The Customer Is Not Always Copyright, Part 4

, , , , , , | Right | April 19, 2019

(I am walking across the floor when an elderly man approaches me, holding a photo. He is very gruff throughout the entire interaction; I am very chipper, as that is my permanent state of being while at work.)

Customer: “Can you help me?”

Me: “I certainly can. What do you need?”

Customer: “I need to copy this picture.”

(I can see this picture was taken by a professional and has their copyright on it. I know that we can copy these pictures only if it’s been 70 years since the photographer’s death, but this picture is not that old.)

Me: “I see. When was it taken?”

Customer: “Ten years ago. Why?”

Me: “I see. Well, it’s got a copyright there, and it was taken by a professional, so we can’t legally copy them.”

Customer: “I’ll just cut it off, then.”

Me: “It was still taken by a professional.”

(He visibly starts getting angry, and waves the picture around.)

Customer: “Then where can I take it?”

Me: “I don’t know, sir. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “Well, do you have a cutter?!”

Me: “I don’t have one customers can use.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir—”

Customer: “No, you’re not!”

(And with that he marched away, while inside my head I definitely rescinded the “sorry.”)

The Customer Is Not Always Copyright, Part 3
The Customer Is Not Always Copyright, Part 2
The Customer Is Not Always Copyright

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Unfiltered Story #141274

, , , | Unfiltered | February 21, 2019

Texting – me to boss: How much must a customer DESERVE it before I am allowed to pluck her left eye from her inconsiderate skull? … Hypothetically speaking.

boss to me: You can’t do that, my friend. Sorry you had a bad one.

me to boss: Can I convince you to do it for me?

boss to me: lol, I don’t know, man. I kinda need this job.

me to boss: I’ll talk you into it in the morning.

Typically a half hour before we close, I start turning off all the equipment and cleaning up, counting down the cash register till and such. Once the doors close I take my paperwork up front and get it signed off on and my shift is over 5 minutes after the store closes.

I am not obligated to keep the machine running until 1/2 prior to close; being a 1 hour lab, 59 minutes until close and I could start shutting down and cleaning, but I generally like my customers and want to give them as much up-time as I reasonably can.

In an effort to bend over backwards in exceptional cases, I can sometimes hold out until just 15 minutes before close to shut down the equipment…  but that’s about all I can really muster without going into unapproved overtime.  And now-a-days unapproved overtime is the only type of overtime there is, and it is frowned upon.

Tonight at T-minus 31 minutes until closing time, my phone is ringing.

I answer with my usual business greeting and on the other end of the line is a frantic mother who needs pictures tonight for her son’s Eagle Court of Honor in the morning.

“A failure to plan on YOUR part does not constitute an emergency on MY part.” I thought, but did not say.

She asks if she can get an order to me in the next 5 minutes, if I could still have it ready for pickup tonight.  I explain that it depends on how many images are in the order and what sizes she is ordering; without knowing that I can’t tell how long it will take to print.  She lets me know she needs about 30 5×7 lustre prints.  I tell her that IF she gets the order to me in the next 5 minutes I can still get that done tonight.

At 20 minutes until close she calls back and lets me know she just hit the send button, and asks if I have her order to print yet.  I do not, but manually tell my computer to pull new orders down from the server and it starts downloading…  all 174 images for her 4x6s, 5×5, 5x7s, and 8x10s…  I try to tell her I’m not certain this will all download and print before the store closes, and she says she’ll be here in 10 minutes and can wait for them if they won’t kick her out once she’s inside, then hangs up…  Well, Hell.

A part of me want to say ‘Eff-it’ and shut everything down.  “Tried to tell you it wouldn’t be done tonight, sorry.” But I have a reputation as a photo-miracle-worker, and my lab has a reputation of being one of the best in the metro, and my company is known WORLD WIDE for treating it’s customers exceptionally well… so I commit myself to making it happen…

I’m irritated but not at eye-plucking levels yet… But wait, there’s more.

She gets there a few scant minutes before the doors go down, and wonders around our closed store while I finish up her order.  I’m packing them up at closed+10minutes when she comes back by to pick them up and pay.  As I’m ringing her up she says “You know, I really did order more than I’m going to be able to use, I can return the ones I don’t need, right?” … … …

Are you serious!? … But, still, not quite there yet…

“Ma’am, we offer a SATISFACTION guarantee on all of the products we produce; if for any reason you are dissatisfied with the QUALITY of the work we did, we would offer you a refund for the product, but normally on a custom order of photographic prints we would expect you to want what you have ordered.”

“So if I return them, tell them that they are too fuzzy?”

NOW… now is when I’m thinking, It wouldn’t be homicide if I just ripped out one eye… she would live, she would even adapt to having a fairly normal life.  She could be a pirate for Halloween. She’s EARNED it!

“Ma’am, if your images a pixelated, and you clicked through the low resolution warning with out reading, or if they are out of focus, customer service will probably allow you to return those prints.”

“Thank you very much for doing this for me tonight, most people wouldn’t have.”
No kidding, most people wouldn’t have– and YOU’RE the REASON people don’t want to help people.  I bend over backwards for you and whilst I’m contorted so, you try to find a way to slip a knife into my back!  Your son may be an Eagle Scout, but you, madam, are an awful human being.

One of the managers I hold in high regard once said something that stuck with me…  and it kept ringing in my head tonight: At our company “we bend over backwards for our customers, but don’t bend over forwards for them!”  I feel like she’s trying to give it to me up the butt with this one.

Fake Names Get Fake Service

, , , , , | Right | November 28, 2018

(I work at a self-service photo lab. You enter your memory card into a computer, select your photos, and enter your name. It prints off a slip, you pay, and you come back later to collect your photos. Every single time, we remind customers to hold onto the receipt with the slip, as it not only proves you paid for your photos, but has your name and order number on it, so we know what photos are yours.)

Customer: “I’m just here to pick up my photos.”

Me: “Sure, no problem; can I get the receipt?”

Customer: “Sorry, mate, I lost it.”

Me: “That’s okay; it happens. What name were they under?”

Customer: *gives his name*

Me: *looks for photos* “I can’t find any order by that name. Did you order them today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I did it like twenty minutes ago.”

Me: “Okay, cool. Let me just look again.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: “I still can’t find any photos under that name. Are you sure that’s the name that you ordered them under?”

Customer: *gives me a condescending look* “Mate, I’m pretty sure I know my own name.”

Me: “Fair enough. Let me look again to be sure.”

(I look for the photos again.)

Me: “There is definitely nothing under that name. Are you sure that you printed and paid for them here?”

Customer: “100% sure.”

Me: “There definitely isn’t anything under here with that name.”

(I go through all the orders and show the customer the first photo of each order to see if he recognises his order. We aren’t really meant to do this, but it’s the only way I can think of to ID his order. After about thirty orders:)

Customer: “Yep, that’s one of mine. The next photo should be of a boat.”

(The next photo is indeed of a boat, so I’m confident this is his order.)

Me: “These photos are under the name of [Completely Different Name].”

Customer: “Oh, yeah, that’s right; I used a fake name. Sorry about that.”

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Hatefully Apologetic

, , , , | Right | November 2, 2018

(It’s near the end of the night when we close photo lab, but our main printer has been down for the day. A tech came in to look at it and it may be a motherboard issue. Which can’t be repaired until tomorrow when he will have parts for it. To top it off, our backup printer ran out of paper because we had so many large photo orders — we had 3 rolls of paper, since it’s an “in case of emergency” printer, and that’s only 300 pictures a roll. So, we had to close the lab. My coworker is in the middle of calling customers to inform them of the situation and that we’d be happy to cancel their orders or call them when they’re printed, when this happens:)

Customer: “Hi, I’m here to pick up photos for [Name].”

(I go to check to see if it was one of the orders that we couldn’t finish tonight, and it was.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir, but our main printer has been down today and won’t be fixed until tomorrow, and our backup printer is out of paper. Hopefully we’ll have your pictures ready by tomorrow, when the printer is fixed. I’m so sorry.”

Customer: “So, what you’re saying is that [store] doesn’t care about me?”

Me: “No, of course not. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do until the printer is fixed.”

Customer: “So your manager is okay with this horrible customer service?”

Me: “No. Again, I’m really really sorry.”

Customer: “No! I need you to tell me in those exact words that [Store] hates me and your manager hates me!

Me: “Sir, I’m really really sorry, I wish there was something I could do to fix it, but until the tech comes back in tomorrow, we can’t do any more photos tonight.”

Customer: “No! You need to compensate me for this terrible service and Inconvenience of having to come all the way here to only end up empty handed!”

Me: “The service desk would be happy to help! I’m sure they can give you a gift card for your trouble.”

(He left and I called the desk to let them know to have something ready for them. My coworker apologized to me for having to deal with him. I wished them luck.)

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The Smaller The Screen, The Bigger The Problems

, , , , , | Right | October 16, 2018

(It’s nine pm when a man comes up to the photo lab counter. I ask him if he needs help and he does. I walk him over to a kiosk and start showing him how to work it.)

Me: “All your sizes for photos are at the top; currently we’re on the 4×6 size. Also, each photo that you select will have to be cropped to a 4×6. If you don’t do it now, it’ll have you do it before you checkout. It’ll be a lot smaller, though, so it’s easier to do it right when you click on the photo that you want.”

Customer #1: “Wait! I have to crop every photo?!”

Me: “Unfortunately, yes, or else it won’t let you check out. Each photo has to be cropped to the size print you want it to be.”

Customer #1: “That’s f****** ridiculous! Can’t I just send it to you guys through my email and have you do it?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, we can’t do that.”

(He slams in his chair and leaves, taking the phone cord we lend to customers to use at our kiosks with him. Then a woman sitting at another kiosk calls me over.)

Customer #2: “Ugh. The computer is all messed up!”

(Somehow the checkout page is now only an inch large, and I have no idea how she did this. I try everything I can to fix it, but nothing works.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I think the computer is broken. Perhaps we could work with another one?”

Customer #2: “Ugh. Whatever.”

(She then moves to the next kiosk over. Then the man next to me asks for help.)

Customer #3: “So, would a DVD be done before you close?”

Me: “We close at 9:30, so I would think so!”

Customer #3: “Also, it never asked for my name; how would you know it’s my order?”

Me: “It should have asked for your name when you checked out. If it didn’t, then the order wasn’t placed.”

(This happens everyday; a customer hits a wrong button when they’re done and instead of being sent to checkout, they delete their order without knowing it.)

Customer #3: “Can you check?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I haven’t received your order. Looks like it wasn’t placed.”

Customer #3: “So, what do I do now?!”

Me: “I’m really sorry, but unfortunately if it didn’t ask for your name, then the order wasn’t placed. So, we’re going to have to reorder your DVD.”

(He picks a kiosk and starts scanning his photos. He puts four pictures on the scanner, and one isn’t picking up.)

Customer #3: “What’s going on? It’s not getting one of them.”

Me: “It seems to work better when you do one at a time; I know it takes longer, but a lot of people have more luck with it that way.”

(He then puts two in, and it still only picks up one photo.)

Me: “Yeah… Looks like it’s being stubborn; maybe try one at a time?”


(He then storms out. The woman from before calls me back over.)

Customer #2: “How do I get the underscore?”

Me: “Press shift.”

Customer #2: “Oh. I did control and it made the screen smaller.”

(So, that’s how she messed up the computer!)

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