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  • August 22, 2017, 03:49:13 PM

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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1383734 times)

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ica171

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I ran into a guy at work last week who apparently believes that computers confer magical powers upon one.  I work at an insurance company, doing disability claims.  As such, I don't have access to any information except what is relevant to disability.  The "gentleman" I was talking to did not believe me in the slightest.  He called in, I answered a few questions for him and then said, at what I thought would be the end of the call, "Is there anything else I can help you with?".  He said, "yeah, I need help getting some orthotics.  Supposedly it's covered by my insurance.  What do I need to do?".  Since his disability was not related to his feet in any way, I didn't have any information on if it was covered, or who he would need to contact about that, and told him so.  "Wait!" he says, in total disbelief, "You don't have access?  Isn't this *MyCompany*?"  "Yes, it is, and I work in disability, so I would need to transfer you to...".  He cut me off and continued, "And you are sitting at a computer, right?  Just look it up and tell me, for Deity's sake!". 

I must have explained to him seven different times that I had no access to the information he was looking for.  Not that I don't want to access it, but that I can't access it, and would he like me to transfer him to the people who have more information on this sort of thing.  No, he didn't want to be transferred, he wanted me to look it up, and obviously I could look it up since I had a computer sitting in front of me.  He got really snotty with me, and very unhappy that I had a computer, but couldn't do what he wanted.  At the end of the call, I said thank you for calling.  He nastily said, "Aren't you going to ask me if there's anything else that you can help me with?".   >:(  So I said, "is there anything else regarding your disability claim that I can help you with, sir?"  He hung up on me. 

So yeah, apparently just the act of having a computer at work gives me access to all sorts of privileged and private information.  Who knew?  ::)

Ah, magical computers. I remember having to call my pediatrician's office for some information on one of my kids. I told the receptionist what I needed and she said, very tentatively "Well...I don't have access to that information. Can I get a nurse to call you back?" Which was, of course, fine. It had actually never occurred to me that the receptionists wouldn't have access to that information, but it makes perfect sense; you don't need access to medical records to schedule appointments or pass messages on to the nurses. But the way she said it made me think that she's probably been yelled at more than once about it.

bloo

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Ah, magical computers. I remember having to call my pediatrician's office for some information on one of my kids. I told the receptionist what I needed and she said, very tentatively "Well...I don't have access to that information. Can I get a nurse to call you back?" Which was, of course, fine. It had actually never occurred to me that the receptionists wouldn't have access to that information, but it makes perfect sense; you don't need access to medical records to schedule appointments or pass messages on to the nurses. But the way she said it made me think that she's probably been yelled at more than once about it.

Slight threadjack, but my kids attend an online high school. My daughter needed to take a test and we could not get it to print. Tests are large and will time out (usually) if they just try to take it online. So they print it up, do it an submit it online later.

So I called the school and the helpful technician was stumped because the same thing was happening to him with that particular test. No problems with other tests. He was so apologetic and even started to stammer a bit with options of copying-n-pasting the test into a doc and printing it but said the technicians will probably have it fixed by the following day. I said 'fine, we'll give that a try and thanks for your help.'

He replied, "Oh thank you for not yelling at me. I get yelled at a lot."

I felt bad for him. Yelling, screaming and temper tantrums never help get a problem fixed. It is always counterproductive. And useless if the person on the other and cannot help you or perform some miracle that the garden-variety SS is sure that exists.

MommyPenguin

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I finally have a story!  :)  My mom works at a quilt shop.  For those who don't know much about quilters, quilters might get their material lots of different places.  They might use fabrics from other things (clothes, curtains, etc.), they might have fabric that they inherited from another quilter, they might buy fabric at quilt shops, fabric stores, or quilt shows.  Etc.  If a fabric is particularly memorable, the quilter might remember where they got it, but they might not remember where a fabric they pulled from their stash came from, or what booth they got it from at a quilt show, etc.  So, my mom's quilt shop got a phone call, and a coworker (Wilma) answered it.  The caller said that she'd seen a certain quilt (done by Peggy, another coworker) on display at the store, because they're doing a class on it, and the caller said that she'd fallen in love with the pink polka-dot fabric used in the center square and she wanted to buy it.  Well, Wilma had no idea the source of this fabric.  She asked Peggy if Peggy remembered.  Peggy did not.  As I said, it *could* have come from the quilt shop, but there were also many other sources.  Even if it had come from the quilt shop, they get new fabrics constantly and don't have access to fabrics they no longer carry.  So, while Wilma continued to talk to this increasingly irate customer who could *not* understand why nobody knew where this polka-dot fabric came from, my mom ran to the shelves and got out all the pink polka-dot fabrics to compare to the one in the quilt, but there was no match.  Peggy tried to wrack her brain but she could not think of where she got it.  It wasn't anything particularly unusual or interesting and might have been in her stash for years before use.  They tried to explain all this to the caller, but the caller got louder and more frustrated and finally hung up on them.

I mean, I can understand being confused that a quilt on display at the store has fabrics that are not available at the store.  But once explained that the employees (who buy all the fabric for the quilts they are required to make themselves) are not required to use only fabric from that store for the quilt, and that the quilt-maker didn't know the source, you'd think that would be the end of it.

(And *this* is why I had to take down the pictures of fabric that I used to have on the quilt shop website, which I maintain.  Because despite saying that they are "samples of the kinds of fabrics we have in the store," people might want those exact fabrics and get upset that they are no longer available.)
Emily is 10 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 8 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 7 years old!  8/10
Megan is 4 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 2 years old!  12/14

Jocelyn

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(And *this* is why I had to take down the pictures of fabric that I used to have on the quilt shop website, which I maintain.  Because despite saying that they are "samples of the kinds of fabrics we have in the store," people might want those exact fabrics and get upset that they are no longer available.)
Personally, I think it's a very reasonable expectation that a store's website would show the merchandise that the store has for sale, rather than 'samples of the kinds of fabrics we have'.   I don't know what 'samples of the kinds of fabrics we have' would mean- does it mean the fabric line? The colors? The styles? I'd rather read that a store carries Moda and Hoffman, or conversation prints, or juvenile prints, or particular designers' work. Frankly, the impression I would have, if a website said that, was that they didn't intend to maintain their website, so they were offering a disclaimer rather than making sure on a regular basis that the fabrics on the website were actually for sale in the store.

greencat

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I work for a very, very, very large academic institution.  Main campus is one mile east-west by two miles north-south - so 20-40 minutes of walking given having to go around buildings and stop at crosswalks.  I actually work about a half-mile off the south end - my department is off-campus so we don't have the security risk of students wandering into the building.

Not infrequently, we get callers asking us to walk over to check if someone's at their desk, even after we explain that the university has almost 11000 faculty and staff members and the listed office for the person the caller asked about is at least one mile away from our location.

Slartibartfast

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(And *this* is why I had to take down the pictures of fabric that I used to have on the quilt shop website, which I maintain.  Because despite saying that they are "samples of the kinds of fabrics we have in the store," people might want those exact fabrics and get upset that they are no longer available.)
Personally, I think it's a very reasonable expectation that a store's website would show the merchandise that the store has for sale, rather than 'samples of the kinds of fabrics we have'.   I don't know what 'samples of the kinds of fabrics we have' would mean- does it mean the fabric line? The colors? The styles? I'd rather read that a store carries Moda and Hoffman, or conversation prints, or juvenile prints, or particular designers' work. Frankly, the impression I would have, if a website said that, was that they didn't intend to maintain their website, so they were offering a disclaimer rather than making sure on a regular basis that the fabrics on the website were actually for sale in the store.

Depends on the store.  If they sell things via their website, then of course it's important to have an updated inventory.  A real-time online inventory system is a lot more expensive than a simple website, though, and it's tricky to maintain.  Fabric goes in and out of "season" just like clothes do, which makes it harder to keep track.  Lots of smaller businesses who have a regularly rotating stock of inventory (like fabric stores and bookstores) opt for a simple website showing general categories of merchandise instead of trying to keep everything up-to-date.  In those cases, I can see why having samples of things would be useful!

greencat

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Small retail outlets with a constantly changing inventory with only one or a few of each individual item in stock may also not be able to keep a website accurately up to date, because it would have to change on an hourly basis during the store's operating hours.  My friend's small retail store which sells specialty merchandise is like that - sometimes things arrive from a vendor, get inventoried, and are sold an hour later.

My other pet peeve of impossible requests at work is people who call in to fix computer issues when they're outside/doing yardwork/driving/at work with no access to a computer etc.  True, 1% of the time I can tell them that it's a known issue on our end that a technician is working to fix, but the other 99% of the time, the issue is actually on their computer and needs to be fixed on their computer.  Some few users are technically savvy enough to give me a precise description of the problem and previous trouble-shooting steps and their basic system information and I can give them the fix for it, but most of the people making that call are functionally computer illiterate (I spend a lot of time at working talking about the "little blue e with the swish") and they can't give me enough information about their problem (usually described as "It doesn't work!") without a careful game of 20 questions.  Fortunately I am empowered to tell users to give me a call back when they are in front of their computer.

MommyPenguin

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(And *this* is why I had to take down the pictures of fabric that I used to have on the quilt shop website, which I maintain.  Because despite saying that they are "samples of the kinds of fabrics we have in the store," people might want those exact fabrics and get upset that they are no longer available.)
Personally, I think it's a very reasonable expectation that a store's website would show the merchandise that the store has for sale, rather than 'samples of the kinds of fabrics we have'.   I don't know what 'samples of the kinds of fabrics we have' would mean- does it mean the fabric line? The colors? The styles? I'd rather read that a store carries Moda and Hoffman, or conversation prints, or juvenile prints, or particular designers' work. Frankly, the impression I would have, if a website said that, was that they didn't intend to maintain their website, so they were offering a disclaimer rather than making sure on a regular basis that the fabrics on the website were actually for sale in the store.

Depends on the store.  If they sell things via their website, then of course it's important to have an updated inventory.  A real-time online inventory system is a lot more expensive than a simple website, though, and it's tricky to maintain.  Fabric goes in and out of "season" just like clothes do, which makes it harder to keep track.  Lots of smaller businesses who have a regularly rotating stock of inventory (like fabric stores and bookstores) opt for a simple website showing general categories of merchandise instead of trying to keep everything up-to-date.  In those cases, I can see why having samples of things would be useful!

Exactly.  We don't sell through the website, the website is just to give you an idea of what's available.  I get paid to do quarterly updates four times a year.  Even if I updated the fabrics that often, some might no longer be available within a week or so, and so it would be kind of pointless to have it up months later.  What I had originally done when I designed the website was attempt to have samples to illustrate what we meant by categories of fabric: orientals, batiks, novelties, children's, etc.  But we decided that it might confuse people who might come in and ask for specific fabrics or get excited about a specific fabric, so we stopped doing it (as far as I know, we didn't actually have anybody misunderstand and come in for a specific fabric, but the pink polka-dot situation shows that it could have happened).
Emily is 10 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 8 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 7 years old!  8/10
Megan is 4 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 2 years old!  12/14

Jocelyn

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Exactly.  We don't sell through the website, the website is just to give you an idea of what's available.  I get paid to do quarterly updates four times a year. 

In that case, as I said, I'd find information about fabric lines the shop carried much more useful than being shown fabrics that might or might  not be at the store if I went there. Or even, just a plain page giving the store's location and hours. I'd be willing to go and check out a nearby store at least once, without knowing anything more than that they were a quilt shop.   

NyaChan

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I don't have a problem with the disclaimer that the fabric might be different.  I purchased a laptop sleeve from an online seller who made a point of putting a disclaimer that she used vintage fabrics and therefore couldn't make any guarantees as to which fabrics would be available at any given time.  I emailed her with my order  and mentioned a particular fabric I had really liked- it was a bunch of colorful kokeshi dolls - and asked whether there was any possibility that she might still have more of that fabric.  She was out, but let me know about an even better pattern - kokeshi dolls with cat heads - which she had only just received.  I felt like my experience was more personalized because I got a fabric based on my preferences that I might not have even known about otherwise because it was a recent arrival.

twiggy

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Exactly.  We don't sell through the website, the website is just to give you an idea of what's available.  I get paid to do quarterly updates four times a year. 

In that case, as I said, I'd find information about fabric lines the shop carried much more useful than being shown fabrics that might or might  not be at the store if I went there. Or even, just a plain page giving the store's location and hours. I'd be willing to go and check out a nearby store at least once, without knowing anything more than that they were a quilt shop.

Once upon a time I didn't know what paisley was. A few people IRL tried to explain it to me, but I couldn't visualize it no matter who described it or how. Until I finally saw a paisley print fabric that was identified as such, I had no idea what people were talking about. I've heard of batiks, but I don't know what that means. So, just having general, "stock" photos of different styles/prints would be helpful for me.
Also, unless I know that there is stuff I would like to see, I don't have the luxury of popping by and checking out a nearby store. Any time I go out, I've got 3 little kids in tow. So, for me, I would actually rather see some prints that give a good idea of what may be available. If it's just a plain page with location and hours, I'm much less likely to ever stop in. But that's just me, and I know that my circumstances are far from universal.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

RoseRose

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I work as tier two technical support.  This means I often get upset or angry customers who have impossible requests.  A common impossible request is for a repair method we don't have.  Now, I've worked supporting these items for nearly 2 and a half years, as a tier two for about 9 months, and in all that time, the repair methods have not changed.  The prices have slightly, but the methods themselves have stayed basically the same.

Not only are these the only methods we have, there is literally no one who can do anything different for any of these methods.  I explain this to customers.

Customers are not special snowflakes for asking for different methods.  They become special snowflakes when they threaten to sue our company because they don't like our repair options, which are the ones stated in the warranty.  They are special snowflakes when they personally attack me for these policies.

Most of my customers are awesome, but the few that aren't could fill a book of special snowflakes.  I'd have more stories, but most of them would give away who I work for.



Gyburc

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Once upon a time I didn't know what paisley was. A few people IRL tried to explain it to me, but I couldn't visualize it no matter who described it or how. Until I finally saw a paisley print fabric that was identified as such, I had no idea what people were talking about.

OT: A few years ago, if you typed 'paisley' into Google, the first or second site that came up was a very serious website explaining how the paisley design was one of the symbols of the Devil, and why anyone who used it or wore paisley fabric was putting themselves at risk of eternal damnation. It seems to have vanished now, unfortunately - I used to go and look at it occasionally just for a giggle.

 ;D
When you look into the photocopier, the photocopier also looks into you

ladyknight1

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Wow, all my Vera Bradley purses are a paisley fabric, of different colors and tones. I had no idea I was worshiping the devil!  >:D
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Calistoga

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I work in food service. Thus far most of the things people have asked for have been technically possible, just really difficult. The exception to the rules however have been some of the best SS scenarios ever.

-We offer cheddar sun chips, but not plain sun chips. A customer asked if we could wipe the cheddar off. Seriously.

-Someone wanted a whole muffaletta (which is a giant sandwich the size of a dinner plate), but instead of bread, they wanted it wrapped in lettuce. Ok...maybe this can be done...but they asked if we could cut it in to pinwheels so they could serve it as party food. So physically impossible.

-A woman asked if the staff could go around the room and ask other customers to stop eating and sing happy birthday to her mother. We had to decline because that's incredibly weird.