Time To Appoint A Different Voice

, , , | Right | July 21, 2018

(I work in a government call centre. Occasionally customers have appointees to speak and handle their affairs for them. I receive a call from a man who is clearly inebriated, but we finally get through security questions. I realise he has an appointee, so I am unable to make the changes to his account that he requests.)

Me: “I am sorry, [Customer]; I cannot change that information without your appointee’s permission.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s fine. She is with me now; I’ll put her on.”

(A moment later I hear voice say, “Hello,” but it is clearly still the customer.)

Me: “Hello, who is this, please?”

Customer: “I am [Appointee]; I am the appointee.”

Me: “[Customer], I know that is you. Is the appointee really available for me to speak to?”

Customer: “Yes, I am the appointee!”

Me: “[Customer]…”

Customer: “Yes? *pause as he realises what he just said* “Who am I speaking with? My name is [Appointee] and I am an appointee!”

(After several failed attempts to speak to his appointee failed, I had to end the call. He didn’t even bother disguising his voice in any way!)

Engineering Fabrications

, , , , | Working | July 21, 2018

(At the office where I work, we have one engineer who, despite delivering good work, has a tendency to brag with obviously made-up stories to boost his ego. While this is tolerable — barely — after a while he starts to fabricate stories concerning clients and our business. One day I go to his desk to ask something and there is another worker sitting there.)

Me: “Hi. Where’s [Engineer]? Has he moved desks?”

Coworker: *laughing* “Sort of. You know his story about [Client]? How he cheated them out of a six-digit figure, and how [Boss] thanked him personally because we were on the verge of bankruptcy at that moment?”

Me: *sighs* “Yes, verbatim by now.”

Coworker: “Turns out he told that story to [Intern]…”

Me: “Wait… Isn’t [Intern]’s father working at [Client]?”

Coworker: *grinning* “Yep. [Boss] was able to limit the damage, but [Engineer] is no longer working here.”

Not Indebted To That Refund

, , , , , , | Right | July 20, 2018

(I work for a utility company in a department called “aged debt.” Basically we handle all accounts where we have not had payment for 18 months or longer.)

Customer: “I want to speak to a manager right now!” *continues shouting incoherently so I have no idea what is actually wrong*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to put you through to a manager, but I need to know what the problem is first, or they won’t take the call.”

Customer: *sighing irritably* “Fine. I got a nasty letter from you saying I haven’t paid my bill and I owe you all this money, but I paid you. How dare you send me threatening letters telling customers they haven’t paid when they have?! I’m going to sue you for harassment and defamation!”

Me: “Oh. I’m terribly sorry, sir. Can I get your account number so I can look into this?”

(The customer begrudgingly gives me details, and I see that, true to his word, his balance is at zero.)

Me: “Yes, I can see your balance is paid. Do you have the letter with you?”

Customer: “Yes, I have it in my hand right now.”

Me: “What is the date on the top corner of the letter?”

(The customer reads the date and it turns out that it was sent out the day before he paid the bill off in full.)

Me: “The letter was sent the day before you paid. It can take three to five days to receive them. It just crossed in the post. I’m very sorry, sir. Please disregard it. I can confirm your account is all paid and up to date, and no further letters have been issued.”

Customer: “So, you think it’s okay to threaten customers who paid?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as I said, the letter left our office the day before you paid. At that time, you did have a balance.”

Customer: “Well, I want to be refunded all the money I paid, to compensate me for the stress of having to read a letter that you never should have sent.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but as I said, that letter went out the day before you paid the bill. By the time you did pay it, it had already left the office.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I demand compensation!”

Me: *now getting a little irritated at the cyclical conversation* “There wasn’t anything we could have done, unless you think we should have chased the mailman and taken it from him before it got delivered to you.”

Customer: “Don’t be f****** stupid. Just don’t send out letters that say customers haven’t paid when they f****** have.” *hangs up*

Fraught With A Quart

, , , , , , | Working | July 20, 2018

(I’m bringing some used motor oil to an auto parts store to be recycled. Depending on who’s working at the time, they may take the oil for me, or they might have me go in the back and pour it out myself. This time, an employee escorts me to the recycling tank. Each time this is done, there’s a log that needs to be filled out. We get to the part regarding “quantity” when this happens.)

Employee: “So, how much?”

Me: “Well, this says gallons, so let’s say one.”

Employee: *indicating my container* “That’s one?”

Me: “Well, it’s five quarts, and there are four quarts in a gallon, so it’s a little more than one.”

Employee: “So…”

Me: “We can say one and a half, because that’s gallons.”

Employee: “So, four?”

Me: *giving up* “Sure.”

Don’t Drink And Parent

, , , , , , | Learning | July 19, 2018

(My sixteen-year-old daughter is taking drivers’ education at her school. The first part takes place in the classroom, followed by practical experience driving a car. Parents are allowed to attend the classroom part if they wish.)

Instructor: “Now, the law for drinking and driving for new drivers is very strict. It’s a zero-tolerance policy.”

(The mother of one of the kids raises her hand.)

Mother: “What does that mean?”

Instructor: “That means that your kids won’t be allowed to have any alcohol if they’re going to be driving within a certain timeframe.”

Mother: “I don’t get it.”

Instructor: “It’s actually very simple. If your kid will be driving within [number of hours], they can’t have any alcohol.”

Mother:None?

Instructor: “None.”

Mother: “But let’s say that my son is at a party, and he’s going to be there for an hour; it’s okay if he has just one beer, right?”

Instructor: *stares at her* “No.”

Mother:No? But it’s just one beer!”

Instructor: *starting to lose patience* “No alcohol. Period.”

Mother: “But—”

Instructor: “NO. ALCOHOL.”

Mother: “…”

(Her son looked mortified.)

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