You Just Got Owned

, , , , | Right | August 24, 2017

(We’re a small business, so we often get calls from people thinking we need certain services. Particularly small businesses are targeted by entry level sales people and college students looking for work. One thing the owner has us do to screen for these is ask anybody who asks for the owner if they actually know his name.)

Caller: “Is the owner there?”

Me: “Possibly. Who’s calling?”

Caller: “Yes, I need to talk to the OWNER.”

Me: “I heard you the first time. Are you able to tell me what this is about?”

Caller: “It’s about his business.”

Me: “That’s too vague. Can you tell me the name of him or her so I know there’s an established business relationship already?”

Caller: *louder for some reason* “OWNER. I need the owner.”

Me: “I need to know who you are first.”

Caller: “Oh. Hi, Mr. [Business name ending in the word Rental, not the owner’s last name]. You should get more helpful people to answer the phone.”

Lack Of Apology Just Takes The Cake

, , | Right | August 24, 2017

(I work in the bakery department of my local grocery store. One afternoon, a man approaches our counter.)

Me: “Did you need any help today, sir?”

Man: “Yes, I’m here to pick up a cake for my son’s birthday.”

Me: “Okay, what was the name the order was placed under?”

Man: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Do you know what the cake looked like? Anything descriptive?”

Man: “No, I have no idea. My wife ordered it.”

Me: “Okay. What’s your son’s name? That might help me find it.”

Man: “Oh, it’s Daniel.”

(I check both places we store cakes for pick-up, but we don’t have a cake for Daniel. I return to the counter.)

Me: “Sir, unfortunately, I’m not finding your cake back here. Is there a way you could get in touch with your wife and ask her about it?”

Man: *becoming annoyed* “I mean, I could call her, but all I know is she said to go to [Grocery Store Chain] at this time to pick up the cake. And this is the only store we ever shop at. We always come to this store. We never go anywhere else.”

(The store I work for has three locations within a three-mile radius, so it happens sometimes that people come in to pick up orders placed at other stores.)

Me: “Are you sure she ordered it from [Store #1], and not from [Store #2] or [Store #3]?”

Man: “No, we always do our shopping at [Store #1]. We never shop at any other grocery store or anything. It’s always here! Let me call my wife…”

(While he calls her, my coworkers and I sift through completed orders and future orders to see if it was glossed over, but we have no cakes for Daniel’s birthday. After about ten minutes of looking, I approach the customer again, and he tucks his phone away to speak with me.)

Me: “Sir, we don’t have any orders for a birthday cake for Daniel, from the past week or for the week coming up.”

Man: *getting angry now* “That doesn’t sound right! My wife ordered our cake from [Grocery Store Chain]! We don’t ever shop anywhere else! My wife swears she ordered it from [Grocery Store Chain], and we only shop at [Store #1]! We don’t shop anywhere else!”

(While he continues talking to his wife to try to figure it out, I head to the back and call Store #2 and Store #3, just to see if he’d come to the wrong one by mistake. After spending another ten minutes on the phone — now spending twenty minutes looking for his cake — neither of them have had a birthday cake for Daniel in the previous week or for the week ahead. I head back to the customer, who is now off the phone and seems completely calm.)

Me: “Sir, I called [Store #2] and [Store #3], just to double-check that your wife didn’t place the order there, and neither of them have a birthday cake for Daniel, either.”

Man: *as he’s walking away* “My wife ordered the cake from [Big-Box Department Store whose name sounds nothing at all like ours]. Have a good day!”

Reading Like They Were Born Yesterday

, , , , , , | Working | August 23, 2017

(I’ve just turned 21 and am at our local liquor store near our college, buying my first legal bottle of alcohol.)

Employee: “May I see your ID?”

Me: *dutifully hands over driver’s license and straightens up proudly*

Employee: *stares intently at the license for 10-15 seconds and hands it back*

My Friend: “Aren’t you going to wish him a happy birthday? He’s 21 today!”

Employee: “Oh, no sh**?! Happy birthday?” *grabs my license back* “Where’s the birth date on this thing, anyway?”

Very Bad Reception: After-School Special

, , , , , | Working | August 21, 2017

(Some years back, my high school was evacuated due to someone holding a classroom hostage, not that we knew it at the time. It had started out as a fire drill, but it was clear something was very wrong. I was one of several students who decided to go home instead of waiting around for the all clear as an hour had already passed by this time and it seemed unlikely it’d happen. My mother worked close to the high school and usually picks me up, and I didn’t have a cell-phone then, so soon as I got home I called her company.)

Receptionist: *gives the company spiel* “How can I direct your call?”

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. I want to leave a message for [Mother] in the [Contracted Company]’s call center. Please tell her there’s some kind of incident at the high school up the street and we had to leave early. ”

Receptionist: “Sure, hon. Bye.” *click*

(My mother ended up arriving home a half-hour later than normal looking extremely stressed out.)

Mother: “Where were you?!”

Me: “You didn’t get the message?”

Mother: “What message?”

Me: “I called the company and told the receptionist what happened and to tell you I wouldn’t be there.”

Mother: “WHAT? I never got the message! There was a shooting at the school and she didn’t think it was important to pass it on?!”

Me: “What?! That’s what happened? No wonder you looked so upset!”

Mother: “Thank god you’re okay, but… what the f***?!”

(The day after she complained, and apparently that receptionist had several similar calls and failed to pass any of them on. I’d like to think she got terminated.)

Deconstructed Reconstructed

, , , , , , | Working | August 21, 2017

(I’m the customer. We love our deli’s meatball sandwiches, but we want to buy them to eat later and don’t want them to get soggy. So we’ve started buying them as “DIY” sandwiches — we order the pieces separately and construct and heat the sandwich at home. I stop in today for a sandwich.)

Me: “I want 4 meatballs, 4 pieces of cheese, a sourdough roll, and a pint and a half of sauce.”

Counter Guy: *with confused look* “…”

Me: “Is there a problem? It’s a DIY meatball sandwich…”

Counter Guy: “I’m trying to figure out how to charge for this.”

Me: “Well, it’s basically just a meatball sandwich with one extra meatball, one extra slice of cheese, and an extra pint of sauce.”

Counter Guy: *with a deep look of concentration* “Okay.”

Me: “Also…”

Counter Guy: “Not right now; I’m doing math.”

Me: “…”

(After a couple of minutes, I add a pint of potato salad, gave him my name, and am told he’d call me when my food is ready. 15 minutes later, my order comes up. I see the potato salad and the paper-wrapped roll.)

Me: “Where’s the rest?.”

Counter Guy: “It’s all there.”

Me: *concerned, picking up the paper wrapped package* “Oh. You… built the sandwich.”

Counter Guy: “Wasn’t I supposed to?”

Me: “No. That’s why I…”

Counter Guy: ” Next time, ask for four meatballs and a roll…”

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