Can’t Help Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

, , , , , | Legal Right | January 30, 2019

(My department deals with taking the details of potential new clients, which we then take to a partner of the firm to decide if we’d like to take their claim on or not. We work mostly on the phone.)

Me: “Hello, [Solicitors], [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Can I make a claim?”

Me: “That’s certainly possible. Can I take some details from you?”

Caller: “Why would I do that? Just tell me if I can make a claim!”

Me: “I will need to take a few details about what has happened, and some contact details from you; then, I can speak with a partner of the firm to see if we can assist you with a claim.”

Caller: “I’ve had an accident; I just want to know if I can get compensation!”

Me: “What kind of accident have you had?”

Caller: “One that wasn’t my fault.”

Me: “Okay, was it a car accident, or a trip on paving, or an accident at work?”

Caller: “I told you, it was an accident that wasn’t my fault. Why are you wasting my time? Just speak to your boss and see if I can make a claim!”

Me: “I need a bit more information before we know if we can help you. I can speak to a partner, but they will ask me to get more information before we can make a decision.”

Caller: “Fine, it was a car accident.”

Me: “Thank you. Were you driving, or were you a passenger?”

Caller: “Why does that matter? I already told you it was a car accident and it wasn’t my fault.”

Me: “Can you talk me through what happened?”

Caller: “No. I don’t have time to give you the full information. Just talk to your boss and tell me if I can claim. I don’t know why you need so much information from me. I already told you I had an accident and that it wasn’t my fault. How hard is it to see if I have a claim?”

Me: “When did the accident happen?”

Caller: “A couple of years ago, I think.”

Me: “Okay, can you narrow it down a bit, to a month or a season?”

Caller: “No! I told you, it was a couple of years ago.”

Me: *seeing I’m not going to get much more information* “Can I take a few personal details? Can I take your full name and address?”

Caller: “You can have my first name, but no address.” *gives name*

Me: *sees they’re calling in on a withheld number* “Can I also take a contact number to call you on?”

Caller: “No. I don’t want cold calls.”

Me: “All the information we take from you is confidential, and we don’t pass people’s details on to anyone else. I also need the number to call you back once I’ve spoken to the partner.”

Caller: “You mean you can’t just put me on hold and ask the partner now? This is ridiculous; you’re wasting my time! I just wanted to know if I have a claim, and you’re making me give you all this information I don’t want to!”

Me: “I’m sorry to you feel that way, but yes, I would need to call you back later in the day, as we have set times to have meetings with the partners.”

Caller: “I don’t care; I want to know now if I can make a claim! Either ask them now, or I’ll take my business elsewhere!”

Me: “I’ll just pop you on hold and see if I can get in touch with a partner now.”

(I place the call on hold, and try to get in touch with a partner, but they’re all busy or out of the office, so I go back to the caller.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but all of the partners are busy at the moment, I—“

Caller: “This is f****** stupid. F*** you for not helping me.” *hangs up*

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The Key To Getting Your Lost Property Back

, , , , , | Right | December 4, 2018

(I’m the idiot in this story. My husband and I have had a rare night out drinking, and we are making our way home in a private hire taxi we called and booked in advance. My husband decides to stop the taxi early, so we can get out and buy supper at a fish-and-chips shop before walking the last 250 yards to our house. It has stopped raining, thankfully, so it is quite a nice walk — aka “slight stagger.” I decide I don’t want supper, so I walk down the road on my own in order to get the fire going, put the kettle on, and so forth. I reach our front door, only to realise I’ve lost my house keys. I check my pockets and my bag — even emptying both onto the floor — but no keys. I am getting stressed by now — my husband has left his keys at home. I call the taxi office.)

Me: “Hello! My name is Mrs. [My Name] and I just got out of the taxi at [Street]. I dropped my keys in the cab! Could you ask him to look for them, please? I’m so sorry; I know you’re busy.”

Dispatcher: “Okay, one moment.”

(I hear the dispatcher radioing my taxi driver, and several moments later I hear the reply.)

Dispatcher: “Sorry, Mrs. [My Name], but the driver said there are no keys in the cab at all.”

Me: *explodes* “They must be! I’ve just got out of the cab, not five minutes ago!”

Dispatcher: “Mrs. [My Name], please, he’s a very honest driver! Only this afternoon, he handed in a wallet that—”

Me:I don’t care about a wallet! My keys are in his cab! There’s nowhere else they can be! I had them in my hand, and now I don’t have them! I bet he didn’t even look, did he?”

Dispatcher: “Mrs. [My Name], he’s back at the office, and he’s had another look. Another driver helped, and there’s nothing there—”

(My husband walks up to the door, eating his supper. I quickly and angrily explain what happened.)

Me: “Are you calling me a liar? Do you realise we are standing here in the rain, at nearly midnight, outside our locked door because your driver won’t search his car properly?”

(I fumble for my automatic umbrella, pressing the button to open it, and raise it above our heads. And hear a slight “tinkle” noise as my keys hit the concrete floor.)

Me: *speechless*

Husband: *laughing hysterically*

Dispatcher: “Mrs. [My Name]? Are you still there?”

Me: *calmer now* “Yes. I’m… um… still here. I found my keys, and I’m so, so very sorry. I somehow dropped them into my umbrella. I am so, so very sorry. Please apologise to the driver for me. Oh, God, I am so embarrassed. Oh, my word.”

Husband: *still laughing*

Dispatcher: *trying to answer me without obviously laughing* “It’s… ahem… okay, Mrs. [My Name].” *cough* “No, really, I’ll explain to the driver. You have a good sleep now, eh?”

(I apologised a lot more, and then let the poor man go and do his job. I vowed to — and did — pop into the taxi office the next day to leave a £20 tip for that driver, to try to apologise for practically calling him lazy and a thief. For the next six or so months, however, it was my husband who booked the taxis for us, and each time, I heard him say, “Yes, of course I’ll take my keys. I won’t let her be in charge of them. Yes, I promise. Thanks, bye!” He got a lot of mileage out of that one, with family and friends.)

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He Is His Own Flight Risk

, , , , , , | Right | November 14, 2018

(I am going on holiday with my friend, and a man runs up to us and grabs me.)

Man: “Hey, tell me where I go for my flight.”

Me: “I do not work here, so I can’t tell you.”

Man: “You screw-up! I’ll call [Airline]’s manager and tell them you aren’t prepared to help me, and therefore you should be fired!”

Me: “But I don’t work for [Airline].”

Friend: “No, he doesn’t.”

Man: “Well, if I miss my flight, it’s thanks to [Airline] for hiring you two idiots!”

Friend: “Likely, and tell me when security arrive!”

(My friend and I are both laughing now, and the man storms off, muttering rude things under his breath.)


(I walk up to him and ask him which was his flight.)

Man: “[Flight number] at [time of departure].”

Me: “That flight leaves at 18:55, and it’s 12:04. It leaves from Gate 12, Terminal 1, and we were at Gate 54, Terminal 3.”

Man: “Oh.” *walks off*

Me: *to friend* “And he was calling me a screw-up!”

(We laughed until we figured out we were about to miss our flight!)

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We Don’t Serve Euro Trash

, , , , , | Right | October 29, 2018

(I work in a city centre bar, and this takes places on a busy Saturday night. Three Irish guys have ordered a round, and all the card machines stop working whilst one of them is trying to pay.)

Me: “I’m really sorry, but none of the card machines are working. Have you got any cash to pay with?”

(All of them shake their heads no.)

Customer #1: “So there’s something wrong with my card?”

Me: “No, it’s something on our end. None of the machines are working at the moment. Sorry. Let me just go grab my manager to see what I should do.”

(I run into the back to speak to my manager, who tells me to let them have the drinks for free because the fault is on our end. I go tell them this, and carry on serving other people. A few minutes later they attract my attention.)

Customer #2: “Hi, can we have three gin and tonics, please?”

Me: *slightly confused* “Our card machines still aren’t working, sorry, so, if you haven’t got any cash…”

Customer #2: ”I’ve got cash.”

Me: *more confused* “You’ve got cash?”

Customer #2: “Yeah.”

Customer #3: “Why don’t you believe him?”

(In my head: because you said none of you had cash fifteen minutes ago.)

Me: “Oh, I just have to check because the card machines are down. So that’s three double gin and tonics, yeah?”

(I make their drinks, give them to them, then ring it up on the till.)

Me: “That’ll be [amount], please.”

([Customer #2] hands me a note, and when I look I see that it’s a Euro note — currency used in Southern Ireland and some other countries in Europe, but not in the UK. Thinking it’s a genuine mistake I go to give it back to them.)

Me: “Sorry, it looks like you’ve accidentally given me Euros.”

Customer #2: “So?”

Me: “Well, we can’t accept Euros as a method of payment.”

Customer #2: “Yes, you can. You have to.”

Me: “Sorry, but I don’t. We can’t accept Euros.”

Customer #2: “Yeah, but we’re Irish.”

Me: *speechless for a second* “But we’re not. We cannot accept Euros. You need to pay me in pounds.”

Customer #2: “But we’re Irish!”

Me: “That doesn’t make any difference. We can’t accept Euros.”

Customer #2: “But this is the only cash I’ve got!”

(I stare at them for a second, and then ask for their drinks back since they can’t pay for them. The worst part was that they seemed genuinely confused that I couldn’t accept foreign currency. I went in the back and sat down for five minutes after that.)

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My Audience Of Two Will Be Enraptured!

, , , , | Right | October 10, 2018

(I’m working on the tills and I am approached by a woman holding a packet of crisps. She doesn’t put them on the belt but holds them out to me. She has the look of a very stern headmistress.)

Customer: “I found this on the shelf reduced to 10p. They went off at the end of last month.”

Me: “Ah, yes. We reduced it because it was near the expiration date.”

Customer: “It is illegal to reduce stock after it has expired. Did you know that?”

Me: “It was likely reduced as it neared the best-before date to clear it off the shelves. We are allowed to sell stock which is nearing or has gone past its best-before date up to a month afterwards.”

Customer: *in a patronising tone* “Really? Well, that’ll be something interesting to write in my blog.”

(She strutted off looking very superior. For a few seconds, I stared after her, still holding the crisps. Behind her a male customer was trying his hardest not to laugh. I checked with a supervisor later and he clarified what I had said; we throw away stock which has reached the use-by date, but we can sell stock one month after the best-before date. We broke no laws, and hopefully the woman did her research and realised that before she wrote her blog!)

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