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Planning A Holiday Is No Holiday With These Folks

, , , , , | Working | January 26, 2022

The holiday company we used goes out of business. We’ve paid a lot of money for a really special holiday for an anniversary, so we’re obviously devastated. Luckily, at the last minute, the company is bought out, and we are promised an equivalent holiday or our money back.

Immediately upon talking to anyone at the company, they want us to book another holiday, and they give us all sorts of options, many just obviously not a fair alternative.

Eventually, they offer us what seems like a good deal: a week on an all-inclusive beach holiday at a high-specification resort, just like what we booked. But a week before we are due to leave, I have to call them urgently. 

Me: “We’ve just had our rooms confirmed for [holiday reference] and there seems to be a mistake.”

Representative: “Okay, I can see your booking now and it appears to be correct. What was it that you were expecting?”

Me: “This was a replacement for an existing holiday. We had a suite booked then, but now it’s just a standard room.”

Representative: “Okay. Well, I can see that this holiday package offers several activities, where your old booking doesn’t. This is a value of £500 and a much better deal.”

Me: “We don’t want an activity package; we want the nice room.”

Representative: “Well, I’m not sure I can unselect the activities. They are part of the booking.”

Me: “I appreciate that, but that’s not what we were told. We were told it would be like for like.”

We went around in circles. They kept going on about activities, how great they were, and how much they were worth. We kept trying to get them to understand that we wouldn’t use them and therefore, they were worthless. We just wanted what we paid for.

I was about to cancel the whole thing when they did offer a partial refund. It’s not what we wanted, but I reluctantly took it.

The kicker? When we got there, half of the activities were cancelled, and the hotel had a few suites available for upgrades. I actually paid less than the refund we got.

Why some companies are so backward in going forward, I will never understand.

Use It Or Lose It — We Mean It

, , , , | Working | January 26, 2022

I work for a pretty large company — so large that, in some areas, if you wanted to walk to the canteen on your morning break, the break would be over before you got back.

Luckily, the company has arranged for food vans to offer a small selection in the areas furthest out. For whatever reason, the guys in my department always snub the food van, opting to go to the canteen for the same food.

One morning:

Local Manager: “Good morning, everyone. Just so you know, the company is looking at the food vans and which ones to keep. I would suggest that if you want to keep the food van here, use it!”

No one seems to pay much attention.

A few weeks later:

Local Manager: “The food van is being discontinued at the [Location]. If any of you rely on it as we do, I suggest taking full advantage of it this week, and maybe they will reconsider.”

Me: “We should probably use it more. I don’t want to have to walk down to the canteen every morning.”

Coworker: “Nah, the canteen had better choices.”

Me: “You have the same bacon roll every morning; that’s what they sell at the van.”

Coworker: “Well, the ones at the canteen are better.”

Me: *Sighs* “It’s the same food; they drive to the canteen and pick it up.”

Coworker: “Well, I don’t care. I like going to the canteen.”

A couple of weeks later, it’s chucking it down with rain.

Coworker: “Oh, man, look at the weather. I wanted some breakfast.”

Me: “Yeah, have a nice walk.”

Coworker: “Didn’t you say something about a food van? Isn’t that near?”

Me: “The one that was just around the corner? And sold bacon rolls and hot drinks?”

Coworker: “Yeah, well?”

Me: “The one you didn’t want to use and they said they would discontinue if they didn’t get enough business?”

Coworker: “Oh.”

Suddenly, the trip to the canteen wasn’t the popular activity it was, and as it got colder, suddenly everyone was complaining about how far it was and how the company should do something about it.

A Lack Of Caffeine Can Make People A Little Crazy

, , , , | Working | January 26, 2022

My coworker stops in before he drives across the country for work, we chat, and he leaves. A few minutes later, I realise he left his still unopened cup of takeaway coffee on the side. I go out to see his car gone. I call him but his phone is off. I message him just so he knows why I called.

Ten minutes pass, and I figure, well, the coffee is soon to go cold, and it’s still good, so I break the tab and drink it myself.

The next day, he’s back in the office. We chat about how the trip went.

Coworker: “Oh, I saw a missed call from you.”

Me: “Yeah, I sent you a message. You left your coffee behind.”

Coworker: “Oh, that’s weird; I didn’t get it. But that does explain things. I was wondering where I left it. At least I didn’t drive off with it on my roof like I thought.”

Me: “Yeah, I’ve done that before, but I reversed and got to watch my coffee pour down the window in front of me. Yours didn’t go to waste, though.”

Coworker: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Oh, well, I drank it. I waited until I was sure you weren’t coming back.”

Coworker: “You drank my coffee?”

Me: “Well, yeah. What did you want me to do, pour it away?”

Coworker: “You shouldn’t drink my coffee. I paid for that.”

Me: “Hang on. If I hadn’t drunk it, it would have been thrown away.”

Coworker: “Buy me another one!”

I would have done anyway, just as a nice gesture, sort of paying it forward, but his attitude is so aggressive, and I don’t appreciate being ordered around.

Me: “Mate, I don’t appreciate your tone.”

He let out a string of expletives at me, went straight to Human Resources, and told them half of the story. I had to explain the actual story. They told him to go away and that it was not an issue.

Funny — when he did the same thing to my lunch a few months back but didn’t actually check whether I had left — I hadn’t — I didn’t make half the fuss he did.

They Should’ve Just Had A Pizza Party

, , , , , | Working | January 26, 2022

My company decided that it would sell our social club when land prices shot up. This was met with much anger as the social club was a massive part of their lives and had been for generations.

In return, the company offered a discount service, e.g., 2% off a laptop that you could probably find cheaper if you shopped around.

Even those who never used the social club weren’t happy with the replacement service; it was slow, offered limited benefits, and came with a huge amount of email spam.

After months of trying to make any savings whatsoever and failing, I am getting sick of the emails and I try to unsubscribe. Finding nothing on the emails or webpage, I contact them directly.

Me: “I want to stop the emails from your company, but I can’t find out how to unsubscribe. “

Representative: “I’m sorry, it is the company that signs you up; we can’t unsubscribe individuals. But have you tried the service? We offer many excellent—”

Me: “I’m going to stop you there, I have tried. It’s a worthless service to me. Thank you for your help, but I will be talking to my manager.”

Representative: “But if you look, you could make many savings. We have a special on diamond rings—”

I rarely hang up on people, but I did then.

I contacted my manager, who had his own misgivings on the service and many years enjoying the service club. He raised it to his manager. Apparently, enough people were dissatisfied with the service, so they brought in a representative to have a Q&A on “how to get more out of the [service]”.

It went down like a lead balloon. Every attendee asked had a bad experience or just couldn’t use the service due to its poor design or complete lack of worthwhile savings.

It was discontinued the following month and replaced with regular funded employee days. It’s not the same, but it does give a little bit of that social element that was previously destroyed without thought.

Warning: Take The Advice Of Writers With Caution

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 26, 2022

I’m an aspiring writer. And I have writer’s block. It’s been bugging me for quite a while now, and nothing I do seems to work. I go to a writer friend of mine and ask for advice.

Me: “How do you deal with writer’s block? I mean, you never seem to have it. What’s your secret?”

Friend: “Okay, I’ll show you. Get out your computer and open up your manuscript while I get the stuff.”

He walks out of the room and I do so. He comes back in a few minutes and slams a bottle of wine down onto the table. He pours me a glass.

Friend: “Drink this, and then start writing. Any time you get stuck, take another sip.”

Me: “Seriously? Your magic cure for writer’s block is to get drunk?

Friend: *Shrugs* “It works.”

I give him a deadpan look.

Friend: “Right, remember Julia, the main character of my novel?”

Me: “Yeah, the evil empress.”

Friend: “I wrote most of her backstory while utterly hammered.”

Me: “But Julia’s your best character! The most well-written!”

Friend:Exactly.”

I wordlessly downed the entire glass of wine immediately. My friend silently nodded and refilled the wineglass.

I don’t remember much of what happened next, but I woke up the next morning with a horrible hangover and a significant expansion to my manuscript, which, after editing, I found to be a workable plot.

I haven’t yet had to revisit the bottle, as my muse has somewhat returned, but still, maybe my friend really was onto something.