Finally Managed To Hire The Right Employee

, , , , | Working | April 17, 2020

(While working on getting new full-time work, I take on a couple of extra part-time jobs so I lose money more slowly while I’m still under-employed. One of those jobs is working at a store that specializes in selling secondhand Apple devices. The store also does repairs and I am hired as a technician. At this point in my life, I’m in my thirties, I’ve already been working in IT in some form for ten years, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, and I have many industry certifications including a full CCNP. I’m interviewing for $100K+ jobs, so fixing laptops and iPhones in the backroom of a shop is more than one step back for me, but the extra money is helpful.

The manager is the only full-time position; there are two part-timers besides myself. The manager is not the most reliable person and frequently doesn’t show up or leaves and doesn’t come back for the day. He also refuses to ever turn down a repair job, leaving me to struggle at tracking down replacement parts for ten-year-old or older laptops and hope they function correctly when I install them. I’ve told him that he should insist that those customers replace their computers, but he’d rather I just repair any computer he throws at me.

Eventually, my time there is coming to an end. I have several promising interviews and need the time to prepare for them, but I agree to remain on-call until I start my new job. My boss has put out an advertisement but is quite disappointed by all the applicants he has been receiving.

This takes place after a twenty-year-old college student comes by to discuss his application with the manager and me. The guy is in college and has a little part-time experience, but he also spends a lot of time tinkering with devices he gets his hands on. I think he’d be great for the position, but my manager seems to disagree.)

Me: “What’s wrong with that guy? He’s sharp and eager to please.”

Manager: “He’s got no professional experience, no certifications, and he’s still in college!”

Me: “Are you… Wait, are you trying to find someone with my qualifications?”

Manager: *shrugs* “Something close, at least.”

Me: “[Manager]… I took this job as a temporary gig to make ends meet before starting a new professional job. You’re not going to find another 33-year-old Cisco Certified Network Professional who wants to make $16 an hour fixing iPhones. This is a job for a young, technically-minded person who’s just starting out in the job market, and quite frankly, they’d be better at it than me. I have one bad hand on top of a coordination disorder. I’m not well suited for working with tiny phone and laptop components. These kids are going to be faster than me and less likely to break things. That’s one of the reasons I switched from end-user support to networking. Yeah, he might need to use Google more often than I do, but that guy would be a great long-term replacement for me.”

(The manager still did not seem too enthusiastic despite my plea, and my last day came shortly after. The manager and the owner’s nephew were left to do all repairs themselves, but they were only experienced in fixing MacBooks and iPhones, so their ability to fix PCs was hampered without a tech. I stayed on as on-call only, but they only ever had me come in once before I accepted a new position out of state. I came by six months later when I was visiting Maryland and stopped into my old store. The manager was MIA that day, but there were two employees including the young man we interviewed before I left. Either the manager took my advice or he realized he had no choice but to hire him. I chatted and got caught up with them. The manager had been becoming less reliable since I left and would take off work to run errands or to study for a class with increasing frequency. I frankly cannot understand why the owner still keeps him around.)

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The More You Read, The Worse It Gets

, , , , | Right | April 12, 2020

(It is the middle of the day and nothing is going on. A woman comes into our store in a panic.)

Customer: “Do you do passport pictures?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Okay, I need it done, and I need it done now.”

Me: “Okay. We can get you checked in and take you back.”

Customer: “No, I need it now.”

Me: “We can take you now.”

Customer: “And how long will it take for the pictures to be ready?”

Me: “About ten minutes, maximum fifteen. They’ll be at the front if you want to do other shopping and get them on your way out.”

Customer: “No, that’s not good enough. I need them now. Can’t you make it faster?”

Me: “With all due respect, ten to fifteen minutes is pretty fast. That’s the process from start to finish. All photos take five minutes to come through the printer, and that can’t be changed.”

Customer: “Okay, is there anyone else nearby who can do it quicker? I really need them now!”

Me: “[Store #1] and [Store #2] also do passports, but they’re on the other end of the mall. They’ll take about the same time to get it to you if not longer, and like I said, they’re on the other end of the mall.”

Customer: “Ugh, never mind! You don’t understand. I need it done now! My flight leaves in half an hour!”

(She storms away in a huff. My coworker and I look at each other trying to process what she said. A few minutes later, she returns.)

Customer: “How do you get to [Airport about two hours away]?!”

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Searching For Ways To Put Off The Scammers

, , , , , , , | Legal | April 10, 2020

My friend is moving to a new state, and since my house is midway between his new and old house, I offer to let him stay the night while driving through with the stuff he is moving. My friend is on his laptop in my living room when a call comes in, but I happen to overhear part of it while he walks past me heading to my guest room.

Friend: “Oh, okay, sure. I must have it out in my car somewhere. But my car is full of stuff for the move so it would take me a long time to find it…”

My friend trails off as he enters the guest room. He shows back up a few seconds later, sans phone, and goes back to his laptop in the living room

Me: “What happened to your phone?”

Friend: “Plugged it in to charge; it turns out it was almost dead.”

Me: “Your call ended that fast?”

Friend: “I sure hope not.”

Me: “Huh?”

Friend: “It can take an awfully long time to hunt down a tiny card in such a full car, you know.”

Me: “So, are you going to your car to look for something?”

Friend: “Definitely not. It’s not like I need to find the card, anyway; I memorized my social security number back in high school.”

He is clearly enjoying my confusion, but finally, he apparently decides to let me in on the joke.

Friend: “That call was obviously a scammer. Once I figured that out, I promised him I’d dig up my social security card in my car to give to him.”

Me: “Why would you do that?”

Friend: “Because I stressed that it would take a long time to find due to the move. I’m curious how long I can get him to wait for me to ‘search my car’ before he gives up.”

Me: “You put your scammer on hold?”

Friend: “Pretty much. I figure every second he wastes waiting for me is time he isn’t scamming someone else out of their money.”

In the end, my friend went back twice with “wrong” identification, acting confused and promising to go back out to his car to find the right card each time the scammer told him it wasn’t his social. After the second time, he ran out of believable ways to screw up finding the card, so he just left the scammer on hold indefinitely after the second time. He never bothered to check how long the scammer waited after the second visit, but I imagine my friend wasted at least twenty minutes of the guy’s time with the ruse.

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A Tour Of The Mind Of An Angry Customer

, , , , , , | Right | April 7, 2020

(A customer is upset because her child isn’t able to participate in a program because of an age restriction. She is mad and feels that she was given incorrect information, and she is yelling at me about it as I try to figure out the situation.)

Me: “Okay, we can go ahead and issue a refund since it sounds like there was some confusion when you purchased your tickets.”

Customer: *yelling* “And I suppose it will take several days for the refund to go through? How long will it be until I get my money?”

Me: “It can take three to five business days for the refund to process.”

Customer: *still yelling* “So, they can’t go on the tour and now I can’t get my money for three to five days. So, I’m just out that money for the next three days?!”

Me: *in my head* “Weren’t you going to be out that money forever if they went on the tour?”

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We Have Bigger Fish To Fry

, , , | Right | April 4, 2020

(I work at a crab shack. I answer the phone:)

Me: “Hello, [Business] Seafood; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. A few weeks ago I bought eight pounds of your steamed shrimp, and I feel there were a lot of smalls.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. What size shrimp did you order?”

Customer: “I got the medium shrimp. But they were all smalls.”

Me: “Well, sir, we don’t sell ‘small’ shrimp. We buy them prepackaged and sorted by a company in the Gulf of Mexico. The medium shrimp we use are labeled 36 to 42 in a pound.”

Customer: “They were all very small, though. You gave me smalls.”

Me: “Sir, we don’t sell smalls. They come prepackaged—”

Customer: “Well, I guess I won’t be buying shrimp from you guys ever again.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir? Why did you wait weeks to call us about this?”

(All I hear is a click. All right, then.)

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