Name Blame Game, Part 6

, , , , , | Right | July 6, 2021

My mom’s name is two very common names pushed together. Almost nobody can understand her when she says her name. For this reason, she uses a moniker whenever she orders take-out or makes a reservation at a restaurant.

My dad and I have just arrived at the house when she stops me in the driveway. She says we need to pick up dinner that she and my sister ordered from two takeout restaurants that are right next to each other, and she also needs to stop in the market one more door down. When we park, she goes in one, and I go in the other. She tells me she phoned in the order and it was under her moniker, but she never told me what the order was, nor did I think to ask.

Cashier: “Hello, picking up or placing an order?”

Me: “Picking up.”

Cashier: “Okay, what’s the order?”

Me: “It’s under [Moniker].”

Cashier: *Looking* “[Name #1?].”

Me: “No, [Moniker].”

Cashier: “I have a [Name #2]?”

Me: “No. It should be under [Moniker].”

Cashier: “What was the order?”

Me: “I don’t know. All I know is that it was under [Moniker].”

Cashier: “Well, we don’t take names here. I need to know what the order was.”

If you don’t take names, why did you ask for a name and rattle off two more?

I call my mom’s cell phone. No answer. Finally, I see her driving up to the front of the restaurant, confused as to why my hands are empty.

Mom: “Where’s the food?”

Me: “They don’t have an order under [Moniker].”

Mom: “Oh. Well, I never actually gave them my name.”

Me: *Mental head-desk* “What’s the order?”

Mom: “I don’t know. I think it had something with chicken, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.”

Me: “All right, I’ll go try that.”

I go back inside.

Cashier: “Back?”

Me: “Yep. Sorry about that. She doesn’t remember what she ordered, but she thinks it had chicken, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.”

Cashier: “Right here! Here you go!”

I paid and left, frustrated with both ends of the party.

Name Blame Game, Part 5
Name Blame Game, Part 4
Name Blame Game, Part 3
Name Blame Game, Part 2
Name Blame Game

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The More Locked The Doors Are The More They’ll Try To Get In

, , , , , , | Right | June 4, 2021

I work for the town government. The building I work in is closed to the public, but we have temporary workspaces in the building next door to allow for customers to come in. There are only two departments with designated workspaces — I represent one of them — and all other departments in the building are closed or by appointment only.

This is explained on the website, on social media, on the phone when you call in, and on the doors of the building. Roped stanchions are placed across the staircases with “DO NOT ENTER — EMPLOYEES ONLY” signs on them.

The other departments have also locked their doors to prevent wanderers from walking in. Benches are placed across the doors of the large event room to prevent people from going in. The only places customers can go freely are down the hall from one outside door to the other as well as in the bathroom.

We also have to use a visitor log for contact tracing in case one of us is sick with [contagious illness] with the date, time of visit, name, and phone number of the visitor. Below are a few customer interactions I’ve had within the first two weeks of opening. Also of note, we aren’t supposed to call to make appointments for other people. They are supposed to call themselves. Every department is extremely short-staffed, so if we use our time being the liaison calling other departments to make appointments for people, we will be missing our own phone calls, which we are already missing due to not having enough staff.

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Customer #1: “I need a permit for [item].”

Me: “Oh, okay. [Department #1] isn’t here, but you can either mail the application and payment in, put it in the dropbox, hand it to me so I can give it to them, or call them and make an appointment to meet with them.”

Customer #1: “No, that won’t do. I need a permit now.”

Me: “Right, well, they aren’t here, so those are your options. I can write down the phone number and mailing address for you if you’d like?”

Customer #1: “NO! I NEED A PERMIT NOW!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t issue permits. The only departments here today are [My Department] and [Department #2]. [Department #1] doesn’t have hours here, but if you need to meet with them, you can call them and make an appointment. Or I could hand your application and payment to them when I go back over. Or you could mail it or put it in the dropbox.”

Customer #1: “NO! GOD, YOU’RE USELESS!” *Storms out*

Next customer:

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Customer #2: “I just tried the doors for [Department #3], but they’re locked! Can you call them and tell them to open their doors?”

Me: “Unfortunately, I can’t. I can give you their phone number, though, and you can make an appointment if you need to meet in person.”

Customer #2: “No, I’m not going to make an appointment. I just want to go in. I need an [activity pass].”

Me: “Oh, well, they aren’t selling [activity passes] right now for health reasons, but again, I can give you their phone number if you want to talk to them.”

Customer #2: “No! I’m not calling them! I’m going to stand right here until you let me see them!”

Me: “Okay, but they aren’t coming out right now. The only way to see them is to call them.”

Customer #2: *Stomps foot* “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!”

She leaves two minutes later after realizing her temper tantrum won’t solve anything.

Next customer:

The door to the event room is slowly but forcefully pushed open, knocking over one of the benches.

Me: “Uh, sir? Can I help you?”

Customer #3: “Yeah, I was just looking for [Department #4]. There was a bench in the way, so I moved it to get in here, but it looks like you put another bench in the way. Why would you do that?”

Me: “Well, sir, no department has ever been located in the event room, and we don’t want people going in there unsupervised, so we put the benches up to block the entrances.”

Customer #3: “They used to be in that room. Did they move?”

Me: “I don’t know if they were ever in that room, but not in the seven years I’ve worked here, and not for at least thirty years to my knowledge. In any event, you can meet with [Department #4] by calling them to make an appointment. Do you want their phone number?”

Customer #3: “No, that’s okay. Thanks, sweetie. I’ll talk to them some other time.”

Customers #4-#50:

Customers #4-#50: “Do you have [very specific item/book/information that requires research]?”

Me: “We do back at the main office, but not here. I can call you later with that information, you can pick it up on [list days and times], or you can make an appointment to view it later.”

Customers #4-#50: “I don’t understand why you don’t have it here. It’s public record. I should be able to get [very specific item/book/information].”

Me: “As you can see, I have nowhere to keep it here.”

I gesture to the twenty-five-square-foot room/closet acting as my “office”.

Customers #51-#100:

Me: *On the phone* “[My Department], can I help you?”

Customers #51-#100: “Yes, are you open yet for us to come in?”

Me: Yes, we are open, but not at [main building]. [Main building] is closed. We are in [building next door] at [address].”

Customers #51-#100: “Oh, like where we vote?”

Me: “Yes, exactly — [building next door] where the voting takes place.”

Customers #51-#100: “Okay, see you soon!”

A few minutes later on the phone:

Me: “[Department], can I help you?”

Customers #51-#100: “Yes, I just went to [main building] like you said, but the doors are locked! And there is a sign saying to go to [building next door]? Is that right?”

Me: “Yes, that is correct. Come over to [building next door]. Remember where you vote? It’s that building.”

Customers #51-#100: “Oh, it’s where we vote? Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place instead of sending me over to [main building]?”

Customers #101-Infinity:

Exit doors, which are locked from the outside and clearly marked as Exit Only, are being tugged at.

Customers #101-Infinity: “Did you know your doors are locked?”

How did you get in, then?

Me: “Only the exit doors are locked. There are big signs on them saying ‘EXIT ONLY.’ There are also large signs next to two other doors, such as the one you came in, that say, ‘ENTER HERE.’ Those doors are unlocked.”

Customers #101-Infinity: “Yeah, well, I just wanted you to know that the door was locked. You should probably fix that.”

And I bang my head on my desk.

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Time To Explain What Keys Do…

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2021

I’m working at the front desk and am going through the check-in process with the guest. I authorize her credit card and have her fill out the paperwork. I give her the keys to her room.

Guest: “When can I check in?”

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Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 15

, , , , | Working | May 27, 2021

I’m a woman. My boyfriend and I recently bought a condo together. We were both very excited and eager to set up our new home. I stopped by the local chain hardware store for a new toolset. Before going inside, I did a quick web search on their store site. I found a moderately priced, heavy-duty set that I liked. The only problem was, I couldn’t find it anywhere in the store.

I stopped a young man (an assistant manager) about my age and asked if he might know where the toolset is.

Assistant Manager: “Let me get [Employee]; he’s been here a long time and knows where everything is.”

The manager called on the radio and a few moments later another older gentleman appeared. They spoke quickly and I showed the gentleman the picture of the set from their website. He said that he could find it, went off, and came back with the exact set! I was ecstatic and thanked them both. The manager left.

Employee: “There’s another set that you might be interested in. Would you like me to show you?”

I agreed and he led me a short distance to another display nearby. My heart sank as I looked at what he wanted to show me. The set that he had previously found for me — which I specifically asked for and that I still had in my hands — was a heavy-duty case made of durable plastic containing over fifty name-brand tools.

The set he led me to was not name-brand, cost half as much, had half as many tools — which looked very flimsy — and came exclusively in pink and purple cloth cases.

For a moment, I stood there in shock. I mean, I had shown him EXACTLY what I had wanted, the EXACT product on THEIR website. I had it IN MY HANDS. And instead of assuming that I knew what I wanted since I asked for it, he decided to show me… THAT?!

I muttered an excuse and quickly left to pay for the heavy-duty case. I should have said something, but I was honestly in shock. Sir, I hope you learn one day that when someone, male or female, asks for a specific item, they often know what they are looking for.

The tools work fantastic, by the way.

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 14
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 13
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 12
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 11
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 10

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She Must Like The Bitter Kind Of Chocolate

, , , , | Right | May 26, 2021

I work at a grocery store famous for giving customers some of the best service available, including occasionally writing off little things like flowers if the customer is heading to visit someone in the hospital, or opening a new box of cookies so a customer can try before they buy. We’re also known for discontinuing items to make room for new stock.

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

Customer: *Already visibly angry* “I’m looking for a specific chocolate bar that isn’t on your shelves, and it wasn’t here last week, either. Did you get rid of it?”

Me: “Is it the chocolate bar with [specific flavoring]? If so, I’m so sorry, but we did just discontinue that bar. I—”

Customer: “I’ve had it with you people! You always discontinue my favorite things! Why would you get rid of that chocolate bar? It was my favorite! You have nothing else like it!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am so sorry, but if you liked that one, then the least I can do for you today is give you one of the other two chocolate bars that company makes to let you try it and see if you like it. As it’s the same company, maybe you’ll like it, too? It’s the same style.”

Customer: “I’m not buying a different chocolate bar!”

Me: “No, ma’am, you can have it on the house. I would love to write it off for you so you can try this, and as an apology for us discontinuing your favorite bar. I hope you’ll like it.”

Customer: *Pauses* “Fine.”

I finish bagging up the rest of her groceries and she THROWS the new chocolate bar I gave her into the bag.

Me: “Ma’am, I’d also like you to know that if you write a note on the company website, there’s always a chance they can bring back your favorite item if enough people want it!”

Customer: “Oh, yeah? What’s my note going to say? ‘YOU SUCK’?! ‘I HATE YOU’?!”

She then stormed off, literally stomping. I do hope she wrote that note with those exact words.

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