You Can’t (Annual) Leave Me!

, , , , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(I work for a pensions company in the transfers department. My job is to process people switching from their current pension company to us or from our company to another. I have been dealing with this particular customer for almost a month; there was an issue that was delaying the transfer because the company he was moving from was really dragging their feet. Throughout all this, the customer has been wonderfully understanding, and because of his good nature I have been going above and beyond, chasing the other company at every turn, keeping the customer informed. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting on a few last important details from the old company, but I am due to go on annual leave. I have spoken to a colleague who I know will keep up the same level of work. I call the customer to give him to latest update.)

Me: “Hello, Mr. [Customer]. It’s [My Name]. How are you today?”

Customer: “Oh, hello, [My Name]. Has [Other Company] pulled their finger out yet?”

Me: “I just chased them up; they promised to get the paperwork we need with us by Monday. Unfortunately, I am not going to be in the office for a few weeks, so I am handing your case over to a colleague to deal with it. He has promised—”

Customer: “What? Where are you going?”

Me: “I have some annual leave that has been booked for some time.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to deal with anyone but you.”

Me: “Don’t worry; I’ve fully briefed my colleague, and he has worked for [Company] for twenty years. If anything, he knows more than I do, so you’re in safe hands. He has promised to chase up [Other Company] and keep you in the loop at every turn.”

Customer: “No, no. This is not good enough. You’re going to have to cancel your holiday. This is important. I don’t want to deal with anyone else but you!”

(I’m a little surprised at this point, because this customer has been nothing but congenial and reasonable the whole time. It takes me a moment to respond.)

Me: “I’m unable to reschedule my annual leave, but I promise you that my colleague is more than capable. Besides that, once your pension has been transferred, somebody else will be dealing with your account. I only deal with transfers. Eventually you’ll have to trust somebody else with your account.”

Customer: “I understand that, but I need you to stay in the office. You can’t go on holiday. I won’t let you!”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but you don’t have any say in whether I take annual leave or not. This is leave I am required by law to take, and it was booked a long time ago. I understand you are a little nervous, but again, I can assure you that my colleague will take excellent care of you.”

Customer: “Of course I have a say in when you go on holiday! My taxes pay for your holiday!”

Me: *slight pause* “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “My taxes pay for your holidays!”

Me: “I’m not sure I understand. My employer pays me my annual leave. Your taxes have nothing to do with it. In any case, that’s irrelevant. I’m very sorry, but again, I’ve left you with the most competent employee in the department with decades of experience.”

Customer: “Well, that isn’t good enough! This is terrible customer service! In fact, I’m thinking of cancelling the entire transfer if this is how badly you treat your customers!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. If you want to cancel the transfer, that’s your decision.”

Customer: “Well, fine! I will!”

(The customer hung up. I sat, flabbergasted. I was a little bit flattered, but also very annoyed that after all my efforts of going above and beyond my job description that the customer felt he had the right the dictate when I took my annual leave and that he found this to be terrible service. It didn’t matter, though; when I got back from annual leave, I came back to an apology letter from the customer and my colleague said he had been fine with him. It turns out that he was just having a bad day. He even wrote me a letter of commendation, thanking me for all my efforts, which won me an award at work for going above and beyond the call of duty.)

 

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A “Couple” Of Scheduling Issues

, , , , , | Working | September 12, 2018

(I’m a guy who has been trying to get a job at the same place my husband works night shifts, on the same shift as him, which I made clear when I first applied. Attending the drug and alcohol test, the recruiter made it clear that that specific shift was unlikely to have any openings in the near future, and suggested another night shift, finishing and ending two hours earlier.)

Recruiter: “So, these are the hours; it’s only two hours difference to [Husband].”

Me: “Let’s do it. It’s better than waiting for months, but I wanted to have the same rota as him.”

Interviewer: *looks confused*

Me: “So we can have the same days off?”

Interviewer: *seemingly completely baffled* “Oh… Why?”

Me: “So we can… do things together?”

(He was seriously confused by the concept that a couple would want to share their days off. I don’t want to know what his relationships have been like for that to be such a foreign concept…)

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Not Indebted To That Refund

, , , , , , | Right | July 20, 2018

(I work for a utility company in a department called “aged debt.” Basically we handle all accounts where we have not had payment for 18 months or longer.)

Customer: “I want to speak to a manager right now!” *continues shouting incoherently so I have no idea what is actually wrong*

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to put you through to a manager, but I need to know what the problem is first, or they won’t take the call.”

Customer: *sighing irritably* “Fine. I got a nasty letter from you saying I haven’t paid my bill and I owe you all this money, but I paid you. How dare you send me threatening letters telling customers they haven’t paid when they have?! I’m going to sue you for harassment and defamation!”

Me: “Oh. I’m terribly sorry, sir. Can I get your account number so I can look into this?”

(The customer begrudgingly gives me details, and I see that, true to his word, his balance is at zero.)

Me: “Yes, I can see your balance is paid. Do you have the letter with you?”

Customer: “Yes, I have it in my hand right now.”

Me: “What is the date on the top corner of the letter?”

(The customer reads the date and it turns out that it was sent out the day before he paid the bill off in full.)

Me: “The letter was sent the day before you paid. It can take three to five days to receive them. It just crossed in the post. I’m very sorry, sir. Please disregard it. I can confirm your account is all paid and up to date, and no further letters have been issued.”

Customer: “So, you think it’s okay to threaten customers who paid?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as I said, the letter left our office the day before you paid. At that time, you did have a balance.”

Customer: “Well, I want to be refunded all the money I paid, to compensate me for the stress of having to read a letter that you never should have sent.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but as I said, that letter went out the day before you paid the bill. By the time you did pay it, it had already left the office.”

Customer: “That’s not good enough! I demand compensation!”

Me: *now getting a little irritated at the cyclical conversation* “There wasn’t anything we could have done, unless you think we should have chased the mailman and taken it from him before it got delivered to you.”

Customer: “Don’t be f****** stupid. Just don’t send out letters that say customers haven’t paid when they f****** have.” *hangs up*

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So, You Want One That GIVES You Cancer?

, , , , | Right | April 12, 2018

(I started my shift a few hours ago but I have just started my shift on till cover this afternoon. It has been a long day, but I am still quite upbeat. I have a customer come to the till and do a normal transaction. We have an offer on tote bags, so I have to offer to every customer.)

Me: “That’s going to be [total].”

(I give our usual spiel, something along the lines of, “Can I offer you one of our tote bags today? Great prices.”)

Customer: “Oh, do your tote bags give you cancer?”

Me: “Uh… No.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. No, thank you.”

(I lost faith in humanity.)

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Job Hunters Know Good And Bad Prey

, , , , | Working | February 1, 2018

(I’m living at home for a summer before I head to university, in need of summer employment. I apply for a job in a kitchen and manage to score an interview. Over the phone, they tell me they are impressed with my qualifications and are looking to fill the position straight away. The job is for a pretty basic canteen inside an office building. The manager who shows me around seems friendly enough but has a big air of self-importance to her. At the end of the interview, comprised mainly of her talking with few questions, the manager turns to me with a serious look.)

Manager: “Now, I have a big question to ask you.”

Me: “Okay.”

Manager: “Would you be willing to wait one month for us to make a decision?”

Me: “Err… I’m sorry. Over the phone you said you wanted this position filled immediately.”

Manager: “Well, this is a very important decision for our company; we need to make sure we have the right person for the job!”

(I hold back my laughter; this is a very small and not particularly impressive canteen. It’s hardly rocket science.)

Me: “Then, why say you were looking to fill it right away?”

(The manager then puts on what is clearly her most dashing smile.)

Manager: “So, are you prepared to wait? I think you have a lot to offer us, and I think you have the right attitude for this job.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but no. I need a job to start saving for university, and I really cannot wait around for you guys to maybe hire me. During this time, I will be looking for work and if anything comes up then I’m going to take it. Sorry, but I need to get working.”

(Almost instantly her demeanour changes and she becomes icy and unfriendly.)

Manager: *abruptly* “Well, then, thanks for coming in. You know the way out, right?”

(Quickly she turned on her heel and walked away. Luckily I got a job a week or so later and promptly forgot all about them. Finally, TWO MONTHS LATER, I got a voicemail on my parents’ home number stating I hadn’t got the job due to my “lack of qualifications.” That made me giggle because I’m qualified to work in hospitality and this was the complete reverse of what they told me. It made me wonder how organised they actually were and who was desperate enough to wait around for them?)

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