Taxing Faxing, Part 23

, , , | Right | March 17, 2018

(Our company doesn’t have a fax machine anymore. Instead, any faxes that people send to our line come through as email attachments. Unfortunately, the sender doesn’t get anything saying that we have received their fax. Usually, this isn’t a problem, but sometimes things go wrong, and we just don’t get the fax. Generally, when this happens, they call us to check, and we tell them to either resend, or scan and email, which is a bit more reliable.)

Me: “[Company], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Caller: “I sent you a fax on the 28th, and it still hasn’t been actioned!”

Me: “Oh, gosh. I’m so sorry! I will double-check and see where that request is for you, right away!”

Caller: “You do that! I sent it at [time] on the 28th!”

Me: *looking through our inbox* “I’m really sorry, but we haven’t received anything from you since [date well before the 28th].”

Caller: “But I sent it!”

Me: “Okay, let me just check one more place; it might have been misfiled.” *checks, nothing there* “No, sorry. It doesn’t look like anything came through. I do apologise, but we just didn’t receive it.”

Caller: “But I sent it!”

Me: “Again, I am sorry, but since we didn’t receive it, we didn’t action it. If you resend it to us now, I can make sure we do it for you immediately.”

Caller: “But I sent it!”

Me: “I realise that, but unfortunately, our system never received it.”

Caller: “BUT I SENT IT!”

(I had no idea what else I could say, at least not without getting fired. I just kept on apologising, and lost another ten minutes of my life with her saying, “BUT I SENT IT!” in reply to everything I said. She did eventually get off the phone, and we ended up getting multiple copies of her next request, with the note, “I SENT IT!” attached as a cover letter.)

Taxing Faxing, Part 22
Taxing Faxing, Part 2017
Taxing Faxing, Part 21
Taxing Faxing, Part 20

I Can Speak The Inglish

, , , | Learning | March 16, 2018

I am a New Zealander, and I was applying for graduate study at a number of universities in the United States. A month or two after applications went in, I received a letter from one of the universities — a prestigious one which should know better — to inform me that my application was incomplete because I had not submitted a TOEFL score. “TOEFL” is short for “test of English as a foreign language,” and is used by US universities to ensure that foreign students have sufficient command of English to be able to study in an English language environment. It is not required for native English speakers, so of course I had not taken the test.

So, I wrote them a reply, which went something like this.

“You have asked me for a TOEFL score. As it happens, I was resident in the USA from age eight weeks to four years old, when I learned to speak. Had I remained there, I could reasonably claim that English was a foreign language, but I then moved back to New Zealand. As such, I speak English natively. I know to never split an infinitive. I avoid cliches like the plague. Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put. I don’t use no double negatives. In short, I cannot in good faith take a test of English as a foreign language.”

They made no further demands for a TOEFL score.

Extra-Blu Ray

, , | Right | March 14, 2018

(An older gentleman has brought back his Blu-Ray player.)

Elderly Customer: “I can’t get this to work. The red light comes on, but the remote isn’t working.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll just check it out.”  

(I connect it to a handy television, and sure enough, the set-up menu comes up, but the remote won’t work.)

Elderly Customer: “I brought a disc to test it.”

(I take the recent release, an Oscar-winning disc, but check the remote first and find one battery is put in backwards.)

Me: “There’s your problem, sir. The battery was in the wrong way; it should be fine now.”

Elderly Customer: “Could you check that it works, please?”

Me: “Sure!”

(I hit eject, and out popped the tray with a “Combat Zone XXX” porn DVD in it.)

Teaching Them The Whole Nine Yards

, , , , | Learning | March 5, 2018

(I teach physics to students in a university aviation course in New Zealand. It is like flight school, but with more depth of background knowledge, and you get a degree at the end of it. There are about 20 students, and about half of them are from Asian nations: Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia, etc. The first lesson is unit conversion. I give them some unit conversion factors, like miles to feet and feet to meters, and give some examples, one of which is something like, “Convert 340 yards and 2 feet into miles.” An Asian student raises their hand.)

Student: “What is a yard?”

Me: “I am so happy to find out there are people in the world who don’t know what a yard is. Alas, I am about to destroy your innocent ignorance.”

(I explain inches, feet, yards, chains, furlongs, and miles, to the astonishment of half the class.)

Going To Tile A Lawsuit

, , , | Right | March 2, 2018

Me: *answers phone* “[Company], how can I help?”

Caller: “You sent me the wrong tiles; I want to return them for a refund.”

Me: “Oh, I am sorry. What is wrong with the tiles?”

Caller: “They are the wrong color.”

Me: “I am sorry. I can exchange them for the correct color, if you need.”

Caller: “No, I want a refund.”

Me: “Okay, you will have to return them to [Company address].”

Caller: “I can’t do that; I have already installed them.”

Me: “They are the wrong color, and you have installed them, and you want a refund? I am sorry; I cannot do that.”

(The caller gets very angry and begins to list off government laws around providing good quality and displayed products, and explain why she is entitled to a refund.)

Me: “I have studied these laws and acts regarding this. There is also a section saying if the goods can not be removed without destroying them, the supplier does not have to rectify the situation. These tiles are cemented to the floor; you cannot get them up.”

Caller: “I won’t stand for this. I will get my lawyer involved.”

(Two weeks later, a letter from a lawyer detailing the story above arrived, addressed to me. I emailed the lawyer a signed copy of the customer’s sales agreement, stating that the color ordered was what she got, and also a summary of what had been discussed over the phone. All I got back from the lawyer was, “Thank you. Please consider this closed.”)

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