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A Fitting Moniker

, , , , , , , | Working | May 17, 2022

Someone once put up a nameplate in our engineering office:

Nameplate: “Herdaing Katz, engineering manager.”

I have no idea if it was an actual person or not. I was afraid to ask!

Just Can’t Put Your Finger On It

, , , , , , | Learning | May 11, 2022

When I was in sixth grade, I played the flute in band. We didn’t have lockers at the school, but the band room did have cubbies, so we’d usually leave our instruments in our cubbies and get them after school so it was one less thing to cart around.

One day, a friend and I stayed after for a club and we stopped in the band room on the way out to get our instruments. We ended up running into another friend and started a conversation. Then, he got a message that his mom was waiting outside.

Friend: “Hey, [My Name], my mom’s outside. We gotta go.”

Me: “Okay, just let me get my flute.”

I went back to my cubby and my flute was missing.

Me: “Hey, [Friend], have you seen my flute?”

Friend: “…[My Name]?”

Me: “No, seriously, we’ve got to find my flute.” *Starting to panic* “Oh, my God, if it got stolen… It’s not even mine yet!”

Friend: “[My Name].”

Me: “Crap. Where’s my flute? Where’s [Teacher]?”

Friend: “[My Name].”

Me: “No, I’m serious! My parents are still paying this off! It’s not my flute yet! If it got stolen, I’m—”

Friend: *Grabbing my arm* “[My Name]!”

Me: “What?”

Friend: *Lifts my hand* “Is this what you were looking for?”

Yes, I had in fact been holding my flute the entire time. Both my friends were laughing at me; I kind of started to laugh at it, too.

Friend: “I was surprised it took you so long. You looked right at it like five times.”

Me: “Let’s just go. Never tell anyone about this.”

Of course, being the twelve- and thirteen-year-olds that we were, it kind of became a running joke for him to remind me to make sure I had my flute.

Don’t Discount Their Ability To Assume The World Revolves Around Them

, , , , | Right | May 9, 2022

It’s senior day, which means, of course, we’re slammed.

Customer: “What’s the senior discount on?”

Me: “Ten percent on corporate brand food items, and on home and apparel items.”

After I’ve finished her order and handed her the receipt:

Customer: “Can you show me where I got my discount?”

I’ve already started the next order, so I have to stop.

Me: “Okay, so it shows it here on your receipt. Only corporate brand items get the discount.”

I think that’s the end of it, but no, she sticks around until I’m done, staring at her receipt.

Customer: *Huffily* “Can you wait before starting the next order so you can explain it to me?”

Me: “…”

Fortunately, there was a manager nearby I was able to flag down to help her. Sure, just let me hold up the whole line because you didn’t listen to me the first time. That’ll end well.

USB Knowledge Is Not Universal

, , , , , , , | Right | April 26, 2022

I work in IT for a bank. We are a comparatively small bank; we only have a handful of branches throughout the Pacific Northwest. We are mainly phone support, and while we do onsite support, it is usually equipment setup for new locations or occasionally cabling issues. As a rule, though, the users usually have to help out a bit.

One night, one of our techs gets a call and through his troubleshooting comes to realize that the teller just needs to plug the device into a different USB port. Simple, right? Apparently not.

I only hear his side of the conversation at the time, but he relates everything to us afterward.

Tech: “You’ll need to plug the sig pad into a different port. There should be one available on the front of the computer that you can use.”

User: “Can you send someone out to do this?”

We were based in Seattle, Washington. This branch is in southern Oregon and it is about 3:45 on a Friday.

Tech: “I can try, but we don’t usually send someone out for something like this. And it would be Monday or Tuesday at the earliest before they can get down there.”

User: “Well, what am I supposed to do? I’m eight months pregnant! I can’t be crawling all over that floor! You need to send someone out to do this now!”

Tech: “Is there someone else in the branch who can help you? Like I said, I can see if we can get someone, but it’s going to be next week before they’re down there.”

User: “I’m eight months pregnant! You need to send someone out now!”

Tech: “Look, it’s 3:45 on a Friday. We’re all closed on the weekend, and honestly, I don’t think my manager is going to approve the mileage for someone to come out just to swap that port. Is there someone else who can help you out currently?”

User: “Ugh. Fine!” *Muffles phone* “[Coworker]! I need help!”

She got someone over and they were able to swap the port easily. Guess what? Her issue was resolved! The tech understood her not wanting to get on the floor, but really, how is us driving down there going to be easier than asking a coworker to help? And in the time it took her to try and force the visit, she could have swapped it about fifteen times.

Their Strategy Could Use Some Adjusting

, , , , , | Working | April 25, 2022

There’s a comic shop near my work that has a small pub in the basement. Today, I go in around 5:00 pm for a pint and a panini and have no problem ordering either. I pick up from the conversation around me that the bartender is new, being trained by the manager on break at the other end of the bar. [Manager] is griping about a different staff member, but I tune it out and enjoy my food.

My beer starts getting low in my glass and I decide I’d like another one, so I look up to try to catch the bartender’s eye. She’s down at the other end of the bar (about fifteen feet away), talking with [Manager] and a couple of other off-the-clock people. That’s fine, I’ll wait a few minutes before flagging her down.

A few minutes stretch to ten, and I’m out of beer. The bartender has not moved. I start trying to make myself more visible and trying to come up with a non-snarky way to interrupt. Several times, I think someone in the off-the-clock group has glanced my way, but they are all deeply focused on discussing ways to get more customers.

The bartender is expounding on how “beer people spend loads of money” and that craft beer is a major draw for this place. I look down at my empty glass and begin to weigh the merits of interjecting, even though it’ll very likely come off a bit rude.

At the twenty-minute mark, the only other customer at the bar looks up from his phone to see me staring hopefully at the cluster of bar staff.

Other Customer: “Oh, did you want another beer? Let me get that for you.”

Yep, he’s ALSO an employee. I am the only non-staff member at the bar. The cluster of staff at the other end suddenly perks back up.

Manager: “Sorry about that. We were talking about beer! And our bartender has kind of a vision issue…”

I get my second beer. Every five minutes, a different member of staff checks on me. I ask for the check — I have a tab open, so they have my card — and never get the total, before or after tip. While trying to put my wallet back in my bag, I fumble and drop it on the floor, so I crouch down, pick it up, and shove it in the bag where it belongs. Total time out of my chair: six seconds.

Other Customer: “Are you okay?!”

Me: “Yes?”

Other Customer: “I saw you on the floor!

Me: “I dropped my wallet on the floor, so I had to pick it up… off the floor?”

Other Customer: “Oh. Sorry.”

I take full responsibility for not speaking up earlier — I have a hard time interjecting into conversations, especially those of total strangers — but I’ve never had a bar staff swing so hard from normal customer service into full-on ignoring the only non-staff customer — especially while loudly discussing how to get more custom!