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All’s Well That Ends With A Job!

, , , , , , | Working | October 17, 2022

When I was eighteen, I noticed an ad in the paper saying that a gas station was hiring. I decided to head down to the local branch and talk to the owner.

Me: “Hi. I read that ‘Help Wanted’ ad of yours in the paper.”

Boss: “What ad?”

Me: “Uh… the… ad? In the local paper?”

Boss: “I didn’t post any ad.”

Me: “No?”

Boss: “No. Are you sure it wasn’t [Franchise Location ten miles away]?”

Me: “Oh… I guess it could have been.”

Boss: “However… now that you mention it… I kind of do need some more people…”

I ended up working part-time there for two years. And yes, the ad was for that other station.

Chipping Away Into The Modern Electronic Age

, , , | Right | October 11, 2022

Back in the early 2000s, I had a summer job as a service representative for a phone tech company. Specifically, the company sold and serviced ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) telephones. My job was to fix phones that had been sent in, and if I couldn’t fix them, just take one that had already been fixed down from the shelves and send that out instead.

A man called the repair shop, having been searching desperately for someone who could fix an issue with his phone. Apparently, he had been given the run-around by all the salespeople who sold him this thing, making him more and more desperate for actual assistance.

At this time (in July), most people were on vacation, so it was even harder to find anyone who could help. There I was, a temp in my teens, alone in a repair shop, taking his call.

As he explained his problem to me, though, it did sound like a fairly simple fix; the issue he was experiencing should be fixed with a software update. The way to do that was to open up the phone, extract one chip from the circuit board, and put in a new pre-programmed one. I wasn’t quite sure about the next step, though, seeing as he lived in a city an hour’s drive away.

Me: “Would you like to send me the phone? Or maybe I can send you the chip you need if you’re able to fix it yourself?”

Customer: “No, I’ll be right down!” *Click*

Sure enough, an hour later, a car pulled up on the industrial estate. I went out to greet him and let him in (even though there was no customer reception area, just a warehouse). Once I got hold of his phone, I fixed his issue in about two minutes. It was as I thought: just open it up, extract the chip with a special tool, insert a new chip that we had ready on the shelves, test the phone, and screw it back together.

Customer: “How much do I owe you?”

Me: “Oh, nothing. That was so simple; I couldn’t charge anything for that. Plus, you drove all the way down here.”

The man insisted and left me some cash anyway. He then departed, ecstatic that he’d finally found someone who’d been able to help.

I learned a lot about customer service in that job — to be polite, helpful, and patient. Whether the customer is an ignoramus, unlucky, or just plain desperate, there’s always some way to help them. When you’re in the service sector, that’s the job.

A Moose? Like… An Entire MOOSE?

, , , | Right | September 29, 2022

As a student in the 2000s, I worked part-time at a supermarket — specifically, in the fresh meat and fish department. One evening, a lady came in.

Lady: “I have a moose that I need cut up into pieces. Can you guys do that for me?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we can’t. We’re not allowed to cut anything that hasn’t come from an authorized slaughterhouse. The food and health authorities have very strict guidelines for what we’re allowed to cut with our saws.”

Lady: “But it’s just one moose. It’s not really that different from cutting up a sheep, is it?”

Me: “It’s not about the type of animal, ma’am. It’s that we don’t know where the animal has come from, and it could potentially contaminate our equipment.”

Lady: “Is there someone else here I can ask?”

Me: “I’m the only one working here right now, ma’am. The head cook works daytime if you want to ask him, but he’ll just tell you the same thing I have.”

Lady: “Okay, I’ll come back and ask him later.”

She did come in another time and asked the head cook, who told her the same thing I had. To this day, I still don’t understand why some customers just refuse to believe what the workers in a store tell them.

Maybe Try Renting A Vacation Home Next Time?

, , | Right | September 12, 2022

I work at the reception desk at a very popular skiing resort. A guest checked in at our hotel for a week-long stay during one of our busiest. She was very clear that she needed a quiet room, which she had contacted us about in advance, and we’d assigned her a room as far away as possible from the main building, pubs, and other sources of noise like traffic and partying.

The first night, she came down to reception several times, complaining about the noise in the room. We asked what the issue was.

Guest: “There are people and kids in the room next door!”

We honestly thought she was joking the first time, but we quickly realized she was very serious. Despite being fully booked, we were able to sort things out and move her to a different room, which was even worse, since there was a dog in the room underneath it, and it was next to an elevator that kept ringing when people used it.

She ended up moving back to the original room the next day, and she continued to complain that she couldn’t sleep because people were chatting in the rooms next door, and it was ruining her holiday.

We did the best we could during the whole week, trying to explain that if you want a quiet holiday during the high season for skiing, a hotel is not the best choice.

After she left, we got correspondence from the travel agency she’d used. They apologized profoundly for our experience with the difficult guest and explained that they’ve had the same kind of experience with her. Surprisingly, though, when she had spoken to the travel agency about her holiday, she had only good things to say about our hotel and staff, and she said she would definitively consider us for the next vacation, as well.

Let’s just hope it’s not during the busy season, so both she and the reception desk will get some peace and quiet.

Ask First, Then Spread Germs

, , , , , , | Working | September 2, 2022

This happened during the health crisis. When society started opening up after being shut down, we were finally allowed to hold a family party. We used caterers, and one of them was walking around, cleaning up, and collecting used glasses and plates.

I was standing in a corner, having put my empty glass on a windowsill. I was planning to get a refill, but apparently, one of the servers had a different idea.

He came over and picked up the glass, holding it by the rim and covering the opening — no gloves.

Server: “Are you finished with this?”

Me: “Well… now I am.”

I guess some people haven’t learned anything from the health crisis.