She’s Dead(bolt) On The Inside

, , , , | Right | June 30, 2020

I’m a locksmith, on the way to another city for a house unlock, and I get the info for another call. I give them a call and tell them that I’m on the way to another call and in about a half-hour or so, I can call and give them a proper estimate on when I will get there.

Customer: “Oh, well, I have to open my business and I have appointments. Do you know any other locksmiths?”

Me: “Well… not really, ma’am. Like I said, though, I can give you a call in about a half-hour and let you know when I’ll be there.”

Customer: “I thought you guys would be closer; I called a number for this town.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. We are a completely mobile company. I can give you a call in about a half-hour, though.”

Customer: “Okay, whatever.”

I go and unlock the house, and I give the other customer a call; my GPS is telling me I’ll be there in about thirty-five minutes. I add about ten minutes to the ETA to accommodate any traffic or unexpected delays and just the sheer fact of me finding the place.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. I just wanted to let you know I’ll be there in about forty-five minutes.”

Customer: “You said a half-hour ago you’d be here!”

Me: “Um… I think there’s a misunderstanding here. I said I’ll give you a call in about a half-hour with a more accurate ETA.”

Customer: “Well, if I knew it was going to be this long, I wouldn’t have called. How far are you again?”

Me: “About forty-five minutes ma’am.”

Customer: *Pauses* “Where are you again?”

Me: “I’m down in [Nearby City]. I just finished another call.”

Customer: “What address?”

I pause for a split second, realizing she’s going to try to GPS me and figure out exactly where I am to see if I’m lying to her. “Guest Service Mode” ACTIVATE!

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m not at liberty to reveal the locations of our customers.”

Customer: “Oh, well, whatever. Just get here.”

Me: “I’m already on my way.”

I start heading down there, going just a little over the speed limit to make it there without any more complaints. Of course, I don’t even get that far. About ten minutes out, my phone goes off.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name].”

Customer: “Hi, it’s [Customer]. I just wanted to see how far away you are in minutes, since one of my appointments just showed up and he wants to know how far you are so he can decide to wait or not.”

I get an eye-twitch, having to put forth a little effort now to keep my guest service voice up.

Me: “Well, ma’am, I’m down by the Chevy dealer.”

Customer: “The one outside town?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Okay, see you soon.” *Hangs up*

I get to her address and start working to unlock her business after I introduce myself. As I’m standing there trying to unlock the door, she keeps talking and telling me about the lock and how “I don’t know why it’s on two different keys,” and, “Whoever designed it was stupid,” and, “I lost the keys sometime last night,” etc. It gets to the point as I am trying to unlock it that I say in a very even tone:

Me: “Ma’am, I need a minute to focus on this.”

She gave me a look like “Are you a moron?” when I asked her what way she turned her key to open her door. 

As I was working on the lock, I saw that her sign said she opened at 8:00 am on Saturdays. The appointment she was running late for was at 10:30, and I got the info at 9:30 ish. So, now, I was wondering why she was ignorant enough to wait until the last minute to get her place open… and that just annoyed me.

Finally, I unlocked the deadbolt and she went in, leaving me and her client standing out there. Her client walked in, and then I took a minute to gather my tools and walked in to which I saw her with her voicemail on speakerphone, jotting down appointments. I just stood there for about five minutes before she waved me over and finally paid me.

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Their Brain Has Checked Out

, , , , | Right | June 26, 2020

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I booked a room online and I was wondering what time I had to check in?”

Me: “Check-in begins at 3:00 pm.”

Caller: “Oh, so I have to check in by 3:00?”

Me: “No, check-in begins at 3:00. You can check in at 3:00 pm or any time after.”

Caller: “Oh, so I can check in any time before or after 3:00?”

Me: “No, any time after 3:00, not before.”

Caller: “Oh, after 3:00?”

Me: *Pause* “Yes.”

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The Turnaround Rebound

, , , | Right | June 12, 2020

It is the week before school starts and our store is extremely busy. It is about eleven in the morning and we have been open for less than two hours.

Customer: “Hi, I’m here to pick up my copy order.”

Me: “Okay, what’s the name?”

Customer: “[Customer].”

I recognize the name right away.

Me: “Oh, you submitted that online right? This morning?”

Customer: “Last night.”

Me: “Oh, well, we were closed by then, so we didn’t get it until this morning. I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet, and it’s actually not due until 3:30.”

Customer: “Well, can you just print it for me right now? I need to take it with me to [City about an hour away] and I need to be there in an hour!”

Me: “Well, there are a lot of files here that I have to open individually, so it’ll take me a few minutes.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: “And I have to take care of the line-up first.”

Customer: “What?! You have to ring all those customers in before you print my order?! I need it right now! I submitted it last night and I need it!”

Me: “We were closed when you submitted it, and all orders under $300 have a six-hour turnaround time.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! It’s supposed to be ready in an hour!”

Me: “No, it’s always six hours, and it always tells you what time it should be ready by.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous!”

The customer left in a huff. I didn’t print her order until she came back, because I didn’t know if she was just going to leave without it and then not need it later on and never come back for it.

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It’s A Faaaake Showtime

, , , , | Right | June 10, 2020

I’m selling tickets at the box office one night. A family film has just opened, so naturally, we have multiple showtimes for the movie in different theater rooms throughout the day, including a 12:30 and a 1:30 showtime. A group arrives at noon: two grandparents and their two grandchildren.

Grandfather: “Four tickets for [Movie].”

Me: “Sure thing. Were you looking for the next showtime in a half-hour at 12:30?”

Grandfather: “Um… okay.”

Me: “All righty.”

I sell them their tickets and proceed to the next customer. About ninety minutes later, I’m wandering toward the back door to run outside and take a quick smoke break, and I see the family sitting at a bench outside of their auditorium. Confused, as their movie started over an hour ago, I approach them.

Me: “Hey, is everything okay?”

Grandfather: “No, it certainly is not! I wanted the 1:30 movie, but there’s still a movie playing in the theater, and it’s almost 1:30! This is the theater on the tickets you gave me! So why is the previous movie still playing?!”

Me: “Um, sir. The 1:30 movie isn’t playing in that theater. That’s the theater that the 12:30 movie is playing in. That’s the one I sold you tickets for.”

Grandmother: “What? That doesn’t make any sense!”

Grandfather: “Yeah! What does that even mean?”

Me: “We have the same movie playing in multiple theaters. You bought tickets to the 12:30 showtime, which is in that theater. The 1:30 theater is playing down the hall in a different room.”

Grandmother: “Ugh! Why would we have bought tickets to the wrong theater?! That doesn’t make any sense!”

Grandfather: “I said I wanted the 1:30 showtime! Not some non-existent 12:30 showtime!”

Me: “I asked if you wanted the showtime for 12:30.”

Grandfather: “Yeah! But I wanted the 1:30!”

Me: “But you said you would take tickets to the 12:30 when I asked you.”

Grandfather: “But how can you sell me tickets to the 12:30 when I wanted the 1:30?!”

Me: *Pause* “Because I asked if you wanted tickets to the 12:30 showtime and you said ‘okay’?”

Grandfather: “But I didn’t even know you had some ‘supposed’ 12:30 show! I wanted the 1:30!”

Grandmother: “The sheer f****** incompetence of you people! We wanted the 1:30!”

Grandfather: “This is ridiculous! How can you have a 12:30 and a 1:30?!”

Me: *Another pause* “Because, as I said, we have the same movie playing in multiple theaters.”

Grandmother: “But that doesn’t make any sense!”

Grandfather: “What does that mean?! WHAT DOES THAT F****** MEAN?!”

I am becoming increasingly confused.

Me: “It means the movie is popular and we have it playing in multiple theaters?”

Grandfather: “So why did you sell me tickets to the wrong time? I didn’t want a fake 12:30 time!”

Me: “Sir, we have both a 12:30 and a 1:30 showtime in different rooms. I asked if you wanted the 12:30, and you said okay.”

Grandfather: *Bellowing* “BUT I WANTED THE 1:30! NOT A FAKE 12:30!”

Me: “But, sir… I asked if you wanted the 12:30, which I can guarantee is not a fake showtime, and you said yes.”

Grandfather: “BUT THIS IS NOT THE 1:30 I WANTED!”

Me: “Sir, if you want to follow me to the box office, I can change the tickets for you.”


Me: “Right… and that’s the theater that the 12:30 showtime was in.”

Grandfather: “BUT THE 12:30 SHOWTIME IS A FAKE!”

This continued on and on for several minutes, with the grandparents continuing to say that the 12:30 showtime that they themselves bought tickets for was “fake,” that they wanted the 1:30, and that we purposely sold them the wrong showtime, etc. And they ended up refusing to simply switch their tickets to the 1:30 for a good, long while. Eventually, they relented and finally switched their tickets, but they made sure to vocally complain about us selling “fake” showtimes the entire time.

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Welcome To The Inconvenience Store

, , , , , , , | Working | June 8, 2020

While in college, I work from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am at a 24/7 gas station by myself. The person that works the shift following mine is supposed to come in at 12:30 am to take over the register while I count out my drawer and complete shift paperwork before clocking out.

Unfortunately, the person that most frequently works that shift tends to be fifteen to forty-five minutes late. This isn’t a major issue because, on average, it only takes me ten to fifteen minutes to complete my drawer count and paperwork, and if there aren’t any customers around, I can pull my drawer while I wait for my coworker to get in. 

One night, she calls me around 12:30 to let me know she is running late. She either overslept or had to mediate some argument between her daughter and husband; these were the usual excuses and I can’t remember which happened this time. At this point, she has to shower and get dressed before leaving her house and ends up not getting in until almost 3:00 am. This is annoying, of course, as I have homework to do and classes to get up for the next day. It also ends up causing panic for my roommate.

The store I work for has a strict no-cell-phones policy; if the cameras catch me with my phone I will be fired on the spot. I can use the store phone, but I don’t have my roommate’s number memorized so I have no way of notifying him that I am running late. I assume he’ll either be asleep or realize it is a case of my usual coworker issues. I am wrong.

Not long before my coworker finally arrives, my roommate realizes I am unusually late and attempts to call my cell phone several times. When I don’t answer, instead of looking up my store number, he looks up the number for the police department in town and calls there to have someone check on me. In his worry, that makes sense, but it causes an escalation of events.

I have established a friendship with several of the officers in town that work the night shift. As I am a young woman working alone at night, they make an effort to check on me at least once per night, more often if they have time, sometimes opting to take their breaks at my store to keep an eye on things.

This relationship, combined with the fact that my roommate didn’t think to mention he’d only called my cell phone and the officer that responded assuming the store was called, results in an officer I know well speeding into the parking lot with lights flashing just after 3:00 am. He parks in front of the door, runs into the store, not even closing his car door behind him, sees me safe behind the counter, and starts shouting at me, “Answer your g**d*** phone! Your roommate is worried! I have four squad cars on the way; what the h*** are you doing here?!”

He promptly runs to his car to call off his backup while my recently arrived coworker and I share confused looks.

It is nice to know people are looking out for me, but it certainly makes for a startling end to my very long shift. Moving forward, I have made sure to have my roommate’s number readily available and I have given him my store number for emergencies.

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