Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 662543 times)

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Yarnspinner

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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

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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

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Which has never, ever been produced on VHS OR DVD. 

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.)


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HonorH

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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?
William wondered why he always disliked people who said "no offense meant." Maybe it was because they found it easier to say "no offense meant" than actually to refrain from giving offense.

--Terry Pratchett, The Truth

MadMadge43

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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".

whiterose

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We had a customer like that the other day. He wanted a video of something he had seen on YouTube but had never been released as a commercial DVD/VHS. He kept insisting that since it was on YouTube, there HAD to be a video of it. I tried to convince him that it had been an amateur who filmed it with a video camera and uploaded it- took a while to do so. He was getting VERY close to me- I almost had an anxiety attack due to the proximity and to his persistence. But at least I got rid of him. My colleagues thought I handled it well- but I was about to have an anxiety attack.
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hot_shaker

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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.

Slightly off-topic but . . .

I was once talking with a teacher from a school system in another state.  Not only will some of the parents not pick up if the school calls, they have actually blocked the school's number.  Blocked as in, if little Susie has been in a terrible accident there is no way to call her parents.  The teacher said that if she needs to call home (i.e., school closing), she has to go across the street to the University and call from that number.

Bonus: Now I can get updates to what I'm sure will be a very entertaining thread.  ;D

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iridaceae

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I work at a hotel, and none of the guests rooms are in the main building. This hasn't stopped people from arguing with me that they were guaranteed a room in the main building.  So...going to sleep in the Bar and Grill then, are we?




Rosey

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I LOVE this thread already! Okay, old story first:

I worked at a steakhouse while I was an undergrad. The customers there were priceless. My favorite:

Priceless Customer: I'd like the smoked prime rib.
Me: Okay, we have this available in rare and medium rare.
PC: Okay, I'd like mine well done.
Me: I'm sorry, ma'am, it's only available in rare and medium rare.
PC: Oh, that's much too red for me, I'll take mine well done.
Me: Ma'am, I truly apologize, but the smoked prime rib is... smoked. It takes all day to cook and, because it is smoked, we can only offer it in the temperatures available when ordered.
PC: Well can't you just cook it longer?
Me: Unfortunately there's no way to speed up a smoked process. Prime rib is not like other steaks-
PC: I've HAD prime rib before.
Me: Okay, well, can I interest you in rare or medium rare?
PC: No. I want it well done. Can't you just throw it on the grill? (head=table top)

gibsongirl

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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?


My reply at this point would be:  Can you bring me a unicorn?  Not a statue, but a living unicorn?
Her: No that's ridiculous.
Me: Why not?
Her: They don't exist...everyone knows that.
Me: Well that's exactly why I can't get you that movie. >:D

caranfin

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When DH worked in radio, someone called to ask him what time it was going to stop raining.  ::)
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SquishyMooMoo

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Yeah, we get this a LOT where I work. We sell promotional products with customized imprints. We can print your company name/logo/slogan/what have you on our items. I think people don't think about the fact that, oh yeah, it has to be PRINTED ON THERE... they don't just have the item with YOUR imprint sitting on a shelf somewhere to toss in a box and ship. So there is production time on all of our items. Usually 5-7 business days at the most, at the high end we're talking 20-25 business days. Plus shipping.


So when you call us up and ask us for 300 poms in your school's colors (of gold, yellow and tan???) by next Thursday, and today is Friday, we're not just being difficult by telling you it's not possible. Seriously.... we can't do it.

Also, we can't guarantee that your order will arrive by your in-hands date if you live outside the US. Why? Because once it gets to customs all bets are off. We have zero control over how long they hold your order there.

Oh, and sir? I understand that you ordered a 1 lb box of somethingorother and had it shipped to you in Japan and shipping was only $40. The reason why THIS order has shipping of more like $250? It is FIFTEEN pounds. Based on your other box, you're getting a steal! If we charged $40 per pound for international shipping, we should be charging you $600. NO, we are not charging you more because you are in the military and we think the government is paying for it. Please stop implying that we would do such a thing.

But definitely the biggest one is expecting us to whip things up faster than Mr. Wizard. If you want something personalized then you need to accept that it is going to take some time. I bless people who call us and say they know it's kind of short notice... and then name a date that is a month off. Seriously? That's AWESOME. Because so many people want things in one week or less.





Sycorax

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My favourite customer last spring was a lady who wanted her mare to become covered by a certain stallion. I told her it wouldn't be possible because he died last year, but offered her to look for one of his sons or - perhaps even more suiting for her mare - one of his nephews.

Me: "I'd take Stallion R. for your mare. He's a son of the sister of the stallion you actually wished and .... a lot of blubber about his merits."
She: "Is he black?"
Me: "No, he's brown."
She: "So I won't get a black foal from him, will I?"
Me: "Well, with your mare being a chestnut who was only having chestnut foals until now it's unlikely to get a black foal ..."
She: "But the stallion I actually wanted was black, wasn't he?"
Me: "Yes, but nevertheless you probably wouldn't have gotten a black foal from him and your mare. He wasn't homozygous black."
She: "How do you know?"
Me: "His sister is a chestnut too."
She: "But he was black!"
Me: "Of course, he was - but him having a sister who is a chestnut means that he wasn't homozygous black. Besides around 75 % of his children are brown."
She: "But he was black and he had black children!"
Me: "Yes, there are black foals of him, but ..."
She: "You have a black son of him, haven't you?"
Me: "Yes, my dressage horse is a son of him and he's black."
She: "Then I want you to cover my mare with him. I insist on her getting him."
Me: "You know, there's one son of your dream stallion who's black and was having a black mother too - with him the chances to get a black foal are pretty high ..."
She: "I want your horse for my mare!"
Me: "You can't have mine. But why don't you try this black son ..."
She (now sounding rather furious): "Why don't you want to let my mare become covered by your black stallion?"
Me: "Because he isn't a stallion anymore!"
She: "What do you mean with that?"
Me: "My boy is a gelding."
She: "So what? I want to have a foal from him."

Sycorax
"That was the moment my jaw dropped ..."
« Last Edit: November 16, 2008, 10:00:40 AM by Sycorax »

gibsongirl

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And we file Sycorax's customer under "those wanting you to perform an anatomical impossibility"

T'Mar of Vulcan

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I was once talking with a teacher from a school system in another state.  Not only will some of the parents not pick up if the school calls, they have actually blocked the school's number.  Blocked as in, if little Susie has been in a terrible accident there is no way to call her parents.  The teacher said that if she needs to call home (i.e., school closing), she has to go across the street to the University and call from that number.

That's exactly what happened with little Johnny's father upthread. In order to call him so that he would answer, my fellow teacher called him from her own landline. Then when I had to schedule a later meeting with him, I had to call him from my cellphone. Because if we'd used the school phone, he wouldn't have answered. And this is the man who insists we "don't tell him about his son". Yeah, maybe because you ignore messages originating at the school?!

And you wouldn't believe the number of parents who claim not to have jobs and so "can't pay school fees". I'm sure some have a philosophical belief that schooling should be free (which I agree with, really, but the government is too busy jazzing up their offices and taking overseas holidays on taxpayers' money to bother giving money to schools, so we have to charge fees - which is legal according to the SA Schools' Act), but others just don't want to pay. They somehow think if they lie about it, we will be stupid enough to fall for it. Not so much. Because we say to little Suzie, "What's your Daddy's work number?" And Suzie coughs it right up and voila, we know Daddy is employed.

Sorry for OT. Teaching in a public (state) school is LOADS of fun. Really.  ::)


The only Vulcan from South Africa! :)