Winter Is Coming; Good Service Is Not

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2019

(My mother lives in a small town. She bought her first car while already in her 40s, at the only dealership in her town that sold the particular brand she wanted. She decided to service it at the dealership since she didn’t really know of any good garages. This dealership, like many others, offers a service where they will give you a ride to work and get you back — provided that you work within a certain distance — so that you’re not stuck at the garage waiting for your car for hours or having to take a taxi. One day in November, my mother brings her car in for routine maintenance and to have her winter tires installed.)

Service Advisor: “Okay, ma’am, you’re all set. You can wait to get a ride with [Employee]; he’s currently giving a ride to another customer but should be back in a few minutes.

(My mother decides to wait a bit. At some point, she sees the dealership car coming close to the entrance to drop off another customer, so she heads outside towards the car. The other customer gets out of the car and closes the door. My mother is a few feet away and starts towards the car door, but the car suddenly moves forward quickly and peels out of the parking lot, leaving my mother there. She heads back inside to talk to the service manager.)

Mother: “I was going to get in the car to go to work and your employee just left. Is he coming back? Is there someone else to give me a ride to work? I don’t want to be late.”

Service Manager: *looking out the window into the parking lot* “He did what?! I’m really sorry, ma’am. I’m going to call him.” *on the phone* “Hey. Where are you? You’ve got a customer here that needs a ride.” *pause* “What? I don’t care if you’ve had breakfast or not. Come back here right now and get the customer.”

(My mom is irritated but brushes it off and goes to work. When she comes back at the end of the day, she sees that her car is still on summer tires. She goes to the counter to talk to the service advisor.)

Mother: “Excuse me. I’m here to pick up my car but I see that the summer tires are still on it. Why didn’t you change them?”

Service Advisor: *condescendingly* “Well, ma’am, your tires were too worn out to make it through the winter. We couldn’t install them on your car; that was not safe.”

Mother: “Okay, but why didn’t you call me? Winter is coming. Obviously, I’m going to need winter tires, and now I’m going to have to come back another time just for that.”

Service Advisor: *sheepishly, as if the thought of calling my mother didn’t even occur to him* “Huh… I guess we could have done that.”

Mother: “You should have! It’s very inconvenient that I have to come back for something that was supposed to be taken care of today. Wait a minute. I’ve paid you guys to store my winter tires since last spring. Are you telling me that I paid for six months of storage for nothing?! Why didn’t you tell me my tires were too worn out before storing them?!”

Service Advisor: “…”

(My mother spoke to a manager, who refunded the six months of storage, but she still had to come back to have new tires installed. After a few similar blunders by the dealership, my mother vowed to never, ever do business with them again. About ten years later, she still hasn’t set foot in that dealership, and she still gets a bit worked up if I bring up that story.)

Scratching Off Your Debt

, , , , , , | Related | January 1, 2019

(I am six years old. My father is working full time on collecting funds for charity. One of the persuasion tools they use is a scratch card, as a sort of appeal to a “gambling sense” or a “leave it to faith” kind of thing. This would convince some to give apparently, anyway. One day, the little six-year-old curious and enthusiastic learner I am, I decide to ask about the scratch card and how it works. I go to see my father.)

Me: *holding the card* “Dad, what’s this?”

Father: “This card? I’ll show you.”

(He takes it from me and points on it.)

Father: “So, this is to raise funds for [Charity]; all you have to do is pick one little circle on the card and scratch it. Give it a try; just scratch one.”

Me: “You want me to scratch one for real?”

Father: “Yes, yes for real. Go for it.”

(I scratch one circle, it says $1.70.)

Father: “All right, that will be $1.70, miss.”

(I proceed to pretend to give him money, but he gives me a stern look.)

Father: “No, you have to give me a real $1.70. You scratched it; now you have to pay it. That’s how it works.”

(I’m stunned into silence, and start panicking! I’m just a kid; I don’t have any money! I believed we were just pretending for the sake of explaining. Since he said to scratch it for real, I thought it did not matter and that we could just use it as a meaningless demonstration. I was certainly not aware we were making an actual transaction. After five seconds that are an eternity for me…)

Father: “It’s okay. I’m your father; I’ll pay it for you.”

(He went away with the card like everything was perfectly fine. Up to this day, I have no idea why he made me do it for real, knowing real money would have to be involved, and without a warning, or, why he could not simply explain with words only. But I swear I still have trust issues from the experience!)

Some People Are Just Incapable Of A “Joyeux Noël”

, , , , , | Right | December 23, 2018

(This takes place in a local coffee shop. It’s December, and I’m on my way home. The customer ahead of me has been hectoring the young lady taking his order because she speaks little or no English; he’s resorted to ordering by pointing at the items on the signs over the counter.)

Server: “Huit, trente-quatre, s’il vous plait, monsieur.” *$8.34 please, sir*

Customer: *scowls as he tosses money on the counter*

Server: *trying to keep her seasonal happy face on* “Merci, et joyeux Noël à vous.” *Thank you, and Merry Christmas to you.*

Customer: *glaring* “I’m getting f****** TIRED of people NOT SAYING, ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’! It’s CHRISTMAS! CHRISTMAS! GET IT RIGHT!”

Me: “Dude, she said, ‘Merry Christmas.’ ‘Joyeux Noël’ is FRENCH for Merry Christmas.”

Customer: “Yeah? Well, she needs to learn ENGLISH!”

Me: “This is Quebec.”

She Should Try This Brand-New Technology Called Email

, , , , | Right | November 30, 2018

(I work in a small stationery and book store, but we also provide a fax service. We charge $2 as a base price; there is no extra charge if it is a local number or an 800-number, and an extra charge by minute according to the destination is applied if it is not local. It may get a little more pricey if it is outside the Quebec region. Customers usually come to our store, as it is the cheapest; the other store offering the service charges $2 a sheet they send. One day a customer comes in to fax a four-page document to Ontario. After a few minutes, I receive the confirmation and I ring her up.)

Me: “That will be $4.50.”

(She looks at me as if I’ve just told her it would cost $400. She then proceeds to scream in disbelief.)

Customer: “$4.50 FOR A FAX?!”

Me: *confused, as no one has ever complained for the cost* “Yes?”

Customer: “FOUR dollars FIFTY, for a FAX?! FOUR FIFTY?!”

(She then storms out of the store with her sheets in her hands without paying and still yelling how it is crazy and so expensive and all. I’m frozen in place, staring at the door with a look of “What just happened?” on my face. I slowly turn around to look at the remaining three customers, two who were browsing and one that was waiting to come to the counter. They are just as confused as I am, and we just look at each other in disbelief for a moment before one of the customers, an old teacher of mine, comments how crazy that woman was. We all agree, and I go back to my normal self and delete the transaction. That is when my boss decides to come back from her lunch break. She stops as soon as she enters, seeing us all like this, a bit confused as to why there is a very awkward ambiance and why we all seem a bit frozen in place. After everyone is gone, she asks me what happened, and I tell her, with a description of the woman. She starts laughing.)

Boss: “I’m so sorry; I know it’s not funny, but what can we do? Better to laugh about it than cry. She’s the one in the wrong; if she ever comes back, which I doubt she will, make her pay and watch her closely.”

Me: “If that happens, I’m not giving her papers back until she pays.”

(My boss starts laughing even more and proceeds to tease me for the following week, telling customers we see often what happened when they ask why she teases me that much. Fast forward a month and a half; the woman comes back! As soon as I see her I brace myself. As soon as she sees me, she seems uncomfortable, and she comes to me to say sorry and make up an excuse. Still suspicious, I say it’s okay and ask if I can help her. She takes a pen and wants to send another fax. This time I keep the documents on the other side of the counter. I ring her up.)

Customer: “Do I have to pay for the other time?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but yes, you have to.”

Customer: *sounding defeated* “All right…”

Me: “That will be $10.35.”

(She pays, and THEN I give her back her papers. She leaves, and my boss comes up to me.)

Boss: “Was that the one that freaked out about the price of her fax last time?”

Me: “Yeah… I made her pay for the other one, too, and kept her papers until she paid so she couldn’t flee again.”

(My boss started laughing again, and started to tell me again about customers she’d had that were just as weird. Since then, I always keep a hand on the documents of people I’ve never seen or that look shady, just in case.)

Unfiltered Story #128480

, , | Unfiltered | November 30, 2018

(I am working as an on-site rep in an industrial plant to maintain specific equipment. There is a plant engineer who doubts everybody. He would ask a question. If, out of ten people, nine would answer blue and one would answer turquoise, he would question the nine blue answers, and keep asking the same question, again and again, because he had a doubt about the answer. He would regularly ask the same questions to different people, until he got a slightly different answer, so he would doubt all the other answers. One time, I had a coworker come in from another site to give me a hand.)

Coworker: “I saw the engineer.”

Me: “Let me guess. He asked you about .”

Coworker: “Yeah.. what’s the story about that?”

Me: “Someone told him , so now, he doubts it all, and asks that question to everybody from [our company] that comes in.”

One time, he was in an operator booth with the operator. I enter the booth and he immediately asked me a question.
I gave the answer.
The operator looks at him, pissed off.

Operator: “The next time you have a question, why don’t you go ask [my name] instead?

Engineer: “Whut? Why?”

Operator: “You asked me a question. I gave you the answer. You ask [my name] the same question. He gave you, word for word, the same answer. You don’t believe me, you believe him. Next time, ask him and leave me the fu** alone.”

The engineer looked around wide eyes and left. At another time, I had just fixed a problem on our equipment.

Me: “There. It’s working properly now.”

Engineer: “what makes think it works properly?”

Me: “Because the self-test results are good.”

Engineer: “How do you know they’re good?”

Me: “Because they show the values I am expecting to see.”

Engineer: “What do those value means?”

Me: “the raw value and ratio between wavelength A and wavelength B. Do you understand what I just said?”

Engineer: *sheepishly* “no…”

One of the operator booths had two doors on opposite sides. At one point, he would come in and as soon as he would put his hand on the door handle, the whole booth would go empty by the other door. He would enter, look around at the control screen, and walk out, upon which the operators and other personnel would enter back the booth.

I left that plant shortly after that. I wonder what happened to him.

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