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At Least This Ends With A Boost, If Not A Caffeine One

, , , , | Working | May 19, 2022

I had been working on my customer service job for almost six months, at which time I would get more secure from being fired and have the opportunity to get loans from the bank. The recruitment firm I was hired through then called me about another job. I was happy where I was, but thought I could check it out.

I went to the interview after work and sat down with the potential employer.

Employer: “So, do you know about [Brand]?”

Me: “Yes, you sell coffee, right?”

Employer: “Yes, exactly. Do you drink coffee?”

Me: “No, I don’t drink coffee.”

Employer: “Oh, don’t worry. We’ll have you drinking coffee in no time! Do you like hot chocolate?”

Me: “Yes, I usually drink hot chocolate when others drink coffee.”

Employer: “We have a chocolate coffee; it’s a good place to start.”

I’m slightly confused. I don’t want to drink coffee, and I’m not sure why we are having this discussion.

Employer: “So, I have a few questions, but first, do you have any questions about the job?”

I had a lot of questions and was honest when it was something I was hesitant about, upon which he tried to sell it. However, when I asked about the most important part to me, getting the security you usually get after six months, he said they probably couldn’t give that. As I finished asking my questions, he thanked me for the interview, never even asking me anything, and I figured I hadn’t made a good impression.

I was wrong.

The next day, I got an offer. I asked if I could get secure employment, but they said no, so I turned it down. Then, they called back offering a higher salary but still no secure employment, so I turned it down again. This went on for a while, and they called me while I was at work, as well. Eventually, they got the picture and stopped, though I was tempted as the salary they offered was significantly higher than my current one in the end.

The next week, my boss called me in and gave me a surprise raise. I guess someone at work overheard my calls.

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 4

, , , | Right | May 12, 2022

I work in customer service for a newspaper subscription. People call in asking to have their address changed fairly often and also sometimes to cancel their subscription. A customer called in two days ago and had me cancel their previous cancellation of the subscription, which I did.

Today, they call in again.

Customer: “Why is my newspaper arriving at the wrong address?!”

I start frantically searching our system to see who messed up their address and find zilch.

Customer: “We cancelled our subscription about a week ago, and during the remaining time the newspaper was supposed to go to our daughter’s place, which is where the newspaper now is going, but we called in about resuming the subscription.”

Me: *Internally screaming* “I don’t see it mentioned that you wanted the newspaper back to your original address. I can certainly make sure it arrives there from here on.”

Customer: “Hmph. About time!”

This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 3
This Job May Require Telepathy, Part 2
This Job May Require Telepathy

Logged Off From Reality

, , | Right | May 2, 2022

A woman walks into the library and waves her phone in my face.

Patron: “I need to print a document from my email.”

Me: “No problem. Do you have a library card with us?”

Patron: “Yes.”

Me: “Excellent. Then you can use one of our computers to log onto your email and—”

Patron: “I don’t want to log onto your computer.”

I look around. The library is virtually empty. All but one of our computers are free.

Me: “Okay? Unfortunately, we have no way to connect your phone to our printer, so that’s the only way we are able to print anything for you.”

Patron: “But I need to print this!”

Me: “And like I said, if you’ll just log onto one of our computers—”

Patron: “I don’t want to log onto your computer!”

Me: “May I ask why not? I’ll be happy to help you if—”

Patron: *Waving phone ever more vigorously* “I need to print this!”

Me: “And like I said, it’s technically impossible for us to print from your phone, so I’m afraid the only way you can print it is from our computers.”

Patron:I don’t want to log onto your computer!

Me: “Again, we can’t print from your phone, but I’ll be happy to help show you how to print from the computer.”

Patron:No! I need to print this!

And so on and so forth with little to no variation, until she finally stormed out of the library without the printout she needed so badly that she’d rather spend five minutes arguing than two minutes in front of a computer.

A Crafty Grandmother, Part 2

, , , , | Right | April 13, 2022

I work in a library. We set up an arts and crafts table during school breaks, and people have been inconsiderate.

Wise of past mistakes, we have a sign up asking that people who use the arts and crafts table clean up after themselves when they leave. People do not know how to read signs, so at closing time, we go around to remind them

A small child and their grandmother are sitting at the arts and crafts table at closing time, so I go up to them to warn them that the library will be closing soon.

Me: “Hello, we close in five minutes, so it’s time to start to clean up the table so it’ll be nice and tidy for the children who come by tomorrow. You can put the supplies back in the marked boxes over there.”

Child: “Noooo! I’m not finished yet. Can we stay a little longer?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we who work here want to go home to our families, too. You can come back and finish tomorrow.”

Grandmother: “No, we won’t have time to come back tomorrow. We have other activities planned for the rest of the holidays and then he has to go back home.”

Me: “Okay, why don’t you grab the things you need to finish your project and take them home with you? You can grab a few stickers and some glitter and coloured paper if you want. Just clean up after yourselves after you leave, please.”

They agreed to do so, and I left to get the rest of the place in order for closing. When I got back to the information desk, I asked my coworker if everyone had left and she confirmed that they had. I did another round just to make sure and arrived at the arts and crafts table.

It had been picked completely clean. All the coloured pencils, the glitter glue, the crepe paper, the scissors, the sticker sheets, and the pipe cleaners meant for our visitors to use were gone.

Congratulations, Granny, for your creative interpretation of “grab the things you need to finish your project”. Thanks to you, the next day, the kids had to make do with mostly just plain copy paper and pencils until we could get more supplies in.

A Crafty Grandmother

Not Even Remotely A Good Job

, , , , , , | Working | April 13, 2022

Many years ago, I worked first-line tech support for a satellite TV company. I usually like working in customer service because I like to help people and make their lives a little easier, but this place had terrible working conditions. It was an inbound call center, and the only sort of quality control they were concerned with was how long our call times were and how much stuff we could sell to the poor customers who were calling in asking for help with their equipment. 

The fixation on call times was ridiculous. If my average call time exceeded two minutes and didn’t result in a sale, I would be called in to have a serious conversation with my managers. 

One day, I received this call.

Customer: “My remote control stopped working again. This is so stupid. You need to get better quality equipment. Can you send me a new one?”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Did you try to change the batteries?”

Customer: “No, I’ve never needed to change them before. They just send me a new remote. How soon can I have it? I want to watch the game on Sunday.”

Me: “Sorry, no one asked you to change the batteries before? They will run out after a while, you know. If you open the little hatch on the back, you will find a compartment there. Most remotes run on double-A batteries; you can get them at the grocery store.”

Customer: “You mean I could get this working today?”

Me: “Most likely, yes. Listen, why don’t you try that first, and if it doesn’t work, you can give us a call back? Make sure to check what kind of batteries are in your remote and get the same kind.”

Customer: “I’ll do that, thank you!”

We ended the call and I took a look at this customer’s call history. He’d called about having trouble with his remote control twice before. Both those times, the associate who had taken the call had just ordered him a new remote without even trying to resolve his issue, most likely to keep their call times down. Since it was within the warranty, it ended up costing the company money.

Yes, my call time was over two minutes for this one. Yes, I got chewed out for it. Within three months of working for this company, I was completely burned out and ended up having to quit.

When I say, “quit,” I mean, “fell into a big, black depression hole”. My doctor strongly encouraged me to have a talk with my managers and find a way to accommodate my medical issues. My managers strongly encouraged me to quit without offering any other alternatives. I did quit since I couldn’t bear working another day there, only to find out after I had already signed the paperwork that since I technically quit on my own demand, I would have to wait three months to be eligible for unemployment benefits. Those were three very hungry months. Yes, I should have known better, but I was young and the union was practically non-existent in that workplace.