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Wish We Could Draw This Conversation To A Conclusion

, , , | Right | December 26, 2021

I’m an artist at a convention. To pass time and to attract customers, I do some live drawing while my partner handles customer contact if someone is interested or has questions.

Customer #1: “Wait… you drew this?”

Me: “Sure did!”

Customer #1: “But… you are fat.”

I am speechless.

Customer #1: “These are all normal people.”

Me: “Eh… yes. They are my characters.”

Customer #1: “But you are fat! Why do you draw skinny people? You should only draw what you know. This is false advertisement.”

At that moment, another customer walks by.

Customer #2: “Oh, wow! This is so pretty!”

Me: “Thank you!”

Customer #1: “Oh, don’t bother. She’s misrepresenting herself.” *Turns to me* “You’ll meet yourself one day and you’ll see I’m right. You should only draw what you know! You are stealing work from other people!”

Thankfully, the customer (or actually, non-customer) walks on.

Customer #2: “Does that mean I can’t draw gay furry art?”

Her comment made me burst out laughing. I needed a moment to compose myself, but [Customer #2] (and fellow artist) and I had a lovely conversation afterward.

My Eyes Are Up Here. LOOK INTO MY EYES!

, , , , | Friendly | December 23, 2021

I’m on a train going to work. At the next station, two people join me in the four-seater: a beautiful young twenty-something woman and a guy around forty or so. She sits next to me, takes off her coat, and dives into a book.

The minute she has her coat off, the guy actually LEANS FORWARD to stare at her breasts. I frown at him. The woman looks up and frowns too. The creepy guy keeps staring. The woman sighs, puts a bookmark in her book, sets it on the table, and SNAPS her fingers in the guy’s face!

Woman: *Very fast, without stuttering once* “Look into my eyes, look into my eyes! The eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, look into my eyes… Three, two, one…” *Snaps her fingers again* “You’re under. You will not, I repeat not look at my chest again. Boobs do not concern you. You no longer care about boobs! Three, two, one.” *Snaps her fingers again* “You’re back in the room.” 

She then continues to read as if nothing happened. The guy splutters in utter disbelief. He has no idea what’s going on and, being in the Netherlands, probably didn’t even understand her. He tries to get some support out of me

Creepy Guy: *In Dutch* “Can you believe this stupid chick? I didn’t do anything wrong! If anything, I was complimenting her!”

Me: “Computer says no.” 

Because of the ongoing health crisis, I left out the signature cough. The guy got up to sit somewhere else and the woman and I had a nice conversation about our shared Little Britain interest. She was actually Dutch, as well!

There’s Always Room For Improvement!

, , , , | Working | December 21, 2021

After college, I take a job at a customer service call centre. Due to a mistake on the job’s part, I get very minimal training. Still, I’m doing well and I’m the first to “move up from the class” into “the line”, with actual live customers. I’m not saying I’m amazing, but I handle more calls and emails than the average worker.

After a year, it’s time for my review.

Teamleader: “I see you process a lot of calls and work, but the calls and emails I reviewed are barely passing score. Please, slow down and take more time. Because of this, I can only give you the legally required raise.”

I’m fine with the review and take the feedback to heart. I slow down, but no matter how slow I try to go, I still get high scores. I triple-check my emails, so they go out almost flawlessly. It’s time for my review again.

Teamleader: “You are a really hard worker, but the calls I listened to and the emails I reviewed are barely passing. Please, consult a senior more often.”

I think it’s odd, but perhaps they are right and I’m just not as great as I think. I am aiming for a senior position, so if I want to get there, I’d better give my best!

In the third year, I feel things are going great! The teamleaders even hook up newer employees to my line so I can help them improve. I give them advice, answer questions, and double-check their emails if they ask me to. Technically, I’m doing a senior’s work! So, this must mean I’ve improved, right? Not only that, but one of “my students” makes it to teamleader and becomes my new teamleader!

One day, the CEOs, big hot-shots (yes, with that attitude; we aren’t even allowed to talk to them or be in the same space!) come by and they get a presentation of how things roll. The walls are thin and I can peek through a small window. Suddenly, I hear a recording and a familiar voice… my voice! They are listening to one of my calls and I see the slide saying something like “Exemplary Customer Service”. This fills me with pride, and just because I want to hear my teamleader’s praise, I ask her about it the next day.

Teamleader: “Of course we listened to your recording; your customer service is top-notch!”

And when the annual review comes by:

Teamleader: “You are really a hard worker and you’ve done so well… but all the calls and emails I reviewed were so-so. I even took one extra, thinking it might have been an unlucky pick, but you get a barely passing grade.”

Me: “Really? And how can I improve?”

Teamleader: “Well, eh… you should check more often with a senior…”

Me: “You mean with [Senior]?”

Teamleader: “Yes, yes!”

Me: “You mean [Senior], the one I was asked to train for the job? The one who comes to me for advice at least twice his shift?”

Teamleader: “Eh, yeah… anyway, your emails…”

Me: “You know I check emails for the new employees, right? Surely, if I could be trusted with that…”

Teamleader: “Yeah, well, all your calls and emails were barely passing. You will get the legal raise and that’s final.”

It was at that moment that I realized that they never intended to give me a raise higher than the legal amount. I was allowed to do senior work but not get the compensation. 

I wanted to consider looking for another job, but a few weeks later, I was asked to help in a different department. This lead to a better-paying job in that department, with more stable hours, so I was fine with that. There was still plenty wrong with that job, but that’s another story.

Expecting Both Telepathy AND Time Travel

, , , , | Right | December 16, 2021

Caller: *Irate* “I received this letter from [Collection Agency]. Why is that? I paid my bill!”

Me: “Let me see… I see the payment for [previous month] has not been received.”

Caller: “I did pay it! I paid it [twenty days too late]. I always pay at the end of the month!”

Me: “When did you exactly pay?”

Caller: “[Date].”

Me: “I see that payment, but it seems it’s been processed for [current month].”

Caller: “That is wrong; it was supposed to be for [previous month]. How could you mess that up?! I paid in time!”

Me: “I see you used your customer account to pay it.”

Caller: “I did. I used the link you guys generated, so this is not my mistake.”

Me: “Did you perhaps use the link for [current month], instead of [previous month]?”

I can see which month she clicked; I’m just trying to be kind.

Caller: “So? You guys should process the money with the oldest bill anyway.”

Me: “Miss, if you use that link, we clearly state which month the money will be processed with. This is an automatic process.”

Caller: “But you guys can see which month is unpaid. You should use the money for that month!”

Me: “Both months were unpaid at that moment. If you use [link A], we have to assume you want to pay [bill A].”

Caller: “Well, you guys should have checked! I just misclicked; you should know I meant the previous month.”

Me: “I’m sorry, miss, but it’s impossible to check with every client if they intended to pay the bill they clicked the link for. Let me patch you through to the collections agency; maybe they can help you.”

Caller: “But you should have known I meant [previous month]!”

I tried, but I still can’t mind-read.

Their Mother?! Really?!

, , , , | Working | December 16, 2021

The conference I was speaking at had a daycare center, so even though it was during the school summer vacation and my husband was also working, we didn’t have to arrange a babysitter. On arrival, I filled out the registration forms at the reception desk, handed the children off to the childcare worker, and went to do my presentation.

When I came to pick them up two hours later, my daughter looked sad. Then, I spotted their name tags.

We are Dutch and our children have North European names, spelled slightly different from the more usual form, but pronounced pretty much the same, like Riita and Tuomas.

On the children’s name tags were the common versions, Rita and Thomas. My son was too young to realize it, but my daughter was upset — like a seven-year-old can be — because her name was spelled wrong. She insisted, “I am not a Rita; I am Riita.”

I asked the receptionist what happened. She answered she didn’t know; the childcare workers made the nametags.

Just when we were about to leave, the worker who had taken care of the children walked up to the reception desk to grab something. The receptionist asked her why she had spelled the names differently from the names on the forms, and she answered, “I thought their mother spelled their names wrong.”

I still wonder why a childcare worker would think a speaker at a conference would misspell both her children’s names in clear block letters on a registration form. Or maybe she thought the parents had misspelled both the children’s names at birth but stuck with it and the worker tried to remedy that? And then also ignored my daughter’s protests for two hours.