What Have You Been Doing Up Until Now?

, , , , , | Right | March 9, 2021

Caller: “I got this past due statement from your company that lists the invoices that we haven’t paid. We’re currently on a credit hold with y’all.”

Me: “Did you have a question about any of the invoices?”

Caller: “Well… If we pay these invoices, do we get off the credit hold? Is that how this works?”

Me: *Internally* “How else do you possibly picture this working?”

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What Did Grandpa Do?

, , , , | Right | February 27, 2021

I work at the reception desk at a retirement center. We frequently receive calls from confused/sundowning elderly people trying to contact friends or family who live in the facility.

Me: *Answering the phone* “Good morning! This is [Facility] how may I help you?”

There is no answer, only the sound of shuffling and button pressing.

Me: *Louder* “Hello? Hello, this is [Facility]. May I help you?”

There was more button pressing, and then in the background, there was a sudden, scandalized cry of, “GRANDPA, NO!” before the call abruptly disconnected.

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Beware House

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

I am in the call center for an industrial supply company. The office is physically attached to the very, very large warehouse, but office workers are not trained in filling orders or other warehouse operations. Despite the fact that we’re a relatively large company, some customers are under the impression that our facility and operations are significantly smaller.

Caller: “Hi, your website says that [item] is in stock. Can you check for me?”

Me: *Checks our database* “Yes, I’m showing that these are in stock.”

Caller: “No, you didn’t check. I mean, can you physically check your shelves? I can wait.”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t do that.”

Caller: “I’m a paying customer looking to spend good money here, and I’m willing to wait for you to take a look. Can you please do your job and check your shelves?”

Me: “Sir, I am doing my job. Our warehouse is over a half-million square feet in size. I am employed in the office. It would take me at least ten minutes just to get to the warehouse. Even if I was trained in how to navigate our inventory system and was willing to dodge the forklifts and other heavy machinery that a half-million-square-foot facility entails, it would not be conducive to your time or mine to have you wait while I physically check the shelf for something I’ve already told you is in stock. Now, our system occasionally makes mistakes, but that’s not often, and if this happens to be one of those rare instances, we will certainly make it up to you. Now, how would you like to proceed?”

There’s a pause.

Caller: “So, you said it’s in stock? Will I see it tomorrow?”

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Knows Zip About Zip Codes, Part 2

, , , | Right | February 26, 2021

The company I work for has been able to take credit card payments by phone for as far back as I can remember. Starting about two weeks ago, we suddenly started having the following conversation with multiple customers.

Me: “And what is the billing address of the credit card?”

The customer provides a five-digit number and then stops. I repeat the number back.

Me: “Is that the street number? And what’s the street name?”

Customer: “That’s the zip code.”

One customer goes one step further.

Me: “And what is the billing address of the credit card?”

Customer: “The full address or the zip code?”

Me: “The full address, please.”

He provided a five-digit number and then stopped.


Knows Zip About Zip Codes

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She’s Playing Hardball

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2021

I am working at a retail portrait studio. A woman brings her young son in for an appointment and I’m going over the details of their session.

Customer: “…and then I want a picture of him throwing a baseball at the camera.”

I know we have a foam baseball available, so I agree, and we get started. I hand the little boy the foam baseball.

Customer: “No! It has to be this one!”

She hands the ball to her little boy.

Me: “Ma’am, that is a real baseball. I can’t let him throw that toward the camera.”

Customer: “Oh, relax, it’ll be fine! Throw it, [Child]!”

He throws it, but I have to put the camera down and duck out of the way.

Customer: “You missed it!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m serious. I could get hurt, you could get hurt, the equipment could get damaged… I can’t let him throw the baseball at the camera.”

Customer: “He’s not even three yet; he can’t throw that hard! It’ll be fine!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we cannot do it. He can hold the ball, but if you want him to throw a ball, it has to be the foam one.”

She calls me a name under her breath, but I choose to let it slide.

Customer: “Fine. I guess you don’t care about serving the customer. We can let him hold it only, but you can bet I’ll be leaving a negative review!”

She hands him the real baseball and I pick the camera back up and get ready to photograph again. She waits until I’ve taken a couple of pictures of him holding it.

Customer: “Okay, now throw it, baby!”

He throws the ball at me as hard as he can, and his little aim is dead on. He breaks the lens hood on the camera, sending it flying back into my face and giving me a black eye.

Customer: “Did you get it? Tell me you got it!”

Me: “No, ma’am, our session is over.” 

Customer: “What?! I had a whole other outfit!”

Me: “No. The camera is broken and now I have to fill out an incident report.”

I get up and exit the room, and she follows me, screaming.

Customer: “I’m not leaving without my pictures! I want to finish the session!”

I am trying really hard to stay calm, but I’m literally shaking as I speak.

Me: “I am ending the session. Your images will be sent to our corporate office so they can assess this violation of our safety procedures. They will contact you if they can release the photos.”

Customer: “You f****** b****! I will have your job!”

Me: *Putting my hand on the phone* “If you don’t leave, I’ll have to call security.”

It turned out that I didn’t have to call them. The woman started screaming bloody murder — seriously, horror movie loud — and the optical department next door called for me. Security escorted the woman and her bewildered son out of the store. She never got her pictures. I felt so bad for the poor kid, who didn’t do anything but try to listen to his mother’s directions. I hope he turned out okay.

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