Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 672152 times)

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Yarnspinner

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Oh, heck, might as well add in one that happened some years ago when I was still the children's librarian at our "Worst Neighborhood Branch Ever". 

One woman usually arrived with her two kids promptly at two every wednesday.  But it was still first come, first served.



Uh, we can't do that as there are twenty kits and therefore twenty kids get to do crafts.

Of course she was back next week with her kids and expected us to cough up kits for their cousins who were coming to visit that weekend or some such story....


OK, I get that this woman was an annoying SS. But if the craft hour was first come, first serve, then what was the problem with her kids consistently showing up early enough to participate?  ??? Why were her kids considered to be unfairly "snapping up" craft kits (to the point that you wanted to put a stop to it) when they showed up on time so that they'd be sure to get a spot? Isn't that exactly how first come, first serve is supposed to work? I'm not sure what the problem with the cousins was, either. If the craft hour was only supposed to be for kids who had library cards at that library (for example), then the cousins should have been turned away. However, if the craft hour was for any kids on a first come, first serve basis, then why was it a problem?

You're right.  It was first come,first served.   What I didn't write was what made it so irritating that she was there on time....as soon as it was announced that we would be doing crafts, she would hustle her kids ahead of others who had gotten there earlier and make sure her kids (sometimes two of them, sometimes a lot more of them) got in ahead of everyone else.  I kept begging my boss to make them line up before the program began so the kids who had gotten there early would have a chance.  But our snowflake was "important" in that community and my boss didn't want to cross her.  Sorry about the omission.  I have to pay attention when I am typing!

MissRose

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I had a customer who called into the queue where people make reports of trouble with internet access.  We only handle trouble related issues and take down detail then send tickets to technicians.  He was demanding help with the billing portion of his business' internet access and the area that allows him to pay the bills but that department is not open weekends nor am I trained to help him with his concern.  He was not help that I could not help nor could transfer him then he threatened to cancel but he hung up before I said I cannot help you with that request either.

asb8

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Miss Rose, I don't think it is out of line or even falls into this subject that a customer called because he's trying to pay his bill and having technical difficulty doing so. And being told that you can't help him, that you can't transfer him and there's nothing else you can do must have been incredibly frustrating.  Cancelling might be a bit of knee-jerk response but not the worst.

MayHug

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asb8, but he was calling the wrong person all together. MissRose only deals with technical difficulties. Her taking a message for billing would not be appropriate. He needed to wait til the billing office was open.

Lady Snowdon

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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?  ::)

Onyx_TKD

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asb8, but he was calling the wrong person all together. MissRose only deals with technical difficulties. Her taking a message for billing would not be appropriate. He needed to wait til the billing office was open.

I don't think he was calling about billing by MissRose's company. It sounded to me like he was having difficulty with the part of his service that handles billing for his business. I.e., it would fall under technical issues (if it was a malfunction in MissRose's company's service) and/or customer support (if the system was working properly, and he needed instruction in how to use it). MissRose wasn't the right person to help him, but it's not clear to me that he called the wrong department entirely. And while he was rude, it sounds like he accepted the explanation that his issue could not be handled over the weekend, so it doesn't sound like he was demanding the impossible.

I had a customer who called into the queue where people make reports of trouble with internet access.  We only handle trouble related issues and take down detail then send tickets to technicians.  He was demanding help with the billing portion of his business' internet access and the area that allows him to pay the bills but that department is not open weekends nor am I trained to help him with his concern.  He was not help that I could not help nor could transfer him then he threatened to cancel but he hung up before I said I cannot help you with that request either.

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.)

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).

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.