Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

A Signature Solution

, , , , , , | Working | March 16, 2022

I worked at a package warehouse about ten years ago, and part of my tasks at the end of the day was processing successful industrial pickups on palettes that had been completed. These people would sign a paper confirming pickup of their wares, and the papers would be added to a stack for me and a colleague to enter into a computer and work on before going home.

For some odd reason, there would never be any business names on the pickup sheet to look up, nor would there be a barcode for me to scan; I would have to enter an annoyingly long alphanumerical reference number, which would pull up the relevant information. Making it worse was that the number was printed small, and it would be easy to make a mistake and have to retype it again after an error was produced.

Now, Germans are locally notorious for using bizarre “emblems” for their signatures that look more like pictorial logos rather than someone’s name signed in a unique manner. My colleague and I came up with a witty solution to help speed up our process.

Me: “You remember this signature here? The one that looks like a Mexican hat combined with a taco?”

Colleague: “Yeah, that’s [Person #1] from [Business #1]” *Pulls it up* “Yep, they were due a pickup and this is it! What about the rook chess piece signature?”

Me: “Oh, that’s [Person #2] from [Business #2].” *Pulling it up*

Colleague: “The Oreo cookie in the grass…” *Pulling it up and working*

Me: “The pi riding a surfboard…” *Processing*

Colleague: “This one looks like a Sigma with a lightning bolt through it?”

Me: “Look up [Person #3] at [Business #3].” *Continuing working* “I don’t think I’ve seen this one. It’s an M with a curly tail and a record player with a star next to it.”

Colleague: *Without even looking* “[Person #4] at [Business #4].” *Pauses* “What the h*** is this?! It’s like someone gave the pen to a toddler and—”

Me: “Look up [Person #5] at [Business #5].” *Hearing the keyboard clicking* “Am I right?”

Colleague: “Yup!”

And so on!

Needs A More Accented Approach

, , , , , | Right | January 11, 2022

I get an email from a coworker.

Coworker: “Can you please call [phone number] and ask him what he needed help with? I tried calling him myself, but for some reason, he said that my English was terrible and he couldn’t understand barely a word I was saying. I’m guessing it’s because he’s a native English speaker and my accent is different? I’m very confused.”

This particular coworker is from Colombia, and although she does have an accent, no one has ever had any trouble communicating with her. In fact, one of the requirements to even get a job here is to be able to speak English.

When I dial the number, the software advises me that the number is in the Czech Republic. The conversation — heavily condensed — is as follows.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from [Company].”

Customer: *In a thick accent* “Thanskyoucallingmebackinmiddleofmeetingyousetanothertime…”

Me: “I’m sorry, can you say that that slower?”

Customer: “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?!”

Me: “Yes, sir, I am from the US. I just need—”

Customer: “Nooo… it’s very bad English, like you start learning two months.”

Me: “Sir, if you are going to be abusive, I’m going to terminate this call. Now, you contacted us asking for assistance, and we are trying to help you.”

Customer: “WhatIsayIwasinmeetingyougivemeanotherforcallisverycomplicated—”

Me: “Sir… slower!

This goes on for a solid five minutes until I am finally able to gather that he can’t talk to me because he was in an important meeting and wants to set up a time for a call-back to discuss the issue in detail.

After getting off the phone with him, I leave my coworker an email.

Me: “First of all, this customer isn’t even remotely anywhere near any level of fluency in English, let alone native. It took me five minutes to understand that he was trying to tell me that I needed to call him back at another time. Then, it took a good two minutes to communicate a new time to call. Unfortunately, you have people out there who think that since they can speak a comprehensible amount of a foreign language at a level where others can understand them, they feel that by ‘stepping on the gas’ and talking fast, they’ll sound like a native. And when the other person has difficulties understanding them (and vice versa), they try to flip it around and say your English is bad. Don’t worry about Donald Duck here; there is absolutely nothing wrong with your English whatsoever. I actually wish my fluency in German was as fluent as your English!”

And she was able to perk back up and confidently continue on with her shift.

Arrivederci To This Caller

, , , , | Right | December 31, 2021

Me: “Thank you for calling [Business]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you today?”

Caller: *Five-second pause* “Why do you answer the phone in English?”

Me: “Uh… because this is the English department?”

Caller: “I want to speak Italian!”

Me: “Okay, then you will need to hang up, redial, and push three for Italian. It appears you pushed two and got the English department.”

Caller: “But I will have to wait again! I waited for twenty minutes!”

Me: “I’m sorry that happened, but I’m not sure what else to tell you. Press three for the Italian department when you redial.”

Caller: “Connect me to the Italian department!”

Our internal telephone system isn’t that simple; it would involve me looking through a directory of many employees from six different language markets, trying to remember which one of them speaks Italian, and then checking their work status to see if they are available to take calls. My system is telling me that there are three people on hold waiting to talk to me.

Me: “I’m not able to do that from here. You will need to hang up and redial.”

Caller: “No, you will speak Italian with me! This is Italy! Speak Italian!”

Me: “Sir, we’re actually located in Germany. I don’t speak a drop of Italian. Please hang up and—”

Caller: *Speaking Italian*

Me: “Sir, I don’t understand you. Please hang up and redial—”

Caller: *Continuing in Italian*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I have to end this call.” *Hanging up*

If You Have Zero Respect They Have Zero Tolerance

, , , , | Right | December 23, 2021

While traveling through Europe, I witness firsthand how Germans have a low tolerance for belligerent customers.

In a hostel lobby, I am sitting on a couch and looking through my phone when a man near me makes a sharp whistle at a cleaning lady who is cleaning a window. She turns her head with an irritated look.

Guest: “Get me a paper towel.”

She simply points to the men’s restroom.

Cleaning Lady: “We have plenty in there. Take as many as you need.”

She turns her attention back to the window she is cleaning.

Later on, he’s at the service desk and begins yelling about something and slapping his hand on the countertop.

Staff Member: “No, we’re not going to have that here. If you don’t like what we have available to offer you, leave! It’s as simple as that! Do you want the room, yes or no?”

Magically, the jerk decided to become civil after that. Had I not been a tourist, I would have applied for a job there!

Selfies And Thumbs-Up And Thongs, Oh My

, , , | Right | December 15, 2021

You would be amazed at the number of times I have to send this response letter to a customer inquiry.

Letter: “Thank you for your interest in [Anti-Theft Service] for your vehicle. Unfortunately, we cannot accept a selfie photo as identification, nor can we accept a photo of yourself sitting inside the vehicle giving a thumbs-up as proof of ownership. Please submit a government-issued identification card or a passport along with the vehicle registration and/or bill of sale.”

Other geniuses have applied with simply a blurry picture of the vehicle and zero vehicle information. The one that really took the cake was a group photo with three cars in the background.

The runner-up was an inquiry my middle-aged female coworker received of a girl in a thong suggestively posing inside the vehicle in question. That one made her EXTREMELY angry and she wasn’t afraid to let the customer know.