I Heard You Kicked Up A Fuss

, , , , , | Working | February 7, 2020

(I work in quality assurance at a call center. I suffer from hyperacusis, which means that my hearing is sharp enough that it actually qualifies as a disability. I even have a letter from my doctor on file, saying that I need sound-cancelling headphones, but for some reason, HR has been dragging their feet about that part. Without them, it’s very hard to filter out what the people on the call are saying from what the people all around are saying. It wasn’t so bad at first, because the company was fairly new and there weren’t that many people in the office. But, as more agents were hired, the ambient noise got worse. I’ve even tried finding some on my own, but there is only one brand that works with the particular system this company used, and they are $400. As if that wasn’t bad enough, after five months, my desk was moved to the section near the elevators and break room, which is the noisiest spot on the whole floor! Several complaints and reminders later, and several occasions where I came in on Saturday or during times when the rest of the staff were gone, just because it was quieter, I still don’t have the headphones. It’s becoming kind of a running joke with the people nearest me, because they can see how frustrating it is. Then, one Wednesday, I arrive at my desk just in time to hear the director — whose office is on the other side of the floor — yelling at someone:)

Director: “WHAT THE H*** WERE YOU THINKING?! NO, GET OUT! YOU’RE FIRED! GET YOUR STUFF AND GO!”

Me: *IM-ing one of the assistant managers, whose desk is closest to the director’s office* “Who just got fired?”

Assistant Manager: “Somebody just got fired?”

Me: “Yeah, I could hear [Director] yelling.”

Assistant Manager: “I didn’t hear a thing.”

Me: “It sounded pretty bad!”

Assistant Manager: “His door is closed. You can hear him from there?”

(The special headphones arrived the next day.)

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The Maine Problem With Education

, , , , | Working | February 7, 2020

(It’s just a few weeks before my wedding, and I’m discussing with a coworker about honeymoon plans. It’s late September.)

Coworker: “Where do you guys plan on going for your honeymoon? Somewhere warm, I hope!”

Me: “No, I’m not big on warmer weather; I love autumn. We decided on Bar Harbor, Maine. It’s going to be peak season with the autumn colors and we’re both really looking forward to having a nice relaxing vacation together.”

Coworker: “Maine? Where’s that, east coast or west coast?”

Me: *seriously confused look, waiting for the joke*

Coworker: “Don’t look at me like that; it’s been a long time since I was in school!”

Me: “East coast.”

(I decided after that it was time to go home!)

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The Prize Money Is Only For Those Who Can Prove They Don’t Need It

, , , , , , , | Working | February 7, 2020

(A while back, I went to an event in my city, and with admission to that event, I got a free raffle ticket to use at the booth of my choice. I entered a drawing for a $250 gift card and a three-night resort vacation. I’m used to never winning anything, so I basically forgot about it after that day. That was in late June; it is now early December. I get a letter from the company claiming they’ve tried to reach me by telephone and to call them back to arrange picking up my prizes, so I call that evening after work.)

Employee #1: “I just wanted to congratulate you again on winning! Now, in addition to that gift card, you’ve also won a three-night stay at one of our resorts, [Resort #1] or [Resort #2]. Have you been to either of those before?”

Me: “I have not. Can you tell me a little about them?”

(The employee gives a very long, detailed explanation of both resorts, one of which sounds great for my kids.)

Employee #1: “Do you know which one you’d be more interested in?”

Me: “The second one sounds great!”

Employee #1: “Great choice. I just have to ask you a few more questions. What is your household size?”

Me: “Three.”

Employee #1: “All right, and are you married, unmarried, separated, or engaged?”

Me: “Single.”

Employee #1: “Okay, and is your total annual income over [amount that is fairly modest, but more than what I make currently]?”

Me: “It is not.”

Employee #1: “I’m sorry, but you are not eligible to claim this prize.”

Me: “What? I have to have a certain income to claim a prize I’ve already been selected for? That makes no sense.”

Employee #1: “Yes, part of this vacation is that we require you to attend a short seminar about our time-share options. While a purchase is not necessary, we do require that you have enough income to purchase a time-share in order to attend.”

Me: “You could have saved me a lot of time if you’d started off with that.”

Employee #1: *cheerily, as though this is a great consolation prize* “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but I can keep you on our mailing list in case we have any events with a lower income requirement, though!”

Me: “No. Do not contact me.”

(The employee starts to say something, but I’m so annoyed about the twenty minutes that I wasted on this call, his cheerful attitude about baiting and switching me, and — oh, yeah — apparently being too poor to even WIN a vacation, I just hang up on him without bothering to ask if I’m still wealthy enough to get the $250 gift card. The next day, when my temper has cooled off, I call back; a tiny part of me hopes that the guy told me the wrong information, but mostly I just want to see if there’s anyone in this company who is actually capable of expressing empathy before I go stirring the pot online. I get a different employee this time.)

Me: “Hi. I called yesterday about a prize I had won, and I just want to be extra sure I have the correct information. Can you help me out?”

Employee #2: “Sure, how can I help?”

Me: “I see on the letter here that all terms and conditions still apply, but it has been around six months and I was never given an actual copy, so I can’t say I remember what those terms are. Can you email that to me?”

Employee #2: “I can do that for you. Did you have other questions today?”

Me: “Yes. So, when I take this vacation, I have to attend a seminar about time-shares, correct?”

Employee #2: “That is correct.”

Me: “Am I obligated to purchase a time-share that day?”

Employee #2: “No, absolutely not!”

Me: “Am I obligated to purchase down the road?”

Employee #2: “No, it really is no obligation!”

Me: “So, I just have to listen to this seminar, I don’t have to purchase anything that day, and I won’t be penalized for not purchasing anything later on? I can really just listen to your presentation and then never be forced to look at or think about this ever again?”

Employee #2: “Well, if you decide it’s not for you, that’s fine, but I think you will be very interested in this program!”

Me: “Perhaps… I’m not looking to purchase immediately, but I have been researching different vacation time-share companies.”

Employee #2: “Oh, perfect! You will find we offer better rewards than many other companies!”

Me: “That’s great! The problem is, though, the employee I spoke to yesterday said I need to make over [amount] per year to attend the seminar.”

Employee #2: “Yes, we do require that guests who attend our seminars have the means to actually purchase a time-share.”

Me: “But you said there was no requirement to purchase?”

Employee #2: “There is no requirement, yes.”

Me: “So, someone with no intentions of ever purchasing a time-share can attend the seminar and then enjoy their free vacation, as long as their income is over [amount]?”

Employee #2: “Well… yes…”

Me: “But someone who does have an interest in time-shares, but doesn’t have the income right this second, is not allowed to attend the seminar and therefore not eligible to take the vacation they entered to win?”

Employee #2: “…”

Me: “Do you see why this may not be a great way to get business?”

Employee #2: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but those are the terms and conditions that go along with this offer. I cannot make any exception.”

Me: “Gotcha. Thanks anyway.”

(Of course, I have no intention of owning a timeshare at all, especially not with a company I’d never heard of before. But at least now I know to avoid hotels that are associated with this company. Yes, I did forget to ask about the gift card. And no, I did not receive my copy of the terms and conditions… probably because there was no income requirement mentioned at time of entry. Lucky me; it was the first time in my life I’ve ever won anything worth more than $20, and I couldn’t actually have it.)

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Will Remain The Apple Of Someone Else’s Eye

, , , , | Working | February 7, 2020

(I pull up to a popular coffee shop drive-thru. It’s rainy and kind of cold outside, so I want something warm to start my day.)

Employee: “Hi. Welcome to [Coffee Shop]. What can I get started for you?”

Me: “Hi. Can I get a venti caramel apple cider, please?”

Employee: “Okay. And you said green tea, right?”

Me: “No, I said caramel apple cider.”

Employee: “Okay, we’ll have that at the next window for you.”

(I got green tea. They don’t even sound the same.)

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Sailed Past That Being An Issue

, , , , | Working | February 6, 2020

(I am on break at work and scrolling through social media. I see a post that says your sailor name is the color of your shirt and the name of your first pet. Note that I am white and my coworker is black.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker]! What was the name of your first pet?”

Coworker: “It was a dog named Lady.”

Me: “Your sailor name is—”

(I pause as I realize that she is wearing a white shirt.)

Coworker: “What?”

(I don’t know her very well as she just joined the team, and I don’t want to make a joke she may find offensive, so I just show her the post.)

Coworker: “My sailor name is White Lady! I love it!”

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