They Expect It To Be Handed To Them On A Silver Platter

, , , , | Right | January 20, 2019

(The grocery deli where I work offers a variety of deli trays for ordering. Because of the time that goes into preparing these trays and because we are a busy location, we require at least 24 hours notice for these orders. A well-dressed, middle-aged woman comes up to the counter around 9:00 am. It’s important to note that during no point of this transaction does she seem like someone who has suffered recent emotional trauma. I go up to help her.)

Me: “Hi. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “Could I order a tray and pick it up today at 3:00 pm?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we need at least 24 hours notice for our trays.”

Customer: *suddenly glaring* “Are you telling me no?”

Me: *taken aback and unsure how to politely make my “no” any more clear* “Well, as 3:00 pm today is well within a 24-hour period, no, we cannot fulfill your request.”

Customer: *angrily* “Listen. Someone in my family just died, and—“

(I REALLY wanted to hear the rest of that sentence and find out how a death in the family was going to justify yelling at a deli worker for doing their job, but regretfully this was the point at which my manager took over and I reluctantly went back to my original tasks, overhearing nothing else. I found out later that not only did my manager let the lady place an order for 3;00 pm that day, but she also let her order not just one, but four trays. We got the order done in time, but it was pretty hellish to frantically work on those four trays during the lunch rush. Unfortunately, my shift ended before the pickup, so I never saw if she came on time, was remotely grateful, or explained why she so desperately needed the trays. Forgive my callousness, but assuming she wasn’t making the whole thing up, I think her family would have forgiven her if she’d pick up some sandwiches instead of fancy fruit and cheese trays, even in her time of grief.)

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Rage Against The Human Machine

, , , , , | Working | February 23, 2018

(I work as an office assistant for a small company. We get a lot of spammy recorded calls of questionable origin. The phone rings and the caller ID is from an insurance company. It looks to me like it may be another recorded message, but I always pick up the phone in case it’s not.)

Me: “Hi, you’ve reached [Company].”

Caller: “Hello? Can you hear me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: *long pause* “How are you doing today?”

(This is a common enough format for recorded calls that I ask outright:)

Me: “Is this a recording?”

(After another pause, he doesn’t respond to my question, and instead starts talking about where he’s calling from. Between the long pauses and ignoring my question, I figure it’s a recorded message and hang up. The phone immediately rings again from the same number. I don’t bother answering it, instead lifting the receiver and hanging it back up. This pattern goes on for some time, at least five times. I also hold the phone to my ear a couple of times before hanging it up and hear the same voice say, “Hello?” and, “Can you hear me?” but nothing unique enough to make me think this isn’t a sophisticated recording. I’ve heard that if you let a recorded call get far enough or even answer it at all they’ll keep calling you. I figure this is a particularly persistent and obnoxious one, and I guess I hope if I hang up on it enough it’ll stop. I probably should just let it go to the voicemail, but I hate letting the phone just ring. However, this pattern is now at the point where I can’t get anything done because of the constant calls. I snap and decide to try picking it up again)

Me: *picks up phone* “Hi, is this a real person?”

Caller: *same voice, but now exasperated* “Yes! I’ve been hung up on several times now. I’m trying to do an employer check for [Company Employee]. Who am I talking to?”

Me: *embarrassed now* “Oh… This is the office assistant, [My Name].”

Caller: “Can you tell me if I am speaking to the right person, or who I should speak with?”

Me: “The directors should be able to help you out. Let me transfer you.”

Caller: “That’d be great, thanks.”

(I was too embarrassed to apologize for hanging up on him so many times. Hopefully he didn’t give my boss an earful about his incompetent office person!)

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