Time To Teach Time Travel

| Indiana, USA | Working | December 29, 2012

(I am a substitute teacher. This takes place on Picture Day, where all the kids go with their homeroom teachers to have school pictures taken. After about a quarter of my students have sat for their portraits and are sitting quietly near me while they wait for their classmates to finish, the principal comes in to the room.)

Principal: “You need to take the students who are finished back to your classroom. They can’t just loiter in here.”

Me: “But, I thought I wasn’t supposed to leave any student unattended.”

Principal: “That’s right.”

Me: “So, I have to walk each student, as they are finished, back to my classroom?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “And, then, return here to escort the next student?”

Principal: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

(I proceed to escort the 6-8 students who were finished back to my classroom. I then return to the cafeteria, where portraits are being taken. Just then, the principal walks in, seemingly livid.)

Principal: “What did I tell you about leaving students unattended?”

Me: “I’m confused. I thought I was supposed to escort each student back to my classroom, and then return here for the next student.”

Principal: “Yes! That’s right!”

Me: “But, to do that, the students in the classroom would be left unattended.”

Principal: “Students should NEVER be unattended!”

Me: “Then, should I stay in the classroom and tell students to just return to my room when the portraits are done?”

Principal: “What are you thinking?! Students should never be left unattended in the classroom, in the cafeteria, or in the hallways.”

Me: “Let me see if I am getting this right: I am supposed to be in the cafeteria throughout the time the portraits are being taken so the kids aren’t unattended in the cafeteria. I am also supposed to escort each and every student back to my classroom so they aren’t unattended in the hallways. Once I take a student back to the classroom, I’m supposed to stay there so that they aren’t left unattended in my room. Is that right?”

Principal: “YES! God, why is that so hard to figure out? At this rate, it’ll be a miracle if you don’t flunk out of your master’s program.”

Me: “So, tell me, how am I supposed to be in the cafeteria, in my classroom, and escorting students in the hallway all at the same time?”

Principal: “You are the teacher. That is your job to figure out. Now, get it done!” *storms off*

(I did my best to bend the laws of physics and reality to accomplish his directive, but it didn’t work. In the end, I ended up having to leave the students unattended in the cafeteria, where at least the adult photographer and school secretary were present. At the end of the day, I was relieved from my position as a long-term substitute teacher for “Endangering the safety of students by leaving them unattended.”)

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Customer Service Can Be A Stumbling Block

| Canada | Working | December 29, 2012

(I’ve lost my wallet. I spend an entire week frantically re-tracing my steps on foot—over 40 city blocks—checking my university’s lost and found, and looking in my mailbox to see if someone had returned it. Finally, I give up hope. I pay for new IDs and cancel my cards. But several days later, someone from university calls to report it has been found. I am on the phone to reactivate my credit card.)

Me: “Hi, I reported my card lost, but now I have it and would like to reactivate.”

Representative: “Why did you report it lost if you have it?”

Me: “I lost my wallet and didn’t expect to get it back. But I have it now. Can you reactivate my card?”

Representative: *sighs* “Okay, but I have to verify some info from your account.”

Me: *answers*

Representative: “…and where was your last purchase made?”

Me: *answers*

Representative: *rudely* “Do you recognize charge from [other store]?”

Me: “Yes, but that was purchased earlier in the same day. You asked for the last purchase. Now can you reactivate my card? I’ve given you plenty of info.”

Representative: “Okay, I’ll reactivate your account, but just so you know, you should never report your card stolen if it’s not serious. That feature is for emergency use only!”

Me: “I never said it was stolen; it was lost. I didn’t want anyone finding and using my card.”

Representative: “Well, you still shouldn’t have done that. Obviously it was in your house all along and you just couldn’t figure out where.”

Me: *click*

Customer Service People

| Working | December 28, 2012

This Rep Has A Lot Of ‘Spaining To Do

| AZ, USA | Working | December 28, 2012

(I notice on my most recent statement that the fee for my student account has suddenly jumped from $3 to $12, so I call the bank’s customer service line.)

Service Rep: “How can I help you today?”

Me: “Hi, I was checking my statement and the fee for my checking account has suddenly tripled for no reason. I need that corrected.”

Service Rep: “Oh, I’m sorry; it’s probably just a glitch. What was the amount on your statement?”

Me: “Twelve dollars. It’s normally three.”

Service Rep: “Hm… no, that account’s always been twelve. We don’t have a three dollar account.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m looking at my statements for the last year and my online account information and it clearly says it’s been three dollars until a month ago. There’s been an error somewhere in your system.”

Service Rep: “No ma’am, you’re the one that’s wrong. Our system never makes mistakes. We’ve never had a three dollar account.”

Me: “Excuse me, but I’m an unemployed college student living off of grants and loans. I signed up for the discount student account as I could not afford the twelve dollars for the standard account. I was quoted three dollars a month on signup. I’ve been paying three dollars a month up until last month, and I have the paperwork that YOUR company provided to prove that.”

Service Rep: “Well, if you just did ten or more transactions a month, it would be free and you wouldn’t have this problem at all.”

Me: “I have no income aside from my grants and loans for school. Pray tell, what money am I supposed to make these transactions with? That’s beside the point anyway: the error is in your system and you need to fix it.”

Service Rep: “Our system doesn’t make mistakes! Ugh! You must be reading the paperwork wrong or hallucinating or something. How are you in college if you can’t even understand such a simple concept?!”

Me: “I need you to close my account, right now.”

Service Rep: “Oh, fine! If you’re going to get your panties in a twist, I’ll refund the charge, but you really need to understand that you’re going to be charged and it’s going to be twelve dollars a month. You agreed to do whatever we want when you opened the account.”

Me: “NO. Close my account. Now. I will not be doing business with this company anymore. Close the account, and while you’re at it, give me your name and work extension as well as the name of your supervisor. I’m going to file a complaint.”

Service Rep: “I’ll close the account but I’m not giving you any of that other stuff! Who do you think you are, the Queen of Spain or something? How DARE you ask for my personal information?! You’re obviously some kind of scammer. I’ll be reporting you to corporate to make sure you don’t open another account to commit more fraud. Goodbye!” *click*

(I called corporate later with the reference numbers for the transactions and they found the horrible rep that way. I found out she’d been fired immediately after she’d ended the call with me. I still refused to reopen my account.)

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Minute Minds

| Vancouver, Canada | Working | December 28, 2012

(I work at a very popular American breakfast food restaurant. I take public transit to work, but one Sunday morning I find out the hard way that the Skytrain does not start running until 7:30 am. I was booked to start at six, so, needless to say, I was late.)

Manager: “I know you take public transit, but you have to time it so you can be here on time. We can’t afford to have you always showing up late because of transit.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. I’ll just consistently be here 30 minutes early.”

(A week later…)

Manager: “No staff can be here more than ten minutes before their shift. The staff room is too small, and it is distracting for the kitchen staff to have others hanging around.”

Me: “So, do you want me to take the earlier bus still?”

Manager: “Yes.”

Me: “But you don’t want me here more than ten minutes early?”

Manager: “Yes”

Me: “Even though my bus comes every half an hour, so taking the earlier bus means I will be here 30 minutes early?”

Manager: “Not my problem. You need to deal with it!”

(I ‘quit’ soon after that. And by ‘quit,’ I mean they stopped giving me hours but kept my name on the schedule. However, the turnover rate was so high that by the time I had been working there for two months, I was the senior hostess.)

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