Welcome To The Hotel Obvious

, , , , | Right | December 24, 2017

Guest: “I noticed there were room charges on my bill.”

Me: “That’s kind of how it works; you don’t get to stay for free.”

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When Appointments Collide

, , , , , | Right | December 23, 2017

(We are a collision repair facility, and there is another collision repair facility about a mile up the street. I am the office manager, and I get a phone call.)

Caller: “I need to find out when my appointment to get my car repaired is.”

Me: *after checking our computer system* “I’m sorry, I can’t find you anywhere in our system. Are you sure you had an appointment at this location?”

Caller: “Yes, I do have an appointment, and it’s unacceptable that you have lost my appointment! If you are this incompetent in making my appointment, how can you repair my car?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; I will check into this, and call you right back.”

(I call the other repair facility down the road and find that the caller has an appointment there the next day.)

Me: *calling the customer back* “Sir, I have checked, and you have an appointment at [Competitor] tomorrow at 10:00 am. I have confirmed your appointment. Here is their phone number.”

Caller: *click*

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Getting More Back Than Just The Return

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(I work at an adult store. For obvious reasons there are no returns, but we test everything before it leaves the store so someone can’t bring it back and claim it didn’t work. A customer comes in looking for something he and his wife can use together. I help him pick something and test it for him. An hour or so later, he comes back in.)

Man: “Yeah, can I return this? She wasn’t interested. We didn’t open it.”

Me: “…”

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Unable To Understand Your Con-Text

, , , , , | Right | December 22, 2017

(I work at my company’s in-house IT help desk. A few months ago we switched our mobile service provider, and now every employee only has limited — but combined — mobile data volume for their phone and laptop. Once the volume is used up, they get a text message informing them that their bandwidth is now reduced quite a bit. While every employee can order new gigabytes by simply replying to the notification, sending a simple text message to our provider, or checking a web portal, a member of our higher management seems to be too stressed out by this procedure one day and calls us.)

Me: *picking up phone* “Hello, this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Employee: “Yes, hello, my Internet is really slow. I already called [Provider] and they said I didn’t get a notification message because of some maintenance work. Now I can’t reply to the message and get new data volume.”

Me: “Ah, okay. No problem at all. You can also just send a text message saying, ‘[simple word],’ to [number]. Or use your phone to go to [Web Portal] to check your status and buy new data volume there.”

Employee: “But I didn’t get a message! Can’t you call [Provider] and tell them to send the notification message again?”

Me: *slightly irritated* “Um, like I said, you just need to text ‘[simple word]’ to [number] or check the webpage.”

Employee: *starting to get annoyed* ”No, no. I’m at a big event and right in the middle of a meeting. I can’t handle composing a whole message right now. Can’t you just call them and have them send me the notification again so that I can reply to it?”

Me: *a bit dumbfounded while processing that request* ”Well, um, like I said, you… could just send a text message yourself… right now.”

Employee: *in a slightly aggressive tone* “So, what you are telling me is that you refuse to call [Provider]? That you don’t want to call them?”

Me: *still in disbelief* “Well, of course I can call [Provider] for you, but that way you will still have to send a text message. The process on your end will pretty much be the same.”

Employee: “Great, just call them and let them send the notification again! Thanks.” *hangs up*

Me: “…”

(I wound up calling our provider and booking new data volume for the employee myself. Afterwards I wrote an email with detailed instructions on how to get new gigabytes yourself and sent it to the employee. With all the waiting in line, dealing with robots and the call center employee, and writing the email, I spent about 40 minutes on what could have been done with a simple text message in less than ten seconds.)

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Pink Hats Off To Reading

, , , , , , | Learning | December 22, 2017

(I am about five, and my class is asked to write a story about a sheep being sheared. I am an avid reader and have already decided that I want to become an author, so the story I write is about ten times the length of everyone else’s and briefly mentions that the sheep wears a pink hat. A few weeks later the teacher brings this story up at parents’ evening.)

Teacher: “So, I am a bit concerned about this story. It just seems too fanciful.”

Mum: “Well, she’s five. She followed your instructions and wrote a good story. I don’t see the issue with saying the sheep wore a hat.”

Teacher: “It shows she needs to read more; she should have grown out of this.”

Mum: “Again, she’s five. She also reads every night, so I don’t see how she can read more.”

Teacher: “You shouldn’t let her read all those books. Give her a newspaper, instead. She’ll never do well in English if she keeps reading those books.”

(Thankfully, my parents ignored her advice and continued to let me read what I wanted. Several years later, when I was about nine, I actually had to be put in a class myself for English as I was reading at a high school level. What teacher tells parents not to let their child read books?)

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