Not Speaking The Same Programming Language

, , , , | Working | October 13, 2017

(It is the mid 80s, and I have a coworker come to me with two full pages of computer programming source code.)

Coworker: “Hey, can you help me with this? This function is not working right.”

Me: “Sure. What’s it do?”

Coworker: “Well, on the first line I copy…” *drones on for a few seconds about stuff I can clearly read*

Me: “Wait! Let me interrupt for a moment. I can read the code. In 20 words or less, what does this do?

Coworker: *long pause that tells me he’s having trouble seeing the forest for the trees* “It, um, converts a date that’s a string to three integers: month, day, and year.”

Me: “Ah! Excellent. And by the time you get the string, has it been sanitized? You know, guaranteed to be pairs of digits with a slash in-between, not blanks or words or other garbage?”

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, all the user input is cleaned up.”

Me: “Okay, good.”

(I scribble “sscanf(text, “%02d/%02d/%02d”, &month, &day, &year);” in a blank spot on the page.)

Me: “Throw out everything and replace it with that.”

Coworker: “You’re kidding.”

Me: “Not at all. Use that. It’ll work. Trust me.”

Coworker: *not sure* “Well, okay.”

(Half an hour later he’s back and looking a bit sheepish.)

Coworker: “That worked. Thanks.”

Me: “No problem.”

(It’s been 30 years. Unfortunately, the new generation of programmers is in the same spot.)

Why Ad Men Become Mad Men

, , , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(I call the local paper to inquire about posting a four-line ad in the classified section. It turns out the ad will be classified in a different category than I thought ,and will therefore be four times the cost. Not wanting to pay $60 for the ad, I thank the person on the line but tell them I will not be placing the ad after all. Simple. I think that is the end of it. But, no. A few days later:)

Caller #1: “This is [Caller #1] from [Town] paper. I need to speak to [My Name].”

Me: “You’ve reached her.”

Caller #1: “You recently placed an ad in our paper under someone else’s account.”

Me: “No, I didn’t. I inquired about an ad, but did not place one. I didn’t put in under any account at all.”

Caller #1: “We have the ad billed to [Person I’ve never heard of]’s account. You can’t place an ad under someone else’s account.”

Me: “I didn’t place an ad at all. You’ve made a mistake.”

(I hang up. The phone rings again.)

Caller #1: “Don’t hang up on me! You’ve fraudulently placed an ad under someone else’s account!”

Me: “What ad was placed?”

Caller #1: “I don’t have that information.”

Me: “Look. I called your paper to inquire about an ad. I didn’t end up placing it. The ad I intended to place had my information, and my information only. I have no idea what you are talking about. I told you that already.”

Caller #1: “The ad was placed with the phone number of another person’s account.”

Me: “Really? The ad I wanted to place included this number, the phone number you called to reach me. Clearly this is my number. Does someone else have an account under my number?”

Caller #1: “No. The account is under a different phone number.”

Me: “Did my ad post? Just a second, while I look in the paper.” *I do so.* “There is no ad in either the section I thought it would go in, or the section I was told it would go in. No ad was posted. There seems to a problem in billing. It is not my problem.”

(I hang up again. When the phone doesn’t ring immediately, I again think it is over. A few hours later the phone rings.)

Caller #2: “Hello, I’m trying to reach [My Name].

Me: “You’ve reached her.”

Caller #2: “Hi, my name is [Name given to me by Caller #1] and the newspaper tells me that you’ve place an ad in the classified section using my account.”

Me: “Well, the newspaper is wrong. I called them a few days ago to inquire about an ad. It turned out to be way more expensive than I’d thought, so I did not post it. I posted no ad at all. The only information I gave them was my own. The only phone number I gave them was the number you called. I don’t know what to tell you.”

Caller #2: “Well, they told me to call you and that maybe we could work it out.”

Me: “There is nothing to work out. This has nothing to do with me. Someone at the paper has made a mistake. They are the only ones who can fix it. Someone has just transposed numbers or something. Our phone numbers must be pretty similar.”

Caller #2: “No, actually. Our numbers are not even remotely close, and one must give a password to place an ad on my account.”

Me: “Okay, this is ridiculous. I certainly never gave your number, never gave a password of any kind, and actually never even placed an ad. If you are being billed for an ad that never ran, you need to take that up with the paper. This has nothing at all to do with me.”

(I hang up. Yup, the phone rings again a bit later. It is the lady from the paper.)

Caller #1: “We need to get this taken care of.”

Me: “Listen. I’ve had enough of you. Any mistake made has nothing to do with me. You need to stop bothering me. Figure it out from your end.”

Caller #1: “We can—”

Me: “I’ve been patient. You really just need to stop talking. Let me speak to a supervisor or stop calling me. Those are the only two options I’m giving you.”

Caller #1: “Fine!”

Supervisor: “Hello, I understand you have placed an ad under someone else’s account.”

Me: “Listen to me carefully. I will say this once. I called about possibly placing an ad. While doing so, I gave my name and my phone number. My phone number was to appear in the ad. That is the only phone number I gave during the call. Before the call was over, I was given a quote for cost. I determined it to be too high and did not authorize the ad. I was asked for no billing information, as there was no reason to be billed. I. Did. Not. Place. An. Ad. Have I made myself clear?”

Supervisor: “You placed no ad at all?”

Me: “No.”

Supervisor: “Okay. We’ll look into things on this end. Thank you for your time.”

(That was the last I heard from them. I never tried to place any sort of ad in that paper again!)

Their Relationship Is About To Get A Shake-down

, , , , | Right | October 7, 2017

(I get a phone call from a customer.)

Caller: “I just got my shake, and it isn’t a shake; it’s just milk!”

(As I start to request details, I realize that her shake was made almost 40 minutes ago. It was a fairly unique shake, so, to be sure that she has called the right location, and I am dealing with the right order, I ask:)

Me: “Is this the order from a half hour ago… with the [Soda], too?”

Caller: “No! We were just there!”

(The woman on the phone then starts yelling at someone in the background.)

Caller: “What else was on the order?!”

(I start to feel uneasy, because when we handed the order out, there was a man and a woman in the vehicle, but I get the impression that this caller is not that woman. I hear the man in the background.)

Man In Background: “I just got your food, baby; I just left there. Wait, hand me the phone. Let me talk to them. They pulled me up and parked me; that’s why the shake melted!”

(The caller screams at me that we parked him.)

Me: “We may have, but I’m still trying to figure out which order yours was, and the last car we parked was 30 minutes ago. What else was on the order? Was this the guy who had the [Shake that she is claiming that is milk], the two kids’ meals, and the [Soda]?”

(There was silence on the phone. Then, I heard what sounded like a demon unleashing their wrath upon someone. Then, the phone hung up. I wish I didn’t have to deal with people trying to involve my job in their breakup or infidelity.)

Prioritize Yourself

, , , , , , | Hopeless | September 26, 2017

I suffer from many disabilities, including one that causes debilitating chronic pain. I was having an awful day. I was told by an office they couldn’t hire me because I was a liability (uncontrolled seizures), and because some of the other office workers were afraid of dogs. (I have a service dog.)

On top of that, one of my clients for my virtual assistant business was dragging his feet on paying me. It got to the point that I refused to help him with anything else until I got at least half of what he owed me. That resulted in a less than kind email about how I was terrible and would never get ahead if I behaved this way to all of my clients.

Unfortunately, I had very few people to help me financially. My boyfriend, who I lived with and was one of my caretakers, was leaving for deployment in just two months, and I was having a very hard time. My parents were going through financial issues. Then, I found out some bills were about to be sent to collection. I panicked, ready to call it quits, when I tried my last-ditch effort.

I had another client who was amazing. She was always good at giving me work, and was on time with her payments. Even though she was not due to pay me for another week, and I was not high-priority, I sent her a text to see if she would pay me early. Her response left me in tears.

“[My Name], you are ALWAYS a priority. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Of course I’ll pay you today. You’re a blessing to me and deserve to be treated as such. God bless!”

Her kindness and encouragement meant so much to me. My future is still scary and uncertain, but I feel better knowing that I have people like her in my life.

Doesn’t Understand How Money Works

, , , , , | Right | September 21, 2017

(I’m working the third shift. The phone rings and my coworker answers it. As I’m stocking items, my coworker waves me over to the counter and hands me the phone.)

Me: *thinking it is a family member* “Hello?”

Guest: “Hello?”

Me: “This is the gift shop. How can I help you?”

Guest: “Yes, I’m waiting in line to get food right now, but we were just in there about two hours ago. I had a comp from the Player’s Club I wanted to use, and then pay the difference off with my card, but when I checked my bank account, my card had been charged the full amount.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that! Are you still here? If so, you can come back and I can fix that up for you.”

Guest: “No, that won’t be possible. I’m about an hour away now. I’m in line for a buffet, but I don’t even know if we have enough to even get something to eat now.”

Me: *not sure what she wants me to do* “So, what are you asking for, ma’am?”

Guest: “Can I get a refund?”

Me: “Not without the card physically in my hands, ma’am. I can take your comp back to the Player’s Club so it won’t go to waste if you’d like?”

Guest: “That won’t help my bank account!”

Me: “No, but it’s still worth over $20 in points, and I’d hate for you to be out of those points.”

Guest: “Is there anyone else there I can talk to?”

Me: “I’m sorry. It’s just me and my coworker. If you don’t mind, I could consult with my managers to see if we can fix something for you?”

Guest: “Please do! We’re in line and I’m still on the phone with my bank trying to fix things.”

Me: “All right, and again, I’m sorry. I’ll call you back soon.” *we both hang up and I go to call my manager*

Coworker: *interrupts me from calling* “Hold on; let me tell you what happened. This lady had a big family, and they just started piling stuff on the counter. They didn’t tell me they had a comp and I rung up the sale and cashed them out, okay? After they left, I found their comp folded up on the edge of the counter!”

Me: “Let me call [Manager] first and see what she says.”

(I call and she confirms what I already suspected; I can’t do a refund without the card physically present. But then, she caves in and says she will let me do the transaction over the phone, which is against policy. Of course, it will take a few business days for the money to go back into the guest’s account, so it won’t help her immediately, but she will definitely be getting the money back. I call the woman back.)

Me: “I spoke with my manager, and she said if you feel comfortable giving me your card number, I can redo the transaction over the phone, correcting it for you.”

Guest: “Oh, well, my bank is taking care of it for me.”

Me: *confused* “Your bank is taking care of it?”

Guest: “I think so.”

Me: “So, you’re sure your bank will reimburse you this money?”

Guest: “Yes.”

Me: “So, you don’t want the refund?”

Guest: “No. Well, the bank is taking care of it. I mean, I could still give you my number I guess, but everything should be fine now.”

Me: “If you say so, ma’am. I’m glad we could settle things for you.”

Guest: “Thank you!” *hangs up*

(I immediately run the forgotten comp slip back to the Player’s Club to be deposited back into the guest’s account, then jump back on the phone with my boss, relaying everything the guest told me.)

Manager: “…she what?!”

Me: “Yeah, she kept saying her bank was going to fix it. But the only way I could think of the bank fixing it is…”

Manager: “She’s trying to dispute the charge! Do you still have her number?”

Me: “Yep, right here.”

Manager: “Save it; I’ll call her in the morning.”

Me: “Careful, she’s f***ing nuts.”

Manager: “She must be!”

Me: *looks to my coworker* “She doesn’t want the refund, but she calls complaining she needs the refund that can’t help her out today anyway, gambles away her money, and says her family doesn’t have nearly enough to eat on.”

Coworker: “Then why the hell did they come to the casino in the first place?!”

Page 8/11First...678910...Last
« Previous
Next »