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A collection of stories curated from different subreddits, adapted for NAR.

When The Cook Reaches Breaking Point

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Piltdownton_Abbey | October 23, 2020

We have a local customer who is a chef who blows up under stress. We sell him hardware and software for his restaurant. Great food, great chef, terrible business sense.

We get a call on a Friday afternoon that all of their kitchen printers have failed. He’s given basic troubleshooting steps over the phone.

Customer: “Nothing is helping!”

Me: “Okay, sir, you don’t have a support contract with us but because the hardware is still under warranty we’ll order some replacements.”

Customer: “Please hurry! I have a really busy weekend coming! I’ll give you free dinner and alcohol and will buy a  six-month support contract if you send someone out right away!”

Being the top guy has its advantages and I snap this amazing opportunity up. I get there and the owner is about to have a mental breakdown. He rushes me to the kitchen.

Customer: “Fix the printers!”

Me: “There are no lights on.”

Customer: “It’s just one more problem I’ve been dealing with! Several of my very expensive blenders aren’t working either and I won’t be able to make sauces fast enough to keep up with demand!” 

It takes me a few seconds for the light in my tiny brain to come on.

Me: “Are all these things on the same breaker?”

He stops to think for a few seconds and that frantic look on his face turns to calm and he walks to the breaker panel and flips the tripped breaker back on. 

Everything is working now and he sort of apologizes for being an a**. He obviously didn’t check much and when he told us the lights were on, he probably didn’t even look at the printers. I get it, he was stressed and about to pull his own hair out.

Anyway, I sat down to an amazing meal with a grateful customer. I don’t drink wine but he gave me a bottle to take to the office as well as a giant bottle of some delicious seasoned olive oil and several loaves of fresh-baked bread.

I think I’m the only employee who had a good experience with this guy.

The Sharpest Thing In A Classroom Should Be Minds

, , , , , | Learning | CREDIT: Darodar | October 23, 2020

It is the early 2000’s, and I am working for a consulting firm that has a lot of contracts with local school systems. I do everything from server setups and networking to replacing the mouse balls the kids are constantly removing to play with.

I have a ticket that a classroom PC is not working on the fourth-grade hall. I wait outside the door until the teacher stops talking, then stick my head in and ask if I can fix the PC real quick. It is on the other side of the room by the windows and out of the way, so I go over and quietly try to diagnose the problem.

I start running through the usual suspects and find the problem pretty quick. The door off of a 3.5″ floppy has come off and jammed in the drive. Back in the old days, this was a fairly common issue, especially in computers that had a lot of traffic from different users all day.

The problem is that the kids would usually try to fix it themselves, and end up bending the door so that it was opened up even wider, which made it a pain to get out. Luckily I had the perfect tool for this, a 5″ lock-blade knife that would let you get up under the bent part, then slide back to hold the door closed while you fished the whole thing out. Worked like a charm most of the time and was really quick.

You have probably already figured out the problem here, and I stress that I had never thought about this. I didn’t work in the school rooms much. I was a server guy and my time was usually more useful somewhere else, so this was kind of a side-deal when they didn’t have anything more important for me to do. So I reach into my bag, pull out the knife, pop it open in one motion while heading for the floppy drive.

Behind me, I hear an audible gasp. I turn around and the whole room is staring at me. It slowly dawns on me that I just pulled a pretty mean looking knife on over twenty ten-year-olds.

I apologized to the teacher and explained that this really was the best tool for fixing this particular problem, but that I probably should use the second-best tool from now on. Lucky for me, this was a really rural school, so the teacher just laughed and let it go. I didn’t even get sent to the principal’s office!

I can’t help but think that with all the tension we seem to have these days, that a similar mistake might not get laughed off anymore.

Being Patient Doesn’t Have To Be A Tough Pill To Swallow

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Hammer_Unto_Dawn | October 19, 2020

Today, our prescription software was upgraded. We were promised that it would be faster, easier to use, and more stable.

We got none of these things. What we got was such a slowdown that ringing out patients and customers came to a crawl akin to a 3,000-year-old frozen carcass and the same stability as a radioactive isotope. It constantly freezes and errors out.

We have a family that has about 15-20 medicines between three people. There’s a good reason why we have an entire space set aside for said family, and their medical bills would be absolutely astronomical if they were on any other insurance coverage.

The father comes in. We try ringing everything up together, TWICE. Both times, our POS terminals crash, and we have to restart the entire terminal. The father takes it on the chin and sits back down, pulling his phone back out.

Finally, after a seeming six years waiting for a register to come back (and while in the middle of a rush, no less), we try again. After checking everyone in the family out individually, we’re FINALLY able to send him on his way.

I’m absolutely flabbergasted by how understanding and patient he was. Even after thanking him about a billion times for his patience, he still embodied the virtue of patience, despite how understandable it would have been for him to leave and come back another time, or let his frustration get ahold of him.

He didn’t ask for anything in return, even though he was probably waiting for a good hour while our registers decided to come back online, even offering me a fist bump before departing.

This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for October 2020!

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Read the Feel Good roundup for October 2020!


, , , , | Right | CREDIT: littlegnome85 | October 18, 2020

A woman phones in an order, but when she comes to pick it up she doesn’t have any money.

Customer: “Can I Venmo the restaurant?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. You can pay with cash, card, or even with a code you can scan with your phone.”

Customer: “Nope. Can I Venmo you, and then you could pay?”

I politely declined. She hung around, fiddling on her phone, and eventually left. That should have been the end of it, but no.

Hours later, fifteen minutes before the kitchen closes, she calls back.

Customer: “Remember me? I bought [food item] earlier? Well, do you still have it? I just finished a job so I have money now.”

Me: “I do not have her food.” *from five hours earlier*

Customer: “Could I order it again?”

Me: “You will need to order in person and pay ahead of time, and get to the restaurant in the fifteen minutes that we still have left of dinner service.”

She pleads, so I hand the phone to the manager. She wore him down so he said to just have it made.

I put in the order (again) and packaged it up to go. She arrives two minutes after the kitchen closed, so I hand her the bag.

Customer: “No, I want to eat it here. Also, I want a liter of beer.”

I breathe in and my manager pours the beer. She sits outside and eats from the to-go package.

As I am bringing in the chairs from outside, she motions for me to come over. Taking a breath and getting this weird smile on her face she looks me in the eyes and says:

Customer: “Remember how I asked you to use your Venmo earlier today? Well, you really should have. It’s called customer service.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I told you I would pay by Venmo. You work here and you should have done your job. It’s customer service.”

Me: “Giving out my personal information is not a part of the job, and I am not personally responsible for being a payment method for customers.”

She just kept disagreeing. I finally had to walk away.

After she ate she came inside and asked the manager for a job!

Absolutely Trucking Mad, Part 4

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Artilleryman08 | October 18, 2020

I have a side-hustle on my days off. My job in an oilfield has a rotational schedule where I work two weeks and then get two weeks off. I make plenty of money at my job, but it doesn’t hurt to make a little extra cash.  

I am, in essence, a tour guide for the region I live in. I don’t have any planned tours, but usually, I just take people to see neat places that they would not know about or think to go to.

I am adamant about getting paid up front. Customers sign an agreement that guarantees to protect my truck from messes or damage. So far, I have never had any issues, fortunately, and people always enjoy the places I show them.

Except for one family. 

They seem friendly enough when they sign the contract and I collect my fee. Once money changes hands with this family, the attitude changes; they begin treating me like I am a second-class citizen.

I drive them around to some of the most beautiful scenery I can find. People are often left speechless by these places and never have I seen someone not be impressed. Until now. Every place I show them just seems to disappoint them. I can’t deny that I am a little offended by their indifference, but whatever, I have my money.

When I get back to town and drop them off at their hotel, it gets interesting.

Customer: “You can just park in the back and leave the keys at the desk. Tell them they are for the [Customer’s Last Name] family.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “This truck, just park it in the back. We might use it later.”

Me: “This is my truck. I’m not leaving it here; that’s not part of the deal.”

Customer: “Oh, please, there is no way you can own a vehicle like this. It obviously belongs to your company.”

Me: “I do this job self-employed, on my days off from my regular job. I assure you, this is my truck. I can show you my name on the title.”

Customer: “Young man, if you don’t do as you’re told, I will be forced to call your boss.”

I am thirty.

Me: “You mean me? I am my boss.”

Customer: “Okay, smart a**, get your boss on the phone, right now!” 

I think about just driving off but then have a better idea. I call my supervisor at my real job. He’s been in the oilfield for fourteen years and can be quite the cusser. He knows what I do on my days off and even sends people my way sometimes. He answers and I just say:

Me: “One of my clients is demanding to speak with my boss, so here she is.”

I hand the customer my phone.

Customer: *Sounding smug* “I tried to tell your driver to leave the truck here so we could use it, but he lied and said he owns it—”

I can hear him yelling.

Boss: “ARE YOU F****** STUPID?”

I don’t discern anything else, but I know he gives her a good thrashing. She just walks to the window and hands me my phone.

Customer: “He wants to talk to you.”

She then walks away.

Boss: “That fix your problem?”

Me: “Yeah, thanks, [Boss].”

Boss: “Anytime, brother.”

Absolutely Trucking Mad, Part 3
Absolutely Trucking Mad, Part 2
Absolutely Trucking Mad

This story is part of our Best Of October 2020 roundup!

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