It Pays To Have Your Complaint Be Genuine

, , , , , , | Right | January 10, 2018

(I approach a table with an elderly couple to drop off the check.)

Customer: “I want to talk to a manager!”

Me: “Was everything all right?”

(I happen to know that everything was all right. I visited their table multiple times; they said everything was fine.)

Customer: “I want to talk to your manager!”

(I go and get the manager, who happens to be my mother. She doesn’t take anyone’s crap, to put it nicely. I tell her they never addressed an issue with me about anything.)

Mother/Manager: “Hello, sir. What’s wrong? Was there an issue with the service you’ve gotten this evening?”

Customer: “OUR FOOD WAS TERRIBLE, COLD, AND DISGUSTING!”

Mother/Manager: *looks down at their empty plates* “Is that why you ate it all?”

Customer: “I’m not paying!”

Mother/Manager: “Oh, you’re going to pay, even if the police are here breathing down your neck to make you do it.”

(They paid.)

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Tidying And Counting And Tags, Oh My!

, , , , , , , | Working | January 10, 2018

(I am a supervisor at a store. Then I leave for a year, and when I return someone else has taken over as supervisor. I don’t care, because I never really wanted the position in the first place, but it seems the new supervisor thinks differently. She often gives me misinformation, getting me into trouble from the manager for not doing the work correctly. This time is no different. She is giving out the daily job list.)

Supervisor: “[My Name], [Manager] said that [Department] is due for a count, but it has to be 100% tidy first. Today, I want you to completely tidy the whole area; spend your whole shift doing it. Don’t worry about the counter; I’ll cover that. When you finish tidying, you can start the count, but don’t worry if it’s not done today. You can finish it when you are in tomorrow afternoon.”

(I start tidying and hear the bell ring down at the counter which means there is a customer waiting. I hear it ring again moments later, so I head down, thinking the supervisor may have gotten stuck with a customer elsewhere. There’s a line of customers waiting. I apologise for the wait and serve them before I hear the door to our office closing at the back of the store. The supervisor comes down to the counter, telling me she had gone to the office for a moment, and sends me back to the department. She tells me to call her if I get a line up again. It happens again, and I notice that the phone line to the office is engaged, which means I can’t call her anyway. She’s on the phone for 20 minutes while I serve customers; there’s no reason for such a long phone call. I do as much of the tidying as I can between serving customers before my shifts ends, as well as scanning to make new price tags for the stock. I am part way through putting them out when the supervisor tells me not to worry; I can put them out the next day. The next afternoon, I get in and immediately am set on by the manager.)

Manager: “[My Name], what the h*** did you do yesterday? That count was due yesterday afternoon. I’ve been working four hours on it this morning; you can take over and do the rest. I told [Supervisor] that you had to do the count yesterday and that you weren’t to serve until it was done. She’s told me that she kept finding you at the counter after she told you to only do the count. Your problem is that you won’t listen.”

Me: “But she told me to tidy the area, first.”

Manager: “I don’t want any excuses; she told me that you were told to tidy as you counted. Don’t argue with me, or I’ll write you up. I also noticed that there are a few price tags missing; you were supposed to make sure they were all there.”

Me: “I have them here, ready to go out.”

(I go and finish the count; it takes another couple of hours. I wonder how I was expected to both tidy and count in the four hour shift the day before, when it’s taken six hours to do the count in the perfectly tidy area. I have the next four days off on my roster, and when I get back the next week, the manager has a go at me again.)

Manager: “[My Name], I told you to make sure [Department] was completely priced. I went over there today and there’s no prices anywhere.”

Me: “Strange, I did them on Thursday last week.”

Manager: “Well, you are responsible for that area, and you need to check it every day.”

Me: “Even when I haven’t worked since Thursday?”

Manager: “What? Oh, just go and do it. Stop arguing.”

(I get into the area, and he’s right; there are no prices anywhere. I redo all of the tags, then start tidying the area, and I notice that some stock has been pulled forward and crooked on a shelf. I find a screwed-up pile of price tags hidden behind the stock.)

Me: “[Manager], I’ve finished putting those tags out, and this is for you.”

(I put the pile of tags on the desk.)

Manager: “What are they?”

Me: “By the look of it, they are all the missing price tags from [Department]. I found them stuffed behind [stock].”

(Unfortunately, I could not prove who had put them there, so the manager decided it had to be a customer.)

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The Marketers Are Reverting To Baby Talk

, , , , , , | Working | January 10, 2018

(I’m at home with my young son, who has just woken up from his nap and is happily playing with his toys. My phone rings.)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Hello, may I speak to [Son]?”

Me: *thinking she meant “about”* “Um, this is his father. What’s this in regards to?”

Telemarketer: “I need to speak to [Son], please. It’s quite important; is he there?”

Me: “Yes. But he’s also 14 months old. I seriously doubt you want to speak with him, at least until he’s capable of… you know… speaking.”

(I hang up, thinking that’s the end of it. However, shortly afterwards, my phone rings again.)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Hello. I don’t think you realise how important this call is to [Son]. It’s vital that I speak with him on this matter.”

Me: *figuring I can get rid of her quicker if I take the bait* “Okay. About what, exactly?”

Telemarketer: “That’s private, I’m afraid, sir. I need to discuss this with [Son] personally. Data protection, I’m sure you understand.”

Me: “Listen. My son is 14 months — as in one year and two months — old. I don’t know what you want, but I guarantee he won’t be interested. So, I’m going to go ahead and decline your generous offer on his behalf.” *hangs up*

(Ring, ring.)

Me: “All right, what?”

Telemarketer: “You know, if I were the police I could have you arrested.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Telemarketer: *condescendingly* “If my call was a police matter, you could be arrested for obstruction of justice.”

Me:Are you the police?”

Telemarketer: “I could be! As I said, this is a private matter between [Son] and me. I can’t discuss it with you.”

Me: “And as I said… You know what? I’ll pass you over to him.”

Telemarketer: *smugly* “A wise decision, sir.”

(I put the speaker on and pass the phone to my son, who holds it, staring in wonder.)

Son: “Ah?”

Telemarketer: “Good afternoon, Mr. [Son]. My name is [Telemarketer]. I’m calling on behalf of [Not the Police], and we have wonderful news! You have been selected to receive our exclusive offers that you won’t find…”

(My son giggles and babbles to himself as he turns my phone this way and that.)

Telemarketer: “I’m sorry, Mr. [Son]. I didn’t quite catch that; could you say that again?”

(My son then put the phone right up to his mouth and yelled, “AAAAAAAAHHHH!” down the line, louder than I’d ever heard him. I could make out the unmistakable sound of an earpiece being thrown onto a desk, followed by the muffled voice of the telemarketer shouting, “Good f***ing God!” before the call got dropped. My son guffawed and then went back to playing with his toys. We didn’t get any more calls from them again.)

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Loaning Your Services

, , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

(We have been receiving calls from a scammer once a week discussing nonexistent student loans and asking for banking information. Finally, I have had enough. The phone rings from the same call center.)

Me: “Hello.”

(Pause.)

Scammer: “Hello?”

Me: “That’s what I just said.”

Scammer: “Hello?”

Me: “I think we have already covered this part of the conversation. May we move on, or shall we greet one another once more?”

Scammer: “I would like to talk to you about refinancing your student loans.”

Me: “Okay. Have fun with that, but I’m just going to set the receiver down and go start dinner, because I am 38 and paid off all my student loans years ago.”

(I set down the phone and I could hear talking for a full two minutes before the scammer realized I wasn’t there and hung up. So, I redialled the number and said we got disconnected. I did the same thing again. And again. Until supper was ready. One scammer kept off the phone for over an hour. You’re welcome, society!)

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It’s Like She’s Toying With You

, , , , , | Right | January 8, 2018

(I work on a cruise ship as a dishwasher and we’ve just arrived in Stockholm. We’re in quite a rush, and it’s only my coworker and me left to do a huge pile of dishes before we have to lock down the pentry. The bar is already locked down and our supervisors have left. The only set of keys to the bar is three decks down. A few minutes before closing, one of the bartenders brought in a cheap toy — something you get for free when you pick up a piece of candy sold everywhere — which was left behind by some parent and then put it in the now locked-down bar section. The parent suddenly appears in the kitchen, holding his happy-looking baby.)

Parent: “Excuse me, have you guys seen a toy somewhere? I must have left it behind and we need to get off the boat.”

Coworker: “Yes, actually. One of our bartenders took it into the bar, and we’re closed now. They’ve locked all the doors; I’m sorry.”

Parent: “You have to do something! You need to kick in the door! My baby won’t stop crying; he loves that toy!” *the very happy-looking baby laughs*

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but we don’t have the keys to the bar, for security reasons. There’s nothing we can do. You can pick up the toy in Stockholm, too; it’s cheap and comes with [Candy].”

Parent: *shouting* “NO! HE WANTS THIS TOY! HE WON’T STOP CRYING! DO SOMETHING!” *the baby giggles*

Coworker: *looks at me, then nods* “All right, sir, I’ll try and call one of our supervisors to bring up the keys.”

Parent: “YES! THANK YOU!”

(No one answers my coworkers call, which isn’t unexpected, since we’ve all been up since 2:00 am and everyone usually goes straight to their cabin to catch up on their sleep.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but they’re not answering. I guess I could run down to the reception and see if the keys are there.”

Parent: *yelling even louder* “YES, YOU WILL! BRING ME MY CHILD’S TOY!”

(My coworker leaves and I’m left alone to try and rush through all the tasks, moving as fast as I can in the very small kitchen. The parent steps in.)

Me: “Sir, please, if you could just wait outside. My coworker is trying to find the keys and we’ll try to help, but I really need the space to do our tasks. She’ll be with you as fast as she can.”

Parent: “When will she get back?”

Me: “As fast as she can.”

Parent: “In two minutes? When will she be back?”

Me: *losing my temper a bit* “Sir, it will take the time it takes. The reception is three decks down and about 750 people are between her and the desk, getting off the boat. Are you sure you can’t pick up the toy in Stockholm? They sell it literally everywhere.”

Parent: “NO! HE WANTS THIS ONE! IT’S VERY IMPORTANT!”

(After a few minutes, my coworker arrived with the keys, looking flustered but happy to be able to help, opened the bar, and handed the toy to the baby. The parent did not say thank you, and the happy-looking, giggling baby started crying the moment he saw the toy. Thanks for nothing, I guess.)

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