Everyone Needs To Stop And Check Once In A While

, , , | Right | July 22, 2021

Whenever a customer uses a check, we have to run the check through a scanner operated by a third party in order to make sure it’s real. Yesterday, the scanner was slow but still worked. 

The first time I get a check today, I put it into the machine, but it won’t scan. It won’t even attempt to scan. I ask a coworker to help, but she can’t make it scan, either. We call a tall male coworker over to see if he can reach behind it to unplug it and plug it back in since we are too short.

Me: “I’m sorry about the wait, sir.”

Customer: “What’s taking so long? I’ve been standing here for twenty minutes!”

Coworker: “We’re having trouble with the scanner, and we can’t reach to unplug it.”

Our tall coworker appears and unplugs it for us, but that doesn’t work, either, so we call the helpline. Maybe five minutes have passed.

Customer: “Do I even need to be here?”

Coworker: “Yes, we’re going to need you to sign some stuff once we get the check approved.”

I put the call on speaker since they have me on hold for a minute. I don’t take the call off of speaker after they pick up.

Helpline: “Thank you for calling [Company]. Can I get your ID number?”

Me: “It’s [super long number]. Our check scanner isn’t working. It’s not even attempting to scan the checks. We tried unplugging it, but nothing changed.”

Customer: *Yelling* “You tell him you have a customer here who’s been waiting over twenty minutes!”

Helpline: “Okay, do you have time for some troubleshooting, or should we try to process the check over the phone?”

Me: “Can we do it over the phone? The customer is very irritated.”

I then read the check info out loud and get approval to proceed with the transaction. Meanwhile, the customer continues to try and yell over me while I’m talking with the helpline. My coworker gets on the other line and tries to page two different managers to come help, but neither of them responds. She eventually leaves to go track one down and drag them back to me, but the manager is reluctant to come. Only after one of the service guys goes to the manager do I finally get some help.

The check is approved and I pass the phone to my coworker to do the troubleshooting while I process the transaction to get the guy out of my hair. I hand him something to sign.

Me: “And this is a down payment, correct?”

Customer: “Yeah. My ex-wife will be by later with the rest of the payment.”

I hand him his receipt and let him keep yelling at the manager. After the guy leaves, the manager approaches me.

Manager: “Why didn’t you call me?”

Me: “We did! We tried calling you and [Other Manager]!”

Coworker: “You handled that well.”

Me: “Please. I’ve dealt with worse at [Grocery Store where I used to work]. This guy was nothing, though I think I know why he and wife divorced.”

His ex-wife did come by a few hours later to pay for the other half of the car, which was in her name. She was a lot more pleasant to deal with.

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The Curse Of Cursive

, , , , | Working | July 19, 2021

I’m minding my own business one day when a coworker, out of the blue, asks me:

Coworker: “Do you know how to write cursive?”

I’m in my mid-twenties while my coworker is in her sixties. This coworker is also kind of annoying at times and has an “I am always right” personality.

Me: “I can if I have to. I’m a lot better with the lower case letters than the upper case letters and I usually just do my upper case letters in print. But I never need to write in cursive except to sign my name.”

Coworker: “So, no, you can’t.”

Me: “I can. I just never do because I don’t have to.”

Coworker: “Can you read cursive?”

Me: “Mostly. I sometimes struggle with certain letters but I can usually figure it out from context. My mom writes in cursive a lot, and at my last job, one of my coworkers wrote in a mix of cursive and chicken scratch. I was one of the few who could mostly read her handwriting.”

Coworker: “See, young people nowadays can’t read cursive at all. How are they supposed to know what the Constitution says? It’s written in cursive. If they plead the fifth amendment, they won’t be able to read it.”

Me: “All they have to do is pull out their phone and go, ‘Siri, what does the fifth amendment say?’”

Coworker: “I suppose they can, but that’s hearsay.”

I roll my eyes.

Coworker: “I suppose you never learned it in school.”

Me: “I did, in third grade, but I never had to use it. The last time I wrote in cursive was in high school when I took the SATs. They made us write two or three sentences in cursive before we could take the test, saying we weren’t going to cheat.”

Coworker: “See, when I was in school, they taught us cursive and then everything had to be in cursive.”

Me: “Well, now, everything is typed, so people don’t need to know how to read and write in cursive. Teachers are picky about fonts now. They usually require one of three ‘professional-looking’ fonts: Times New Roman, Calibri, and I forget the third one that I was allowed to pick from. I always chose Times New Roman because I think it looks the best.”

Coworker: “Times New Roman is the font they use in newspapers because everyone can read it. But still, you young people can’t read cursive, and I guess all of my written instructions are just going to be ignored because they can’t read cursive here.”

While she’s ranting, I grab a scrap piece of paper and write, “I can write in cursive when I want,” on it in cursive. It’s a bit sloppy because I haven’t written in cursive in such a long time, but it’s legible.

Coworker: “Hm. See, I would write it like this.”

She writes the same thing in neat cursive.

Me: “I haven’t used it since high school!”

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You Don’t Have An Inside Voice But You Still Have To Come Inside

, , , | Right | July 19, 2021

My store offers online grocery shopping. We do not accept orders over the phone, we never have, and we never will. The company also recently changed the payment system, so when the customer places an order they have two options: 1) pay online; or 2) select the EBT option and come inside the store to pay. Maybe three or four customers out of four hundred pay inside since it’s easier on everyone to just pay online.

I am not a manager, but I am the shift lead, so I do deal with difficult customers. A coworker flags me down. This coworker is still relatively new and doesn’t quite know how to not let customers bully her into getting their way. She is on the phone with someone.

Coworker: “I’m going to pass you off to someone more senior who can answer your question.”

She gives me the phone and flashes me an “I’m sorry” look.

Me: “This is [My Name].”

Customer: “[My Name], listen. I’m going to be there in five minutes. I have some stuff I need you to grab and hold for me until I get there.”

We are super busy and short-staffed. We are just barely keeping up with orders as they come in. We do not have time to do anything else.

Me: “Did you place an online order?”

Customer: “No, but I’ve seen you do this for other people. So, I need a chicken, a lemon meringue pie—”

Me: “Ma’am, if you did not place an online order, then we cannot grab items for you and hold them.”

Customer: “Sure you can. Anyway—”

Me: “No. The only way we will grab items for you is if you place an online order.”

Customer: “I don’t want to do that.”

Me: “That’s the only way for us to get what you want.”

Customer: “I’ve seen you hold stuff for other people. You place their stuff in those cabinets.”

Me: “They place their orders online. If you place an order online, we will grab what you want.”

Customer: “I just want a chicken and—”

Me: “Ma’am, even if we did grab that stuff, you would still have to come inside the store to pay.”

Customer: “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I HAVE TO COME INSIDE? OTHER PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO GO INSIDE!”

Me: “We did away with curbside payments months ago. Everyone who places an order pays online.”

Customer: “I can’t just give you my card over the phone?”

Me: “No, and we will not shop for you unless you place an online order.”

Customer: “I don’t know how to do that.”

Me: “Just go online to [Store Website] and select ‘Order groceries.’”

Customer: *Grumbles something*

Me: “Have a good day.” *Hangs up*

Coworker: “Thank you. I didn’t know what to do.”

Me: “It’s 2:55. No way she’s getting an order in today.”

The cut-off for same-day pickup is 3:00 pm. My next move was to tell her that the next available time slot wasn’t until 7:30 that evening — after the twenty people in line ahead of her — but that we were running behind so it would be even later.

Coworker: “She was so insistent, and she told me she works in the deli so she knows the system.”

Me: “She works here?!”

Coworker: “That’s what she said, but I didn’t catch her name.”

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A Very Patient Patient

, , , , | Healthy | July 7, 2021

I’ve just begun seeing this psychiatrist for treatment for ADD after having been diagnosed by a different doctor who, unfortunately, was too far away for me to see him regularly.

First, I go over history, habits, etc. with her.

Me: “I’ve read that [Drug #1] is more commonly used to treat this, but [Drug #2] has less anxiety-inducing side effects, and I think that that might be the better choice for me—”

Doctor #1: “Oh, no, you don’t want to take either of those. They can both be addictive, but [Drug #3] works just as well and doesn’t have nearly so many terrible side effects.”

Me: “Oh, all right! That sounds a lot better. Let’s try that!”

She then goes over what she says are all the potential side effects I need to worry about and writes me a prescription. Two weeks later, I return for my first follow-up.

Doctor #1: “So, how do you like them?”

Me: “I don’t know. They make me sick to my stomach. Most days, I throw up for the first time pretty soon after taking them, even if I’m sure to do it with food and without anything else that might upset my stomach, so I don’t think they’re actually being properly absorbed, and then I’m sick throughout the day. When I can keep them down, I still get very nauseous. I’m having headaches and feeling really tired.”

Doctor #1: “That’s normal while you’re starting the medication. You just need to keep taking it; your body will adjust.”

Me: “Even though I’m throwing it up almost every day?”

Doctor #1: “Yes, it’s still getting into your system. You’ll see.”

Me: “And the headaches and tiredness?”

Doctor #1: “The headaches will go away, and tiredness isn’t a side effect of this drug. You need to make sure you’re maintaining a good sleep schedule; that way, you’ll be able to separate your regular feelings from the medication. Just stick with it.”

Two weeks after that, I go back again.

Me: “I haven’t been getting sick quite as much, but the headaches and drowsiness are really bad, even on days when I’m getting eight hours. Also, does this medication react with alcohol at all? Because I was at a party and I had a drink, and I started feeling way too intoxicated for just having had one drink.”

Doctor #1: “What? You must never drink while you’re taking this medication! You shouldn’t drink at all — it’s so bad for you — but if you drink while you’re on this medication, it will kill you!”

Me: “I told you in the intake interview that I drank occasionally. Why didn’t you warn me?”

Doctor #1: “You shouldn’t drink at all! It’s terrible for you! You’re so lucky nothing else happened to you!”

So, I give up drinking. At her insistence, I keep taking the medication, in part because she’s told me that she won’t prescribe me anything else, despite me requesting that she change it multiple times. I assume that since she’s a doctor, she must know better than I do, even though the side effects still remain and I haven’t noticed many changes in my symptoms.

After ten months, I start seeing a psychotherapist for different reasons, and when she hears about what’s been going on, she insists that I take her referral to a different psychiatrist.

Doctor #2: “So, you’ve been taking [Drug #3] for eight months? Have you noticed your symptoms improving?”

Me: “A little, I guess. I think it’s hard to tell because I’ve been so tired lately. I know that that’s not supposed to be a side effect for [Drug #3], but I’ve been making sure I get enough sleep and it’s still a problem.”

Doctor #2: “You noticed you were becoming tired after you started [Drug #3]? You know, just because something isn’t one of the listed side effects, it doesn’t mean it can’t possibly happen. So that’s made it hard for you to tell if your symptoms are improving?”

I’m encouraged that he hasn’t just dismissed me.

Me: “Yes, definitely. And the headaches. They’ve been so bad that I can’t focus at all sometimes.”

Doctor #2: *Taking notes* “Are those all the side effects you’ve noticed?”

Me: “Well, it doesn’t happen as frequently now, but probably once a week I’ll end up throwing up from the meds.”

Doctor #2: “Once a week isn’t frequent?”

Me: “It used to be almost every day. My old doctor said it was just my body adjusting to the medication.”

Doctor #2: “How long did that go on?”

Me: “The first few months? When I first started, I’d be sick throughout the day, but after a while, it would just happen right after I took the pills. Now, though, I’m usually just nauseous for a while, but sometimes that gets so bad that I need to lie down.”

Doctor #2: “So, we’ve got drowsiness, nausea, and headaches. Anything else?”

Me: “No. The only other weird reaction was when I drank, which I found out I wasn’t supposed to do.”

Doctor #2: “Not supposed to drink?”

Me: “Yeah, my other doctor told me afterward about how it can be deadly, so losing some of my equilibrium seems like a fair trade-off since that’s the only bad thing that happened.”

Doctor #2: “There are warnings about drinking on [Drug #3] because it can increase the effects of alcohol on your system, but the only life-threatening concerns are for binge drinkers, because [Drug #3] could exacerbate liver damage. Your doctor told you drinking on [Drug #3] was prohibited?”

Me: “She basically told me that it would be fatal.”

Doctor #2: “All right. Well, first of all, that’s not true. Second, since you’re having such bad side effects from [Drug #3] and you haven’t noticed much improvement, I’d recommend switching medications, all right?”

He ended up prescribing me [Drug #2], the same drug that I requested from my first doctor during our first appointment. It’s been a month, and all the drowsiness, nausea, and headaches are gone, along with a lot of my initial symptoms. Let this be a warning: if your doctor refuses to work with you to find an acceptable course of treatment and you have any other options at all, explore them! An MD doesn’t always mean that the doctor knows best.

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What Part Of “DO NOT” Confuses You?

, , , , , | Legal | June 2, 2021

We have several signs around our property that say things like, “Do Not Enter,” “Beware of Dog,” “No Trespassing,” “If you can read this, you’re in range,” “No Soliciting,” “Smile, you’re on camera,” etc. It’s a farm. It’s rural. We have dogs, livestock, signs, cameras, guns, and a half-mile-long gravel driveway. We are NOT “solicitor-friendly.”

I noticed that the cameras were alerting on the driveway on occasion with a red sedan, maybe once a week or so. A guy would walk to the door, knock, and then leave when there was no answer. He never left a card or anything.

Usually, if I’m out on the property, on the tractor or working with animals or whatever, I’ll have a gun on my hip to deal with snakes or other wildlife.

One day, I was at the house. There was a knock, so I opened the door. I just got in for lunch and was wearing muck boots, flannel, dirty jeans… and a gun. A holstered gun that was never touched. Not once.

Me: *Matter-of-factly* “Can I help you?”

This poor lad turned five shades of white.

Man: “I- I’m s-s-so sorry t-to disturb y-you!”

And he retreated quicker than a rabbit.

Thirty minutes later, a local deputy knocked on the door.

Deputy: “We got a report that you pulled a gun and threatened someone who came here.”

He knew me and knew that wouldn’t happen unless unavoidably necessary. My cameras showed only outside the house, not anyone inside the house at the door, so they didn’t show me. My cameras did, however, show this dimwit blowing past multiple signs warning people not to enter the property and him doing so anyway. The officer laughed, we chatted a while, and he left.

There have been no further uninvited visitors, and I still don’t know what he wanted.

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