Mom Has No Filter

, , , | Related | September 11, 2019

(In the Netherlands, you can put a sticker on your mail slot that tells mail deliverers if you want advertisement brochures and newspapers or not. They’re generally referred to as yes/no or no/no stickers, respectively for brochures and papers. My mom and I jokingly refer to them as spam filters.)

Me: “Hey, Mom, have you gone to the post office yet to get us one of those stickers? We got another load of brochures in that I can throw out right away. I’m getting tired of it.”

Mom: “Yeah, I went there and I asked if they had them but they just looked at me weirdly and said they didn’t know what I was talking about. I guess they didn’t have them, then.”

Me: “Oh, weird. Wait… What did you exactly ask for?”

Mom: “I asked for spam filters of course!”

Me: *facepalming* “Mom… They are not really called spam filters.”

Mom: “They aren’t?”

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The Cost Is Alarming

, , , | Right | September 10, 2019

(I work in an office which supplies personal alarm systems to elderly people. This daughter calls for her mother and she’s already angry at the start of the call.)

Caller: “I just upgraded my mother’s landline to digital and I want to know how much it’ll cost to upgrade her personal alarm system.”

Me: “All right, I can help with that. What are your mother’s birthdate and name?”

Caller: “I’m not going to give you that. I just need to know what it costs!”

Me: “Ma’am, I need to know what type of alarm you mother has before I can answer that.”

(We have a scheme where we replace the oldest systems with new ones whenever someone who has such an old system calls.)

Caller: “Look. I need to know what it costs; it doesn’t matter what type of alarm she has!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t answer…”

Caller: *interrupting me rudely* “I DON’T CARE! JUST GIVE ME THE PRICE!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but the middle of my sentence seemed to interrupt the beginning of yours. But, as I said, I can’t answer your question if I don’t know the brand of the alarm system.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “Because it’s dependent on the brand of alarm.”

Caller: “Okay, but I STILL FIND IT VERY RUDE TO ASK THAT INFORMATION!”

(She proceeds to give the info and, lo and behold, her mother actually has the old type of system, so she’ll get a replacement with no costs involved.)

Me: “Well, I can see it’s [Brand]; we can replace that for a new one with no costs for your mother.”

Caller: “Look, she doesn’t need a new one. I want to know WHAT IT’LL COST TO MAKE IT DIGITAL!”

Me: “I understand, but it’ll be free.”

Caller: “But WHAT WILL IT COST? I don’t know why this so difficult for you to understand!”

Me: “Ma’am, I do understand you, but I don’t think you understood me. It’ll be free! As in no cost.”

Caller: “Oh, okay… Thank you.”

(She then hung up! I didn’t have her phone number so I couldn’t call her back to check if all the information we had was still correct. So, I called her mother — we had no other numbers on file — to check. This 89-year-old lady was really polite and so, so happy that she was going to get a new personal alarm system! The daughter called the next day to ask why it hadn’t been replaced yet.)

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Wi-Fi Bye Bye

, , , | Right | September 5, 2019

(Our office shares a building with a “Social Café.” The Café only hires people with minor mental disabilities or behaviour issues, to train them so they can work in “normal” workplaces. Most trainees flourish in this setting and our office is quite proud to help this café. One of the ways we help them is by sharing our Internet with them, so they don’t have to pay for it. One day, the Wi-Fi is down. We don’t have LAN-ports — or cables — to our guest network, only Wi-Fi. It turns out the problem is not only with us, but various places in the Netherlands. A guest shows up at my reception desk.)

Woman: “The Wi-Fi is not working.”

Me: “Yes, I heard. They are doing their best to fix it.”

Woman: “But the Wi-Fi is not working.”

Me: “Yes, the provider has some issues. We haven’t heard yet when it will be up again.”

Woman: “But I need Wi-Fi to work.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but there is a technical issue. We’re doing the best we can. If you need Internet, you could go to the public library. It’s about 200 meters away. Maybe they have a different provider.”

(The woman stares at me in a way that makes me wonder if I insulted her.)

Woman: “I came here to work.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do.”

Woman: “If you don’t give me Wi-Fi, I will go to a different cafe and get my business elsewhere.”

(The cafe doesn’t require a drink or snack; you can sit there and do your thing, free of charge. So, if she leaves, we might miss out on a cup of coffee, or less.)

Me: “You could do that. But you’re welcome to stay. We hope the Wi-Fi will be up again as soon as possible.”

(The lady turned away, walking away while tapping on her phone. She stayed for another hour, while the downtime wasn’t resolved until six hours later. I guess she could work without Wi-Fi?)

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This Flow Chart Needs To Log Out

, , , | Working | September 2, 2019

(It’s been a few years ago now since my bank introduced online banking as a service. After some heavy advertising and pushing on their side, I decide to give it a go. I go online and apply for an online banking account. It all goes smooth and three days later I receive a letter with nearly all the account information. For security reasons, they will send me my password in a separate mail. Two weeks go by without a letter with the password. I call their service desk and ask what is going on.)

Service Desk: “We have made an error and a lot of letters were never sent, and we’re fixing it now.”

(The next day, I get five letters with five different passwords. The following day, I get another three letters with different passwords. I call the service desk again and ask what they are doing.)

Service Desk: “Well, there was a bug in their program and it kept generating passwords. But we are fixing it now.”

(Two days later, I get a letter with a new password and apologies from the bank to all customers for the inconvenience. Thinking that it can’t get any worse from this point on, I go online and try logging in to my bank account. I get a “wrong username or password” message, try it two more times, and get a “too many failed attempts, account locked” message. I call the service desk again.)

Me: “Hello. The password you sent me for online banking was incorrect and now my account is locked.”

Service Desk: “Oh, that can easily be fixed. You just need to log in to your account and reset your password and unlock the account.”

Me: “I can’t access my account so that is not possible.”

Service Desk: “Sir, I know that people have difficulties with computers, but if you log in to your account, I’ll help you to reset your password and unlock your account.”

Me: “Listen to me. The system won’t let me in because the account is locked. And the account is locked because the password you sent me is incorrect for this account.”

Service Desk: “Yes, and that’s why you need to log in to reset the password.”

Me: “Could you work with me? If I’d call you to tell me that I stood outside my house and I lost my key would you give me the advice to open the door, find the spare key, and use that key to open the door?”

Service Desk: “No, that would be silly.”

Me: “So, let’s start again. I can’t get into my account because it’s locked due to an incorrect password you sent me.”

Service Desk: “I understand. The only way to fix this is logging in to your account and… This is stupid. Sorry, sir. I just caught on. Sorry, but this is what our flowchart tells us to say when people report this issue with their account.”

Me: “Is there a way for you to cancel my online banking account?”

Service Desk: “No, sir. And according to my flowchart here, you have to log in to your account to cancel it…” *nervous giggle*

Me: “Okay, thanks. I guess I’m going to have to pay the bank a visit.”

(I did go to my local bank and I did give them my opinion about their new service and why I wanted to cancel it. They cancelled it, but not before first trying to tell me that I could do it myself by logging in.)

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Thin Windows, Thinner Skin

, , , | Working | September 1, 2019

(I’m working in an office and a coworker is having an irate phone call outside. I don’t know who she’s calling, but she is shouting and I can hear everything word for word, even though it’s a private phone call. When she comes back, I want to let her know I could hear everything, just so she knows she shouldn’t shout in front of the office. My intentions are just to help her.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], just so you know, the windows are quite thin. I could hear everything.”

Coworker: “Why are you saying that to me?!”

Me: “Well, I thought you might want to know. If visitors were here, they could hear you, and I’m assuming you wanted to keep this priva—”

Coworker: “Why are you telling me this?! Mind your own business! You know, I can’t deal with this right now!” *storms off*

(She was probably just still in that irate mood, but, okay, fine. Won’t help you again. And nope, she never apologised for yelling at me, either.)

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