Homeowners Gotta Start Younger Every Year

, , , , , , | Working | November 14, 2019

My youngest sister is ten years younger than me, and even though we have her phone number — and ours, too, for that matter, not that it works — on the do-not-call registry, we still have cases of spam and telemarketers trying to call her. Usually, if we see it is an unsaved number, one of us — me, our other sister who is only two years younger than me, or our mom — grabs it and if it does turn out to be telemarketing, tells them off.

At this time, the sister in question is twelve years old and has a friend over. Both have their phones in the living room and are playing in her room.

I hear buzzing and try to figure out which phone before I call the wrong kid, find it’s my sister’s, and call her, but I decide to answer her phone regardless to tell them she’s coming because it had been going off for a while before I found it. I see the number on the screen is unknown, unsaved, and answered.


A male voice says, “Hello?”

I ask, “Who is this?”

He then says his name and starts saying something about being with a group that is supposed to help homeowners; he is kind of hard to understand. But I do hear “homeowner” and cut him off as my sister and her friend get to the living room. I am stern, but I try not to be an a**hole because I work in retail and know how it can be, even if these guys do usually have it coming.

“This is my twelve-year-old sister’s phone. Put this number on your do-not-call list.”

There is kind of a long pause and I expect him to just hang up like they usually do when pausing this long after hearing that. But then he asks, “All right. Is there a homeowner available, then?”

I’m still being firm because I want to get him off the phone. “No, there isn’t.”

He was already getting a tone the last time he spoke, but now he goes into full-blown attitude and sarcasm. “Ohhh, so a twelve-year-old girl lives by herself, then?”

I am completely caught off guard and now I’m pissed and put more of a tone in my voice. “I never said she lives in her own. I said that the homeowner is not available!”  

He then hangs up.

But seriously, how does it click in someone’s mind that when I say a homeowner is not available that I am automatically trying to tell them a twelve-year-old kid lives by themselves and therefore I am lying to them? Excuse me? Obviously, either the parent is not around, or we rent and the landlord, ergo homeowner, is not around. Seriously.

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Don’t Use Him As A Reference!

, , , , , | Working | November 13, 2019

My parents are hard-working, no-nonsense people. During spring planting a few years back one of their employees didn’t show up for work in the morning. Nor did he call. My dad didn’t waste time calling him but organized those who were there and got to work. Same thing the next day.

On the third morning, the missing worker pulled up as my dad was heading out to the fields. 

The man sheepishly apologized for missing work and admitted that he’d been looking for another job. 

My father shrugged and told him, “Well, you’d better keep looking, then.”

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A Pretty Woman Moment To Remember

, , , , , , | Working | November 13, 2019

A group of friends and I are into the alternative fashion style — big boots, Gothic dresses, lace, and corsets. We go into a popular high street store as I am getting married and we need some classy, normal-style dresses for bridesmaid dresses.

As soon as we walk into the shop, we are watched by a member of the staff who stands glaring at us from the counter. Whenever we pick up a dress to look at it, she moves closer to us, glaring. Keep in mind that there are six in the group in different sizes all looking to get the same style of dress. She doesn’t offer to help, stops other staff from helping us, and just stands there glaring.

We find dresses in the same style that can fit all six and go and ask to try them on. She snatches the dresses from our hands says, “These won’t suit you or even fit, and I doubt you can afford them, either.” These dresses cost £75 each and there are six of us. I am paying for them all and in cash. I was prepared to pay out over £500 for all of the dresses, so I have this cash on me.

I pulled the cash out, show the staff member, and say, “You mean this money?” Her whole attitude changes and she becomes very helpful. We all exchange a look. I say, “Because of your poor customer service we have changed our mind,” and we just walk out, leaving her to put away six dresses. If she had been nicer and less suspicious of us, she would have made a big sale.

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An Error So Large You Could Drive A Coach Through It

, , , , | Working | November 13, 2019

(Becoming a finance professional is a long road with lots of needed training, testing, and coaching. Even when the “classwork” is done, and one has earned a license to perform transactions, the learning is not done. Really, it’s just beginning. Our reps spend the first few weeks of hands-on transactions with a full-time coach, who listens and assists with every call. Typically, the coach is a senior rep who wants to become a supervisor or classroom trainer. The new class hits the floor, fresh-faced and newly paired-up with coaches. One coach is paired with a woman who is a recent college grad, exceptionally good with numbers, and scored highly on her license test. In training, she is a natural. So begins a call. I am listening in from the monitoring station while coach and the trainee begin the session. Our customer wants to begin a service, but she needs to fund it. Her personal bank account is low on funds, but her husband’s personal account, at a different institution, has plenty. Great. Except:)

Customer: “He’s on a business trip right now. I’d call him for the information, but he’s in London, and it’s the middle of the night there.”

(In order to fund new services, we typically collect payment from a checking account using the line of numbers at the bottom of checks. This is called the MICR line. It allows us to move money electronically. Our customer does not have immediate access to her husband’s checks.)

Coach: “Let me handle this. Put her on hold. This is an easy one. We know they have accounts at [Bank], right?”

Trainee: “Sure.”

Coach: “Check this out. Half of the information we need is public.” *keys start rattling* “See, you google the bank name and get the first half. The routing number.”

Trainee: “That’s cool. But we still don’t have the account number.”

Coach: “Switch lines with me.”

(There are few electronic pops, and now the coach has full control of the call, and the trainee is the one listening. A dial tone notes the presence of a new line being opened. A number is dialed.)

Bank Employee: “Thanks for calling [Bank]. May I have your name and account number?”

Coach: “Ah, hi. Yeah, the account number is actually why I’m calling. I’m having a bit of trouble here. I’m in London and I’ve misplaced the account number. I need it to complete a really important transaction. Can I give you the rest of my info and have you pull up my account?”

(HOLY SMOKES! I reach out and slam the “barge-in” button on my terminal and break into the call. This is something I have literally never done before, since my voice can be heard by everyone.)

Me: “[Coach], off the call and into my office now!

(He says nothing, but I can hear the second line drop. A few more clicks make it clear that [Trainee] has taken control of the call again. In the background, she apologizes for placing the customer on hold and lets her know that we cannot open a new account for them without the husband’s info. The call ends. [Coach] comes into my office.)

Coach: “What’s up? Why did you barge the call?”

Me: “Did I just hear you try to impersonate a customer to another bank?”

Coach: “Yeah. Just thought of it. Cool idea, huh?”

Me: “You think using an identity without permission is a cool idea?”

Coach: “I had the wife’s permission to start an account, and to get money. We just needed the remaining numbers.”

Me: “Get out of here. Get your crap and go home. I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know if you still have a job. But I sincerely doubt you will.”

Coach: “Why? Because I tried to close a new account?”

Me: “Because you f****** lied to another bank!”

Coach: “You broke it off! Nothing happened. Literally nothing.”

Me: “Out. Go.”

Coach “I’ll fight this.”

Me: “Good. It’ll make it easier on me to make my case if you admit to trying to misuse someone else’s identity. Even if not, we have the recordings.”

(I called HR and our lawyers. In short, he really did admit to resorting to identity theft to make a transaction. Goodbye, [Coach]. Now for the hard part… deprogramming a good trainee and making darn sure nobody ever tries a stunt like that again!)

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That Had Better Be Tomato Sauce On The Pizza

, , , , , , , , | Working | November 12, 2019

I am the assistant manager at an Irish theme pub. It’s a busy Friday night and everything is going well. I decide to order pizza for myself and the rest of the staff, as we’ve all been on shift for quite a while and it’s starting to quieten down enough for us to relax slightly before we close.

Just after I get off the phone, there is a tremendous sound of smashing glass from the lower bar. I stick my head around the corner to see a huge hole now in one of our massive plate glass windows that face the street. The customers who are in the bar are all looking shocked, and some are covered in glass, so I quickly work out that somebody broke it from the outside in, so a coworker and I run out into the street to try and find the culprit.

I follow a trail of blood across the street and find a middle-aged couple, both pretty drunk. The woman has huge gashes in her arm from where it went through the window, and she is bleeding pretty heavily. I quickly send my coworker back to the bar to grab a roll of paper towels to hold the poor woman’s arm together while I ring an ambulance.

The whole time, the woman is saying she’s fine and that she just wants to go back to her hotel, despite the fact she has an arterial bleed pulsing out of her forearm. The man says nothing at all, apart from offering me a cigarette.

After a long wait, a mobile paramedic turns up and starts asking questions, not actually helping that much, while his colleague watches. All this time, I am still trying to keep this drunk woman’s arm from falling apart.

Eventually, he rings for an actual ambulance, and I suddenly feel a very insistent tap on my shoulder.

I turn, keeping my grip on the woman’s arm, to see a pizza delivery guy trying to hand me a stack of pizzas. It turns out he’d gone into the bar to drop them off, and apparently insisted on giving them to the name on the order. When the other staff had told him where I was, he’d come out to find me.

When I tell him to go back to the bar and that they will pay him from the till, he just keeps repeating the total price at me and trying to balance the pizzas on my already rather occupied arms. Finally, the other paramedic takes over holding the woman’s arm together, and I have my hands free. The pizza guy dumps the stack of pizzas into my blood-covered arms, takes some money off my coworker who has come out to help, and leaves without a word. That leaves me covered in blood, tired, not a little annoyed, and holding five large pizzas in the middle of the road at midnight on a Friday night.

We later discovered that the woman had got into an argument with her husband while walking past our pub, tried to punch him in the face, and missed, putting her fist through the window.

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