Nothing Like Peace And Quiet

, , , , , | Related | April 19, 2019

Once or twice a week, my mom will call her parents to check in on them. One day, she tries to call them but the call doesn’t go through. She tries again and the same thing happens. She waits an hour or two before trying again, and she still can’t get a hold of them. She tries on both the home phone and her cell phone. Nothing. Eventually, she calls her brother and asks him if he’s been able to call their parents. He tries and he can’t get through to them, either.

The next day, Mom tries to call her parents a few more times, but still can’t reach them. She decides that if she can’t reach them by the end of the day, then she will drive over to their house the next morning — her day off. My uncle has the same thought, and since he lives closer to them, he drives over to their house that day after he gets off work.

Turns out, there is a setting on my grandparents’ phone that allows them to block all calls. My grandfather was tired of scammers calling his house, so he fiddled around with the phone and found out he could block calls. My mom was relieved when my uncle called and said that they were alive, and they’d just thought their children’s numbers were scam phone calls. It took a few hours, but my uncle and grandfather managed to fix the phone. My grandfather will never live that down.

Wish You Had A Device That Could Silence HIM

, , , , , , | Right | April 18, 2019

(There is a product advertised on TV that promises its user the ability to listen to their TV as loud as they want without disturbing other people in the room via a special pair of wireless headphones. All someone has to do is plug in the receiver to the audio ports on their TV, sync the receiver and the headphones, and voila. Of course, we all know that it’s never as easy as they advertise in the commercials. Unfortunately, the store where I work has sold many units of this product and nearly all are returned because the customers can’t get the headphones and the receiver to properly sync. Most people are mildly upset that they can’t get the device to work, but realize that the product is worth less than the plastic it is made of and ask for their money back. But this one guy just takes the cake.)

Customer: *places the device on the counter in front of me* “I can’t get this to work on my TV.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. If you have your receipt with you, I’d be happy to do the return.”

Customer: “No. Weren’t you listening? I didn’t ask for a refund, now did I? What I said was that I couldn’t get this to work on my TV. Tell me how to make it work.”

(Our store specializes in the sale of bedding, bathroom, and kitchen products, not electronics. None of the employees have any specialized knowledge of home audio setups or TVs.)

Me: *sighing internally, as I’ve given this spiel a hundred times already* “I’m sorry, sir, but if you’ve already followed the instructions in the manual that came with this product and the headphones and receiver still aren’t syncing up properly, I’m afraid there is no other suggestion that I can offer you that’ll make it work. I know that there is a 1-800 number listed on the backside of the manual you can call, but I do not know if they are offering tech support beyond the original instructions. I’d still be happy to do the refund for you if you’d like.”

Customer: “I don’t want no d*** refund and I ain’t calling no 1-800 number where they’ll just transfer me to some call center run by a group of [slurs]. I want you to make this work on my TV.”

(He and I keep going back and forth on the issue, with him refusing the refund and me unable to help him. I bring over my manager and explain the situation to her, and she tells the customer the exact same thing I did. Finally, the customer just snaps. He starts yelling and calling me and my manager names. He makes ludicrous demands, such as a significant discount off his next purchase or having [Store] pay for a technician to come out and install the device for him. It gets so bad that people around us have paused and started listening to his tantrum. This occurs after both my manager and I have said no to all of his demands.)

Customer: “Now listen here: I want you two to call an actual manager up here this time. A real man-ager. Get it? That way he can tell me what to do and I won’t have to listen to you two squawk and squabble with me anymore.”

Manager: “Sir, I am the manager on duty now and I will not permit you to speak like that to anyone here. You have one of three options. One, you can take your item here, leave, and come back when you’ve learned some manners. Two, you can provide [My Name] with your receipt, we will refund you your money, and you can be on your way. Or three, you can take your item, leave, and see what information you can find that we haven’t been able to ourselves. Maybe try asking someone at [Popular Electronics Store] next door and see if they have any suggestions.”

Customer: “Well, who do you think I bought this from originally?”

Manager: *frozen in place* “Excuse me? Did you just say that didn’t even buy this from us?”

Customer: “Yeah?”

Manager: “So, you have been nothing but rude and disrespectful towards me and [My Name]… over this product that you didn’t even purchase from us in the first place?”

Customer: “Well, the people over there only hire children who don’t know anything. Even the manager didn’t even know what he was talking about. I was walking back to my car when I saw in the window that you guys sold this, too, so I figured I’d come in and ask for your help.”

Manager: *completely deadpan* “Sir… just go.”

Customer: “But–“

Manager: “Just… go.”

(Finally, the customer left, muttering about poor customer service and everything. All the while, most of us, employees and customers, were just standing there in awe of what had just transpired. I just felt sorry for whoever had to deal with him next.)

Ready To Giga-Bite Your Head Off

, , , , | Right | April 16, 2019

Customer: “I need the cheapest flash drive you have.”

Me: “Okay. If you follow me, I’ll show you what we have. There a few on sale right now. How big do you need it to be?”

Customer: “The cheapest one.”

Me: “Yes, but how much space do you need for files? The price—“

Customer: “You’re not listening. The cheapest one.”

(With our flash drives, there’s the least expensive, and there’s the best value per gigabyte, so I’m not just bugging him; the best deal depends on how many files he has. But he seems to be losing his temper, so I give up.)

Me: “Well, I think the cheapest is [Brand]. It’s $12.75, and it’s 16GB.”

Customer: *irritably* “Well, I have 25 files to save and they’re 5GB each. I need the cheapest flash drive.”

Me: “Okay, so, you’ll just do multiple transfers.”

Customer: “WHAT?”

Me: “Put some files on the drive, save them to the new computer, clear the flash drive, and repeat.”

Customer: “NO. I need to do it in one try!”


Me: “So, we have a sale on this 120GB drive for $45…”

Customer: “You said it was $12.75! I need to save all my files on it!”

(I left him angrily muttering to himself about how he needed the cheapest drive, which was supposed to hold 100GB of files, but cost the same as a 12GB drive.)

Trying To Explain It In Black And White

, , , , | Right | April 14, 2019

(My company sells computers specifically designed for old people and computer noobs, with a specific user interface, very simple, with big buttons and all functionalities color-coded. I do level-two tech support for them in addition to development. We get calls from people who have never touched a computer before.)

Caller: “Hello. I have a problem with my printer. I put a color picture and it came out in black and white.”

Me: “Okay, sir, you must have clicked on the wrong button. Click on the green tab to go to the printer page. Then you click on the ‘do a color copy’ button, not the other one labelled ‘black and white copy.’ It should print you a copy of your picture in color as you wanted to.”

Caller: “No, you don’t understand; my picture is black and white now.”

Me: “What do you mean? The printer printed a black and white copy of your picture, right?”

Caller: “No, the picture I put in the printer is black and white!”

Me: “So… you put a black and white picture and want to copy it in color?”

Caller: “No! You don’t understand! I put a colored picture in the printer and that picture is now black and white! I want it colored like before! You ruined my picture!”

Me: “You are telling me that you put a colored picture in your printer and that your original picture has changed to black and white?”

Caller: “At last! You youngsters don’t understand a simple thing! That’s what I’m saying from the beginning!”

Me: “Sir, this is impossible..”

Caller: “I assure you that my picture is now black and white! You f***** up an old family picture; that’s unacceptable!”

Me: “Sir, could you please open the lid of the printer in order to see the glass panel that is in there?”

Caller: “Oh, there is my picture.”

Me: “Is it still in color?”

Caller: “Hmm… Yes… Bye.” *click*

These Technologies Aren’t Compatible

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 11, 2019

(I’m working at the enquiry desk when a worried student approaches me for help with the library computer she is using.)

Student: “I’m using Word, and the screen just keeps scrolling up even though I’m not doing anything. It’s… it’s like it’s got a ghost!”

(Suspecting I know where the problem lies, I follow her to her workstation beside two of her friends. I take one look at the setup on her desk and say:)

Me: “Your phone’s leaning on the keyboard.”

(I turn and walk away to avoid an awkward moment, but her friends aren’t so restrained. They fall about laughing while she is really embarrassed. Later, as they are leaving the library, I overhear her say to her friends:)

Student: “I really thought it had a ghost!”

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