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Desperately Need It Working… On The Clock

, , , | Right | May 7, 2020

I answer the phone.

Caller: “The system you sold us isn’t working!”

Me: “Okay, try [basic troubleshooting].”

Caller: “It still isn’t working; we desperately need it working today!”

Me: “Okay, no problem. We are only five minutes away. Could you drop it off?”

Caller: “Oh, well… I’m going home in like thirty minutes. I guess it can wait.”

The next week he turned up, only after making sure that he got a paid lunch for doing it.

This Request Is Measured In Nonometers

, , , , | Right | May 4, 2020

We supply high-accuracy equipment. The phone rings.

Caller: “We need something that can measure to 0.001 mm. Will [most basic equipment] do?”

Me: “I’m afraid not; the system you mentioned is an entry-level system for museums and art studios.”

Caller: “Well, what do you have? Our current system is overloaded.”

Me: “We have [higher-end models].”

Caller: “No! Too expensive and not accurate enough!”

Me: “With all due respect, there isn’t a system available on this planet that accurate, and if there was it would be very expensive.”

Caller: “Rubbish! We use [Model] and it is fine!”

Me: “I’m sorry but I have been in this business for ten years; what you need doesn’t exist.”

Turns out that the caller was a quality manager of a whole company and the magic equipment he was using was not only out of date but was never that accurate even on the day it was made.

Unable To Engineer A Virgin Solution

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2020

I work for a civil engineering company in the DC area; we service both DC and Maryland. We do work in Virginia but it is very limited due to the traveling time and access to the records. We also state on our website that we only work there during the winter months as work normally is slow during that time.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule as we have done some extremely large jobs that we can work on our own time in the past. This is why we still advertise in Virginia.

I get this call during the summer, which is our busiest time of the year.

Caller: “Hi. I would like for you all to give me an estimate on a piece of property.”

Me: “Okay, can I have your address?”

Caller: “It’s [address in Virginia]. I would like to know if you can—”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we do not currently work in the Virginia area at this time. We only do limited work during the wintertime as it is typically our slow season.”

The caller now starts yelling on the phone, so loud that I have to pull my ear away from the phone to make sure I don’t hurt my hearing.

Caller: “What do you mean, you don’t do work in Virginia? Why do you even advertise that you do?”

Me: “Ma’am, while it is true that we can do work in Virginia, it clearly states on our website that we do not work in Virginia except during the winter months and in extreme cases.”

Caller: “Well, I have an extreme case.”

She goes on to explain about her “case” and it turns out this is a very typical job we do. However, I explain to her that extreme cases are large acres that range around 200 acres and more. I also tell her that if she wanted a quote from us it would be four times greater than a local engineer and we couldn’t give her a time frame on it as it could take a couple of weeks to get out to the site. This, of course, doesn’t help.

Caller: “Then why do you advertise that you work in Virginia?! That is false advertising!”

Me: “Ma’am, please calm down. I have explained already that we do work and are licensed to work in the area but it is very limited and would cost you a lot more than looking up someone local.”

Caller: “Then give me a local engineer!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am sorry, but we don’t know anyone in that area that we can recommend as we don’t work often enough in the area to give you a name.”

She hung up on me after cussing me out. A week later, on one of our advertising sites, she left a poor review on the website saying that we don’t work and we lie about everything. We still haven’t been able to remove that review. Lucky for us, most of our clients who read it said that she was most likely a nutcase.

C-Section Versus A D-Bag

, , , | Right | August 23, 2018

(My husband is an engineer for a big, international company. He deals with clients all the time, since they usually don’t understand what’s possible and what’s not, or why they have to pay more for a stronger product or a custom design. He has to leave a meeting with an important client when I go into labor. After 27 very long hours for us both, I get a C-section. I am feeding our child for the first time, about 28 hours after my husband left the meeting. My husband takes his phone out of airplane mode for the first time in those 28 hours, to let our family know our son has arrived. The phone starts buzzing with messages, lasting at least two minutes.)

Me: “What the h*** is wrong this time?”

(He shows me the phone; it has 58 missed calls and 43 messages, all from the same important client, ranging from simple requests for a call back to cursing him out for terrible customer service and not being available. The phone starts ringing. He decides to answer, since the company can’t afford to lose such a big contract.)

Husband: “Good day, sir. Before I say anything else, I’d like to apologize for the inconvenience of not being available. As you know, my wife was having our first child, and since you kept calling me, I assume I’ve forgotten to give you my coworker’s contact information. If you have some paper, I can give you that info now; he can help you with everything you need.”

Client: *very cheerful* “Congratulations on your child! You’ve taken quite some extra time, but since it’s a special day, I’ll forgive you. Now, I need help this instant. I need the [product] in a different color; otherwise it won’t match my [workplace]!”

Husband: *tired and a bit confused, since his company makes electrical transformers and aesthetics don’t usually matter* “Sir, I’m not working right now, and I won’t be for at least a few more days. My coworker knows your contract and custom needs as well as I do, and he will be more than happy to help. Can I give you his number?”

Client: *shocked* “No! I saw your coworker in the meeting, and I don’t like the way he looks! He’s too big to be smart! I want you to solve my problem! Make the [product] a different color, and do it now!”

Husband: *trying to stay friendly* “I can assure you that my coworker is very intelligent. Besides that, your [product] has to withstand extreme conditions, meaning the color is a custom metal alloy, designed to be very strong. Changing that would require months of research and tests, to make sure the new alloy is strong enough to survive those conditions. I can’t do that right now. If you don’t want to talk to my coworker, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until I get back to work.”

Client: *condescending* “Well, get back to work right now. It’s not like you had the baby, and your wife should be able to take care of it without you.”

Husband: *annoyed* “No, sir. My wife has had a C-section and isn’t allowed out of bed for the next few days. She needs me here. I’m going to give you my coworkers’ info, and then I’m going to end this call. His number is—”

Client: *interrupting and shouting* “My sister had a baby in less than four hours, and she was up and running the next day! She never needed help, so don’t you lie to me! How dare you lie to me like that?! I’m your number-one client! You should jump when I say so! Give me your wife on the phone, so I can tell her to suck it up personally!”

Husband: *losing it* “Has anyone ever told you you’re an a**hole?! I’m not going to put your convenience above the well-being of my wife and child! I’m not going to let you talk to my wife, especially not after what she’s been through! I’m not going to jump because you say so, but if you keep this up I might just push you off of a cliff! I’m. Not. Working. Right. Now. I’d give you my coworker’s number, but I don’t want him to deal with your s***, either, so just go f*** yourself until you see the color you want! Goodbye!” *click*

(My husband is very startled by his own reaction.)

Husband: “D***, I’m going to have to deal with that when I go back next week.”

(He called his coworker and manager to explain what had just happened. They both were appalled by how the client acted, and contacted the legal team to look for a way out of that mess. When the client called to complain, they explained that since my husband wasn’t working, his actions were his own and not of the company. Also, because he wasn’t working, what the client did was harrassment, and my husband was allowed to react any way he liked. The client let it go. He still refuses to work with my husband, but now works with his coworker. I guess the client got over his dislike for tall people.)

Cancel Anything That Comes Out Of Their Mouth

, , , , | Right | May 28, 2018

(I work as an apprentice in IT for an engineering design company. I’m not familiar with the whole building yet, so I ask this guy to meet me so I can go with him to his desk and try and resolve his issue. This is what happens when we get back to his desk.)

Me: “So, if you could just log in for me and show me the problem, that would be great.”

User: “Okay, although I don’t know why they sent the apprentice down; this is far too complex for you to understand.” *types in password, hovers the mouse over the cancel button, and clearly reads the word before clicking it* “Oh. I must have gotten my password wrong.”

(He then proceeds to do this two more times before I intervene.)

Me: “Maybe just try hitting the enter button this time.”

User: *does as I instruct and his machine starts to log in* “Apprentices just aren’t qualified enough to work in these kinds of places.”

Me: *rolls eyes* “Yeah. We’re just not smart enough.”