Interruptions Do Not Compute

, , , , | Right | October 31, 2017

(I work for a sizable company as tech support.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Product] support. This is [Name] speaking. May I ask who I’m speaking with?”

(The woman on the line has a rattly, elderly voice.)

Caller: “What’s a [Product]? I don’t have a [Product]; I have a computer. I need help with my computer.”

Me: “Yes, m—”

(The customer refuses to let me get a word in. I try, but every first syllable I’m talked over. I am honestly impressed how little this elderly woman needs to breathe.)

Caller: “So, I have a new [Operating System #1] computer and I don’t understand; my [Operating System #2] worked just fine. But I don’t understand; it says there’s networks. I didn’t make any networks. I don’t know what a network is. What is [Someone’s Network]? Who is that? I certainly don’t know. I think people are on my network.”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Caller: “That’s not right! What are they doing to my network? All my computer has is pictures of my grandchildren and my ducks. I don’t want people to have pictures of my grandchildren.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I unders—”

Caller: “You don’t know what kind of creeper could be looking at them. I have lots of grandchildren. But my husband died in 1991. I think that’s ten years ago. No, that’s fourteen. My husband died fourteen years ago.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hea—”

Caller: “He’s the one that got me my ducks. My whole yard is full of ducks. I don’t think he wanted me to have this many ducks, but my grandchildren love them.”

Me: “Ma’am, I—”

(The customer continues to go on endlessly about her ducks, grandchildren, dead husband, and occasionally about the “hacker network,” for the next ten minutes before I finally get enough words in:)

Me: “Ma’am, unfortunately, you’re in the gaming department. What I can do is transfer you to [Company] central—”

Caller: “But I don’t have games; I have a comput—”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I understand that. Let me bring you to the computer people.”

Caller: “Oh, bless your heart. Thank you.”

(I put the customer on hold, dial the appropriate department, punch in the commands, and patch her in.)

Agent: “Hello, thank you for calling [Company] support. Who am I speaking with?”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Agent: “Huh?”

Caller: “Oh, thank you. I need someone to help me get rid of these networks. I only have two browsers. One is a folder for drivers and the other is—”

Me: *hangs up very quickly* “HEY, [BOSS], CAN I GET MY BREAK NOW?”

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Can Only Count To Two

, , , , | Right | October 31, 2017

(This happens at least once every day, without fail.)

Customer: *walking up to me, confused* “What theater is my movie in?”

Me: “Can I see your ticket?”

(The customer hands me their ticket, which has the theater number printed in large, bold text that takes up more than a third of the ticket.)

Me: “That’d be theater number four. For future reference, it’s right here on the ticket.”

Customer: *annoyed* “Well, how should I know that?!”

Me: “Because it’s right there on the ticket?”

Customer: *sighs* “Whatever.”

(There is a brief, awkward pause.)

Me: “Is there something else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Where is theater number four?”

(I point to the theater, which is clearly marked with large numbers on either side of the doors and a large sign with the name of the movie playing.)

Me: “It’s right there, sir. The one marked ‘Theater #4.'”

Customer: *suddenly angry* “HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT?!”

(One of these days, I swear, I’m going to respond with what I’m really thinking: “Because, unlike you, I ACTUALLY USE my basic powers of observation like a responsible adult. Do I need to hold your hand and walk you to your seat as well?”)

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One More Word And You’re Done!

, , , , , , , , , | Friendly | October 31, 2017

(My story involves a party game called “Bag of Nouns.” Everyone puts five nouns on five strips of paper and all the papers go into a bag. Teams are optional. The game has three rounds: the first round, you say whatever you can to get your group to guess the noun you drew from the bag and get through as many nouns as you can in a minute. At the end of each turn, all the strips of paper go back into the bag, so very quickly certain nouns become familiar through repetition. The second round is same idea, except you get ONE WORD to describe what’s on the paper, so you’d better hope the nouns you draw on your turn are familiar ones, or that someone in your group will figure out one of their nouns that hasn’t been drawn yet. If you screw up and say, “um,” then you’ve used your one word for that noun, and you’d better hope your team can guess from nothing. The third round is charades. We are on the second round, and a friend’s guest gets to go first.)

Friend: *to guest in question* “Okay, second round. You get just one word per noun that you draw. You can say that word over and over, but you cannot say any other words, not even ‘uh’ or ‘um.'”

Guest: “Okay.” *draws from bag, looks at it* “Right, so, this is a thing where—”

Friend: “—no. One word.” *everyone agrees to give her another shot, since she clearly missed something* “Okay, so if the noun you drew was, say, ‘car,’ you could say, ‘drive,’ or maybe, ‘traffic,’ but nothing else. If the noun you drew came up a lot in the previous round, try to pick a word from those turns to describe it that your team would recognize. Okay?”

Guest: “Yeah, got it.”

Friend: “Great. Draw again.”

Guest: *draws, looks* “Um, so, these are given when—”

Friend: “—no. Stop. Okay. So, for example, the one you drew that time was ‘Finals.’ You could say, ‘test,’ or, ‘college,’ and when that word came up in the first round, ‘stress’ was focused on a lot, so you could use ‘stress’ or something. But no other words. No sentences. No descriptions. One word for the noun you drew, and then your team has to guess based on that one word.”

Guest: *pauses* “Sure.” *draws again, looks at paper* “This is something that—”

Friend: “—yeah, okay, your turn’s over. Next person!”

(She never seemed to really understand the rule, but she also never seemed to understand that she was missing anything.)

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The Trailer To A Horror Movie

, , , , , | Working | October 31, 2017

(I am about to move across the country and have reserved a trailer to transport my stuff. I make an appointment to pick it up in two weeks, at a dispatch location run by a different company than the one that owns the trailers. I arrive right when they open to pick up the trailer.)

Desk Person: “I’m sorry; I can’t seem to find your reservation. I’ll have to contact [Trailer Rental Company] to see what is going on.”

(She disappears for a few minutes to make a phone call and comes back looking apologetic.)

Desk Person: “I’m really sorry; they can’t find your reservation, either. They are sending a company rep over to see if they can figure something out. They should be here in about ten minutes.

(Not having any other options, I agree to wait. After an hour, I go back to talk to the desk person.)

Me: “Hey, you guys have [different sized trailers] outside. Those will still work for me. Can I just rent one of those, or at least just get it hooked up, while I wait for this guy?”

(As I am speaking, the company rep shows up behind me.)

Representative:Hey! I don’t know if you’re going to be renting anything today.”

Me: “I reserved a trailer and need to have everything out of my apartment by tomorrow morning.”

Representative: *smugly* “No, you did not make a reservation. We would have gotten it! Now let’s see if we can still rent you something else.”

(While he is talking I pull up my confirmation e-mail on my phone and hand it to him. The smirk slowly falls from his face while he reads it over and types furiously at his tablet, trying to find my reservation info.)

Representative: “Well… um… It seems you did have a reservation, but it got deleted somehow. We can upgrade you to a larger trailer and knock $100 off the price for your trouble.”

Me: “Fine, just hook it up as quickly as you can.”

(If I could have, I would have gone elsewhere, but my plans to leave the next day didn’t give me many options. I would have given back the discount and larger trailer if I could have traded it back for the hour of packing I lost.)

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No Rewards For Your Loyalty

, , , , , , | Working | October 30, 2017

(I’ve had the local cinema’s loyalty card for a few years and, having had some rough times and low funds of late, I decide to treat myself and use what points I have left to ‘purchase’ a ticket for a special anniversary showing of a trilogy of films that I’ve always loved. I book online and, because my points cover the cost of the ticket, I am not required to provide any further payment information. The email confirmation says I can use my loyalty card to collect my tickets at the till.)

Me: *holds out loyalty card* “Hey. I’m picking up a ticket for [Films].”

Worker: *looks at the card but makes no move to take it* “I can’t use that. I need the card you paid with.”

Me: “I didn’t use a card. I used my points, so you should be able to find it through my account.”

Worker: *still not moving* “You don’t get it; I can’t look it up with your account. I need the card you used to pay for your ticket.”

Me: “I didn’t pay anything.”

Worker: “Yeah, right. Tickets aren’t free, and I need the card you booked with or you’re not getting your ticket.”

Me: *starting to get frustrated*This is the card I booked with. Because I used my loyalty points!”

Worker: “Ma’am, at some point in the transaction, you had to put in your card details and—”

Me: “No, I didn’t! I didn’t have anything I needed to pay. I wasn’t asked to put in my card information, and the email said I could use my loyalty card to collect!”

Worker: “Look, I can’t do anything. I can maybe sell you a new ticket.”

Me: “Is there somebody else I can speak to?”

Worker: “There’s no point. Nobody here can do anything for you if you don’t have your card.”

Me: “Listen here. Either you are lying or misinformed and I can collect with my loyalty card, or the email telling me as such is wrong, and I wish to complain to someone who can do something about it. Either way, I need you to get someone here to talk with me about this right now, because I refuse to miss any of my film over this.”

(A supervisor comes over and apparently the employee has “warned her” about me.)

Supervisor: “Ma’am, I understand your frustration, but if you don’t have the card you paid on, we cannot print off your tickets. We can, however, sell you a new ticket and give you our company’s customer service number so you can get your original ticket refunded.”

Me: *glaring daggers at them both* “I am telling you, as I told him. I. Didn’t. Pay. By. Card. I used the points on my [Cinema] loyalty account, and the email told me I could use my loyalty card to collect my ticket. I wasn’t asked to give any card details.”

Supervisor: *looks at me briefly before turning to the worker* “If she paid with her points, the tickets will show up when you swipe the card.”

Worker: “But she doesn’t have her card!”

(The supervisor rolled her eyes, took the loyalty card I was still holding out, and printed off my ticket with an apology. She was still trying to explain it to him when I walked away.)

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