That Price Is Phone-y

, , , , | Working | November 11, 2019

(The smartphone brand I have has just released a new model. Usually when this happens, my cell phone carrier drops the price of all of the older models. The day before this story, my mom had just gotten one of the older models for herself. I had been interested in the same one she got, and she tells me it is only costing her $15 per month, so I decide I will go get one for myself. I go to the store that is closest to her house, which is, to my knowledge, the store she always goes to.)

Me: “Hi, I’m interested in getting a [phone model]. My phone number is [number].”

Salesperson #1: “Okay, let me pull up your account… Great! It looks like you are eligible for a new phone today. Can I ask you why you are interested in the [phone model] specifically?”

Me: “Honestly, the price is my biggest motivation, and I just found out that it is the same size as my current phone, so I don’t have to buy a new case.”

Salesperson #1: “That’s definitely a bonus; however, I don’t actually have any more [phone model] in stock. They have been on backorder for weeks. I could get you a [newer phone model] for only $5 more per month, though. It has a lot more features and will last you longer before losing software support.”

Me: “Hmm… I’m not really interested in that. Are you sure you don’t have any more? My mom was actually just in here yesterday and got one for herself.”

Salesperson #1: “Yeah, we’re definitely out. She must have gotten it at a different store, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re out now, too. They’re going fast.”

Me: *sigh* “Okay… So, the [newer phone model] is $20 per month?”

Salesperson #1: “No, it’s $25. $5 more than [phone model].”

Me: “What? That’s odd, because my mom said she is paying $15 for hers…”

Salesperson #1: “That’s not possible. The price has been the same for over six months. Unless there was some sort of store-specific promotion at the location she got it, I have no idea how she could have gotten one cheaper.”

Me: “As far as I know, she got it here. This is the closest store to her house and I’ve never heard that she has gone anywhere else.”

Salesperson #1: “It definitely wasn’t here. We have not changed our prices and there is no scheduled price drop coming up, either. What’s her phone number? Let me look up her account…”

(I give her the number)

Salesperson #1: “Oh… She is paying $15 for it. That is very strange and I have no idea how it happened. But I can see it definitely wasn’t here; I have no record for her at all at this location. I guess all I can tell you is to find out which store she went to and see if they still have that sale going on.”

(I leave the store and text my mom.)

Me: “Where did you get your phone?”

Mom: “[Store I am at]. It’s the only one I go to. Why?”

Me: “They told me they have no record of you ever being here and have no idea how you got your phone so cheap because they are supposed to be $20 per month.”

Mom: “What the f***?”

(The next day I call the next closest store I can find)

Me: “Hi. I was wondering if you have any [phone model] in stock.”

Salesperson #2: “Yes, we have quite a few! Which color were you looking for?”

Me: “Oh, that doesn’t really matter to me. But, before I go further, can I confirm with you the price for that one?”

Salesperson #2: “The [phone model] is currently $15 per month.”

Me: “Great! That’s what I thought, but…”

(I tell him about my interaction at the other store the day before)

Salesperson #2: “Well, she was right in saying that the price was that much for the past few months, but the [newest phone model] just came out, so of course, the price of all the older phones dropped! That is what always happens. I have no idea how she didn’t know that.”

(To her credit, the first salesperson didn’t feel overly pushy or like she was lying to me just to get me to buy a more expensive phone, but I didn’t think she was particularly new or inexperienced, either. The fact that she was so adamant about not only the wrong price, but also about my mom never having been in the store, is what baffles me! I am now enjoying my new phone just fine, and my mom has decided to start doing business with the store slightly further away.)

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When Being Straightforward Isn’t So Straightforward

, , , , , | Working | November 10, 2019

(I’ve been job hunting and get a call from a prospective employer. She asks some pretty standard questions about my availability and ability to get the job. I answer honestly, only once asking her to hold on for a moment while I grab a piece of paper and pen to write something down.)

Hiring Manager: “All right, so we’ll see you at [time] on [date].”

Me: “Sounds good. I’ll be there.”

Hiring Manager: “I look forward to seeing you. And… thank you for being so professional on the phone.”

(I pause, a little surprised, since the conversation had seemed perfectly straightforward. I kind of cringe, trying to imagine what kinds of facepalm-worthy calls she must have already gone through, to say that.)

Me: “Um… You’re welcome. I… uh… guess I don’t need to ask how your morning has been. I hope the rest of your calls end up similar to mine, then.”

Hiring Manager: “Thank you, ma’am. I appreciate it.”

(In the end, I didn’t end up getting that job, but there’s now a part of me that never, ever wants to become a hiring manager.)

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Makes You Want To Stick Your Head In A Bowl Of Rice  

, , , | Working | November 9, 2019

(I have interesting problems with my phones. For example, I once had one that would only call out, but couldn’t answer calls. I had one that wiped all my cloud and wouldn’t allow me to add anything back. Most recently I had a phone that wouldn’t play any audio. With all of them, I usually spend about two hours on tech support to get them to understand the problem and then they have to send me out a different device. Basically, I think I have a note in my account that “customer has problems we’ve never heard of.” Last night, my phone randomly stopped playing the audiobook. I look over it and try a soft reset, a soft power off, and then a delete and reupload for the app. Nothing’s working, so I decide it must just be the app and decide that I’ll just listen to music. That also isn’t working, so I call tech support, which then directs me to the online support because it’s after hours, so all of this conversation is typed out.)

Me: “My audio isn’t working on any of the apps on my phone. I have tried a soft reset and a soft power off.”

Tech Support: “Okay. Could you try holding the power button and the Apple button to get this to power off?”

Me: “I’ve already done that and since I’m on the phone with you, on the device, which isn’t working, I don’t think that would be a great idea.”

Tech Support: “Oh, you’ve already tried that?”

Me: “Yes.”

Tech Support: “Have you checked to make sure that the vibrate button is not locked? Sometimes that happens.”

Me: “I’ve checked that. This has happened before to a different phone and I know there was a way they remotely got in and fixed it.”

Tech Support: “Could you check to see if the volume is down really low on your settings?”

Me: “My volume is the same on all my apps. It is at a very high level. It is not coming through.”

Tech Support: “Have you tried putting it in a bowl of rice?”

Me: “How would that help?”

Tech Support: “Well, if you got the phone wet it would hurt the speakers.”

Me: “I didn’t get the phone wet; it just randomly stopped doing the audio.”

Tech Support: “So, you haven’t tried the bowl of rice?”

Me: *realizing this guy has no clue what I’m talking about* “Yeah, just tried it. Didn’t work. Can you remote in and fix it?”

Tech Support: “I need you to go to settings and make sure everything is clicked to volume and not to vibrate because that confuses the settings, as well.”

Me: *extremely frustrated at this point* “NOTHING IS ON VIBRATE! MY AUDIO STOPPED WORKING!”

Tech Support: “The audio isn’t working?”

Me: “No. It. Is. Not. Working.”

Tech Support: “You might have to go to the actual store and have them fix it.”

Me: “Yeah, okay, whatever.”

Tech Support: “So glad we fixed it! have a great night.”

(Thankfully, I called in the morning and they were able to remote access and fix it within ten minutes. That was quite possibly the most frustrating tech support that I ever had to endure!)

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Feminine Hygiene Meets Masculine Toxicity

, , , , , | Working | November 8, 2019

(I am driving home from work when my wife calls me, tells me we are out of feminine products, and asks for me to get some for her. I am almost home and there aren’t that many options, but I see that a store I haven’t been to before is right up ahead, and in a convenient location. I enter the store and find the products, as well as a few other things we need, then go to the checkout. The cashier is an older gentleman, and he seems rather nice as he rings up my items. That is, until he gets to the feminine products at the back. Note that I’m relatively young and look younger.)

Cashier: “I can’t sell you these.”

Me: “Why not?”

Cashier: “You’re male. I can’t sell these to you; you might be trying to steal something.”

Me: “Okay, first of all, how would that even work? Second of all, these—”

Cashier: “I don’t know. For all I know, you’re trying to steal something. Besides, why would you even want these?”

Me: “They’re not—”

Cashier: “Unless you’re one of them [transphobic slur]s.” *squints at me suspiciously*

Me: “No, I’m just—”

Cashier: “Then why do you need them?”

Me: “Because—”

Cashier: “No. You don’t need them. Now put them back.”

Me: “THEY’RE NOT FOR ME! They’re for my wife!”

Cashier: *grunts* “Well, why didn’t you say that?”

(He begrudgingly rang me up, then proceeded to take as long as possible to bag my things. I ended up getting home well after the time my wife was expecting me. I never went to that store again.)

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The Marketing Misdirector

, , , | Working | November 8, 2019

(The phone rings.)

Me: “[Bank], how can I help you?”

Caller: “I need to speak with the branch manager or the marketing director.”

Me: “Our manager is on vacation. Can I take a message?”

Caller: “No. Did you hear what I said? Give me your marketing director. Is he in today?”

Me:She is based in [City]. If you’ll hold for just a second, I can get her phone number for you.”

Caller: “You don’t have someone onsite?”

Me: “No. Everything is centralized out of [City]. Hang on just a second; I’ve almost got that phone number—”

Caller: “I’ve gotten three different phone numbers for you people already. Just forget it!”

Me: “Okay, have a nice day!”

Caller: “UGH!” *hangs up*

Coworker: “What was that?”

Me: “A very angry telemarketer.”

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