Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 676474 times)

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supernova

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #195 on: November 18, 2008, 08:12:45 PM »

I explain to students at the beginning of the semester that they cannot drop by my office, as I work in a closet and can't hear knocks at the door...

I don't even know how these students know where my office is, but at least two have elevated this to the prof (who completely has my back)  And one has apparently gone to the department head.  Ughh, is it terrible that I'm starting to hate students even though I'm still a student myself?

What's astonishing is that they can find your office, but they can't find your in-box in the department office.  Or your professor's office.  Or HIS in-box in the department office.  Or the mail slot on his office door.  Or the syllabus the Prof handed them at the first class meeting which explains, in detail, what to do in such a situation.  Or... 

(Can you tell I just finished college?  I had five different methods for handing in a paper at any given time, IF I chose not to hand it in during class time.  And there were still students that complained that "I shouldn't be marked late, I didn't have a way to turn it in!")

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wordgirl

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #196 on: November 18, 2008, 08:50:04 PM »


Fort Knox, Kentucky - DD was on the swim team and comes to me around Halloween to tell me that the chlorine in the practice pool has EATEN her swimsuit - she needs another.  Could we run to Wal-Mart and get one off the clearance racks or should she order Very Pricey Name Suit from the coach?

Since I sew, I pulled out a pattern, some elastic, and a big piece of swim suit fabric and started adjusting the racer back suit (Kwik Sew) to HER body..........three swimsuits later, it fits perfectly.  Two years later, same thing in Warner Robins, Georgia.  I still have both ADJUSTED patterns folded up in that pattern envelope.  But it is a bit more trouble than I'm willing to go to for a random stranger off the street............
My mom doesn't sew as well as you, and learned the hard way - at the start of swim season, buy at least four suits. She swore my sister was letting goats chew on them.

bopper

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #197 on: November 18, 2008, 09:00:24 PM »
I'm another ex-retail worker who HATED the "you must have one in the back" customers. 
My daughter loves the store "Limited Too".  If there is not an item of the size you want, they WILL check in the back and they often have them.   So some places have them, some don't.  But if a store says they don't, I would trust them.

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #198 on: November 18, 2008, 09:15:56 PM »
okay, so this one doesn't exactly deal with customers, but it was a time when i really wish i'd had a fully charged Phoenix feather cored wand.

our corporate e-mail server crashed due to a hurricane (not Katrina).  i mean died.  like as in none, nada, nothing, zip, zilch.  corporate HQ dead, the 3 division HQ's dead, all sattalite locations, like ours in DC dead.  and we didn't know when it was going to come back up.  i stepped into the office of each of my 7 guys and explained the situation.  6 of them understood, but oh geez, #7.

him:  but i have to confer with Mike in Ohio!  we're setting up visits with Large Government Agency!  i HAVE to talk to him about this to plan!!!  when will we be back up?

me: i don't know, there are some more serious problems in New Orleans than our mail server.  we will all just have to be patient.

him:  but you don't UNDERSTAND!!!  this meeting is vital!  i have to discuss it with Mike in Ohio!!!

me:  i'll be right back, just let me check something.

went to my desk, checked a book, wrote something on a post-it, and went back to his office.

him:  did you fix the server?

me:  no, but you can confer with Mike.  pick the handset up off of that big black thing on the left side of your desk, punch in these numbers on the keypad (handing him the post-it), and talk to Mike.  the phone lines still work.


little bird

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #199 on: November 18, 2008, 09:39:37 PM »
I'm another ex-retail worker who HATED the "you must have one in the back" customers. 
My daughter loves the store "Limited Too".  If there is not an item of the size you want, they WILL check in the back and they often have them.   So some places have them, some don't.  But if a store says they don't, I would trust them.

I don't have a problem with people who ask if there's something in the back because I know a lot of places do have substantial back areas -- if I was even partially unsure if something existed, I would gladly go check.  I just hated the people who would get cranky if I knew there wasn't anything in our closet that they wanted (like if they wanted something we only got one size run in or if it was one of our best-selling pieces that we couldn't keep on the racks) or accused me of lying to them.  I didn't like the implication that I didn't want to help them out... We REALLY wanted their money.  We just... didn't really keep much in our back room.
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Yarnspinner

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #200 on: November 18, 2008, 10:20:11 PM »
::Parents seem to think teachers are psychic.::
May I just say: AAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Lily curls into fetal position and sucks thumb.)

Oh, so you know how I feel on a daily basis.  ;D

My brain functions... shutting down... can't comprehend... BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP... 
Awww, T'Mar of Vulcan, I'm afraid that you've put me into a vegetative state :-P
Systems crash left and right, leaving ehellions in various stages of catatonia and trauma. 

Honestly, T'Mar, until I read what you had to say about names, the worst name problem I had was with a Hispanic teen who only gave me the wrong part of his hyphenated last name.  Oh, and the kid who answered to three different names on any given day.  Suddenly that seems like a picnic.  Seriously, you are achieving almost deity-like status here.

Black Delphinium

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #201 on: November 18, 2008, 10:44:30 PM »
It's that Vulcan logic, Lily. If she didn't have such an ordered mind, she'd go hopelessly insane. (wow, I need a straight-faced icon right about now...)
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Dindrane

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #202 on: November 18, 2008, 10:50:35 PM »
So I have one story from the other side of things to maybe explain why people say situations are "unacceptable" when not to their liking.

About a year ago, I had cause to deal with Apple's customer service.  My hard drive crashed and took a lot of other components with it, and I had to send it off to be repaired.  In the process of figuring out what had happened, I spoke to a CSR who pretty much told me a bald faced lie.  I acted with this erroneous information in mind, and was not corrected until it was too late to really do anything about the lie.

So when I was finally able to talk to someone who could do something for me (and it took a fair bit of persistence on my part...I was really unhappy about the whole situation), I pretty much said the situation was unacceptable.  Because it is unacceptable to have the CSR or tech support guy lie to customers.  That's a really good way to drive them away - and Apple computers are not cheap.

Fortunately, the last person I spoke to was able to resolve my issue, and I will probably do business with Apple again in the future.  But I still feel that part of the reason that was possible is that I told him it was unacceptable.  It was the only term I could think of that expressed my extreme displeasure without me yelling or otherwise being rude.


whylime13

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #203 on: November 18, 2008, 11:33:20 PM »
I've worked at both libraries and retail stores - probably the two best places to meet crazy people.  But sadly I can't remember any of the good stories - my mind must be blacking those times out.

My favorite one currently is pretty good (this happens at least once a week).  When people come to my office for an appointment we tell them to plan on being there up to 2 hours.  And yet I constantly have people telling me 'oh I have to be at the doctors in half an hour, can you hurry things up'.  And I look down at the pile of forms on my desk that have to get filled out and mentally go through the questions I need to ask to get my computer work squared away and take a deep breath and do my best.  But what kills me is when we get half way through and I have to stop because the client is busy texting.  Or if I go look up front after they are done and see they checked in 20 minutes after they were supposed to be here. 

I've taken to saying 'even at my fastest, you still have to do xyz and then wait for such and such to happen so the soonest we will be done is ___ but I can reschedule you so you don't miss your doctor'  Its amazing how often it becomes not a problem... or I hear, oh do you think I should tell the person waiting in the car it might be a while?'  We think word got around that if you fake about having to be there we can magically just get people in and out in 5 minutes.  Which is just not true.  I am accountable for every single question that needs to be done, I can skim over a few things and talk really fast but thats it.

My favorite ever though is a woman who walked into my office at 10:45 and said I need to be somewhere that's and hour drive away by 11:00.  I just looked at the clock, looked at her and said 'you know no matter what I do you're not going to make it, right?'.  She responded, 'yes but my appointment was at 9:45 so I didn't think it would be a problem'.   (just to be clear the 2 hours includes some things done before I see the clients so she had not been kept waiting for an hour)... she really thought she would still somehow be on time.

keelhaulrose

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #204 on: November 18, 2008, 11:41:09 PM »
I worked a day care once where the two year old teacher decided that she wanted a change of scenery. She and the four/five year old teacher decided that they would swap rooms for a year, with the directors OK. A few days after the switch a mother came up to me (who had zero in the way of control, but happened to be one of two people in the building, the other of which never worked in a room with the woman's son.) Basically the conversation was:

Woman: My son really liked Mrs. Smith as a teacher.

Me: Yes, she's a very nice woman.

W: Is there any way you could get him into Mrs. Smith's room again?

M: I'm sorry, but Mrs. Smith is teaching a much older age group now.

W: They're just kids, right? What's the harm in letting my son go to her room.

M: First off, the toys in there aren't developmentally appropriate for your son, and neither are the activities. He just wouldn't have fun, and he'd be away from all his friends.

W: (whiny voice) But he likes Mrs. Smith! Why can't he be in her room?

M: Because *governing agency* says he can't be in that room full-time until he is four. In two years, when he turns four [side note, the kid was a rather young two] he can be in that room, but not now.

W: Well, can't you just change the rule?

M: *struggling not to let jaw hit the floor over the suggestion that changing a government-issued rule is as easy erasing it and writing in the new one* Sorry, ma'am, but I really can't change the rule.

W: You need to let him into Mrs. Smith's class! I demand he starts back in her class tomorrow!

M: We can't let him be in that class full-time until he's four.

W: Then make him four!

M: *wonders whether the Time-turner Hermione had or the Aging Potion Fred and George had would work better* Look, the Director just pulled up. Why don't you explain your concerns to her?

Yeah, that was a fun one. I didn't know I had the ability to age children up a couple years.

JadeGirl

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #205 on: November 18, 2008, 11:47:27 PM »
I work in an industry where project teams are scattered around the globe.  The project lead normally works out of the UK or US, depending on where the parent company is based.

Bearing this in mind, I live and work in Australia.  Inevitably, the Project Manager emails me on Friday their time, demanding that I do thus-and-so task by close of business their time.  Ummmm, guys, it's after close of business here?  Hello, different time zones?  Do you think that's why I always turn down your meeting requests because they fall in the middle of the night here?

Of course, I do offer alternate times/deadlines, but it gets old.

The penny finally dropped for one PM when I sent her the link to the meeting planner timeanddate.com.  I got a sheepish apology the next day.  Some managers don't even realise even after they look at the links  ::)

Sometimes I wonder how these people get to their positions of authority.

T'Mar of Vulcan

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #206 on: November 19, 2008, 12:03:53 AM »
Awww, T'Mar of Vulcan, I'm afraid that you've put me into a vegetative state :-P
Systems crash left and right, leaving ehellions in various stages of catatonia and trauma. 
Honestly, T'Mar, until I read what you had to say about names, the worst name problem I had was with a Hispanic teen who only gave me the wrong part of his hyphenated last name.  Oh, and the kid who answered to three different names on any given day.  Suddenly that seems like a picnic.  Seriously, you are achieving almost deity-like status here.

 :D

Quote from: Black Delphinium
It's that Vulcan logic, Lily. If she didn't have such an ordered mind, she'd go hopelessly insane. (wow, I need a straight-faced icon right about now...)

Heh heh.

Yeah, some of the things we have to deal with are insane.

We've also had this situation numerous times:

Parent (in November/January): I need to register my child for Grade 5.
Secretary: I'm sorry, the school is full.
Parent: But I live in the area!
Sec: We're sorry, but we can't take more children. Try (one of the other schools in the area).
Parent: They sent me here!
Sec: We're sorry, but registration opened in August, and now we have no more space.
P: Not even for one child?
Sec: No, I'm sorry.
P: I'm going to report you to the department! (Sometimes the dept. tells us to take the child; other times they don't.)
S: I guess you'll have to.
P: I'm going to tell them what racists you all are, refusing my child entry because she's black/white/Indian/Coloured/Chinese/purple.
S:  ???


The only Vulcan from South Africa! :)

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #207 on: November 19, 2008, 12:04:35 AM »
I work in an industry where project teams are scattered around the globe.  The project lead normally works out of the UK or US, depending on where the parent company is based.

Bearing this in mind, I live and work in Australia.  Inevitably, the Project Manager emails me on Friday their time, demanding that I do thus-and-so task by close of business their time.  Ummmm, guys, it's after close of business here?  Hello, different time zones?  Do you think that's why I always turn down your meeting requests because they fall in the middle of the night here?

Of course, I do offer alternate times/deadlines, but it gets old.

The penny finally dropped for one PM when I sent her the link to the meeting planner timeanddate.com.  I got a sheepish apology the next day.  Some managers don't even realise even after they look at the links  ::)

Sometimes I wonder how these people get to their positions of authority.


Very simple.  They have risen to their level of incompetency; also known as "The Peter Principle."
"May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live." - R. Heinlein

Animala

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #208 on: November 19, 2008, 01:02:26 AM »
Well I did have several library patrons expect me to type up their school reports and essays (usually plagarized straight from wikipedia), and even had a few adults provide the following conversation:

Patron: Hi, I'm looking for a job and someone told me I need a job sheet thing.
Me:  A resume?  Certainly, the books on writing resumes are over here on this shelf, and you're welcome to take up to an hour on the computer.  Although if nobody else needs it, I am able to extend your computer time somewhat.
Patron:  I don't type too good; can you do it for me?
Me:  Pardon?  Sorry, I'm not able to type your resume for you, but [opening a resume book] here are several excellent examples of resumes.  Pick one you like and go from there.
Patron:  [Looking at the example] But I didn't work in . . . uh, muh-DEE-kale transitions.  [Medical transcription, or whatever the example resume used]  Look, can't you just write my job sheet for me?
Me:  I'm sorry, I'm unable to do that.  Do you need help getting started in Microsoft Word?
Patron:  I don't do computers.  [getting frustrated]  Are you going to help me or not?  Don't you want me to get a job?
Me:  *headdesk*

I'm ferquently amazed at how many people confuse a library with some type of welfare/social organization. Or those who think they are personal secretaries.  My sis has a patron right now that she won't do anything for him besides check out books or give him a phone book.  He actually thing she (the head librarian at a college) would do all his research, make all his phone calls and, oh there was something else, but I can't remember now.

HonorH

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #209 on: November 19, 2008, 01:31:01 AM »
Speaking of Harry Potter, I worked at Banes & Ignoble for the releases of the fourth and fifth books.  What was it like?  Think "madhouse," but with more whiny brats.  And I'm talking about the parents, not the kids.  We had several flavors of crazy, but there were two in particular that really baked my noodle.

The first were the people who wanted the book before the official release.  Yes, we did get the book prior to the official release, only by a matter of days.  However, the boxes were wrapped in tape with large, all-caps, bold-print warnings and probably a few hexes forbidding anyone from opening them before the book was released.  They got opened about fifteen minutes before midnight, and that was just so we could organize the chaos of getting them into customers' hands.  BUT, some people knew we would have the books up to two days before the release.  And they would beg, cajole and threaten to get one.  "Juuust ooonnne, what can it hurt?"  Um, let's see--if word got out, Scholastic would get royally peeved with B&I Corporate, which would come down on our little store like a ton of bricks, which would in turn cause the store manager to go through our computer records to find out who sold the thing, which would lead to the summary firing of that person in the hopes of appeasing the gods of Scholastic, one of the biggest publishers/distributors of children's books in America and thus fairly high on the list of Those Whom B&I Does Not, Under Any Circumstances, Wish To P*ss Off.  So, um, no.

The second were those people who didn't bother to reserve books for themselves, and when they turned up at the store Saturday afternoon, discovered we had no books to sell them.  "But the Other B-store and the Big Independent Bookstore and the Little Shopping Mall Bookstores are all out, too!  What am I supposed to tell my kid?"  Tell 'em we'll get a new shipment next week, sorry.  Then they'd ask for one of the reserved copies.  No, people had 48 hours to pick their reserved copies up, so check back Monday to see who got lazy.  But we have. no. copies. to. sell. right. now.
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