Showing Them Their Bad Form

, , , , , | Right | December 5, 2017

(I work in a chemical factory. I am talking over the phone finalizing shipment details with a client, who plans to ship produce to the United States.)

Me: “You also need to fill out [Form A]. If it isn’t present, your shipment will be stopped by customs and not allowed into the country.”

Customer: “Yeah, okay.”

Me: “Sir, [Form A] is important. Do not forget it.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah. [Form A]. Got it.”

(Fast forward two weeks: the customer is on the phone and livid.)

Customer: “MY THINGS ARE STUCK AT CUSTOMS AND IT’S YOUR FAULT. I DIDN’T KNOW THEY NEEDED [FORM A]!”

Manager: “Sir, I’m certain that my agent told you about it.”

Customer: “NO, HE DID NOT! I WOULD REMEMBER! I WAS NOT TOLD!”

Manager: “Sir, yes, you were. Our calls are all recorded. Would you like to listen to yours?”

Customer: “YES, I F****** WOULD! YOU DIDN’T TELL ME!”

Manager: “Please wait a second.”

([Manager] patches a recording into the phone call and customer is listening. [Form A] comes up and after two seconds the customer simply hangs up. [Manager] then calls the customer back.)

Manager: *in a sweet and polite voice* “I’m so sorry, but the line died unexpectedly. Would you like to listen to it again?”

Customer: *click*

They Slipped On The Gauges

, , , , | Working | November 1, 2017

(I work in quality control. Part of my role is to manage the calibrated equipment we need to measure the parts we make. Some of it can be shockingly expensive due to how accurate it is; add to this the cost of having it calibrated every year by a laboratory and the cost can really stack up. When someone from maintenance maintenance needs to borrow a set of slip gauges, small metal blocks, I am reluctant, but my boss overrides me and makes me give them to him. I am still worried, so I chase him up at the end of the day.)

Me: “Hey, have you finished with those slip gauges?”

Maintenance: “What? No, we’re still using them.”

Me: “Well, when will you finish with them? I need to make sure they get returned.”

Maintenance: “I don’t know, a week or two.”

Me: “What? We need them in inspection. Why do you need them for so long?”

Maintenance: “They’re keeping the machine level!”

(I made him show me; he had wedged several of the slips under a tonne of machinery. These little blocks cost between £30 and £120 each and are only ever supposed to be handled with gloves. He and my boss both got reprimanded, and the site had to buy them all again, and then pay again for calibration.)

It Only Takes One Iceberg…

, , , | Working | October 13, 2017

(My job involves safety training for the employees, but most people in the company see it as a waste of resources. I’ve had to come up with very strong arguments against their attitude.)

Coworker #1: “I have to go to [Industrial Plant with very strict safety rules] next month.”

Me: “You’ll need an escape mask. Before you go, remind me to show you how to use it.”

Coworker #2: “Isn’t it excessive? She’s only staying one day!”

Me: “And the Titanic only made one cruise…”

One Door Closes, A Realization Opens

, , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(I am “the IT guy” for a large distribution center with lots of automation and machinery. I am checking the wireless network signal in a work module that has three floors of product racks crammed into a two-story building, with conveyor belts running through it to boot. I finish in the back of the module and decide to use the back stairway instead of walking back through the crowded module, but the door is jammed shut. Walking back to the front, I meet the head of security.)

Guard: “Hey, [My Name], did you open that back stairwell door?”

Me: “I tried, but it was stuck and wouldn’t open more than an inch or so.”

Guard: “That’s a fire exit door, so when it gets opened we have an alarm go off in the monitoring station. We would’ve called the fire department, except there was only a single door in alarm.”

Me: “Sorry, didn’t know.”

(There were no “emergency exit” signs on the door, or any other indicators that it was a fire exit. The guard and I begin going our separate ways, then I stop and call back to him.)

Me: “Hey, [Guard], seeing as how that’s a fire exit door, is the fact that it wouldn’t open a problem?”

Guard: *look of startled realization creeps across his face* “I think I’ll call maintenance.”

Measuring The Time

, , , , | Right | October 9, 2017

(I usually work in the factory, but on this day I am replacing our sales person who is sick, when a customer comes in.)

Customer: “I need someone to come to my house and take the measures for the windows I want to order, but they can only come after four in the evening because I am at work until then.”

(I set it all up and tell her our technician will call her and come by next day after four. The next day, the lady returns.)

Customer: “What kind of a business is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You said someone would come to my house and take the measurements. Why hasn’t anyone come?”

Me: “Didn’t you say that we can’t reach you before four o’clock?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s half past two.”

Customer: “Well, I got off early.”

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