An Alarming Lack Of Alarm, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2017

(I take a telephone call from a female caller.)

Caller: “Hello. My partner’s having a pacemaker fitted and for personal reasons, I’d like to know where he is on the list.”

Me: “I don’t know that. Have you tried speaking to the consultant’s secretary?”

Caller: “I’m not ringing her. Can’t you tell me?”

Me: “But she would be the best person to help you.”

Caller: “I don’t know if she’s Australian or Canadian, but she’s never there. She’s either on holiday or off sick.”

Me: “She would still be the best person to ask.”

Caller: “But can’t you tell me?”

Me: “I don’t know that information. Would they even know the surgery lists at this point?”

Caller: “Yes, they would.”

(The fire alarm starts to go off.)

Me: “Can I take your number and try to find out and give you a ring back.”

Caller: “What’s that noise? It’s hurting my ears.”

Me: “That’s the fire alarm. We may have to evacuate the building.”

Caller: “You don’t have to go. It’s probably just a practice.”

Me: “We’ve not been told it’s a practice. If I can take your phone number, I can try and find out and call you back.”

Caller: “No, don’t call me back. I want to know when he’s having his pacemaker fitted.”

Me: “Sorry, madam, we are actually evacuating the building.”

Caller: “But you can’t. I want to know when his pacemaker’s going to be fitted.”

(The best bit? I found out from a colleague that the order of patients is decided on the day!)

Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Rekindle Friendship

, , , | Friendly | August 7, 2017

(I’m chatting with my best mate and his girlfriend. His girlfriend notes that she hasn’t seen me for a while and we’re working out what happened over the past few months to stop us from meeting up. Note that my girlfriend broke up with me a few weeks previously.)

Me: “I think we were gonna do the couples board games night, but…”

Mate: “I was busy for, like, the whole month. I thought you’d think we were trying to avoid you.”

Me: “Oh, yeah. And then I got busy.”

Mate: “And we went on holiday.”

Me: “And then [Ex-Girlfriend] and I started having problems and I thought, probably best not to throw the board games night into the mix in case it got awkward.”

Mate: “What? You mean you didn’t think, ‘I know what will fix my dying relationship – a nice game of Monopoly’? I mean, nobody’s ever argued over that.”

Me: “Yeah, shocking, that. What was I thinking…”

Like A Moth To A Chemical Flame

, , , , , | Friendly | July 23, 2017

(A couple, Friend #1 and Friend #2, are hosting a barbeque in their back garden. One of them spots a moth flying towards the garden, before it makes a turn and flies away instead.)

Friend #1: “Yes! It’s flying away!”

Me: “What is?”

Friend #1: “The moth!”

Me: “Why is that important?”

Friend #2: “When we moved in, the house had a moth infestation. [Friend #1] found a company that exterminates them and then treats your house to keep them away.”

Me: “Well, it seems to be working!”

Friend #2: “Yes, but he managed to find the one company in London that had a no-moth guarantee, or they come back for free. Every time [Friend #1] saw even a single moth in the house, he would call them and they’d come back and spray it all over again. Our house was just full of chemicals.”

Me: “How many times?”

Friend #1: “Five times!”

Me: “Wow! And so now you don’t have moths?”

Friend #2: “No, but now we have cancer.”

Lava-Resistant Briefcase

, , , , , , , | Friendly | July 1, 2017

A friend and I have been watching videos of people yelling “Floor is lava!”

We decide to test it ourselves as the cafe we are in is mostly filled with young people. I yell at the top of my lungs.

Many people are sitting down and just lift up their legs. One person puts her feet on the table, and a male employee jumps into a female employee’s arms.

What made us laugh most was a confused business man who looked around and then dropped his briefcase on the floor and stood on it. He lifted a thumb up and continued to drink what I assumed was his coffee.

 

Welcome To The Hotel Exaggeration

, , , , , | Working | June 27, 2017

(I used to work at a very prestigious five-star hotel in Central London. Naturally with the territory comes some guests who, in my experience, were impossible. This is however not that kind of story. I am currently an hour into the morning shift when my service phone rings. The call registers from the front desk.)

Me: “In-Room Dining. [My Name] speaking.”

Front Desk: “Hi, [My Name]. Can you go to [Guest Room] and help [Affluent Guest] out, please?”

(Note: Affluent Guest, as I would soon find out, was a regular at this hotel. She also established a reputation with most if not all the hotel staff as being incredibly demanding and impossible to please. This is the first time I am dealing with her.)

Me: “Sure. What is the problem, may I ask?”

Front Desk: “You know? I actually haven’t got a clue, mate. Is this your first time dealing with her?”

Me: “The guest? Yes. Yes, it’s the first time.”

Front Desk: “Okay, just to let you know she’s VERY impatient and extremely rude, so be careful, okay?”

Me: “Thanks for the heads up. I’m on my way to the room now.”

(I hang up and head up to the floor that Affluent Guest is on. On the way I cross paths with one of the housekeeping associates.)

Housekeeping Associate: “You going to [Affluent Guest]’s room?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Housekeeping Associate: *rolls eyes* “She’s craaaaazy. Don’t let her get her way!”

Me: “I won’t.”

(I’m a little bit concerned about how much of an issue this particular guest is perceived as, but for benefit of the doubt I just put it down to exaggerations on the hotel’s part. I find the room, knock, and then enter to see a frail, old Chinese lady sitting on the sofa.)

Me: “Good Morning, ma’am. My name is [My Name]; I understand you’re having some sort of issue with your room?”

Guest: “Hello, my dear. Yes, I cannot get the window to open, see? And it’s very hot in here!”

(From the moment I walked in I could feel the humidity. On this particular summer day in London, the heat was out in force.)

Me: “I see. Unfortunately, ma’am, because we are on the seventh floor, the windows are locked shut for your own safety. Have you tried your air conditioning?”

Guest: “I have, my dear. But I don’t know how to work it properly.”

Me: *starting to get a little bit concerned* “Okay… has anyone else came to the room to help you?”

Guest: “Yes, but they didn’t do as I asked. They thought I wanted to change rooms! All I want is to get the air conditioning working.”

Me: “Of course, I completely understand, ma’am. Let me see what I can do for you.”

Guest: “Thank you so much, young man.”

(I go over to the A/C unit and realise that not only is it not on, it’s also broken. In regards to the guest, the perception of her being anything but pleasant has completely faded away at this point, but I’m more so concerned that this elderly lady was allowed to sit in such heat for such a long time.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am. I realise what’s the problem. Your A/C unit here is not working for whatever reason. Did anyone else check the unit?”

Guest: “No, not at all!”

Me: *stunned at this* “Okay. Here’s what I’m going to do now for you. I will be calling the engineers to the room to see if they can fix the A/C. In the meantime, I would recommend you go down to the restaurant on the second floor. We have air conditioning down there so you can cool off and relax whilst the problem here is fixed. I’ll also ask the restaurant to have a cool drink waiting for you to make up for the issue. How does that sound, ma’am?”

Guest: “That sounds very nice! Thank you for your understanding. May I have your name?”

Me: “You certainly can. It’s [My Name].”

Guest: “Thank you, [My Name]. I will be leaving a message about your conduct tomorrow before I leave. Thank you so much for your time!”

Me: “It’s my pleasure, ma’am. Have a nice day!”

(I left, happy that I was able to resolve the guest’s problem AND shatter the pretensions of nearly everybody else about that guest, and all because I didn’t over exaggerate her issue, and instead treated her problem as something that was easy to fix in less than an hour. Never let other people’s perceptions cloud yours.)

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