So. Freaking. Satisfying.

, , , , | Working | March 2, 2021

Our new supervisor is a piece of work. For whatever reason, she doesn’t like me or my pregnant coworker, I think because we’re both blonde women. She’s yelled at me before for a minor infraction and for being too quiet. She forced my pregnant coworker to use a ladder for a heavy object and then wrote her up for dropping it.

One day, some people from corporate show up, including a blonde woman. Our new supervisor doesn’t realize she’s from corporate; she just thinks she’s here for an interview, so she’s rude to her.

Woman From Corporate: “How are your employees treated?”

Supervisor: “These two—” *gestures to us* “—are crap. They’re both bimbos. That one got herself knocked up and she’s probably not even married.”

Woman From Corporate: “…”

My supervisor was fired immediately and blacklisted, so she can never work for our company again. And all our write-ups were destroyed.

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Calling The Correct Number Is Not His Calling

, , , , | Right | March 2, 2021

I work for a pension provider in the finance department. I am not customer-facing and do not usually deal with members of the public as part of my job. I do, however, sit near the customer service team.

I have been off for a few days and on my first day back, I get a call on my telephone from an external number which I answer. I copy the customer service teams’ intro to the best of my ability.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pension Provider]. You are through to the finance department. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Transfer me to the customer service department.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I cannot do that. But if you call [number], they will be able to help you.”

Customer: “No. That telephone number is for [Completely Different Organisation who are in no way related to my company].”

I double-check the website.

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is the number on our website. It will take you through to the customer service department; they have been answering calls all day.”

Customer: “You’re not listening to me. Transfer me to the customer service department now.”

Me: “My phone can’t transfer calls, but I assure you that if you call that number, you will speak to our customer service department.”

Customer: “Are you stupid? That number doesn’t work! Are you running a scam or do you just not want to help me?! Transfer the call or click on your computer and help me yourself.”

Me: “I do not have access to the customer service department’s system, but please confirm your query. If it’s something I do not need to use the computer system for, I may be able to help.”

Customer: “None of your business. I want to speak to your manager.”

My manager is the Chief Financial Officer and will not want to speak to him.

Me: “Please hold.”

I put the idiot on hold and go over to speak to the customer service team leader. As soon as I start to explain the situation, she puts her head in her hands and sighs.

It turns out that while I have been off work, this customer has been calling random telephone numbers in our organisation demanding to be transferred to the customer service department. We believe that he does not want to incur charges for calling the customer service team directly — there is no charge — and has obtained a copy of our internal telephone list from a member of staff.

She reluctantly takes the call from me.

Team Leader: “Hello, Mr. [Customer], as I have advised you repeatedly, you need to call [number] to speak to a member of my team. Please stop calling random members of staff.”

Customer: “Are you that girl’s manager?”

Team Leader: “No, sir, I am not. As I have advised you previously, I am the customer service team leader. I am the only manager you need to speak to.”

Customer: “No, I want to speak to her manager. She was very rude and refused to help me in any way.”

Team Leader: “Sir, I cannot keep having this discussion with you. Maybe if you could confirm your query, we could resolve this?”

Customer: “No. Transfer me to the customer service team.”

Team Leader: “Sir, I am the customer service team leader. I can assist with your query and then you won’t need to repeatedly call incorrect numbers.”

Customer: “Fine. Idiots. I need to know the day my pension will be paid.”

Team Leader: “The twenty-fifth. It’s paid on the twenty-fifth of every month except December when it’s paid early, on the eighteenth, to account for the holidays.”

Customer: “Well, that’s all I wanted to know. Why couldn’t anyone else help me?!”

Team Leader: “Sir, I am now ending this call. Please call the correct telephone number in future.”

She hung up on him before he could speak again and walked over to the kitchen to sit in silence for a while. Once she had calmed down, she sent an email to all internal staff advising not to answer calls from that customer’s telephone number.

I later heard that, after my call, he called ten different members of staff on that day alone and continued to call for another week; all of the calls were unanswered. I don’t know what’s wrong with some people!

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The English Are Everywhere!

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 1, 2021

I am in a lift — ahem, elevator — with an English colleague. His parents are from Hong Kong and speak no English, but he grew up in a town on the Sussex coast so his accent is pure home counties; think Hugh Grant but without the London twang. The third person in the lift is a stranger.

Me: “Where should we go for dinner tonight?”

Colleague: “Maybe that hamburger place on Washington Square [Colleague #2] suggested?”

Stranger: *Pointing* “You shouldn’t have that accent!”

She immediately clapped her hand over her mouth and looked embarrassed, apologising. He laughed it off because he got it. Asian accent, sure. Asian with an American accent, sure. Asian with a British accent, shocking!

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“Busy” Must Mean Something Else Here

, , , , , | Working | March 1, 2021

There’s an employee in my office who has been there for years. No one knows what she does, but she’s always “very busy” or “at the other site.”

Her boss doesn’t like confrontation so never asks her what she is doing and she gets away with doing whatever she wants for years. She gets verbally aggressive if pushed for any details from anyone.

One day, I am asked to spend some time with [Employee] to understand her tasks on problem reports. I manage them for our site, and evidently, she must manage them for the other (much smaller) site.

With blessings from her boss and mine, I drive to the other site only to find that she isn’t there. I am informed that the meeting doesn’t start for a few hours, but where is she? When she does arrive, she is visibly shocked to see me.

Employee: “Oh, what are you doing here?”

Me: “I was asked to understand your tasks on the problem reports. I made a new system and it might work here, as well.”

Employee: “Oh, well, yes, you probably shouldn’t bother. I have everything in hand. Besides, good luck getting these guys to adopt change.”

Me: “Well, I’m here now. Just pretend I’m not here.”

The meeting starts and is a complete joke. The participants are working on their laptops in silence. Eventually, I have to ask:

Me: “Sorry, but what is this meeting for?”

Manager: “Oh, we discuss the weekly problem reports.”

Me: “So… why are we not doing it?”

Manager: “Oh, we haven’t had a problem report in ages. We’re told—” *motions to [Employee]* “—that it is policy to hold these sessions anyway. So most of us use it as a quiet session to get on with work.”

I didn’t mention that there isn’t a policy at all, or that I don’t even hold weekly meetings, let alone a full-day session. The next day, my boss pulled me aside and asked if I could take over managing both sites as “[Employee] would be busy on other tasks.” What I didn’t realise was that those tasks were looking for another job. She “decided” to leave the business that month.

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The Office Scuttlebutt Is Getting Steamy!

, , , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

This is before cell phones were a thing. It’s before email, as well, so a lot of business is done over the phone. Call waiting exists but is expensive, so two phones for one desk are not unusual.

Me: “Hello, can I speak to [Employee], please?”

[Supplier] on the phone speaks with a strange intonation, which I later make out to be between seething and laughing.

Supplier: “[Employee] is no longer working for [Company].”

Me: “Oh, did she leave? I spoke to her yesterday and she didn’t mention it.”

Supplier: “That is because she didn’t know it then.”

Yep, definitely an edge in her voice.

Me: “Oh. Well, I…”

Supplier: “Yeah, you see, she has a boyfriend, and I suspect he is married, and she calls him at the office. It is the first call she makes every day and the last, and in between again a few times. They are long as well, which means I have to do her job on top of mine while she has sickening dialogs with her boyfriend.”

Me: “Not nice, indeed.”

Supplier: “So, yesterday, I got fed up with it. I had a phone call and another on the second extension, and then her phone started ringing which she ignored whilst continuing to exchange sweet talk with her sweetheart, and it became too much, so I jumped up and disconnected the call. She became mad, jumped up, as well, and slapped me in the face.”

Me: “Oops.”

Supplier: “The best part was that one of the higher-ups just passed by and wanted to know what happened. So, we were called to the office, we told our side of things, I got a faint slap on the wrist, and she was sent packing.”

Me: “But now you need to do all the work.”

Supplier: “Not a problem. I am used to it anyway, and now, as a bonus, I don’t need to listen to her phone sex anymore. And they are going to replace her! So, what can I do for you today?”

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