Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

How Big Was That Rat?!

, , | Right | September 22, 2021

I work for a telephone service that takes overflow calls from a pest control company.

Swedish authorities do not give out weapon licenses willy-nilly. To own a gun, you are supposed to have a proper license. Those are usually issued to people who hunt or use their guns for sport shooting. You need to store your gun in a secured place like a locked safe to follow the law. There are all kinds of regulations in place, and if someone has a loaded gun in either a public or a private place, that’s a HUGE cause for concern.

Me: “Welcome to [Extermination Company]!”

Customer: “Hi, I’ve got a huge sewer rat in my house. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure, I need some contact details and your insurance information, please.”

Customer: “What will you be doing when you come? I’ve tried catching it but…”

Me: “What have you been doing so far, then?”

I expect an answer like, “I set a trap,” or, “I stood on a chair and flailed for a while.”

Customer: “I tried to shoot it.”

Me: “You did what?”

Customer: “Well, I have this old shotgun, so I went down into the cellar and tried to kill it, but it ran away.”

Me: *A little scared* “Um… all right…”

Customer: “So, how soon can you have someone over?”

Me: “If you promise to put the gun away safely, I’ll send a technician right away.”

When It Comes To Reliable Information Libraries Beat Facebook

, , , | Right | September 19, 2021

In Sweden, we have the Library Act, which means that every municipality MUST have at least one public library. It’s against the law to close down library services permanently. Not everyone is aware of this fact.

This takes place before the global health crisis, so it’s business as usual. I’m at the information desk helping a patron when a lady walks in. She doesn’t seem to have a particular reason for her visit; she just wanders around aimlessly for a bit, looking at the books. I assume she’s new in town, or new to the library, as I’ve never seen her before. Her general appearance doesn’t raise any red flags. She’s maybe in her fifties, well dressed, and doesn’t look much different from our regular patrons.

After I’ve finished helping the patron I’m with, I turn to the lady.

Me: “Let me know if you need any help.”

The lady comes up to the desk.

Patron: “I didn’t know you were still open. I just wanted to come in and have a look before you close.”

I misunderstand completely, thinking that she’s talking about our opening hours.

Me: “We’re open until five o’clock, so you can take your time.”

Patron: “I mean until you close down for good. When is that happening?”

At this point, I’m very puzzled. However, another public library in the area recently had to close one of their branches due to budget cuts, so I think maybe she’s referring to that.

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. We’re not closing down. We’re the only library in this municipality, so we can’t close down.”

Patron: “I read that you’re going to close down. There’s no need for libraries anymore; everything’s on the Internet.”

Me: “Can I ask where you read that? I think you’ve been misinformed.”

Patron: “Facebook said so. No one uses the library anymore because everything is on the Internet, so all the libraries are going to close down.”

I gesture to the room which, granted, is not completely packed, but there are still a lot of patrons browsing the shelves, reading magazines, and studying.

Me: “Facebook is actually not the best source of reliable information. As you can see, there are plenty of people here and we’re not going to close down.”

Patron: “No, everything is on the Internet now. You’re going to have to find another job.”

Me: “It’s literally illegal to close down this library. We’re not closing.”

Apparently, nothing I say gets through to her because she just smiles. Through the whole exchange, she’s been perfectly polite and not at all aggressive.  

Patron: “I just wanted to see what it looked like since you won’t be here for much longer.”

I gave up trying to argue with her. The lady wandered around for a few more minutes and then left, apparently still under the impression that libraries were obsolete.

Putting The Witch In Switchboard

, , , , | Right | September 17, 2021

I work as a telephone operator for an external switchboard company. We provide telephone and scheduling services for a number of companies who, for various reasons, do not have their own telephone operators.

Many of our clients are small, one-person contracting firms, where the owner is out all day and doesn’t have time to answer the phone. Most of them are in male-dominated fields, and people who call them and reach me assume they are talking to “the girl in the office.”

Every company has its own policy for how they want us to handle cold callers; the most common is to instruct them to send an email or to take a message. Telemarketers can be pretty aggressive when they don’t get their way:

Me: “Welcome to [Company]. How can I help you?”

Cold Caller: “I want to speak to the owner.”

Me: “He’s not in the office right now. Can I take a message?”

Cold Caller: “No, just put me through to him right now; it’s urgent.”

Me: “I can take a message and ask him to call you back. May I have your name and what this is referring to?”

Cold Caller: “No, just put me through already. He’s going to want to talk to me.”

Me: “Sir, the owner is probably standing on a roof somewhere right now. It’s not safe for him to answer his phone. I can take a message or you can send him an email.”

Cold Caller: “That’s ridiculous. I’m about to save him a lot of money. He’ll be so mad that you won’t put me through. Do you like your job?”

This client is one of my favourites because he’s always appreciative of our services and frequently thanks us for doing such a good job. His customers are also very nice and understanding of the fact that they can’t always reach him, so I know that this guy is not legit. Therefore, I decide to use the magic words: “company policy”.

Me: “I can’t put you through. For safety reasons, it’s company policy not to call the owner when he’s on a job.”

Cold Caller: “That’s ridiculous. It’s just because you’re a girl that you won’t put me through. Let me talk to a man, instead.”

Me: “There are no men available to take your call right now. You may leave a message or send an email.”

Cold Caller: “Do you know what? If you’d been a man, you would’ve put me through! I hate women; you’re all switchboard witches!'”

Me: “If I’d been a man and put you through, I still would’ve broken company policy. Have a good day.” *Click*

From then on, my colleagues and I proudly referred to ourselves as “switchboard witches” when we were talking to each other.

How Do These People Operate Their Cars To Get To Work?!

, , , , , | Working | September 15, 2021

I work at a small library branch where I have become, through no fault of my own, responsible for IT and technical issues. I have no formal training; I’m just the normal amount of tech-savvy for my generation, having grown up with computers and smartphones, while most of my coworkers are quite a bit older than me.

I’m a problem-solver at heart, so I don’t mind helping out, but there are a few coworkers who frustrate me to no end, because they will not even TRY to understand when I explain to them how to troubleshoot small problems like, “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?”

The first year I work at this branch, it is finally time to go on summer vacation. Joy and celebration, a whole four weeks where I can just mind my own business!

I know that there are probably going to be technical issues while I am away because there always are, so I sit down and write a long list of things that might happen, how to deal with those things, and who to call if said things do not resolve themselves on their own. I make sure that everyone who will be working during my vacation has read the list and understood it, I make sure that there are copies of the list everywhere, I make it clear that I will probably be unreachable for most of my vacation, and I leave a list of numbers to call in case something happens that is not on the list.

Then, I go on vacation. It is fantastic and I have a great time. Then, the last weekend before I am supposed to go back to work, I log into my work mail, just to check what happened while I was gone and what I will have to deal with on my first day back. I find a long string of increasingly annoyed emails from my boss, who is stationed at the main branch, about how I should have made sure everything was functioning correctly before I went on vacation.

I get back to work and find out that, two weeks into my vacation, there was a power outage. This apparently caused some kind of glitch that made our self-checkout machine stop working. As a result, my coworkers had spent the past two weeks checking everything out manually and they were not happy.

Coworker: “[My Name], finally! You need to fix this now. It’s been impossible to work like this.”

Me: “Ooookay? Did you look at my checklist at all?”

Coworker: “There was nothing on there about what we were supposed to do if the power went out.”

Me: “Did you look at step number one?”

Step number one for everything is, of course, “Turn it off and turn it on again.”

Coworker: “I don’t know how to do that! That’s what we have you for!”

I crawl under the self-checkout machine, turn it off, and turn it on again. While waiting for it to start up, I turn back to my coworker.

Me: “So, that’s how you do that, just like I showed everyone before I left. I have to ask though, did anyone call IT for help? Or the library system supplier? This is literally what they’re for, and the numbers are right there in the checklist.”

Coworker: “But you’re the one who deals with those people. We don’t know how to do all this technical stuff.”

Me: “If you call IT, they will tell you exactly how to do all this ‘technical stuff’. They are very nice people, I promise.”

Coworker: *Huffily* “Well, it’s still your job.”

The self-checkout machine started up again, connected to the servers, and worked perfectly within five minutes. I went back to my desk to try to apologize to my boss and explain in the kindest possible words that my coworkers were technical disasters who were incapable of following simple instructions. 

I tried to bring up the issue at the next staff meeting, but the general consensus among my coworkers was that I should just be on call for technical issues whenever I had time off. I said fine, as long as I got the appropriate pay rise. The boss said no. I did not stay much longer at that workplace.

If The World Revolves Around Him, So Do The Directions

, , , | Right | September 10, 2021

I work as a librarian in a public library on the outskirts of a Swedish city; let’s call it Westside Library. In Sweden, we have a huge online directory called the Swedish word for “find.” A man in his sixties approaches me at the reference desk looking very upset.

Patron: “Your library is not in ‘Find’; you need to fix that.”

Me: “Are you sure? Let me have a look.”

I go to “Find”, type “Westside Library” in the search bar and, sure enough, we are there to find. I turn my computer screen toward him and point it out.

Patron: “That’s not your name!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is most definitely our name.”

Patron: “No, it is not! When I typed ‘Southside Library,’ you were not in ‘Find’!”

Me: “Sir, we have never been called anything other than ‘Westside Library’ since we opened in the mid-1970s. Just because we changed our location six years ago, that doesn’t mean we also changed our name.”

Patron: “Well, you should be called ‘Southside Library’ and you should be in ‘Find’!” *Storms out.*

Sure, we shall rename our name for the past forty-five years on your say-so, mister.