Label Them Stupid

, , , , | Right | January 8, 2018

(It’s a Saturday, and since Saturdays are usually pretty slow, my boss only has one of us working. It happens to be my Saturday, so I’m the only one working in the store.)

Customer: *on the phone* “Can I ship my [Competing Company] package there?”

Me: “No, we don’t ship for [Competing Company]. If you already have a label, you can call [Competing Company’s phone number] and arrange a pickup with them. If you need a label, you’ll have to call their customer service line.”

Customer: “Oh, okay, great. Well, thanks for that information! You’re very helpful!”

Me: “Oh, thanks! You have a great rest of the day.”

(We hang up. Not even 15 minutes go by before a customer comes into the store. He says hello, and I recognize his voice as the caller from a few minutes ago.)

Me: “What can I do for you?”

Customer: “Yeah, um… I called a bit ago… Maybe about half an hour, now? And I spoke with someone; I don’t think it was you, and they told me I can get a [Competing Company] label here?”

Racism Will No Longer Be Accepted For Delivery

, , , , , , , , | Working | December 14, 2017

(I work as a receptionist for a small video editing company. The boss is the epitome of evil, a real piece of s***. She seems to really have it out for our delivery man, who is African-American. We have a table in the lobby with a book where all packages going out are written down. The delivery man is supposed to come by, check the table, and pick up any packages that are there. The table is in front of a large window and it is pretty obvious if there are any packages going out. The boss storms in and angrily asks:)

Boss: “Is the delivery guy coming in and getting the packages?”

Me: “He is checking daily, yes.”

Boss: “That isn’t what I asked. Is he physically coming into the building?”

Me: “Well, no. If the table is empty he—”

(The boss storms off and gets on the phone and calls, screaming at the poor customer service person. My boss gets so obsessive that she even starts checking the surveillance cameras to make sure he comes into the lobby and doesn’t just open the door and peek in. She insists that he come all the way into the lobby, close the door behind him, stand at the table for a few seconds, and then leave. I am getting more than annoyed by this. She calls almost daily, screaming about the poor guy. One day he calls me because he is running behind and asks if there are any packages. I tell him he is in luck; not only are there none, but the boss is out that day. The next day he comes in and the boss is there to yell at him again. She has checked the surveillance tapes. When he leaves, she comes to my desk and says that he had better just do his job.)

Me: “You know that these delivery guys only have so much time to deliver, and any place they can shave off a few seconds really helps them.”

Boss: “I don’t care. The only thing that n***** should say, is, ‘Yeth, Masta.’”

(Then she storms off to call and complain again. I am in too much shock and, shamefully, I say nothing. I am gone by the next week. I get a great job as a receptionist at a company a few miles down the road, and who should walk in my first week there but the delivery guy, with a trainee in tow. We greet each other like old friends.)

Delivery Guy: “I am so glad to see you here away from that awful woman.”

Me: “I am, too. I am so glad I got to see you! And I am so sorry for the horrible way she treats you.”

Delivery Guy: “I just don’t know what her problem is.”

Me: “You don’t know?” *he shakes his head, and I quietly tell him, embarrassed* “It’s because you are black.”

(He and the trainee both look shocked.)

Me: “She would not have given you any trouble if you were white. She only called and made up ridiculous complaints because she hated you because of the color of your skin. She is a horrible racist. I can’t even begin to repeat the horrible racist comments she would make when you left the building or after she would get off the phone with customer service complaining about you. I just couldn’t stand being there anymore, which is why I left.”

(He shakes my hand and leaves. The next week, he comes in without the trainee.)

Me: “Hello, again! Is your trainee out on his own?”

Delivery Guy: “That wasn’t my trainee; that was my manager. You saved my job.”

Me: “What? How?”

Delivery Guy: “That blasted ex-boss of yours called and complained so much that when a normal and justified complaint came in, the company was going to fire me. The manager was going around with me to see what I was doing wrong and if I was even going to have the chance to keep my job. After we left here, he told me I was good, and there would be no more talk about it. As a matter of fact, the delivery company cancelled your ex-boss’s contract and told her they would no longer deliver for or to her. She will have to drive to the hub to get any packages that are mailed to her.”

(I was so thrilled. Several years later I got to congratulate him on a well-deserved promotion before I left on maternity leave.)

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Showing Them Their Bad Form

, , , , , | Right | December 5, 2017

(I work in a chemical factory. I am talking over the phone finalizing shipment details with a client, who plans to ship produce to the United States.)

Me: “You also need to fill out [Form A]. If it isn’t present, your shipment will be stopped by customs and not allowed into the country.”

Customer: “Yeah, okay.”

Me: “Sir, [Form A] is important. Do not forget it.”

Customer: “Yeah, yeah. [Form A]. Got it.”

(Fast forward two weeks: the customer is on the phone and livid.)


Manager: “Sir, I’m certain that my agent told you about it.”


Manager: “Sir, yes, you were. Our calls are all recorded. Would you like to listen to yours?”

Customer: “YES, I F****** WOULD! YOU DIDN’T TELL ME!”

Manager: “Please wait a second.”

([Manager] patches a recording into the phone call and customer is listening. [Form A] comes up and after two seconds the customer simply hangs up. [Manager] then calls the customer back.)

Manager: *in a sweet and polite voice* “I’m so sorry, but the line died unexpectedly. Would you like to listen to it again?”

Customer: *click*

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Screaming Your Lungs Out

, , , , , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(Despite the fact that we are a retail shipping center, NOT actually [Major Shipping Company], we get a high volume of callers who think we are the shipping company and want us to locate their packages. The following conversation happens over the phone.)

Customer: “I was supposed to receive my new phone from [Phone Company] by 3:00 pm today, and it’s already after 3:00!”

(It’s only about 2:45.)

Me: “Was the item shipped out from our store here in [Location]?”

Customer: “No! It was shipped from [Phone Company]! Are you listening to me?!”

Me: “If it wasn’t shipped out from our store, unfortunately, there is nothing I can do for you. We don’t have anything to do with the drivers or deliveries. I can give you [Shipping Company]’s customer service number, though, and they should be able to help you.”

Customer:I need my phone! I have a rare lung condition and my lungs are suffocating me alive!”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that. Do you have a pen and paper to write down that number?”

Customer: “No, I don’t have a God-d**** f****** pen or paper. Now you’re going to make me go find those WHILE I’M DYING BECAUSE I’M BEING SUFFOCATED BY MY LUNGS! F****** ridiculous! And I can’t find a pen, so now I have to use a piece of s*** marker. I have a lung disease!”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry to hear that. So that number is 1-800—”

(At this point, I’ve got the phone an arm’s length away and can still hear him clearly.)

Customer: *screaming into the phone* “I CAN’T CALL AN 800 NUMBER! I’M BEING SUFFOCATED AND I CAN’T CALL 9-1-1 WITHOUT MY NEW PHONE!”

Me: “I cannot locate your phone for you. Let me give you the customer service number and tell you how to get a live person, and they should be able to help you.”

Customer: “FINE! Give me the f****** phone number so I can call them about my new phone!”

(I give the customer the number and tell them how to get a hold of a live person.)

Customer: “I’m probably going to die before I get my new phone, thanks to you! Now I have to call someplace else, and I can’t even call 9-1-1 because I don’t have new phone to do it with! I AM SUFFOCATING ALIVE BECAUSE I HAVE A RARE LUNG DISEASE AND YOU DON’T CARE THAT I CAN’T CALL FOR HELP! I AM GOING TO DIE BECAUSE I CAN’T CALL 9-1-1!”

Me: “I really hope you’re able to get the phone situation resolved soon, sir. Good luck and have a great rest of the day.”

Shipping Not In Ship Shape

, , , , , | Working | November 27, 2017

(Christmas is coming, so we are shipping a lot of items. A customer has placed an order over the phone and I ship him his packages. Two days later, he calls asking where his order is. I check the tracking, which shows the package as delivered and says that it was left on his porch that morning. The customer says this is not the case, nor is this the first time his packages have gone missing with this shipping company. I file for a refund and insurance with the shipping company and send a replacement. The next day, I get an unexpected call.)

Cop: “Hi, this is [Officer]. I was hoping you could clear some things up. We have been finding a number of packages left at a vacant house located at [Address] Road. We are investigating this activity, but I found a package recently shipped by your company to a [Customer]. I was wondering if this was a legitimate purchase?”

Me: “Yes, I shipped a package to [Customer], but the address was [Address] Street, not Road.”

Cop: “Well, you have the address correct on the package. Can you contact the customer and verify the address is [Address] Street? I can take it around to him and see if he can clear some things up.”

(I do, and the customer later calls me to say the police officer brought his package to him and asked him to open it to verify the contents. He then left a statement about other packages that had gone missing recently. A day later I get another call.)

Cop: “Hi, this is [Officer] again. We found another box from your company sent to [Customer] but delivered to the abandoned house.”

Me: “That must be the replacement package I shipped to [Customer] before you called me.”

Cop: “Do you need this to get to [Customer] or does it need to be sent back to you?”

Me: “Well, it’s a low value order, it’s been taken out of inventory, and [Customer] already has his package, so it doesn’t matter too much.”

Cop: “Would you mind if we left it here? We want to see if someone comes to pick up the package.”

Me: “No problem.”

(The next day he calls back.)

Cop: “I’d like to thank you for your cooperation, and I was wondering if we could get a statement from you? The shipping company had a seasonal driver who was leaving packages at similarly named street addresses that were empty houses. His brother would go around and pick them up that night.”

Me: “Wow! No problem. What do you think the chances of the shipping company refunding me the $25 are?”

Cop: “Considering I talked to the driver’s boss, and he claimed he knew this was an issue for months, it was an honest mistake, and that the driver was just reading the labels incorrectly in the same manner?”

Me: “Not worth the red tape. Gotcha.”

(I sent copies of what the police sent me to corporate, who decided to start using a different shipping company.)

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