I Will Not Not Do As You Say

, , , , | | Right | May 13, 2019

(I take escalated calls for a national insurance agency. In insurance, any time a change is made to your policy that impacts the cost, the company must notify you. The notification can be in mailed paper form, or email/virtual if you’ve set it up that way.)

Me: “Thank you for calling. My name is [My Name]. The previous representative said you had some concerns about the paperwork you received. How can I help?”

(The customer goes on to explain that over the course of the year she has received many copies of her policy. She has made as many 12 changes due to failure to return forms and other things. She explains that she is old and her time is precious at her age — her words — as she doesn’t have much of it left, and that we shouldn’t bother her with mailings, because then she has to call us.)

Me: “I want to be respectful of your time. You received this mailing because of a discount we finalized on your policy. There’s no action required on your part. You will not receive anything further unless you make other changes, I assure you.”

Customer: “You’re just trying to harass me with all this paperwork. I don’t even know what coverage I have! Your company just wants to overcharge the elderly and harass us.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion. The documents you have there outline all the details of your coverage. Again, I want to respect your time, but I’d be happy to review those coverages if you need me to. Also, we are not charging you anything more; we’ve applied a discount. How can I help?”

Customer: “You can stop sending me stuff. I’ve gotten so much stuff this last year…”

(The customer continues on a long rant, and I continue to apologise and ask how I can help, only to ultimately assure her over and over again that we are not sending any additional paperwork.)

Customer: “So, you’re not going to do anything about this?”

Me: “Ma’am, you literally just instructed me not to do anything. You said not to send you anything, and not to make any changes. So, yes, that’s right, I’m not going to ‘do anything.’ Is there anything else I can help you with?”

(This went on for thirty minutes of her “precious time.”)

He Has A Very Particular Set Of Skills

, , , , , | | Working | May 13, 2019

My dad worked almost his entire working life for the governmental placement bureau. Before rising in the ranks, he helped manual labourers to a new job. One day he received a welder who was long-term unemployed, which was strange given the high demand in the area. My dad decided to have him tested on his skills to see if additional training would help him. The instructor reported to my dad that there was nothing wrong with his skills, and that he could even teach the very skilled instructor a few tricks.

My dad started to suspect that a lack of social skills was the problem and, upon the first request for a skilled welder, he picked up the phone and called the person responsible for hiring. He informed them that he was sending someone but asked if they could test his skills before interviewing. He then proceeded to send the unemployed welder to go to the workplace for an interview and bring back a signed form as proof he went. Without this, his benefits would stop.

This was at the start of the morning, not that far from the office. Noon came and went, but no sign of the guy. Dad, starting to worry, called the employer who was very enthusiastic and asked to send more of that kind. After the test weld, the guy was hired on the spot! His new employer stated that “they couldn’t afford to turn him down.” Since he came unprepared, they even bought him lunch. It turned out that the guy was just “un-interviewable,” but luckily, his skills spoke for themselves.

Mayo America Great Again

, , , , , | | Right | May 13, 2019

Customer: “Do you have any mayonnaise packets?”

Me: “Sorry, we’re out right now.”


(She throws the food she was holding at me and stomps away.)

Me: “Well, that was a bit of an overreaction.”

Coworker: “Dude. Old, white people have nothing in their lives but church, mayonnaise, and Trump. You literally just took away a third of her entire existence.”

That’s Your Signature Art

, , , , | | Right | May 12, 2019

(I go to a large convention to sell my art. Things go well and it’s eventually time to close the shop. Security ushers the visitors to the exit and while we put away things, I get visited by a last-minute shopper.)

Shopper: “Oh, this is lovely. I would like to have one of these, please.”

Me: “Certainly.”

Shopper: “I want a perfect one, without any blemishes or spots.”

Me: “Of course!”

(I create and print all my art myself and am a perfectionist, so I don’t sell anything I’m not satisfied with myself.)

Me: “Here you go, ma’am.”

Shopper: “No, not this one. This one has that stain on it.”

Me: *looking at it* “I don’t see any stains, I’m sorry. Where?”

Shopper: “Here! I want one that is perfect!”

Me: “All right, here is another one.”

Shopper: “This one is stained, as well!”

Me: “Where, ma’am? I can’t see the stain myself.”

Shopper: “Here!” *points at it*

Me: “That is my signature, ma’am.”

(She looked at the art, but then said this version was… adequate enough. Oh, well, a sale is a sale!)

Taxing Faxing, Part 25

, , , , | | Right | May 11, 2019

(I work in a small office supply and copy shop that provides services like printing, faxing, scanning, etc. A customer comes in asking to send a fax:)

Customer: “I need to fax some money. How do I do that?”

Me: “Fax… money?”

Customer: “Yeah, I need to send somebody money, and I need it to get there right away. You do faxes here right? I need to fax money.”

Me: “Oh, do you mean you want to do a money transfer? We don’t do money transfers here, but [Nearby Grocery Store] does.”

Customer: “Why can’t I just give you the money to send through the fax? They’ll get it, right?”

Me: “That’s… not how a fax works.”

(I suggested several nearby stores that provide money transfer services, and she left. My coworkers were just as baffled as I was, and about a week later, she came in again asking to fax money. That’s still one of the weirdest customer encounters I’ve had.)

Taxing Faxing, Part 24
Taxing Faxing, Part 23
Taxing Faxing, Part 22

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