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You Could Start The Call With “Hail, Satan!” And They Wouldn’t Hear It

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2022

I work in a small company that isn’t a chain store, fielding calls.

Me: “[Company #1].”

Caller: “[Company #2] transferred me here; they said you would have all of my information.”

I’m confused, because our store doesn’t have the ability to transfer calls, and [Company #2] is a completely different business, so there is no way for us to be on a network where they could be transferred.

Me: “I’m sorry, but that’s not the case. [Company #2] and [Company #1] are not affiliated. Could I have your name?”

Caller: “You should have it! It’s in the system.”

Me: “Well, what are you calling about?”

The caller mentions a random issue we don’t handle: think calling a hardware store for a return on a prom dress kind of difference.

Me: “I think you have the wrong number, ma’am.”

Caller: “No, I don’t. I called [Company #2] and they told me to call here.”

So, first, she was transferred, now she was told to call here, and a completely different business said that we would automatically know everything? I get the feeling I’m on a prank call but do my best to keep professional.

Me: “I’m afraid we can’t handle that issue. This isn’t [Company #2]; this is [Company #1].”

Caller: “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO, YOU B****?”

Me: “I did, twice; at the beginning of this call.”

Caller: “Liar!” *Clicks*

The majority of my employed life has firmly instilled the belief that people are nitwits and nobody listens to a thing you say if you’re on the other side of the counter.

This Teacher Passes The Compassion Test With Flying Colors

, , , , | Learning | May 25, 2022

Like a lot of high school students, I suffered from test anxiety. A lot of teachers don’t understand how bad it can be for some kids, but my history teacher does.

We’ve just taken the first big test of the year in my American History class, on the American Revolutionary War. I know I bombed the test because of my anxiety, so I’m feeling pretty down the rest of the day and all that night. The next day, my history teacher shows a movie so he can work on getting our tests graded because he wasn’t able to finish them all overnight.

Throughout the class period, I watch my teacher quietly talk to several kids at their desks. I assume he’s giving them their test scores, so my anxiety and panic are growing each time my teacher gets out of his chair. Finally, it’s my turn. My teacher gets up and walks over to my desk.

Teacher: *Quietly* “Hey, [My Name]?”

Me: “Yeah?”

Teacher: “You have a Study Hall next period, right?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Teacher: “If I write you a note for your Study Hall teacher, would you be able to come over here to talk about your test?”

Me: “Okay.”

Teacher: “Thanks. Here’s the note. See you later.”

With that, he heads back to his own desk. I start panicking because I think he’s going to chew me out for doing so badly on the test, and the rest of the movie is just a blur. The period finally ends, and I head to Study Hall, show my Study Hall teacher the note, and head back to my history teacher’s room.

Teacher: “Hey, welcome back, [My Name].”

I’m almost in tears because I’m panicking so much.

Me: “Hi.”

Teacher: “I see that you’re uncomfortable, and I’m sorry I couldn’t explain more during class. Do you have test anxiety?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Teacher: “I thought so. You always seem to know your stuff during discussions, so when I saw your test score, I wanted to reach out and give you a better chance. What can you tell me about the Battle of Saratoga?”

Me: “Um… what?”

Teacher: “I just want you to think of this as a regular discussion, okay? Don’t worry about being wrong or making guesses; just tell me what you think.”

We proceed to have a conversation about some of the important events and details of the Revolutionary War. After talking back and forth for about twenty minutes, with me getting more and more comfortable the entire time, my teacher finally brings things to a close.

Teacher: “Well, it’s obvious that you really do know your stuff, so I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. On the paper test yesterday, you only got a score of thirteen percent. I’m guessing that’s because of your test anxiety, so, based on talking today, I’m going to throw that out and give you an eighty percent score. You’re missing some of the important details, so I can’t give you a perfect score, but you got all the big-picture stuff spot on. Are you okay with that?”

Me: “Absolutely! Thank you so much!”

Teacher: “You’re welcome. I still want you to do your best on the paper tests, but if you have a hard time with them, talk to me and we can do things this way again. Deal?”

I found out that my teacher did something like this for all the kids who had test anxiety – that’s why he was talking to everybody during the movie after the test. Not only did we all get better grades overall, but we even got better at taking paper tests because it took away a lot of the pressure of worrying about our grades.

By the end of the year, our history teacher was everybody’s favorite teacher. He also tried to help other teachers find similar ways to work with students, but not every teacher was willing to go along. I wish they had because that would have made high school a lot better for me and a lot of other kids. As it was, he was kind of the shining beacon in a world of darkness.

I know he’ll probably never read this, but I know that he knows how much my classmates and I appreciated his efforts, so thanks again, [Teacher].

You Need Thick Skin To Sell Kayaks

, , , , | Right | May 24, 2022

I work in a store that specializes in clothing and outdoor recreation equipment. A guy enters my store.

Me: “Good morning! How can I help you?”

Customer: “Uh, yeah, y’all got kayaks?”

Not only do we carry kayaks and canoes, but we have several attached to the OUTSIDE of the store, the pillars INSIDE the store, and HANGING from the CEILING of the store!

Me: “Yes, sir, we do. What kind were you interested in?”

Customer: “Seal skin.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “SEAL SKIN! Do y’all have seal skin kayaks?”

Me: “No, sir, we don’t.”

Customer: “Well, why NOT?”

Me: “Well, sir, for one thing, the cost would be prohibitive. For another, I believe it’s illegal here in the US for anyone other than the Inuit people to catch and butcher seals.”

Customer: “You don’t know s***!”

And he walked out muttering to himself. I wish him the best of luck in finding a retail store that openly sells illegal products, far, far away from the source of said illegal product.

“We’re The Piraaates Who Don’t Do Anythiiiing…”

, , , , , , , | Working | May 24, 2022

Back in the early days of office computer networks, I was put in charge of setting up and maintaining the network for the law firm I worked at. The partner attorney who oversaw all this was really something!

First, the firm’s entire reason for upgrading to networked computers was so that the firm would have an inter-office email system. But Mr. Partner decided that it would cost too much to buy thirty-five individual versions of the software and bought only ONE stand-alone version and had me install that one install disk on all thirty-five computers, using the same code every time. Thus, email wasn’t possible because stand-alone software didn’t include it.

After some investigation, I did find a way to do short “instant messages” from one person to another and set up a short macro for everyone to make that easier. Mr. Partner was heard proudly referring to that as “our email system.”

He followed that up by ordering me to call a friend in a nearby firm to ask if we could “borrow” their install disks for a spreadsheet program. Not surprisingly, that request was denied.

Then, he attended a conference at the local Bar Association on the subject of computer piracy and came to me afterward.

Partner: “Have you heard about computer piracy? It’s really terrible!”

Me: “Yes, I have heard of it. We do it all the time. If we did it any more, I’d have to have a patch on my eye and a parrot on my shoulder!”

The following year, they opted to do an actual legit upgrade to have real email and licensed software on each PC, all while Mr. Partner kept shaking his head saying he really didn’t see why we needed to go to that expense!

Enjoy Your Really, Really Long Vacation

, , , , , , , | Working | May 24, 2022

My company hires from all over the world and requires travel almost constantly. We also offer “home time off,” which is exactly how it sounds; it is in our hiring contract that we can take a four-day weekend every other month to go home to see our families.

I receive a job assignment in a different country, so my contract states that I get a full week off to accommodate the longer travel time. I get tired of going back and forth, so I ask my supervisor if I have to go home during this time off or if I can use it to tour US attractions like Disney or just relax and rest for the week. He agrees that the time off is my own and if that’s what I want to do, I just have to arrange the appropriate travel.

For my next home time off, I decide to take a five-day cruise with my husband. Upon return, I have a slew of emails, voicemails, and texts from [Coworker], who is from the USA. I go through them all and I am just floored. [Coworker] heard (though he didn’t say how) that I was not using my home time to go home, and he threatened to report me to Human Resources for abusing my privilege.

When I return to work the next day, he is sitting at my desk.

Me: “Good morning, [Coworker].”

Coworker: “How was your trip home?”

Me: “Oh, we—”

Coworker: “Or should I say, ‘How does it feel to steal from [Company]?’”

Me: “I didn’t steal anything. I—”

Coworker: “It is in our contract that we have to go home for that time off, not go globetrotting.”

Me: “Not my contract. Please move. I have work to do.”

Coworker: “You might as well write your resignation letter. Once HR finds out what you did, they’ll send you right back to your dirty, third-world country you didn’t want to go to in the first place.”

Me: “Okay, then. You go do that. Just get out of my space. Please and thank you, goodbye!”

[Coworker] did go to HR to complain that I hadn’t gone home. When questioned about why it mattered to him, he said that he had tried to extend his home time off to go to Australia for two weeks and it was denied. By his logic, my request should have been denied, too.

After that, I put in a complaint with HR, showing all the texts, emails, and voicemails from [Coworker] when he knew I was on vacation, as well as his insult to my home country. He was suspended for a performance review and quit before they could finish.