God Acts; Warranties Break

, , , , | Right | December 2, 2018

(About a week or so ago, there was a fairly large earthquake in the region which caused a reasonable amount of damage. I am working at the customer services desk one night when a customer comes in carrying a large TV.)

Customer: “Hi. I bought this TV a few months ago, and it fell over in the earthquake. Now it is no longer working.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, sir, but there is nothing we can do about that here; you will need to contact your insurance company.”

Customer: “But it has a one-year warranty.”

Me: “Yes… but it is a warranty against manufacturing defects, not against physical damage caused by the earthquake. You will need to contact your insurance company about obtaining a replacement.”

Customer: “But… it’s broken and it has a warranty. Why can’t you fix it?”

Me: “Because the damage is not covered by the warranty. Warranties do not cover Acts of God; that is the job of insurance companies. The manufacturer will not cover damage that is not their fault.”

Customer: “But… there’s a one-year warranty, and the TV is no longer working. Why can’t you fix it?”

Me: *sighs heavily*

(He eventually left with his TV after several more exchanges where I tried to explain that there was no way he would be able to get his TV repaired under the warranty.)

A Hurricane Of The Same Call  

, , , , , | Right | November 18, 2018

(A few weeks ago we were hit by Hurricane Matthew, and a lot of people are calling to make sure it is safe for their upcoming visit. The damage was fairly minimal and cleanup lasted only a few days, but of course news stations are hyping it up for ratings, so a lot of people don’t believe us when we say the city is fine. After dozens of calls repeating the same spiel over and over, I decide to have a little fun with people.)

Caller: *in a very thick southern accent* “Hi, this is [Caller] and I’m calling from Texas. We saw about the hurricane on the news and as we’re visiting your city in a few weeks I just wanted to call and make sure everything was all right for our visit.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we’re still under eight feet of water. I actually had to swim into the office today. On the bright side, we don’t have to worry about traffic!”

(She is silent for a moment, and I’m afraid I may have offended her, but then she bursts out laughing.)

Caller: “You are a Texas joker! You’re funny; you would fit in just fine down here, darling.'”

(She asked me a few more questions about her stay and then concluded the call. The whole situation was incredibly stressful, but that call made my week!)

Snow Way!

, , , , | Right | November 17, 2018

(I live in New England, it’s the end of October, and it’s snowing out. It’s not unheard of to be snowing this time of year, but it’s also not very common. This exchange happens at the front desk of the library.)

Patron: “It’s snowing out!”

Me: “I know! I hope it doesn’t last long.”

Patron: *disappointed* “Aw, I wanted to surprise you.”

Me: “Oh, sorry! Wait, say it again.”

Patron: *exaggerating* “IT’S SNOWING OUT!”

Me: *exaggerating back* “WHAT?! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”

Drowning In Complaints

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2018

(Our state has recently been impacted by a hurricane. Our office headquarters is in the western part of the state, so we got some pretty bad rain but no flooding or power outages. Some of our eastern locations were hit pretty hard and many are still closed or recovering. For the last week I’ve gotten at least a dozen calls that went something like this:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Office]. How may I direct your call?”

Caller: “Yes, I want to know why my [Office] location isn’t open.”

Me: “Which location would that be, ma’am?”

Caller: “In [City affected by the hurricane].”

Me: “Well, ma’am, that area was hit pretty hard by the hurricane, and many of our locations are still recovering.”

Caller: “But the storm is over! Why aren’t they open?”

Me: *quickly checking the map location online* “Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that location is still inaccessible.”

Caller: “What the h*** does that mean?”

Me: *pause* “It’s still underwater, ma’am.”

Caller: “Well… they… they should still find a way to be open!” *hangs up*

Me: *head-desk*

(Don’t get me wrong; I’m very concerned for the people still dealing with the effects of being hit by a storm that severe, but you would think that a building still being nearly submerged in flood water is a good reason for that business to not be back open yet.)

The Power Of Social Media To Do Good

, , , , , | Hopeless | November 8, 2018

On September 19th, 2017, Mexico City and the surrounding states were hit by a powerful earthquake. Many buildings collapsed, and over 300 people died.

I belong to a Facebook group aimed at people trying to learn a foreign language, and its members come from all around the world. On the day of the earthquake, I posted on the group asking for prayers, no matter the religion, as well as support messages for those in need.

The next day, I woke up to see thousands of replies. There were prayers from many Christian denominations, from Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., as well as messages from over a hundred countries. My friends and I organised to deliver food wherever it was needed, and I made sure that everything we gave out had one of the messages I received.

It taught me two very important lessons. The first one is that we can be brought together no matter what your religion or your nationality is. The second one is that you can always count on another language nerd for help.

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