Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 1102987 times)

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Kariachi

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5445 on: November 02, 2012, 11:36:07 AM »
It takes me less time to drive to Canada then it takes to drive across Chicago, and less to drive to Pennsylvania than it does to drive to my instate aunts'. Gotta love NY.

Mutual brainhurt for my family and anyone we talk to. Any time we're asked where we live, the conversation goes like this-

Friend: So, where do you live?
Us: Oh, in Hamlet A.
Friend: Where?
Us: Hamlet A. It's like, three minutes east of Hamlet B.
Friend: Hamlet B?
Us:  ::) Just east of Village A.
Friend: Where's that?
Us:  ??? Okay, you know Town A?
Friend: Yes.
Us: Take the northern route out of town until you hit Village B. Then head east. Drive til you hit Hamlet C, turn north, you'll hit Hamlet A.
Friend: Oh. Why would you wanna live way out there?
Us:  >:(

By the way, in case the large number of hamlets didn't clue you in, this is a seriously rural county. We have no cities, and the largest town has less people than some apartment complexes. There is no 'way out there'.

 :'( Someday, my house will burn down and we'll be doomed because the firetrucks will drive right past looking for us.
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o_gal

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5446 on: November 02, 2012, 12:34:58 PM »
I've been given new duties at work which include being,our "central operator" for the first four hours of the day. This basically means I answer all the phone calls for those four hours. I answer questions, cancel and schedule appointments, and transfer calls.

People are making my brain hurt daily. I have this conversation a lot:

Caller: My phone says I have a missed call from you.
Me: Okay, most of the time thats fron one of our receptionists calling to confirm an appointment. Did they leave you a message?
Caller: I don't know. I didn't check.
Me: Okay, do you have an appointment with us today or tomorrow?
Caller: Maybe. I don't remember.
Me: Who would it be with if you did?
Caller: I'm not sure.

I then go through several people's schedule and find the appointment. Then see that the caller only had one provider. Only one person the appointment could be scheduled with.

But the thing is, if they would check their messages first, the whole conversation could usually be avoided. The receptionists always leave messages with the appointment time and provider name.

Years ago, the business where I interned over the summer during college hired me back over Christmas break, and at the end of that time I filled in as the receptionist. It was a testing lab that did one of the last tests (efficacy) before a new drug could be released. So there was a lab, a clinic, and administration. Our main phone number was only 1 digit off from the AAA office up the street. One day...

Me: <name of company> how may I help you?
Caller: Um, I'm looking for <name of person that I don't recognize>
Me, while scanning the personnel list: May I ask which department they work in?
Caller: Um, I don't know.
Me, taking a shot: Could they be in the lab?
Caller: Um, I don't know.
Me: I'll be right back, please hold.

I page the lab and get a call that no one works there by that name.

Me: I'm sorry, the person does not work in the lab. Could they be in the clinic, as either a patient or a technician?
Caller: I still don't know.
Me: OK, please hold.

I page the clinic and get a call back that they don't have anyone there by that name.

Me, who knows the person does't work in admin, since there are only 6 and I know them all: I'm sorry but I'm not finding them in the clinic. Maybe they are scheduled for a trial and it hasn't taken place yet, or their trial is over? Can you give me any more info? What did you need to talk to them for?
Caller: They said they'd get me some Trip Tiks for my trip this next week and I need to know if they're ready yet.

Head. Desk.

gingerzing

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5447 on: November 02, 2012, 12:44:50 PM »
I've been given new duties at work which include being,our "central operator" for the first four hours of the day. This basically means I answer all the phone calls for those four hours. I answer questions, cancel and schedule appointments, and transfer calls.

People are making my brain hurt daily. I have this conversation a lot:

Caller: My phone says I have a missed call from you.
Me: Okay, most of the time thats fron one of our receptionists calling to confirm an appointment. Did they leave you a message?
Caller: I don't know. I didn't check.
Me: Okay, do you have an appointment with us today or tomorrow?
Caller: Maybe. I don't remember.
Me: Who would it be with if you did?
Caller: I'm not sure.

I then go through several people's schedule and find the appointment. Then see that the caller only had one provider. Only one person the appointment could be scheduled with.

But the thing is, if they would check their messages first, the whole conversation could usually be avoided. The receptionists always leave messages with the appointment time and provider name.

YES!
People call our main line and will say

Them: Yeah, I got a call from this number...
Me: Okay, who do you need to speak to?
Them: <This ranges from "THIS NUMBER" to "Who there would call me?" but normally is...> I guess I need to talk to whomever called me from this number.
Me:  Okay, however there are 60 people in this office.  They didn't leave you a message with who called you?
Them: Oh, no.
Me:  Really?  That is odd. Normally everyone is good about leaving messages.
Them: No, I mean, I didn't listen to the message.  (Or occasionally, "I don't listen to my voice mail.") ::)

By this point my head has reached the desk.

CharlieBraun

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5448 on: November 02, 2012, 12:51:33 PM »
[Me:  Really?  That is odd. Normally everyone is good about leaving messages.
Them: No, I mean, I didn't listen to the message.  (Or occasionally, "I don't listen to my voice mail.") ::)

By this point my head has reached the desk.

I was in a work-sponsored seminar last year on how to manage/supervise the 20-somethings that we recruit.  We were told, literally instructed, to never bother calling them or leaving a voicemail; they just don't listen to them.  Ever.  It's email, Twitter, FB, or text message to reach them.  (and we recruit from the top 5% of students for our positions.)  I found that shocking but learned to use "their language" to talk with them when I need to.  Whatta world.
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exitzero

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5449 on: November 02, 2012, 01:04:38 PM »
I just had this conversation this week, and my coworkers and I have had it many times of the years.

Me: I work at Such-and-Such agency for the Deaf.

THem. Oh, I have an aunt who is blind.

Us:  ???

flowersintheattic

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5450 on: November 02, 2012, 01:37:22 PM »
I've been given new duties at work which include being,our "central operator" for the first four hours of the day. This basically means I answer all the phone calls for those four hours. I answer questions, cancel and schedule appointments, and transfer calls.

People are making my brain hurt daily. I have this conversation a lot:

Caller: My phone says I have a missed call from you.
Me: Okay, most of the time thats fron one of our receptionists calling to confirm an appointment. Did they leave you a message?
Caller: I don't know. I didn't check.
Me: Okay, do you have an appointment with us today or tomorrow?
Caller: Maybe. I don't remember.
Me: Who would it be with if you did?
Caller: I'm not sure.

I then go through several people's schedule and find the appointment. Then see that the caller only had one provider. Only one person the appointment could be scheduled with.

But the thing is, if they would check their messages first, the whole conversation could usually be avoided. The receptionists always leave messages with the appointment time and provider name.

YES!
People call our main line and will say

Them: Yeah, I got a call from this number...
Me: Okay, who do you need to speak to?
Them: <This ranges from "THIS NUMBER" to "Who there would call me?" but normally is...> I guess I need to talk to whomever called me from this number.
Me:  Okay, however there are 60 people in this office.  They didn't leave you a message with who called you?
Them: Oh, no.
Me:  Really?  That is odd. Normally everyone is good about leaving messages.
Them: No, I mean, I didn't listen to the message.  (Or occasionally, "I don't listen to my voice mail.") ::)

By this point my head has reached the desk.

We get this all the time too. Our office is only 11 people, but we're made up of three separate law firms. The receptionist answers phones for all three. At least once a day, we'll get a call from someone that plays out this exact way!

Receptionist: Law Office. How can I help you?
Them: Yeah, someone called me from this number.
Receptionist: Do you know who?
Them: No.

If we've called you, you're most likely a client. The receptionist has said that you called a law office. Can you not make a guess at that point at who would have called you? She has to get their name and find out if they have a case pending, and what type of case it is in order to find out who called, unless she just asks everyone individually. Definitely brain-hurty.
...I learned my lesson / And yes, I still remember the last one / But this time will be different / Until I do it again... ~Phish, "Kill Devil Falls"

BB-VA

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5451 on: November 02, 2012, 01:46:27 PM »
The company I used to work for apparently shared a number with an insurance company call center that serviced several different companies.  However, the area code was different.  Where ours was 1-800-xxx-xxxx, the insurance company's was something like 1-877-xxx-xxxx (not sure of the actual area code).  But, since people are used to dialing 1-800 for toll-free numbers, well... 

I once got an irate lady asking what she was supposed to do about her claim.   I don't remember what I told her but it should have been "maybe READ the number before you dial it???"  Another was an elderly lady looking for her niece who worked for one of the companies.   
"The Universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are, it's the right place and the right time. Pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born."
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exitzero

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5452 on: November 02, 2012, 01:50:27 PM »
The company I used to work for apparently shared a number with an insurance company call center that serviced several different companies.  However, the area code was different.  Where ours was 1-800-xxx-xxxx, the insurance company's was something like 1-877-xxx-xxxx (not sure of the actual area code).  But, since people are used to dialing 1-800 for toll-free numbers, well... 

I once got an irate lady asking what she was supposed to do about her claim.   I don't remember what I told her but it should have been "maybe READ the number before you dial it???"  Another was an elderly lady looking for her niece who worked for one of the companies.


That can be bad. I had a cousin who mixed up the "800" with the "877" on her wedding invitations and had her guests calling a sex line instead of the hotel. Her father said he had to call it three times to make sure he was really hearing it right.

jedikaiti

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5453 on: November 02, 2012, 01:59:37 PM »
Firstly, I live in Australia which is nowhere near the USA geographically.

On Wednesday, a coworker looked out of the window at work and noticed that it was very windy outside, with a few spots of rain. She turned to us, very concerned, and asked if we were safe from Hurricane Sandy.  We assured her that we would be fine.

Our Bureau of Meteorology has updated their site yesterday, so the weather forecasts are easier for anyone to understand.  I showed her where to look, so she feels better that she knows where to check for weather warnings. However, she is giving us 1/2 hourly updates (that there are no weather warnings). I hope she bored of it soon.

What? Really? What? Is it possible that she was in a news-free zone and only heard "East Coast" without the "of the USA" attached?

On the distance thing, a friend who lives in the UK was describing his plans to go away for the weekend so that they could visit an attraction that they'd wanted to go to for ages. That was about 1 1/2 hours drive away. It wasn't a late night thing or anything, either. The idea that he thought that required a weekend trip really hurt my brain. He grew up in Australia so I guess he's just gone native...

I did another boredom road trip in which I drove about an hour to an hour and a half from Boulder, CO to Cheyenne, WY, just so I could send some random postcards. Got some lunch, visited a train museum, sent my postcards, failed to find the Cowgirls of the West museum, and headed home.

My cures for boredom have been known to hurt more than a few brains.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Sirius

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5454 on: November 02, 2012, 02:21:11 PM »
I got this phone call once when I worked for a military freight terminal:

Me:  Name of office, Sirius speaking, how may I help you?

Her:  I'm looking for my husband.  I think he's at Base.

Me:  Do you know where he works?

Her:  He's in the Air Force Reserves, and he has to work this weekend, and I really need to get a hold of him.  I'm pretty sure he's at YourBase. 

Note:  The aforementioned YourBase is a large base, and there are many places where her husband could have been working.  After a few more questions I realized that she didn't have a clue as to what type of job he had or where he was actually working that weekend, only kept telling me she "really needed to get a hold of him."  I finally transferred her to the Reserves wing on the base, because they would have had more of an idea than anyone where he could be found - if he was actually at our base. 

It just hurt my brain that she didn't have any real idea where he was working or even what base he was at.  I also wondered if there was some reason why he hadn't told her, or if he had and she hadn't paid attention...our office discussed it at length (we were dealing with shipping manifests and it was possible to do our jobs while talking about something completely unrelated) and we decided that there was something strange about the story.  Maybe she wasn't really his wife...

Jones

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5455 on: November 02, 2012, 02:23:54 PM »
That or he wasn't really in the reserves and was telling her a story so he could get away overnight every so often.

sunnygirl

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5456 on: November 02, 2012, 04:22:15 PM »
I just made my own brain hurt with the realisation that, while I regularly travel 1-2 hours to get to other places in London without thinking about it, a trip of 1-2 hours outside of London feels like a major distance and not a return journey I'd really want to do in one day. Even though objectively I know it's the same length of time, psychologically it feels different - more like a proper trip away.

I was helping to organize an International conference once. There was a woman from St. Petersburg (Russia, NOT Florida!) who had never been further than Moscow in her life who really, REALLY wanted to come. We managed to arrange funding (supposedly involved the Russian Mafia...I didn't ask). Her travel plan was to fly from Moscow to New York and then "get a train or something. I'll figure it out when I get there."

It took significant cajoling to convince her that, no, that wouldn't work. It made my brain hurt as Russia is also a big country, so I would've thought she'd have grasped the distances?
I believe long distance sleeper trains are much more common in mainland Europe than in the US. It's not particularly unusual to get a sleeper train to do a journey of that length, though I guess nowadays more people fly. There's a train I've always wanted to go on which goes from Moscow through Mongolia to Beijing (6 nights). So I can see a Russian person assuming it's easy to travel by train between any two cities. It's definitely brain-hurty for her to assume she could just arrive in NY and waltz onto a train like catching the subway -- and I'm guessing she was not factoring in the several days' travel such a train journey would take?

« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 04:25:36 PM by sunnygirl »

TootsNYC

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5457 on: November 02, 2012, 04:29:42 PM »
When people don't listen to their messages, wouldn't it be more efficient to say to them, in a friendly tone, "Well, I'll let you go so you can check the message on your voice mail. Call us back when you get the info from it that you need." <click> ?

jedikaiti

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5458 on: November 02, 2012, 04:58:14 PM »
I was helping to organize an International conference once. There was a woman from St. Petersburg (Russia, NOT Florida!) who had never been further than Moscow in her life who really, REALLY wanted to come. We managed to arrange funding (supposedly involved the Russian Mafia...I didn't ask). Her travel plan was to fly from Moscow to New York and then "get a train or something. I'll figure it out when I get there."

It took significant cajoling to convince her that, no, that wouldn't work. It made my brain hurt as Russia is also a big country, so I would've thought she'd have grasped the distances?
I believe long distance sleeper trains are much more common in mainland Europe than in the US. It's not particularly unusual to get a sleeper train to do a journey of that length, though I guess nowadays more people fly. There's a train I've always wanted to go on which goes from Moscow through Mongolia to Beijing (6 nights). So I can see a Russian person assuming it's easy to travel by train between any two cities. It's definitely brain-hurty for her to assume she could just arrive in NY and waltz onto a train like catching the subway -- and I'm guessing she was not factoring in the several days' travel such a train journey would take?

That would be my guess - she probably assumed that she'd be able to catch a convenient train to her destination, not realizing that passenger train travel is relatively rare (or at least uncommon) in the US. I keep thinking it'd be nice to take the train for a change, but every time I look at the fares it's terribly expensive and takes me 2+ days to get someplace I could drive to in 8 hours (or fly to in 4 - including check-in, bag claim, and security)!
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Jones

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #5459 on: November 02, 2012, 05:05:00 PM »
I was helping to organize an International conference once. There was a woman from St. Petersburg (Russia, NOT Florida!) who had never been further than Moscow in her life who really, REALLY wanted to come. We managed to arrange funding (supposedly involved the Russian Mafia...I didn't ask). Her travel plan was to fly from Moscow to New York and then "get a train or something. I'll figure it out when I get there."

It took significant cajoling to convince her that, no, that wouldn't work. It made my brain hurt as Russia is also a big country, so I would've thought she'd have grasped the distances?
I believe long distance sleeper trains are much more common in mainland Europe than in the US. It's not particularly unusual to get a sleeper train to do a journey of that length, though I guess nowadays more people fly. There's a train I've always wanted to go on which goes from Moscow through Mongolia to Beijing (6 nights). So I can see a Russian person assuming it's easy to travel by train between any two cities. It's definitely brain-hurty for her to assume she could just arrive in NY and waltz onto a train like catching the subway -- and I'm guessing she was not factoring in the several days' travel such a train journey would take?

That would be my guess - she probably assumed that she'd be able to catch a convenient train to her destination, not realizing that passenger train travel is relatively rare (or at least uncommon) in the US. I keep thinking it'd be nice to take the train for a change, but every time I look at the fares it's terribly expensive and takes me 2+ days to get someplace I could drive to in 8 hours (or fly to in 4 - including check-in, bag claim, and security)!

Plus, a lot of the movies shown in other countries portray NYC with tons of public transport, including trains and subways. I wouldn't be surprised if someone had it stuck in their minds that Americans have underground trains all over the country.