A Customer By Any Other Name Would Be As Frustrating

, , , | Right | CREDIT: kuduloka | April 10, 2021

I am working in the photo department of my store. For the past few weeks, we’ve been scrambling to keep up with the myriad of photo and Christmas card orders. Today was probably the most unusual customer pickup I’ve dealt with.

Most of the time, I get their name and order type and send them on their way.

Me: “Hi. Can I have your name?”

Customer: *Immediately* “I don’t know.”

Recognizing that this is not off to a great start, I am a bit flabbergasted at his following response.

Customer: “It could be under any of five aliases.”

Not names, aliases. To further my confusion, he gave me just given names for some, surnames for others. It finally took us taking down his order number, entering that into the computer, and finding what the prints looked liked to match them with a printed order. And it wasn’t under any of the names he’d given us.

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Never Be Afraid To Defend Your Name!

, , , , | Learning | April 10, 2021

[Friend #1] is half Turkish and fairly shy and quiet, and her name is somewhat unusual and has four syllables. We’ve got a new PE teacher who’s from Australia, going by her accent, and has a surname that’s quite typical in the UK but pronounced differently in Australia. She makes a point to highlight that it’s pronounced differently and there will be punishment if we get it wrong. She does the register, and [Friend #1] is near the start.

PE Teacher: “[Unknown Two-Syllable Name]?”

There’s no response.

PE Teacher: “Is she not here?”

Classmate #1: “Never heard of her before, Miss.”

PE Teacher: “[Unknown Two-Syllable Name] [Friend #1’s Surname]?”

Friend #1: *Quietly* “Oh, sorry. Here. My name is [Friend #1].”

The teacher doesn’t notice but continues on. She also butchers an Irish classmate’s name, which said classmate loudly corrects. The lesson starts, and every time she refers to [Friend #1], she calls out the two-syllable name instead. [Friend #1] corrects her quietly every time, but the teacher still doesn’t pay attention. It’s about halfway through and she’s gotten the name wrong about six times now.

PE Teacher: “[Two-Syllable Name].”

Me: *Snapping* “Her name is [Friend #1]! It’s not hard!”

PE Teacher: “Don’t talk to me like that!”

Me: “Don’t repeatedly get someone’s name wrong! She’s told you how her name is pronounced. Get it right!”

PE Teacher: “Well, I pronounce it like [Two-Syllable Name], as that’s the way Australia pronounces it!”

Friend #2: “And? She’s Turkish, not Australian, and we’re in the UK, not Australia. Even then, she pronounces it [Friend #1] and that’s all that matters!”

PE Teacher: “I will pronounce it [Two-Syllable Name] as that is the correct way!”

The class is silent.

PE Teacher: “Nobody correct me again, understand?”

Irish Classmate: “Yes, Miss [UK Pronunciation].”

PE Teacher: “My name is Miss [Australian Pronunciation]!”

Classmate #3: *Catching on quickly* “Yeah, but we pronounce it [UK pronunciation], and as we’re in the UK, I’d say that was the correct way.”

PE Teacher: “It’s not the correct way!”

Classmate #1: “It’s just as correct as you calling [Friend #1] by [Two-Syllable Name].”

Irish Classmate: Sucks when people don’t bother to learn your name, doesn’t it?”

We all started to do it until the teacher stormed off. We continued doing PE with the guidance of [Classmate #1], who was also taking sport studies as an extracurricular, until another PE teacher — who’s Indian — came over as he saw we were missing a teacher. We were told not to worry about anything after we explained, and we ended up finishing the lesson with the other class since we couldn’t be left unsupervised. It turned out that she had been repeatedly pronouncing names how she wanted, stating it was the Australian way — including the Indian PE teacher’s name. She didn’t last long.

This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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Failed The Name Game, Part 10

, , , , | Right | April 5, 2021

I work for a company which sells DVDs and CDs, among other things. One of our services is that we can order in most movies, etc., as long as you leave us a name, a phone number, and a deposit. When it arrives in store all you do is give your surname and we get it out for you.

A customer comes in on a quiet hour asking to pick up her order, and I go through the usual script.

Me: “Okay, and what surname was that under?”

Customer: “You don’t remember my name?! You made this order for me!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but that was almost three weeks ago. Could I please get your surname?”

Customer: “Okay, fine, the order’s under [Customer].”

While I’m looking in the file for her order, I can hear her huffing and puffing at how long I’m taking, and I realise there is no DVD held under her surname. This isn’t uncommon; sometimes come in meaning to ask IF their order is in but ask as if it already is.

Me: “Okay, there’s nothing here under [Customer]. Did you get your text message to say it was here? Or did the order maybe get placed using your phone number but someone else’s name?”

Customer: “Yes, you idiot! Are you going to keep wasting my time? Of course, I know what my own f****** name is! People like you are the reason the world is the way it is right now, harassing the elderly—”

She’s middle-aged.

Customer: “—and squeezing them for every second and every cent. I’m going to [Other Australian Retailer with a smaller variety of DVDs]! F*** yoouuuuu!”

With this, she left, muttering how useless I was and how dumb I had to be to question whether she knew what her own bloody name was, but not before throwing down her original receipt, which contained the details I needed to find her order.

Her order was under a different name; she’d given me her nickname! I’m not so sure now if she did know her name, after all.

Failed The Name Game, Part 9
Failed The Name Game, Part 8
Failed The Name Game, Part 7
Failed The Name Game, Part 6
Failed The Name Game, Part 5

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A Little Bird Told Me…

, , , , | Right | April 5, 2021

I’m doing work experience for a week at a zoo. I’m in the farmyard inside a barn-esque building as people wander around. A boy, no older than seven, approaches the flightless cockatoo who lives inside on a large branch wedged in a pen fence. The cockatoo is named Charlie.

Cockatoo: *Looking at the boy* “Hey, Charlie!”

He says his own name sometimes, as he’s so used to hearing it.

Boy: *Gaping* “Wow! The cockatoo knows my name!”

Me: “Actually, the cockatoo is named Charlie, too. You have the same name!”

I thought this child would be excited, but nope. He tears up and starts absolutely bawling. He seems to be literally having a breakdown.

Boy: “I don’t want to have the same name as a cockatoo!”

I was speechless. The mother came over and, thankfully, apologised and walked away.

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The Movie Is Better Than The Trailer

, , , , , | Working | March 26, 2021

I need to buy a bicycle trailer — the sort you tow behind a bicycle to carry extra stuff. I contact a man selling a used trailer. His profile gives his name as “Mr T.” I get weird vibes from him from the start.

Seller: “Meet me at [Public Car Park], tomorrow 1500. What are you driving?”

I give him the make, model, and colour of my car.

Me: “What about you?”

Seller: “Just message me when you get there.”

Meeting in a public place is common, but this car description nonsense? I put my bicycle on my bike rack and go to meet him. I message him when I arrive.

Me: “Dang, I’m parked here but I forgot to get cash. Are you here? Do you prefer a bank transfer to save you from getting delayed further?”

Seller: “I’ll prefer the cash. There’s a cashpoint at [Location].”

Me: “What are you driving?”

Seller: “Message me after you have cash.”

He still seems to be either rude or inexperienced but not exactly a fraud. After I get the cash and come back, a man gets out of a silver SUV. I approach him with my bicycle.

Me: “Hi, I’m [My Name]. What’s your name?”

Seller: “Call me ‘Good Citizen.’” *Looking at my bicycle* “You said you were coming in a car.”

Me: “I did, and I brought my bike, too. Can you show me how it connects?”

What is the harm in a first name? If he wanted to be anonymous, he could at least use a plausible pseudonym, like “John Doe.” He demonstrates how to connect the trailer to my bike.

Me: “Thanks for the demo. I would like to reconnect it myself and take it for a test cycle.”

Seller: “But it’s only a trailer.”

Me: “And I’ve never cycled with a trailer. I need to see how it handles around the car park.”

Seller: “Give me your car keys.”

I’m appalled. I know where this is going but I make him spell it out.

Me: “Why?”

Seller: “So you don’t run off with that trailer.”

Me: “Please compare the value of my car compared to your £100 trailer. Then rephrase your question.”

Seller: “Give me your phone.”

Me: “You’re delusional. Anyway, I can call my carrier and block it. It’s a useless security.”

Seller: “You could steal my trailer! I need security like your wallet or phone!”

I won’t tell him the deal is off. Again, to me, these are red flags that he’s a jerk, not dangerous. He’s also asking only €100 for a €450 trailer, and nothing else is available nearby.

Me: “Let’s discuss what would actually happen if I tried to steal your trailer. I’d have to get my bike back onto my car and the trailer inside my car, which is 100 feet away. Do you seriously think that I could do that before you could stop me?”

Seller: “…”

Me: “Anyway, who drives forty miles to snatch and grab a bloody bicycle trailer? Something like the newest iPhone, maybe. A trailer isn’t exactly discreet, and it isn’t in demand, either. So, here’s what’s going to happen: I test ride it round the car park, no security. Otherwise, no deal. Understand?”

Seller: “I’ll stand at the exit. Don’t do a runner!”

Me: “You have my word. Also, you can drop the attitude, ‘Mr. Citizen.’”

I link up the trailer and cycle around the car park. It feels peculiar, but I get used to it quickly. I come back to the seller and finally test the water with the most clichéd question in used purchases.

Me: “Did you get a lot of interest?”

Seller: “Might have done.”

Me: “You’re asking €100. Would you take €95?”

Seller: “No.”

I quickly bought the trailer and left. I left him a one-star review on the classified website. In a symbolic act, I blocked his number and prayed I would never meet him again.

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