Finally Independent From Them

| Working | July 25, 2014

(I suffer a concussion at work. I have a splitting headache and vision problems, but didn’t really think it was bad until two days later. That’s when I answer every question by telling the person how to call Mexico City in Spanish. I ask to be able to get off early and my boss gives me permission. After the ensuing weekend, I get called into the manager’s office. The union representative who’s there to make sure I’m treated fairly is there.)

Manager: “Have a seat. We need to talk about your attendance.”

Me: “Sure. What’s going on?”

Manager: “You left work early the other day. This is completely unacceptable.”

Me: “I asked [Boss] for permission because I was sick.”

Manager: “It’s still not acceptable. You committed to working your full shift and damaged the reputation of the company by not living up to your promises.”

Me: “Excuse me. Because there was a fault in your chairs in the break room, I got launched head first into a brick wall. I have a concussion. I was too mentally disoriented to tell which language I was speaking at the time. Would you have preferred that I stay around to confuse everyone more?”

Manager: “The union is here to witness that this is your final warning. If you ever call in sick again, that’s grounds for termination.”

Me: “Even if my boss—”

Manager: “You WILL BE FIRED if you are this lazy again. This is an at-will work state and we’re doing you a courtesy by giving you a second chance instead of terminating you immediately.”

(Three work days later, I wake up vomiting excessively. It was a two-hour commute on bus to get to work, so I called to let them know I need to ask my boss about getting the day off or coming in later. The manager got on the phone instead.)

Manager: “You knew what this would mean if you were ever sick again. It’s been nice working with you, but you’re done here.”

(He hung up immediately. Two days later, the same manager calls me up at home.)

Manager: “I know you called in sick for the last three days, but I need to make sure you’re going to be covering your shift tomorrow.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Manager: “It’s the 4th of July and one of our busiest days. We can’t afford to have you out sick. Are you feeling well enough to come in?”

Me: “You fired me when I called in sick.”

(There was a long pause.)

Manager: “I think that was a misunderstanding.”

Me: “You told me that I had been terminated for calling in sick excessively. What part of that was a misunderstanding?”

Manager: “I’m not unreasonable. Even though you quit, I’ll let you have your job back if you work on the 4th of July.”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “I didn’t fire you. I just—”

Me: “For six weeks, you have scheduled me on split shifts so that I didn’t have time to get home and back between my shifts and got off of work too late to get home at all. While working for you, I’ve been sleeping in the armchairs in the break room and bringing changes of clothes for the week. I’m paying rent for an apartment that I’ve only been to once in two weeks. I brought this up several times a week since the day it started and was told that you yourself had made sure I would stop being scheduled at unreasonable hours. I’m not working another day for you and your sense of ethics.”

(Needless to say, I didn’t ask for a reference.)

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Incontinent Telephone Service

| Working | July 10, 2014

(I am planning a trip to France. I call my cellular provider to find out what I need to do to make calls while I’m there.)

Me: “I’m planning a trip to Europe, and I need to know what I need to do to make calls while I’m there.”

Rep: “I’ve looked over the list of countries where you can make calls, and Europe isn’t on the list.”

Me: “I’m going to France.”

Rep: “Yes, that’s on the list.”

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Scripted Unencrypted

| Working | January 20, 2014

(The night before, I had received a very scary obscene phone call from someone who proved he knew my name and address, and then made a bunch of very graphic threats of sexual assault. I’d already called the police, who advised me to try to have the phone company trace the call. Unfortunately, I can’t find any kind of customer relations number. I have to call the main customer service number, which has an automated voicemail that won’t let me progress unless I choose from a list about what the call is about. I pick ‘sales’ because I don’t know what else to do and figure it’d be answered fastest.)

Service Rep: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yeah, listen. This actually isn’t a sales call, I just couldn’t find any other number and was hoping you could transfer me. I needed to speak with someone about tracing a call for the police.”

Service Rep: “Um… So, this isn’t…?”

Me: “No. Listen, I know you have a script you need to follow, but this is different. I had this really scary phone call from a guy who made threats. The police told me to call you and have you trace the number. But I couldn’t find a number for that department, only the main number, so I need you to just transfer me. Please don’t bother with the sales stuff, just transfer me to the right department.”

Service Rep: “Wow, I’m sorry to hear that. So, you need me to—”

Me: “I need you to transfer me to the department that handles phone traces. I have the case number from the police department and everything, I just need to talk to the right person. You don’t need to take the number or anything. I’m just kind of shaken up and wanna take care of this. Please, just transfer the call.”

Service Rep: “Okay, I can transfer you. But I don’t get it. You called the sales office.”

Me: “Yes. That’s because I couldn’t find the right number and the main number was all I could dial. I didn’t know what else do to. Please, just transfer me.”

Service Rep: “Okay… but before I do, can I tell you about our new long distance package?”

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Gives New Meaning To The Free Market

| Working | January 15, 2014

(I work for a telecom company, which grants me many benefits. I have been receiving a phone calls all day on my cellphone.)

Caller: “Hello, Mr. [Name]! You’ve been with us for over two years and are now eligible for a hardware upgrade!”

Me: *feigning innocence* “Oh, really? What is that?”

Caller: “If you sign a new contract, you can get a new phone. We have much better monthly plans than we had two years ago!”

Me: “Do me a favour. Look at my current plan. What do you see?”

Caller: “Well, you brought in your own device which means that we can get you even more—”

Me: “Wait. What else do you see? What’s my plan?”

Caller: “Well, you are currently paying… $0 a month and have unlimited… everything.”

Me: “That’s right. Now, unless you start paying me to use your service, I don’t think there’s much you can do.”

Caller: “Right. I’m just going to mark you down as ‘do not call.'”

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Good Service For Those Who Serve

| Working | June 10, 2013

(This occurs roughly two weeks after the 9/11 attack, around the 23rd or so. My husband is in the National Guard and is on high alert. The phone company calls.)

Caller: “Hello Mrs. [name], this is [company] calling to inform you that your service will be disconnected at 5pm tonight for non-payment.”

Me: “What? I mailed it weeks ago! You can’t disconnect my phone, my husband—”

Caller: “I apologize, but we have not received your payment. We will have to terminate—”

Me: “No! I have proof… I have the money order receipt and the ticket from the post office, I always send bill payments registered.”

Caller: “Do you have those transaction numbers?”

(I go to find the receipts and realize why they have not gotten it: I had mailed in on Sept. 10th. I explain this to the lady.)

Caller: “I’m very sorry, but it was due the 13th and we have not gotten your—”

Me: “Listen, lady: there was NO MAIL for days after the 11th… and it’s been backed up ever since! I’m telling you I sent it in and you will get it in another day or two. Like I tried to tell you before, my husband is in the National Guard. His unit is on high alert right now and this phone is the only way they have to contact him if they get called up. If you cut off my phone and he gets called up and doesn’t get the message, YOU will be dealing with the United States government!”

Caller: “Oh… OH! Oh ma’am I am so sorry, I didn’t realize—no, of course we will not disconnect your service. I will make a note of that right now! I’m so sorry!”

(About two hours later, the same lady calls back to tell me they had gotten my money order in the mail that day.)

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