Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 690010 times)

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Reika

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Funny how it's always "different" when the shoe-is-on-the-other foot, isn't it?

I was trying to work with a customer who hadn't paid us a dime for his ads. "I have to think about whether I'm going to pay for this, I don't know whether I've gotten much business from them". Uh - you HAVE to pay us, you signed a contract!  I tried to get that across as politely as I could.  Finally I said - "what if I came into your shop to have my windshield replaced, and I said that I'd come back and pay for it in six months if I decided that I was happy with it?  Would that be fine with you?"  "Of course not, that's completely different!"

In your own case - sometimes it really doesn't pay, over the long term, to keep giving concessions like you did with this customer - your company would have had grounds for cancelling her policy, as you say.  For a lot of customers (no, not all) - once you give a little leniency, they start expecting a lot of leniency.

Yeah, everyone is their own special unique little snowflake. /sarcasm

With regards to the concessions, I think it was just an oversight on someone's part. My office is the only one that handles these accounts and we have customers in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and a few other American territories, so sometimes stuff slips through the cracks.

extranormal

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I suspect the majority of customer service reps, retail workers, and restaurant employees would vote to ban entirely the words "unacceptable" and "ridiculous" from the English language.

Quote
We sell promotional products with customized imprints. We can print your company name/logo/slogan/what have you on our items.


Squishy, I'd forgotten that you had another job, so this startled me a bit. I was trying to figure out why a mortuary would sell items with slogans...and just what those items might be.

In my case, it wasn't so much a customer as a bureaucrat. I was filling out a form involving my son and it asked for the name of his school. I filled in "homeschool" and turned it in.

Bureaucrat: Ma'am, we need the name of the child's school
Me: He doesn't go to school, so there is no school name.
Bureaucrat: We need the name of his school before we can process this.
Me: Won't "homeschool" suffice?
Bureaucrat: We need a name (her tone clearly implying that she thinks me mentally deficient). His school has to be called something.

At this point, I'm contemplating coming up with some smart-alecky name and putting it on the form, but I don't want my kid to have to apply to colleges with a transcript from The Northwest Strawberry Cream Cheese Academy. So I take the form back and replace "homeschool" with "Home School."

Bureaucrat: See? That's what I meant when I said we needed a name.

kareng57

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Funny how it's always "different" when the shoe-is-on-the-other foot, isn't it?

I was trying to work with a customer who hadn't paid us a dime for his ads. "I have to think about whether I'm going to pay for this, I don't know whether I've gotten much business from them". Uh - you HAVE to pay us, you signed a contract!  I tried to get that across as politely as I could.  Finally I said - "what if I came into your shop to have my windshield replaced, and I said that I'd come back and pay for it in six months if I decided that I was happy with it?  Would that be fine with you?"  "Of course not, that's completely different!"

In your own case - sometimes it really doesn't pay, over the long term, to keep giving concessions like you did with this customer - your company would have had grounds for cancelling her policy, as you say.  For a lot of customers (no, not all) - once you give a little leniency, they start expecting a lot of leniency.

Yeah, everyone is their own special unique little snowflake. /sarcasm

With regards to the concessions, I think it was just an oversight on someone's part. My office is the only one that handles these accounts and we have customers in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and a few other American territories, so sometimes stuff slips through the cracks.

Sorry - now that I'm reading it again, I didn't mean "you" personally, I meant your company.  And I'll agree completely that often, in a large company, things definitely do fall through cracks.

artk2002

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    • The Delian's Commonwealth

Have you ever read the customer reviews of The Princess Bride on Amazon? I think you'd appreciate them.


:::opens a new Internet window to Amazon:::  ;D

ETA: :::snigger::: W. Goldman has abridged this classic by omitting over 100 pages of the original. If anyone has an available copy of the original by S. Morgenstern or knows somewhere to get it please email me!!! I would be much abliged. Thank You Very Much!

Oh, dear.   ::)

Well....at least they're reading books?   8)

I'm now crying for the future of humanity.  :'(
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Shea

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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 ..."

This person should never have been allowed to buy a horse, let alone breed them :o. I worked at a barn in high school, and we gave trail rides and had weeklong horse camps for kids during the summer. I only remember one "not gonna happen" request though.

Me: You'll be riding this horse, her name is Daisy.
Guest: ::face falls:: Do you have a white horse? (Daisy is an Appaloosa, a spotted breed of horse)
Me: Um...just one, but he's very old and for his wellbeing we only have children ride him.
Guest: What about that horse? ::points to nearby run where a border's stallion is standing:: (Stallion is a paint, but has few markings and from that angle he looked all of one color)
Me: The stable doesn't own that horse, and besides, he's a stallion. Only very experienced riders ride him.
Guest: Why can't I ride him?
Me: He doesn't belong to us, and he's dangerous. (he wasn't really, but would be for an inexperienced rider)
Guest: But...why can't I ride him?
Me: Because he'd hurt you.
Guest: Oh. ::I help guest onto her horse, and then bring my horse out from inside the barn. My horse at the time was very light fleabitten grey, i.e., looked white) Can I ride that horse?
Me: This is my horse, and she needs an experienced rider.
Guest: Can I ride her just a bit at the end of the ride?
Me: ::wishes Daisy would buck guest off and stomp on her::

I have no idea what the fixation with "white" horses was. It was weird. Working at the bookstore for awhile, I also had a number of times where a patron could not understand that we did not have a book in stock. No, it was not in "the back". No, looking in "the back" multiple times would not make it magically emerge.


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.

baconsmom

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And for those of you who work in retail... I'm sorry, but many stores do keep merchandise in "the back." Customers don't know who does this and who doesn't. Don't call them stupid for asking you if you have one in "the back," because at the last store they visited, someone said "Let me know if you don't see your size, and I'll check in the back."

I should have been more clear - these were customers who refused to believe me when I said, politely, that we kept nothing in the back room. After getting a few of these intractable souls, I learned to recognize the signs, and lied to them. They were happy, I was - well, not as annoyed, at least - and I could get on to the next customer.

It's certainly not rude to ask, politely - but if the clerk says there is no "back", please believe them.
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Maggie

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I have many many stories.  I'm not sure this belongs here but there was a woman who was checking out.  She was purchasing some kind of fruit.  The cashier had put in the item number and they came up $1.50 a pound.  She told the cashier they weren't 1.50 they were 2 pounds for $3.00.  No matter how hard the cashier tried the customer did not understand that 2/3.00 was $1.50 a pound.  She finally called a csm over and she tried to convince her as well.  The customer finally told the cashier that fine she didn't want them if she couldn't have them for 2/3.00.  I've always wondered if she ever told that story to people and they finally convinced her that yes 2/3.00 was the same as $1.50. 

42_42_42

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"I sometimes wonder why people who don't have the slightest glue about genetic try to breed horses ..."



Intentional or Freudian Slip? Hilarious, either way!

HET

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

This might have been said already (I haven't read beyond page 1 of the thread...yet). OTOH, this is an etiquette board and ya'll are MUCH more polite than me. (Beige colored text ahead, do not highlight if you are easily offended):

If I had been in some of the situations already mentioned, some of these patrons would have been asked to perform anatomical impossibilities on themselves.  >:D

I know, not polite AT.ALL. That's why I'm not working with the public at the moment.

missmolly

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Quote
I have no idea what the fixation with "white" horses was. It was weird.

Perhaps she wanted to put rings on her fingers and bell on her toes and ride to Banbury Cross?
"Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". Chekhov.

auroratudor

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  • In libris libertas.
Someone I know works on the business end of a company that breeds mice and rats for scientific research.

Everyday she has to explain to people who have about 5 degrees that no, they can't just have 50 female mice with [insert random scientific need, like having no immune system] available for shipment tomorrow. They have to BREED them first. And half of them will be male so no good. And lab mice have small litters. And she's sorry they didn't plan far enough in advance but they can't just make the mice appear out of thin air.

Having a PhD does not necessarily give you common sense.
"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." -- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

DistantStar

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A composite sort of conversation.  I work in the reservations office for a well-known resort which has two hotels and a bunch of condos available to guests.  I have had this sort of conversation on quite a few occasions.

Me: LovelyExpensiveResort reservations, my name is [DistantStar], how can I help you?"
Guest:  I'd like a room for three nights starting on February 47th, in MoreFamous OfTheTwo Hotel.
Me:  Okay, let me look at what I have available...all right.  I'm afraid we're totally sold out, the whole property.
Guest:  What about LessFamousButVeryNice Hotel?
Me:  Oh, I wasn't clear.  We're totally sold out.  Both hotels, the condos, everything.  I can give you a couple of numbers to call --
Guest:  Well, what about a condo?  The deluxe ones?
Me:  No, sir, no condos, either the deluxe or the standard.  The entire resort is sold out.  That is a very busy time for us.
Guest:  You have to have something!
Me:  I'm afraid not.
Guest:  This is unbelievable!  February 47th is months away!
Me:  Well, sir, we have some big conventions coming in and we're always busy then anyway.  As I said, I have a couple of numbers for other places nearby.
Guest:  You must have something.  What about the BigExpensiveFreestandingHouses?
Me:  Those are sold as well.  I have nothing to offer you.  There are several other hotels  --
Guest:  Well, fine!  I'll just go somewhere else!  *click*
Me:  $*^&!  @(#*$&#*$%&*$(!!!!!

It's not like I have magical rooms I can pull from where the sun don't shine just to make a caller happy.  And I'm not going to get offended at you going somewhere else when I've been trying to tell you to do just that!  Do they think I enjoy telling them we don't have availability?  Do they think I'm playing a game?  I'd be in real trouble if I told them we were sold out when we weren't, honest!

TychaBrahe

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I think a lot of customers picture "the back" as Aladdin's cave, complete with a grant-your-retail-wish genie in a lamp.  ;D

Please have some sympathy for those who ask the retailer to "look in the back."

When I was a child, and up until about twenty years ago, a shoe store consisted of a display of shoes in various styles and some chairs.  You would look at the styles for a bit, and a clerk would come up to you and ask if you wanted to see something.  You would then say something like, "I'd like to see that pump in a 9 wide, and do you have it in blue?"  And the salesman would go out and come back with several boxes of shoes.  He would bring what you wanted wanted (the shoe in blue, in 9 wide) if it was available and several similar shoes (the same in black, a slightly different shoe in blue, and so forth).  You would try on the shoe and if you said something like, "I like it, but the heel is a bit too high," it would turn out that there was a similar shoe, in blue, with a lower heel.

Merchants would often not put out everything they had because it was cheaper to use space as a stockroom than as a showroom and because shipments were slower and more expensive, so more stock was kept on hand.  Instead of putting six white size six sweaters, six white size seven sweaters, six white size eight sweaters, etc. on display, they would put one white sweater and you would ask for it in your size. 

With computerized inventory and just-in-time stocking systems, things have changed quite a bit.  When a store closes up for the night, it transmits its sales to the main office, which figures out what has been sold, how many need to be sent in to meet demand, and arranges the shipping automatically.  If the stuff goes UPS, it's there in two days.  If it's a grocery or pharmacy chain fed from a centralized warehouse, the stuff is on a truck the next morning. 

However, most people aren't aware of this change in business and still think there's a stockroom in back.  Generally, only at the holidays, where there isn't enough shelf space to display all of the cans of pumpkin pie filling they are going to be selling in a single day.
"Brownies and kindness for all!"  High Dudgeon

Nightboomfer

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There was the guy who wanted a birthday cake for his kid. No problem, I told him it'd be ready in about half an hour or so after I took his order. He just could not accept this. I told him that we needed to bake the cake first. He told me his kid's party was in five minutes and he needed it NOW. (Honestly, what part of "we need to bake it first" is so hard to understand? We can't just sell you a raw lump of dough. Also: if the cake was that important, why didn't you make sure you had it ahead of time?)

Then there was the guy who wanted a "Spongebob" cake and refused to believe that we didn't have the license for the character. If we had a Spongebob cake, we'd gladly sell you one, but we don't, so we can't.

Anyone else notice that a common trend when you tell someone you can't do something is that they will reply "Fine then, I'll just go somewhere else" after arguing with you over whether or not you have the thing they want.

Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's First Law of Equivalent Exchange.
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Itza

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My husband was in one of the local DIY shops a few years ago.  He went during his lunch break and was wearing his ID badge on his shirt (he used to work in a college).

A customer approached and asked him a product related question.

"I'm sorry, I don't work here," he replied.

They eyed him suspiciously and looked at his badge.

"But..."

"I'm sorry, I don't work here," he repeated.

They looked at his badge again.

I wonder if they thought he was some disgruntled employee  ???

I would have loved to see the look on their face if they'd complained to management who I can imagine saying, "Who?  Him?  No, he doesn't work here."




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