A Number On The Board Is Worth Two Burgers In The Bag

, , , | Working | August 3, 2020

I’ve had a fairly stressful day and am at a popular fast-food chain to treat myself. I’ve ordered and paid for my meal at a self-service machine. I got a receipt with a number — let’s say it’s 72 — which is supposed to be called out and shown on a board when my meal comes up.

I wear headphones but sit down in a seat with a clear view of the board and don’t let it out of sight for more than a few seconds at a time. The ones currently on the board are 36, 37, and 124. Order 73 comes up after a while, but not 72. It’s packed and I don’t want to be THAT customer, but after waiting for twenty minutes and watching several people who came in after me collect their orders, I go up to the counter.

Me: “Excuse me. I ordered some time ago, but my number still hasn’t come up. It was order number 72. Did I miss it?”

Waiter: “Oh! Yes, that was up quite a while ago!”

Me: “Oh, really? I’m sorry, the number didn’t show up on the board.”

Waiter: “Huh, that’s strange. I believe it was on the board.”

Me: “No, I’m sure it wasn’t. Order 73 was up for quite a while, but not 72.”

Waiter: “Really? Well, anyway, let me get your order.”

He walks to a table with several bagged orders piled up, picks up a bag, looks at the receipt, and trashes it. He then picks up something else, stuffs it into the bag, and comes back to hand it to me.

Waiter: “Here you go. Enjoy your meal!”

I look into the bag and find not only my order, but also two extra cheeseburgers.

Me: “Excuse me, there are two cheeseburgers I didn’t order.”

Waiter: “Yes, those are for you to make up for the wait.”

Getting free extra items as compensation isn’t very common in Germany, so I’m pleasantly surprised.

Me: “Really? Thank you so much!”

Waiter: “You’re welcome. Have a wonderful day!”

I went to sit down to eat — free cheeseburgers, yay! Only then did I realize that since he’d trashed the receipt, I had no idea if they’d accidentally displayed it as 73, or not at all, or if I’d somehow missed it. I keep wondering, was this a Not Always Working or Not Always Right?

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Don’t Listen Once, Process Twice

, , , , | Working | August 3, 2020

My girlfriend and I are travelling to a different city for a conference. We book a hotel and find a paid parking lot nearby. Booking the hotel for the conference means that we will be paying less for the parking. We pull into the parking and my girlfriend goes to the attendant booth.

Girlfriend: “Hi, we are staying at [Hotel]—”

Attendant: *Cuts her off* “First, license plate and car model.”

My girlfriend gives them our car info.

Attendant: “Okay, you’ll pay when you leave.”

Girlfriend: *Pause* “Also, we are staying at [Hotel] for [Conference].”

Attendant: *Angrily* “Well, why didn’t you say so?! Now I have to start all over!”

Thankfully, we got the correct ticket for the hotel with no further problems and the attendant was in a much better mood when we were leaving two days later.

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They Don’t Seem Great With English, Either. Or Patience.

, , , , , | Learning | August 3, 2020

This takes place in July 2020. I work at a university. At this university, there are two departments with similar names, both with “Education” in them. One department, where I work, deals with teacher education. The other department, Continuing Education, deals with classes offered to the community — think the cooking classes, typing classes, and so on, that you often find at a university. As the names are too similar, we tend to get a lot of calls and messages for the Continuing Education department.

I get a message on our department’s social media from a person asking to speak with an advisor. Even though it is after office hours — we close at 5:00 — I like to keep our response rate up by answering simple questions.

Person, 5:20 pm: “I need to speak with an advisor.”

Me, 5:22 pm: “Hi! You’ll need to make an appointment to see an advisor. You can do so here: [link].”

It is a fairly simple interaction, and I don’t think anything of it. We obviously cannot give people anything more than directory information via social media message, and I am not an advisor. I hop in my car and drive home.

Person, 5:48 pm: “When are you guys going to have Japanese classes back.”

Person, 5:49 pm: “?”

Person, 5:50 pm: “??”

Person, 5:51 pm: “Um, hello???”

Person, 5:52 pm: “Are you there?”

Person, 5:53 pm: “???”

I see these messages and think this person must have mixed up the departments, as many people do.

Me, 5:54 pm: “Hi, [Person], [My Department] does not offer Japanese classes. However, the [Continuing Education department] might have information on Japanese language courses being offered for personal enrichment; you can reach them at [email and phone number].”

Person, 5:54 pm: “But why do you guys have Japanese classes on your website?”

Person, 5:55 pm: “I’m checking right now and it says, ‘Japanese language classes.’”

I manage our department’s website, so I know it doesn’t say that. But to be sure, I ask.

Me, 5:56 pm: “Can you show me what website you’re looking on?”

Person, 5:58 pm: “Sure, just let me look for it.”

Person, 7:02 pm: “[Link]”

Person, 7:03 pm: “That’s what it says on you guys’ website.”

Person, 7:04 pm: “Japanese language classes.”

Person, 7:05 pm: “?”

Person, 7:07 pm: “I don’t know why you guys have Japanese classes on your website when you don’t have any Japanese language classes to begin with.”

Person, 7:08 pm: “Never mind. I’ll look somewhere else.”

While they have been sending these messages, I have been cooking dinner. I look at the link they sent me. It is an archived news article — clearly marked — dated from September of 2006, about the importance of learning different languages. It starts with the line, “Last week, President Bush announced…”

Me, 7:10 pm: “This appears to be an archived news article from 2006. Unfortunately, this information is not current. However, you can see current offerings on the [Continuing Education department] website at [link].”

Person, 7:10 pm: “[Message is marked as read.]”

She never responded to that one, but she left an angry voicemail on my coworker’s phone — not sure where she found the number — about how whoever is running our social media — i.e., me — is super rude and how dare we advertise Japanese classes on our website?!

We all got a good laugh out of that one, and I shared her contact information with the [Continuing Education department].

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Five Thousand Reasons To Dislike This Customer

, , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

Since lockdown, we’ve been closing from 12:00 to 13:00 for walk-ins to avoid having to sanitize the reception desk area computer, phone, chair, etc. We’re still available by phone. A client comes in at 13:00 sharp.

Client: “You’d better have a good reason to be closed during lunchtime! And you’d better not tell me it’s ‘cause of that corona, ‘cause that’s not a good reason!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is why. We can—”

Client: “That’s not a good reason!”

Me: “As I was saying, we cannot sanitize the area and share the desk every day; it would take too much time.”

Client: “You guys really need to let your clients know! This is ridiculous. That’s not a good reason. I’ve been here twice during lunch to make a payment and you were not open.”

Me: “Sir, it says right on our door and when you call that we’ve modified our hours and are closed from noon to one.”

Client: “That’s not good enough! You need to advise me by mail. I need it to be written down! I came here and it was closed.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, but that would make no sense. We can’t send a letter to all our clients to advise that we’re closed to walk-ins from noon to one temporarily.”

We’re a local business but have over five-thousand clients; that would be thousands of dollars for something they would literally know by calling.

Client: “That’s stupid. This makes no sense. It’s not a good reason. Anyway, you guys suck and I won’t be your client again next year.”

Me: “No problem, sir. How about we cancel today, then?”

Client: “No! I don’t have time for that.”

We proceeded to payment. He asked a question and asked if we were going to be open at lunch then. I told him no and he stormed off, yelling to make sure I told my boss about this. I did. They laughed.

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His Mind Is Pie In The Sky

, , , | Right | August 2, 2020

As I am putting away pies in a refrigerator case, I am hit by an electric wheelchair shopping cart.

Me: “Sir!”

The customer ignores me and continues to roll forward. I am literally knocked over, dropping pie slices all over the floor, and rolled over up to my knees.

Me: “Sir!”

Customer: “Oh! This isn’t my fault! Why are you in my way?”

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