The Hotel Is Connected To The Mall Like You’re Connected To Your Ears

, , , , | Right | February 19, 2019

(I work at the customer service booth for a very large mall. The phone rings and I pick it up.)

Me: “Hi. Thank you for calling [Mall]. You’ve reached customer service; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hello. Where are you located?”

Me: “Me, personally, as in the customer service booth?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “On the first floor of the mall, between [Store #1] and [Store #2].”

Caller: “No, I mean where is [Hotel #1]?”

Me: “Well, we have two hotels connected to our mall — [Hotel #2] and [Hotel #3] — but we don’t have a [Hotel #1].”

Caller: “Oh, you mean this isn’t the number for [Hotel #1]?”

Me: “No, this is [Mall] customer service.”

Caller: “Oh, well, why didn’t you say something earlier? Thanks for wasting my time!” *hangs up*

(It’s like some people just don’t have ears!)

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Who Would WANT To Email You?

, , , , | Right | February 5, 2019

(I work for a company that manages gated townhome communities. Following is a telephone conversation between myself and a homeowner.)

Homeowner: “I want to paint my house a different color. What do I need to do?”

Me: “All you need to do is fill out and submit a Home Improvement Request form, which can be downloaded from our website, or…”

Homeowner: “I NEVER HEAR FROM YOU PEOPLE.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Homeowner: “I PAY YOU A LOT OF MONEY, AND YOU NEVER EMAIL ME ANYTHING.”

(The maintenance fees paid by homeowners go directly into the HOAs’ accounts, not to the management company. People don’t realize this, though, so when calling to complain, the first thing they do is remind us that they PAY A LOT OF MONEY.)

Me: “Actually, I send out monthly email updates to your entire community. Perhaps my emails have been getting caught in your spam filters?”

Homeowner: “NO. YOU NEVER EMAIL ME.”

Me: “Okay. Then let me look in my records to make sure we have the correct address for you.”

Homeowner: “YOU NEVER EMAIL ME.”

Me: “Is your email address—“ *reads off the address we have on file*

Homeowner: “No. That’s an old address.”

Me: “What’s your current email address?”

(She gives me her new address, and I update our records.)

Me: “Great. Now that I have your email, I will send you the Home Improvement Request form, and you can just fill it out and send it back to me.”

Homeowner: “I CALLED THIS MORNING, AND YOU NEVER CALLED ME BACK.”

Me: “Ma’am, I was out of the office this morning on property visits, but I am in the process of getting caught up on messages… which is why we’re talking now.”

Homeowner: “Oh.” *beat* “Thanks.” *click*

(But hey, at least she said thanks. That’s a first right there.)

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Give This Customer A Cupcake

, , , , , , | Right | January 21, 2019

(A young woman walks into our vet’s office with a German Shepherd.)

Me: “Good afternoon, ma’am. Do you have an appointment?”

Lady: “Yes, my name is [Lady] and this is Cupcake.”

Me: “I see he is here for his rabies and distemper shots.”

Lady: “That’s correct.”

Me: “I don’t want to sound condescending, but the distemper shot won’t make him nicer.”

Lady: “Oh, I know that… Do people actually believe that?”

(I’m a little shocked by this.)

Me: “Unfortunately, you’re one of the few people I’ve met that hasn’t said, ‘When will it make my pet nicer?’”

Lady: “I’m sorry you guys have to deal with knuckleheads like that.”

Me: “It’s okay. Every job has its risks.”

(I wish I could’ve given her a discount. I found out later that she is a service dog trainer. My niece is blind, and Cupcake became her service dog after she learned how to use a cane.)

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Unfiltered Story #137075

, , , | Unfiltered | January 21, 2019

(Suggested Title: Dead Men Tell No Tales But Still Fill Out the Long Form)

(As part of the 2000 Census, I was working on a team whose job was to handle Group Homes, Assisted Living, and similar places)

Census Taker: “Hello Ma’am. Our records show you didn’t send in your census form?”

Nice Elderly Lady: “My Husband sent ours in.”

(I politely not, wave over one of the Orderlies and ask)

Census Taker: “Is this lady’s husband also somewhere here, living somewhere else, or possibly deceased?”

Orderly: “Her Husband’s been dead for eight years.”

(I nod and go back into the room, pulling a short form from my folder, and putting a sticky on the long form assigned to her)

Census Taker: “My apologies, ma’am. It seems we had a clerical error and have lost the copy your husband sent in. Since he is away, could I please sit down with you and have you fill out this short form. It won’t take more then 5 minutes, and if you need, I can read the questions and you can just tell me the answers to fill in.”

Nice Elderly Lady: “Well, sure. That seems fine.”

Census Taker: “Thank you very much, ma’am.”

(Won’t bore you with the 5 minutes, but we filled her form out, I then confided with my supervisor and go permission to notate the husband was deceased on the form, and we then filed it. At the end of the day, I felt good that I had done my job, and not destroyed this nice lady’s happy world where her husband was still alive, filling out the long form, and promptly sending their census forms off. Not sure if this story really counts. She wasn’t right, but did it really matter that she wasn’t right? Plus her behavior wasn’t funny, nor outrageous, and sadly not even unusual.)

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Unfiltered Story #136318

, , , | Unfiltered | January 9, 2019

(In late 1996, Houston split its area code coverage — customers with service at addresses inside Beltway 8 retained the original 713, and customers outside it had their numbers changed to the new 281 area code. In late 1999, I got a cellphone, and was assigned 713-XXX-XXXX — a number which had formerly been held by an oilfield services company which had its headquarters outside Beltway 8 and therefore had been moved to the 281 area code three years previously. I regularly got calls intended for them, and initially I was patient, assuming it was a carryover from old publications and the like and would taper off as people started using new directories and so on. I even had my voicemail set to a message that would tell people to try again with the correct area code and only leave a message if it was in fact me they were trying to reach, not that this stopped me from getting a message or two a week from someone who couldn’t be bothered to listen.

As time went on and the area code change became increasingly distant, I lost patience, but of course I also had a greater number of people to whom I had given my number who would have to be informed if I changed it. So I kept on, although I no longer bothered to be polite to people using a number that was more than 5 years out of date (especially if they started out being irate at me for not returning messages left on my voicemail that clearly told them they were wrong). One of the greatest calls, though, was one I got after I’d had the number for five years myself, which means it was EIGHT years after the company’s number had changed….)

Me: “Hello?” (Remember, this is my personal cell, not a business phone.)

Caller: “Uh, hello, is [name I don’t recognize] available, please?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know anyone by that name.”

Caller: “Oh! Is this [oilfield services company]?”

Me: *facepalming* “Oh, them. Look, you want the same phone number, but the 281 area code instead of 713; they changed it when the new area code rolled out in 1996.”

Caller: “199— you mean, like eight years ago?”

Me: “Yep.”

Caller: “But [name] put this as his current work number, with [oilfield services company] as his current employer, on his application.”

Me: “Huh. Well, if whatever he’s applying for requires attention to detail, that might not be his strong suit. On the other hand, I guess he never calls in sick!”

Caller: *cracking up* “I guess not! Okay, so if I dial again with 281 instead of 713, I should get [oilfield services company]? Thanks for your help!”

(I’m sure she should have just signed off after I told her the correct area code and not disclosed what she did about the reason for the call, but it wouldn’t have been half as funny if she had!)

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