I Tyre Of Your Timing

, , , , | Working | October 10, 2017

(My car is due for its MOT, a yearly safety check required by law in the UK, and the tread on my two front tyres is getting close to the legal limit, so I book a mobile tyre company to come change them for me. I book online and get an email that gives me a reference number and confirms that my time slot is from 8:00 to 11:00 am. It also says that on the day of my appointment, I’ll receive text updates. At 10:00 am on the day, I’ve heard nothing, so I call the office to check.)

Me: “Hi, I’ve got a booking today between 8:00 and 11:00, but I’ve heard nothing from you. Could you check what’s happening for me?”

Staff #1: “Okay, what’s your name please?”

Me: “It’s [My Name]. I’ve got my booking reference, if that would help?”

Staff #1: “No, we can’t look up bookings by references. Can you tell me your…” *list of details*

Me: *confirms all details*

Staff #1: “Okay, I’ve found your booking. It’s [reference number], correct?”

Me: *face-palming* “Yes.”

Staff #1: “Right. Thank you for confirming your booking. One of our team will call you back shortly to answer your query.”

Me: “Wait, what?! Why does someone have to call me back? My appointment slot is 8:00 to 11:00. It’s now 10:20, and I have to leave for work by 11:30. I need to know what’s happening.”

Staff #1: *sighs* “Okay, I’ll let them know it’s urgent.”

(She hangs up before I can say anything. Almost half an hour later, having heard nothing from them, I ring back. I have to confirm all of my details again, and I finally get transferred to a member of the sales team, to whom I explain the situation. By now it’s 10:55.)

Staff #2: “Right, I see from your booking form that you could also do after 3:00 pm, is that correct?”

Me: “I said I could do after 3:00 pm if you gave me at least 24 hours notice to rearrange my customers. You sent me an email confirming that my time slot was 8:00 to 11:00 am, so no, I can’t do 3:00 pm any longer.”

Staff #2: *pause* “Oh… Well, the problem is that we don’t actually have your tyres in stock yet, but they should arrive by about 2:00 pm.”

Me: “Why didn’t anyone call to tell me, then?!”

Staff #2: “It says on our notes that someone tried to ring you three times.”

Me: “I’ve been in all morning. My phone has not rung once, and I have no missed calls or voicemails.”

Staff #2: “Umm… Well, I guess we have an incorrect number then.”

Me: “I have the booking confirmation in front of me. Both my home and mobile numbers are listed correctly.”

Staff #2: *stammering now* “What I mean is we must have DIALED the number incorrectly.”

Me: “Three times?”

Staff #2: “Yes. Well. Umm… Is there any way you could do this afternoon? At any time?”

Me: “I can be home at 3:30 pm, but I would have to leave again by 4:00 pm, or I’ll be late to my last customer.”

Staff #2: “Okay. I promise I will have one of our mechanics waiting at your house for 3:30 pm, so they can start as soon as you get there.”

(I get home at 3:30 pm and there is a van outside my house that has the logo for a completely different mobile tyre company on it. I go over to check anyway, and it turns out it is the mechanic there for my booking. When he gets out of the van, he’s wearing a pair of work trousers that have a third mobile tyre company’s name on, and a jumper with a fourth company’s logo on.)

Mechanic: *handing me a bit of paper* “Sign here, and we’re good to go.”

Me: *reading the paper* “I’m not signing this until you’ve finished the job.”

Mechanic: *sighs* “Just sign and I’ll get started.”

Me: “This says that you’ve changed my tyres successfully, that you didn’t damage my car, and that I’m happy with the work you’ve done. I am not signing this until AFTER you’ve changed my tyres!”

(The mechanic grumbled a bit but did start the work. Luckily, after that, things improved. My tyres were changed correctly, and I made it to my last customer on time. When the head office sent me the invoice, they’d also knocked 10% off as an “apology for the error and inconvenience.” I still won’t be using or recommending them again in the future!)

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A Small Size Of Nothing

, , , , | Working | October 6, 2017

Me: “Hi! Could I have a small [Specialty Beverage]?”

Salesperson: “I’ll have to get those cups out of the back; we don’t have any up here.”

(Time passes as nothing happens…)

Salesperson: “Do you still want a small [Specialty Beverage]?”

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It’s A Deli-cate Matter

, , , , | Working | October 5, 2017

(Our deli has struggled for months with an increasingly bad staffing issue. We are just about to get a new assistant manager. The scheduling on this particular day, a Sunday, is so awful, that our last coworker, an elderly lady, is forced to stay by herself and take care of all the cleaning while still dealing with customers, since we’re not allowed to stay late, and everyone else leaves too early for any major cleaning to be done. As I’m just about leaving, the deli’s phone rings.)

Me: “[Deli], how can I help you?”

Manager: “Hi, can you cook a pizza for [Manager #2]?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but I’m about to leave making, [Coworker] the only one back here, and she’s busy with customers and all the cleaning, too. I really don’t think she’ll have time.”

Manager: “But it’s for [Manager #2]. Can you just write that down?”

Me: “Uh… sure.”

(I put the phone down and relay the request to my coworker, who just confirms that there’s no way she’ll have time to cook and prepare a pizza. As I’m walking to the time clock, I see the manager that requested the pizza. Since she isn’t the one who called for the pizza, I decide to tell her my coworker will be unable to cook the pizza.)

Manager #2: “What? I don’t understand! Why can’t she just cook a pizza? I’m the customer, here. All she has to do is cook it; why is that so hard?”

(Suddenly, the our new assistant manager turns the corner.)

Assistant Manager: “Maybe because they only scheduled THREE people in the deli, all day, ON A D*** SUNDAY!”

(With that, [Manager #2] quieted right down. Suddenly, I had faith that maybe, with a new understanding leader, things might be okay.)

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I Have A Hel-sinking Feeling About This

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2017

I’m going to Finland to spend a year, and am a bit nervous about travelling by plane as I have had bad experiences with airports in the last few years. My flights are supposed to be Montreal to Frankfurt to Helsinki, booked with [Carrier #1]. Upon arriving at the airport, I am informed that the second flight is cancelled, as [Carrier #2] operating that leg is on strike.

I queue for customer service with [Carrier #1] with everyone else to get rerouted. For some reason, the man who redirects me chooses a flight from Montreal to Toronto, then to London, then to Helsinki, while he just told his colleague that there are still seats available on a more direct flight through London. As I’m already tired, I don’t argue. The last flight is operated by [Carrier #3]. I make sure that the $50 fee for the second suitcase I’m checking in is paid for.

It’s the middle of February, in Canada, so the plane leaves two hours late to have the wings de-iced, making me miss the connection in Toronto towards London. Customer service there, still [Carrier #1], puts me on a flight the next day, past 6:00 pm, rearranges the flight after, and gives me vouchers for a hotel room and meals. I go to the baggage claim, where the man tells me not to worry about my luggage, which they will keep, and gives me a free bag of toiletries to use at the hotel.

The next day, I return to the baggage claim, where I’m given a paper and assured that it’ll allow my luggage to be forwarded along my new flights. The check-in clerk is dubious, but ends up confirming it. The plane is again late to de-ice the wings, and there is a minor medical emergency a few seats ahead of mine, which has all the lights on for the whole overnight flight.

I end up missing the flight leaving from London, but there is another a bit later in the day with [Carrier #3], so there is no worry. I go through security, then go to [Carrier #3] customer service to arrange the next flight.

The man there is a bit confused, and tells me after a few verifications that [Carrier #3] does not have an agreement with [Carrier #1] to emit tickets for their flights, which somehow neither the customer service in Montreal nor in Toronto caught. Having not slept much, I’m appalled, and am redirected to [Carrier #1].

They arrange for me to get on a flight with [Carrier #4] with whom they do have an agreement, and I go to check in. The gruff man there processes things without a word, until he asks me for a 50£ fee for my second suitcase. I argue that I already paid for that back in Montreal, but he says that they don’t have the money. Angry and exhausted, I pay.

While waiting for my flight, I locate an Internet terminal and go on to check my emails. There, time-stamped approximately at the moment I was midway over the Atlantic, sits an email from my dad, informing me that he just got a call from the Toronto airport, asking what they should be doing with my luggage. In his hesitant, second-language English, he managed to make them understand that they should be forwarding it to Helsinki, and not return them to Montreal.

I am lucky to only arrive a day late at my destination. The £50 charge never appears on my credit card statement, and the luggage makes it all the way to my destination, intact, two days later. And all the other flights since have been smooth, thankfully!

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Impossible To Get A Handle On This

, , , , , | Right | October 3, 2017

(I work in a showroom for kitchen and bath fixtures and faucets.)

Customer: “I need a handle for a faucet. Mine is broken.”

Me: “Okay, we can probably get you a replacement. What faucet is it?”

Customer: “A kitchen one.”

Me: “Okay… what brand?”

Customer: “A kitchen one.”

Me: “Uhm… okay… is it—” *lists popular brands*

Customer: “I don’t know. It’s my kitchen faucet.”

Me: “How many handles does it have? One? Two?”

Customer: “A broken one.”

Me: “So… one handle?”

Customer: “And a not broken one.”

Me: “Okay… So, two handles?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Do any of the ones on our wall look like it?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Do you have the handle with you?”

Customer: “No, I threw it away.”

Me: “I have no idea how to help you. I need a brand to start with, or the handle, or even a picture. Do you have a picture?”

Customer: “No. Can you get me a handle?”

Me: *internally screaming*

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