The Day That Silenced Everyone

, , , , , , | Right | September 11, 2019

(In September 2001, I am on vacation. While I’m there, my boss suffers a massive heart attack and has to be placed in a medically-induced coma. I return home from vacation late on the evening of 10 September and go into work the next morning needing to handle the small company myself. Of course, the day ends up being one of the worst in US history. Several of our clients and vendors are in New York City, and my boss was still comatose. To top it off, we import a significant portion of our product from Scandinavia, which is then held in Customs during the Anthrax scare a week following 9/11. Most of our clients are understanding, but I have variations of this conversation multiple times a day — including with the owner.)

Client: “Why isn’t my [product] here yet?”

Me: “As you know, [product] is shipped from Scandinavia—“

Client: “So?”

Me: “Currently all shipping containers are being held at Port Authority—“

Client: “What?! Why? I need it!”

Me: “Due to recent events, everything is being secured—“

Client: “Well, what the h*** are they even doing?”

Me: “Checking for explosives and/or Anthrax.”

Client: “I want to talk to [Boss]!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but [Boss] is currently unavailable due to a medical emergency—“

Client: “When will he be back?”

Me: “At this point, I am unable to say.”

Client: “…”

Me: “…”

Client: “…”

Me: “I will email you as soon as your [product] clears customs and is in route.”

(When my boss woke up six weeks later, we had to explain to him how the world had literally changed, which caused a second heart attack. I ended up running that small company for the next four months, and then quit once my boss was back and recovered.)

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Learn To Bottle It To Get Those Tips

, , , , , | Working | September 10, 2019

(I’m at a baseball game with some friends, and on this occasion, I’m the designated driver. Before the first inning starts, I go to a concession stand to get a hot dog and a bottle of soda. Despite a man and his two kids making requests of the other vendor, the hot dog comes with no trouble. The soda, however…)

Me: “Excuse me, I asked for a bottle, not a fountain drink.”

Vendor #1: “The bottles aren’t cold.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ll still take it.”

Vendor #1: “They’re not cold!”

Me: “And that’s fine. It’s liquid, it tastes better than the swill from the fountain, it’ll help break down any fat in this hot dog, and it’s non-alcoholic so I can drive myself and my friends home. Now, may I have a bottle of [Soda]?”

Vendor #1: “THEY’RE! NOT! COLD!”

Vendor #2: “[Vendor #1], that doesn’t bother him.” *hands me a bottle* “Sorry about that.”

Vendor #1: “That’ll be [total].”

(I pay, get my change, fish a dollar out of it, and go to tip like I always do.)

Me: “Oh, wait. You wouldn’t get my order. That was her. And she was busy with her own customers.”

(As soon as I finish, I put the single away, pull out a twenty, and hand it to [Vendor #2], instead.)

Vendor #2: “Thank you, sir! And God bless you!”

(I told my friends what happened before the game started. I went back to the stand three more times, but I still got [Vendor #2] two of those times, so she walked away with $40 in tips just from me while [Vendor #1] never saw a dime. My friends, however, decided to get all of their beer from that stand. While I don’t know what they tipped, I do know they followed my pattern. Based on how many times they went to get drinks, I can only imagine what she raked in from us. I also hope [Vendor #1] learned his lesson.)

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Unfiltered Story #162072

, , , | Unfiltered | September 8, 2019

A customer calls the store phone and I pick it up to answer

Me: thank you for calling (store name), this is (name) how may I help you?

Customer: hi, can I speak to a manager?

Me: you’re speaking to one!

Customer: I was in your store on (proceeds to list date and time down to the minute,as well as items purchased and amount paid) and one of your associates left a sensor on one of my products.

Me: ok…

Customer: so how do we fix that?

Me: well, I apologize for that, but if you come into the store with your receipt we will be happy to take the sensor off for you and fix the mistake.

Customer: well….hmmm…..see…… I’m not near your store. I’m near the city.

Me: well, actually we have a store down town that may be closer to you and can take the sensor right off for you as well!

Customer: see, that’s just really inconvenient for me.

Me: well, I’m very sorry that the sensor was left on the merchandise, but since the sensor removing machine is only in our stores, the only way to remove it would to return to a store.

Customer: Hmm, well I just think that’s really inconvenient. I don’t really want to come back to the store. Shouldn’t the sensor have gone off before I left the store?

Me: it might have! Our associates might not have been able to communicate it to you in time, but we would be glad to fix it for you in the store if you brought the item back.

Customer: I just shouldn’t have to come back to the store. There should be a better answer to this. This should not be an inconvenience for me.

Me: I’m sorry sir, but the only way for us to now solve this is within the store. I apologize for the inconvenience but we would be happy to fix it.

Customer: this is ridiculous. Do you have a customer service number I can contact?

Me: absolutely! There’s a number on our website at the bottom of the homepage. You can call them and they’ll be happy to help out as much as they can!

Customer: ok.

Me: is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer: no. Thanks for your “help”. Hangs up on me.

Still laughing about how mad the customer was over a sensor and how simple it is to come into a store and take it off. I hope he someday finds the solution to his problem.

Unfiltered Story #161872

, , , | Unfiltered | August 31, 2019

(I work in a call center for the Philadelphia Orchestra. One of the upcoming concerts we have has Yo-Yo Ma as a featured soloist. One day we receive an email in our inbox with the following question, this is unedited from the way we received it.

Patron: “Do you Yo Yo Ma? When? Yo Yo Ma and cheese steaks. There’s a deal for this, yes? I want to see Yo Yo Ma and have cheese steaks with him during the meet and greet. “

Ferreting Around For Information

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2019

(I work in a pet store.)

Caller: “Hi. I wanted to know if you had any ferrets in stock.”

Me: “No, sorry. We don’t have a large enough enclosure for those in our store so we actually don’t sell them at all. I can tell you the phone numbers for some of our larger stores.”

(We discuss this and she decides that they are all too far away.)

Caller: “Do you know any other pet stores in the area that sells them?”

Me: “I know that [Other Store] carries them but I wouldn’t know their stock. I can provide you their number if you want.”

(It’s actually against policy to give out a competitor’s info but most staff do when it comes to things we don’t ever stock.)

Caller: “Yeah, that’s too far. What about mom-and-pop stores? Do you know any of them in the area that have them?”

Me: “I don’t know of any and if I did I wouldn’t know their stocks.”

Caller: “This is ridiculous! You won’t even help me. You mean to tell me you don’t know any other pet stores?!”

Me: “Well, this one I work at has everything I need, so no. Sorry.”

Caller: *sighs heavily* “Put me on with someone who knows more than you.”

Me: “I can’t do that; I’m the only one here. Besides, we are not required to give any business to the competition. You can try Google.”

Caller: “How about a manager? They must know more than you.”

(All of my managers are new, live out of state, and have no knowledge of the local area.)

Me: “As I’ve already said, I can give you the number for the other stores or you can try Google. There is no manager available for this issue.”

Caller: “This is ridiculous. Can you just put me on with a manager?! They must know something outside of your little world there in that store!”

Me: “No manager here can help with—“

(The caller hung up on me. I relayed the story to my manager later and she told me that she fears for the general public.)

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