The Law Applies To Everyone Except Me

, , | Legal | October 18, 2019

(I work as a legal assistant for a small civil litigation firm while in law school. Part of my job is to help clients answer “interrogatories,” i.e. official questions submitted by opposing counsel aimed at gathering potential evidence. Many of these questions can be quite complicated, but there are plenty of simple ones such as, “Please provide your previous addresses,” or, “Have you ever been a party to a lawsuit before?” In general, we forward the entire question list with instructions to the client to answer what they can and then return the list. I then revise their answers to what is legally relevant to the case, put in objections, and help with the remaining questions. These instructions also say, in big, bold letters in extra-large type, “YOU ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.” More often than not, the list is returned almost entirely blank, leading to exchanges such as these. An exchange from a landlord/tenant dispute:)

Me: “So, you’ve never lived anywhere else?”

Client #1: “Nope.”

Me: “But you’ve changed your address with us twice.”

Client #1: “Oh, well, then, put those in.”

Me: “Okay, I can do that. Do you have any addresses from before we started working on your case?”

Client #1: “Well, yeah, but I don’t remember them.”

Me: “Do you have any records that you can consult? Past bills, maybe?”

Client #1: “I guess. That’s a lot of work to go through them, though. Can’t I just not answer that one?”

Me: “No. No, you cannot.”

(Another exchange:)

Me: “I see your medical provider information is left blank. We need to fill this in.”

Client #2: “No.”

Me: “No?”

Client #2: “I don’t want them talking to my doctor. That’s not their business. Why are they asking for that?”

Me: “You’re claiming you were injured. They have to know who treated you so that they can get medical records related to the injury, because that is potentially evidence.”

Client #2: “What do you mean, my medical records are evidence?!”

(Another common exchange:)

Me: “This says you’ve never been involved in any other lawsuits. As I recall, you had a divorce a couple of years back, right?”

Client #3: “Oh, yeah. It was a huge mess. It took ages for our lawyers to iron that out. The judge got tired of hearing from us!” *laughs*

Me: “Okay, that counts as a lawsuit, so we’re going to need the information for that.”

Client #3: “Wait, that counts?”

(Yet another exchange:)

Me: *discussing a form with all of her information clearly filled in* “Why didn’t you sign the form we sent you?”

Client #4: “I didn’t think that applied to me.”

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Getting That Refund Is Even More Painful

, , , , | Working | October 18, 2019

(I go with my sister to a very famous, high-end store that sells expensive makeup. I buy some eye cream and when I apply a little bit to my skin, my eye goes all puffy and painful. Luckily, it goes back to normal the next day, and I go back to the store to return the cream.)

Me: “This cream made my eye all red and painful. I need to return it.”

Clerk: “Of course… Oh, you used it.”

Me: “Yes, that’s how I know.”

Clerk: “But you can’t return used items.”

Me: “Where does it say that?” *pointing to receipt* “The return policy says that if I’m not satisfied with the product for any reason, I can return it, no questions asked.”

Clerk: “But we can’t resell used items.”

Me: “That’s not my problem. How am I supposed to judge whether I’m satisfied if I don’t use it? I only used it once, see?” *holds up the almost full bottle*

Clerk: *stares, then blinks* “Sorry, we can’t resell used items. Would you like to sign up for our member rewards? You can get a free makeover!”

Me: “Where’s your manager?”

Clerk: “Somewhere. I’ll call her. So, how about that rewards program? First, what’s your phone number?”

(I kept insisting for a manager, and she kept trying to get my number. The manager never showed up. I left them a bad review and when I went to the mall again, it was closed. I honestly don’t know what they were thinking!)

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A Very Last Shift In Behavior

, , , , , , , , | Right | October 18, 2019

(It’s not long before the end of my very last call centre shift and my tolerance for stupidity is at an all-time low.)

Me: “Hello, you’re through to [Bank], [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Caller: “Reset my online password. Your stupid system blocked it.”

Me: “Can I take your account number, please?”

Caller: “I don’t have it.”

Me: “Okay, is this for a credit or a debit account?”

Caller: “Credit.”

Me: “Perfect. And is it a personal or business account?”

Caller: *tutting* “Personal.”

Me: “Let me just bring up the credit card system. Can I take your name and the first line of your address so I can search for you?”

Caller: “It’s [Caller] and [address].”

Me: “Nothing is coming back with those details. Let me just search the business credit card system.”

Caller: “It’s not a business card. Jesus.” *to person in background* “How hard is it to listen to what I’m saying?”

Me: “All right. Well, there’s nothing with your details coming up on the credit card system. Is it definitely a credit card?”

Caller: “No! Jesus Christ. It’s a debit card. Why is this taking so long?” *to person in background* “She isn’t listening to anything I say.”

Me: “All right, I’ll search the debit card system. Again, nothing is coming up on that system. Are you definitely a [Bank] customer?”

Caller: “This is ridiculous. Yes, I am a customer.”

Me: “Okay. By any chance is it a business account?” *even though she already said it isn’t*

Caller: “Yes! Are you stupid? I told you already that it is!” *to person in the background* “This idiot is the stupidest person I’ve ever spoken to.”

Me: *starting to see red* “What’s the business name?”

Caller: “[Business].”

Me: “Nothing is coming up under that name, either. Please double-check and give me the right business name.”

Caller: “F***’s sake. It’s [Other Name].” 

Me: “Okay, I finally have your account. Can I take your security number to verify you?”

Caller: “It’s [number].”

Me: “Nope, that’s not right. Try again.”

Caller: “Try [number].”

Me: “That’s not correct, either, so now I need to ask you some security questions. Can I get [details]?

Caller: “Is this call ever going to f****** end? It’s [details].

(By now I am completely confused and I’ve forgotten that she wants to reset a password. It’s almost 11:00 pm and at this time of night, 99% of calls are for lost cards, so I automatically assume that’s what the call is for.)

Me: “Those details were actually correct, so I can cancel your lost card now.”

Caller: “WHY THE F*** ARE YOU CANCELLING MY CARD?! Jesus, are you completely stupid? I want to reset my password. Is that too difficult for your dumb brain to comprehend?”

Me: “I’m sorry. There has been so much back and forth while I try to find your account that I forgot the call reason.”

Caller: “That’s not good enough. You’re a stupid f****** idiot who hasn’t listened to anything I’ve said. You’re a moron.”

Me: *finally reaching my limit* “DO NOT SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT! I am not stupid and I have listened to everything you’ve said. You said it was a credit card when it was a debit card. You said it was a personal account when it was a business account. You said the business name was [Business] when it’s actually [Other Name]. You rang the bank without any account details or account information. And finally, you’re the one who doesn’t know their verification details. I’ve spent nearly fifteen minutes trying to find your account when this entire call should have only taken two or three minutes, all because you’re too stupid to know a single thing about your account.”

Caller: “Well, I, uh, just…”.

Me: “I’ve reset your online password now, and since you’re soooooo smart, I’m sure you’ll figure out how to create a new one yourself. Goodbye.”

(I then hung up on her. The password reset process is extremely difficult without help, but my shift was over so I never found out if she had to call back.)

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Call, Cancel, Call, Cancel, Become A Millionaire

, , , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(I am working as a call center representative for an appliance service plan, in which members of the program can call in to have someone come out to repair their appliances while only paying a monthly fee. We work with a select group of vendors whom we contract the work out to and cover their costs for the visit.)

Customer: “I want to cancel the service call I have today for my central AC, if it is not too late.”

Me: “Certainly, give me a moment.”

(The customer has an appointment for later today, which I cancel with the customer’s reason.)

Me: “Okay, that order has been cancelled. Anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “Yes, how much do you pay your people to come out here?”

Me: *pause* “I’m not entirely certain, sir. It varies depending on the company we send and the work that is done. I’d guess that the cost of the visitation would be anywhere from $100 to $150 before costs for parts and labor.”

Customer: “So, that means I saved you the cost of them being sent out, right?”

Me: “Uh, yes, sir, that’s right.”

(Awkward pause.)

Customer: “I guess what I’m saying is, can I get credit to my account for that?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir, we don’t offer credits for cancelling your service orders.”

Customer: “But I’m saving you some money, so shouldn’t I get something?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t really offer anything like that; the cost of operations is just something we cover whether it happens or not.”

Customer: “Well, it was worth a try, I guess.”

(Sometimes I wonder if customers really think about these requests from a business standpoint. If we gave money out to everyone who cancelled an appointment, we wouldn’t be around for very long.)

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Maybe We Should Exclude Customers From The Sales

, , , | Right | October 17, 2019

Customer: “So, this shirt is 40% off, right?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry, but the sale doesn’t include women’s apparel.”

Customer: “But it says it on the sign!”

Me: “It says that it excludes women’s apparel.”

Customer: “Why would they put it on the sign if it doesn’t include that?”

Me: “To inform you that it excludes that.”

Customer: “So, you’re saying that the shirts aren’t on sale?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, that’s what ‘excludes’ means.”

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