Industry Is Not His Industry

, , , , | Right | July 19, 2021

I work for a relatively large industrial supply company that is known for its large selection. We sell, for example, over 1,500 different pressure gauges.

Caller: “I was wondering if you sold a pressure gauge that has a 1/4 NPT connection and can go to 3,000 psi?”

Me: “Sure.”

Narrowing by just those characteristics cuts down to 157 options.

Me: “Do you prefer a liquid-filled gauge or a dry gauge?”

Caller: “Uh… what’s the price difference?”

Me: “We’re not narrowed down quite far enough to compare yet, I’m afraid. Liquid-filled tends to give better readings for high-vibration environments. Is that what you need?”

Caller: “No. I guess dry, then?”

We are now at 78 options.

Me: “And did you have a preference for the size of the dial?”

Caller: “Uh… 3,000 psi.”

Me: “Well, that’s the pressure range you need it to measure, but did you need a particular size for the dial? Like, is it going into a big space where the size doesn’t really matter, or do you need to fit it in a tight space?”

Caller: “Umm… doesn’t matter, I guess. What’s the price difference?”

Me: “Still need to narrow it down. Do you need a bottom connection or a center-back connection?”

Caller: “Um. What? I don’t even know what that means.”

Me: “A bottom connection screws on at the, well, bottom. The connection on the center back is… well, in the middle on the back of the dial.”

Caller: “Oh… bottom, I guess. Whatever’s cheapest.”

At this point, I pick one randomly and ask if that’ll work for him.

Caller: “Well, I’m looking at one online right now on a different website that I think is like what I need. It has ‘B-A-R’ written on the gauge. What does that mean? Do you have one like that?”

Me: “Bar is a different scale for measuring pressure. You’ve been telling me psi all this time.”

Caller: “What’s the price difference?”

The scary part was that this caller was calling from a company that specialized in gas line installation. I seriously hope that this was the guy’s first day on the job or that he was just in purchasing and had no idea what he was talking about, in which case, put the end-user on the phone!

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Wait Until She Discovers Ball-Joints

, , , , | Right | July 16, 2021

The company I work for sells industrial supplies — pipe fittings, screws, etc. If the customer provides a part number, it’s standard for us to confirm what the item actually is just to make sure we’re sending the right item. The caller is placing an order over the phone, and her voice is like a sitcom stereotype of a proper Southern grandma.

Customer: “I’m looking for six of a [part number].”

Me: “Okay, that’s a pipe nipple, and I got you down for six.”

Customer: *Incoherent sputtering* “Oh, my stars!”

Me: “Ma’am?”

Customer: “I didn’t expect to hear that coming from a sweet young lady! They shouldn’t make you say such things! I know all these things have their own terms, but honestly, that’s just not proper!”

I realize she is objecting to the common industrial term “pipe nipple.”

Me: “Oh… um… sorry? Did you need anything today besides the pipe… ssss?”

Customer: *Suddenly calm again* “That’s all today, dear. Thank you!”

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Time To Move With The Times

, , , , | Friendly | July 15, 2021

I’m not someone who adapts very well to changes. I get upset if a site I regularly use changes its design after five years of having it one certain way, and if I find a style I like, I will stay with it until I personally get tired of it. I’m not someone who follows “trends” at all and never have been, even in my teens.

With that said, I find myself having to shop for my clothes online since most of the popular clothing boutiques and stores don’t carry the kinds of clothes that I like.

I am casually shopping for groceries and a security guard stops me near the door.

Security Guard: “Sorry to bother you, but I just had to say, I love those jeans. It’s a real blast from the past! I haven’t seen that in almost twenty years! They used to be really popular with college kids back in 2004, 2005!”

A couple of days later, I am getting a haircut in a salon, and someone passes by.

Stranger: “D***, 2000 is back!

They start singing a popular Backstreet Boys song.

Needless to say, I quite soon find myself in a clothing store, and when I am asked if I am looking for anything in particular:

Me: “Just updating my wardrobe before I start turning into my parents!”

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A Hole In Their Reasoning

, , , , | Right | July 13, 2021

I’m heading up a team that deals exclusively with Canadian customers of a specific electronics company.

Customer: “My TV has these weird color bands across the screen. Your TV is broken, and I need it replaced. I have a warranty.”

I walk the customer through basic troubleshooting. Thankfully, they’re just savvy enough to follow directions.

Me: “Okay, that’s definitely something wrong with the TV, then. What we’ll do from here is send out a technician for an on-site evaluation to make sure it’s not something we can fix with a repair. I just need you to send in a copy of the receipt or proof of purchase to confirm the warranty.”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “No, the TV just needs to be replaced. I don’t want to keep something that was broken this soon. I have a warranty. You have to replace it. It’s the law.”

Me: “I totally understand where you’re coming from; this is part of the process, though. We have to have a tech confirm the issue on-site and, if they can fix it, they will.”

Customer: “No, the warranty says you’ll replace it.”

Me: “Well, actually, what the warranty states is that [Company] will replace or repair the television. At our option.”

Customer: “No, you have to replace it. We have consumer protection laws in Canada. You must not know that.”

Me: “Oh, we’re very familiar with the laws in Canada. Otherwise, we couldn’t operate there very well. This is perfectly within the limits of the warranty and the law. So, if you could just go ahead and send us the receipt, we’ll send someone out. If you can get that to us today, we can probably get someone out in the next few days.”

Customer: “No, I’m not sending you anything. Just send someone out with a new TV and replace mine.”

Me: “Unfortunately, that’s not something we’re going to be able to accommodate. But give me a moment and let me see if we have some other options.”

Customer: “Ugh. Fine.”

I fired off a quick email to the woman who is basically the direct assistant to the CEO of our Canadian brand, and I get permission to send someone out without the receipt. Their serial number proves it is within a year of manufacture, so unless they outright stole the TV, it should be under warranty. I go back to the customer.

Me: “Okay! So, I have some good news. We can send someone out without the receipt, since your serial number shows the unit was made within the last twelve months.”

Customer: “Are they bringing a new TV?”

Me: “Well, they’ll still have to do an on-site inspection to confirm it’s not something we can fix. But the service company that covers your postal code is great; they’re well-equipped to handle almost anything we’ve thrown at them. If they say it can’t be fixed, then we’ll look at a direct replacement. And if they can fix it, they will, typically on the same day.”

Customer: “Well, I’m not happy about this, but I guess that’s fine. Whatever.”

We go through the usual closing, and I contact our techs in her area. True to form, they are able to squeeze the customer in two days later, and they go out to fix the problem. This… this is where the customer’s reticence becomes understandable. The technician CALLS US, something they almost never do.

Technician: *Clearly trying not to laugh* “Okay, I’m out at [Customer’s Location.] I’m going to send you some pictures of the issue.”

Me: “Er… okay. But is it fixable, or do we need to get a replacement queued up?”

Technician: “Just wait for the pictures.”

Me: “Oookay…”

The pictures come through. There are holes drilled THROUGH the circuitry of the television — not the normal screw holes which would be there, but clearly drilled after the manufacture.

Me: “Um… What the heck?”

Technician: “[Customer] wanted to wall mount their TV, but the mount they had didn’t quite fit, so they drilled their own holes.”

Me: “They… did what?”

Technician: “Drilled. Their own. Holes.”

Me: “You’re joking, right? They drilled holes into their television? And they’re mad it’s not working?”

Technician: “That’s pretty much it, yes.”

Me: “Are you still at the house?”

Technician: “No, I left after telling them we couldn’t fix or replace this. Sorry, man. You’re going to have to call them.”

Me: “Oh, goodie. Well… thanks for at least fitting her in today. I’ll make the phone call.”

Technician: *Laughing* “Good luck!”

I hang up with the tech and call the customer. I’ll spare the… colorful language which ensues, but the customer insists we still HAVE to replace the television because it is under warranty. After going round for about five minutes, I finally break out the warranty language which explicitly excludes gross negligence or physical damage. The customer’s last words, which never come to fruition?

Customer: “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.”

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You Have Become The Very Thing You Sought To Destroy! Part 3

, , , , , | Right | July 7, 2021

I work at the customer service desk/money center. We ask that customers wear masks that cover their nose and mouth, and some people seem to think wearing the blue paper masks until they are literally falling apart is okay.

I’m approached by an older gentleman wearing a filthy mask on his face with a clean one poking out from his shirt somewhere near his belly button.

Customer: “You got a stapler?”

Me: “Yes, sir, what do you need stapled?”

I’m slightly confused as he doesn’t have any papers or envelopes in his hands that would usually signal a bill that needs to be attached together.

Customer: “You need to staple this d*** strap back on my mask.”

He pulls his face mask off and shoves it in my face. I can see it’s been knotted sloppily in one corner. The straps are brown instead of white and the mask itself is practically one layer, it’s been used so much.

Me: “For health and safety reasons, I’m not allowed to do that. I can’t touch your mask.”

I put my stapler back in front of me, out of his reach, and step back to avoid him shoving the mask further into my face.

Customer: “You need to provide customer service! This is customer service!”

Me: “You have a perfectly good—”

He cuts me off as I point at the one poking out of his shirt and thumps the counter with two fingers.

Customer: “You put that stapler down there and I won’t tell nobody.”

Me: “I’m afraid the six cameras above your head will tattle on me. I’m not stapling your mask.”

Customer: “This is the customer service desk! You need to provide customer service!”

He thumps the counter again and I grab both staplers I can reach and shove them into a drawer, well out of his reach.

Me: “How does a piece of tape sound, if you’re so concerned about that specific mask?”

I rip a piece of tape off the dispenser and hold it out to him.

Customer: “Well… I want a staple, but tape will work.”

He frowned but took the tape from me. When he put the tape on the mask, he didn’t even attempt to cover the knot with it but put it smack-dab across the little metal piece that pinches the nose.

You Have Become The Very Thing You Sought To Destroy!, Part 2
You Have Become The Very Thing You Sought To Destroy!

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