Loaning Your Services

, , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

(We have been receiving calls from a scammer once a week discussing nonexistent student loans and asking for banking information. Finally, I have had enough. The phone rings from the same call center.)

Me: “Hello.”

(Pause.)

Scammer: “Hello?”

Me: “That’s what I just said.”

Scammer: “Hello?”

Me: “I think we have already covered this part of the conversation. May we move on, or shall we greet one another once more?”

Scammer: “I would like to talk to you about refinancing your student loans.”

Me: “Okay. Have fun with that, but I’m just going to set the receiver down and go start dinner, because I am 38 and paid off all my student loans years ago.”

(I set down the phone and I could hear talking for a full two minutes before the scammer realized I wasn’t there and hung up. So, I redialled the number and said we got disconnected. I did the same thing again. And again. Until supper was ready. One scammer kept off the phone for over an hour. You’re welcome, society!)

Wants A Wait Rebate

, , , , , , , | Right | January 9, 2018

(As part of our checkout process, we’re required to ask if the customer is a member of our loyalty program. This particular customer says she is, but hasn’t shopped with us in years; I try to look up her old account but can’t find it, so she decides to just get a new account. I take all the necessary information and create the new account for her, then mention that I can give her a 10% discount for signing up with us.)

Customer: “Oh, well, in that case, there was one other item I was considering buying. Can I go grab it really quick?”

Me: “Sure, no problem!”

(She steps away from the registers, and because we’ve been quite busy all day and there’s a long line of customers behind her, I put a suspend on her transaction, set her items aside, and help the next person in line. By the time I finish that transaction, the original customer has returned, and is called up by my manager, who is on the register next to mine.)

Customer: *pointing to me* “She was helping me; I don’t know what happened….”

Me: *gathering her items from where I’d set them aside* “I just put a suspend on the order, but I can finish it up for you now!”

(Up until this point the customer has been perfectly civil, but now all of a sudden she explodes.)

Customer: “I stepped away for TWO SECONDS!”

Manager: *clearly as shocked by the sudden outburst as I am* “I… I’m sorry ma’am, but there’s a line—”

Customer: *still very belligerent* “No, it’s fine; I don’t need an explanation.”

(Meanwhile I’ve resumed the transaction, but I am distracted enough by the customer’s outburst that I miss one item, and only notice that I didn’t scan it after she’s paid for the rest of her items. So, bracing for another outburst, I apologize and start a new transaction for the last item, and do an override to give her the 10% discount, even though this is technically no longer her first transaction after opening a loyalty account. Because it was my mistake — and because I know she’ll blow up at me if I don’t — I give her the discount. She glares at me through this whole second transaction, but I get through it and hand her her bag and receipt.)

Me: “Okay, you’re all set. Have a nice day!”

(At this point she just takes her bag and stays standing at the register, still glaring at me.)

Me: “Um… Is there something else I can help you with?”

Customer: *in the most snarky tone imaginable* “Well, I thought you might say, ‘Thank you,’ since I did spend my money here, and you did make me wait.”

(And then, while I struggled to come up with a response that wouldn’t get me fired on the spot, she turned and walked away. I had to step into the back for a minute until I could stop shaking with rage.)

Mother Nature Doesn’t Care About Your Convenience

, , , , , , | Right | January 9, 2018

(I’m facing shelves near the produce section when a frustrated customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Excuse me! Where are your peaches in produce?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but peaches are out of season. We have canned or frozen ones.”

Customer: “No, I want fresh peaches. Can you check in the back?”

Me: “I’m certain we don’t have them. Fresh peaches won’t be available until the fall. We only have preserved peaches until then.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous. How come every single store I go to doesn’t carry fresh peaches? I’ve been driving all over town!”

Me: “No one is going to have them; peach trees only bear fruit in the late summer. At this point in the year, the peaches would just be flowers. Fresh peaches are only available for a limited time each year. “

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Can’t they make them go faster?”

Me: “Peaches are strictly a cold-climate tree, so they can’t bear fruit year-round. All stone fruit trees need winters, then they bloom in the spring, and the peaches themselves take months to grow. Unfortunately, we just have to go by their schedule.”

Customer: “Well, that’s terrible customer service!”

Me: “Sir, the trees are doing the best they can.”

(He went away grumbling. I can understand a person not knowing about agriculture, but expecting prompt service from plants is really out of touch.)

It’s Like She’s Toying With You

, , , , , | Right | January 8, 2018

(I work on a cruise ship as a dishwasher and we’ve just arrived in Stockholm. We’re in quite a rush, and it’s only my coworker and me left to do a huge pile of dishes before we have to lock down the pentry. The bar is already locked down and our supervisors have left. The only set of keys to the bar is three decks down. A few minutes before closing, one of the bartenders brought in a cheap toy — something you get for free when you pick up a piece of candy sold everywhere — which was left behind by some parent and then put it in the now locked-down bar section. The parent suddenly appears in the kitchen, holding his happy-looking baby.)

Parent: “Excuse me, have you guys seen a toy somewhere? I must have left it behind and we need to get off the boat.”

Coworker: “Yes, actually. One of our bartenders took it into the bar, and we’re closed now. They’ve locked all the doors; I’m sorry.”

Parent: “You have to do something! You need to kick in the door! My baby won’t stop crying; he loves that toy!” *the very happy-looking baby laughs*

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but we don’t have the keys to the bar, for security reasons. There’s nothing we can do. You can pick up the toy in Stockholm, too; it’s cheap and comes with [Candy].”

Parent: *shouting* “NO! HE WANTS THIS TOY! HE WON’T STOP CRYING! DO SOMETHING!” *the baby giggles*

Coworker: *looks at me, then nods* “All right, sir, I’ll try and call one of our supervisors to bring up the keys.”

Parent: “YES! THANK YOU!”

(No one answers my coworkers call, which isn’t unexpected, since we’ve all been up since 2:00 am and everyone usually goes straight to their cabin to catch up on their sleep.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but they’re not answering. I guess I could run down to the reception and see if the keys are there.”

Parent: *yelling even louder* “YES, YOU WILL! BRING ME MY CHILD’S TOY!”

(My coworker leaves and I’m left alone to try and rush through all the tasks, moving as fast as I can in the very small kitchen. The parent steps in.)

Me: “Sir, please, if you could just wait outside. My coworker is trying to find the keys and we’ll try to help, but I really need the space to do our tasks. She’ll be with you as fast as she can.”

Parent: “When will she get back?”

Me: “As fast as she can.”

Parent: “In two minutes? When will she be back?”

Me: *losing my temper a bit* “Sir, it will take the time it takes. The reception is three decks down and about 750 people are between her and the desk, getting off the boat. Are you sure you can’t pick up the toy in Stockholm? They sell it literally everywhere.”

Parent: “NO! HE WANTS THIS ONE! IT’S VERY IMPORTANT!”

(After a few minutes, my coworker arrived with the keys, looking flustered but happy to be able to help, opened the bar, and handed the toy to the baby. The parent did not say thank you, and the happy-looking, giggling baby started crying the moment he saw the toy. Thanks for nothing, I guess.)

They’re Terrible At Names

, , , , , | Working | January 8, 2018

(My first name is Jamie, which is my given name. People generally call me this, but I often run into issues with the older generations who think it is a nickname. A manager has recently joined the company and has been trying to send me a document via email.)

Manager: “I keep sending you the email. Are you sure you aren’t getting it?”

Me: “I’m certain. Have you been replying to the email I sent you?”

Manager: “No. I don’t think it’s professional doing that.”

Me: “You could copy the email address from it.”

Manager: “No, I’m not that tech savvy. Let me take it down again. ‘James–’”

Me: “Jamie.”

Manager: “Yes, James.”

Me: “No. My name is actually Jamie.”

Manager: “Jamie is a nickname. You must be called James.”

Me: “No, I’m telling you it’s Jamie.”

Manager: “I’ll check with IT.”

(He leaves for half an hour and returns.)

Manager: “They say they won’t change your email address.”

Me: “Why would they even do that?”

Manager: “Because you can’t use your nickname. It confuses people.”

Me: “It is not my nickname. It is my actual name.”

Manager: “They say you need to call them and confirm. I suggest you do it quickly; this email needs to be sent!”

(He left again and I didn’t call IT. I decided to come in with my birth certificate the day after. He refused to believe it and demanded to see the “real” certificate. At this, I just gave up. He continued to try sending emails to me, and moaned when I didn’t receive them. Thankfully he wasn’t actually my manager, being in a different department, and the documents he was sending weren’t important enough for me to fuss over. My actual manager, however, has a sense of humour and finds all of this hilarious, and refuses to do anything until the other manager calls me Jamie at least once. IT can add a James variant to my email, but as it is an addition and not a straight-up change, my manager has to approve it. I don’t think anything is going to change anytime soon.)