Reading Between The Guidelines

, , , , , | Working | October 26, 2017

Me: *to new temp, who is probably in their mid-40s* “All you need to do is copy the data from this document and paste it into this document. You doing this for us will save us weeks of work.”

Temp: “Sure, happy to help.”

(The documents in question are four pages long each, for the record.)

Me: “Here are examples. I’ve highlighted the information in the old one that needs to be moved, and then highlighted where that information ends up in the new one, each in corresponding colors. Most of the information you’re moving is one to one; the line in the table in the old document is labeled the exact same way in the new document. There are only a handful of changes, but we’ll deal with those when we get to them.”

(The temp gives me a deer-in-headlights look.)

Me: *getting nervous* “Why… don’t you go ahead and give this a shot. It’ll surely make more sense as we get moving.”

(The temp takes control of a mouse and keyboard the way you’d expect a nervous 15-year-old to take the wheel of a car. I watch as they struggle to figure out where the cursor is as they wiggle the mouse around for a while. When it looks like they have some bearings, I start instructing again.)

Me: “Okay, here’s our first two documents. Here’s the old one, and here’s the new one. Reference the highlighted examples I gave you to know what to copy and paste.”

(The temp proceeds to highlight text from the examples, copy them, and paste them into the new document.)

Me: “No, we want to take the text from the original, here. The highlighted examples are just guides.”

(Still looking like a deer in headlights, the temp proceeds to type text from the original document into one of the examples.)

Me: “No, that’s just a guide. We don’t want to edit those. Here: this is the original. The data is coming from this one. This is the new template. The data is going into this one. Right now, we’re just focusing on the bulk of the information that’s the same. Copy this information and move it here.”

(The temp loses track of the cursor and starts deleting random letters and words ad nauseam before moving the cursor again to highlight and copy some text, dragging some words to the middle of sentences and not noticing, then finally getting the entire line highlighted and copied.)

Me: *just going with it at this point* “Okay, now put that information in the new template in the corresponding line where it says, ‘Insert here.'”

(The temp puts the cursor into middle of “[Insert Here]” and then pastes the whole line right into the middle of the word “Insert,” then moves on.)

Me: *ready to quit, buy a cheap van, and live on the coast off the grid*

An Idiotic Gift

, , , , , | Right | October 26, 2017

(I work at a movie theater. An older gentleman comes up and buys six tickets for himself and a group of friends for the upcoming weekend. He’s a bit cranky while selecting his showtime and seats, but otherwise the transaction goes smoothly. When it comes time to pay, things take a turn. He pulls out a wad of papers and throws them at me without even making eye contact.)

Customer: “Use these.”

(I unfold the crumbled papers to find about a half-dozen receipts.)

Me: “Um, these are receipts.”

Customer: “Gift card receipts. Use ‘em.”

(I look again. They’re receipts for gift cards he’s purchased for the theater from the local [Retailer]. They literally just say “Gift Card” and the amount he paid — no card number, no scan bar, nothing that I can use.)

Me: “Do you happen to have the cards that you purchased? I can’t just use a receipt like this.”

Customer: “I’m not an idiot.”

Me: “I didn’t say you were.”

Customer: “Use ‘em.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I can’t. I either need the gift cards themselves or the sixteen-digit serial number from the back of the cards to redeem them.”

Customer: “Look. I’m not an idiot.”

Me: “I didn’t say you were.”

Customer: “Use ‘em, then!”

Me: “Sir, I have no way of using your gift cards with just these receipts. I either need the cards themselves or the serial number from the back.”

Customer: *deep sigh* “It’s always a different story from you clowns! Out to get the little guy while you line your pockets.”

Me: “Sir, the way the gift cards work has never once changed in the seven years I’ve worked here.”

Customer: “I. Am. Not. An. Idiot. If I couldn’t use these receipts, why would I have thrown out my gift cards, then? Huh?”

Me: “Wait, what? You threw out your gift cards?”

Customer: *after a pause, looking concerned* “I didn’t say that! I’m not an idiot! Just use the receipts!”

Me: “Sir, I can’t.”

(This back and forth continued for another two minutes. The customer kept insisting that he “wasn’t an idiot” and becoming angry that we couldn’t use his receipts. A nearby manager even got involved, and it just continued on in the same circle of idiocy. The customer ended up throwing some cash at me for the tickets and leaving. So, he bought gift cards, immediately threw them away, and then threw a hissy fit when he couldn’t use the gift cards he threw away… but don’t worry, he made sure to let us know he “wasn’t an idiot.”)

Taking Account Of Your Name

, , , , | Right | October 26, 2017

(It’s been a long day with difficult customers. A customer that I’ve never seen before walks up to my window and slaps some cash down on the counter.)

Customer: “Put this in my account.”

Me: “Sure thing. What’s your name?”

Customer: “And I want my balance.”

Me: “Absolutely. What’s your name?”

Customer: “I think there’s $200 here.”

Me: “Okay, what’s your account number?”

Customer: “I don’t know that.”

Me: “No problem. What’s your name?

Customer: “You don’t know me?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry.”

Customer: “But I come in here all the time! Why should I give you my name?”

(The following flies out of my mouth before I can stop myself…)

Me: “Or I could just put this $200 in my account…”

Customer: “[Customer]! It’s [Customer]!”

Me: “Thank you! Here’s your receipt, with your balance. Have a great evening!”

(I didn’t get in trouble. My supervisor was laughing too hard to do anything.)

This Is A Plug For Paying Attention

, , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(I work in the electrical and lighting department of a large home improvement store. One day a customer and his wife come in to look for a way to make his welder plug into his generator. All they have are rough sketches of the shapes of the plugs, with little indication of size. Once I’ve finally figured out what size he needs, I open the box and hand it to him for verification. Note: this is a large 240-volt receptacle — the female end with holes in it.)

Customer: *pointing to polarized plug slot* “Why is this thing bigger than the other?! That won’t work. Can I take it out?”

Me: “No, sir. That is a single molded piece. You cannot ‘take it out.’ I’m sure it will work with your plug.”

(He finally concedes and leaves with that receptacle and one circular “turnlock” plug, but he doesn’t even make it to the end of the aisle before he comes back.)

Customer: “You gave me the wrong round plug. This one turns right. I need one that locks to the left.”

Me: “Okay, sir. I’m sorry about that.”

(I put the plug back on the shelf, pretend to pick up and examine a couple of others, then pick up the same one, open it again, and present it to him triumphantly.)

Me: “Here you go, sir! This one will turn right!”

(He left, happy as a clam, and thanked me profusely.)

H2-Slow, Part 17

, , , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(I work customer service for a water company.)

Customer: “I noticed one of your company trucks passed by our subdivision. Is my water on?

Me: “Turn your faucet on to see if you have water.”

Customer: “Oh, my God, thank you so much. I’m so embarrassed.”

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