Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 706284 times)

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Mel

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #150 on: November 17, 2008, 11:12:19 PM »


I have my own post-9/11 story, too.  On 9/13, a guy came in wanting a copy of the previous day's New York Times.

Me: I'm sorry, we don't have any.
He: Well, why not?
Me: Because they're shipped up airmail and all flights are grounded.
He: (realizing, to his credit, that he'd asked rather a silly question) . . . oh, right.

At least he didn't insist, eh?

K_Bear

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #151 on: November 17, 2008, 11:12:47 PM »
From my Banes & Ignoble days again:

(Scene: I'm babysitting the Info Desk of Doom.  A customer approaches.  She's a girl in her mid-teens, possibly a sophomore or junior in high school.)

Me: What can I do for you?
She: Where's the nonfiction section?

(At this point, I give an inward groan.  This is a bad question to ask in a bookstore.  Basically, we have one fiction section.  Everything else is technically nonfiction.  In a store like B&I, that's a lot of books.)

Me: Can you be more specific?
She: Just . . . the nonfiction section.
Me: (trying a different tack) The fiction section is over there.  The rest of the store is nonfiction.  What kind of nonfiction are you looking for?
She: Nonfiction, um, stories?  I have to do a book report.
Me: (getting a headache) Okay, over there we have nonfiction science and nature stories.  Over there, we have nonfiction animal stories.  Nonfiction sports stories are next to the children's section, true crime is over yonder, biographies are right across the way, marginally fictional memoirs are next to them, and over here, we have inspirational, happy-making nonfiction stories.  Any of that sound good to you?
She: Where's just nonfiction?
Me: (starts searching for something solid to hit head on)

I used to work at the "other" B Book store...it didn't take me long working there to figure out that when customers asked for "the non-fiction section" they actually had gotten the terms fiction and non-fiction confused.  Trying to politely point out their mistake was always interesting.  (Well lets see, sir/ma'am, the whole store, except the Lit/Fiction and genres is non-fiction. Have at!!  ;) Not the polite answer, but what goes through a bookseller's head when asked that question.)

I have spent a few years trying to forget all the strange demands requests that I got working at B Books...if any come back to me in a nightmare, I will add them to this thread.

Animala

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #152 on: November 17, 2008, 11:28:23 PM »
Warning: I'm typing rather medicated tonight, so hopefully everything will make sense.

I used to (several years ago) work for a huge international company in their banking division which had private label credit cards.  (Private label means a store card serviced by a bank.)  I worked at an inbound call center for a particular clothing portfolio two of the three were brand new, never had private label cards before.  (Inbound- I was the person your reached after getting through the stupid prompts.)  This was before online banking was big.

We had a few variations on impossible calls.

One of the stores in the portfolio was targeted primarily at youth.  Unfortunately this meant that often times 18 or 19 yos would open up credit cards and would have no idea what they were doing.  This phone call happened multiple times a day.

Me: (Greeting) [screen pops up tells me I have an 18yo with a male name account]
Woman: I need to talk to someone about this bill
Me: Yes ma'am.  I need to speak with [insert male name here]
Woman: I am his mother.  I will be handling this.
Me: I'm sorry ma'am I can't discuss this account with you.  If [son] would like you to be able to have us discuss his account with you he will need to mail/fax a written letter with [info] and then we will be able to help you.
Woman: That is unacceptable, I need to speak to someone immediately.  No one should give a child a credit card.  
Me: I'm sorry ma'am, but at 18 he can sign a contract and he is responsible for it.
[repeat several times]
They would either get mad and hang up (which BTW can really hurt if you slam it) or it would get escalated to a specialist, who usually caved.  Grrrr

Me: (My usual spiel for a store)
Clerk: I have a customer here who wants to pay his bill.
Me: Well he will need to mail that to us.
Clerk:  I know but he wants to pay it here.  Let me have you talk to him.
Me: (ARGH) Hello sir, can I get your account information?  (I had to do this for every call or I would get in trouble.)
Customer: (Gives info and verifies.)
Me: I'm sorry to inform you that at this time the stores can not take payments yet.
Customer: (Who is naturally upset) Well I want to make a payment here
Me:  I'm sorry but we don't have a system in place to do that yet.  However you can mail payment in.
Two things would happen at this point either the customer understood and was reasonable, in which I would queue the account for follow up and remove any late fees once the payment posted or they would go postal.  If they went postal they would make all kinds of demands about me coming down and getting their payments.  Then I'd note the account so when they called back everyone could see what a jerk they'd been.

Or this little gem, which happened a few times a week:
Me: (greeting and verification)
Customer (generally very young): I don't understand why I have a bill
Me: Well (explains how a credit card works *headdesk*)
Customer: But I didn't sign up for a credit card.  I signed up for a discount card.
Me: OK, did you pay for the clothes when you bought them?  (On rare occasions someone would pay for the clothes and have gotten charged too since this particular system was new to the store.  They would have to send us proof of alternate payment and research would fix it.)
Customer: No that's why I got a discount card, so I would get clothes for free.
Me: (Explains again how a credit card works.)
Customer: Well I don't want to pay for this
Me: (Explains the consequences of not paying a credit card.)
Customer: OK well I'm just not going to pay.
I died a little each time I took one of these calls.

Here is a fun one and it didn't matter which portfolio I worked in and would happen several times a day-
Me: (Greeting & Verification)
Customer: [yelling] Why do I have a late fee on my account!
Me: Let me look at this for you......Yes sir I see that you had a payment due on the 3rd of the month, but we didn't receive payment until the 17th.
Customer: [still yelling] Well that's not my problem.  I paid on the account.  Take this off immediately.
Me: Certainly sir, let me look at the account to see if I can do that for you.  (Each of the portfolios had different rules, but generally customers could get it waived about once every six months.  Sometimes we were allowed to do it for special circumstances.)
Me: Sir, I see you have been late every month for the last X months and that we have already waived two this year.  Unfortunatly that means I can't waive this fee for you.
Customer: (Generally would either scream and curse or argue more)
Me (rinse later repeat)

OK one more-  as a private label card we had an interest rate tied the (a word I can't remember at the moment) generally 12% above that figure.  The people who answered the phone couldn't touch the interest rate.  We could adjust it once it hit the account in extreme situations, but we didn't even have a screen to change the APR. I guess most people understood that because these calls were fairly rare, but potentially explosive.

Me- (all the normal junk)
Customer: I see I accrued interest at a rate of XX% last month (They rarely said that, but it is what they meant.) I think that is too high.  I want you to lower it.
Me: (Explains how interest works.) I'm sorry sir, but I can't change that for you.
Customer: Well that's not good enough I want you to fix it immediately.
Me: Again I'm sorry sir, but I can't change it.  That is the rate on the card and the rate you agreed to when you got the card.
Customer:  Change it now or I will never shop at XYZ store again.
Me: (laughing inside as I work of the bank and have never even been in XYZ store) I'm sorry you feel that way sir is there anything else I can help you with?
(This could go round several times before they either hung up, got abusive so I could hang up, or demanded to be given to a manager.)


I was working this job on 9/11.  It was really hard to have people calling in complaining about interest rates and late charges during all that.  I just wanted to shake them and say can't you see the world just changed, get over yourself.


Yeah, I don't have credit cards now and I'm always sooper dooper nice to people at call centers.


BTW- If they were good, ask to be connect to their manager and compliment them.  It almost never happens and it can make someone's week.



White Dragon

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #153 on: November 18, 2008, 01:37:50 AM »
I manage the circulation of SmallCity Newspaper.

We are currently experiencing staffing difficulties and our delivery service is spotty in some areas.

Caller: "I don't get my paper all the time."

Receptionist: "I'm sorry about that...{apologizes and explains what steps are being taken to resolve the problem}."

Caller: "But I don't know if I'm going to get my paper. Can you just have someone drop a note into my mailbox telling me I'll have to pick up a copy?"

Receptionist: "Ma'am, if we had a carrier who could do that, they'd bring you the paper."

Ummm. Yeah.

Itza

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #154 on: November 18, 2008, 02:45:53 AM »
you could put up a sign that you give tours every Feb 31 from 12 to noon

>ducking<

Or even 113th February as I've seen written in a memo at work the other day  ;)




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Itza

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #155 on: November 18, 2008, 02:53:12 AM »
2) He was in the process of grabbing at the sheeps' tails, so of course, something must be done, or that kid would be going home in casts.   

I'm surprised he managed to get that close to the sheep  :o

My aunt used to have a farm and her field was occupied by her neighbours sheep.  Whenever my brothers and I even approached the fence, the sheep would scarper!




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WolfWay

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #156 on: November 18, 2008, 04:20:43 AM »
Me: Lisa, Iím not sure what you want me to do.  Do you want me to go down to the lab, place the dish with the samples in it up to my forehead, and then use my psychic powers to determine how many of the samples are junk DNA?  Because really, it sounds like that is what you are asking for.
Lisa: Well, ok maybe I was asking you for something impossible.
*laugh*

I ran a DNA sequencer for 4 years. The number of times I had undergrads coming in with a tray of samples demanding a sequencing run when they had a presentation the next day, usually about 30 minutes after I've loaded up the machine and started it running.

Me: "Look, I've just loaded two full trays of samples, the machine it's going to run for a solid 48 hours. There is no way that I can give you results for tomorrow, even if you had put your samples in the queue to be run today. And, no, I will NOT stop the current samples because you're too lazy to do your lab work earlier in the week."

Tangent: CSI makes me weep. Boss strides in with raw sample and hands it to lab tech. Boss then sits and waits for sequencing results. It's nice to know that he has a good 12+ hours to spare.  ;D
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scotcat

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #157 on: November 18, 2008, 05:06:25 AM »
This person should never have been allowed to buy a horse, let alone breed them

But I thought baby horses were found in the Pumpkin patch......

smuflo

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #158 on: November 18, 2008, 05:48:30 AM »
Tangent: CSI makes me weep. Boss strides in with raw sample and hands it to lab tech. Boss then sits and waits for sequencing results. It's nice to know that he has a good 12+ hours to spare.  ;D

Or when the put a tube in what looks to me to be a centrifuge, and suddenly a DNA profile pops up on the computer screen. 

I know they show things like that for story continuity etc, but sometimes I just sit there shaking my head.

I was on a jury and during the presentation of the evidence the head of the lab was testifying about the lab results.  The prosecutor said to the head of the lab "so your lab uses various techniques to analyze evidence -- similar to what can be seen on shows like CSI."  The head of the lab smiled and said "Yes, we are similar to the characters on CSI, except we live in the real world." 

kherbert05

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #159 on: November 18, 2008, 06:07:20 AM »

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

20 - 30% of our parents also the ones most likely to sue us if something did happen.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

kherbert05

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #160 on: November 18, 2008, 06:18:28 AM »
We have had a series of irate parents at school. In each case the family decided to change a child's name long after the birth certificate was signed. Many times the reason given is I'm not with him (meaning the father) anymore. Or we thought person child was named after would give us money and they didn't so we changed the name. Other times it is we just felt like it.

Thing is they don't legally change the name. Now the teachers at my school let the kids put their new names on daily work but we are required by law to use the legal name on things like attendance, report cards, and standardized test. The parents still throw fits.

There is another group - kids in the middle of adoption proceedings that want to drop/change their first names as well as last because they associate the name with the abusive birth parents. Those families are always reasonable and understand why we have to use the legal name. We usually do it this way legal name "NAME CHILD WANTS" legal last name on report cards that are still handwritten - till next year when they will be on computer YEA 21st century.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

WolfWay

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #161 on: November 18, 2008, 06:19:12 AM »
Tangent: CSI makes me weep. Boss strides in with raw sample and hands it to lab tech. Boss then sits and waits for sequencing results. It's nice to know that he has a good 12+ hours to spare.  ;D

Or when the put a tube in what looks to me to be a centrifuge, and suddenly a DNA profile pops up on the computer screen. 
My favourite whoopsie was when the lab tech took the all important DNA sample and carefully injected it into the buffer reservoir tank... the one that gets chucked out when you change all the chemicals. And 5 seconds later, sequences appear on the screen. I wept then, but only from laughter. I'm forbidden from commenting on the technical aspects of DNA analysis on CSI in front of my friends now. I complain too much.
It's best to love your family as you would a Siberian Tiger - from a distance, preferably separated by bars . -- Pearls Before Swine (16-May-2009)

T'Mar of Vulcan

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #162 on: November 18, 2008, 09:34:01 AM »
We have had a series of irate parents at school. In each case the family decided to change a child's name long after the birth certificate was signed. Many times the reason given is I'm not with him (meaning the father) anymore. Or we thought person child was named after would give us money and they didn't so we changed the name. Other times it is we just felt like it.
Thing is they don't legally change the name. Now the teachers at my school let the kids put their new names on daily work but we are required by law to use the legal name on things like attendance, report cards, and standardized test. The parents still throw fits.

In S.A. black culture, the concept of naming and family is very fluid. Also, it's traditonal among some cultures (e.g. Zulu) to wait until you've had a child or two before getting married (the weddings are DAYS-long affairs, with cows being slaughtered, etc. Very lavish), so what usually happens is the child is given the mother's surname, plus usually a Zulu/Sotho/etc name and a "Western" name (usually English, but sometimes Afrikaans, even Russian, German, etc.). Some also have a nickname completely unrelated to their names. Then they don't actually USE the mother's name and are known by their father's surname! I often want to scream, "Just register the child in the dad's name already!!"

So you will have a child whose book labels all say, "Lucky Nkosi", but the classlist says, "Lehlohonolo Dube". Which is fine if you know the child, but if another teacher has to mark that child's test or something, they get very confused and don't know where to write the mark down.

Or, a parent must fill in a tear-off slip for an extra-mural. It has a space for the parent's name, a space for the child's name, and a space for the grade. So the parent will write, "I Pinky parent of Snowy in Grade 1...", completely leaving out the surname and which Grade 1 class the child is in! So you look at all the Grade 1 classlists and can't find the child because Snowy is a nickname and the child's name is Lesedi or something. How are we supposed to know what is going on? Sometimes even the child's class teacher doesn't know the child responds to Snowy, and will say, "That child isn't in my class." Then, when the child is not signed up for that activity, you get an irate phone call from the parent demanding to know why.

We've had the opposite thing, too, where the child's legal name is Lesedi Kekana, but her parents call her Snowy and she uses her father's surname. And her parents NEVER told her what her legal name was, so the teacher is calling out, "Lesedi Kekana," and little Snowy sits there not knowing her own name!!

Parents seem to think teachers are psychic.


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kherbert05

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #163 on: November 18, 2008, 10:17:06 AM »


See, this is where I'd have a hard time not pointing out to the customer that he gets a bill each and every month, surely he could have KEPT the customer portion of the bill? We keep that portion of all of our bills in our filing cabinet. I'm amazed that other people don't do the same.

If they were playing musical apartments  they may not have received a bill yet and it need to prove were they live. It happens frequently at our school especially if they are staying with another family in violation of the other family's lease.
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wordgirl

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #164 on: November 18, 2008, 11:09:11 AM »
Quote
Oh, the castle stories!

I used to work in the shop in Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Probably at least once a week I'd get an exchange like this:

Tourist: How do we get up into the castle? (Note: at this point it's a rational question.)
Me: Well, there's King Stefan's banquet hall on the second floor, you can make reservations with the maiden right over there.
Tourist: No, we want to see the inside of the castle! (Still relatively reasonable, I think.)
Me: That's pretty much all there is. The entire building is occupied by this shop, the restaurant and the mosaics in the breezeway (which are stunning, and which nobody ever looks at.)

Most tourists would take my word for it. But a few would get very insistent, like I was holding out on them. I hated to tell them, but there were a few rooms higher in the castle ... but nothing in them but dead roaches, cigarette butts and other debris.

Since then they've renovated those rooms into one luxury suite that is awarded each night by lottery, but before that we had some very angry guests, including many who were positive Walt Disney himself was on ice up there.

OT- But I've heard they've actually converted those dingy rooms into princess bedrooms and you can pay so you and your little princess can spend the night in the castle. It's pretty pricey though, but grandparents are willing to fork it over.
Actually, it's just the one suite (that's SUPER-deluxe) and it's awarded by random chance ... so I imagine there's a whole universe of new stories out there from people who thought they could just "book" the Castle Suite. :D The down side is that once you're in the suite and the park closes, you absolutely can't leave until the park opens again in the morning.

They've turned my old shop, which used to sell gorgeous stuff from all over the world, into the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, a kind of Sephora for children. One of my old co-workers calls it the "Harlotorium."
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 11:12:18 AM by wordgirl »