They Be Calling Morning, Noon, And Night

, , , , | Right | April 10, 2020

(I’m setting up my bar in the morning. On Sundays, we open at noon. I hate when the phone rings in the morning because I have a lot of prep work to do and it’s usually stupid questions or sales calls. The phone rings at 11:00 am.)

Me: “Hello, [Bar].”

Customer: “Hi, I was just wondering what time you open.”

Me: “We’ll be opening our doors at noon.”

Customer: “Thanks!”

(I continue setting up, doing the usual prep of making roll-ups and cutting a lot of fruit. At 11:55, the phone rings. It’s the same customer as before.)

Me: “Hello, [Bar].”

Customer: “Hi, I know you open at 12, but my family and I are outside now. Could you let us in?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to open the doors before our opening time.”

Customer: “But it’s just five minutes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the doors will be open at 12.”

(It’s finally noon, so I grab the keys and head towards the front door. Before I get there, the phone rings again, so I walk back to behind the bar to answer it.)

Me: “Hello, [Bar].”

Customer: “It’s 12; why aren’t the doors open?!”

Real Estate Doesn’t Rely On Real Times

, , , | Right | April 9, 2020

(On a potential buyer’s request, I have booked a private showing with them at a summer cottage that is over thirty minutes away from the office. I arrange for the owners to be away during the showing, since they are using the property during their vacation. Like always, I hurry to get there fifteen minutes before the arranged time, to unlock doors, etc. I even almost get into a serious car crash when turning left as somebody decided it was a good time to overtake me and the three cars behind me at 100km/h. I have to park my car for a while to just remember how to breathe again. I get to the cottage a few minutes early, and for some reason, I am greeted by the very confused-looking owners and, supposedly, the potential buyer plus their family with their really big camper.)

Me: *introducing myself* “Hi, so, uh… what’s going on?”

Buyer: “Yeah, well, we came here almost an hour ago, and I have to say, this doesn’t meet our expectations at all!” *rant, rant, ranty rant*

Me: “Uh… didn’t we arrange the showing at 13:00?”

Buyer: “Yeah, but we had nothing to do so we came here an hour ago and have been waiting so long!”

(He continues ranting, and then he loads his family back in the camper and drives off.)

Owners & Me: “…”

(This happened somewhere around 2010, and absolutely everyone had cell phones even back then, so they could have at the very least given me a call… or maybe not showed up at the wrong time and bothered the owners during their vacation!)

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Why Won’t You Observe What I’m Saying?

, , , , , | Learning | April 8, 2020

We’re having a parent observation for the last half-hour of class — 12:30-1:00. It’s 12:25 and a mom walks in.

Mom: “Oh, is it time for the observation?”

Teacher: “Sure! It’s a little early, but come on in.”

Mom: “Isn’t the observation at 12:15?”

Teacher: “It’s at 12:30, but because it’s an observation, you can come on in now. No problem.”

Mom: “Were you the one who sent the email?’

Teacher: “Yes.”

Mom: “And didn’t it say 12:15?”

Teacher: “I believe it said 12:30, but either way, you’re welcome to come in now!”

Mom: “No! It said 12:15!”

Teacher: “I can check the email, but it doesn’t matter; you can just come in now.”

Mom: “I’ll just sit in the lobby.”

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Refuses To Be Blocked

, , , | Right | April 7, 2020

(My hotel has several annual conferences that come with VERY high booking demand. Because of this high demand, we are very strict about when we open the block of rooms to be sold; the group is informed of the exact date and time that the rooms will be available for reservation. I work overnight, and a block of rooms is slated to open for one of these conferences at 8:00 this morning. As soon as the clock hits 12:00 am, the phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hotel]. This is [My Name] speaking; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m calling about booking some rooms for [date] for [Conference].”

Me: “I see; I’m sorry, ma’am, but that room block will not be available to reserve for another eight hours.”

Caller: *somewhat rudely* “Well, I was told it opened today.”

Me: “It does, ma’am… eight hours from now.”

Caller: “Ugh… all right, fine.”

(She hangs up and I go on with my duties. A few minutes later, the phone rings again and my coworker picks up. After a brief conversation, he looks at me and rolls his eyes.)

Coworker: “She wanted that block, too, and said she was told it opened at midnight.”

Me: “Maybe someone gave a group the wrong info? Well, regardless, we can’t sell it until eight.”

Coworker: “Yeah, that’s what I told her.”

(Again, we resume our duties, until about another fifteen minutes later when I get another call, this time from a representative from our corporate reservations line.)

Representative: “Hello! I’m calling from [Brand] Central Reservations! I have a guest on the line who is looking to book for [date]…”

Me: “For [conference]?”

Representative: “Yes!”

Me: “I see. Unfortunately, that block doesn’t open until 8:00 am local time.”

Representative: “Oh… Well, this guest said she stayed up specifically to make this reservation as soon as possible.”

Me: “I understand, and I am sorry that she may have been given incorrect information, but we cannot sell that block of rooms until the set time.”

Representative: “I see. Well, I will inform her. Thank you for your time!”

Me: “No problem.”

(I hang up and my coworker gives me a questioning look.)

Me: “Pretty sure these calls are all from the same woman. What, did she think the old ‘Mom said no so I’ll ask Dad’ tactic was going to work?”

(We did get a few more calls that night from people trying to book early, but none were as persistent as the first woman!)

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“Time” To End This Call

, , , , , | Right | March 25, 2020

(I take insurance claims in a call center. At the end of each call, we tell callers to wait four hours before calling back with questions to allow the claim to work its way through the system. I have just helped a woman in California with a claim and informed her of the four-hour wait time.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with, ma’am?”

Caller: “Yeah… that four-hour time. Does it matter that I’m on Pacific time?”

Me: “Not at all! It’s just four hours from this time now that we are speaking.”

Caller: “Okay… So, it’s 8:30 in the morning here. What time is it where you are?”

Me: “It’s 10:30 in the morning, but—”

Caller: “Right! So, four hours from your time is 2:30, so I should call at 2:30 my time. Right?”

Me: “Well, not exactly. And that wait time is if you have any questions later. You would be able to call about your claim at 12:30 your time.”

Caller: “No, no, no… Four hours from 8:30 is 2:30. I can tell time, thank you!”

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