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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Everybody’s Lookin’ Forward To The Weekend, Weekend

, , , , , , | Working | March 19, 2020

(I work at a car dealership. Our online appointment system kind of sucks; in theory, we can set parameters, but it has so many bugs it still allows customers to make appointments for things they shouldn’t and in ways that set totally unfair expectations for our team. As such, we regularly go through the pre-scheduled appointments to call customers with those sorts of appointments and to clarify and reschedule their visits. A common situation is people scheduling the very last afternoon appointment of the day for intense diagnosis, something we only purposely schedule in the mornings to give our technicians the best shot at getting the customer an answer in the same day, and hopefully even leaving us enough time to fix the car without it having to stay over, possibly for multiple days if we miss the cut-off to order parts if we don’t have them in stock. Unless we notify them otherwise, those customers often expect to still get their car back the same day, even though the shop closes soon after they would be dropping the car off.)

Me: “Ugh, here’s another last Friday afternoon web appointment for multiple concern diagnosis. We need to call to reschedule.”

Coworker #1: “I don’t get why people do that. And it’s for Friday afternoon more than any other day, too!”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, what’s that about? Like, even if their problem ends up being something we might be able to get out quickly if no other cars showed up for their appointments and the techs really busted their butts, it’s Friday afternoon. People just want to go home. Their car is probably going to stay until Monday.”

Me: “I used to work with a tech who fully admitted that a Friday afternoon car doesn’t get as good an inspection as the rest of the week because he didn’t want to find anything that might make him stay late; he just wanted to start his weekend.”

Coworker #1: “I know! I don’t get why people don’t think about this stuff. Like, are they doing their best work on the very last thing they do Friday before they go home?”

Coworker #2: “I feel like it’s normal to be pretty checked out at that point.”

(This wouldn’t be too noteworthy… except that about twenty minutes later, I hear [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2] talking about their nails. They regularly go together to get manicures and are complaining about the workmanship.)

Coworker #2: “It’s really frustrating. Like, look at this smudge! I totally felt like they were rushing.”

Coworker #1: “Tell me about it! And this keeps happening lately!”

Coworker #2: “Maybe we should switch nail places.”

Coworker #1: “Maybe we should. It’s just so annoying. Like, we purposely go in for the very last appointment on Friday evening so there are no other customers after us so they don’t feel like they have to rush!”

Coworker #2: “Seriously. Why are they in such a hurry, anyway?”

(I don’t think they knew I could hear their conversation as there was a cubicle wall between us, but as I listened to them I just shook my head wondering how they don’t see the parallels between their situation and our customers’.)

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Not For One Minute Are We Surprised

, , , | Right | March 15, 2020

(I am a barista at a coffee chain. It is 7:58 and I close at 8:00. I am alone and it’s been quite slow. A woman runs up to the counter.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am, I’m actually close—”

Customer: “No, you’re not. You’re open for another—” *glances at her phone for the time* “—two minutes.”

(She then proceeded to order eight drinks.)

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