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Isn’t It Literally Your Job To “Figure It Out”?

, , , , , , , | Working | March 18, 2023

I had issues with [Phone Provider] after moving house which culminated in replacing much of our ten-year-old home equipment with upgraded versions. The issue was escalated to a case manager who provided close to $1,000 in credits once resolved.

Once the bill is issued, I try to view it to work out whether I need to pay anything this month, but I can’t see it on the app or a browser.

I contact tech support and they have me do the usual troubleshooting: uninstall the app and reinstall it. (That doesn’t explain the browser issues, but okay.) After several different steps, they escalate it to their IT team.

After ten days and still no action, the person I dealt with suggests raising a complaint to have a case manager assigned — it worked last time? — so we do.

The case manager is pleasant enough and contacts me several times over a period of weeks, each time to let me know there isn’t an update but that he will follow up with the tech team.

Twenty-five days in, the case manager calls me and tries the same troubleshooting steps we did on day one. (I’ve been doing this regularly just to check.)

I mention that we’ve uninstalled the app a couple of times already and ask how to do another step on my phone. (It turns out it’s a PC step, not meant for phone troubleshooting.)

Case Manager: “You’re smart; you figure it out.”

After several rounds of him giving a similar attitude, I reluctantly ask for his manager.

Case Manager: “You can call the ombudsman. I will not connect you with a supervisor.”

Me: “Can I have the number for the ombudsman, then?”

Case Manager: “You’re smart; figure it out.”

So I did.

Lodging a complaint with the ombudsman took less than five minutes, and they assured me someone would call soon.

A day later, someone did. They apologised for the experience and asked me to try logging in online and tell them if I could see my services. I explained that I could see my services, and it was only when I tried to view my bill that the services disappeared.

The employee immediately figured out the issue and checked my profile to see that my account had been linked to another account with no services or billing and all online services were showing me the other account, which is why I couldn’t see my bill. She showed me how to change the account and I could again see my bill!

From beginning to end, this person listened to my issue, confirmed what had been tried, and walked me through trying other steps. The entire call lasted less than twenty minutes, and after twenty-six days, the issue was resolved by a non-tech person — meaning this could have been resolved on day one if the original person had taken a little more time to understand the issue.

She finished up by saying they’d go back and listen to the call from the day prior, and she applied another $200 credit to my bill!

If It Means I Don’t Have To Pay, That’s Fine With Me!

, , , , , , | Working | January 5, 2023

I work in a busy tax accounting firm. It’s morbid to say, but our area has a large retiree population, so something I see more prevalently here than at other firms is the number of deceased estate returns we prepare.

The usual procedure when we find out a client has died is to make a note of it and a note to not send information requests to the family for a period of time. Tax departments move slowly, so why rush a grieving family when this process will still take months to finalise?

One day, I answer a call from our admin officer.

Admin Officer: “Hi, I’ve got [Deceased Client] on the line. They’re just after an update to where their tax work is.”

Me: “Uh, are you sure that’s who is calling?”

Admin Officer: “Hold on. I’ll double-check the name.”

I’m put on a brief hold.

Admin Officer: “Yes, it’s [Deceased Client]. Did you want to take the call?”

Me: “Umm, okay. Yes, let’s do that.”

I frantically look for a pen and paper and open his file, thinking it must be his son or something.

I take the call. It turns out that we have two clients with similar names, and when we got the death notice, the admin officer at the time put the deceased marker next to the wrong name. [Client] is very much alive and is just checking where his tax work is because he hasn’t heard from us.

The admin officer came up to me, after the call, to check because I’d sounded so confused on the phone.

Admin Officer: “What was the go with [Client]? Had we forgotten his work or something?”

Me: “No! I thought he was dead!”

Karma In Flight

, , , , , | Right | August 15, 2022

When visiting family or going to university, I used to regularly fly as a passenger on a route affectionately known as the “milk run” — a smaller aircraft that flew down the coast in “hops,” with brief stops at each city. Most of the stops were those where you stayed on board the aircraft to keep turnaround time down, but at least once during the run, everyone would get off so the plane could refuel.

It was around 8:00 pm and we were coming in to land at Mackay airport. The flight attendants advised us all to put our tray tables away and buckle our seat belts before walking down the aisle to check that everything was ready. Suddenly, we heard yelling from the front of the plane.

Irate Passenger: “No! I refuse to put my table away! I’m using it! Why the f*** should I listen to you?”

The man kept yelling insults and abuse at the flight attendants, who were both women. His insults became louder and more abusive until the attendants had to leave and return to their seats for their own safety during landing. The man finally stopped yelling, and we landed without incident and disembarked.

While waiting in the departure area, I overheard the man complaining to ground staff. He had the audacity to complain that the attendants didn’t make him put his tray away and said that he was at risk because of their incompetence! I could scarcely believe the audacity of this man, who seemed determined to punish the attendants for their perceived slights against him.

It took considerably longer to reboard the plane than it normally did, and in the meantime, the only other flight that evening departed. It was just our flight left to go, and all the counter staff and shop staff appeared to have gone home.

When we finally reloaded, an additional airline employee was present at the gate, along with several airport security employees. When the trouble passenger approached the gate, the airline employee was calm and collected as he told the man that he had been removed from the flight due to his dangerous behaviour and he would have to rebook. Keep in mind that this was a reasonably small airport that was largely surrounded by sugar cane fields, and at the time, there was no nearby hotel airport or accommodation of any kind.

I wasn’t able to see the man ejected from the terminal, but I did think it was a nice touch that the staff waited for the other flight to depart. It’s so satisfying to see an a**hole customer get what they deserve.

Strolling Into An Altercation

, , , , , , , , | Right | July 20, 2022

They have security at one of the local shopping centres in the morning, I presume to keep people from using the lot as a park-n-ride.

As I’m walking back from the store, I see a woman who has parked in the “for parents with strollers” space. She gets out of her car, unfolds her stroller, and walks toward the store. A female security guard who is of Pacific-Islander descent approaches her.

Security Guard: “Ma’am, you’re not allowed to park there. You don’t have a baby.”

Customer: “I have a stroller. It says, ‘For parents with strollers!’”

Security Guard: “It’s for parents with children in strollers.”

Customer: “It says nothing about children! It says strollers!

Security Guard: “I have the towing company on speed dial. And there’s a space right there—” *points* “—which is literally right next to that one. You can move your car. I’ll even stand here and hold the spot for you while you do. Or you can come out from shopping and have to call a cab.”

Customer: “What difference does one space make?”

Security Guard: “That…” *claps* “…is…” *claps* “…my…” *claps* “…point! Now you can move it or…” *claps* “…you…” *claps* “…can…” *claps* “…get…” *claps* “…towed.”

She moves her car. I am by now driving past with my window rolled down lest I miss anything else.

Security Guard: “Thank you.”

Customer: *Walking away* “F****** Moana.”

We All Need A Brain Reboot Occasionally

, , , , , , , | Working | June 30, 2022

In Australia, we are required to take our own bags grocery shopping or purchase bags there. Supermarkets are not allowed to provide single-use plastic bags free of charge. Like many others, I use one insulated “fridge” bag as a carrier and put the rest of my bags inside it.

I was shopping recently and put my bags up before my groceries so they could be packed directly instead of piling up on the counter. The young lad serving me couldn’t have been more than fourteen, and upon receiving the bags on the register belt, he proceeded to pull all of them out of the main bag and leave them strewn across the bagging area. He then scanned every item of my shopping and somehow managed to balance it all on the end of his till.

He then seemed to realise they needed to be put in the bags, so he grabbed a handful of items and stared at the mess he’d made of the bags. I’m not sure if his brain stopped working or the choices were just overwhelming because he stood for a good ten seconds while I was paying, just staring at the bags.

I finished paying and reached over, opened a bag, and held it out to him. This seemed to reboot his brain because he then successfully packed all my groceries into the bags, leaving about six bags empty at the end. A truly bizarre encounter.