Category: Time

Trying To Hang Up At The Appointed Time

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Time

(I call up the local hairdressing salon.)

Me: “Hi! I was wondering if you have any available times today.”

Receptionist: “No, sorry. We can fit you in tomorrow morning, if you’d like?”

Me: “No, that’s okay. I only have today free, so I was just trying my luck. Thanks anyway!”

Receptionist: “How about 9:00 am?”

Me: “What, today?”

Receptionist: “Tomorrow.”

Me: “No, I can’t make it tomorrow. Thanks anyway! Bye then-”

Receptionist: “9:30?”

Me: “No… Bye for now-”

Receptionist: “10:00 am?”

Me: “Um, no?”

Receptionist: “Can you hold the line, please?”

Me: *mostly curious to see why she would want me to hold, since this discussion is going nowhere* “Okay, sure.”

(I hold for a few minutes, and then the boss comes on the line.)

Boss: “Hi. We cannot fit you in today.”

Me: “Yes, I realise that.”

Boss: “We do not have free time.”

Me: “I know… I understood that when it was first explained.”

Boss: “We can fit you in tomorrow?”

Me: “No, but thank you. I’m only free today. Anyway, bye for now-”

Boss: “Well, before you hang up, I’d just like to let you know we are open tomorrow.”

Me: “Um, that’s great, thanks. Bye now!”

Boss: “Just in case you didn’t know. So give us a call if you want to come in tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, bye!”

(I hung up before she could say it AGAIN. They must have been incredibly desperate to book appointments for the following day!)

Should Speak Plane-ly

| Germany | Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive, Time, Transportation

(My husband is flying from the US to Germany. I will be picking him up at Frankfurt Airport when he comes in. Before he boards his plane he texts me that they are boarding 20 minutes late. When I get up the next morning and check the website the plane is expected over four hours (!) late. I am wondering how 20 minutes turned into four hours so I decide to call the airline to see if I can get more information and verify that this is correct.)

Airline: *automated message* “Thank you for calling [Airline]. All our representatives are currently busy helping other callers. If you want to switch to an English speaking representative to cut down your waiting time please press 1.”

(I have lived in the US, so my English is fine, and I press 1.)

Agent: *with an Indian accent* “Hello, this is [Agent] with [Airline]. How may I help you?”

Me: “My husband is on [Flight] from Houston to Frankfurt. He texted me last night. They left Houston 20 minutes late, but now the website says that the flight is expected to arrive four hours late. Can you confirm this for me? Do you happen to know why this is?”

Woman: “So, you calling about [Flight]?”

Me: “Correct.”

Woman: “I see here in my system that it left Houston yesterday at [Time].”

Me: *thinking* “Yes, I know. I just told you this. This isn’t new information.” *actually saying* “Yes.”

Woman: “It will arrive in Frankfurt today at [Time].”

Me: “Yes, I know. This is the scheduled arrival. So, you are saying it WILL arrive at this time? What about the delay listed on the website?”

Woman: “Yes, it is scheduled for [Time].”

(At this point it is painfully clear that basically she hasn’t understood one word of what I said about why I am calling. I consider asking to be transferred to someone who could understand me but I don’t feel like arguing.)

Me: *one last effort* “Yes, I know this is the SCHEDULED arrival. But do you have any information about the EXPECTED arrival?”

Woman: “I don’t have any information about that. You could check the company website…”

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

(I remained neutral and just hung up, figuring it would probably be just as effective to simply call the same number again. This time I waited for a German speaking representative who was local and was able to answer my questions. Am I a bigot for thinking if you work in an English speaking call center you should actually speak enough English to understand why customers are calling?)

Too Busy To Care

| Middletown, NY, USA | Bosses & Owners, Ignoring & Inattentive, Time

(I’ve spent almost all day running errands to get ready for vacation and the last thing I need and want to do is get a manicure and pedicure. The first two salons I go to have over hour-long waits so I find another salon that’s hidden in a new shopping center, I almost didn’t see it. There’s three technicians, all with customers, but I am the only other person there so I decide I will just wait. One technician that I can only assume was the owner of the salon comes up to me as I am patiently waiting.)

Owner: “Everyone’s busy so can you come back later?”

Me: *a bit confused* “Excuse me?”

Owner: “Everyone’s busy so come back later.”

Me: *getting up and putting away the polish I had already picked out* “Okay, then.”

Owner: “You’ll come back later?”

(I didn’t bother saying anything. I just left and went to a different salon the next day.)

Too Late To Make It Too Late

| Wellington, New Zealand | Coworkers, Time

(We have just ‘gone live’ with our new product, so our team is having to sort out work hours for the next couple of weeks while we get used to dealing with customers calling in. Until now, hours have been pretty chill — as long as you work your standard eight sometime between regular work hours, it doesn’t really matter when you start and finish your work day. Now, we’re having to be a bit more structured, just until we get some more employees. This conversation happened at the first meeting to discuss the hours.)

Team Lead: “Okay, guys, are there any times that you can’t work?”

Coworker #1: “I’d prefer the early starts.”

Me: “I need to finish at about 4:30 on [Day #1], [Day #2], and [Day #3], as I have a class that I need to get to. That said, I’m happy to work until 5:30 on the other two days, no issue.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, man, I’m not bothered at all; put me wherever. It’s really not a problem. I’m totally cool.”

Team Lead: “Excellent, so [Coworker #1], you can be on earlies, [My Name], if you can do the lates on those two days when you don’t have a class, and [Coworker #2], if you can do the lates on the days that [My Name] can’t, we should be away.”

Coworker #2: “Okay… Well, um, will [Coworker #1] and I be switching around on a weekly basis so that I can finish early some days as well? Because that’s not really, you know… I mean, me working the lates all the time.”

Me: “But you said you didn’t mind! And one of my days to work the late is Friday, your big party night, so what’s the problem?”

Coworker #2: “Oh, nothing. I really don’t care. It’s just… yeah, will we be on a rotation or something?”

(This carries on for about five minutes: Coworker #2 insisting he doesn’t care, but at the same time making it blatantly obvious that he doesn’t want to do the ‘late’ shift, which is not that late.)

Coworker #1: “Oh, for f*** sake, [Coworker #2]. We can switch it out. Relax. Stop worrying about it. We’ll sort things out. Jesus.”

(He then walked out. He’s generally a pretty chill guy, but this was clearly too much.)

Lack-Of-Service Provider

| Saint Paul, MN, USA | Ignoring & Inattentive, Time

(I get a bill from a cable service provider I haven’t had in nearly two years. Naturally, I call them up and have been on the phone with this rep for nearly 20 minutes.)

Representative: “Okay, so I’m seeing the bill here. It looks like it’s mostly overdue fees, but if you pay today I could get some of them waived!”

Me: “That’s lovely, but I haven’t had this service in—”

Representative: *cutting me off* “Yes, it was cut off due to nonpayment.”

Me: “No, you don’t understand. I—”

Representative: “Ma’am, you have to pay to have the service. You didn’t pay.”

Me: “There shouldn’t have—”

Representative: “How would you like to pay today?”

Me: *frustrated* “What’s the date on the bill?”

Representative: “September 2016. Are you refusing to pay?”

Me: “Well, since I ENDED my account with you in October of 2015 because I moved out of state, I’d say yes, I’m refusing to pay.”

Representative: *clearly not listening* “If you continue to refuse payment your service will not be turned back on, so—”

Me: “Transfer me to your supervisor and I hope like h*** this conversation was recorded.”

(Eventually I managed to get a higher-up on the phone and explained without interruptions and got the bill dropped in ten minutes.)

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