They Don’t Have High Fidelity

, , , , , | Working | March 31, 2018

(I’m at a well-known furniture store where there’s also a restaurant. Today there’s a special menu that’s cheaper than usual, but you need to have the store’s fidelity card, and only certain dishes are available. It is my turn to get the main dishes.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like two special menus.”

Worker: *happily chitchats with a coworker, ignoring me completely*

Me: “Uh… Hi. I’d like two special menus.”

Worker: *looks at me silently, doing nothing*

Me: “Could I get one of each kind of meatballs?”

(Still without saying a word, she proceeds to prepare three plates with meatballs.)

Me: “Why did you prepare three?”

Worker: “You asked for one of each, and there’s three kinds.”

Me: “Well, yes, but there’s only two available for the special menu.”

Worker: “You wanted the special menu?”

Me: “Yes, that’s what I said.”

(She then takes the extra plate off and again stays perfectly still, looking at me in silence.)

Me: “Okay, for seconds, it’ll be one salad and one chicken.”

Worker: *keeps silently looking at me*

Me: “Um… I said I want one salad and one chicken.”

(She prepares the plates and starts taking somebody else’s order without saying another word. I go to the cashier to pay for the food.)

Me: “Hi, this will be all. But there’s a bit of a problem; I forgot my fidelity card at home. Instead, I got this code on a machine that I’m supposed to use for this kind of thing? I’m not sure how that works.”

Cashier: *rings up my food* “It’ll be 16,98€.”

Me: “Is that the special menu price? I have this code I got on the machine, because I forgot my fidel—”

(The cashier starts talking with a coworker, ignoring me completely. After she finishes talking, she looks at me in silence.)

Me: “As I was saying, I forgot my fidelity card and I don’t know if this code I got will work for th—”

Cashier: “It’ll be 16,98€.”

Me: “Okay, but is that the special menu price? Because, as I have said, I forgot my card an—”

Cashier: “Oh, it’s a special menu? Then the price is…” *checks a bit* “…16,98€.”

Me: “So, it was the correct price. Good. Now, how does the code thing work? Because I d—”

Cashier: “I don’t need the fidelity card.”

Me: “Uh… Okay, I guess.”

(In the end I got exactly what I wanted, but I felt like I was talking to badly-programmed robots the whole time.)

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Lazily Urgent

, , , | Right | March 30, 2018

(I work at a call centre for a logistics company. Situations tend to escalate a bit on Friday afternoons, when clients realize they have missed the driver and will have to wait until Monday for their packages. The other option is for them to come to the package centre, which is usually located out of town. Since we try our best to accommodate requests that are really urgent, some clients try to test our flexibility.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Your package will be re-delivered on Monday.”

Client: “Please, can’t you make the driver come back? This is really urgent! I need this for the weekend.”

Me: “Unfortunately, that would not be possible, but you can come by the package centre this afternoon and take your package. Would this work for you?”

Client: “Are you kidding me? I’m not driving all the way there for two phone cases!”

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Dye Hard

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2018

I am stuck at home, mostly in bed, due to severe health issues. I decided to order some dyes and dyeable clothing, to have something low-energy to do to amuse myself.

There was a special detergent — made by the company themselves — to get clothes ultra-clean so they would dye evenly. Since I bought a lot of dyeables, I got a whole gallon of the detergent to prep it all.

When I went to the post office to get the shipment, one of the boxes was leaking powdered dye. I got it all over my clothes, hands, and car. The car took almost two hours to clean once I got home; this was absolutely exhausting when the monthly trip to town was already pushing my limits. I apologized to the postal workers, because I suppose they wrecked their clothes handling it and had a mess to clean up in their storage area. I’m sure the delivery driver had a mess, too.

When I had rested up a couple days and was ready for more hassle, I opened it — creating another big mess to clean up — and saw the problem. The dye was in thin, brittle, and extremely fragile plastic jars, and they put the gallon jug of detergent in the same box, almost guaranteeing the dye jars would be crushed. I also saw that they’d put all the dyeable clothing, shopping bags, and scarves I’d ordered in there, so that they were at high risk of getting stained when the inevitable happened.

I emailed the company, thinking I was complaining about an incompetent newbie in the shipping department, and was shocked to hear back that they didn’t consider this a mistake. This was their policy — to put heavy objects in with crushable dye canisters and vulnerable white cloth — because “it was would cost more to ship in several boxes.” So, they willingly do this to people, to save a couple bucks? Weird.

Also, she scolded me for accepting the parcel. Apparently, you can refuse a damaged package and it gets sent back. A: How would I know that? Since they habitually sabotage their own parcels, maybe they should have “in case of leaks” instructions on their invoices or FAQ page. And B: If I had done that, numerous other trucks, facilities, and handlers would have been stained, so I am glad I didn’t. At least one person in this story tries to protect others from preventable problems!

The rep hinted that I could still send the dyeables back for replacement if they got stained. I hate wastefulness. I didn’t want a big pile of items going in the garbage if I could help it, so I did what I could to rescue them.

I can’t express how messy this dye is. A teaspoonful would likely tint a swimming pool full of water. And the powder is so light that it flies everywhere when jostled. It’s very hard to clean up.

I set up a garden hose to flow next to the floor drain in the basement. I rinsed the plastic bags everything came in — very carefully, to reduce splashing, and nude, to avoid wrecking my clothes — and hosed the spilled dye down the floor drain. Then, I removed the plastic bags to rinse the products where dye had gotten through the bags through little tears. I was left exhausted, with stained hands and feet, and a mess in the basement that took another hour to clean up, but I succeeded in rescuing almost all the products!

You’d think the seller would be grateful they didn’t have to replace the products. You’d think they would feel ashamed at the idea of a disabled person spending four to five hours cleaning due to their weird shipping methods. Nope. They offered me a coupon for ten dollars off next time I buy from them. Of course, we all know I would never risk buying from them again in a million years after this nightmare! And ten dollars is practically nothing. Way, way under minimum wage for all the hours of work they caused me. If the ten dollars had even been given directly to me, in cash, it would have been an insulting amount. But they cleverly avoided having to actually give me a dime.

What they should have done is refund me for part of my purchase, maybe 20% or something, to make amends for the trouble. I can’t believe they put me through all this and did nothing to apologize.

All I wanted was a fun little craft project.

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Go Play Fetch

, , , , | Right | March 29, 2018

(I am a field service representative for a market research company. This involves scanning select merchandise in a handful of stores once a week, in order to provide sales statistics. My pay is based on my productivity rate, which means I have to keep focused. Despite wearing a badge bearing the name of the company, I am frequently mistaken for an employee of whichever store I am in at the time. Most are very gracious and understand completely, except…)

Customer: “Excuse me. Are you an employee of this store?”

Me: “No, I’m not, sir. I work for [Company]. Sorry.”

Customer: “Oh… Well, can you go get someone who is?”

(Fortunately, he caught an employee’s eye a moment later and wandered off. I didn’t fancy stopping my work to explain to him why a non-employee who has a timed job to do is not obligated to fetch an actual employee.)

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Your Lines Have Been Crossed

, , , | Working | March 28, 2018

(While cutting back a vine outside my house, I discover that the engineer who installed the phone line attached it to a branch. It happens to be the same colour as the vine, so now I’ve cut it by mistake. I contact the phone company, who say they’ll send a repair worker on a particular day between eight and one. One o’clock on that day comes and they’re still not there, so I phone them again.)

Representative: “According to our system, they’ve flagged it as done.”

Me: “Well, it isn’t, because no one’s been here all day.”

Representative: “They say it’s been done.”

Me: “I’m looking at it right now, and it’s still broken.”

Representative: “Are you sure about that?”

Me: “It’s trailing wires.”

Representative: “Clearly, the problem was somewhere else in the system.”

Me: “No. The problem is right outside my house.”

Representative: “They say they tested it.”

Me: “My landline is still not working. They haven’t tested it, because they haven’t been here.”

Representative: “There must have been confusion somewhere.”

Me: “I told you the line has broken outside my house. I gave you an address. How can you confuse that?”

Representative: “What do you want us to do?”

Me: “Contact the people who were supposed to come here and find out what is going on.”

Representative: “Ooh, they’re a bit difficult to get hold of.”

Me: “What kind of system is it if they can remotely mark jobs as done, but you can’t just phone them up?”

Representative: “They’ll be with you at some point. You must understand, we’re a bit busy.”

Me: “Do you think I’ve not got things to do today? I’ve kept up my end of the bargain and stayed in all day. What am I supposed to do? Stay in the rest of the day? Tomorrow? I want you to find out!”

Representative: “There’s procedures we need to go through if there’s extra work that needs doing.”

Me: “No. This isn’t a case of ‘extra work.’ This is a case of work that needs doing because they haven’t done it!”

Representative: “All right. I’ll phone them, but I need the line clear.”

Me: “Just phone me as soon as you know something.”

(It turned out they’d been sent to the wrong address. Exactly what they fixed there, I don’t know.)

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