All-Or-Nothing Housekeeping Service

, , , | Working | May 6, 2021

I am travelling for business: a supplier day-visit turned into a week-long event. It isn’t the holiday people think; I see the inside of a factory until it is dark, sleep in a hotel, wake, and go straight to the factory again. It isn’t fun. I barely sleep, and all the work I would be doing is waiting for me when I get back.

The hotel is pretty nice, at least. The rooms are okay and the food okay, but the staff try way too hard. I constantly have to stop them from topping up my drinks and even bringing me food I haven’t ordered. They still expect me to pay, and it all goes through work. I get a big telling-off if I spend or drink too much.

One afternoon, I return to the room to find the clothes I had laid out for the next day arranged with the towels into an animal. It’s late, but I stay up to re-iron everything again for the morning. On my way out the following morning, I stop by the front desk.

Me: “Sorry, but could housekeeping please not arrange my clothes?”

Receptionist: “Sorry?”

Me: “The towel animals — please don’t do that anymore. My clothes were creased and folded.”

Receptionist: “It’s all part of the service.”

Me: “Yes, but I… Look, please stop.”

Receptionist: “Oh, okay. I will let them know.”

I get back again, late. My room has not been cleaned and the toiletries are empty. I go down to reception, thinking there has been a mistake.

Me: “My room hasn’t been cleaned. Can I get some toiletries, please?.”

The receptionist checks her computer.

Receptionist: “You asked for housekeeping to not replace the towels?”

Me: “Yes, not for the room to be cleaned. Can I get some toiletries?”

Receptionist: “Sorry, we asked them not to do your room as you asked.”

I gave up. Her English was perfect but she couldn’t understand that I didn’t want people messing with what was clearly my work stuff. I couldn’t get them to clean my room, so I ended up buying what I needed instead. I made sure work knew not to book there again.

1 Thumbs
430

Cargo Too Precious For The Cargo Hold

, , , , , | Working | May 5, 2021

My company does computer forensics. We go through the metadata on a computer to find “fingerprints.” It lets us identify who did what. If you’ve ever read a police case where something was found on the criminal’s computer and used to convict them, that’s us. But it’s also very technical and tricky because we need to prove it was the criminal who used the computer and what specifically they did. “It’s obvious” isn’t good enough.

What that means is that defence lawyers love to find ways to invalidate our evidence. We can’t prove the evidence wasn’t tampered with before we looked at it. For this reason, when transporting the evidence, we cannot let it out of our sight. If the computer has potentially been touched by another person, it can no longer be used as evidence. You don’t want to have to throw out a conviction on a technicality like that.

Anyhow. To the flight attendant who said, “I’m putting this on Not Always Right,” when I told her the second plane ticket was for the computer and that I couldn’t put it in the overhead luggage: that’s why.

1 Thumbs
695

So Much For The Compassion Of The Clergy

, , , , | Working | May 4, 2021

Sadly, my dad has recently given up the ghost due to the current health crisis. Since my family lives in a region that doesn’t allow people from other areas of Italy to enter without a work or health-related reason, his side of family cannot come and participate in the traditional mourning ritual, but we still try to fulfill his funerary wishes to be buried by Catholic rite. To that end, my mom calls up the priest of the parish where my dad used to go in life.

Priest: “Hello and good day, parochial office of [Parish]. How may we help you?”

Mom: “Father [Priest]… my poor husband, Mr. [Dad], has died. I was wondering if you were available to give him the funeral blessings, despite this horrid situation.”

Priest: “My condolences, Mrs. [Mom]. May God rest his soul, given what he’s gone through. I’m available, but I think that, given how things are going, something outside of the church might be better.”

Mom: “That’s understandable, but how would it work?”

Priest: “I don’t think your husband would’ve wanted to have a lot of pomp during his last journey to God. I’m of the idea that I shall come to your house, read a passage, and then have his sons and his daughter read a poem related to him before the hearse comes to bring him to the cemetery.”

My mom is rather taken aback; my dad was a bit crude in his manners, but he did explicitly request a solemn funeral, incense, and specific passages read.

Mom: “Seriously?”

Priest: “Yes, I’m sure that’s what he would’ve wanted anyway.”

Mom: *Upset* “No, that’s not what he would’ve wanted at all!”

Priest: “Eh, I mean, a full ceremony definitely doesn’t suit his personality. I think that reading poetry from his children would be more fitting than just reading a few impersonal passages. Besides, right now, it’s not possible to do a full funeral, so his requests are sadly moot. You can always have that proper funeral at a later date.”

Mom: *Very upset* “I know how things are! We would be just me, my family, and you! If it’s really not possible to use the church, our garden will be fine. I just want to satisfy his request to read his favourite passages and have some incense spread.”

Priest: “I still think the poetry is the best option. Reading the Holy Bible in a garden really isn’t very appropriate, anyway. Just hold off until things are better to read those passages.”

Mom: *Holding back tears* “We have nothing more to discuss, goodbye!”

And with that, my mom hung up and started crying quite a bit. Later that day, my brother and I did manage to find a priest that was willing to conduct a proper-as-possible funeral. Seriously, what kind of priest refuses to read the Bible for a ceremony?

1 Thumbs
482

A Most Memorable Memory

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Galadriel109 | May 3, 2021

Several years ago, my daughter and her family came to visit for Thanksgiving. Lunchtime came and the whole nine of us decided to go to a large chain restaurant. Our server came to the table without an order pad or writing instrument and asked for our order. I was confused about that, but we started to order.

Each one of us ordered, but we all ordered something special, like, “I want a cheeseburger, but can you put pepper jack instead of cheddar on it?” or, “Instead of mashed potatoes, I’d like a baked potato.”

After the last of us ordered, the waitress repeated each order back perfectly. I have a pretty decent memory, but she blew me away. When she brought our food, each order was perfect.

We found out she was going for her Master’s degree and had no family around, so she would volunteer to work holidays where people usually spend time with their families. And her memory really helped her in her studies, so she practiced at the restaurant.

Needless to say, she got a huge tip, not because of her memory, but because her service was perfect. I think she will always be in my memory.

1 Thumbs
772

Would’ve Been Quicker To Walk It There Yourself

, , , | Working | May 2, 2021

A few years ago, I sent a birthday present for my mother to her by using a private courier service instead of the regular German mail, because their packages were cheaper and insured. This delivery was time-sensitive, not only because of the birthday, but because my parents were going to leave for a vacation a few days after and the package also contained some things they would need for the trip.

Tuesday: I take the package to the shop, fill in the address sticker, and get the receipt, all normal.

Friday: My mother’s birthday. I call to congratulate her and the present hasn’t arrived yet. Okay, this takes longer than usual, but let’s give them a day more.

Sunday: Still no sign of the package. I call customer service, and they tell me that the address was incorrect and the package could not be delivered. I’m confused since I know my parents’ address by heart and am pretty sure that I did not mess it up, but I filled it out by hand and mistakes happen. Since the package is still in their depot, I’m able to tell the representative the correct address, and she assures me that it will be delivered right away. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as my parents are scheduled to leave early on Wednesday.

Monday: My father calls me. The delivery guy showed up with the package in hand, then glanced at his digital notepad, stated that he couldn’t give it to my father because it was scheduled for Tuesday, turned on his heel, and drove away. My father was so stunned by that behaviour that he wasn’t able to keep him from leaving. He is furious and so am I.

Tuesday: After a day of worrying and frantically rearranging delivery to a shop near them for the time they would be away, my parents finally receive the package late in the evening.

The kicker? The address was absolutely correct from the beginning. For some reason, the courier service changed the house number, couldn’t find the recipient — guess why? — decided to also change the name of the recipient by subtracting the first letter, and then concluded that they could not deliver the package. Who would have thought?

Guess which courier service I’ll never use ever again?

1 Thumbs
487