Your Service Is Of Grave Concern

, , , , , | Working | October 16, 2017

(A relative in another state has passed away. My part of the family can’t make the funeral, but an elderly relative asks me to help him order flowers. I call a national florist chain five days before the funeral. I get a wonderful, helpful rep who helps me pick out the flowers my relative wants, and I even pay extra to have the flowers delivered on a Sunday, the morning of the funeral. One hour before the funeral, I get an automated call saying there was a problem with the order and it will not be delivered. I call the number but get no answer, just a recorded message asking me to leave a message at the beep. I get a call back THAT EVENING, hours after the funeral ends. The rep calling apologizes and comes up with some story that they didn’t have the flowers I ordered to even make the basket. He offers to deliver flowers on the next day to the gravesite, instead. I tell him no thanks; I wanted flowers for the funeral. I demand my money back. I am told I have to call customer service on Monday. I do.)

Customer Service: “Yes, ma’am. I am sorry, but we do not deliver on Sunday so—”

Me: “They why did your rep not only promise me he would, but also charged me extra for Sunday delivery?”

Customer Service: “Yeah, I don’t know. But I can have flowers delivered to the gravesite.”

Me: “No. The funeral was yesterday. I wanted them for the funeral. I paid you for a service, and you failed to provide the service. The reason is irrelevant. So, I want my money back.”

Customer Service: “Well now, instead, I can give you a discount on your next order and we will send a nice fruit bouquet to a family member. How about—”

Me: “No, I do not want fruit. I paid you extra to have flowers delivered to a funeral on a Sunday. You have failed to do so; therefore, I want my money back.”

(He starts trying to pass off a partial refund, trying to tell me that he still had to pay for the flowers and the employees. I tell him that’s not my problem and that his employee has already admitted that they didn’t even have the flowers. I keep repeating that I paid for a product, I did not get it, and I want my money back. After more BS, I tell him to forget it; I will call my bank and report this as fraud. He is not happy at all, and tries to cop an attitude with me. I hang up and call the bank. It turns out this national company has A LOT of complaints just like mine; they pull this all the time. I call to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and am told that the company has been thrown out due to the large number of complaints. They have a 98% negative rating on most online sites. They sell huge arrangements, like for funerals and weddings, don’t deliver, and then try to pass on cheap fruit arrangements to the customers. I am afraid to tell my elderly relative what happened.)

Relative: *sighs* “Well, it serves me right.”

Me: “What ever do you mean?”

Relative: “I should have sent a donation to his favorite charity instead. That’s what he would have wanted. Not stupid flowers.”

(We did end up sending double the amount we would have paid for the flowers to a worthy charity. I think it ended as it should.)

You Really Had To Travel To Get The Answer

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 16, 2017

(I have signed up for health insurance through my job a few months ago, and my new cards are starting to come in the mail for the new year. I receive one set that is confusing, so I call the numbers on the back of the card and in other parts of the paperwork to clarify what it is for. The numbers only lead to an automated system, and there is no number for a direct help line, but I decide to try the trick of repeatedly hitting the “wrong” button. That is, the options are 1, 2, or 3, and I repeatedly only hit 8. It takes a while, but I am finally transferred to a human operator.)

Operator: “Thank you for calling Work Services. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve just gotten my health cards in the mail, but I’m not sure what this particular card covers. I’ve made some changes since last year’s coverage and I don’t recognize this one, and the paperwork that came with it doesn’t make any sense.”

Operator: “What does the paperwork say?”

Me: “The paperwork says ‘Travel Card,’ but the card itself has symbols for medical and prescriptions on it, and the paperwork has instructions about logging in bus tickets and stuff.”

Operator: “Yes, that’s your travel card.”

Me: “But what does that mean?”

Operator: “What is the card number on the front?”

Me: *gives him the number*

Operator: “Okay, I’ve activated your card. Anything else I can do for you?”

Me: “What is the card for?

Operator: “It’s a travel card, so you use it to pay for prescriptions. It’s for travel expenses.”

Me: “Travel card or prescription card?”

Operator: “It’s a travel card. So, you use it to pay for the bus and your work reimburses you for the cost of getting to work.”

Me: “But I don’t take the bus.”

Operator: “Well, subway, train, whatever. You’ve received the public transportation coverage.”

Me: “I have never even heard of that, and I don’t take public transportation to get to work. Anyway, the paperwork and the card itself don’t match up, because the card has a medical symbol and a prescription symbol on it.”

Operator: “It’s a card to pay for prescriptions.”

Me: “You just said that it was for paying for the bus.”

Operator: “Okay, I’ll cancel it.”

Me: “I don’t even know what you are cancelling; is this a card for prescriptions or a card for the bus?”

Operator: “You didn’t sign up for the travel card, so I’m cancelling it.”

Me: “I don’t want you to cancel it if it’s for prescriptions.”

Operator: “I’m just going to cancel it.”

Me:Do not cancel it. If it’s for prescriptions and medical, I need it.”

Operator: “You signed up for the travel card?”

Me: “No.”

Operator: “I’m cancelling it.”

Me:Do not cancel it!

Operator: “I can cancel it.”

Me: “I want to talk to a supervisor, please.”

Operator: “I can just cancel it.”

Me: “Please get me someone who can explain what this card is for. I want to talk to a manager or something.”

Operator: “Okay, I’m cancelling your card.”

Me:Get me your supervisor, please!

Operator: “I’m going to cancel—“

(By this point I’ve pretty much lost my mind running in circles with this guy, and I’ve got the phone out at arm’s length and I’m just screaming.)

Me:SU-PER-VI-SOR! SU-PER-VI-SOR! SUPERVISOR! DO NOT CANCEL IT!

Operator: “Ugh, fine. I’ll put you on hold.”

(After ten minutes on hold the line picks up again.)

Operator: “Are you still there?”

Me: “Yes.”

Operator: “Oh. Did you want a supervisor?”

Me:Yes, please!

(Five minutes of hold later I am speaking to a woman.)

Supervisor: “Thank you for calling Work Services. I am [Supervisor]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hello, I’ve just gotten a card in the mail with medical and prescription symbols on it, but the paperwork that came with it says ‘Travel Card,’ and I’m really confused.”

Supervisor: “Can I have the card number please?”

(I give her the number.)

Supervisor: “And can you describe the card exactly, just in case?”

Me: “It’s blue with an orange swoosh on it, with three symbols: a bandaid, a medical cross, and that snake and staff thing that hospitals have.”

Supervisor: “Okay, that is in fact your prescription and medical card which can be used for medications and copays, which matches with the information in our system as part of your coverage plan. The travel card would have been orange and red with a picture of a bus on it. And the system shows that it is activated and ready for use beginning January 1st. And you said that the paperwork that came with it was the travel card paperwork? That’s a mistake. I’m going to send you a fresh copy of the correct paperwork for the medical card. I can’t imagine how that happened.”

Me: “Envelope stuffers.”

Supervisor: “Haha, yep, probably.”

Me: “So, I have received the correct card, but not the correct paperwork.”

Supervisor: “Exactly. Does that help you?”

Me: “Absolutely! I appreciate it. So… he kept saying he was cancelling my card; it won’t get cancelled will it?”

Supervisor: “Oh, no! I’ll take care of it right away to make sure that doesn’t happen to you. I’ve got this. I’ll get the paperwork in the mail tonight or tomorrow, too. I’m going to take care of it.”

Me: “Your calls are recorded?”

Supervisor: “Yes.”

Me: “Awesome.”

(True to her word, I got the correct paperwork in the mail just a few days later, and no more hiccups. I hope that someone eventually hears the recording of the s***-storm of the first half of the conversation.)

Ugh… Work Is Such Work!

, , , | Learning | October 16, 2017

(My dad is a teacher and often comes home with some gems. He is a music teacher, but also teaches art. He’s going over the projects, and the class’s complaints about the amount of work they have to do get louder and louder.)

Dad: “Guys, I know it seems like a lot, but this is spread out over the semester. We have to do this because this makes up your grade.”

Student: “Yeah, but you actually want us to do work.”

Dad: “…Uh, yeah!”

Time To Come Clean With That Policy

, , , , , | Working | October 13, 2017

(After two long and wonderful days at nearby theme parks, we discover that my daughter has the stomach virus that has been going around her school. She vomits all over our hotel bathroom and herself, and has not yet been able to take a break. From previous experience with my other daughter the week before, I know that it might not end anytime soon, and we really need the use of our bathroom. I call housekeeping.)

Me: “Hi, I was hoping I could get some cleaning products from housekeeping, since a family member got sick in our bathroom.”

Staff Member: “I can send someone to clean the bathroom.”

Me: “Actually, I’d prefer to do it myself, since she’s very sick and can’t leave the bathroom. Do you have any cleaning wipes or spray I could use?”

Staff Member: “No, we cannot leave cleaning products in the rooms for safety reasons. I can connect you to the onsite store to see if they have any, or perhaps you could take a cab to a nearby pharmacy to purchase some.”

Me: *sarcasm* “So, there’s really a big problem with guests drinking the cleaning products?”

Staff Member: “No, but we don’t want someone to spray it in their eyes or something.”

Me: “Fine, connect me to the store.”

(The store doesn’t answer. I leave a message and they call me back.)

Me: “Hi, do you carry cleaning products?”

Store: “No, we don’t, but you can contact housekeeping if you need something cleaned.”

Me: “No, they won’t let me use their cleaning products. And I don’t want them to come in to clean right now.”

Store: “I can give you the number if a pharmacy that delivers.”

(I am annoyed that the hotel expects me to pay for delivery of cleaning products from an outside store so I can clean my hotel bathroom, but I just want to get off a pointless phone call.)

Me: “Never mind, thanks.” *calling housekeeping again* “Hi, can you send someone to clean my bathroom? I have a sick family member.”

(About an hour later, a housekeeper showed up with plastic bags, towels, and cleaning product. Fortunately, given that she was the one who was going to clean up vomit, it wasn’t hard to convince her that I really needed cleaning, but I couldn’t let her come into our bathroom where my daughter was actively vomiting. She put everything down, told me she was going to get us some clean towels, and left me with everything I needed to clean up. Obviously, the people on the phone were blindly following a policy that forbade giving guests cleaning products, but at least the housekeeper understood that I couldn’t just let her clean around my half naked vomiting kid. I’ve never been so happy to be able to clean up vomit, so my daughter could maintain her dignity, and the rest of us could have a clean bathroom. She even got a tip from us for not doing the cleaning.)

Too Lazy To Hide The Obvious

, , , , , , | Learning | October 13, 2017

At 22, I decide to go back to college and get some much-needed A-Levels, since I have none.

During the length of my course, we cover numerous topics, including one on politics and government. Perhaps because I am older and therefore more aware of the things that go on in the world, I tend to find this class rather easy.

Perhaps one of the best moments is when I and the laziest member of the class are asked to do presentation on a political party. It just so happens we get the BNP, which, for those unaware, is a very right wing party in the UK that is associated with very racist ideals. I do all my slides, and at about 9:00 pm before the deadline, my partner calls me to admit he hasn’t done any work. I don’t really panic; I just stick in a few slides to cover his work and figure he can sink or swim.

The next morning, we give our presentation, and my tutor calls it the best of the lot and praises the content and the delivery.

The next year, the lazy classmate is not invited back for the second part of the course, and I have a conversation with my tutor, who explains that the current group hasn’t done anything near as good. I own up and admit that the lazy classmate didn’t do anything, and that I did it all.

The tutor responded, “Oh, I knew as soon as you stood up that he hadn’t done anything; he never handed in a single piece of coursework. I knew it was all your work and that he was just reading the info on the slides. All the praise was meant for you, because, honestly, that guy wouldn’t scratch his own a*** if he thought he could get someone else to do it for him.”

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