is exactly what I’m looking for. And there’s only one more 5!” *sees that the number came off of the stick* “Oh, this one’s broken. Do you have any in the back?”

Me: “No, sorry. We don’t keep any stock in the back. But this would be easy to fix. I’m sure we could give it to you at a discounted price.”

(We talk about how it can be fixed. She wants the number reattached to the stick and the paint fixed in the back where the two pieces meet, so I show her our adhesives and paint.)

Customer: “Can you fix it for me?”

Me: “You mean glue it and paint it for you? I’m not sure about that. Let me ask my manager.”

(I call the manager over and explain the situation.)

Manager: “I’m sorry. We can’t do that.”

Customer: “But it’s such a little thing. Can’t you fix it for me? It would just take a little bit of glue and paint.”

Manager: “We can’t. I’m sorry. If we open those products, we can’t sell them anymore.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to buy glue and paint just for this.” *wanders off*

Me: *to the manager* “Thanks for dealing with her.”

Manager: “No problem. She doesn’t want to buy them, but what she doesn’t understand is that if we open them, in essence, we’re buying them, because we can’t sell them!”

Ireland Is A Very Colorful Place

, , , , | Friendly | January 5, 2019

(I am trying to pull out of a side road into the main road. It always takes a while to pull out here and I am getting frustrated. I have a friend in the car and am venting to her. My window is open as it is both warm and sunny — very unusual for Ireland.)

Me: *as a blue car comes from the right* “Maybe after this blue guy. Oh, here’s a red guy, and a black guy. Maybe after this red guy. Oh, no, here comes another black guy.”

Me: “…”

Me: “I hope that actual black guy walking towards us didn’t hear that.”

Asking For Flights Of Fancy

, , , , | Right | December 22, 2018

(I work at an airline.)

Caller: “How much to fly return with you to Bangladesh in two weeks?”

Me: *checking* “I see that neither we, nor our partner airlines, travel there, but [other airlines] do. I can provide you with their contact numbers—“

Caller: “What I asked you was, ‘How much will you charge me for a return ticket to travel there?’ I didn’t ask for you to fob me off onto someone else. Answer my question, please.”

Me: “Sorry about that. On what date do you intend to travel there, when would you intend to return, and in what class would you prefer to travel?”

(He gives the details; the price is around €4,000 in economy class before the various taxes and charges, which is the maximum allowed by law and the only fare that head office has programmed into our system. I wince in anticipation of his reaction to the news.)

Caller: “What? Why is it so insanely expensive?”

Me: “It’s the highest price in economy class for that route and time that’s allowed by law. [My Airline] doesn’t offer any discounts or reductions to travel on other airlines that aren’t our partners, much less to destinations where we don’t go. If you were to contact the airlines that do fly there, they’d probably have prices closer to what you were expecting, since they compete for passengers on that route.”

Caller: “That’s ridiculous! You should be ashamed of yourselves for charging such a rate. It’s no way to do business!”

Me: “I don’t claim that it is good, sir, merely that it is so. Shall I get those other airlines’ numbers for you?”

Caller: *frustrated growl or snarl, followed by a click as he hangs up*

A Sure Bet That This Is A Scam

, , , | Right | October 13, 2018

(I’m working at the till in a bookies. Customers write bets on paper with carbon copy and we stamp them in the till when they pay. We keep the original and they keep the copy. After each race, the manager marks up the winners and files them so the counter staff can find them when the customer brings up the winning docket. We have computers to check all results and odds, etc. One of our regulars is a complete gambling addict and is constantly trying to scam us. She bets on the dog races every morning. For this type of race, people typically bet on the trap number rather than the dog name; a bet that just says “three €2” is a perfectly valid bet for €2 on the dog in trap three winning the next race after the till timestamp. This customer keeps all her old dockets, and if trap three wins in a different race later on, she will try to pass it off as a winning docket, so we have to double-check everything she does. One day she decides to try a new scam. She hands me docket for trap number five. I look through the winning dockets; it’s not there. I call up the results.)

Me: “This isn’t a winner.”

Customer: “It is; number three.”

Me: “This says number five.”

Customer: *shouting* “It’s number three.”

Me: “That’s number five.”

(By this stage the manager has found her original docket and brings it over. It clearly says “five.” The manager holds the docket up to the glass.)

Manager: “What does that say? What does it say?”

Customer: “That’s how I write my threes!”

Manager: “Get out; you’re barred!”

Kindness Has Found Her Calling

, , , , | Hopeless | September 12, 2018

(I work in a call centre that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve just experienced a huge snow storm, which is completely out of the ordinary for Ireland, and the call centre had to close for two days. When we reopen, it is incredibly busy, and customers are furious at how long it is taking to get through. Then, I get this lady.)

Me: “Hello, you’re through to customer services. This is [My Name] speaking. Apologies for the long wait, and thank you for holding. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi! How are you?”

Me: “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry about me. You’re obviously very busy today.”

Me: “Yes, I do apologise about that. We’re just experiencing a backlog after being closed because of the snow. I can log a complaint for you, if you wish?”

Customer: “Oh no, no, no. I used to work in a call centre myself. Tell me, what’s your target handling time for calls?”

Me: *confused* “Um, five minutes?”

Customer: “Okay, so I’ve been speaking to you for just under a minute. That means I can continue to talk to you for four minutes without ruining your stats.”

Me: “Okay. And what can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Oh, nothing at all. I just know how awful the customers must be treating you today, so I wanted to ring and have a friendly chat so your day isn’t all bad. I’m ringing the call centres of any suppliers I use and doing the same thing. You shouldn’t be shouted at all day because it snowed.”

(She genuinely had no query, and just filled the next few minutes with idle chit-chat. She just wanted at least one person to get a nice call on what was an otherwise awful day. We were so busy that she must have waited nearly an hour just to be nice to someone for five minutes!)

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