They Undertook The Precept To Refrain From Incorrect Speech

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 28, 2018

(I work in an alternative book store at the end of a long strip mall. There’s actually another book store five doors down, but they are a Christian bookstore so we don’t have much to compete over. Occasionally we get customers from the other store walking in because they were not paying attention and get confused — or offended — by our products. The store is heavily decorated with draped fabric making it kind of dark inside. One day I see a car pull up front and drop off a cute little old lady, complete with short, curly, white hair and a pink pantsuit. The car immediately drives off as soon as she closes the door, and she wanders into our store while looking through her purse.)

Lady: *still looking in her purse* “Hello, dearie, can you help me return this book? It doesn’t have the right plants. My, it is dark in here! You should tell your manager to fix those lights; it’s not good for your eyes to be in the dark all the time!”

(She pulls out a book about “gardening with the Lord” and sets the book, with a receipt, on the counter. I can also see a gold cross on her necklace.)

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but I believe you are actually looking for [Christian Store] a few doors down.”

Lady: “Oh? Am I in the wrong store again?”

(She takes a moment to pull a pair of glasses out of her purse and puts them on before looking around.)

Lady: “Oh! You’re right; this isn’t [Christian Store]! No wonder it’s so dark in here; what an interesting place! What is this store?”

Me: “This is [Alternative Bookstore], ma’am. We specialize in books, supplies, and some knick-knacks, for a variety of religions and spiritualists.”

Lady: “Do you sell books on witchcraft?!”

(As she says this, she looks shocked and holds her hand up to her little gold cross. I brace for the usual shouting as I reply:)

Me: “Yes, ma’am. We do sell books about Wicca, along with books on a wide variety of religions, such as Buddhism and Asatru.”

(For a moment she just stares at me like I slapped her, and very slowly turns around again to look at the store. She is quiet for so long that I begin to worry about her health. Then she turns back to me, all smiles, as if nothing is wrong.)

Lady: “I’ve always wondered what people meant by those words. What is ‘Wicca’? Or that ‘bood-ish’ thing you said? Oh, can you show me any books on gardening?!”

(She was perfectly cheerful, and wandered all over the store asking a thousand questions about everything she could. Since we were slow, I was happy to talk with her and even helped her find a book on planting healing herbs. She kept looking at everything with an expression of amazement I usually only see on children. I checked her out once she decided she had had enough looking around, and we chatted for a few minutes. Apparently the car that had dropped her off belonged to her granddaughter, who dropped her off at the mall once a week, as she couldn’t drive herself, so that she could spend time in the Christian bookstore down the way. And, as her family was all very religious, she had no idea there were so many different beliefs out in the world. She left, happy, and has become my favorite regular, visiting the store every other week, and is still perfectly happy with her beliefs, but loves to talk with me about absolutely everything.)

Losing A Handle On Your Handle Time

, , , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(I work in online chat support for a famous gaming and console company. We can do many things on chat, from sending you a password reset email, to light tech support and troubleshooting for your console, and setting you up for service if need be. We take two chats at a time to help as many people as possible. In this particular story, I am assisting with a refund. Generally, things go well, but when consumers are angry, they are hellions.)

Me: “Thank you for contacting [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How may I assist you today?”

Consumer: “Refund.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear you’re having an issue with your account; I’ll be happy to assist you with that. May I have the email, username, and first and last name of the exact account that you need assistance with?”

Consumer: “Oh, I don’t have an account; it’s my son’s account. He used my credit card and bought some game. I want the charge reversed, now.”

Me: “I understand, and I’ll be more than happy to assist you with that, but I need the account information. That way I can find the charge.”

(She doesn’t know the information offhand, and we dance around for ten minutes while she figures it out. She’s upset, but she’s being pleasant and I’m doing my best to help her. She finally gets the info, I see the charge, and I check our guidelines to make sure it qualifies.)

Me: “Thank you so much for your patience. According to our terms of service, all sales are final, but I am going to submit this to our refund specialists as a one-time gesture of goodwill. Refunds take three to five business days to process, and the funds will be returned to your son’s online account if approved. Your case number is [number]. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?”

Consumer: “I want to speak to your supervisor.”

Me: *confused, because I just approved the refund, I check over my previous message to make sure I didn’t leave anything out* “My apologies. I’m going to submit this to our refund specialists, and I’ll make sure I notate this thoroughly to do everything I can to make sure it’s approved by them. May I ask why you would like to speak to the supervisor? That way I can let them know what’s going on.”

Consumer: “No, I want your supervisor now! You can’t help me with my request, anyway!”

Me: “Okay, I can transfer you, but it may take a few minutes because my supervisor is currently helping someone. I may be able to fulfill this request. We are able to help with most things over chat. This will save you some time.”

Consumer: “I don’t care how long it takes. I want your supervisor, because you can’t help me. SUPERVISOR, NOW!”

Me: “Not a problem. I am transferring you; my supervisor will be with you as soon as he is available.”

(I start helping my other consumer. The chat window for a person who is being transferred doesn’t disappear until the supervisor accepts the chat, and we can continue talking to people until they have been accepted by the supervisor. My escalation is waiting patiently, but it is taking the supervisor a long time to accept her chat. Every ten minutes she asks if I’m still there and what’s happening, and I apologize and say the supervisor will be with her as soon as possible. After about thirty minutes, she seems to have calmed down.)

Consumer: “This is taking a long time.”

Me: “I truly apologize for the wait; unfortunately, my supervisor is still helping someone. If I may ask why you would like to speak to him, I can see if I can help.”

Consumer: “Well, I want the money to go back to my credit card. My son doesn’t deserve the money after spending it without permission.”

Me: “Oh! I understand. I can request that the funds are sent back to your card and not back to his account! I do have to advise that it still takes three to five business days for us to process the refund, and if approved, it may take up to two billing cycles for the funds to be sent to your card from your bank. I can definitely request that the funds are sent to your card, though!”

Consumer: “No, it’s okay. I want the supervisor, still.”

Me: “No problem. He’ll be with you as soon as he is available.”

(After that she waited another ten minutes, then got transferred. I checked back in with that case to see how the supervisor handled it. She told him what she wanted, and he requested the refund was sent to her card. I could’ve easily done this and saved us an hour of our time, but no, she just needed a supervisor, and she just had to kill my handle time. I have many stories from this job that I’ll probably submit. It can be such a cool and gratifying job, but when it’s not, it’ll make sure you die at 25 from high blood pressure.)

Unfiltered Story #116466

, , | Unfiltered | July 13, 2018

I work as a concierge in Las Vegas. A guest comes to the desk while on his cell phone, and this is the conversation:

Guest: “Excuse me, could you call Joe’s Stone Crab and ask them if they have stone crab?”

I take a moment to process what he said, and, trying not to laugh, reply:

Me: “Yes, I’m sure they do sir.”

Guest: “Could you call anyway? I just want to be sure.”

I proceed to call the restaurant, and, embarrassed, ask the hostess if a restaurant named Joe’s Stone Crab has stone crab. The hostess is trying not to laugh and tells me they do. I thank her and turn back to the guest.

Me: “Yes, they do.”

Guest: “Really? That’s weird. Good to know, thanks!”

I contemplate the futility of my existence.

The Epic Of Gary And Olga

, , , , , , , | Working | July 6, 2018

(I work for a small tech company as an admin and HR assistant. My mom also happens to work for the company, as the HR manager. Once a year, we hold yearly all-hands company meetings in a hotel in some nice location. This year’s meeting takes place in Las Vegas. We have a new employee, Olga, a woman in her mid-twenties who joined the company only a few weeks ago from a branch in Eastern Europe. All names are fake, fake, fake. The meeting goes well, Olga does her own short presentation very professionally, and everyone goes their own way in the evening. I have a quiet night in. The next morning around nine am, I’m going to breakfast with my parents.)

Mom: “Did you hear what happened?”

Me: “No, what?”

Mom: “I got an email a couple of hours ago from [Another employee], saying that Olga had an accident and had to be taken to a hospital.”

Me: “Oh, no! What happened?”

Mom: “I wasn’t given much detail, but the email said that she fell and hit her head early this morning. She was taken to an ER with a head injury, was admitted, and was there for hours. She seems to have amnesia.”

Me: “Oh, my God! How did that happen?”

Mom: “I’m not sure; they didn’t give any more detail than that.”

Me: *realizes something* “Wait a second. ‘Early this morning’? That sounds like she went to some bar last night, got completely drunk and then fell because of that. ‘Early this morning’ probably means one or two am.”

Mom: “No! No way… Really? You think that’s what happened?”

Me: “Yeah, totally.”

Mom: “No. I mean, I’m sure they’d have said something if that was the case. Anyway, Olga seems like such a sensible girl; I’m sure she’s not the type to do that.”

Me: “Okay, sure. Whatever.”

(I really don’t like to make terrible assumptions about people, but I am just going by logic. If, at nine am, Mom got this email a couple hours ago, and it says that Olga’s already been in hospital for several hours at this point, and the accident happened “early this morning,” that means it was barely after midnight. And otherwise, in all likelihood, how could a young woman have “fallen” and gotten a head injury shortly after midnight, on a Friday night, in Las Vegas? Especially without anybody claiming they were mugged or anything like that. The odds of it being anything else but extreme drunkenness are just not high. Some time later:)

Mom: “Olga’s out of the hospital; thankfully the amnesia was only temporary and she seems fine now. The hospital bill was quite high, though, and since she’s a new employee and only recently came to the US, of course she had no insurance yet, so our company had to pay all of her medical bills. But everyone swore to me and [Company CEO] that the accident had absolutely nothing to do with alcohol. Poor Gary, though – he ended up having to accompany her to the hospital and sit there with her all night.”

(“Poor Gary” is one of our long-time and highest-salaried employees, a quite good-looking guy in his early to mid-thirties.)

Mom: “Yes, poor Gary; he’s so harassed. You know how Olga has managed to recently get herself transferred to our lucrative project in the Silicon Valley? Meanwhile, she’s living in San Francisco – where Gary also lives – and she’s making him teach her how to live there, drive her around, and help her with absolutely everything since there’s no one else from the company living there. Poor Gary’s already so busy with work, and Olga’s bothering him with all sorts of nonsense and making him essentially take care of her. I hope he’s not feeling too overburdened.”

(Then, at next year’s all-hands company meeting.)

Mom: “Do you know what I learned about Olga? They swore up and down to me last year that her injury had nothing to do with drinking, but I found out recently from other employees that they were lying their pants off! They went to some Vegas bar late at night, she got severely drunk, she was dancing, and she managed to fall and hit her head on some table or bar end! The company paid so much money for her hospital bills for that! Ugh! If I tell [Company CEO] about this he’ll be spitting mad! Can you believe this?”

Me: *barely managing to keep my face straight* “Really. I’m shocked.”

Mom: “Poor Gary, having to deal with her and all her nonsense…”

(Less than a year later, Poor Gary quit without notice, in the middle of managing an extremely important project for our company, to take a very lucrative management job with a huge Silicon Valley company. Less than a month after that, Olga also quit without notice, abandoning the project on which she was the lead programmer, to take a programmer job with a different Silicon Valley tech giant. This seriously messed up the projects for our company, and our CEO was absolutely furious that they abandoned ship in this way after being treated well, getting high salaries, having Olga’s medical bills paid with no question, and setting her up on a project where the client was paying for nearly all the cost of her food AND her San Fran apartment’s rent, etc. Not too long after this, I did an Internet search on them out of curiosity, and one of the very first pages that popped up was Olga’s and Poor Gary’s upcoming wedding announcement site, gushing at length and in very saccharine terms about how happy and in love they were and had been ever since they met when Olga first moved to San Fran. “Poor Gary,” indeed. Terribly harassed, I’m sure.)

About To CSI This Place

, , , , , | | Right | May 28, 2018

(I work as a liaison between a clothing company and a major retailer. At one particular store, the clothing company I work for is positioned right in the path of the bathroom. It’s been a VERY busy Saturday since the main mall bathroom is closed for renovations.)

Me: *straightening up the area*

Customer: “Excuse me, has anyone turned in a cell phone to you?”

Me: “No one has turned one over to me, but we can check with the store associates to see if maybe they had someone turn in a phone.”

Customer: “Great! I left my iPhone in the bathroom and I really need it!”

(She’s obviously pregnant and in a rush, and I want to help her get out of here, so I grab the closest associate.)

Me: “Has anyone turned in a cell phone recently?”

Associate: “No, not to my area. We should check the center just in case, and I’ll call a manager to check.”

(I walk to the center registers. No one has turned a cell phone in here, and no one has turned a cell phone in to a manager.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, no one has turned in a cell phone all of today.”

Customer: “I need my cell phone! I left it in your bathroom! I want to talk to a manager!”

Me: “I can call them and they’ll—”

Customer: *cuts me off and starts yelling at me* “YOU HAVE CAMERAS ON THE BATHROOM! YOU CAN SEE WHO COMES IN AND OUT! THE PERSON WHO TOOK MY PHONE MUST BE ON VIDEO! YOU NEED TO CHECK THE CAMERAS AND SEE WHO HAS MY PHONE!”

Me: “Yes. There are cameras pointed at the hallway leading to the bathrooms, but no cameras directly at the bathroom or in them.”

(She then demands to speak to “security,” but the cameras are manned by loss prevention, not security. They actually will not help with such matters unless personal safety is involved, like a lost child.)

Me: “I cannot let you speak to loss prevention. It’s not their job to keep track of people’s misplaced items.”

Customer: “I WANT YOU TO CHECK THE CAMERAS AND FIND OUT WHO STOLE MY PHONE! I SHOULD BE AT THE AIRPORT PICKING UP MY HUSBAND, AND I CAN’T CALL HIM WITHOUT MY CELL PHONE! I’M IN A HURRY! I CAME TO THE MALL TO GET MY HAIR DONE AND MY EYEBROWS THREADED, AND DO SOME BABY CLOTHES SHOPPING! I ONLY HAD TWO HOURS AND I NEED TO GO! HIS FLIGHT HAS ALREADY LANDED! I CALLED MY CELL PHONE A FEW MINUTES AGO AND IT WAS ON, BUT NOW IT’S NOT! SOMEONE HAS IT! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!”

Me: “If you want to take this up with the loss prevention manager or store manager, then I can give you the office number and you can call then be transferred to one of them, when it’s more convenient for you.”

Customer: “Yes, give me that number!”

(I write the number down, and she snatches the paper out of my hand and storms out. She calls later that day and throws a major fit when both the store manager and loss prevention manager refuse to hand over video footage. Yes. She wants ALL of the footage that could show who took her phone. Later I’m talking to a manager who had to deal with her.)

Manager: “I’m not sure what she planned on doing with the footage. Track everyone down with FBI facial recognition and interrogate them?”


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