Take Council In Your Words

, , , , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

(I work as a receptionist in Melbourne for a company with multiple branches, one of which subcontracts to a [Nationwide Telecommunications Company] upgrade which is rather unpopular, meaning I’ve dealt with a fair few disgruntled callers, but this one really takes the cake. An upset woman calls up demanding to speak to a manager of our telecommunications branch, demanding that a piece of equipment just outside her home be replaced or upgraded because it’s not been done properly. Our staff have spray-painted a big cross on it as we can’t proceed with the upgrade due to the equipment being unsuitable or damaged. Unfortunately, we have no control over the equipment, as it’s previously installed by [Telecommunications Distributor] and is outside of our scope of work and is the property of [Distributor], but the woman is refusing to listen to me and demanding to speak to a manager. Technically speaking, she is not our customer, as our customer is [Distributor] and not the end user.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but the best thing I can do for you is forward you to the [Distributor] faults line to handle…”

Woman: *snappily* “Well, I’m not even their customer; I’m the customer of [Telecommunications Provider], so I want to talk to your mob, instead.”

Me: “Hang on. Have you spoken to [Provider] about your concerns about this yet?”

Woman: “No, but your mob are in the area doing work on the equipment, so you can repair and replace it while you’re there. My concern is that your mob won’t do the work which means I’ll be unable to use phones and Internet when [Nationwide Telecommunications] upgrade is complete, meaning I’ll be left without Internet or phone lines.”

Me: “Well, technically, that’s not accurate, since wireless options exist, as well. Anyway, we still aren’t involved and you’ll need to speak with—”

Woman: *cutting me off* “Well, don’t take this personally, but I feel like your mob just aren’t going to do the work because it’s in the ‘too hard’ basket, and then you’ll be gone, and I’ll be stuck!”

Me: “I understand, but—”

Woman: “So, let me speak to a manager already!”

Me: *sighing inwardly* “Again, unfortunately, our customer is [Distributor], meaning you’d need to speak with them about any issues you may have. We have no control over what may exist or not; we’re just in the area doing upgrades.”

Woman: “In that case, I want to talk to your manager as your staff have defaced my property!”

(I’m a bit perplexed; our staff are trained to not do any sort of damage to private property. It’s also important to note here that in Australia, anything past a dwelling’s driveway, such as the pavement and the nature strip, belong to the local council, and not the individual homeowner.)

Me: “Hang on. I thought you said that the markings were on the pavement.”

Woman: “Yes! It’s on the pavement and the equipment; they’ve defaced my nature strip!”

Me: *deadpan voice* “Technically, that doesn’t belong to you. That belongs to the council.”


Woman: “You know an awful lot for a receptionist. Fine, I’ll call the council, and call [Distributor] and the ombudsman to sort this out!”

Me: “That’s fine. You have a nice day, then.”

(I hung up the phone on her at that point. I honestly don’t know what she expected the company I work for to do, especially when I kept telling her she had to contact [Distributor] to sort it out, as we had no control over it!)

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Cabin Filters Can’t Filter Out The Duds

, , , , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

(I am an assistant store manager at an auto retail store. I have worked for the company for eleven years, four of them in management; I am also female. Our parts guide won’t give you the parts unless you pick the car out, down to the specifics.)

Me: “[Store], [Location]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Customer: “Hi. I’m after a cabin filter.”

Me: “Yeah, no problems. What’s it for?”

Customer: “A cabin filter.”

Me: “Yes, what’s it for?”

Customer: “A cabin filter.”

Me: “Yes, a cabin filter. What car is it for?”

Customer: “Oh, sorry. A 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer.”

Me: “No worries. Is that the 2-litre or the 2.4?”

Customer: “A cabin filter. Not a regular air filter.”

Me: “Yes, mate, I’m well aware of what a cabin filter is. I need to know what car it’s for so I can tell you if we have it.”

Customer: “Oh, ah… 2.4.”

Me: “No worries. It’s [price], and I have three in stock.”

Customer: *click*

(The store manager looks over at me and raises an eyebrow.)

Me: “Guess he couldn’t hear me over my ovaries.”

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Maybe He Overheard There Were “Fine People On Both Sides”

, , , , , | Related | September 10, 2019

(My six-year-old son is reading a book about “boys who dare to be different.” He is going to take it to school for share time, so we’re looking for one of the stories he can explain to his classmates.)

Son: “I want to talk about this one!”

Me: “Oh, that’s Hans Scholl [WWII resistance fighter]. I don’t think your class is ready for learning about Nazis.”

Son: *excitedly* “But I like Nazis!”

Me: “Nooooo, we don’t like Nazis…”

Son: “No, I really like the Nazis!”

(I explained that Hans Scholl was fighting against the Nazis and gave him a brief rundown on why we really, really don’t like the Nazis.)

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Unfiltered Story #161914

, , , | Unfiltered | September 4, 2019

(My family’s caravan park has been around for 20+ years. Among other amenities, a tennis court has been there since it opened. We’ve only owned it for two years and in that time we’ve had a lot of thefts, including tennis rackets for hire. A large family came in, but I mostly dealt with a child and her mother)

Child : I want to hire some tennis rackets please

Me: Sorry, we don’t have any at the moment

Child : (Leaves and comes back with her mother)

Mother: What’s this (Child) says about you not having any rackets for hire?!

Me: I am very sorry, but as I said to her we don’t have any at this time.

Mother: Why on earth don’t you have any rackets if you have a tennis court?

Me: Unfortunately the rackets we did have were stolen and we are unable to replace them at this point in time.

Mother: If you don’t have any rackets, why do you have a tennis court?

Me: I’m sorry? The tennis court has been there for over 20 years…

Mother: So why don’t you have any rackets for hire?

Me: They were unfortunately stolen.

(This went on for 10 minutes. The whole time she was saying we shouldn’t have a court without rackets and that we should close it down/get rid of it)

Wish You Could Bury Your Head In The Sand

, , , | Right | September 3, 2019

(I work in a major Australian hardware store chain. We have a hire shop where customers can hire out large tools or machinery they wouldn’t want to purchase, or only need to use once, like panel lifts and wallpaper steamers. I have only been trained to hire the machines out and don’t have the knowledge yet to tell people how to use them. Most of the time, there is another person in the store who can advise them, or the customer already knows how to use it. In this instance, however, I am alone with no one on-site to help me.)

Customer: “I would like to hire the parquetry sander.”

(Parquetry sanders are used for detailed sanding, usually on parquetry floors.)

Me: “All right. Just so you know, there’s no one here who can advise you on how to use it. What are you looking to sand?”

Customer: “I’m using it to sand back the old floorboards in my spare room.”

Me: “So, it’s not a parquetry floor and you’re just stripping it back?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I think you should hire one of our basic floor sanders, then; they’re easier to use and cheaper.”

Customer: “No, I know how to use the parquetry sander.”

Me: “Okay.”

(A coworker passes by who knows a lot about flooring.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, why are you hiring out the parquetry sander?”

Customer: “I want to sand back some old floorboards in my spare room.”

Coworker #1: “I think it would be better if you used the basic sander for that.”

Customer: “No, I want to use the parquetry sander, and I know how to use it.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, but just so you know, there’s no one here who can show you how to work it.”

(My coworker leaves, and I start to put the hire paperwork together. Any sander needs sandpaper, and there are a few more bits that need to go with the parquetry sander, and I’m not sure what is best for the job. I decide to ring another store in our chain and check in with their hire shop person there for advice.)

Coworker #2: *on the phone* “So, what does she want to sand?”

Me: “She wants to strip back some old floorboards in her spare room.”

Coworker #2: “Sounds like she needs the basic sander. Like, she could do it with the parquetry one but it will take much longer and be a lot harder.”

Me: *to customer* “He says you should consider using the basic sander. It will be easier.”

Customer: “No, I want the parquetry sander, and I know how to use it.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Over the phone, the coworker tells me all the bits and bobs I need to give her along with the parquetry sander itself. He tells me how to attach the sanding pads and paper to the machine, a basic rundown of how to use it — nowhere near enough to teach someone else how to use it though. I thank him and hang up. I relay all the information he gave me to the customer, and even attach the sandpaper and pads to the sander for her.)

Me: “Okay, so, just one more time, before I take your deposit, are you sure you don’t want the basic sander? It will be quicker, and once again, no one here can help you use the parquetry sander.”

Customer: “No, it’s fine.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I take her deposit, her payment, and her personal details and log them. All up, it comes to well over a hundred dollars.)

Me: “All right, I’ll just get a coworker to help you take this down to your car and load it in, and then you can get started!”

Customer: “Yes, just, before we do that… is there anyone here who can show me how to use it?”

(I stare at her and consider calling the other store back. Then, I give up.)

Me: “Yeah, he’ll be on his shift in about half an hour. Excuse me, I have to help another customer now.”

(I did think the next person came in then for the mid-shift, but it turns out he was on the close that day and didn’t come in for three hours. Hope her floors ended up okay!)

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