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Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1385071 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2940 on: September 28, 2013, 07:56:44 PM »
My 7 yr old DD LOVES Junie B. Jones and has for awhile.  She discusses them with me.  I am against banning books across the board, what one person likes I may not, but that is why we can practice self censorship and not dictate our tastes to others.  That said..any Captain Underpants books are banned from my house!  The first time older DD brought one home from school I just about fell over!  I know, any book that gets a child to read, but those books, to me, serve absolutely no purpose!

Back on topic
I finally after a year, got a new job (yeah me!) and I went to a child care agency for help in finding a in house provider as I am having no luck (what?  I have to pass a back ground check?  No, I won't pass one but I still want to watch your child!  :o :o :o)  We go over what I need, when I will need it and the women gives me a list of 2 daycare centers that 1) are not accessible due to being out of our district which means the school will not transport and 2) close at 5..when I told them I will be working until 5.  Lady who is 'helping' me says "Well, can't you find someone to pick her up from school and drop her off, then pick her up from daycare?"  Ummmm, that would be a babysitter??  That I am here looking for.  They told me over the phone they had a listing of in home providers, I get there to be told they no longer keep a list of in home providers.  In my head I was shaking thus woman like Homer does to Bart!

gmatoy

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2941 on: September 28, 2013, 08:25:52 PM »
My 7 yr old DD LOVES Junie B. Jones and has for awhile.  She discusses them with me.  I am against banning books across the board, what one person likes I may not, but that is why we can practice self censorship and not dictate our tastes to others.  That said..any Captain Underpants books are banned from my house!  The first time older DD brought one home from school I just about fell over!  I know, any book that gets a child to read, but those books, to me, serve absolutely no purpose!

Well, as a substitute teacher who often works as a librarian, I know what the purpose of these books is: to get nonreading boys to read. And it works! They line up to get the latest books and then I can get them to try the "Wimpy Kid" series. From there it is a short hop books by Riodan...

Off my soapbox, now. :-[

Library Dragon

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2942 on: September 28, 2013, 08:31:58 PM »
*inviteseller your experience jogged a memory.

When I was pregnant with DS1 I was still stationed in Belgium, but getting out of the Army to join DH in Germany.  DH went to the community center where the Lamaze classes were held to sign register.  He was told there was a waiting list of 10 months.   :o

DH asked the clerk if he saw a problem with that situation.  Nope.  DH asked if couples were expected to registered before there was a pregnancy.  He still didn't get it.


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workingmum

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2943 on: September 30, 2013, 02:28:17 AM »
Not so much an impossible customer request as an impossible boss request.

Big big boss is going on a "Tidy up the office" rampage this week. That means that he just spent five minutes stomping around our office grumping at everyone about how untidy our desks were and he want these desks clean. NOW.

Dear boss, you can have one of two things: Me with all my necessary work notes spread around the desk in front of me so I can reference them as I work, or me with a completely bare desk and completely unable to do any work at all. Which would you prefer?

I live in a Dilbert cartoon.

I have just wasted an entire day on this thread and this is where i'm up to!! reminds me of my last boss (before this one).. he decreed that there was to be no paperwork or intrays on desks and no filing cabinets in the office. All paperwork had to be in filing cabinets which were in the archive room approx 100 metres and 3 doors away from my desk. Then he yelled when I wasn't at my desk to answer the phone because I was trying to find the invoices that I hadn't processed yet becuase I had to immediately file them when I opened the mail...  as a PP mentioned.. head-splodey!!!
"I sold my soul for freedom - it's lonely but it's sweet" -Melissa Etheridge

LazyDaisy

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2944 on: September 30, 2013, 02:54:53 PM »
Just had a fun conversation with an administrative assistant in one of our colleges. She needs to order a flier or a postcard or a brochure -- she's not sure which. They may want between 200 and 500 but maybe less -- they're not really sure of the quantity. They may want to mail these, or maybe just hand them out. Can I give her a price for how much this will cost?
 ???

1) I need to know what exactly I'm designing, printing, and mailing -- a brochure, flier or postcard? What size? Does it fold? Printed on both sides or just 1? Full color or black and white? What kind of paper? If it's a postcard, it needs to meet minimum postal requirements for thickness.
2) I need a quantity to figure the price. Actually I need a size and quantity to determine if it's more economical to print these digital or litho -- the price will vary widely.
3) Postage -- will this be first class or do you want to use the our nonprofit indicia (minimum 300 quantity)? If this is a postcard it needs to be no larger than 4.25" x 6" to qualify for postcard rate. If it's a brochure, it'll need to be tabbed closed or inserted into an envelope. If it's a flier, it can mail flat or be folded and tabbed.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

ti_ax

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2945 on: September 30, 2013, 06:06:21 PM »
Just had a fun conversation with an administrative assistant in one of our colleges. She needs to order a flier or a postcard or a brochure -- she's not sure which. They may want between 200 and 500 but maybe less -- they're not really sure of the quantity. They may want to mail these, or maybe just hand them out. Can I give her a price for how much this will cost?
 ???

1) I need to know what exactly I'm designing, printing, and mailing -- a brochure, flier or postcard? What size? Does it fold? Printed on both sides or just 1? Full color or black and white? What kind of paper? If it's a postcard, it needs to meet minimum postal requirements for thickness.
2) I need a quantity to figure the price. Actually I need a size and quantity to determine if it's more economical to print these digital or litho -- the price will vary widely.
3) Postage -- will this be first class or do you want to use the our nonprofit indicia (minimum 300 quantity)? If this is a postcard it needs to be no larger than 4.25" x 6" to qualify for postcard rate. If it's a brochure, it'll need to be tabbed closed or inserted into an envelope. If it's a flier, it can mail flat or be folded and tabbed.
"Oh, just give mea price for every possible option, then I'll decide."

Slartibartfast

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2946 on: September 30, 2013, 08:18:52 PM »
Just had a fun conversation with an administrative assistant in one of our colleges. She needs to order a flier or a postcard or a brochure -- she's not sure which. They may want between 200 and 500 but maybe less -- they're not really sure of the quantity. They may want to mail these, or maybe just hand them out. Can I give her a price for how much this will cost?
 ???

1) I need to know what exactly I'm designing, printing, and mailing -- a brochure, flier or postcard? What size? Does it fold? Printed on both sides or just 1? Full color or black and white? What kind of paper? If it's a postcard, it needs to meet minimum postal requirements for thickness.
2) I need a quantity to figure the price. Actually I need a size and quantity to determine if it's more economical to print these digital or litho -- the price will vary widely.
3) Postage -- will this be first class or do you want to use the our nonprofit indicia (minimum 300 quantity)? If this is a postcard it needs to be no larger than 4.25" x 6" to qualify for postcard rate. If it's a brochure, it'll need to be tabbed closed or inserted into an envelope. If it's a flier, it can mail flat or be folded and tabbed.
"Oh, just give mea price for every possible option, then I'll decide."

It's obviously not possible to give her an exact quote for every possible permutation, but I would expect a business to be able to give me a general range: "Brochures run from $A to $B apiece, depending on how many you have and what options you want.  Flyers tend to be around $C per batch of 100.  Postcards are $D-$E pre-stamped and ready to mail or $F-$G if you want to process them yourself.  These are all really general numbers, mind you, but they should help you figure out what fits into your budget."

I'm reminded of when DH and I wanted to buy a sofa - one or two places in town refused to even give me a general price range for their furniture.  I know sofas can range from a few hundred up through several thousand dollars - I just wanted to know whether their store had $$$ or $$$$ options!  The places that told me "Just come in and customize something and see for yourself!" - yeah, no.  I ended up doing that with one place, only to find I had wasted my and the salesperson's time because even their cheapest options were way more than I wanted to pay.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 08:20:34 PM by Slartibartfast »

greencat

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2947 on: September 30, 2013, 11:01:16 PM »
I had a fun conversation with an employee in another department trying to report a problem in extremely vague terms.  It was the computer jargon version of "The thingamajig isn't talking to the whatchamacallit or the whosonfirst, can you please fix it?"  After a few minutes of playing 20 questions "Is it blue?  Is it calling home?  Is it from Mars?" I finally got the specific problem details, which were extremely specific - and, more importantly, something the system administrators would actually take a look at. 

Actually, all of my callers who call in with the non-complaint: "It's not working!"

So far that has meant:

"I forgot my password again."
"Someone turned the volume down."
"The curly cord on the phone is twisted around itself."
"I never bothered to read the instructions."

Very rarely does that phrase actually mean some piece of technology is broken - it's usually the user who is malfunctioning, and unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to fix those yet!

WolfWay

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2948 on: September 30, 2013, 11:39:56 PM »
I had a fun conversation with an employee in another department trying to report a problem in extremely vague terms.  It was the computer jargon version of "The thingamajig isn't talking to the whatchamacallit or the whosonfirst, can you please fix it?"  After a few minutes of playing 20 questions "Is it blue?  Is it calling home?  Is it from Mars?" I finally got the specific problem details, which were extremely specific - and, more importantly, something the system administrators would actually take a look at. 

Actually, all of my callers who call in with the non-complaint: "It's not working!"

So far that has meant:

"I forgot my password again."
"Someone turned the volume down."
"The curly cord on the phone is twisted around itself."
"I never bothered to read the instructions."

Very rarely does that phrase actually mean some piece of technology is broken - it's usually the user who is malfunctioning, and unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to fix those yet!
I work in a IT department and we often get useless screenshots to go with our ultravauge problem reports. They don't tell us what web page it's on, or what user access level they logged in with or what data they entered, they just give us a cropped screen shot of the generic error message that gets thrown in hundreds of possible places in our applications.

So we can get an email that says "It's not entering data!" and a screen shot of a message box saying "That is not a valid reference. Please enter a valid reference" but no indication on what page this happened, what they were trying to do and what data they were trying to enter. <headdesk headdesk headdesk>

These sorts of emails are not good for my blood pressure.
<3

Morticia

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2949 on: October 01, 2013, 07:36:34 AM »
I had a fun conversation with an employee in another department trying to report a problem in extremely vague terms.  It was the computer jargon version of "The thingamajig isn't talking to the whatchamacallit or the whosonfirst, can you please fix it?"  After a few minutes of playing 20 questions "Is it blue?  Is it calling home?  Is it from Mars?" I finally got the specific problem details, which were extremely specific - and, more importantly, something the system administrators would actually take a look at. 

Actually, all of my callers who call in with the non-complaint: "It's not working!"

So far that has meant:

"I forgot my password again."
"Someone turned the volume down."
"The curly cord on the phone is twisted around itself."
"I never bothered to read the instructions."

Very rarely does that phrase actually mean some piece of technology is broken - it's usually the user who is malfunctioning, and unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to fix those yet!
I work in a IT department and we often get useless screenshots to go with our ultravauge problem reports. They don't tell us what web page it's on, or what user access level they logged in with or what data they entered, they just give us a cropped screen shot of the generic error message that gets thrown in hundreds of possible places in our applications.

So we can get an email that says "It's not entering data!" and a screen shot of a message box saying "That is not a valid reference. Please enter a valid reference" but no indication on what page this happened, what they were trying to do and what data they were trying to enter. <headdesk headdesk headdesk>

These sorts of emails are not good for my blood pressure.

If it makes you feel better, we used to get that from QA.
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
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Carotte

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2950 on: October 01, 2013, 08:50:56 AM »
The one time I had to mail the IT dep about a problem I included every relevant detail, who/what/when, what I had tried...
Then the only time I had to phone them because the motherboard had died (so no mail possible, I hate the phone) the guy must have thought I had never seen a computer in my life, he was asking about the unit-number of the computer, I gave him the screen ><, I had never noticed those numbers anyway and the tower was way under my desk, number hidden by something.
Then he ask me my employee number and couldn't find me, I got wondering if I even remembered my number correctly (of course I did, I logged everyday with it, now that I don't work there I even use part of it for passwords).
Told you, I hate phones, I get all bothered and forget how to talk or string sentences together.

cwm

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2951 on: October 01, 2013, 09:11:10 AM »
This is why whenever I have to call IT, I jot down what the problem is, when it's happening, what I'm doing, what seems to make it worse or better, what error messages I'm getting when, and every other relevant detail I can think of to get.

Of course, it doesn't do any good when the IT people port into my computer and ask me why all the printers are there. You know, the ones I don't have installed on my end. And chances are, the 30 printers installed on my unit that I can't access and IT can't delete might have something to do with the weird memory errors I keep getting.

wolfie

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2952 on: October 01, 2013, 09:13:25 AM »
I had a fun conversation with an employee in another department trying to report a problem in extremely vague terms.  It was the computer jargon version of "The thingamajig isn't talking to the whatchamacallit or the whosonfirst, can you please fix it?"  After a few minutes of playing 20 questions "Is it blue?  Is it calling home?  Is it from Mars?" I finally got the specific problem details, which were extremely specific - and, more importantly, something the system administrators would actually take a look at. 

Actually, all of my callers who call in with the non-complaint: "It's not working!"

So far that has meant:

"I forgot my password again."
"Someone turned the volume down."
"The curly cord on the phone is twisted around itself."
"I never bothered to read the instructions."

Very rarely does that phrase actually mean some piece of technology is broken - it's usually the user who is malfunctioning, and unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to fix those yet!
I work in a IT department and we often get useless screenshots to go with our ultravauge problem reports. They don't tell us what web page it's on, or what user access level they logged in with or what data they entered, they just give us a cropped screen shot of the generic error message that gets thrown in hundreds of possible places in our applications.

So we can get an email that says "It's not entering data!" and a screen shot of a message box saying "That is not a valid reference. Please enter a valid reference" but no indication on what page this happened, what they were trying to do and what data they were trying to enter. <headdesk headdesk headdesk>

These sorts of emails are not good for my blood pressure.

Probably as much as when I get an error message and look it up in the book to see what the problem is and find the solution is "fix the problem" (exact quote). If I knew what the problem was I wouldn't be looking in the error message book.

LazyDaisy

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2953 on: October 01, 2013, 11:19:01 AM »
Just had a fun conversation with an administrative assistant in one of our colleges. She needs to order a flier or a postcard or a brochure -- she's not sure which. They may want between 200 and 500 but maybe less -- they're not really sure of the quantity. They may want to mail these, or maybe just hand them out. Can I give her a price for how much this will cost?
 ???

1) I need to know what exactly I'm designing, printing, and mailing -- a brochure, flier or postcard? What size? Does it fold? Printed on both sides or just 1? Full color or black and white? What kind of paper? If it's a postcard, it needs to meet minimum postal requirements for thickness.
2) I need a quantity to figure the price. Actually I need a size and quantity to determine if it's more economical to print these digital or litho -- the price will vary widely.
3) Postage -- will this be first class or do you want to use the our nonprofit indicia (minimum 300 quantity)? If this is a postcard it needs to be no larger than 4.25" x 6" to qualify for postcard rate. If it's a brochure, it'll need to be tabbed closed or inserted into an envelope. If it's a flier, it can mail flat or be folded and tabbed.
"Oh, just give mea price for every possible option, then I'll decide."

It's obviously not possible to give her an exact quote for every possible permutation, but I would expect a business to be able to give me a general range: "Brochures run from $A to $B apiece, depending on how many you have and what options you want.  Flyers tend to be around $C per batch of 100.  Postcards are $D-$E pre-stamped and ready to mail or $F-$G if you want to process them yourself.  These are all really general numbers, mind you, but they should help you figure out what fits into your budget."

I'm reminded of when DH and I wanted to buy a sofa - one or two places in town refused to even give me a general price range for their furniture.  I know sofas can range from a few hundred up through several thousand dollars - I just wanted to know whether their store had $$$ or $$$$ options!  The places that told me "Just come in and customize something and see for yourself!" - yeah, no.  I ended up doing that with one place, only to find I had wasted my and the salesperson's time because even their cheapest options were way more than I wanted to pay.

That may work at a quick print shop that runs out photocopies on a letter or tabloid-size sheet of paper on a Xerox -- like FedEx Office. But I'm a professional graphic designer and not a print shop. I don't do the printing myself. I bid it out to various vendors based on what the project is, and go with the best bid. The prices vary widely not just based on whether it's a postcard or flier, but on the vendor, quantity, size, color, mailed/not mailed etc. The majority of the projects that I work on are going to print on an offset lithography press.***

If she called and asked how much 500, 4.25" x 6", full-color postcards, mailed might cost, I could pull up a similar job that I've done recently and give her a really good idea, but in essence -- to use your example of furniture shopping -- she did the equivalent of calling an interior designers office and saying she doesn't know if she wants a new sofa...or 2 bedroom night stands, or a dinning table with between 2 and 10 chairs and she's not sure how big for any of these because she hasn't even decided on where this mystery piece of furniture will go...can they tell her how much that will cost. THAT what? There are literally too many variables to even begin to give a reasonable estimate.


***If you're interested in a more detailed description of printing technology: offset lithography uses metal printing plates usually aluminum to put ink on paper. This produces a higher quality, better color, and sharper image. Ink soaks into paper so there is no chance of it "rubbing" off when going through mail processing equipment. You can use spot colors like Pantone, or varnishes that create a really high gloss finish. The largest sheet size is usually 26" x 40" which allows for multiple jobs to print at one time.

Digital printing is like an office Xerox on steroids: powered toner is adhered onto the surface of paper using heat. The pros are that it can do small jobs quickly and cost effectively. The cons are that it has a higher per sheet cost than offset depending on the quantity, the quality is (in my opinion) not nearly as good especially if the finished product is going through the mail as toner can flake or rub off, they aren't as color accurate especially if you want to match a Pantone color, the only varnish available that I've seen isn't very good at all (I just tried it on an invitation project and nobody could even tell it was supposed to be extra glossy) and generally the largest sheet size is about 14" x 19".

This is a pretty good summary of the differences: http://www.pinscreative.com/articles/digital_vs_offset.htm
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

gingerzing

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Re: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)
« Reply #2954 on: October 01, 2013, 12:24:35 PM »
I had a fun conversation with an employee in another department trying to report a problem in extremely vague terms.  It was the computer jargon version of "The thingamajig isn't talking to the whatchamacallit or the whosonfirst, can you please fix it?"  After a few minutes of playing 20 questions "Is it blue?  Is it calling home?  Is it from Mars?" I finally got the specific problem details, which were extremely specific - and, more importantly, something the system administrators would actually take a look at. 

Actually, all of my callers who call in with the non-complaint: "It's not working!"

So far that has meant:

"I forgot my password again."
"Someone turned the volume down."
"The curly cord on the phone is twisted around itself."
"I never bothered to read the instructions."

Very rarely does that phrase actually mean some piece of technology is broken - it's usually the user who is malfunctioning, and unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to fix those yet!
I work in a IT department and we often get useless screenshots to go with our ultravauge problem reports. They don't tell us what web page it's on, or what user access level they logged in with or what data they entered, they just give us a cropped screen shot of the generic error message that gets thrown in hundreds of possible places in our applications.

So we can get an email that says "It's not entering data!" and a screen shot of a message box saying "That is not a valid reference. Please enter a valid reference" but no indication on what page this happened, what they were trying to do and what data they were trying to enter. <headdesk headdesk headdesk>

These sorts of emails are not good for my blood pressure.

This is why my IT puts up with me.  My web designer found out that I can "break websites" and give VERY exact directions of how I did it.    (The last two revamps of our site I was asked to find the holes and it even is on my reviews with happy comments from the IT department) 
So I do get my Help Desk IT guy some fits when I call and say "I broke the internet"  (Really, Ginger? The whole Internet? "yup, just ask Al Gore."  :) )  Or - more often - "Help Desk Guy, my computer is possessed!"  (Sigh, yeah, that will do that some.)    My Help Desk Guy is WAY mellow and really good at dealing with my brand of crazy.    And usually he agrees that my computer is wonky.  But not that I broke the Internet, turns out the server at the provider went down.