USB-B For IE From The ISP

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2020

We provide a cable Internet network in a nearby housing complex. Many residents run a cable to their home but then move on, leaving the cable available for the next resident via a company-branded network port on the wall.

A new resident contacts us, saying she had plugged her computer into the network port we provided to the previous resident, but IE can’t display the page. (Clue one: “Is my browser that thing with the E on it?”)

I send my assistant over to see what the problem is, as I can’t see a physical connection to her unit on our router through that network port.

Not five minutes later, he’s back. She has a USB printer cable plugged into her computer, with the USB-B side in the network port in the wall!

It is the same basic shape, I guess.

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That Figures

, , , , | Working | April 1, 2020

I am a frequent shopper at a well-known video game store where I actually used to work. One day I received an email that they were having a sale on vinyl figures, something I collect. I had some extra income, so I decided to order some included in the sale.

I placed the order and noticed it would be sent in two shipments. That was perfectly fine, I thought, so I went about my life, frequently checking the tracking page. One package, the one containing fewer of my figures, shipped and even arrived in less than two weeks.

After those two weeks, I noticed the larger of the two hadn’t even been shipped yet, so I decided to call customer service.

I was optimistic. It was not near the holidays so I shouldn’t be on hold long, I thought naively, and even listened with interest to the advertisements for new games they played while I was holding.

Well, forty-five minutes later, that optimism had worn off and I was officially annoyed. When someone finally answered the phone, I was not happy. I was polite, of course, but the representative just wasn’t getting it.

I described to him my exact problem: that I had the order literally in front of me at that exact moment with the entire list of the contents and the tracking information and it said it hadn’t even been sent.

After some fiddling around and putting me on hold two more times, the rep told me there was a mistake with the shipping and he would have my package resent.

Hallelujah, right?


He read me the exact list of the figures that would be in the package. I had specifically ordered two figures that were from the same franchise. He listed one of the figures, but not the figure of the main character that should have been with the package. For the record, all this information was on the list of products I had in front of me, and, I assumed, he had in front of him.

So. I corrected him, listing the full list including all of the vinyls I had ordered.

He agreed, and then listed them again, minus the same character.

Finally, exhausted, after nearly two hours of talking probably more than I had in the entire rest of the day combined, I just agreed with him and had him send the shipment.

I wrote off the figure as one of the free ones I would have gotten and tried not to be too upset, but now I have the side character vinyl and not the main character and a decayed view of customer service for this company. 

If I buy from them now, it’s from their brick-and-mortar store nearest me because at least those employees act like they appreciate and listen to me.

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At Least His Sense Of Humor Isn’t Dead, Too

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 1, 2020

We had a relatively new phone number, and once every few weeks, we’d get a call from someone speaking Spanish. My Spanish is “muy malo” (very bad), but I could tell he was looking for José. I’d ask, “Habla Inglés?” but he obviously did not, so I’d hang up.  

Every few weeks, he’d call back looking for José. I suspected we had José’s old phone number and it was on this guy’s speed dial, but he never got around to changing it.

Again, he called, asking for José. In desperation, I faked a cry and said, “José es muerto! José es muerto!”

He let out a loud belly laugh and hung up, and we never heard from him again. I assume this prompted him to update his speed dial.

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Hamburgers Are The Cure

, , , , , , , | Right | April 1, 2020

I was talking with the waiter at a restaurant yesterday about how crazy the people are being about buying supplies due to the panic buying. My local grocery store was out of expected items such as water, toilet paper, and paper towels. The cheap eggs were gone, but the more expensive eggs were untouched. More unexpected to me, at least, was that shelves were bare of other basics like hamburgers.

The waiter indicated they have been having problems too: people were stealing the toilet paper from their restrooms. I can just imagine the next customer in the restroom…

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Bad At Loss Prevention AND Customer Retention

, , , , , , | Working | March 31, 2020

To avoid characterization as you read this, keep in mind that I’m a very fair-skinned, middle-aged Caucasian female. A few years ago, I stopped to buy a few groceries at an “everything under one roof” discount store. As was my usual routine, I took a cart, tossed my reusable bags into the child seat, and took off my jacket and put it in the bottom, under the seat and partially covering my purse.

After getting the groceries I needed, I headed toward the checkouts, saw a rack of clearance jackets, and stopped a moment to look. There was one in my size I liked, and the price was right, so I put that in the cart, also.

During checkout, I reached under my old jacket and took my wallet from my purse, then returned it after paying and dropped the receipt into one of the bags as I pushed my cart away from the registers. I stopped just outside the exit, dug a pair of nail clippers from my purse and the new jacket from the bag the cashier had shoved it into, and started to clip the tags off, intending to put it on.

Then, I heard a loud voice behind me. “Excuse me, ma’am. You need to come with me!” 

I stopped mid-clip and turned to see what was going on.

“You need to come with me!” reiterated a young man wearing a store badge, reaching forward and grabbing the handle of the shopping cart.

Taken by surprise, I stammered, “What? Why!”

“You didn’t pay for that jacket,” he said, pointing to my old one, “and whatever else you have stashed under it. Come with me!” Of course, people stopped to watch, but what could I do? He was taking the cart with my purse and purchases and heading back into the store, so I followed, my protests in vain.

In this store, there’s a room off of the entrance/exit vestibule that’s used by store security and is also a “police substation,” and that’s where he led me, me still carrying the new jacket and nail clippers with him pushing the cart.

He used a key to open the door, pushed the cart in, motioned for me to enter, followed me in, and closed the door behind us. Inside was a large metal cabinet partly filled with electronics with a monitor on top with nothing playing, a small bookcase stacked with books, binders, and assorted papers, and another, locking cabinet with some boxes on top. (It’s interesting what we remember in stressful situations; I couldn’t tell you if there was a window or not.) There was also a long table, several chairs, and an older man — a policeman — sitting on one side doing paperwork.

“Whatcha’ got?” He asked the young man.

“A shoplifter,” he replied.

By that point, I was not only embarrassed but livid as h*** and starting to cry. “I haven’t stolen anything! My receipt’s in that bag!” I pointed. “The jacket in the cart is mine, I wore it into the store, and the only thing under it is my purse!” I half yelled, half blubbered.

“Sit down,” said the young man. “I saw you trying to leave without paying for that coat. I have no idea what all you’ve got hidden under it, but you didn’t pay for any of that, either!” I didn’t sit; I was too mad.

The police officer stood up and walked around the table. “Mind if I have a look?”

“Yes! I mean, no, please do, I didn’t steal anything!” I insisted.

He took the receipt out of the bag, also lifting a few grocery items out and comparing them to the receipt and put them back in the bags. “Is that the jacket on the receipt?” he asked, gesturing toward the one I was by then hugging.

“Yeah, it is.”

He picked up my old ratty jacket, faded, stained, frayed, torn pocket, broken zipper. “Is this the one she didn’t pay for?” he asked the young man, one eyebrow raised.

“Uh, yeah,” the young man answered.

Holding my obviously not new jacket aside, the policeman looked back into the cart. Two bags filled with groceries, two empty bags, and my purse, zipper open, concealing nothing; surprise! 

“I’m so sorry, ma’am. Take a moment to compose yourself, and you’re free to go when you’re ready.” The young man was led to the far end of the table and some pretty intense whispering ensued, the policeman poking at the other’s chest, the young man gesturing wildly in the general direction of me and the door.

I dropped the clippers in my purse, threw the new jacket on top of the bags in the cart, and tried to let myself out, but the door was still locked. The policeman, seeing me jiggling the knob and leaning on the door in frustration, ran to unlock it, telling the young man, “Sit down, we need to talk.”

I never did wear the new jacket and I wouldn’t go back to the store to return it; several months later it was donated to a coat drive. The old one was eventually replaced with a purchase from a different store and discarded. The store is still there and I have been back, but only after a long time and never by myself.

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