Waking Up And Smelling The Wasted Coffee

, , , , | | Working | June 3, 2019

I was working in the government office that answers law enforcement requests for driver’s license and vehicle registration inquiries. I usually worked second shift and the cleaning crew would come through shortly before that shift ended and third shift started. They cleaned the break area and emptied and cleaned the coffee pots and coffee machine. The third shift was covered by only one person and she drank a lot of coffee, but I’m not a coffee drinker at all.

The third shift employee was on vacation, so I was temporarily working in her place. The first morning, when the day shift started filtering in, there was some grumbling that there was no fresh coffee as they were used to. I explained that I don’t drink it, so hadn’t made any. The second or third morning, a supervisor approached me and asked if I could please start a pot of coffee at a time shortly before the day people started to arrive, and I said I would as it was an automatic system with the pre-measured packets. I just had to place the packet in the basket, insert the basket, and push the button, so it only took a moment and there was really no reason not to and no way to mess it up.

The next morning, I did as requested and started the coffee. It had just finished brewing maybe five minutes prior, when the first day worker walked in, that same supervisor. She approached the coffee machine, took the pot off the plate, poured it down the drain, and started another! Guess who didn’t have their morning coffee waiting for the remainder of the time I was filling in?

The Rainbow Will Shine Again

, , , , , | | Working | June 3, 2019

(We’re having a staff meeting during lunch break, and the topic changes to me suddenly.)

Employee: “I don’t understand why [My Name] gets to wear his pride bracelet when I can’t! It’s sexist. It’s just because I’m a woman, isn’t it?”

Manager: “No, it’s because your bracelet is completely black and has ‘C**t Destroyer’ on it, while [My Name]’s is just a rainbow!”

(HR had to get involved and decided, in fairness to everyone, that only watches, medical bracelets, and other items such as bronze for arthritis would be allowed. [Employee] walked around the office like she had won some great victory for women’s rights while the rest of the office grew contempt for her. I wasn’t too bothered; a few months later I bought a smartwatch and set the face to a rainbow.)

One Call Ends, Another Door Opens

, , | | Right | June 3, 2019

(The doorbell at my work is connected to the phones, so the intercom basically calls our central phone line from an extension and we can open the door with a short code. We have two buildings, so it is quite common for us to buzz in coworkers from the other building. I witnessed my colleague’s part of this conversation and he told me the rest later. The phone rings and my colleague answers.)

Caller: “Hi, it’s [Caller]. Can you let me in, please?”

Colleague: “Sure.”

(Before he can hit the buttons to open the door, two things occur to him: first, there is no one by the caller’s name working here, and second, this is an external call. A second later, he makes the connection between the name, the voice, and a customer he had talked to a bit earlier.)

Colleague: “Ms. [Caller]? Is that you?”

Caller: “Yes, of course, it’s me!”

Colleague: “Um, Ms. [Caller], this is [Colleague]. You called me.”

Caller: “[Colleague]? How the heck did I call you? I rang my office’s doorbell!”

Colleague: “Okay, that’s weird. Er, well, nice talking to you, but I guess I’ll hang up now?”

Caller: “Right. I’ll try that again, and — no offense — I hope I don’t end up with you again.”

(She didn’t end up with him again and wasn’t left standing in front of their door. I’m just sad my colleague didn’t test if he could have opened that door from 100 km away.)

Unfiltered Story #152519

, , | | Unfiltered | June 1, 2019

At my company, we must receive written approval from an account owner before discussing billing matters. This particular customer had called a couple hours earlier to make changes, but he was not the owner himself. The previous agent had explained the security policy, and sent him an email with the owner in CC. We were just waiting for the owner’s reply. The customer called back to complain.

Customer: The owner will not see your email until it’s too late. You must make the changes now!

Me: I understand the urgency. We have our resources in place. As soon as the reply comes in, we’ll be ready to go.

Customer: I’m telling you, the owner is traveling. He doesn’t have time to read your emails. He will not be able to reply. We can’t wait for him.

Me: I’m very sorry, but we cannot bypass our security policies. We’ll need to wait for the reply.


This continued back and forth for several minutes. I had called up his ticket in our system, to see if there was anything I could say to calm him down. In that moment, the owner’s reply came in.

Customer: …you need to do this now! Our company…

Me: Oh! I don’t mean to interrupt, but it looks like the reply just came in!

Customer: What? No. No, the owner is traveling. If you see a reply, it was just some automated message.

Me: Actually, it’s just what we need. He gave the okay for us to get started and coordinate with you. Everything looks good!

Customer: That’s not possible. He is traveling! He… Ohh. I do see that email.

Me: And it looks like the agent handling your case has seen the reply too. He’s already alerted our finance team to get started. You should get an update…now. Do you see that email as well?

Customer: (dejected) …yes.

Me: Excellent! I do apologize for the inconvenience, but I’m glad everything came through quickly. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer: (angry and sputtering) NO! It’s still a stupid policy! We might have been delayed for days, and that hurts our business! *click*

Doesn’t Have A Son-ny Disposition

, , , , | | Right | May 30, 2019

(I work at a law office that does one type of law. There’s only one lawyer, though his son once did another type of law out of the same office. Due to the number of clients each side got, the son chose to move his practice to another office so there’d be less mix-up and confusion for the clients. We still get calls for the son and we usually give his phone number to them. Recently, however, we have gotten a lot of angry phone calls about his number being wrong in the phone book.)

Me: “Good morning, [Father’s Law Office].

Caller: “I need to talk to [Son].”

Me: “I’m afraid you have the wrong number, ma’am. This is [Father’s Law Office]. [Son] moved his office over a year ago.”

Caller: “This is the number in the phone book. Are you sure [Son] isn’t there?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I can promise you that [Son] is definitely not here.”

Caller: “Can you give me his phone number?”

Me: “Sure, let me Google it.” *finds our Internet is down* “Oops, no, I apologize. I’m currently not able to bring his phone number up.”

Caller: “You don’t have it?”

Me: “No, unfortunately not. We used to have it written down on cards, but they disappeared. We fear our cleaning staff may have thrown them away. It’s always been easier just to look it up on the Internet than to write it down again.”

Caller: “Well, I’ll see if I can find it.”

(Five minutes later…)

Me: “Good morning, [Father’s Law Office].”

Caller: “I looked in the phone book and this is the only number I can find for [Son].”

Me: *thinking* “Why would you call back the phone number you know isn’t the correct one?”

Me: “It’s strange they would put the incorrect phone number for him in the phone book, but I can promise you it’s not the correct one.”

Caller: “And you can’t give me his number?”

Me: “I’m not able to use the Internet until I get a connection. All I know is the area code is [number] and the first part of the phone number is [number]. I can’t help more than that.”

Caller: “It’s a start, at least.”

(Three minutes later…)

Caller: “Are you able to Google it now?”

Me: “Ma’am! I do have other calls coming in. You can look the phone number up yourself, you know.”

Caller: *sniff* “It’s not my place to do your job. You should have that number handy.”

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