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His Inquiry Went Direct To His Issue

, , , , | Right | January 5, 2022

My first foray into the telecommunication business is via directory inquiries, i.e. the number you call if you want to find out someone’s phone number. In Sweden, this service used to be provided by the government but was eventually sold out, so a number of private companies took over and charged a lot more.

The company I work for has inherited the number the government-provided service used to have, and as a result, we have a lot of customers who call in just to have someone to chat with, not knowing that the call is a lot more expensive than it used to be. Usually, when I get a customer like this, I inform them of the cost of the call and let them decide if they want to continue the conversation or not, but I am not allowed to hang up on customers unless they are verbally abusive.

Me: “Welcome to directory inquiries. How may I direct your call?”

Caller: “I want to talk to the government, right away!”

Me: “Certainly, I have the number for the switchboard right here. Do you want me to read it to you so you can write it down, or do you want me to transfer you?”

Caller: “I want to talk to the person who’s in charge of the elections.”

Me: “I don’t have the direct number, but the switchboard will help you with that. Would you like me to transfer you?”

Caller: “I’m not happy with [Elected Official] and I want to complain! I want him out of office! This is outrageous!”

Me: “I can transfer you to the government switchboard or give you the number. If you want to keep talking to me, I have to tell you that the cost of this call is [amount] per minute.”

The caller goes into a very long rant about everything that’s wrong with the government, the country, and the world.

Me: “I hear you, but there is nothing I can do about your issue. I can give you the number of the government switchboard or transfer you. Every minute you spend talking to me will cost you [amount]. What would you like me to do?”

Caller: “There are gay representatives in the government, I tell you. Gay representatives! What do you have to say about that?”

At this point, there are no representatives in our government who are openly gay, although there is one who wears his hair in a ponytail. I’ve already been on the phone with this customer for five minutes, listening to his rant, so I just decide to shut him up the best way I can think of.

Me: “Well, to be honest, you’re talking to a gay telephone operator right now. What do you have to say about that?”

Then came the longest silence I’ve ever heard, followed by the blessed *click* when he hung up.

Not Exactly Clever As A Fox

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: King_of_the_Dot | December 9, 2021

I work in a restaurant. I have just come in for my 4:00 pm shift, and I start with a table on the patio that starts off as normal as any. The older couple at the table is both cordial and pleasant. They order two drinks, I drop drinks, they order food, I drop food, and they don’t need refills, so everything seems to be going just fine.

As they finish eating, they stop another server.

Couple: “Can we watch Fox on the TV?”

This is no problem; we have forty TVs and will adjust any of them to anything you want to watch.

I don’t know if the server they told failed to tell me in a timely manner, but when I drop off the bill, I ask if they wanted to watch something on TV, and the lady confirms that she wants to watch Fox, and she seems kind of agitated. I go inside to the bar and ask the bartender to change TV #35 to Fox, as he has the tablet/remote behind the bar.

The bartender and I confirm that the station is just playing a sitcom, which has us both a little confused, because why would they want us to tune to a sitcom at 4:30 pm at a restaurant? I then return to the table to drop off their receipt.

Me: “Did you want to watch [Sitcom]? That’s what’s on Fox right now.”

Wife: “I want. To. Watch. Fox. This is ridiculous!”

Husband: *Calmly and pleasantly* “We are fine.”

Wife: “We! Are! Not! Fine!”

I immediately freeze in place, mouth agape, not knowing whether this lady is joking or not. After a few seconds, I try to say something and begin to stutter a bit and apologize as the husband starts waving me off with a smile.

So, completely perplexed, I begin to turn to walk away as the wife pipes up.

Wife: “You’re all a bunch of liberals!”

It finally dawns on me that she means Fox News. I go inside to tell everyone that this lady doesn’t know how to ask for what she wants. After explaining to most of the front-of-house staff what just went down, the lady comes inside and walks up to a full bar to announce:

Wife: “This is ridiculous! You’re all a bunch of liberals and this is censorship!”

Then, she turned and walked out.

I would have taken zero issue with turning the TV to Fox News for those folks.

He Was First… To Be An A**hole

, , , , , | Right | November 9, 2021

It is 2018. I am working concessions at a movie theater. I’m stationed at the popcorn, which is the first thing you encounter at this theater. A man walks into the concession stand area but he stays back as he’s talking on the phone. I smile and give him a nod to show that I see him and am ready to help him whenever he’s ready. He doesn’t acknowledge me and continues talking for about five minutes before a woman walks up that wants popcorn. She waits a moment to see if he’s going to order but he keeps talking on the phone.

Me: “Sir, I just want to make sure whether or not you’re ready before I help this next customer?”

He doesn’t respond, just kind of turns to the side and continues his conversation. The woman and I shrug, and I go about helping her. She is very pleasant and nice to chat with. She has barely finished walking away when this man steps up and smacks the counter before starting to rant at me.

Customer: “Are you kidding me?! I’ve been standing there for more than five minutes and you help her before me?”

This man is a white male and the woman is black. It’s important because the way he said “her” was as if he was referring to some disgusting being.

Me: “Sir, I apologize if there was some confusion, but you didn’t seem ready to order. When you first approached my area, I smiled at you and nodded to acknowledge you since you were on the phone. I stood here for at least five minutes while you stood back and continued your phone conversation. Not once did you try to order or even indicate you were ready!”

Customer: “Well, I was here first!”

Me: “I understand, sir. That’s why when the other customer came up, I asked you if you were ready. You chose not to respond and turned away from me, so I had no choice but to help the waiting customer. I’m sorry you feel that was unfair but I’m not going to make another customer wait just because you chose to ignore me. Now, would you like to order some popcorn?”

He huffs and puffs for a few seconds before ordering a large popcorn. About ten minutes later, he returns, one of my managers following behind looking exhausted. As they approach the popcorn station, this man proclaims:

Customer: “That’s her! That’s the girl that was discriminating against me!”

Me: “Excuse me?!”

Customer: “She saw my shirt and discriminated against me!”

He is wearing a jacket that is zipped more than halfway up and I have no idea what shirt he is wearing. I turn to my manager.

Me: “I haven’t seen his shirt. His jacket was zipped like that the whole time; you can check the cameras.”

Manager: *To the customer* “Why do you think she was discriminating against you based on your shirt?”

He yanks the zipper down to reveal a homemade shirt emblazoned with:

Shirt: “TRUMP 2020! F*** THE LIBTARDS!”

Me: *Remaining stone-faced* “Sir, this is the first time I’ve been able to see your shirt. I really don’t care what you wear; have a great day.”

I told my manager I was taking my lunch break and walked in the back as the customer continued to rant about how “YOU F****** LIBERALS JUST WANT TO CENSOR EVERYONE! F*** YOU, LIBERAL B****!”

He was escorted out, without a refund, by security!

When They Are Censoring Themselves

, , , , | Right | November 2, 2021

It is 2010. I work as an enumerator for the US Census Bureau. My job is to go to residences that have not responded to the mail-in form and get the requested information. Besides using the information for congressional district assignments, the demographic information is used by governments to determine if schools need to be built for upcoming students, if new roads need to be built, etc.

At this time in the US, the “Tea Party” movement is going strong. They are a group of ultra-conservatives that are for smaller government and less government spending. We’ve been warned in our training that “Tea Party” members are reluctant to give any personal information, even though personal data collected by the US Census isn’t publicly released until seventy-five years have passed.

I approach one house where the pickup truck out front is adorned with several US flags. I brace for what I (correctly) assume is a “Tea Party” member. I ring the doorbell and am brusquely greeted by a man.

Me: “Hello. I’m [My Name] with the US Census office. I’m here to collect the data on your household, as we didn’t receive your form by the deadline. Do you have time today to answer some questions about your household?”

Resident: “You only need to know the number of people here. It’s five.”

Me: “Actually, sir, the information is shared with state and local governments to make sure the proper level of services are available to you and your family in the upcoming years, so the demographic data is very important.”

Resident: “Can I see what you’re going to ask?”

I show him the form that I’m going to be filling out. For this census, it is very basic: name, date of birth, ethnic identity (of the person’s choice), marriage status, and maybe a couple of other things. He grudgingly lets me interview him and get his data.

Me: “Thank you very much for your time, sir. Have a good evening.”

Resident: “By the way, how long has the government been doing this census thing?”

Me: “Well… since 1790.”

O, Canaduh, Part 13

, , , , , , , | Related | October 13, 2021

My family is Canadian, but my brother moved to the States for work and has an American girlfriend. Everyone in the family likes her very much, but she sometimes gives the impression that she’s worried about fitting in and getting along with us.

It’s a couple of days after the 2021 Canadian federal election. I’m on a video call with my brother, and I tell him a joke. His girlfriend hears him laughing and comes in.

Girlfriend: “What’s so funny?”

Me: “Oh, just a stupid joke about the election.”

Girlfriend: “Oh? Can I hear it?”

Brother: “It’s, uh, very Canadian. I don’t know if you’d think it was funny.”

Girlfriend: “Oh, come on. I wanna hear it! I bet it’s great!”

Me: “Um, okay. What’s the difference between [Politician] and a toilet?”

Girlfriend: “I don’t know.”

Me: “A toilet has a seat.”

Girlfriend: “I… Oh. Um.”

Me: “Because, uh, [Politician] is a real scumbag and he’s a party leader, but he didn’t get elected in his riding, so he doesn’t have a seat in the House of Commons.”

[Girlfriend] is wearing the expression of someone desperately pretending that she both understands and cares.

Me: “Anyway, it’s a very silly joke. How are you, [Girlfriend]?”

I hope my brother later told her she doesn’t have to pretend to care about Canadian politics to impress anyone, since if she’s not interested, I can’t think of a bigger waste of her time.

O, Canaduh, Part 12
O, Canaduh, Part 11
O, Canaduh, Part 10
O, Canaduh, Part 9
O, Canaduh, Part 8