Black Turns White To Red

, , , , , | Right | October 14, 2018

(I need some of the stuff you rub on cast-iron fireplaces to blacken them, which is called fireplace black. I can’t find it on the shelves, so I go to ask the chap working in the section where it ought to be, who happens to have extremely dark skin.)

Me: “Hi there, do you have any fireplace black?”

(The worker says nothing, just stares me right in the eye. There is a long, uncomfortable silence while he makes prolonged eye contact. Finally…)

Worker: *continuing to glare* “The fireplaces are over there, whitey.”

(I was just starting on stumbling out an incredibly embarrassed explanation and apology when he fell about laughing, and to my great relief he turned out to have been winding me up.)

A Portal To An Odd Sense Of Humor

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2018

(I am at a theme park attempting to get on a Disk’O ride. The ride restraints on this ride are automatic and come up from the bottom of the seat at the back and rest on the riders’ backs to fasten them into the motorcycle position. We are called off the ride after the restraints are pulled up and released, and I have the following conversation with a staff member:)

Me: “This is what happens when you have GLaDOS in control of the restraints.”

Worker: “GLaDOS? We’re not Aperture Science; our funding methods are much more dubious!”

10,000 Reasons To Fire Him

, , , , , | Working | September 27, 2018

I work in a sales office. One of my colleagues is “belligerent” at best and outright hostile at worst. However, he is good at his job, so it is tolerated, much to everyone else’s chagrin.

One day I answer a call from a customer who explains they have placed a large order by email but have yet to see a confirmation. Of course, they sent the email to the general sales email, which is forwarded to the five area supervisors, all of whom are on the phone, and all of whom may have passed it onto their own sales team, totaling approximately fifty people. I ask the customer to resend the order to my own email and explain that when my coworkers are off the phone I will track down who has handled the order and have them confirm it.

The order comes through, and instantly I can see there is nothing on the customer’s account to show the order has been entered onto the system. I ask around the area supervisors as they finish their calls, but none claim ownership of the order.

Finally, my belligerent coworker slams his phone down, shouts across the open plan office — where people are on calls — that he is dealing with the order, but he can’t put the order on the system because we are out of stock and he needs to find out when we can get more. He shouts at me that I should have known he would be handling the order, and accuses of me trying to “steal” his customer.

He then proceeds to ring the customer and shouts at them for being impatient when they should have — somehow — known the order was being handled. When the customer gets defensive, my coworker hangs up on them mid-sentence.

The customer then proceeds to cancel the £10,000 order. When my coworker tries to charge them a 10% cancellation fee, the customer points out that, without a confirmation, no contract has been formed and they are free to cancel without penalty. Cancellation fees have never been in our terms and conditions, anyway.

Several years later, the customer has a new buying manager who has gotten in touch with us, and we have been slowly earning their business back. My coworker is still with the company, despite repeating variations of the same performance at least twice; however, he now refuses to speak to the customer, who now asks for me by name.

Kindness: It’s All In The Delivery

, , , , , | Hopeless | September 25, 2018

(I work for one of the largest supermarkets in the UK, delivering groceries to customers at home. One of the worst aspects of the job is stairs. I often have to take shopping weighing 80 to 180 kg up multiple flights of stairs. Customers often aren’t willing to help at all, and often the response when asking is, “That’s what I pay you for.” There have been two exceptions to this that make me feel good about humanity. The first comes back when I first start working. I have a delivery of about 120 kg that I have to take up three floors. I carry the first tray up and go back for the remaining six, thinking that doing it one at a time is doable but will make me late for my next delivery. Just as I hit the ground floor, the door to the block opens and two young guys come in.)

Guy: “Is that for [Flat Number]?”

Me: “Yes, it is!”

Guy: “We got this.”

(They both grab two trays each and RUN up the stairs. As a man, I can’t allow myself to be outdone, and carry the last two trays up behind. I thank them both for the help, but they just shrug it off, saying:)

Guy: “We’re all humans and need to help one another out.”

(The second came when I had been having a pretty rough day. It was during the heatwave, and I had just had a customer with a big order up several flights of stairs. I had drunk all my water and I was exhausted. I got to my next customer around fifteen minutes late. She was sat outside her house, and I thought I was in for a lecture. However, she was incredibly patient with me and understanding about the substitutes, and despite being wheelchair-bound, she helped as best she could to take shopping indoors. She then insisted I take not only a can of Coke but two bottles of cold water. Some customers don’t seem to think delivery people are humans at all, but the rare times we get a little kindness go a long way!)

Doesn’t Have A Carer In The World

, , , , | Right | September 25, 2018

(I take calls for people who want to self-refer or refer others for a package of care. We deal mostly with elderly people who would like carers to come into their own homes. We also do carer assessments for people who need support looking after loved ones. This call comes from a professional physiotherapist.)

Me: “Good morning. [My Name] speaking; how can I help?”

Physio: “I’d like to make two referrals for carer assessments, please?”

Me: “I can certainly do that for you; can I take your name?”

Physio: *gives name*

Me: “Okay, thank you. Could I please have the name of the first person you’re wanting to refer?”

Physio: “Oh, well, I don’t actually know her name. “

Me: “I see. Do you perhaps have her address or date of birth?”

Physio: “No, but I know her husband’s name.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we need the details of the person you’re wanting to refer. How about the second person? Do you have their details?”

Physio: “I don’t… So, you can’t do anything?”

Me: “Unfortunately not. We take calls for the whole of London, so trying to find two people without a name or address is likely to be very difficult.”

Physio: “Okay, well, thank you. I’ll go and find out their details.” *hangs up*

(I don’t know what she thought she was going to get from me without any information on the carers. This woman was a physiotherapist, so was no doubt very medically educated… but obviously lacked common sense!)

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