Time To Try Another Tactic

| Working | December 7, 2012

(Note: I work for a family-run business. My father is the owner, and I am his only child, a girl. My father and I are the only ones in the office when a call comes in.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [business], this is Sarah. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I would like to speak to [my father] right away.”

Me: “May I tell him who’s calling? ”

Caller: *snottily* “No, you may not! Just put me through.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but [father] is on the phone at the moment. May I tell him who’s calling?”

Caller: “I don’t care! Tell him that his daughter is on the line and it’s very important!”

Me: “I’m sorry, who did you say? ”

Caller: “UGH! I said I’m his daughter. Can’t you hear? Now, put me through!”

(I pull the phone half an inch away from my face as if I’m talking to someone off the phone.)

Me: “Hey, Dad! It’s me from the future on line one. Do you want the spoilers or not?”

Caller: *click*

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Vigilance Is Our Salvation

| Working | December 7, 2012

(I’m going early in the morning to my usual grocery store. Despite the fact that Halloween hasn’t passed yet, there are two Salvation Army people in the parking lot.)

Salvation Army Lady: “Spare some change?”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t have any.”

Salvation Army Man: “Sweetie, you’re going into a STORE.”

Me: “…With a credit card. Bye, maybe I’ll have some next time!”

(I go about my shopping and get what I need. I’m talking to the cashier and a nice bagger who has Down Syndrome.)

Cashier: “Will that be all?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m good. Wow, the Christmas donation-takers get earlier every year.”

Bagger: “…What do you mean?”

Me: “The Salvation Army guys in the parking lot.”

(The bagger and cashier both frown.)

Bagger: “[Manager]! It’s… it’s urgent! She said!” *points at me*

Cashier: *to me* “Stay put. We don’t have the Salvation Army come around until after the first weekend of November!”

(The two in the parking lot ended up being scammers. A couple of employees and customers managed to get to them and stop them from leaving before the police showed up. I got a ten dollar off card for reporting it!)

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Hair Apparent For The Work Indifferent

| Working | December 7, 2012

(8:20 PM)

Me: “Hi, do you know when the music practice room will be next available?”

Clerk: “Should be available at 9:17.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll be back then.”

(I return to my dorm to grab a mirror & my music, since I need to practice singing some opera pieces & conducting a piece by Haydn.)

(8:59 PM)

(I return to the front desk, lean the mirror against it, and stand there waiting to the side.)

Clerk: “Can I help you?”

Me: “No, I’m fine. I’m just waiting for the practice room. Is there anyone else waiting for it?”

Clerk: “Oh, no I don’t think so. But you can’t stand here at the desk. You’re in the way. You need to stand back.”

(There is clearly no one else in the lobby. Not wanting trouble I comply.)

Me: “Okay, fine.”

(I move a few feet away to the other side of the desk. Twenty minutes pass while I’m waiting to see if the person will return from the practice room without me having to kick them out. The whole time, I’m very visibly waiting a few feet away from the desk, in full view of the desk clerk. It’s just past time and I am about to go up to the desk when another student jumps in front of me to speak to her, but I don’t catch what is said. Suspicious, I step forward to speak to the clerk immediately after.)

Me: “Excuse me, but the practice room is still available, yes? Can I go get them out now?”

Clerk: “Oh, sorry, someone has already claimed the room.”

Me: “What?! That girl just now? But you knew I’ve been waiting here!”

Clerk: “Yeah, but it’s first come first serve. Not my problem.”

Me: “I was actually here first, if you could remember correctly.”

Clerk: “Well it’s not my job to remember things for you.”

Me: “First of all that doesn’t make sense, of course I remember I was here first. I don’t ‘need’ you to do it for me. But that doesn’t matter; since you’re supposed to be managing the practice room, it is kind of your job.”

Clerk: “Well, maybe if you’d been here earlier you would have gotten the room. It’s not my problem.”

Me: “I was here earlier, I’ve been standing in front of you the whole time. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice.”

Clerk: “Well, it’s not my fault you have a forgettable face. Maybe you should dye your hair or something.”

(I ended up having to wait another 90 minutes before the other girl finally left. What was she practicing? Britney Spears mashups. Out-of-tune.)

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There Heart’s Really Into This Job

| Working | December 7, 2012

(One of my jobs is to call new reps, welcome them, and make sure they know the ropes. A good 75% of outgoing welcome calls end up going to voice mail. However, this one answers.)

Me: “Hi! This is (me) from (company), calling to welcome you to the team!”

New Rep: “Hi… it’s not really a good time right now.”

Me: “I’m so sorry about that. Is there a better time for us to call?”

New Rep: “Well, I just had a heart attack and the paramedics are here now, so you’ll have to call later.”

Me: “Oh! I’m so sorry. I hope you feel better, and we’ll talk to you soon!”

(For future reference to all: if you’ve just had a heart attack and the paramedics are there, you ARE allowed to let it drop to voice mail!)

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Not So Powerless To Help

| Working | December 6, 2012

(Our flat has a pre-pay electric meter that you top up by taking a small plastic key to any participating shops. It’s fairly common in rented accommodation in the UK. Our local corner store offers this service, but many of the staff are not trained on how to do it. I went on my lunch break to get a top up, which is peak time for this shop. I have been waiting in line for about 10 minutes at this point.)

Me: “Hi, can I have £40 on my electric, please?”

Cashier: *looks at the key* “We don’t do this here.”

Me: “…Um, yes, you do.”

Cashier: “No, we don’t.”

Me: “I’ve topped it up here plenty of times in the past, though. I know you do it here.”

Cashier: “Well, I don’t know how to do it, so you’ll have to go somewhere else.”

Me: “Are you serious?”

Cashier: “Go next door to [shop’s name]. They’ll probably do it.”

Me: “But they don’t, I’ve asked in there before. You do it here.”

Cashier: “Look, I don’t know how to do this, so just go next door.”

(There is such a big queue behind me that I don’t want to cause much of a fuss, so I go to the stationer’s next door on the off chance that they’ve started topping up electric keys.)

Me: “Hi, you don’t do electric top ups here, do you?”

Next Door Cashier: “Nope, sorry! They do in the corner shop next door, though.”

Me: “Okay, it’s just that I tried next door and the girl told me to come here, even though I know they do it there!”

Next Door Cashier: *sighs* “Oh, for goodness sake! AGAIN?! Come with me!”

(I follow the other cashier back into the corner store, who goes straight to the store’s manager.)

Next Door Cashier: *to the corner store’s manager* “Another one of your customers trying to get some electricity top up that was turned away! You NEED to train your staff better, seriously!”

(The manager was so embarrassed that she topped up my electric key right then and there. Ever since I have not encountered a problem topping up at that store!)

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