These Are Some Wild Ideas

, , , , | Working | April 6, 2021

Four years after leaving a company where I was the only software engineer among mostly chemist employees, I meet a previous coworker at a community event.

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]. When are you coming back to work at [Company]?”

Me: “Sorry, I am never going back to work there.”

Coworker: “But we really need you. The new guy is not working out; he’s no good.”

Me: “I’m not going back, but I have a solution for you: treat the new guy like he’s a valuable employee, pay him enough for the job, listen to him when he is explaining a software issue instead of saying, ‘Beep, beep boop, you’re speaking technical talk.’”

Yes, they really said that to me while I was there.

[Coworker] looked at me like I was joking. It’s been four more years since speaking with the coworker. Occasionally, I check job listings to see if the company is posting for that position, and yes, every six months to a year they are hiring for a software engineer.

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I’ve Always Wanted To Tell A Customer: “Stay In Your Lane”

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2021

I am a server at a sports bar that doubles as a bowling alley. I am serving a private party that told us they would have fifteen people… but it ends up being more like thirty. Our lanes have an eight-person maximum, so the two lanes they reserved are overcrowded and the food they ordered is not enough for all their guests. A man and his two sons (from the party) are sitting at the table belonging to the neighboring lanes, and they order more food. 

Me: “All right, I’ll put that order in for you! Would you mind scooching back down to your lanes? This table space actually belongs to them.”

I motion to the people who bought that lane.

Customer: “There isn’t any room for us over there.”

Me: “Well, that’s because your party has double the amount of people it was supposed to have.”

Customer: “Well, can we sit over there?”

He points to a table in another server’s section.

Me: “If you would like to get a table, you are more than welcome to go to the host stand.”

Customer: “So we can’t just sit here?!”

Me: *Firmly* “These people paid for this space. You cannot sit here.”

He stormed off and got a table and I transferred his order to that server. He went around complaining about me to his friends, but luckily, the rest of the people in the party were very nice and tipped me very well.

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There Snow Limit To That Entitlement

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2021

The store that I work at is right next to a fairly big bus station, so we have a problem of people parking their cars in our lot rather than the bus station’s parking lot. Our store manager doesn’t care enough to actually do anything, so we just have to smile and bear with customers complaining about there not being enough parking, due to a bunch of our spaces being taken up by non-shoppers.

A woman comes in, buys a fair amount, and then requests someone to help load her car. When we get out, she walks up to a car that is covered in snow. We’ve had a week or so of snow at this point, but today has been bright and sunny, so it is obvious that she is one of those who parked here long-term while she went on a trip or something. Still, knowing that it wouldn’t do any good to mention it, I just smile and prep to load her bags.

She pops open the trunk, I start putting the bags in, and then she comes from around the car with an ice scraper in her hand and tries to hand it to me.

Me: “Um, no, thank you?”

Customer: “You need to scrape off my car.”

I am kind of shocked at her audacity.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m just here to help load your car.”

Customer: “But it’s your fault it is covered in snow.”

Now even more shocked.

Me: “I’m very sorry, but we don’t control the weather.”

Customer: “You should have brushed it off earlier.”

I didn’t trust myself to speak without laughing or mocking her, so I just shook my head, dropped the last few bags in her trunk, and then turned and pushed the cart away. Thankfully, she didn’t try to chase me or anything, and I will admit to finding it quite funny when I came out to help someone else load their car about ten minutes later and saw this woman trying to chip away at the half-melted mound of snow on her car.

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Ask Your Local Agent What [Boss Monster] Can Do For You

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 2, 2021

I’m playing Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends. We’ve spent most of the session clearing out a large dungeon, with bigger and badder enemies on each level, leading to the final level with the boss battle.

Our Dungeon Master likes to set the scene with background music, often using soundtracks from popular video games, as well as more generic atmosphere playlists.  

Dungeon Master: “You enter a large cavern and see a large silver dragon waiting for you…”

He dramatically presses a button on his computer to trigger the boss music. Instead, an ad plays before the video, with an instantly recognizable jingle for a certain insurance company.

Bard: *Not missing a beat* “Like a bad neighbor, [Boss Monster] is there!”

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She Needs To Renovate Her Communication Skills

, , , , , | Right | March 30, 2021

I work in an office taking potential customer information for a company that does residential renovations. I return a call.

Me: “Hi, I’m calling from [Company] concerning the message you left stating that you wanted some work done. I’m looking to get some information about what you need.”

Caller: “Okay.” *Stops speaking*

Me: “What kind of work do you need done?”

Caller: “Oh, I know who you are now. I didn’t know before.”

I literally just told you who I am and why I’m calling.

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m trying to figure out what kind of work you need done.”

Caller: “I have some screens that need replacing and some windows and doors that need replacing.”

I wait for her to continue talking but she goes silent. I go into my spiel and tell her about the company only accepting certain projects that are on the large side; we don’t do screen, window, or door replacement only. I ask if there is anything else she needs.

Caller: “Well, if you’d let me finish talking, I’d tell you. You’re being very rude right now and it’s extremely clear you don’t want my business.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry if it seemed like I was interrupting, but I was just trying to let you know that we only do projects over a certain price limit and I—”

Dial tone.

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