Not Banking On Them Listening

, , , , | Right | June 5, 2019

(A local bank has changed its phone number, and the new number happens to be very similar to mine. I keep coming home from work to messages, many of which contain very sensitive information such as bank account numbers, card details, and PINs. I delete them immediately and contact the bank to tell them. The bank manager apologises and says he will send out a letter to all their customers telling them to be extra careful when dialling, but also to remind them not to leave sensitive information on any messages. Despite the manager’s best efforts, I keep getting calls and coming home to messages. I can’t change my number because the phone company will charge me for it. I figure that the customers will eventually get the message. Besides, most of the callers are polite, if a little embarrassed when I tell them they have the wrong number. One morning I get roused at 8:00 am by a phone call. I am still half asleep when I answer.)

Me: “Uh… hello?”

Caller: “That’s a terrible way to answer a call. So rude.”

Me: “Who is this?”

Caller: “My name is Mrs. [Caller]. I need to make an appointment to discuss my savings account with you—“

Me: “Sorry to interrupt, but you’ve got the wrong number. This isn’t [Bank].”

Caller: “How dare you interrupt me?! Are you new?”

Me: “I don’t work at [Bank]. You have the wrong number.”

Caller: “Look, just make me the appointment; this is very important.”

Me: “You have called a private residence. This is not [Bank]. You need to hang up and try again.”

Caller: “You insolent little b****! I demand your name!”

Me: “I’m not giving you my name. You’ve got the wrong number!

Caller: “You’re just saying that to cover your a**. Typical young person; you’re all lazy and rude. Get me your manager now!”

Me: “This. Isn’t. [Bank]. You have called a private residence. The new number for the bank is one digit different to mine. You have the wrong number. I cannot get the manager because I am not in the bank; I am in my house. You are not speaking to a [Bank] employee.”

Caller: “That’s it! I’m going to make a complaint and get you fired! You are a rude and insolent little b****.”

Me: “Good luck with that. I don’t even work for [Bank]. Like I keep telling you, you have the wrong number.”

Caller: “How dare you?! That’s it; I’m coming down to the bank. I know the branch manager personally. I hope you enjoy the unemployment line.”

Me: “I hope you enjoy trying to fire somebody who doesn’t even work for the bank.”

(I hang up.)

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Spamming You With Complaints

, , , , , | Right | June 3, 2019

(I am working at a supermarket deli counter. It is quiet, so my supervisor is taking time to finish some paperwork just behind me while I keep an eye out for customers. A man comes up to the counter.)

Me: “Hi there. Can I get you anything or do you need some time to decide?”

Customer: “Oh. I’d like some spam, please.”

Me: “Sorry, we don’t sell spam here. We do have corned beef which is similar but with beef, or luncheon meat is pretty similar, too. Otherwise, the spam is in aisle ten with the tinned meats. I can help you find it if you like.”

Customer: “No. You have spam. There.” *points to one of the many ham joints we have* “It’s all spam because it’s not real ham; it’s all reformed so it’s spam.”

Me: “Which one would you like?”

Customer: “It’s spam. Not ham.”

(My supervisor looks up and gives me a funny look before turning back to her paperwork.)

Me: “Okay. Which would you like? We have some smoked ones here, dry ones over here, and we have some with crumb coatings here. If you’re not sure, you can sample as many as you like.”

Customer: “This one.” *jabs his finger, pointing to one, scowling at me as he does so*

Me: “The Wiltshire?” *points to it*

Customer: “Yeah. That’s spam.”

Me: “Is this the one you want or would you like to try some first?”

Customer: “Yeah, can I get three slices of that spam?”

Me: “Do you want it sliced thick or thin?”

Customer: “I don’t know. How thick should spam be cut? Because it’s spam, not ham.”

Me: “It depends. If you’re using it for sandwiches, you can have it thick or thin depending on what you prefer. But if you’re using it in a salad, thicker is usually better.”

Customer: “I’ll have the spam cut thick.”

(I cut him the first slice, showing it to him to see if that’s thick enough. He’s happy with it so I slice the other two, weigh it, and tell him the price.)

Me: “Can I get you anything else?”

Customer: “Yeah, what’s that spam?” *points to another ham joint*

Me: “That’s honey roast. It’s really nice. Would you like to try some?”

Customer: “No. I’ll just take what I’ve got.” *reaches up to the counter and takes his ham* “But you shouldn’t call it ham. It’s spam. It’s illegal to call food something it’s not. You’re breaking the law.”

Me: “I can get you a manager so you can tell him about your concerns, if you like?”

(The man mutters something under his breath and shakes his head.)

Me: “Can I help you with anything else?”

Customer: “No.”

(The man wanders off. A few minutes later, the manager on duty comes over.)

Manager #1: “I have a complaint from a customer.”

Supervisor: “Let me guess. It’s spam man.”

Manager #1: “I… There’s a customer claiming you argued with him about the ham and were very rude.”

Me: “I didn’t argue with him at all. He tried to say our ham was actually spam because it was reformed and so, legally, we shouldn’t call it spam, so I left out the word ‘ham’ and called it by its name, like ‘Wiltshire’ or ‘honey roast.’”

Supervisor: “That’s true. The customer kept going on and on about it being spam, not ham, but there was no argument.”

Manager #1: “You’re sure? Because that’s not what he’s saying.”

Supervisor: “I was here the whole time doing paperwork. I can guarantee you [My Name] did not argue with him whatsoever. It’s obvious he was trying to start an argument, but [My Name] didn’t rise to it. In fact, when he kept insisting about the spam, she offered to go and get you so he could speak to you about it and he said no.”

Manager #1: “Okay, I’ll go and talk to him. I think there’s been a misunderstanding.”

(As soon as the manager leaves, my supervisor turns to me.)

Supervisor: “Misunderstanding, my a**.”

(The rest of the shift went by and we didn’t hear anything. The customer didn’t come back, and the manager didn’t say anything. The next day, however, I came in and I was called into the office by [Manager #2], the manager on duty that day. It turned out the customer came in that morning and complained about me again, saying I had been rude and abusive. [Manager #2] said I would have to be written up because she’d had to give him a £20 voucher to keep him happy because of my behaviour. I tried to explain what happened but she wouldn’t hear it. I told my supervisor and she was furious and headed to [Manager #2]’s office. [Manager #2] ignored her, too. It was only when [Manager #1] came back into work later that week and explained what had actually happened that [Manager #2] dropped the write-up, but she still warned me to “watch my attitude” around customers and not to argue with them in future.)

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Those Darn Vegans And Their Avocados!

, , , , | Right | May 7, 2019

(I am in the local supermarket. This particular supermarket has its own radio show that is played all day. As well as playing music, they often share trivia or interesting facts and such. One such fact that the presenter gives is that experts fear that the iconic Sunday roast will be extinct in ten to twenty years. An old man not far from me stiffens and scowls and turns to the woman with him.)

Man: “It’s those f****** vegans! They’re killing the Sunday roast! What the h*** is wrong with kids these days? Back in my day, we didn’t complain; we ate what we were told to. I didn’t fight in a war just for those cry babies to cry and whinge all the time. I tell you, kids these days have no manners and only care about themselves!”

(He continues to rant and complain about how vegans are the problem, getting angrier and angrier. The woman with him manages to calm him down and they move on. A staff member comes up to me.)

Staff Member: “Is everything okay? What happened?”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. It’s just the vegans.”

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The Great British Fall-Off

, , , , , | Related | April 12, 2019

(Mum and I are both watching a programme with the comedian Sue Perkins as she follows the Mekong river in China. She’s been driven up one of the mountains and gotten out part way to talk about the river. She also talks about how the altitude is affecting her and she’s lightheaded. She’s doing this whilst stood on the edge of the road that seems to have a sheer drop with no barrier. Mum and I are both acrophobic — we’re scared of heights to an irrational level.)

Me: *getting anxious* “She is really starting to bother me. She’s getting lightheaded and is stood… there.”

Mum: “On the edge.”

Me: “Nothing to break her fall.”

Mum: “Well, we wouldn’t be there. We’d be against the mountain going, ‘Sue! Suuuue! Come away from the edge!'”

Me: *pretending to be more panicked than I am* “‘Sue, it’s not safe!'”

Mum: *also pretending panic* “’Suuuue!’”

(It then pans out to show that she genuinely is on the edge of the cliff.)

Mum & Me: *no longer pretending* “SUE!”

(Thankfully, it cuts to a different take.)

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Getting Catty In The Office

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 11, 2019

(At work, we’re sat in groups of four on one pod — basically four curved desks pushed together so all the computers are in the middle. [Coworker #1] of the pod has a cat called Margaret — her first cat. [Coworker #2] and I have had many cats in the past but not currently, and [Coworker #3] has never had a cat but understands how they work. We’re just generally chatting when the topic goes on to Margaret the cat.)

Coworker #1: “Ugh, Margaret was being a little b**** last night.”

Coworker #3: “Cats cannot be b****es.”

Me: “They can be a**holes, though.”

Coworker #3: “Yes, they seem to do that a lot.”

Coworker #1: “Fine. Margaret was being a little not-b**** last night.”

Coworker #2: “Why was your cat a little not-b****?”

Coworker #1: “She wouldn’t go out!”

(There is a pause.)

Coworker #2: “And?”

Coworker #1: “We put her out every night, and last night she wouldn’t go out.”

Me & Coworker #2: “Yes?”

Coworker #1: “We had to chase her round the house to try and get her to go out!”

Coworker #3: “Isn’t that normal?”

Me: “Yup.”

Coworker #1: “Is it?”

Me & Coworker #2: “Yup.”

Me: “If a cat doesn’t want to go out, it will not go out.”

Coworker #2: “They’re even worse if you’re trying to get the a**hole in.”

(I nod mock-solemnly in agreement.)

Coworker #1: “But if she’s in, she runs about the house in the middle of the night!”

Me: “She sounds like a normal, healthy cat.”

Coworker #1: “THIS IS NORMAL?!”

Me & Coworker 2: “Yup.”

Coworker #1: “Shouldn’t she be asleep at night?”

Me: “Cats are mostly nocturnal. So… no.”

Coworker #1: “Why can’t she just love me unconditionally, sleep at night, and do as I say?”

Coworker #3: “Well, those kinds of animals do exist… They’re just called dogs.”

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