Will Have To Manufacture A Phone Number

, , , , | Right | June 11, 2021

I work for an online store. I answer the phone.

Me: “Hello, this is [Online Store]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’ve placed an order on your site, but the package hasn’t arrived yet. When will it be delivered?”

Me: “Can you please give me your order number so that I can check?”

Customer: “I don’t have any order number. Can’t you just tell me when my package is arriving?”

Me: “I would need to find your order first in order to check. Do you remember the email address you used to place the order?”

She gives me her email address. I check, but it’s not on our database.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t find any order with that email address. Did you get an email confirmation from us?”

Customer: “No. I didn’t get anything! That’s why I’m calling! I don’t even know if you guys shipped the product yet!”

Me: “I can try searching by name. Can you please give me your full name?”

She gives me her name, but there are no customers that match.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m unable to find any order with that name. What product did you buy?”

She tells me what she bought. I check again, but the last time someone bought that product was a few months ago.

Me: “I’ve found an order for [Product], but it’s from a few months ago. When did you place your order?”

Customer: “A couple of days ago.”

Me: “We haven’t received any order for [product] recently. Perhaps you didn’t fully complete your order on our website? If that’s the case, I can place the order for you.”

Customer: “Of course, I did! You guys charged my credit card for [amount].”

I check our transactions and find nothing.

Me: “I’m sorry, but we have no transactions for [amount]. Are you sure you ordered from us?”

Customer: “Yes! I’ve ordered from [Manufacturer]! That’s you!”

Me: “No, ma’am, we are not [Manufacturer]. We are just resellers.”

Customer: “But I Googled [Manufacturer] and you guys came up! Can’t you just tell me when I should expect my package?”

Me: “I’m afraid you would have to contact [Manufacturer].”

Customer: “How?”

I ended up Googling the manufacturer’s phone number myself and giving it to her.

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Any Port When They Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse

, , , | Legal | June 10, 2021

I was in the US Navy and my ship was moored in Sicily for several days. I purchased several good brands of Cuban cigars in [Sicilian Town], and I was also carrying two or three brands of cigars from Honduras and the Dominican Republic — two other countries which produced stellar cigars. I regularly shared my smokes with my shipmates, both to share the fun and to make sure I didn’t accidentally bring contraband Cuban cigars back to the ship.

My small group of c-workers and I preferred eating and drinking in quiet, so we were trying to avoid the bars and restaurants close to the ship; American sailors are notoriously boisterous on liberty in foreign ports. We made our way far down the waterfront in [Small Sicilian Town] and stopped at a small restaurant for dinner. We chose to eat in the outdoor café area because it was a lovely evening and so we could smoke after dinner. I handed cigars out to my friends and we enjoyed some coffee and cigars in Sicily. It was an amazing night, made possible by the US Navy.

A local customer who’d been eating in the outdoor area asked me a question as we smoked. I thought he was complaining about the cigars, so I apologized and we all started to get up and leave. He waved us back to our seats with a smile, then pointed at the cigars and asked more questions. I was still having trouble with the accent — the wine I’d had with dinner probably wasn’t helping — but I definitely understood one word: “Cubano”. I guessed he was asking if we were smoking Cuban cigars, so I sat and spent the best part of a half-hour trying to communicate. With a great deal of gesturing and my poor grasp of Italian, I finally managed to tell the gentleman I had Cuban, Dominican, and Honduran cigars, and offered him one of the Cubans. He really appreciated this gesture, introduced himself, and walked with us when we left the restaurant for a nearby bar.

We sat at a corner table away from the door and ordered the usual round of beer and liquor almost all sailors indulge in. We spent most of the evening talking and smoking and drinking at this bar, which had relatively few other customers. We were joined by a couple of very pretty local women after a bit, which understandably brightened our mood. One of the young ladies spoke decent English, which made it easier to communicate with our new friend.

With the woman acting as interpreter, I drunkenly held forth on the merits of various cigar brands and showed off a couple of varieties I had in my jacket pocket. I offered [Gentleman] one particular Honduran smoke which I was particularly fond of, and he was pleased and impressed, lighting up and smoking it with pleasure. As we went to settle up with the bartender, [Gentleman] waved us away and said, through the English-speaking young lady, that he would take care of it. The bartender wished us a good night in several languages as we departed. The gentleman and the young ladies waved goodbye as we walked back toward the ship.

The next morning, I was told to report to the Command Master Chief’s office. Confused and not a little curious, I went to CMC’s office and was surprised to find my shipmates from the night before also waiting. We were hustled into the office and found the CMC talking to a local police officer, who I later learned was a member of the Carabinieri, Italy’s national police force. This did not bode well.

The Carabinieri wanted to question us because we’d been reported as being in the company of a known criminal. It turns out that [Gentleman] was a prominent figure in the local mafia, and the restaurant where we’d eaten was a known hangout for the mob. We were all pretty blown away by this news, and we freely told CMC and the Carabinieri officer everything we could remember. He eventually decided we had just been stupid and drunk, and not part of some nefarious criminal enterprise.

Our chain-of-command was extremely unhappy with us, and that restaurant was declared “Off-Limits” to all sailors for the duration of our stay. My friends and I were restricted to the ship for the rest of that port visit, and we spent a lot of that time writing reports about that evening for the ship’s security officer.

All future visits to foreign ports saw my friends and me sticking close to the ship, no matter how loud and obnoxious our shipmates were.

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Relentless Puffs Of Addiction

, , , , | Working | June 9, 2021

I’m the author of this story. For a while, I work in a call center located in a shabby apartment. There are two rooms: one for the smokers and one for the non-smokers. One of the workers is a drama queen, barely eighteen and chain-smoking already. One day she is caught slacking and the boss transfers her to the non-smokers room as punishment. She goes to her assigned desk and starts placing calls, moaning and whining as she waits for the connection. This starts to grate on everyone else’s nerves pretty soon.

Smoker: “God, I wish I could have a smoke.”

Smoker: “It’s not fair that I can’t smoke.”

Smoker: “How am I supposed to stay here until nine and not have a smoke?”

Other Worker: “How am I supposed to stay here until nine and listen to your b****ing? Give us a rest.”

Smoker: “No, you give me a rest! You don’t get it. I’m gasping. I need to smoke! SMOKING IS BETTER THAN ANYTHING!”

There was a moment of silence and then everyone lost it, even those who were in conversation with customers. Blushing up to her hairline, the girl stood up and left. It’s the only time I saw someone actually laughed out of a room.

Relentless Puffs Of Irony

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The Anchovies Aren’t Filtered And Neither Is Auntie

, , , | Right | June 2, 2021

After the lockdown restrictions are loosened, my parents, two of my many aunts, and I have decided to go to a pizzeria to celebrate my dad’s Name Day. We get seated, get our menus, and pick our dishes: I choose a seafood carbonara, my parents and [Aunt #1] go for pizzas, and [Aunt #2] says she wants to ask the waiter something first.

Aunt #2: “Hello, I’d like some pasta with tomato sauce, but can you make it with raw tomatoes?”

Waiter: “I am sorry, madam, but we can’t do that.”

Aunt #2: “Why not? Just stick some salad tomatoes in a blender and pour it on the pasta or something.”

Waiter: “That would be a health code violation, I’m afraid.”

Aunt #2: *Irritated* “What do you mean, ‘it’s a health code violation’? How’s that possible? Do you pick them up covered in cow dung or something?”

Waiter: “No, we aren’t allowed to serve uncooked tomatoes here.”

Aunt #2: “What do you think dried tomatoes for [pizza] are, then? Those are raw; you must have raw, undried tomatoes, too!”

Waiter: “No, madam, we buy those dried tomatoes; we don’t make them here. We wouldn’t have the space to, anyway.”

Aunt #2: “Fine! Bring me pasta with anchovy filtering.”

Waiter: “We don’t have anchovy filtering, sorry. Would using full anchovies be fine?”

Aunt #2: “Absolutely not! I’d rather have white pasta, thank you very much!”

Waiter: “All right, one white pasta, coming up.”

And off he goes. As soon as he’s back into the kitchen, she speaks up again.

Aunt #2: *Pouting* “Stupid health code. Why does everything good have to be forbidden? What kind of pizzeria doesn’t stock fresh tomatoes, aside from those crappy Moroccan places?”

Aunt #1 & Mom: “[Aunt #2]!”

Aunt #2: “Look, I don’t know what’s the latest weird fashion to make pizza. No place in my youth would’ve refused to serve you pasta with raw tomatoes, that’s for sure.”

Aunt #1: “In our youth, we also didn’t shout at waiters, and we didn’t expect places to have luxuries like anchovy filtering.”

Aunt #2: “Any respectable place should!”

Dad: “Have you ever seen any restaurant serving anchovy filtering? Because I never have.”

Aunt #2: “My friend’s place back in Salerno did, so there!”

[Aunt #2] glares and keeps pouting as I awkwardly sit there waiting for things to arrive. Meanwhile, my parents facepalm and my other aunt sighs. When our dishes arrive, we eat it up with gusto, while [Aunt #1] eats her dish of cheese-and-oil pasta very slowly, grunting every time she sees the waiter pass by. The day after this dinner, [Aunt #2] is conversing with one of my cousins.

Aunt #2: “[Pizzeria] is horrible and doesn’t have anything; it’s just a fancy place so that youngsters can drink swill and look cool.”

I resisted the urge to shake her until some sense entered into her.

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That’s One Way To Learn

, , , , | Learning | May 30, 2021

This happens during a catechism lesson when all the kids are drawing or otherwise occupied with manual activities. My daughter, who’s six or seven, is a combination of sheltered and curious and has no filter whatsoever.

Daughter: “If coffee contains caffeine and tea contains theine, does Coke contain cokeine?”

The teacher reprimanded her a LOT, and gave us a piece of her mind when we picked up our daughter, as well. That evening, we imparted to my daughter a crash course about drugs.

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