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It’s Not Healthy To Be That Impatient

, , , , , | Right | December 29, 2021

I work as the receptionist for a charity in a specific sector, say mental health. We don’t offer direct mental health support, but rather we do policy and advocacy work around the topic and provide statutory training for workers in the sector. We also have a signposting helpline which gives people needing support the details of organisations who can help them more directly. The charity has existed for a few months longer than I have been alive. It is called something like National Mental Health, and we regularly get calls like this.

Caller: “Hi. [Long, uninterruptable explanation of their problems and situation]. What should I do?”

Me: “Hi. We are a policy and training organisation, so we do not provide direct support, I’m afraid, but what I can do is put you through to our signposting service and they will be able to able to help you find the best organisation to assist you.”

Caller: “But you’re called National Mental Health! Why won’t you help me?”

Me: “Yes, I know it’s a bit confusing but [repetition of previous explanation of the organisation and helpline in different words]. I am the receptionist, so I can’t answer your question, but I can put you through to the helpline.”

Caller: “That’s f****** ridiculous. False advertising! You shouldn’t be allowed to do that! Why are you called National Mental Health if you don’t help with mental health?”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. I am afraid all I can do to help you get support is to put you through to the helpline. Would you like me to do that?”

Caller: “F*** you!” *Click*

I understand the frustration and I do agree that the charity’s name is misleading, but a) I am the lowest-paid person with the least power in the organisation and b) I was a foetus the size of a strawberry when the organisation was named. What do callers think shouting and swearing at me will achieve?

That’s Just Plain COLD

, , , , , , , | Friendly | December 24, 2021

If you want to book a large table for your Christmas party at a restaurant, you need to order and pay for your meals in advance. In November, you think, “Roast turkey with all the trimmings? Yum!” But a week before Christmas, by now you hate the sight of turkey, and you know you are having it again next week. During the meals, it’s like watching military exercises — the precision of those teams of cooks and servers moving like an army, serving more meals than they usually do in a week each night. There is no room for specifications or special orders that haven’t been informed about and paid for in advance.

My sports team had organised Christmas dinner at a pub to commemorate a successful year. As the meals we had ordered a month ago started arriving, it was clear some dishes were more impressive than others. My — ahem — friend expressed her disappointment that [meal #1] she had chosen looked relatively unappealing. Then, a few moments later, the waitress came out.

Waitress: “I’ve got three more [meal #2]s.”

My friend’s hand shot up.

Friend: “Yes, I ordered [meal #2]!

And she shamelessly took someone else’s dinner. When the final dish was brought out, the poor team member had to accept the inferior dish that was all that was left. I still remember her disappointed face.

I didn’t say anything. For a moment, I was just shocked that she would do something so blatant in front of me, and by the time I regained my composure, she had started eating, so nothing I could say would rectify the situation.

Not Even Remotely Getting It, Part 2

, , , , , , | Right | December 22, 2021

In my previous job, toward the end of my employment, lockdown occurred, and I ended up working from home. I’d go about my work as usual, with calls routed to a company mobile.

Me: “Hi, [Company] helpdesk.”

Caller: “Hi, my [Program] isn’t working properly. Can you remote on and fix it?”

I run the user through the basic troubleshooting, which takes an odd twenty minutes on its own, because they aren’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, and going through the troubleshooting steps is like pulling teeth. I decide at this point it’s probably easier to remote on.

Me: “Okay, on the desktop there should be an icon for Teamviewer. Can you click on that, please? It should give you a nine-digit number.”

Caller: “What? Teams?”

Me: “No, no, not Teams, Teamviewer.”

I make sure I articulate the words so they hear it all.

Caller: “Teams? I already have Teams open. I can’t see the number.”

Me: “It should be Teamviewer; the icon should be a blue square with a white circle in it and a double-ended arrow.”

Caller: “This is too hard. Can you remote on and do it?”

Me: “I can’t remote on without that program, so I need you to open that to allow me access.”

Caller: “Can’t you remote on and open it?”

Me: “…”

This call went on for at least another HOUR. This wasn’t the first or last time I had a call like this. I’m so glad I left that job. It was atrocious.

Not Even Remotely Getting It

He Sent A Chill Down Their Spines

, , , , , , | Romantic | December 6, 2021

My boyfriend can be a bit… different. One day, the phone rings, and I just hear his side of the conversation.

Boyfriend: “Running? No… it’s just sitting there watching me. Plotting! Waiting for me to let my guard fall. I think it hates me. I know it’s coming for me. Oh, no… It heard me. It knows I know! It’s coming! NO! NO! AAARRRRRRRRRRGH! AAAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGHHH!”

And then he hangs up.

Me: “What the actual f***?”

Boyfriend: “Some kids called and wanted to know if my fridge was running.”

Apparently, they were really young and sounded completely freaked out, so if your kids are afraid to go into the kitchen… sorry? I really love my boyfriend but we’re never having children.

A Complete Lack Of Order

, , , , | Right | November 18, 2021

I work for a well-known china manufacturer. There are about 100 different patterns of china in the range. A woman comes to the counter and aggressively slaps down a till receipt.

Customer: “Can you find out what’s happened to this order? Someone phoned and told me it would be in three weeks ago.”

Me: “Okay, do you have your copy of the order?”

Customer: “No, it’s at home on my pinboard.”

Me: “Okay, what was it you ordered?”

Customer: “Some cups and saucers, I think.”

Me: “What pattern?”

Customer: “I can’t remember.”

Me: “What’s your name? I’ll have to look it up in the order book.”

Customer: “Don’t you know? You’re supposed to know about orders.”

Me: “Madam, we have about twenty or thirty orders at any one time. I can’t be expected to remember them all.”

She’s getting very annoyed now at my lack of mind-reading skills.

Customer: “Well, that’s convenient, isn’t it.”

Me: “No, it’s not convenient at all. You don’t know what you’ve ordered, so now I’ve got to go through all these orders to find yours.”

She huffs and goes silent. At this point, my colleague comes in from lunch and senses an atmosphere.

Colleague: “Everything all right?”

Me: “Yes, this lady has ordered something, but she can’t remember what, so I’m trying to find out for her.”

Colleague: “Don’t you have your copy of the order, madam?”

Customer: “No, I left it at home on my pinboard.”

Colleague: “…”

Finally, I find the order.

Me: “Oh, yes, the pink cups and saucers. They’ve been here for a couple of weeks.”

Customer: “So, why didn’t anyone phone me?”

Me: “But madam, you said someone did, three weeks ago.”

There wasn’t another peep out of her while I wrapped her stuff and sent her on her way.