The Devil (And Your Daughter) Is In The Details

, , , , | Related | August 12, 2020

My mum, while not being completely tech-illiterate like some people of her age, still needs a lot of troubleshooting help from me and my brother — setting up accounts, working out error messages or emails, and that kind of thing.

She wants to set up an online banking account and calls me to guide her through it via phone. After a bit of chaos, we decide it’s easier if I set it up on my computer while explaining it to her on the phone.

Me: “All right, it’s asking for a login password. I’m going to use [password variant she uses everywhere, slightly changed up to make it safer].”

Mum: “Oh, yes, I’ll be able to remember that!”

Me: “Yeah. Okay, the security questions are the usual. I’ll put in your first pet and where you met Dad.”

Mum: “Okay.”

Me: “You’ll also need a sort of PIN number. I’ll just use [number combination she also uses everywhere that is, at least, not a birthday or other easy number to figure out].”

Mum: *Long pause* “Sure.”

Me: “Okay, now I’m going to enter your credit card details from that bank so it’ll be connected—”

Mum: “Wait a minute!”

Me: “Sorry?”

Mum: “How do you know my credit card details?! And remember all these other things so well?”

Me: “Mum. I’ve been setting up accounts and changing passwords and ordering or booking stuff online for you for years.”

Mum: “Oh, right.”

Me: “I know your online identity better than you, to be honest.” *Laughing* “I could probably hack every account of yours without you even noticing. Aren’t you glad I’m a good daughter instead and help you?”

Mum: *Also laughing* “You are a good girl for tolerating your silly old mum’s problems.”

She’s not had any troubles with online banking yet, but she still keeps joking about how I’m someday going to drain her account and run away with all her data and passwords.

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Parked On That Decision, Part 2

, , , | Right | August 11, 2020

The hotel I work at is brand-new, the entire building having been built from the ground up. The parking isn’t great in this location; the only legal places are the hotel’s own underground parking garage or a public parking lot across the street. Both cost money to use. There is a “space” in front of the hotel where people like to park their cars, but that is intended for firetrucks in case of emergency. It’s not a parking space.

It’s evening and a man comes up to me.

Guest: “I checked in at noon. I parked my car out front, and your colleague told me I could stay parked there. And now I have this.”

He shows me a parking ticket.

Me: “There is no parking allowed out front. You can park in our underground garage for 18€ a night, or pay for using the parking lot across the street. Our front is only supposed to be used for dropping off luggage, at best.”

Guest: “Your colleague told me I could park there.”

Me: “Then my colleague likely made a mistake. As I said, your options now are to park in our garage or the parking lot.”

He calculates the price for the garage use and the ticket.

Guest: “So, if I were to park in your garage for tonight, I would have to pay 38€?”

Me: “Yes, that would be the case.”

His voice is loud enough that my other colleague, who is also the assistant manager, can hear him to the other end of the reception area, which is quite wide. This guy is also beginning to annoy me because he’s complaining about having parked in an area that is labeled via colored markings on the pavement to be the fire lane. I am giving him the full Rhett Butler treatment.

Me: “I have given you your options. If you do not want to use our garage, I frankly do not care. And if you choose to not pay the ticket, I also don’t care about that because it’s none of my business.”

Guest: “And your name is?”

He peers at my nametag.

Me: “[My Last Name].”

I hold the nametag out to make the name easier to see.

Guest: “And you won’t mind if I tell your boss that you said you don’t care about this?”

Me: “Yes.”

Guest: “You know, I’ve been giving you an offer.”

Me: “What kind of offer?”

Guest: “When I pointed out that I would have to pay 38€ for parking tonight. You could have admitted this was a mistake on your hotel’s part and let me park in the garage for free tonight.”

Me: “Frankly, that did not sound like an offer to me. And another factor is that I am not sure I’d even have the authorization to allow that.”

Guest: “That didn’t sound like an offer to you?”

Me: “It did not. But if you do use the garage, please inform someone at reception so that we can make a note in your reservation about it.”

Guest: “Well, fine. But this matter isn’t over for me yet.”

He left the hotel, presumably to park his car somewhere. I talked with the assistant manager right away, since she heard everything. She agreed with my stance and also pointed out that there was absolutely no allowance of parking in our garage for free. There aren’t any underground parking areas in this city that don’t require payment to use.

Parked On That Decision

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Consumer… Meet Demand

, , | Right | August 10, 2020

Guest: “Hi. I am supposed to check out today, but I would like to keep the room until later in the day.”

Me: “Yes, that is possible at an extra charge.”

Guest: “You are probably not even fully booked tonight!”

Me: “What does that have to do with it? You rent a room until twelve o’clock. If you keep the room until three or four pm, the cleaning lady has already gone home and the room cannot be rented out today anymore. We are only charging you 30% of the full room rate, so we have already been more than generous, considering we have a dirty room until tomorrow.”

Guest: *Getting rather obnoxious* “So, you mean to say that your hotel is fully booked, or that you are expecting a massive load of walk-ins today?”

Me: “Let’s put it this way: if you hire a car from Avis or Hertz with a certain return time, can you keep the car three to four hours longer for free just because the company has other rental cars on their parking lot?”

Guest: “We will vacate the room at twelve.”

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When You Room With Pigs…

, , , , | Learning | August 9, 2020

I am working a full-time job when I decide to get a university degree. My colleagues then regale me with some of their university experiences. One of them tells me this story.

Colleague: “I shared a flat with two other guys and we never really got around to doing the dishes. We would just pile them up in the sink and if we needed one, we would take the top one, wash it in the bathroom, and put it back on top of the pile after using it. One day, a friend visited and decided to help us out. He soaked all the dishes so we could then clean them. We didn’t, though, and everything became moldy and disgusting.”

Me: “And then?”

Colleague: “We just locked the kitchen door and never went back in.”

Me: “But what about when you moved out?”

Colleague: “I don’t know. They condemned the building and tore it down.”

I guess that is one way of getting out of doing the dishes.

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Unfiltered Story #204351

, | Unfiltered | August 8, 2020

A customer requested an appointment at a pretty short notice. The only thing I could do for him is to schedule the appointment for the very next morning, right after we opened (that would be 7:30). He said that’s fine. However I wasn’t able to put him in for 7:30, so I had to click 7:15. Every customer whose mobile phone number we have in our system, automatically gets a reminder on the day before their appointment.

Me: Okay, so that’s all set for you. You are going to receive an automatic reminder text on your mobile phone sometime this afternoon. I can’t prevent the system from sending this, and since I wasn’t able to click 7:30, the text will say that your appointment is 7:15. Please just ignore that. Your appointment will still be at 7:30. We don’t open until 7:30, so there is really no need to be here earlier than that.
Customer: Okay. See you tomorrow.

The next morning, I’m there at 7:00 to get everything ready. About 7:10 I hear something that sounds like someone is banging against our windows, but it’s winter and so it is pitch black outside and I can’t see a thing. I hear that noise again once or twice, but being a woman, alone, with an open register full of cash, I don’t open the doors until everyone else is in their position. So I unlock the doors at 7:25. My customer scheduled for 7:30 storms in, furious af and starts yelling at me.

Customer: This is outragious!!!!! I’ve been waiting for you to open since 7:05 !!! You can’t let me wait outside !! It’s f***** cold and it’s snowing.
Me: Sorry Sir, but there was no need to be here that early. We don’t open until 7:30 on weekdays.
Customer: But I got a text saying I need to be here by 7:15 !!!!! I’m going to complain about you! I know your manager!! This is gonna have consequences for you!!!!!!! You saw me out there and didn’t let me in !!!
Me: I’m sorry you felt that way, but if you could just turn around – I’d like to show you something.

We both turn to face the windows.

Me: Now tell me what you can see through that window.
Customer: NOTHING!!! IT’S DARK OUTSIDE!!! What’s the point???
Me: Sir, how was I supposed to see you out there in complete darkness?
Customer: *mumbling some bad words*

Thankfully my coworker came to take care of the customer. When our manager arrived, I told him the whole story and he said I did nothing wrong. The customer never complained though.