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Not Your Call That They Can’t Call

, , , , , | Right | January 1, 2019

(We’re in a food court of a gas station. I answer a phone call.)

Me: “Good afternoon. [Company], [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Oh, hi, are you near [Chain]?”

Me: *thinking she’s asking for directions* “Yes, we’re in the food court at the back, so if you drive—“

Caller: “I was there for lunch about half an hour ago, and I left my wallet and phone on the table right in front of [Chain]. Can you see if it’s still there?”

(There are about nine tables that could be “right in front of [Chain],” and all of them are occupied.)

Me: “All the tables have other people sitting at them.”

Caller: “But can you see a pink wallet and phone sitting on the table?”

Me: “The people at those tables have phones, but I don’t—“

Caller: “Is it a black [Brand] with a green case with a pink wallet?”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t see brands, and all the tables are occupied right now.”

Caller: “It’s the table right in front! Is my wallet and phone there?”

Me: “I can’t see anything except people holding phones, rubbish, and food.”

Caller: “What’s the number for [Chain]? I’ve tried calling [number], but they’re not answering.”

Me: “They’re very busy right now. I don’t have their number.”

Caller: “What’s the number for [Service Station]? They’re not answering, either. You’re the only one who did answer.”

Me: *people are lining up at my store and I’m the only one serving* “The whole centre is very busy at the moment.”

Caller: *sigh* “Can you see my phone and wallet right in front of [Chain]?”

Me: “No, I cannot see your phone and wallet, but I can ask the other stores if they have had anything handed in. I’ll call you back; what’s a number I can call you on?”

Caller: “Didn’t you hear me? I left my phone there!”

Me: *wondering how she’s calling* “I have a queue forming here; it’s easier if I call you back.”

Caller: “I’ll wait.”

(I serve five customers before asking the other retailers and the cleaning crew if anything has been handed in. No luck.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I’ve asked everyone and nothing has been handed in. I can take your number—“


Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t see your phone or wallet. I suggest calling [Chain] and leaving your contact number in case it shows up. Have a lovely afternoon.” *hangs up*

I Am Busy ATM

, , , | Right | January 1, 2019

(I do odd computing jobs for a living. Rather often, this involves fixing ATMs in convenience stores. As such, I don’t wear a uniform and I don’t look like an employee, but there ARE limits to how oblivious you can be. I am working on an ATM. The machine is obviously out of service, as it is wide open and showing all its wire-y parts. A woman stands in line behind me, oblivious. After about five minutes I raise my head and notice her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I am fixing this ATM. I am going to be here a while.”

Lady: “How long?”

Me: “A looong while.”

(She nods and I go back to my work. Ten minutes pass and she is still there, starting to get impatient. Now, I don’t do customer service, but that is no excuse to lose my cool.)

Lady: “Are you going to take long?”

Me: “Upwards of an hour.”

(She stands there, then proceeds to continue waiting. I go back to the machinery. Another ten minutes pass.)

Lady: “You have taken a long time.”

(I am getting slightly irritated.)

Me: “Yes, I have.”

(She gets annoyed. I go back to fixing the ATM. Five more minutes pass. The lady is already fuming, clearly upset that I am taking my sweet time fixing the ATM.)

Lady: “Why are you taking so long? I am in a hurry!”

Me: *with barely-contained irritation* “Lady, this ATM is out of service. It doesn’t work. I am fixing it.” *points at the very visible “OUT OF SERVICE” sign*

Lady: “Well, how long are you going to take? I am in a hurry to get out my paycheck.”

Me: “I have been here an hour already. I am going to take at least another.”

Lady: “Well? Why didn’t you tell me it was out of service?”

(She finally left, and I was left with a slight impulse to strangle someone.)

Scratching Off Your Debt

, , , , , , | Related | January 1, 2019

(I am six years old. My father is working full time on collecting funds for charity. One of the persuasion tools they use is a scratch card, as a sort of appeal to a “gambling sense” or a “leave it to faith” kind of thing. This would convince some to give apparently, anyway. One day, the little six-year-old curious and enthusiastic learner I am, I decide to ask about the scratch card and how it works. I go to see my father.)

Me: *holding the card* “Dad, what’s this?”

Father: “This card? I’ll show you.”

(He takes it from me and points on it.)

Father: “So, this is to raise funds for [Charity]; all you have to do is pick one little circle on the card and scratch it. Give it a try; just scratch one.”

Me: “You want me to scratch one for real?”

Father: “Yes, yes for real. Go for it.”

(I scratch one circle, it says $1.70.)

Father: “All right, that will be $1.70, miss.”

(I proceed to pretend to give him money, but he gives me a stern look.)

Father: “No, you have to give me a real $1.70. You scratched it; now you have to pay it. That’s how it works.”

(I’m stunned into silence, and start panicking! I’m just a kid; I don’t have any money! I believed we were just pretending for the sake of explaining. Since he said to scratch it for real, I thought it did not matter and that we could just use it as a meaningless demonstration. I was certainly not aware we were making an actual transaction. After five seconds that are an eternity for me…)

Father: “It’s okay. I’m your father; I’ll pay it for you.”

(He went away with the card like everything was perfectly fine. Up to this day, I have no idea why he made me do it for real, knowing real money would have to be involved, and without a warning, or, why he could not simply explain with words only. But I swear I still have trust issues from the experience!)

Laptop Flop, Part 25

, , , , | Working | January 1, 2019

(I am an IT technician, and I occasionally get asked if I can lend laptops to other departments. If I have any to spare, I try and oblige in the short term, but this isn’t always possible, for example, if the new laptops we have in stock are already reserved for new employees starting the company soon, or for existing employees long overdue an upgrade. I have repeatedly asked my boss and our head of department if I can have some money from our budget to buy a couple of laptops to be kept as dedicated spares, a request that is always denied. One day I receive a laptop I have ordered for a lady in another department. She is a supervisor, and falls into the “long overdue an upgrade” category; her last laptop was about seven years old, and quite frankly I’m surprised she’s put up with it that long! I get her new machine ready, then phone her and arrange to call down later that day to swap it over for her. Soon afterward I get a phone call from a different user.)

User: “Hi, [My Name], this is [User] in [Department]. I need to borrow a laptop. I’m going to schools this week to work at careers events and I would like to have a laptop to take with me.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, [User] but I don’t have anything.”

User: “Really? You don’t have anything?”

Me: “No, I don’t. The only laptop I have is sitting in front of me but it’s already been allocated to [Manager]. She’s going to get it later today.”

User: “Well… I need a laptop!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything suitable. That is, unless you wanted to borrow one of the ones that we’re decommissioning, but I don’t recommend it.”

User: *getting angry now* “Well, what if I phoned [Head of Department] and asked him; would you be able to lend me a laptop, then?”

(Yeah, because he is going to reach into his a** and pull out a laptop for you.)

Me: “No, there’s no point in you doing that, because he’ll just ask me if we have any spares and I’ll have to tell him we don’t.”

User: “Well, that’s not very helpful.” *click*

(In the end, the user did borrow a laptop from one of the managers who was on holiday and wasn’t using it. At least one good thing did come out of it, though: when I told my boss and our head of department what had happened, they finally realised I was right about needing spares and relented. They bought three spare laptops and four spare PCs!)

Laptop Flop, Part 24
Laptop Flop, Part 23
Laptop Flop, Part 22

Being A Diva About Not Being A Queen

, , , , | Right | January 1, 2019

(Our hotel is set up a little strangely, with very few rooms on the first floor. What rooms we do have, only have two queen-size beds in them. A guest calls me at about 7:30 on a very slow Sunday evening.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]. How can I help you?”

Guest: “I need to book a room tonight with a king-sized bed, and it must be on the first floor.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but unfortunately we don’t have any king rooms on the first floor. I would be glad to get you into a room with two queen beds, if that is all right.”

Guest: “No, I have to have a king bed, and it has to be on the first floor.”

Me: “Again, ma’am, I’m really sorry, but we do not have any king bedrooms on the first floor. However, if you need a king I can get you into one on the second floor near the elevator.”

Guest: “Are you stupid? I need a king room on the first floor.”

Me: “I understand, ma’am. Unfortunately, with the way our hotel is set up, I can only give you a room with a queen bed on the first floor, or a room with a king bed on a different floor.”

Guest: “Well, then, can’t you just move a king bed down to one of the rooms on the first floor for me tonight?”

Me: “No, ma’am, that’s not possible, as I’m the only person at the hotel tonight.”

Guest: “Well, I guess you don’t want my business, then.” *hangs up*