Pray They’re Not Taking IT

, , , | Learning | August 7, 2017

(I work in student services at a university. The following phone call takes place a few weeks before semester starts, when new students need to accept the offer of a position in a course in order to enroll in subjects.)

Me: “Welcome to Enrollment Help. [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I need help accepting my offer.”

Me: “Okay, not a problem. Do you have our website open?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I need you to click on the ‘New Students’ button.”

Caller: “I can’t see that.”

Me: “If you just try scrolling down a bit, there should be four big buttons across the page, and one of them should say ‘New Students’.”

Caller: “I don’t see any big buttons at all.”

(At this point I assume the caller has, prior to calling me, accidentally navigated to a different page on our website and is not on the home page.)

Me: “Okay, you might be on a different page. Can I get you to just click on the [University] logo in the top left corner to go back to our home page?”

Caller: “I can’t see the logo anywhere.”

Me: “Hmm. Okay, I’ll just get you to enter our web address into the URL bar and we’ll get back to the home page that way.”

Caller: “What’s the URL bar?”

Me: “It’s the white box at the top of your screen where you type in a website’s address.”

Caller: “Okay. But there’s already writing in it.”

Me: “That’s okay, just delete that and we’ll put in the web address.”

Caller: “How do I do that?”

Me: “Just click in the box and hit the ‘backspace’ button on your keyboard until all the writing has gone.”

Caller: “Okay, done that.”

Me: “Great, so now you have to type in www-dot [Univeristy initials]-dot-edu-dot-au. Then hit enter.”

Caller: “Okay, got it.”

Me: “Great. Can you see the ‘New students’ button now?”

Caller: “No.”

(I pause for a moment, wondering how we’ve gone wrong this time. Just to clarify, I ask:)

Me: “And are you on our website? Can you see the [University] logo in the top left corner?”

Caller: “No, but it says [University Name] on the page.”

(This has me stumped.)

Me: “Can you describe the web page you’ve got in front of you?”

Caller: “Well, it’s mostly white with a lot of words on it, and it says ‘Google’, and—”

(Suddenly everything falls into place.)

Me: “Oh, you’ve done a Google search! Tell me, do you have two white bars at the top of your browser?”

Caller: “Yes.”

Me: “And were you typing the address into the one on the far right?”

Caller: “Yes!”

Me: “Right. That’s not the URL bar. That’s a google search bar, so what’s happened is when you’ve put the address in, it’s done a google search for that term instead of just going straight to the website. The page you’re looking at is listing all of Google’s search results. Now, where it says [University Name] in the first search result, is it in blue and can you click on it?”

Caller: *pause* “Yes! I can see the logo in the top corner! Oh and there’s the New Students button!”

(And then I had to spend the next fifteen minutes stepping her through the process to accept the offer!)

Necessarily Paying Attention

, , , | Romantic | July 12, 2017

(How to tell my husband isn’t paying attention to me:)

Me: “We haven’t had sex in three days.”

Husband: “Not necessarily.”

(No, he’s not getting sex elsewhere. He just really was not paying attention.)

Ferreting Around For Some Good Parenting

, , , , | Hopeless | July 6, 2017

(I often take my very tame, very friendly female ferret out on her lead to get some fresh air. I mostly get a lot of strange looks but for some reason people with small children act like ferrets are awful, vicious creatures that carry all kinds of disease. On my walk one day a young woman is walking along with a little girl, about three years old. I brace myself for the worst.)

Girl: “Mummy! Mummy, what’s that animal?!”

Girl’s Mother: *laughing* “That’s a ferret, sweetie!”

Girl: “Awwww, so cute!”

(I pause for a moment a few steps away from them, mostly out of shock, and a little bit because I’m used to people wanting to skirt me and my ferret in the street.)

Girl: “Can I pat it, mummy? So cuuuuuute!”

Girl’s Mother: “Remember we don’t touch other people’s pets without asking; they might get scared, or they might not like kids.”

Me: *still slightly stunned* “This one does. She plays with my nephews all the time. She can pat her if she wants to.”

Girl’s Mother: “Oh, thank you!”

(The mother kneels down and keeps telling her daughter, “Now, gentle! Don’t scare her; nice and soft,” and stopping her daughter from touching my ferrets face. The little girl is over the moon and incredibly sweet and gentle, giggling like crazy as my loveable lump of a ferret sniffs her and revels in the attention.)

Girl’s Mother: “Thank you so much. She LOVES animals.”

Me: “It’s no problem at all. Most parents yank their kids away like my ferret might set them on fire.”

Girl’s Mother: *screws up face* “How stupid! Our guinea pig has probably bitten more people than this little guy.”

(After a quick chat I learned they’d just moved in up the street from me and they were walking to the park down the block. Almost every afternoon for the next several months we met up along the same patch of sidewalk and the little girl would pat my ferret, and the mum and I would chat for a bit. When my ferret finally passed away last month of old age, they met up with me the next day with a card and a box of chocolates, and an adorable drawing of my ferret done by my tiny toddler friend. All it took was one person realising my ferret was not a danger to her kid for me to gain two wonderful friends.)

IOU Nothing

, , , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(A woman has entered our shop, which has a very generous returns policy. This is the second time she has visited with the same story, and the second time this conversation has played out.)

Customer: “I came in just before Christmas to swap [Cosmetic] for another one more suitable, and the lady behind the counter said she ‘shouldn’t do this’ but gave me an IOU since you were out of the one I needed. Then my wallet was stolen with the IOU in it. I came in last week and you wouldn’t help me. But I still want my [Product].”

Me: “I’m very sorry your wallet was stolen. Can you describe the person who served you?”

Customer: *perfectly describes a distinctive staff member*

Me: “That sounds like [Coworker]. She left the company over a month before Christmas. And she would have been perfectly qualified to issue you a credit note — no ‘I shouldn’t do this’ needed.”

Customer: “I still want my [Product].”

Me: “I don’t have any return, credit note, or ‘IOU’ to put into the system. It’s like having no cash.”

Customer: *getting angry* “I’m upset that you won’t give me my [Product]!”

Me: “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but I have no credit note as evidence and the staff member you describe wasn’t here at the time you specified. And none of my staff would do an ‘under-the-table’ IOU. I’m always right here if they need help to process a return.”

Customer: “It’s not fair that I don’t get anything! No refund! No [Product]!”

Me: “I don’t have anything to use as tender.”

(I call the manager over, who listens to the story again. It goes around in circles so many times we give in.)

Manager: “I will give you a free [Product] this once. But it’s important that you understand that without any credit note, receipt, or evidence I can’t help you in future; it’s as if I went to another shop and said, ‘My $100 cash has been stolen! Can I have $100 of free stock?’ I’m sorry that your wallet was lost, but unfortunately I can’t give things away for free.”

Customer: “Hmff! Thank you.”

(I can imagine this lady might have gone on to trade all her invisible lost loyalty cards in for free juices and coffees. The customer is not always bright…)

Running Off With A Younger Set Of Wheels

, , , , | Romantic | June 19, 2017

(When my husband and I first got together he was in a lot of financial trouble. I helped sort out his finances and it was decided he needed to get rid of his car and buy a new one. He couldn’t get a loan at the time so I did and put the car in my name, which was also done to prevent any repossession from debt collectors, etc. We refer to this new car as his car and the car I already had as my car. We’re now married, his car is still in my name, and we have recently sold my car. Of course, Murphy’s Law, the week after selling my car the battery on his car goes kaput. He has to bike ride to the local auto store to get a new battery. Note: I regularly remind him (jokingly) that his car is in my name and is my car.)

Husband: “You should be doing the bike riding. I have to work tonight.”

Me: “It’s not my car!”

Husband: “Oh really? REALLY? It’s not your car is it? Can I have that recorded?”

Me: “Wait… No! It’s MY CAR! The registration is in MY name!”

Husband: “Registration does not prove ownership.”

Me: “The registration in my name means if you run off with a younger woman I can have you arrested for stealing my car.”

Husband: “Oh, thanks! I run off with a younger woman and all you’re concerned about is the car?”

Me: “You run off with a younger woman and you’re on your own, buddy, but I want the car!”

Husband: “Well, you better hope there is no younger women at the auto store.”

Me: “Oh, yeah? What are you going to do?”

Husband: *putting on a mock sleazy voice* “Hey, baby, I might not have a car right now but I’ve got a sexy bicycle!”

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