The Magic Flute

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2017

In the early 90s, my mom’s car was broken into while she was at a music festival. The thief made off with all of her instruments, including the flute her father gave her over twenty years earlier when she was first learning. Naturally, she was devastated. She did manage to replace her instruments, and more or less put the experience behind her.

Ten years later, Mom was giving lessons at a music store. One day, she forgot her flute at home, and asked the owner if he could loan her a flute for the day so she could do her lesson. As luck would have it, someone had come in earlier that day and sold him a flute they’d found in a closet of the house they’d just bought. He reached behind the counter, and took out a case with a unicorn sticker on it. Mom immediately recognized the sticker, as she had that exact same one on her case. Excited, she took out the mouthpiece to check for the serial numbers her father had engraved in it. Unfortunately, they weren’t there. It wasn’t her flute.

Disappointed, she took the flute to her lesson room. As she was fitting the pieces together, she saw, on the middle section, a set of numbers. It was indeed her flute, and she’d simply mis-remembered which section had the numbers on it! As soon as her lesson was over, she went back to the owner, asked how much he’d paid for it, and told him she wanted to buy it.

Fifty dollars later, she was finally reunited with her flute. Since her father had died a year earlier, it was especially magical for her. Ironically, when he had engraved those numbers, she’d been upset since there was a sizable area where the silver had been stripped. But thanks to those numbers, the thief was not able to sell it, and simply left it behind when they moved, allowing it to make its way back to her.

You Can’t Put Music In A Box

, , , , , | Right | July 3, 2017

(We have a customer call from out of state wanting to order a guitar for his nephew.)

Caller: “I’m looking at your listing online for this guitar. I really like it and would like to buy it and have it shipped to my nephew in a different state. Is that okay?”

Me: “That’s no problem. We’d be happy to help you with that.”

Caller: “First I want to see pictures of the actual guitar, though.”

Me: “All the pictures you see on our website are pictures of this guitar.”

Caller: “No. I know the pictures are of that model, but I want to see pictures of the actual guitar.”

Me: “We take all the pictures on our website ourselves. These are not stock photos. They are pictures of the guitar hanging on the wall in our store right now.”

Caller: “Oh, okay… Wait. The guitar is hanging on the wall right now?”

Me: “Yes. All of our guitars hang on wall displays so they can be viewed by customers.”

Caller: “So this isn’t a brand new guitar like the website says?”

Me: “No, sir, it is brand new. We just received it from the manufacturer this year. It has not had an owner yet, and is definitely still brand new.”

Caller: “But it’s hanging on the wall! You took it out of the box!”

Me: “Sir, all guitar stores hang their guitars on the wall. Aside from a few child sized guitars and ukuleles we carry, our guitars do not come in boxes. They only arrive in shipping boxes, which we discard after opening. Many of them come with cases, but not boxes.”

Caller: “But you took the guitar out of the box! Now it’s not new! I demand a discount for the unboxed guitar.”

Me: “I think there has been some confusion. Guitars aren’t like blenders or microwaves. They don’t come with boxes. We don’t have floor models with extra boxed inventory in the back. Guitars are an entirely different product that has to be played, seen, heard, and held to help customers make a decision about whether or not to purchase it.”

Caller: “You took it out of the box, so it is not new. I will not pay new pricing for a guitar that has been played by other people.”

Me: “Sir, I am very sorry, but I do not know what else to tell you. I can sell you this guitar, but I cannot discount it, because it is new. Our dealer agreement with the manufacturing company says that we cannot discount this item for at least two years or we could lose our dealer license.”

Caller: “I don’t care. You will give me a discount.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I cannot. You can either buy this guitar full priced, plus pay for shipping for us to send it to your nephew, or you can try contacting the manufacturer. I have to warn you, though; this particular guitar is extremely popular, so it is currently back-ordered, and you could have to wait up to seven months to finally get it. But they will make you pay the exact same price we will.”

Caller: “Well, I’m sure they’d send me a real new guitar in it’s box.”

Me: “It will be sent to you in a shipping box.”

Caller: “What about its box?”

Me: “Again, sir, guitars do not come in boxes like appliances do.”

Caller: “Well, we’ll see about that. You just lost yourself a sale.” *click*

(Later that day we got another call.)

Caller #2: “Hi, my uncle called earlier today about a guitar for my birthday.”

Me: “Yes, he spoke to me. How can I help you?”

Caller #2: “Well, I just wanted to know why the guitar doesn’t come in a box.”

Me: “As I explained to your uncle, guitars do not come in boxes the way other products do. When we receive them, they come in a shipping box. If they have a case then they usually come inside the case inside the box.”

Caller #2: “So can we get a discount because you guys decided to take the guitar out of its box and put it on the wall?”

Me: “Not unless the guitar were dropped several times and the quality damaged.”

Caller #2: “Oh…”

Me: “I’m sorry. I know you are interested in this guitar, but because it is new and from a manufacturer that we deal for, we cannot discount this guitar AT ALL for two years unless it is accidentally damaged, is bought and returned, or if there is a manufacturer defect. None of which apply to this particular guitar.”

Caller #2: “Okay. Thanks anyway.”

(The original caller ended up attempting to purchase the guitar the next day through our website; however our online monitoring system ended up flagging the order for suspicious activity. Apparently this man had upset enough people to be put on a watch list for expensive transactions, as he often found a way to either have them unfairly discounted or would demand a refund for a faulty product that he would refuse to return. The second caller’s mother bought the guitar for her son for his birthday, but not before telling us how sorry she was for her brother’s behavior.)

Lack Of Composer

, , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(A customer comes in asking for cello strings. Cellos come in five sizes and have four strings, so It could be any type.)

Customer: “Do you have cello strings for a child-size cello?”

Me: “Okay, we have a few sizes of child size cellos. If you rent it from us, I can look up your account and find the cello size.”

Customer: “We don’t rent it here.”

(The customer pulls out his phone and points to a picture of the cello.)

Customer: “I want this large string.”

Me: “Well, the strings come in different lengths… so I need more information than that.”

(He gets very irate and starts screaming.)

Customer: “Your customer service is out of line! I demand to be served by someone else.”

(My other colleague was busy and it took 30 minutes to serve him. Meanwhile I went on helping other customers. He eventually bought a string and left. My boss called me a couple hours later. Apparently the customer emailed him and told him I was rude, he should get full refund, and that I should be fired.)

You’re Insecure, We Know What For

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Working | April 6, 2017

(It’s my dad’s birthday and for reasons I can’t understand he loves One Direction. I decide to buy him a CD and this happens when I’m at the checkout. I’m a young female.)

Employee: “You’re all the same; I bet you only like them because they’re hot. It would be nice to see someone who truly appreciates music.”

Me: “Actually, I hate One Direction. It’s for my dad.”

Employee: “You’re lying. That’s girl stuff; no man would be caught dead listening to that s***. I bet you’ve never even heard of [he lists several somewhat obscure alternative bands].”

Me: “I have actually seen every one of those bands live and own at least one album from each of them.”

Employee: “Prove it.”

(I show him pictures I have on my phone of every concert I’ve been to AND a video of my dad freaking out over a 1D t-shirt and trying to convince me to try it on. The employee looked like he was about to pass out after seeing that.)

Just Google It…

| Annapolis, MD, USA | Working | March 19, 2017

(I work at a guitar store as the business manager, which mostly means I keep track of the money and sign people up for lessons with our music school. Although I am the only female employee of the store, my coworkers lovingly call me “Tech Support” as I seem to be the only one that is ever able to fix the printers, computers, and cash registers whenever they aren’t working properly.)

Me: *read over my assigned list of tasks for the day from my boss, notice a weird assignment, and call my boss*

Me: “I have a question about one of my tasks for today.”

Boss: “Which one?”

Me: “The one where you ask me to ‘Fix Google.’”

Boss: “Our Google Spreadsheets aren’t working correctly right now. When I open one it opens eight additional tabs in my browser. When [Coworker] opens one it freezes and then shuts down his browser. I need you to fix it, since you’re our Tech Support.”

Me: “I appreciate your faith in my technical abilities, but everything you’re listing is handled through Google directly, and since I don’t work for Google…”

Boss: “Yeah but I’m sure you can figure it out.”

Me: *face-palm*

(Long story short, I spent over an hour on the phone with a Google Help Desk person trying to figure out why this kept happening. Turns out my boss kept double clicking the link impatiently while waiting for it to load, causing 8 tabs to open of the same spreadsheet. As for my coworker, it’s difficult for a spreadsheet to load when you have 18 other tabs currently open.)

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