Time… For A Break

, , , , | Working | June 29, 2018

Our department is horribly understaffed, and has been all day. My coworker and only coverage comes up and asks me if he can leave ten minutes early to catch his bus; I haven’t yet had my first break and need to go before he leaves.

As I turn to check the computer at our desk for the time, I spot a couple obviously waiting for help. I try to do three things at once: let my coworker know I need a break before he can go, greet the customer, and check the time.

What I end up doing is turning to the customer with a giant smile on my face and proclaiming in my cheeriest customer service voice, “Hi, what time is it?”

Fortunately, they thought it was funny.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 78

, , , , , , | Right | June 26, 2018

I run a small landscape company. I get a call from a customer whose lawn has been destroyed by grubs.

I go over to her house, and we walk around discussing various issues with the property. Looking at the lawn, it is clearly destroyed, and I ask her who mows it. She tells me she has this guy who cuts a few lawns on the street. I ask why he did not tell her when the grubs first came out so that she could treat them. Her explanation is that he is “just a grass cutter, not a landscaper.”

I take some measurements, and after figuring it out, we sit down and tell her the job will need a good 50 cubic yards of soil, and that I will have to move it around then spread it out. After that, it needs to be york-raked, hand-raked, and hydro-seeded. The cost would be $5,000 plus tax.

She asks how much I will charge to cut the lawn, and I reply $40.

She says that was too much. I explain that if I had been mowing the lawn, I would have seen the grubs, notified her, and treated for them at a cost of under $100.

She says that she does not want to spend the extra $10 a week. I explain that she is not saving $10, as it is going to cost $5,000 to fix the lawn now, but if she had spent the extra $10, it would have taken seventeen years of weekly mowing before she spent the $5,000. All she keeps saying is that she is saving $10.

I finally give up, sign the contract, get the $5,000, and she is happy as she is still “saving” $10 a week.

Got to love stupid people: spend $5,000 to save $10.

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 77
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 76
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 75

Can’t Handle This Customer’s Vanity

, , , , , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I work in a home improvement center. Sometimes we are able to sell discontinued items off the floor. This item is a very expensive vanity that has been discontinued for several years.)

Customer: “I like this vanity a lot. How much does this one cost?”

Me: “Luckily, that one is discontinued! It’s the last of its kind. The discounted price is $500.00. It used to list in the thousands.”

Customer: “That’s not a bad deal. I’ll take it.”

Me: “Wonderful! Follow me and I’ll write that up for you. Since it’s discontinued, you can take it home off the floor today. We offer delivery, as well. I was pretty sad when they stopped making that item.”

Customer: “I can see why. It’s beautiful. I need two.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. It’s discontinued. The only one left is this one here.”

Customer: “Oh, well, just write me up for two of them. That would be $1,000, right?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. This is the last one. It has been for a long time, since the company stopped making that item. It’s not possible to get a second one.”

Customer: “Oh, whatever. I know that is just a marketing ploy to make people think they are getting a deal.”

Me: “It’s really not a ploy. Items with the stickers on them in the store are no longer being made. They are usually the last ones we have and will be able to get.”

Customer: “Listen, sweetie, just type up my order. Don’t make me talk to your boss.”

Me: “I would be very happy to have my boss explain this, also. I can show you the product list from this manufacture, and this vanity set will not be listed. It is on one from 2012. They stopped making it after that year.”

Customer: “Look, I’m being patient. Now you are wasting my time.”

Me: “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but there is nothing I can do about this situation. It is not possible to get another vanity like this one, unless you have one custom made to match.”

Customer: “Fine. I’ll take my business elsewhere. You just lost your store $1,000! I’ll take the vanity information to [Competitor].”

Me: “You are free to shop where you wish; however, that store has never carried this brand and will not be able to get a discontinued item.”

Customer: “We will see about that!”

(A little while later, I got a call from the other store asking if we had any of these vanities, since they don’t carry that brand and didn’t know it was discontinued. I feel bad for the salesperson who had to deal with the fallout over there.)

A Transformative Incident

, , , , , | Right | June 5, 2018

(We’re performing spring maintenance on one of our outdoor lighting systems. This involves cleaning fixtures, changing lamps, and a general tidy-up of the system. One of our new hires accidentally breaks a fixture that we don’t have parts to repair.)

Me: “I’m sorry about the damaged fixture. At the moment, we don’t have the proper parts to repair it. But I can make a note of it on the invoice and we can send someone back as soon as possible to fix it.”

Client: “Oh, that’s no problem. I’ll have my electrician look at it. I guess someone forgot to mention to you that those fixtures aren’t part of your system; you don’t have to worry about servicing them today.”

(We finish up, and as she said, we don’t do the other fixtures. I still make note of the broken one on our paperwork just to have record of it, along with what she said about having her electrician fix it. Fast forward a couple weeks, and I’m working a day with our service tech. He has a work order for the place with the broken fixture, saying the system isn’t working at all now, along with a bunch of accusations about our shoddy work. We arrive and I notice the fixture we broke has been repaired. I take it out of the ground and immediately see the problem.)

Me: “Hey, [Tech], I found the problem. Remember how she said her electrician would fix this? Well, whoever fixed it crossed the wires and shorted the system.”

Tech: *laughing* “Yeah, that’ll do it. Let’s find the transformer so we can reset it.”

(I fixed the wiring and we reset the system. Everything worked perfectly. The tech made a note on the invoice for this visit that it was not our work that was faulty and therefore wasn’t under warranty. She later called to complain that she had to pay and claimed nobody else works on the system besides us, despite the four of us that were there that day stating she told us her electrician would fix it. The office ended up crediting her account just to shut her up. From now on, I plan to get this sort of thing in writing.)

Price Is Going Down, I’m Yelling Timber!

, , , , | Working | June 4, 2018

(I order Venetian blinds online for my house, through a company that has a store in my city. Normally, I go to stores to support local employment, but the store is in the middle of the city with a large building site close by, which limits traffic and parking, and it’s just before Christmas. I also have a back injury, so I am happy to have the heavy boxes delivered to my door. There is a very good online-only sale, and the store quite often does not have what I need in stock. I check their return policy, and it says that returns and exchanges are available through its stores, which is fortunate, because they send me the wrong blinds. I take them in and explain to the cashier that I have ordered timber blinds online and they have sent me the — cheaper and lower quality — faux timber blinds. She checks the invoice and the blinds and tells me that I have received what I paid for.)

Me: “No, I ordered timber blinds, and these are faux timber.”

(She checks again.)

Cashier: “This is a very low price for timber blinds.” *gives me suspicious look over glasses*

Me: “I know; that’s why I bought them.”

Cashier: “We don’t sell timber blinds for this price.”

Me: “Yes, you do, because I bought them, and that’s what I paid. It’s on the invoice.”

(The conversation follows same circle for about five minutes.)

Cashier: “All right, I can give you a refund.”

Me: “I don’t want a refund; I just want to exchange them for the blinds that I was supposed to get.”

Cashier: “This is just how we process exchanges.”

Me: “Oh, okay, then.”

(The cashier processes the refund, then enters the timber blinds into the register.)

Cashier: “That will be [several hundred dollars].”

Me: “No, I am exchanging them, not buying them. I’m not paying anything extra.”

Cashier: “You paid for faux timber blinds; timber blinds are more expensive.”

(My head almost explodes as we repeat the conversation from earlier.)

Me: “Please get your manager.”

(The cashier goes to get the manager and must explain the situation while they are on the way back to the register.)

Manager: “The timber blinds are more expensive than the faux timber blinds, so that is why there is a price difference.”

Me: “Look at my invoice; it says, ‘timber blinds.’ Your company sent me faux timber blinds. I have paid for timber blinds and I just want to exchange the ones that were sent to me by mistake for the ones that I actually ordered.”

Manager: *looks at invoice* “That’s a very low price for timber blinds.” *gives me suspicious look over glasses*

Me: *losing it and raising my voice* “Yes, it is. That’s why I bought them. This is not hard. You have my invoice. You can see that I bought timber blinds. I just want the product that I paid for.”

(The manager gives the cashier the signal to process the sale at the lower price, and the rest of the transaction proceeds as it should have done at the start. It’s very quiet, except for the one statement the manager directs at me.)

Manager: “I don’t know why you didn’t just come into the store in the first place.”

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