It’s Not Like They Had Snow Way Of Knowing

, , , | Right | December 20, 2018

(I work at a hotel located on the southwest coast of Norway. I can tell you that it hardly snows here, even in wintertime. It is the busiest time, July, when a family is ready to check in.)

Me: “Hi. Welcome to [Hotel]. Are you ready to check in?”

Guest: *angry* “Where is the snow?!”

Me: *slightly confused since it’s summertime and the sun is out* “I’m sorry?”

Guest: *getting frustrated that I don’t understand* “Where are the snow and the polar bears?!”

Me: “I’m sorry to tell you this, sir, but it’s summertime. We hardly get snow here at all. It only rains here, even in wintertime.”

Guest: *starts to raise his voice in the lobby* “That is not true! I’ve seen this in movies! It’s always snowing in Norway, and polar bears walk in the streets!”

Me: “Sir, with all due respect, there is no snow here. I have never seen a polar bear in my life.”

(He gets slightly angry, but checks in, anyway. After a while he comes back down.)

Guest: “Where can I walk on the ice?”

Me: *thought we had been over this already* “What do you mean, sir?”

Guest: “Where can I walk on the ice?” *shows me a picture of a glacier that is located six hours from our current location*

Me: *tries to lighten up the mood with a joke* “Well, if you start to walk now, it might take you two weeks until you reach it.”

Guest: *does not get my joke and is not happy that it is not within walking distance* “I will find a hotel that will help me!”

(He stormed off. The last I heard of him was from another hotel that called me to ask if this crazy guest was mine. He had been to several other hotels and almost demanded that the ice would come closer to him.)

One Door Opens, And A Million Errands Follow

, , , , | Related | December 19, 2018

(It’s December 19th, a Monday. My mum has instructed me to move out of my room and into the guest room the following day, as my brother and his girlfriend are coming for Christmas, and my room has a double bed.)

Mum: “I need Tuesday to get the room ready for them.”

Me: “They’re not coming until Thursday; can’t you get the room ready on Wednesday?”

Mum: “No, I have a plan.” *in a conspiring way* “I have a plan, you see.”

(The next morning I take a long time to get out of bed, as I usually do on days off, and don’t leave my room until it’s almost noon. I go to the bathroom, and when I come back I sit down in the bed with the covers over my legs and my laptop in my lap. I have barely powered the laptop up when my mum enters. She picks up the end of my covers and tugs lightly at them.)

Me: “Now? I have to move now?”

Mum: “I’ve been sitting downstairs, waiting to hear movement from up here for a long time. What time is it, actually?”

Me: “It’s ten to noon.”

(I get up, and Mum starts changing the covers.)

Mum: “Almost noon? I’ve been waiting for hours!”

Me: “Wait, so when you don’t need anything from me, you wake me up, but when you do need something, you let me sleep? I don’t follow.”

(After I’ve moved the essentials into the smaller, single-bed guestroom, I close the door, only to have Mum open it again.)

Mum: “You should let this be open, so you can be aware of what’s happening in the house.”

Me: “I have to sit here and watch you vacuum?”

(A few minutes later:)

Mum: “[My Name], will you come and help me? My back aches.”

(I get up and help her put new sheets on my bed.)

Me: “This is why you really wanted my door open, wasn’t it?”

Mum: “Nooo…”

The Best Way To Handle Problem Customers Is To Just Hum Along

, , , , | Right | December 18, 2018

(In our store we have a policy that you can’t return a certain item. This is regulated by law, but most customers do not believe this, for some reason. I have had some very uncomfortable encounters with customers over this, but this one takes the crown.)

Customer: “I would like to return these.” *she puts up the item that I am not allowed to take as a return, and a couple of other items that I can take*

Me: *friendly and apologetic* “These I cannot take; I am not allowed. I do apologize. But you can return these.”

Customer: “Ah, yes, I have heard that you guys are very difficult and that this store has bad customer service, but I decided to give you a chance. But now I know; I am never coming back here!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. The policy is, however, regulated by law, and I cannot accept a return on these. There is nothing I can do about it.”

(The customer goes on a rant on how stupid this is, how she is never coming back, and how bad the customer service is. I am quite used to these rants, because of the law, so I shut down and am now just nodding and smiling. The customer races around the store to find something to exchange her returnable items for, because she does not want store credit. Meanwhile, I’m doing some tidying, and putting items back on the shelves, while humming a tune to myself. The store is very small and the customer hears my humming.)

Customer: *wild-eyed* “How can you HUM when I am upset?!”

Me: *shocked* “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “Even YOU should understand that you can’t hum when a customer is in the store and upset! YOU UNDERSTAND THAT, DON’T YOU?!”

Me: “I’m so sorry; I always hum. I really did not mean to offend you in any way!”

Customer: “I’m going to write a complaint to the store, telling your boss that you treated me VERY badly! This is not the last you are hearing of this! It is so incredibly rude TO HUM WHILE A CUSTOMER IS UPSET!”

Me: “Please calm down. There is nothing I can do. I am not allowed to return the item, by law. I did not mean to offend you by humming. I always hum.”

Customer: “Give me store credit; I can’t find anything here to buy.” *she studies the note with the store credit to get my name* “Oh, so it’s [My Name]? You will hear about this!”

Me: *a little frustrated that she is going to complain about me personally to my boss over something that I could not do anything about by law* “I’m so sorry. I don’t understand why you are so upset by me humming.”

Customer: *as she storms out* “NO, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”

(Well… I have not heard anything about any complaint, nor have I stopped humming.)

Unfiltered Story #131593

, | Unfiltered | December 5, 2018

(I work in customer care for a well-known photo company, which has grown from developing analogue film to being an online-based company that only deals with digital pictures. Despite the decade-long rollover is still somewhat new to our older clientele, despite the decrease in use of analogue film over the last decades. This is a usual phone call from said older customers.)
Me: “Hi! Thank you for calling [company name]! What can I do for you?”
Customer: “Hi! Do you still develop film?”
Me: “No, unfortunately we discontinued that service September of last year.”
Customer: “Oh no! Are there others who still develop?”
Me: “Yes, fortunately [competing company] still develop film in their stores, so you can contact them for further assistance.”
Customer: “But you do not develop any film?”
Me: “No.”
Customer: *in a panicky voice* “When did you stop?”
Me: “… September of last year.”
Customer: “But I have so many films that need developing! What should I do now?”
Me: *head on desk* “As I’ve previously said, [competing company] still develops film in their stores …”

Illegally Rich

, , , , , | Working | December 3, 2018

I started my first job when I was fourteen. There are a lot of rules that have to be followed when someone under eighteen works, like how often one can work, time of the day, and stuff like that. I think I broke every single one. However, I was only glad for the money and apparently, it’s the employer who has to make sure the rules are followed, not the employee.

When you’re under fifteen, you need written consent from your parents before you can start working. I never had written consent; however, my manager knew that my parents agreed as my manager kind of knew my mom.

Also, when under fifteen, you can’t work more than two hours a day, and twelve hours a week. I definitely worked more than that.

When under fifteen, it’s not legal to work after 8:00 pm or before 6:00 am. I often worked until 10:00 pm and started work at 4:30 or  5:30 am.

When under eighteen, you’re not allowed to work overtime, so a maximum of nine hours a day, and forty hours a week. I often worked more than nine hours a day, sometimes more than forty hours a week, as well. I got paid for it, so I was happy. As I had near to no expenses, I definitely felt rich when I got paid and didn’t have to pay any bills or anything like that.

I was also entitled to thirty-minute breaks when working four and a half hours or more, and since I didn’t get to leave my workplace, I was supposed to get paid during those thirty minutes. I didn’t get paid, so I often just didn’t take a break. My manager made sure I got paid for thirty minutes extra every day.

There was also the issue with vacation. When under eighteen, if you go to school, you have to have four weeks and one day of vacation each year, and two of the weeks have to be during the summer months. I worked all through the summer, each summer, all of the “red days” — Sundays, Christmas, and Easter — where we get paid 100% overtime.

For the sake of my employer, and myself, I am very glad that the labor inspection never checked us, as my employer would have been in trouble, and I wouldn’t have been able to work all of those hours. Was it legal? Definitely not, but hey, I got paid, and my employer saved money, as I was cheaper than people over the age of 18.