A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. > Time For a Coffee Break!

Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)

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Yarnspinner:
So what has a patron or a customer asked YOU for that you simply could not provide?

We have a patron who can't seem to understand the phrase "it doesn't exist, ma'am". 

The latest in her long line of demands:

a movie she saw on TV a few years ago.  She couldn't remember the name (of course) or who appeared in it (of course), but, whew, she WAS able to come up with the plot and between that, a little patience on my part (thank the deities for Effexor) and the Internet Movie Data Base's plot search engine, we finally discovered the title of the film.

Which has never, ever been produced on VHS OR DVD.  I think I said this to her five different ways.

Me: I'm sorry, Toodie, it's not available.
Her: Oh, I don't care if it's on VHS or DVD.
Me: You don't understand.  It has never been released for DVD or VHS.
Her: So you don't have it.
Me: Nobody has it.  Anywhere.
Her: What about the rest of the state?  Maybe another library in the state has it.
Me: No one has it.  It has never been released on DVD.
Her: So where can I get it?
Me: You can't.  It doesn't exist.
Her: But my friend really wants to see it.
Me: She'll have to wait for it to be shown on AMC and tape it.  It simply doesn't exist.
Her: Well, who can I get it from?
Me: Toodie, you can't get it.  It's that simple.  It doesn't exist.  You can petition the company that produced the film, but it doesn't exist as a recording and I can't get it for you.
Her: What if you buy it from amazon?
Me: Toodie, that's where I looked.  According to IMDB--and Amazon--the film has never been put on tape or disc.  It simply doesn't exist.
Her: So I can't watch it, then?
Me (foolishly thinking we are near the end of our conversation): No.
Her: But maybe you could get a copy from out of state?

This woman holds a fairly responsible job and I have been able to carry on fairly normal conversations with her, but man, when she wants something, she won't take no for an answer.  Even when "no" is the only answer that exists.

So what have you had to produce out of thin air for patrons who don't understand they can't always get what they want? ;)

HoneyBeeBrie:
I work retail...

Recently, at my new job, a woman came in looking for some sheets she had seen at the store "several years ago". She brought in one from the set she had already bought. Apparently, she had bought them at another housewares store that is now closing all its stores. It was an exclusive to that location...about five years ago. There was absolutely no way we could have gotten this sheet set with either of those conditions, but it definitely was not going to happen this way. We apologized to her profusely and even found her a set of sheets the exact same shade, just with a different texture. We had a conversation kind of like this:

Associate: Ma'am, this product is an exclusive to LnT...we never carried this item here.

Her: You can get it, though, right? You can order it like you did with [other item she had ordered a few months back].

Associate: No, I'm sorry. It's only from LnT, and all the stores from that chain in this area are now closed.

Me: We do have this other sheet set here that is the same color and a higher thread count though! I'm sure you'll love them if you try them out.

Her: But what about my set? Can you try calling another BBB?


Etc, etc. She finally bought the other sheet set because my manager gave her a hefty discount on them.

T'Mar of Vulcan:

--- Quote from: Yarnspinner on November 15, 2008, 11:38:58 PM ---Which has never, ever been produced on VHS OR DVD. 

--- End quote ---

This has happened to me a few times: a movie I really loved is not brought out on video or DVD. But you can sometimes find an MTS3K-d version or something like that. I found the movie "Stranded in Space" (about an astronaut who lands up on a parallel Earth where there are three moons and everyone is left-handed) had been MST3K-d and watched it that way. Joel and the robots didn't even bother me I was so eager to watch it again!

... I'm still looking for "The Astronaut" with Monte Markham and "The Aliens Are Coming" (TV pilot from the '70s) if anyone knows anything...  ;D

To get back on topic...

We often get parents who are in denial about their children. Now, when a child cannot cope we have procedures to follow. The first time s/he doesn't do homework, warning. Second time, break detention. Third time, SMS to parent. Fourth time, phone call. Fifth time, meeting.

What happens is, usually the child hasn't done homework in ANY subject and so the parent has gotten about six SMSes. We track these via computer and know if the SMS was received; we print out all the SMSes on a monthly basis. Then we try calling. You'd be amazed at how many parents, when they see the school's number, do not answer. Or worse, they LIE on their forms about their numbers, and we've been sending SMSes to strangers! If we eventually get hold of the parent and manage to get the parent to the school, parent will usually promise the moon. "I will check Johnny's homework every day and make sure he does it!" And nothing changes.

Then, when we want to retain the child in the same grade at the end of the year, the parent develops amnesia. I had this conversation last term with a parent:

Me: I'm sorry to tell you this, but Johnny will be retained in Grade 6 next year.
Dad (Johnny's father): I don't agree with that.
Me: He's not coping, as stated in numerous SMSes to you.
Dad: When I came at the beginning of the year, you didn't tell me!
Me: It was the beginning of the year.
Dad: You could have phoned.
Me: I tried to phone on (list of dates).
Dad: My phone didn't ring. You must have used the wrong number.
Me: I also sent SMSes (gives list of SMS dates).
Dad: I never got those.
Me: Well, how about you give me your number now so I can check.
Dad: Gives number.
Me: (Checking) This is the number I called and sent SMSes to.
Dad: I didn't get those. You must have typed in the wrong number.
Me: We're getting off the point. Johnny isn't coping. He cannot go to Grade 7.
Dad: I don't agree with that.
Me: Frankly, Mr Doe, whether you sign the forms or not, we will be presenting all the evidence, including the SMS printout, to the education department, and they will make the decision.
Dad: I'm not signing then.
Me: All right.

And the education department? Took a cursory look at the forms, printouts, evidence, and signed off on Johnny remaining in Grade 6. I can't wait to see Dad's face at the end of the year. (Which I know is juvenile, but really.)

HonorH:
Oh, dude, I had a doozy when I was working for Banes & Ignoble Bookshillers.  This girl came up to the counter and asked after a certain book.

Me: (after looking in store's database)  Hm.  It doesn't appear we carry the book, but let me check to see if it's something I can order.
Girl: 'Kay.
Me (after a moment or two with Books in Print) I'm sorry, but that book is no longer in print.
Girl: Can't you get it?
Me: Uh, nope.  It's no longer in print.  You might be able to find it at a used bookstore like--
Girl: What do you mean, it's not in print?
Me: It means the publisher is no longer printing the book.
Girl: Well, can't you ask them to, you know, make one for me?
Me: . . .

Honestly, what do you say?

MadMadge43:
I have had the CEO of a Fortune 500 company call me and ask if there's any way they could get more hotel rooms for their meeting.

They were already taking up every single room we had. I replied, only if we build more and with three weeks notice I'm not sure the plumbing will be put in at that point.

Thankfully, the man was smart and realized his meeting planner wasn't lying to him. (But I can't blame the guy for trying, if I had had anything I would have done it for him).

But the worst I had, a couple wanted to book our rooftop for a party. That's fine, but the banquet hall has to be availabe. We couldn't rent out both in case of rain. Of course it wasn't that day. And I explained the policy and the reasoning. It was monsoon season he wanted to book it for by the way.

"But you can promise me it won't rain right".

20 Minutes later before I finally said:

"I'm sorry, but you're giving me way too much credit".

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