Unfiltered Story #198726

, , | Unfiltered | June 27, 2020

I work in collections for town government, primarily taxes.

Customer: Hi, I just got this bill for excise tax that I’m not sure what it’s for.
Me: Okay, what’s the last name?
Customer: [Name]
Me: Okay, let me look it up… [first name]?
Customer: Yep, that’s me. What is this bill for?
Me: It looks like it’s for a trailer… Yes, it has a trailer plate. Did you recently register a trailer?
Customer: No, but I have a pop-up, could it be that?
Me: Sometimes. Does the registration number look familiar to you at all?
Customer: Not really. I don’t know the plate number. It’s kept over in [place], so I don’t see the plate often.
Me: Okay, well the bill is for a 2016 trailer registered on [date].
Customer: Yeah, but what does “Carry” mean?
Me: Sometimes for trailers, the RMV uses different makes, such as “Carry” or “Trail” or even “Homem” if it’s a homemade trailer.
Customer: Well, it’s a pop-up, and we bought it, so it’s not homemade. And it’s a 2004, so that’s wrong too.
*Conversation goes on another five minutes, her telling me about her pop-up, me telling her the registration is for a trailer.*
Me: Okay, well I can transfer you to the assessor’s office, and they can work to correct the bill…
Customer: I also have a trailer, do you think it could be that?
Me: … yes, it’s probably that. Do you recognize the registration number?
Customer: Yes, it looks familiar. But I only paid [$Amount], and this says it’s valued at [$OtherAmount]. And it’s a 2015, but this says 2016.
Me: Okay, let me transfer you to the assessor’s office, and they can have this bill corrected for you.

Does Not Work Here, Thinks She Knows Everything

, , , , | Working | June 2, 2020

The building I work in opens at 8:15 every weekday. We have two doors: the front door to the street which we keep locked until opening time and the back door to employee parking which the public can use but rarely do. From the first employee coming in, the back door remains unlocked until we close for the day.

One morning, a coworker who works across town comes in through the back door around 8:05, ten minutes before we open. She proudly walks up to our counter with a huge grin on her face.

Coworker: “I bet you’re wondering why it’s so quiet, huh?”

Me: “What?”

Coworker: “I said, I bet you’re wondering why it’s so quiet in here.”

Me: “Well, it usually is this time of day.”

Coworker: “Yeah, want to know why?”

Me: “Why?”

Coworker: “Because your front door is locked.”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Coworker: “Aren’t you late?”

Me: “Uh, no?”

Coworker: “What? Don’t you open at 8:00?”

Me: “No, we open at 8:15.”

Coworker: “Oh. I guess I could have checked the sign on your door with the hours.”

Me: “Yeah. It’s okay you didn’t know; you don’t work here.”

Coworker: “Yeah… I need coffee!” *Flounces away*

I Don’t Work Here, DOES Work Here
Used To Work Here Does Not Work Here
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 34

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Unfiltered Story #187781

, | Unfiltered | March 5, 2020

I arrive at the unemployed office for my monthly “review” on how I’m doing. Before me are two women who are talking to the receptionist. I step behind them to wait in line to tell the receptionist why I’m here and to ask how should I proceed. While standing in line, not listening at all what the women are talking to the receptionist, one of the women suddenly turned around and gave me the creepiest smile I had ever seen. I give her a nervous half smile, because I’m very confused as to why she would turn around and give me that creepy smile. Suddenly she starts talking to me very rudely and loudly.)

woman: EXCUSE ME! But we are talking about very sensitive matter here, could you please leave!

me: I’m sorry?

Woman: Move. Away. From. us!

me: (very confused, since there is a sticker on the floor saying “please wait here for your turn”) umm… Ok?

(I take a couple of steps back, giving the women and the receptionist even more room)

Woman: Are you stupid or something!?!? LEAVE!

(at this point I try to look at the receptionist, but they are too concentrated on the other woman to notice what the other woman is telling me. I’m in no hurry so I figured that I would then step OUTSIDE the office to “wait my turn”.
Finally, the woman was happy that I backed so far that I was standing outside the open door, that she turned to the receptionist and started talking very loudly about her problem. And in all honesty? If she hadn’t suddenly started to yell at me to not listen “in on them” I would not have not listen in on her conversation, but since she had basically shined a spotlight on her and her problem, I could clearly hear her “sensitive” problem about why she was no longer getting governmental aid for her unemployment.)

Unfiltered Story #184509

, , , | Unfiltered | January 31, 2020

(It was a busy day in the basement where I file paperwork for all of Jacksonville’s environmental complaints, now normally I don’t deal with customers directly just their papers, in fact no one but my manager is even supposed to have the number to this phone, bu I got a lovely call anyway for another employee, let’s call him Paul)
*Phone rings*
Me: “Hello”
Caller: “Hello is this Paul”
Me: “Um no ma’am, I believe you have the wrong number”
Caller: “What? I don’t have the wrong number this is Paul’s number right? I need to talk to him about my yard, put him on the phone”
(I have no idea who Paul is or what she is talking about)
Me: “I’m sorry but there isn’t anyone here named Paul”
Caller: “What? Who is this?”
(I really didn’t want to give her my name)
Me: “Well I am the file clerk for…” (Cuts me off)
Caller: “Just put Paul on the line this is important”
Me: “I understand that Ma’am but I am trying to tell you”
Caller: “What?”
Me: “I don’t know who or where Paul is so I can’t put him on”
Caller: “Why not? Don’t you work for the city?”
Me: “Yes Ma’am But”
Caller: “So Paul is there somewhere go find him”
(Sure let me just go bug everyone in Jacksonville, that’ll work. patience is a virtue…)
Me: “I don’t think you understand, this is just a phone in the basement, no one else works down here but me, and I do not know who Paul is.”
Caller: “Why not, you work for the city don’t you?”
Me: “Yes Ma’ma I do, and so do about 200 other people in the 14 different departments of this building alone. I’m going to need you to be a little bit more specific than his name is Paul”
Caller: “I want to speak to your manager!”
Me: “Ok Ma’ma if you hold on a minute I can get you his number”
Caller: “Just transfer me over to him! I’m Busy!”
(Well so am I and you know what? You need a special number to make transfers so you can be monitored and not waste resources, and I don’t have that number because I am not supposed to take calls at all so they never bothered to issue me one, doing that would require me climb up 6 floors to bug my manager, so he can either give me the number to transfer or both of us come back downstairs to tell her she has the wrong number, and that wasn’t about to happen)
Me: “I’m sorry Ma’am but I am not allowed to transfer calls to…” *Click*
(she hangs up the phone, and I stand up to go back to work, about 30 seconds later she calls back)
Me: “Um Hello”
Caller: “Hello, is this Paul?”
Me: “Ma’am I just spoke with you, I told you this was the wrong…”
Caller: “This is the number on your stupid website! You’re telling me it’s wrong?”
(I have no idea what website she is talking about, Jacksonville.com I guess?)
Me: “I am trying to tell you that no one but me uses this phone, and no one but my manager should even have this number” (Why did I bring him up?)
Caller: “Put him on the phone!”
Me: “Ma’am I just told you that no one is down here but me, I can’t just put him on the phone, would you like his number?”
Caller: “I don’t see why you can’t just transfer me over!”
Me: “I’m not allowed to do that, and I have never been shown how to do that”
Caller: “Our tax payer’s money at work!” *Click*
(She hangs up again and I go to talk to my manager, he doesn’t know who Paul is either so he talks to someone else and about a week later I find out yes a Paul did work for us, but he transferred over to another department, About a month earlier, either way she should not have had my number and I was advised to check the caller I.D. and never take calls from outside the office again.)

Not In The Zone Of Waiving The Fee

, , , , , | Right | January 21, 2020

(I work in the treasurer and collector’s office for a town. We have a pretty strict payment policy. We have a one-day grace period after the due date, after which we charge interest. State law allows us to waive up to $15.00 of interest and/or fees. Sometimes, if the customer is sincere enough in their excuse why they didn’t pay their bill on time, we will waive the interest and/or late fee, but not more than the legal amount. I do have some authority over these instances, but if I don’t like the customer’s attitude or if I’m unsure if I should do it — we also look into payment history — I ask my manager for approval with the excuse given. Real estate tax bills were due on the first of the month. It is currently the ninth. A woman who doesn’t seem familiar brings in her bill with her check already written out for the original amount. I look up the bill for the current amount with interest.)

Me: “Okay, so, after this payment, the balance will be $4.59, which we can put on the next bill if you’d like.”

Customer: “What? Why?”

Me: “Because it was due last week on the first. It’s now the ninth.”

Customer: “Listen. My husband volunteers for the town.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “He is on the zoning board.”

Me: “Okay.”

Customer: “So, can’t you give us a break?”

(I think, “Did she actually just ask us to waive her interest because her husband is on a board? Isn’t that unethical?”)

Me: “No, sorry.”

Customer: *angrily* “Well, why not? He volunteers for the town.”

Me: “We don’t waive interest for any reason.” *especially name-dropping!*

Customer: “Can you ask your manager?”

Me: “Sure.” *to my manager* “This customer just asked us to waive her interest of about $5 because her husband is on the zoning board.”

Manager:What?! No. Absolutely not. I can’t believe she would even ask that. No, tell her we can’t do that.”

Me: *to the customer* “Sorry, my manager says we can’t do that.”

Customer: “I don’t believe that. My husband volunteers for the town! He doesn’t get paid! And you can’t waive $5 of interest?”

Me: “No, we can’t.”

Customer: “Unbelievable.”

Me: *knowing this isn’t going to go anywhere* “[Manager], can you come here, please?”

Manager: “No, we absolutely cannot waive interest just because your husband is on the zoning board, or any board or committee, for that matter. It’s against the code of ethics.”

Customer: “But I don’t understand why you can’t waive it. It’s just $5. He volunteers for the town. As in, he doesn’t get paid. And you can’t give us a break for $5.”

Manager: “No. It’s unethical, and frankly, I’m surprised you’d even ask. Your husband signed a code of ethics, and this would violate that code. So, no, I’m not going to waive it.”

(The customer then stormed out and tried to slam our self-closing doors on her way out. My manager talked to the town clerk, who would have sworn the husband in to his position and given him the code of ethics. The clerk said the husband may have known not to do it, but the wife may not have known. My manager cooled off a little after that. She told me that if the customer had come in with almost any other excuse, like it got buried in a pile and she just now found it, she may have waived the interest, but because she asked in that manner, it wasn’t going to happen. I also noted that one of the Select Board members makes late payments for almost every bill, and he always pays interest, so why would we waive it for a zoning board member? Update: While typing this out, the customer called back to apologize to my manager. She thought about what she had said regarding ethics violations, and she agreed that wasn’t the best course of action to take. She said her husband had buried the bill in a pile of mail, and she would be talking to him later.)

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