Please, Please, PLEASE Read Your Emails!

, , , , , | Working | August 5, 2020

My boss is in his sixties, he’s a workaholic, and he is the OG weeaboo with a love for all things Japanese. He has a part-business, part-pleasure trip scheduled before the illness outbreak becomes a thing for two weeks in early March.

As the situation evolves, his VP begs him not to go, but he continues to insist on going, even as events are cancelled and the VP warns him he will be self-quarantined for two weeks upon his return. It is also important to note that he is a university professor and they had already warned him explicitly of the same treatment.

He goes anyway and classes are officially cancelled in his absence while we are put on a work-at-home leave. This first text message comes as he is in customs at one of the opened international airports:

Boss: “Hi. I want to have a meeting tomorrow with [Intern #1] and [Intern #2]. Will they be in the office?

VP: “NO, [Boss]! You are quarantined for two weeks! Check your f****** email!”

The kicker is that he was told about five separate times that no one would be in the office for this exact reason.

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Last Day Pains

, , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

I work in a mailroom for a mail-order catalog. Mailroom workers who work the day shift have an additional responsibility to call customers whose order forms are either missing information or illegible. I am stationed on the phones today with an employee who is working their last day before moving to another state. We have thirty minutes before we clock out.

Coworker: “Oh, no.”

Me: “What is it?”

Coworker: “It’s ‘Miss Pain’ again.”

“Miss Pain” is what we call a certain customer who makes our job a lot harder. Instead of filling out an order form, she sends pages from the multiple catalogs we send out, with the items she wants circled and quantity written next to it. She also never sends any form of payment, so we have to call her in order to get her card information. Her calls take a long time to complete because she always disagrees with what she sent in.

Me: “Just leave her order for tomorrow. It’s almost time to go, and you know she’s just going to argue with you.”

Coworker: *Smiles* “You know what? It’s my last day; I want to have a little fun.”

He calls her and relays to me what she said after work, in his best customer service voice.

Coworker: “Hello, Mrs. [Customer], I’m [Coworker] calling from [Mail Order Company]. I have some questions about your order form.

Miss Pain: *Angry* “Yes, it’s about time you called me. Hold on while I grab my card.”

Coworker: “No, that won’t be necessary. My question is, did you realize you didn’t send an order form at all? You just sent us pages with items circled.”

Miss Pain: *Near shouting* “Yes! I do it that way so you idiots don’t mess it up.”

Coworker: “All right. Are you also aware that there is no form of payment with this mess of paper?”

Miss Pain: “Yes! I’m not going to just write down my card information so some random person can open my mail and steal it.”

Coworker: “We have a phone number printed on every catalog that you can call between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm to make place your orders.”

Miss Pain: “I’m not going to be placed on hold. It’s better if you call me. Now, take down my card information so you can mail out my order. This is taking way too long.”

Coworker: “In a little bit. You do realize that when we get your stack of papers, the worker who gets your order has to take time to fill out an order form, look at every single page, make sure it’s correct, and then, instead of sending it to the processing pile, they have to send it to the callbacks, because you didn’t send any payment information?”

I’m finished with my last call and I’m listening in, holding back laughter.

Miss Pain: “I DON’T CARE! IT’S THEIR JOB TO DO THAT!”

Coworker: “Yes, but we have to hit a certain number of orders processed. Taking the time to fix your mess of an order can actually make a person miss their quota, Miss Pain. I mean Mrs. [Customer].”

I walk away so Miss Pain doesn’t hear me laugh. It’s now less than twenty minutes before we are to leave.

Miss Pain: “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY? DID YOU JUST INSULT ME? I WILL HAVE YOU FIRED! PUT YOUR MANAGER ON NOW!”

Coworker: *Sternly* “No, I will not put on my manager. You have three choices. You start filling out the form correctly, so the employees can fill your order quickly. You can place your order by phone. Or you can just stop ordering from us; we have plenty of customers. Of course, you will probably want to complain, instead. My name is [Coworker], and you can find the number on one of the catalogs; however, they are closing so you won’t have anyone to talk to. It’s also my last day, so you won’t be getting me fired since I already quit.” *Puts on his customer service voice* “Have a great evening, Miss Pain.”

He hung up on her before anything else could be said and joined the rest of us in cleaning up. We went out for drinks after to wish him luck in his new home and to celebrate someone finally telling her off. I don’t know if Miss Pain complained or not, or if anything was done if she did.

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A Complete Num-Dum

, , , | Right | August 3, 2020

I work for a small IT service provider. A lot of our customers are rather inept with computers, but at least they know what they need to do their jobs. Every now and then, however, there’s one that takes the cake. The phone rings.

Me: “[My Company], [My Name] speaking; how can I help?”

Customer: “This is [Customer] from [Company #2]. My keyboard is broken.”

Me: “Okay, what seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Well, the number buttons don’t work anymore.”

At this point, I have to admit I don’t make the connection. I figure, since he can’t type numbers, remote support won’t, either, as our remote support software works in such a way that we give the customer an ID comprising eight numbers he has to punch in. However, since the customer’s office is only a five-minute walk, I grab a spare keyboard — we always have those laying around — and go there. I arrive and try to reproduce the problem.

I type the numbers via the number keys above the keyboard.

Me: “I can’t seem to reproduce the problem. The number keys work just fine.”

Customer: “Not those, the others.”

He types on the num pad, and indeed, no numbers.

Me: “…”

I press the Num key. The customer types and numbers appear!

Customer: “Oh. Oooh… That’s what that button does? I never used it.”

Me: “Yes. Sometimes it turns off when you restart the computer. Just make sure the LED is on. If it isn’t, press the key.”

The customer thanks me and I leave. At this point, I am slightly annoyed, mostly at myself for not making the connection. But being a professional, even in support, it’s hard sometimes to consider that people don’t know even the simplest stuff. Then again, there are lights on my car’s dashboard of which I don’t know the meaning, either.

The following day, the phone rings.

Me: “[My Company], [My Name] speaking; how can I help?”

Customer: “[Customer] from [Company #2] here. I think my keyboard is really broken this time. It won’t type numbers again.”

Me: “Did you check the light?”

Customer: “Of course I did! It was off and I pushed the button. It’s on now, but it’s still not working.”

At this point, I considered trying remote support, as I now knew he could still type numbers, he just insisted on using the num pad. So, again, I grabbed a spare keyboard, just in case, and walked over.

The customer remembered he had to push “a button on the right side of the keyboard which turns on a light”. However, he couldn’t remember which one. He also couldn’t remember which light was supposed to turn on. He actually found a button that turned on an LED, but it wasn’t Num; it was Roll. The customer now has a post-it on his screen stating, “In case numbers don’t work, press NUM” with a drawing of where the key is located and which light is supposed to be on.

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Five Thousand Reasons To Dislike This Customer

, , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

Since lockdown, we’ve been closing from 12:00 to 13:00 for walk-ins to avoid having to sanitize the reception desk area computer, phone, chair, etc. We’re still available by phone. A client comes in at 13:00 sharp.

Client: “You’d better have a good reason to be closed during lunchtime! And you’d better not tell me it’s ‘cause of that corona, ‘cause that’s not a good reason!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is why. We can—”

Client: “That’s not a good reason!”

Me: “As I was saying, we cannot sanitize the area and share the desk every day; it would take too much time.”

Client: “You guys really need to let your clients know! This is ridiculous. That’s not a good reason. I’ve been here twice during lunch to make a payment and you were not open.”

Me: “Sir, it says right on our door and when you call that we’ve modified our hours and are closed from noon to one.”

Client: “That’s not good enough! You need to advise me by mail. I need it to be written down! I came here and it was closed.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, but that would make no sense. We can’t send a letter to all our clients to advise that we’re closed to walk-ins from noon to one temporarily.”

We’re a local business but have over five-thousand clients; that would be thousands of dollars for something they would literally know by calling.

Client: “That’s stupid. This makes no sense. It’s not a good reason. Anyway, you guys suck and I won’t be your client again next year.”

Me: “No problem, sir. How about we cancel today, then?”

Client: “No! I don’t have time for that.”

We proceeded to payment. He asked a question and asked if we were going to be open at lunch then. I told him no and he stormed off, yelling to make sure I told my boss about this. I did. They laughed.

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Don’t Even Have A Name For This Problem

, , , | Right | July 31, 2020

I work at a welfare office, where we’re the main administration for a debit card for food purchases for the country. The country is divided into regions that handle the actual clients. We’re more like the mothership to their battleships, but sometimes clients come directly to my office to complain.

A man storms into the office.

Man: “Where’s my d*** card?”

Me: “Ah, good morning, sir. What seems to be the problem?”

Man: “Are you deaf?! Where. Is. My. D***. Card?!”

Me: “Oh, I heard you the first time, sir. What I mean is, what’s the specific problem? Have you lost your card? Has it been stolen? Have you not received your card?”

Man: “I have been waiting for months for this card. Now the temporary one is expired. How am I supposed to buy food?!

Me: “Okay, sir, what region are you from?”

He says he’s from the region furthest south from the Head Office.

Me: “Okay. Do you have any ID, and the name of the officer you dealt with when you made your application?”

Man: “I’m not telling you that. Just do your job and give me my card.”

Me: “Well, sir, I can’t pull your specific file if I don’t know which officer is dealing with it. That means I wouldn’t be able to give you specific feedback on the status of your card.”

Man: “I don’t care. Months, girl. Months.”

Me: “Okay… Well, did you check with the regional office?” 

Man: “Do I look stupid? No! You’re the head office. Obviously, the card would be here.”

Me: “Actually, no, sir. When the cards are delivered from the manufacturer, they are sorted by region and automatically delivered to the region. Even if it was here, we couldn’t give it to you, because your social worker would have to activate it at the regional office.”

Man: “Don’t lie to me.”

Me: “No, sir, I’m not. If you give me the name of your officer, I could call to check if it’s waiting for collection.”

Man: “God d*** it, are you f****** deaf? I’m not telling you that.”

Me: “Okay. As I can’t check on your individual application, perhaps the problem could be with the manufacturer. See, sir, we’ve recently switched manufacturers, so there’s a bit of a backlog in the actual creation of the card.”

Man: “Who’s making the cards? I will go make them make my card.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, but I can’t give you that information. You really should check with your social worker, if you decline to give me your name. Without it, I can’t actually help you.”

Man: “TELL ME! YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU’RE DEALING WITH!”

Me: “I know, sir. You won’t even give me your name.”

The man continues bellowing about “dealing with me” and bawling ominously that “we don’t know who we’re dealing with” before he storms out, still ranting. I look at my coworkers who just blink at me.

Coworker: “I would’ve told him to f*** off ages ago.”

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