Having A Loan Moan

, , , , , | Learning | February 1, 2018

(I work at the Student Services department at a college. My office processes scholarships, grants, and loans for students. The general timeline given to new applicants is 12 weeks for processing after submitting the official application, and we hold workshops regularly so students are fully informed before requesting a federal loan. This happens the morning after a workshop was presented the previous night, after business hours.)

Student: *who has been waiting in line since we opened the office* “Here’s my ID. I need to check on the status of my loan.”

Coworker #1: “Let me check on the notes, since I see you submitted an application two weeks ago, but nothing shows that you have submitted a loan request in the system.”

Student: “I already know both are separate processes, but I was told you guys would expedite my loan request.”

Coworker #1: *looking confused, since we do not expedite loans, generally* “I see… Well, maybe it was not properly logged into the system and one of our specialists has the actual loan request on their desk. When did you say you submitted the documents?”

Student: “A long time ago! Does it not show that it will be expedited in the system? I need the money today, so I need to know when the funds will hit my bank account.”

Coworker #1: “Oh, I am sorry to tell you this, but you must have misunderstood. Expediting a loan request would be prioritizing it and reducing its processing time, but you would still be scheduled for the very first authorized disbursement, which is not until four weeks from now, in February.”

Student: *audibly and visibly upset* “That’s not what I was told at the workshop! I was told my request would be expedited!”

Coworker #1: *who has led workshops in the past and knows current procedures* “You must have been misinformed; we apologize. There are many factors that have to be verified before the loan is approved, such as enrollment units. But I will find your request and confirm whether someone is working on it and has any updates for you.”

Student: “Yes, and I would also like to speak with your boss.”

([Coworker #1] then leaves to check on every coworker’s desk, looking for the student’s file. [Coworker #2], who happened to lead the loan workshop the previous night, walks into the office and asks what is going on. Both coworkers then realize that this student just attended the required workshop last night; therefore, his loan request could not have been logged in or reviewed by today.)

Coworker #1: “Thanks for waiting. I found your request on our pending files, and that is why it had not been logged into the system. You turned it in last night, after business hours, when our system was already turned off. I thought you said you had submitted it long ago?”

Student: “Long ago, a while ago… I submitted my documents yesterday after the workshop and I was told they’d be expedited.”

Coworker #1: “So… your documents were submitted yesterday night. It’s been about twelve hours since then, and we just turned our computers on again this morning half an hour ago. I am sorry, but there has not been enough time for us to even log your documents into the system, much less review them and process them.”

Student: *audibly upset again* “I thought I’d be getting my funds by this Friday!”

Coworker #1: “If approved, we can expedite your request, but it would still be scheduled for February. How many units are you enrolled in?”

Student: “I haven’t enrolled in all the classes I want yet. So, how do I know when my loan request will be ready, then?”

Coworker #1: *frustrated* “One of our specialists will call you to give you an update as soon as your request is fully reviewed. But you have to be enrolled in at least six units.

Student: “Six units? You guys make it hard to get money! I will be contacting your boss and the Department of Education.”

(The student left in a hurry before our director was called to the front. Later that day, we confirmed what we suspected: no one had told the student his request would be expedited. Even so, how can a college student that has just attended a comprehensive workshop assume a federal loan will be manually processed overnight and be ready the very next morning?)

Oh, My Gourd: Seriously?, Part 2

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2018

It is a busy day working on the self-scan machines. A customer asks me to help her, as she can’t find the produce item she needs.

Most of our produce isn’t barcoded, so you need to select the item from a list on the screen. Everything is listed alphabetically and categorized by letter.

The item she couldn’t find? Cucumbers, as they weren’t listed under “Q.”

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Oh My Gourd: Seriously?

Not The Brightest Bulb In The Store

, , , , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(I am the store manager for a hat shop. A man stomps into our store right as I open, clearly very upset.)

Customer: “Are you the one who told my wife she couldn’t try on your hats?!”

Me: “I honestly doubt it. All of our hats are available to try on. Do you know when your wife was here?”

Customer: “Last night! She described you and said you refused to get a hat down for her to try on! That’s discrimination!”

(Right at this moment his wife walks in. I clearly remember her from the night before.)

Me: “Hello. I do remember you, ma’am. Sir, the only ‘hat’ I said I couldn’t take down for your wife was the light fixture behind you, because those are not actual hats on it, but lamp shades. They are wired to the fixture.”

Customer: *looking at me with dawning understanding and then slowly turning to his wife* “They aren’t real hats! It’s a d*** lamp shade!”

Customer’s Wife: “I know that, but I wanted to just try it, and she refused to take it down! She wouldn’t even let me take it down myself!”

Customer: “That’s because it’s not a hat! It’s a lamp. Shade.”

Customer’s Wife: “I know that, but I just wanted to try it.”

Customer: *to me* “I’m very sorry about this.” *to wife* “Come on. I’m taking you to the hardware store so you can try on all the d*** lamp shades, if that’s what you want!”

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They Deserve To Be Locked Up In A Cell

, , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(A mobile customer calls in to check if her bill is due.)

Me: “I can definitely check to see if your mobile bill is due. I’ll just need the cell phone number, please.”

Customer: *gives me the number*

Me: “Okay, I searched that number and it’s not bringing up any results. Is this for your mobile account?”

Customer: “That’s the correct number. I only have one number.”

Me: “So, the number is [number]?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it doesn’t appear that this number is with our cellular services.”

Customer: “Well, no, it wouldn’t be. It’s my home number. My cell number is [other number].”

Now Listen, Sugar

, , , , , | Related | January 31, 2018

(My mom can cook fairly well if she has clear directions that she understands fully. When that’s not the case, she doesn’t have the common sense to realize something isn’t right. For example, she was once using a recipe that was supposed to call for “2-3 cloves of garlic,” but instead called for “23 cloves of garlic,” due to a typo. She added all 23. At no point during peeling or mincing them did she wonder why the recipe needed so much garlic, or why it had to be exactly 23. A while ago, I mentioned in passing that I added a little sugar to some tomato sauce I was making out of some very acidic tomatoes from my garden. I thought nothing of the comment at the time. Now, I go over to my parents’ house, and I smell something cooking.)

Me: “That smells good. What are you making?”

Mom: “Some homemade tomato sauce, like you made a few weeks ago, only I didn’t have enough tomatoes, so I started with tomato sauce from a jar. I just added a bunch of stuff to make it my own.”

Me: “Hmm, what did you add?”

Mom: “[List of ingredients]… Oh, and sugar.”

Me: “Sugar? But if you started from a jar, it shouldn’t need that.”

Mom: “Oops. Now I know for next time. Why don’t you try some? Your father was just about to sit down and eat, but he got a very important phone call and had to take it upstairs.”

Me: “Sure. Thanks, Mom.”

(I take a plate of the vegetable and pasta dish my mom’s made and try a bite. It’s sickeningly sweet. Imagine the sauce as lumpy, tomato-flavored Kool-Aid.)

Me: *after forcing myself to swallow one bite* “Uh, Mom? How much sugar did you add?”

Mom: “About a cup. I thought that should be enough.”

Me: “It really didn’t need that.”

Mom: “But you said to add sugar!”

Me: *with dawning horror* “I did say that, didn’t I?”

Mom: “Oh, come on. It can’t be that bad.”

Me: “Have you tried it?”

(She hadn’t, so she took a bite. She spat it out in the sink. We ended up rinsing all the sauce off the pasta and vegetables and using sauce from a jar, instead. My dad, who was hiding upstairs in hope that someone else would tell my mom how awful the sauce was, only came downstairs once all the sauce was thrown out.)

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