Mousing Around The Office

, , , | Working | April 13, 2018

(Our office sometimes allows third parties to rent one of our spare offices. In that office there’s a computer, a big screen, a mouse, a keyboard — pretty much all you need to “plug and play.” I’m the receptionist today.)

Client: “Excuse me, but I can’t find the keyboard and mouse to control the computer.”

Me: “That is odd. There should be a set there.”

Client: “I looked into the cabinets, but I couldn’t find it.”

Me: “Let’s see what I can do. *walks along* “If I can’t find anything, you can use this cable to hook things up with your own laptop.” *turns around* “Or… do you mean that keyboard, in the middle of the table? With the mouse next to it?”

Client: *falls silent for a moment* “I even put my things right next to it.”

(I wished the client good luck with his presentation and let him know where our coffee machine was, in case he couldn’t use a cup… or a mug.)

Do My Dissertation For Me Kthnxbai

, , , , | Right | April 11, 2018

(I answer the phone.)

Me: *in Dutch* “[Institute]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Do you speak any Dutch?”

Me: *in Dutch* “Yes, ma’am, I do. You have reached [Institute]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “So, you speak some Dutch?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I am certified near-native, and I do translation work here at the institute. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Oh… kay, I guess. Well, I’m doing a huge dissertation; I mean a really big one.”

Me: “All right…”

Caller: “It’s about the war.”

Me: “All right…”

Caller: “So, my professor said that your library has a lot about the subject it’s on.”

Me: “That is very likely. You may come during [opening hours] and sign in to access the library.”

Caller: “I want to make an appointment.”

Me: “The library doesn’t work with appointments. You can just come sign in and go right in.”

Caller: “But I want an appointment.”

Me: “I’m sorry. The library doesn’t work with appointments, but you can simply come use it, and the archive. For free.”

Caller: “But I’ve never been there before!”

Me: “All right.”

Caller: *whining* “How will I know what to do?

Me: “There is always someone at the information desk in the library to help visitors navigate the books and archives.”

Caller: “And he will have the time to just work with me until I’m done?”

Me: “Well, no, we cannot provide step-by-step continual personal guidance for each and every visitor, but he will explain how the system works, and how to access the material and request documents, and he will be right there if you have any questions.”

Caller: “But you just said he’ll be there to help me.”

Me: “Yes. He is there to help all of the visitors to the library and archives.”

Caller: “But I need someone to help me! You said he’s there to help me.”

Me: “He is there to help you. He is there to help everyone.”

Caller: *whining* “But what if I can’t find something?”

Me: “Then you go to him.”

Caller: “So, basically everything is incredibly easy to find?”

Me: “Well, you need to use the system, which he will explain in detail when you come in.”

Caller: “I still think I should just make an appointment.”

Me: “The library does not work with appointments, and we do not have anyone on staff who can stop their important research work to spend several hours in the library with each visitor. Please believe me: the system is simple, and there is always someone there to help you.”

Caller: *outright sulking* “Well, I GUESS.” *big sigh* “FINE. I will come use the library. But I still think I should be able to make an appointment so someone can actually help me.” *click*

Spiritually Stone-Faced

, , , , , | Working | April 7, 2018

A new “New Age” shop has opened in town and I go to have a look. I’m not that spiritual, myself, but my father was. He died back in 2005, but since he was a hobby archaeologist and a New Age enthusiast, I often look for special stones to put on his grave when I visit him. I happen to mention that to the woman running the shop and suddenly, she happily says, “Yeah, dead fathers are nice, aren’t they?”

My eyes go wide with shock, and I say, “Excuse me?”

Then she explains how nice it is that fathers always look after their children, even from heaven or the afterlife. I relaxed a bit then, but for real, that’s not something you say like that!

Their Sales Technique Isn’t Exactly Electric

, , , , | Working | March 28, 2018

(I’m at home, having dinner, when the doorbell rings. Because I am expecting a package, I rush to the door. Two men are in front of my door. Relevant facts: I have my own company, located in another building, and I’ve been conned at the door once before and therefore never buy at the door, no matter how wonderful things sound.)

Man #1: “Hello, am I at [Company with a name quite similar to my company’s, but just not right]?”

Me: “You mean [My Company]?”

Man #1: “Ah, yes. Sorry for mispronouncing it. And are you the owner?”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Man #1: “Well, we noticed that you still have a private electricity account on this address. Did you know you can also have a business account?”

Me: *already knowing where this is going* “Oh, but I’m not working in this building.”

Man #1: “But your registration says.”

Me: “Yeah, but it’s not here, and I have nothing to say about the electricity of the other building, so I have no interest.”

(This goes back and forth at least two more times.)

Man #2: *finally speaking up* “But you could save a lot of money!”

Me: “Yeah, but I’m satisfied with what I have, so I’m not interested.”

Man #2: “But why are you not interested?”

Me: *I feel annoyed by that question, but try to keep on smiling* “Let me put it this way: I don’t buy at the door.”

Man #2: “Well, we can also do this at the table!”

Me: *now truly annoyed, but still smiling* “Yeah… No, thanks. Not interested. Good night.”

([Man #2] turned around in a huff — he even released a “tss” sound — and left, followed by [Man #1], who remained silent. I don’t know how they expect to make sales by getting offended if someone says, “No.”)

Making A House Call

, , , | Working | March 22, 2018

(I have a minor cold, so I can go to work. While I make sure I stay away from colleagues and keep hygiene in mind, I’m still quite foggy in my head.)

Customer: “I need to know what kind of color you used for those houses.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; we don’t keep that data. Most of the time it’s a special batch mixed especially for us.”

Customer: “What should I do?”

Me: “Well, you can look for a chipped-off piece of paint, or something with a similar color, and go to the paint store. They can compare colors for you there.”

Customers: “So, when you need to repaint those houses, that’s what you tell the painters to do?”

Me: “Yes, but they can take their charts along with them.” *I accidentally blurt out* “You can’t take your home to them.”

(There is a short silence, I realise what I just said, prepare for the worst, but the customer bursts out in laughter.)

Customer: “Thank you for this pleasant conversation; I needed this laugh.”

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