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Solar Opposites

, , , , , | Right | August 25, 2022

Someone bought a [Brand] phone from our company a few days ago. Today, they reach out through chat because, apparently, it isn’t turning on.

Me: “Hello! How may I help you today?”

Customer: “My phone isn’t turning on. Fix it.”

I ask all the questions about brand, etc., and then I ask if the phone is charged.

Customer: “I left it in the sun.”

Me: “Okay, but is it charged?”

Customer: “It was in the sun. What don’t you understand?”

Me: “I am sorry, I understand, but did you use the phone charger?”

Customer: “Why doesn’t it charge with solar energy?”

Me: *Pauses* “That’s not how your [Brand] phone works. I’m sorry.”

Customer: “I want my phone to charge like this.”

Thanks For The Easy Rent

, , , , , , | Working | July 19, 2022

A few years back, I landed myself a cushy job as an Order-to-Cash Specialist, which, despite the somewhat pompous title, was basically about receiving orders by email and entering them into the systems. In many ways, it was a pointless job. The customer picks items in a catalogue, fills out an order form, sends it to us, and we (re-)enter it. Why not offer an online platform for the customers to begin with? But the pay was pretty decent for an entry-level gig, plus it was back office, meaning I didn’t have to actually talk to any customers.

I wasn’t hired as part of a group, but individually, so I was initially supposed to shadow my colleagues and learn the ropes that way. However, they were perpetually backlogged and thus had no time to train me, so I was pretty much left to my own devices. My team lead made no secret that I might as well go outdoors and enjoy the nice weather because there was absolutely nothing for me to do anyway.

Nice! I was getting paid roughly $8/€7.50 an hour after tax to fiddle and fart and lick sun. Plus, I enjoyed massive employee discounts in the food court of the nearby shopping mall. (And as my rent was $270/€250, I’d earned that amount in less than a week, so overall sweetness.)

After two or three weeks, my training actually began. I was given some training material, and with its help, I was to enter some dummy orders. Pretty straightforward stuff, except it turned out that the training material was hopelessly outdated, so I failed the first test — ironically because I did follow the instructions. “No biggie,” my team lead said. “We’ll just quickly update the material, and you can retake the test.” Sweet. And until then… yep, you nailed it: more fiddling and farting on company time.

The next week came, and it was time to retake the test. I did much better this time, but overall I still failed… because they had overlooked some sections of the material, so once again, I did it wrong because I did it “right”. Rinse and repeat; more updates, more fiddling and farting, and another week passed by.

The third time’s a charm, right? Nope. They still had forgotten to update some product codes and procedure abbreviations, so I failed again. If it’d been a group of new hires all failing in the exact same spots, maybe management would’ve seen a pattern and reacted accordingly. But as a solo flyer, it was my word against theirs. And after the third fail, they unceremoniously wished me good luck in my future endeavours.

Usually, I would’ve fought the termination, but at the time, I knew several recruiters and Human Resources people in other companies, so I wasn’t too perturbed. I got two months’ salary for d**king around for almost eight weeks (and scored two months’ rent in just two of them), so I just considered the whole experience to be paid vacation.  

However, I still can’t fathom how that company would rather waste two months’ salary on one employee doing absolutely nothing, and then waste more money on a whole new recruitment process, instead of just pulling one person out of production for one half or full day and properly updating the material once and for all. Heck, I could’ve helped, because I now knew firsthand where the glitches and potholes were. But their loss, I suppose.

Phoning In This Inter-action

, , , , , | Working | October 23, 2020

I just ordered a pizza through a food ordering service. As my intercom is being repaired at the moment, I write everywhere I can that I can be contacted by the delivery man on my phone. Until now, I’ve had no problem and every delivery man has called me, and there have been a lot of instances with the current quarantine.

I am waiting patiently for the phone to ring when I hear a knock on the door.

Delivery Man: “Hello, sweetie. I tried so many times to call the intercom but you would not pick up.”

Me: “I am so sorry. I specified that it is not working.”

He throws me a sarcastic look.

Delivery Man: “How am I supposed to contact you, then?”

Me: “As I wrote in the app, you could’ve called me on my phone.”

Delivery Man: *Getting slightly annoyed* “Well, my phone was out of battery. You are lucky that your neighbors opened the front door. Otherwise, I couldn’t have brought you the order, as you were not picking up the intercom.”

Me: “Well, I am sorry again. But I do not have an intercom at the moment. As you can see, it is only a cable here. And you could’ve called me on my phone, as specified in the instructions I gave.”

He gives me the pizza. And I tip him, as I always do.

Delivery Man: *While leaving* “Well, you are lucky that your neighbors opened the door. But next time, I am not so sure.”

I just slowly closed the door, not knowing what else to say anymore. How about next time you read the instructions and also charge your phone?

Let Me Explain This To You In Black And White

, , , , , | Right | March 12, 2020

(I’m the owner of several copy centers. In the early days, I used to be on location quite often to adapt the business to customer needs. I answer the phone in order to let employees concentrate on in-store clients.)

Customer: “Hi, is this [Copy Shop]?”

Me: “Yes, how may we help you?”

Customer: “I’ve seen your advertising on the street and it says you also make color copies?”

Me: “Of course.” *gives her some pricing information*

Customer: “Can you also make a color copy of my ID card?”

(This is a precise translation of the customer’s wording; luckily, I have a recording of the conversation.)

Me: “Yes, sure, we can do that.”

(I give the customer our address and instructions on how to get to us. One hour later, in the store, I overhear this from the back:)

Customer: “Hi.”

Employee: “How may I help you?”

Customer: “I spoke with somebody on the phone and he told me that you can make color copies.”

Employee: “Sure.” *gives pricing information* “Can I have the material?”

Customer: “Here you go.” *hands out an A4 sheet and a black and white copy of her ID card*

Employee: *confused* “Are you sure you want a color copy of this? Please note that using a color copier will usually give better quality in this instance.”

Customer: “Yes, sure!”

(My employee makes the copy, which is obviously still black and white, and gives it to the lady.)

Employee: “Here you go!”

Customer: “What’s this? Where are the colors?”

Employee: “Since your original only had the color black, it is the only color on the copy, even if it’s a color copy.”

Customer: “No, I want a color copy. I specially called in advance and asked if you make color copies and I was told so!”

Employee: “I am sorry, but what you demand is technically not possible; I would need your original ID and then the copy would have the colors.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have it, so this will have to do. Please do your minimum-wage job or get somebody more competent here; I didn’t spend an hour reaching this place only to be refused service.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but there is no one else to take your order.”

Customer: “How about the guy over there, pointing at me?!”

Employee: “That is our manager.”

Me: “I’m the owner, and it is me that you spoke with on the phone. Everything that my colleague did and said is correct.”

Customer: “Are you joking? Are you making fun of your clients? You gave me misleading information.”

Me: “No, the information was correct. Either you failed to provide us with all the information or failed to understand the basic concept of a copy.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t care. I was misled and I’m not leaving here unless there is color on that copy.”

Me: “Okay, one moment, please.”

(I go with the copy in the back, take some highlighters, and put some color on it before returning.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Customer: *still taking the sheet and before looking at it* “See, it was possible all along!” *looking at it* “What the h*** is this? Are you making fun of me?”

Me: “Yes, it’s most entertaining, and as it turns out, you were right; I was able to add some color.”

Customer: *takes the tip jar off the counter and throws it at me* “You are a cretin and an idiot! I’m going to close this business; I’ll send ‘Consumer Protection Oversight’ and the police! You’ll see!”

(She left, slamming the door, forgetting the folder containing all of her paperwork. That’s probably how she “lost” her ID in first place, to be left with only a copy. To this day, she hasn’t returned for her stuff, but as promised, we got a visit from the “Consumer Protection Oversight” after a complaint from her. They brought the complaint paper, which was quite accurate, and only came to see if it was true; they were as amused by the events as I was and did not even consider giving us a fine or asking for a bribe, as it usually happens around here!)

The Credit Crisis Becomes A Crisis When It Impacts Chocolate

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2020

(After school, my friend and I go to the grocery store. I get my magazine and she gets her sweets but when we reach the register, there’s a very angry woman screaming at the cashier.)

Woman: “Just get my money already! I don’t have time for this!”

Cashier: “Ma’am, as I explained, the card is maxed out. I’ll ask again, do you have another form of payment?”

Woman: “Of course I don’t. I only use my card!”

Friend: *quietly to me* “I guess no one told her majesty that credit cards aren’t magically unlimited.”

Woman: “Mind your own d*** business! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

Friend: “The overgrown brat who is wasting everyone’s time? I just went through seven hours of school including two tests, an oral presentation, and my period. I need my chocolate and I am trying very hard not to scream right now.”

(If looks could kill, that woman’s glare would’ve sent us into one of the nine circles of the underworld. The woman finally called what I assume was her husband from the car to bring cash to pay for her items. We just switched to another register.)