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When The Employee Is Agitated, It’s Usually Because Of The Customer

, , , , , | Right | September 16, 2021

I run the office in a small family-owned auto repair shop. The owner is also the lead technician, so his days are very busy working on cars along with the duties of running the business. My job is to take care of everything I can on the business end so he’s free to concentrate on the repairs. Our policy is that the owner does not take phone calls, especially cold sales calls. If a customer or known vendor needs to speak to him and it’s something I can’t help with, the owner takes the call, of course. We get annoying sales calls all day, every day — my least favorite part of my job.

A youngish-sounding woman calls and asks to speak to “the owner.” She doesn’t call him by name, although she could find that information on our website in about three seconds.

Me: “I’m sorry, he’s not available. May I help you?”

Caller: “No, I need to talk to the owner. When’s a good time to reach him?”

Me: “I’m sorry, he doesn’t take calls. May I help you?”

Caller: “He doesn’t take calls?”

Me: “No, he doesn’t have time to deal with calls; that’s what he pays me for. Is there something I can help you with?”

I guess by this time, my tone may have gone from very polite at the beginning to a bit testy.

Caller: “No, you sound agitated. I’ll call back later and talk to the owner. Click.”

Sure, honey, because suddenly someone else will answer the phone in my one-person office and put you through to the boss. Oh, and of course, I’ll be less “agitated” when you call again.

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Jumping Through Hoops To Protect Her Kids

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 16, 2021

I’ve been suspicious for a while but a neighbour finally clued me in; some of the other neighbours’ kids have been using my back garden for the basketball hoop I set up.

I have mixed feelings; I don’t mind them using it, but every now and then something little gets broken or knocked over and hidden, or at least nothing said or apology given.

I decide to do the right thing and let their parents know, and let them know that it’s okay but that anything broken will have to be paid for.

I explain my thoughts to the kids’ mother.

Woman: “My kids wouldn’t do that.”

Me: “Look, it’s been happening for a while; other people have seen them. I’m not mad, but the breakages have to stop.”

Woman: “And I’m telling you it’s not my kids.”

Me: “Really? Okay, fine. If it’s these stranger kids — by the way, there are no other boys in the neighbourhood — who are using my garden, I will lock it, then.”

Woman: “Fine.”

Me: “Fine.”

I lock the gate and let the other neighbour know the kids shouldn’t be there.

Me: “Please let me know if you see them in my garden.”

Neighbour: “I’ll have camera footage if they do.”

Me: “I don’t think that will be necessary.”

Not a week later, I find another broken knickknack, and my neighbour lets me know the kids have been round and shows me a picture. Yep, it’s them. I take the picture round to their house.

Woman: “Oh, it’s him again. Here to make more accusations?”

Me: “No, same ones as last time.”

I hand her the picture.

Woman: “Well, that could be anyone.”

Me: “It’s not and you know it.”

Son: “Who’s that, Mum?”

Woman: “Some tosser from over the road.”

Me: “I was telling your mum that I don’t mind you using the basketball hoop, but you need to pay for the breakages.”

Son: “Oh, I, err—”

Woman: “I told him! I told him it couldn’t be you.”

Me: “And I’ve just given her a photo of you climbing my gate.”

Son: “Listen, Mum, I—”

The woman just rants and raves.

Me: “You know where I live.”

To their credit, the lads came round, apologised, and offered to pay for what they broke, as long as I didn’t tell their mum. I offered for them to come back and use the hoop, but only when I left the gate unlocked.

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You Catch More Flies With Truthful Honey

, , , , | Working | September 15, 2021

Yesterday, I got a postcard from a “beam” Internet company that deals with rural areas. I have DSL, and while slow, it’s dependable and cheap (for around here) and streams movies and allows most/all Internet stuff.

But this postcard was offering FIFTEEN TIMES the speed for the same price! It looked AWESOME! I decided that I’d give them a shot and pay them for a few months without cutting the DSL to make sure that they were above-board and stable.

I filled out paperwork online. They wanted my name, address, phone number, etc. One question was, “How do you want to be contacted? Email or phone?” I chose email because I hate dealing with voice and I like that email leaves a paper trail. 

Thirty seconds after I hit “submit”, my phone rang. The caller ID said it was the beam Internet company. 

I was torqued. 

Representative: “Did you just submit an inquiry about our service?”

Me: “Yes, I inquired and I specifically stated to contact me by email.”

Representative: “For the initial setup, it has to be voice.”

Me: “I’m no longer interested. If you are going to lie when trying to get customers, what happens next?”

She was surprised and seemed shocked that I wouldn’t talk to her after being deceived. Don’t tell me that we will set this all up online and then call. They haven’t tried calling back, though. 

I’ll stick with my slow-but-very-steady $64/month DSL.

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Fishing For A Reason To Fire Him

, , , , , | Working | September 14, 2021

I think I’m a good boss. I look after my team, I’m fair with them if they are fair to me, and we all get on really well… all apart from [Employee #1]. [Employee #1] hates anyone with a “manager” title; it’s the same with the whole management team. In his words, we are “all out to get him.”

Employee #2: “Oh, [Employee #1] texted me and said he’s sick.”

Me: “He needs to call in to Human Resources.”

Employee #2: “But I’ve told you already.”

Me: “I know, but they deal with his pay and make sure he gets his sick pay. They also are the ones that mark him as absent. You need to call them ASAP if you don’t want to be marked as late or AWOL.”

Employee #2: “Oh, yeah, that makes sense. I will tell him.”

The day goes on. With a man down, everyone has to pitch in. I end up doing some of [Employee #1]’s work to get us through. I get a call from HR telling me [Employee #1] hasn’t clocked and hasn’t called. Instead of just having a sick day, he now has to have a disciplinary as it’s not the first time.

I give him a call to see if I can get him to call HR and save himself. No answer from the house phone and no answer from the mobile phone. Out of interest, I check his Facebook, and a picture of him fishing — this morning — was added thirty minutes ago.

I have to pull him into a serious disciplinary meeting, where he admits faking being ill, calls us all Nazis, and storms out.

We fire him that month.

Employee #1: “You’ve always been out to get me!”

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I Was Going to Put This Under Not Always Right, But then I Thought NAW…

, , , , , | Right | September 11, 2021

A woman comes in on a holiday weekend; our station is on a main road so we are INSANELY busy.

Customer: “I left my receipt when I got gas. I need it! I’m a cab driver!”

Me: “What time did you come in, and what pump did you use?”

Customer: “It was hours ago! I can’t remember!”

Me: “Okay, how much did you spend?”

Customer: “I can’t remember! Find my receipt!”

After several minutes of a building line and being called every name under the sun, I finally say:

Me: “Ma’am, would you like for me to print you a random receipt from the approximate time you were in? Because outside of that, there is literally nothing I can do without some kind of information.”

She curses me out again and leaves. The next day, I have a write-up waiting because the customer lied and said I screamed at her and called her a “stupid f****** b****.”

Of course, I didn’t say that, and I explain this to the manager.

Manager: “Even if you didn’t actually say it, your face did.”

So, I’m in trouble for something I DIDN’T say?! I hated that store so much.

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