A Year To Hold Dear

, , , , , | Working | November 22, 2019

A friend of mine took a job offer from a large aerospace firm. He needed a special security clearance for his project, but until that was complete, he had no assignments at all. He’d occupy his time reading magazines and little more. Months went by and he heard nothing.

Finally, after six or seven months — not an unheard of time needed to do background checks in BG, Before Google — he called up the security office to see where things stood. They had lost his paperwork and had to start the process over again.

He ended up getting paid for well over a year’s time to read magazines and books.

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Bad Food, Worse Service

, , , , , | Working | November 20, 2019

(My mom and I used to go to this popular fast food joint all the time, but we stopped because the good didn’t taste good anymore. We decide to try it again and think we will like it again. Mom uses a mobile order and it can’t process her payment, so we go inside. We go through a line, not cutting at all. Once we get to the front, Mom explains.)

Mom: “Hi. I was trying to do the mobile order but every time I hit the button to pay, it says it cannot process my payment.” *shows the cashier* “See? Can I order here?”

Cashier #1: “Um, you could try over there if it won’t process your order.”

(We go to the kiosk and start our order over. Halfway done, we realize the kiosk will only allow us to order breakfast. It hasn’t transferred yet. Annoyed but trying to remain polite, Mom gets ahold of a second cashier.)

Mom: “Excuse me, miss?” 

Cashier #2: “Yes, ma’am?”

Mom: “We noticed the kiosk is only offering breakfast. We wanted lunch.”

(She comes over and checks but frowns.)

Cashier #2: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. You will have to order at the front. They aren’t synced yet.”

(Mom looks really fed up but we wait in line a second time, which is now twice as long. When we finally get to the front, Mom explains what the lady said and how she wants to keep our coupon on; it’s for two dollars off on our order of 20 something dollars.)

Cashier #1: “Um, I don’t know how to do that…”

Mom: *so fed up by now* “Would your boss know?” *points to the lady behind him* “Would she?”

Cashier #1: “She might…” *goes over* “Ma’am, these ladies want to know how to fix their app. The mobile order?”

(The manager, who doesn’t look nice at all, comes over and checks what Mom is explaining.)

Manager: “Try restarting your phone or reinstall the app. That’s all I can suggest.” *walks off*

(Mom is now beyond annoyed, but she reorders our food with the cashier and, of course, they get it all wrong. We pay for bacon and get no bacon, and ask for no sauce for one burger and extra on another and get extra on all. Then, our ice cream is sitting on the counter and gets dumped on the ground. An employee redoes it and apologizes about it. As Mom and I leave, she turns to me.)

Mom: “We are never coming here again. This just ruined it.”

(And our food still tasted awful. I will never go back there again.)

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Always A Line Outside And On Your Windows  

, , , , , , | Working | November 19, 2019

This happened before cell phones were common, and I didn’t yet have one. I took my car to a local full-service car wash for a full wash and detailing. I pulled into a vacuum lane as directed, told the attendant what I was there for, asked about the turnaround time — an hour to an hour and half due to how busy they were — and told him I’d be at the restaurant next door — the other side of the building from the drop off and vacuums — for lunch, but would be back well before the completion time. “Sounds good! Enjoy your lunch. See you soon,” was the reply. “Ding, ding, ding,” said my car.

Fast forward to about 45 minutes later. I returned to the car wash, expecting that my car would be well into the process of being clean and shiny, and there it sat, right where I’d left it, all of my personal items sitting on the ground around it. “You didn’t leave us the key and didn’t tell us where you were going,” I was told, “And you caused the line to back up since we can’t use this lane.” There were two workers, one of them the original attendant.

I replied, “I know I left the key, as when I was walking away the alarm was sounding and my keyring is right here, without the car key on it. I also told you I’d be right next door, which you acknowledged.”

“Well, we don’t have the key and couldn’t find you.”

So, I started sorting through my things on the ground and, lo and behold, the key had been dropped into a tissue box that they’d taken out from the back seat! Not only would they not acknowledge that they’d messed up, they’d left all of my things out that they’d removed, supposedly to vacuum, and they hadn’t even done that!

I went inside and talked to a manager, who dismissed my complaint, wouldn’t offer any compensation or even an apology, and told me I must have put the keys in that box myself to try to get his guys in trouble. I didn’t get the car detailed that day; I had it done a few days later at a competitor who did an excellent job and cost less than what I would have paid at the first business.

A couple of years after, confident that the workers were not the same, I tried again to get a vacuum and car wash there and it took three tries after it was “done” for them to wipe my windows without leaving greasy streaks. How they remain in business I don’t know but, on warm, sunny days there’s always a line waiting.

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Who Needs Tour Guides When You Can Google?

, , , | Working | November 18, 2019

(I work in a call center answering questions from potential visitors, but I am also a licensed tour guide on the side. I get the following inquiry through our online help chat.)

Client: “I got my tour guide license in August of 2016. When does it expire?”

(Normally, we only deal with visitor-related inquiries, but I try to help people as much as I can. I’ve also just gone through my own ordeal of renewing my license, so I decide to help.)

Me: “Typically, you need to renew your license every two years. The city should have contacted you about it already. If not, you can contact the tourism management office at [number].”

(Three minutes pass with no response, until:)

Client: “I checked the tourism board website and it says the license is good for three years. I also spoke with [Tourism Manager] and met with her at her office and she said I was good. She gave me her card but I seem to have lost the information. Could you give me her number?”

(It took me all of 30 seconds to go to the city website and find the document listing all the regulations around renewing your license, including the email and phone number for [Tourism Manager]. I think this person ultimately just wanted me to Google everything for them. I pity the poor tourists who have to deal with a guide like that.)

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Winning Never Felt Like Such A Chore

, , , | Right | November 14, 2019

(I’m helping to run a raffle at a monthly market of local artisans. Each vendor has donated merchandise or vouchers, and we split these into several prize baskets valued at hundreds of dollars each. Every customer is given a raffle ticket that they can choose to fill out. Customers can see the prize baskets when they enter the raffle. The raffle ticket states that customers MUST be able to claim their prize between 6:00 and 7:00 pm on the day of the market, and they are also told verbally when they enter their ticket in the draw. At the end of the market, we draw the winners and call them to come to collect their prizes. These are some of the conversations that are had when we call the winners.)

Me: “Hello! My name is [My Name] and I’m calling on behalf of [Local Artisan Market]. You are the winner of our raffle prize; congratulations! Are you able to come to collect your prize by 7:00 pm tonight?”

Winner #1: “Who are you? Why are you calling?”

Me: “[My Name] from [Local Artisan Market]. Were you at the market today?”

Winner #1: “Yes.”

Me: “And did you enter the raffle? Perhaps someone entered on your behalf?”

Winner #1: “I entered it. But I’m not interested. Goodbye!”

(I call the next winner and give them my spiel.)

Winner #2: “Well, I’m awfully busy right now.”

Me: “I’m terribly sorry to interrupt you. Unfortunately, this is the only time you can come for your prize, as stated when you entered.”

Winner #2: “No, I’m too busy; I don’t want it.” *hangs up*

(Another call:)

Winner #3: “What did I win?”

Me: “A basket full of items donated by our vendors, along with vouchers for artists that do custom work!”

Winner #3: “But what exactly is in there? I only want it if it’s good.”

Me: “…”

(Another call:)

Winner #4: “Ugh. Well, I guess I can come to get it now, if I have to.”

(Thankfully, the other winners were much more gracious!)

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