The Post Snail-Mail Generation

, , , , , | Working | April 9, 2015

(I work in a call center at a help desk for a bank, assisting representatives with problems and doing research. Often we get asked how systems work or how to find something. I’m in Colorado; the person calling is in California.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] help desk. This is [My Name]. How can I help today?”

Teller: “I’m trying to write a letter in Google but it’s not letting me.”

Me: “What do you mean, you’re trying to write a letter in Google?”

Teller: “I’m trying to write a letter to go with a check we’re returning to the client, but Google won’t let me do it.”

Me: “You need to use a word processor, not Google.”

Teller: “But I can type. Why won’t it let me write a letter?”

Me: “Let me just write that letter for you.”

Teller: “Then how will I get it? Will you drop it on my desk?”

Me: “I can email it to you.”

Teller: “Then how will the client get it?”

Me: “You can print it off and mail it to them with the check.”

Teller: “How do I mail a letter?”

(It just kept going like this for ten minutes. Sadly, this is not the first or last time I’ve had to explain how to mail a letter.)


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Losing Confidence Confidentially

, , , , | Working | March 30, 2015

(My mother- and father-in-law, both retired, have a bad experience trying to open a joint account at a local branch of a particular bank. They spend two hours answering really personal questions about their finances which don’t seem to have any relevance: e.g. how much do you spend on food each month? The account isn’t even for a loan.)

Caller: “Hello, could I please speak to Mrs. [Mother-In-Law] regarding her recent experience with [Bank]?”

Father-In-Law: “She’s not at home right now. Would you like to speak to me about my experience, as I was with my wife when we opened our joint account?”

Caller: “No, I’m sorry. I have to speak directly with Mrs. [Mother-In-Law] regarding her account.”

Father-In-Law: “Well, I’m afraid she’s not at home at the moment, so you can speak to me about the account as it is a joint account and I was there with her.”

Caller: “I’m afraid I can’t discuss that information with you as it’s confidential. When will Mrs. [Mother-In-Law] be home?”

Father-In-Law: “I’m afraid I can’t discuss that information with you as it’s confidential.” *click*


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A Recipe For Disaster, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | January 16, 2015

(When I was two, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which means that I can’t eat gluten. So I’m gluten-free, but most definitely not by choice. The most difficult part is eating out, because often employees won’t know what to do.)

Me: “Is this item gluten-free?”

Employee: “No, nothing is free.”

Me: “No, does this item have any gluten in it?”

Employee: “Gluten? What is gluten?”

Me: “Wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt — are any of those ingredients in this product?”

Employee: “One second.”

(He then gets out his iPhone, and I presume it’s to call someone who created the product to make sure. Instead, he goes onto Google to search up “gltin.”)

Employee: “How do you spell it?”

Me: “Uh, never mind. I’ll just have [product that in no way could have gluten].”


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Taking Things At Face Value

, , , , | Working | October 13, 2014

(It’s quiet, so a coworker and I are doodling on scrap paper. I find a small stash of crayons.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], what should I draw?”

Coworker: “Oooh, draw [Manager]!”

Me: “Okay!”

(I proceed to draw a stick figure with my manager’s name on it. I pause for a second.)

Me: “I’m gonna have fun with this!”

(I proceed to write, “[Manager] is a big mean poopy face,” under it. I then pin it to the bulletin board in the back. Later, I check by. My manager has left a note.)

Note: “[Manager] is not a big mean poopy face. Do not illustrate her as such. Thank you.”


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Prejudice Can Be A Handicap

, , , , , | Working | September 4, 2014

(I have a seizure disorder. I have a service dog and wear a medical alert bracelet. When I use public restrooms, I tend to use the handicapped stalls. After doing some shopping, I walk into a busy bathroom. I start walking to the stall when a janitor emptying the trash steps in front of me.)

Janitor: “Where do you think you’re going? That stall is for handicapped people only.”

Me: “Oh, I have a seizure disorder. Here’s my medical bracelet, see?”

(The janitor looks less than impressed.)

Me: “And this is my service dog.”

Janitor: “You can walk just fine. You can use a regular stall.”

Me: “‘Handicapped’ doesn’t just mean an inability to walk.”

Janitor: “You are not allowed to use this stall. It’s the law.”

Me: “Seriously? There’s no such law. I have a legitimate reason to use this stall.”

Janitor: “Listen. You are not going to steal this stall from these ladies! So pipe down your attitude! You aren’t anything special! You and that ridiculous mohawk of yours can go in that smaller stall, missy!”

Me: “The last time I was in a regular stall, I had a seizure. I fell and hurt myself. The stall was so constricted that I hit my head on the walls and toilet. My doctor wants me to be safe.”

Janitor: “You expect me to believe that?”

Me: *turning my head, revealing a long, thick purple scar running under my spiked hair* “This stupid mohawk is a result of the 70 stitches I had to get after cracking my skull open on the side of a toilet! I had no way of avoiding everything in that constricted space when I fell so I hurt myself and a janitor had to pull me out, unconscious. Now, if you could let me access the stall with more floor space and more room for me to avoid head injuries and a lawsuit, I’d appreciate it!”

(The janitor turned pale while the line behind me erupted in a chorus of “Ooooohhhhh”s. Apparently, a woman at the end of the line alerted another nearby janitor to the incident, so when I left the bathroom, I was told to wait by the employee main office. The head janitor offered his apology and granted me a gift card to the mall and a treat for my service dog!)


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