No Helium, But Plenty Of Hot Air!

, , , , | Right | May 9, 2020

My store sells helium balloons. As a complementary service, if you purchase the balloons from us we will blow them up from you free of charge. We aren’t allowed to blow balloons up from external companies or other shops, even if the customer offers to pay.

Whenever we run out of helium, we take down all the balloons and put them behind the nearby electronics desk. It’s largely to stop customers being disappointed at not getting their purchased balloons blown up and complaining or asking for goodwill. It’s also to stop us having to refund every customer’s balloons and wasting time. A woman approaches the desk.

Customer: “Hi. Do you have any helium balloons? The stand is empty.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry but we’re out of helium so we don’t have the balloons out right now.”

Customer: “Oh. I have a helium tank at home so I don’t mind buying them and doing it at home. I really need them for tomorrow for my son’s birthday.”

Me: “Oh, well, that’s fine, then. If you follow me, I can get the box and find the balloons you like.”

We both start to walk towards where the box is kept at the desk.

Customer: “So, I’m assuming I get a discount on the balloons due to the fact you aren’t blowing them up.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can do that. Head office is very strict about our sale of balloons in relation to the helium. At the end of the day, us blowing them up is a complimentary service. I can ring a manager to double-check, I guess?”

We reach the electronics desk and she asks for a specific balloon, which I hand to her. I ring a manager who confirms what I told the customer: that we cannot discount balloons just because we’ve temporarily run out of helium. I hang up the phone and turn to the customer.

Me: “I’m sorry, but he’s confirmed that I can’t give you a discount.”

She glares at me and sighs.

Customer: “Are you sure?!”

Me: “Yes, I’m sure. I’m sorry but it’s company policy. I can’t override it.”

Early on in this interaction, I felt bad for her, since it was for her toddler’s birthday party. I had planned on giving her a few of our “£1” coupons to apologise and essentially give her her discount. The coupons are generic so it wouldn’t have flagged on the system and the manager would have been none the wiser, and the woman would be happy. However, she is so insistent on the discount, I tell her twice more that there’s nothing I can do. A couple of minutes later, she hands back the balloon I’d given her.

Customer: “You know what, I’m just going to drive to [Same Supermarket the town over] and get the balloons off of them. They’ll blow it up for me. Thanks for nothing!”

With that, she walked away to purchase the rest of her shopping. I still don’t get why she made a big deal out of the helium, when she stated she had a tank at home she could use, nor why she figured driving ten minutes away to the same supermarket — therefore still giving our company money — just to have them blown up would save her any money or time!

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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.

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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.

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Further Evidence That Moms Shouldn’t Be Involved In Your Wedding Night

, , , , , , , | Related | May 2, 2020

My mother and I have always had a troubled relationship, but after my mother had a period of ill health, on the run up to our wedding, my now-husband and I — also male — tried to patch things up.

My mother doesn’t know what it is to be poor; her parents had a decent amount of money — not rich, but definitely comfortable — and while she’s a complete penny pincher I never had the impression as a child that she was struggling or tightening her belt.

My husband and I, however, were poor. Dirt poor. We barely scraped by on benefits for several years due to my being disabled and my husband being my carer. So, our wedding was as cheap and DIY as we could make it while still feeling like an “occasion.”

My mother offered to buy flowers — actually, insisted, despite us not wanting them due to my husband’s hay fever — but much more appreciated was her offer to pay for a hotel room for the wedding night. Our best couple of friends were taking us for a single-day honeymoon, so that was nice! We still had to get home to drop off our wedding stuff and pick up our stuff for the next day before going to the hotel, but as we lived in a shared house, it helped the whole thing feel like one event.

My mother asked us which hotel we wanted; there was one literally two minutes walk from us, and one in the town centre, which involved our best friends picking us up and taking us there as we didn’t drive. We knew nothing about either and were going frantic with getting everything done, so I asked her to look into them and give us some information. She came back and said she went for the one in the town centre “because it was ten pounds cheaper.”

As it turned out, the one near us was much quieter, had a four-star rating, and had breakfast included. It would have allowed us to drop back home that much easier. Instead, we had to pay out of pocket for breakfast, listen to loud drunks passing through the town or drinking at bars, and had a far smaller room, and of course, we couldn’t get home easily.

It feels petty to complain about it; she still paid for the room for us. But I’m still a little bitter that she just looked at the price tag and, despite being very comfortable, financially, and never helping us out in that regard, took the worse option for ten freakin’ pounds less, leaving us to spend money we hadn’t accounted for in order to have breakfast in the morning.

By the way, we’re doing much better now. I’m self-employed and my husband and I have a great relationship. And as this story is really the tiny tip of the iceberg, I’m no longer in contact with my mother.

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Du Hast To Be Kidding

, , , , | Right | May 1, 2020

I’m in line at a local petrol station waiting to pay for my fuel. The attendant is wearing a Rammstein shirt and is looking terminally bored. I decide to fix that by singing in pretty horrible German.

Me: “Willst du bis der Tod euch scheidet, treu ihr sein für alle Tage?”

The attendant is smiling for the first time since I came in.

Attendant: “That’ll be £56.80.”

His Coworker: “What the h***?”

Me & Attendant: “Pump NEIN!”

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