There’s A Lot In A Number

, , , , , | Right | March 14, 2019

(I work in reservations for hotels and properties, and we are supposed to ask for customers’ names and contact numbers. This lady calls in all nice.)

Customer: “Can I please see what you have available? I’m flying in from [Location].”

Me: “Sure, may I have a good number to contact you in case we get disconnected?”

Customer: *silence*

Me: *silence*

Customer: “Did you seriously just ask me, a customer, that? Did you honestly think that was a good question? In fact, are you new? I don’t know how long you were trained for, but you obviously need to go back because your trainer has done a poor job.”

Me: “I’m sorry? I don’t understand.”

Customer: “And that is exactly the problem. In fact, I really want to speak to your manager; you really do not need to be on the phones. I can’t believe you would actually say, ‘I’m sorry?’ to a customer. My five-year-old can express himself better.”

(I just asked this lady for her phone number.)

Unfiltered Story #122393

, , , | Unfiltered | October 6, 2018

(I’m a bartender, so getting low or no tips comes with the territory. Other customers always make up for the cheap ones, so you move on. However, I always remember faces. A week prior to this, a guest paid his tab with a gift card which had a remaining balance of $2.78 on it. He wrote $6.00 in the tip portion, so he meant well, but obviously I could only claim the $2.78. He returned, and when it came time to pay, he pulled out the same gift card.)

Guest: “I’m not sure what is left on this.”

Me: *swipes card* “There’s nothing on this card, sir.”

Guest: *angrily hands me credit card* “There should be, I know I didn’t use it all last time.”

Me: “Sir, last time I’m fairly positive you paid with this card, there was a remaining balance of $2.78, which you left as the tip.”

Guest: “That is not possible, I always tip very well.”

Me: “Yes, sir, you did write $6.00 as the tip last week.”

Guest: *nods and sighs exasperatedly*

Me: “But the system does not allow me to claim an amount greater than what is left on the card. I do apologize, but there is nothing left on this gift card. There is nothing I can do. If you feel this is incorrect, the number for our corporate office is on your receipt. Again, I do apologize for the misunderstanding, and hope you enjoy the rest of your day.”

(At this point, I hand him his card and slips back, and go outside to smoke because I’m a little frustrated. The man is always impeccably dressed and drives a wonderful vehicle, so I’m a perturbed that he complained about money. I return inside, look at the credit slip. He originally had wrote $0 for the tip, but I’m assuming he couldn’t go through with that, and crossed it out to write in $8.00 instead. I appreciated it of course, but the whole situation was just odd.)

Shaking Things Up With Your Order

, , , , , , | Working | March 7, 2018

(I only live a few minutes away from my work, so I stop there frequently for a bite to eat. The previous night, when I was working, the machine that handles all of the mochas, lattes, etc., was broken, so I keep that in mind when I find a coupon with a deal giving you a free coffee drink when you buy a big sandwich. After I pull up to the speaker and get the greeting…)

Me: “Is your coffee machine working?”

Coworker: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I’d like to get [sandwich] and a mint mocha.”

(I get the total, pay at the first window, and go to the second window to get my food. I get my sandwich, but when my second coworker hands me my drink…)

Me: “Uh, I asked for a mint mocha, not a mint shake.”

(My second coworker looks a little confused, and the shift manager comes over to see what the deal is.)

Me: “I asked for a mocha, not a shake.” *holds up the wrong drink*

Manager: “Oh, the machine is broken.”

Me: “I even asked if it was working before I ordered.”

Manager: “I don’t have the smartest people on my shift today.” *walks away*

(I drove home with my correct sandwich and incorrect drink, still a little confused. I went to the survey website and gave my two cents about my experience, but I really couldn’t get too annoyed, as it was a free drink.)

Unfiltered Story #101123

, , , | Unfiltered | December 5, 2017

(We have an EXTREMELY large locust tree that has begun to show irreparable dieback following some unavoidable root damage. I’m pretty sure it needs to be removed, but am hopeful for any slight chances that a local arborist can save it. I start calling several tree-removal and trimming services for their assessment and quotes. The first business I call has no answering machine, but the owner returns my missed call sometime later.)

Me: “I’ve got a large honey locust, and I need someone to give me an estimate on removal, or on saving it if possible.”

Owner: “When are you free for an estimate?”

Me: “I’ve got all day today, and tomorrow afternoon.”

Owner: “I’ve got [Employee] in the area. I can send him over pretty soon for an estimate. Just give me your email address, since that’s how we’re sending out our estimates these days.”

Me: “Great! My email is [address]. Just so you know, though, I’ll be around for only another hour and 15 minutes, and then I’ll have to run out quickly for about 30 minutes. But after that I’ll be home. Is that a problem?”

Owner: “No problem; he’s close. Just text me your info and I’ll send him over.”

Me: “Great!”

(Twenty minutes later:)

Owner: *texting* “On his way now.”

(Forty-five minutes later:)

Me: *text* “I have to leave and get my daughter from preschool. If [Employee] is still on his way, he is welcome to head to the backyard (tree is obvious) and fill me in when I get back around [twenty-five minutes later].”

(Ten minutes later:)

Owner: *text* “He is there now; I’m sorry.”

(Fifteen minutes later:)

Me: *text* “I have returned home and no one is here.”

(I figured he’d come and gone and I’d get my emailed estimate. But 30 minutes after THAT, [Employee] and an assistant show up. The assistant is wearing only flip-flops, which didn’t do her feet any favors when she tripped over my rosebush on the way to the tree. In contrast, the next set of arborists to show up for an evaluation were both dressed in really sturdy workboots.)

Employee: “That tree is pretty far gone. Removal would be about $[range], but we could probably save it with a crown reduction for [$500 less], if you found someone to take the firewood and didn’t pay us to haul it.”

Me: “Well, I sure would like to save it if you think it’s got a decent chance.”

Employee: “Yeah, I think it’ll do pretty well. I bet we could get it scheduled this Friday.”

Me: “I don’t want to schedule it yet. I’ve got a couple other companies coming to give estimates through the end of the week. Can you please email me an estimate, and I’ll get back to you Friday if I want to go ahead?”

Employee: “Sure, no problem. Here, write down your email address for me.”

(I do, but I get no estimate in my inbox. Friday, I get a phone call.)

Owner: “Hey, this is [Owner] of [Tree Service.] The rain delayed one of yesterday’s jobs, so I was wondering if we could reschedule coming out for your tree until this afternoon?”

Me: “I’m sorry; what?”

Owner: “We can’t make it at ten, is it okay if I come out at two?”

Me: “I’m confused; what are we rescheduling?”

Owner: “The removal of your locust tree. We had it scheduled for right now.”

Me: “I didn’t have that scheduled.”

Owner: “Do I have the right number? Do you have the honey locust at [street address].”

Me: “I do, but I told [Employee] I was still getting estimates. I never scheduled. He never even emailed an estimate.”

Owner: “[Employee] had you scheduled for today.”

Me: “I am not prepared to have this tree removed today, and I need an emailed estimate first in any case.”

Owner: “I’m sorry about that; can I get your email.”

Me: “It’s [address].”

(I ended the call with as little frost as possible (“cordially” was beyond my capacity at the time). I still haven’t received the formal estimate. It was the highest of the three I got by far AND the only one that didn’t include deadwood removal, so I’m not too sad about letting them go.)

Stuck In The Middle (Name) With You

, , , , | Right | June 28, 2017

(I work in an insurance sales office. I occasionally have to field calls from people who are irritated by getting solicitation letters from us. Generally these are letters that have been sent out by the corporate office, but have the local agent’s name as the sender. There’s not a lot I can do but apologize and try to elicit the name and address so I can put them on our internal “do not mail” list. Sometimes they don’t want to give me that information and if that’s the case, there’s really nothing I can do for them.)

Caller: “I received a letter from you addressed to [Full Name With Middle Name #1], but my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

(The first and last names are identical.)

Me: “Okay, what kind of letter is it?”

Caller: “It’s a letter. But my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2]. It is not [Full Name With Middle Name #1]. My father’s name is [Full Name With Middle Name #1].”

(I try mightily to discover if it is a solicitation letter, or if this caller is an actual customer of Insurance Company so I can figure out what to do with him.)

Caller: “I have an insurance policy with [Insurance Company]. My name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

(I can’t find him in our database anywhere so I try the tack that I can take him off the mailing list if he will give me his address. He finally does, insisting all the while that he is Full Name With Middle Name #2. His father’s name is Full Name With Middle Name #1 but he lives in California. I offer again to take his address off the mailing list. He finally gives me the address.)

Caller: “The letter came to my address. It says ‘20% off.’”

(Ah, it is a solicitation letter!)

Caller: “But my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

Me: “I understand that. I expect some database somewhere has some wrong information in it.”

(We cycle through this part a couple more times.)

Me: “Would you like a quote for insurance?”

Caller: “I already have insurance with you.”

Me: *he doesn’t, but who cares?* “In that case, what is it you want me to do?”

Caller: “My name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2]. The letter came to my address but it says [Full Name With Middle Name #1].”

Me: *getting beyond tired of going around this circle* “I get that. Was there something you were hoping to accomplish with this phone call?”

Caller: “My name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2]. I got this letter at my address but it says [Full Name With Middle Name #1].”

Me: “I understand. Since it is not for you, I suggest that you throw it away.”

Caller: “But my name is [Full Name With Middle Name #2].”

Me: “Yes. You should throw the letter away because it is not for you.”

Caller: *very reluctantly* “I guess I will throw it away.”

Me: “Yes, you do that.”

Caller: *still reluctant* “I will throw it away.”

Me: “Yes, throw it away. Goodbye.” *hangs up*

(My boss overheard my side of this conversation and told me I was “too nice.” And he let me ignore the phone when the guy called again a few minutes later. Thank goodness he didn’t leave a message so I didn’t have to return the call!)