Sure Enough

, | USA | Employees, School

(I’ve been working in a small college library for about a year now and often students come in asking where certain classrooms are located. Despite the number of times I’ve had to help students, I still get confused as to what building the room number code is referring to. A group of international students come to the desk.)

Student: “Can you tell me where this room is?” *points to paper with room number on it*

Me: “Um, I think that would be in the building over there.” *points toward building* “But I’m not 100% sure.”

Student: “How sure are you?”

Me: “About 80%?”

Student: “80% is pretty good. Thanks!”

(The group walked away.)


Some Emotional Intelligence Is Required

| UK | Employees

(The phone rings.)

Me: “Good afternoon, [Library]. How can I—”

Flustered Woman: “Hello, I’ve got a book and a letter and I think it’s overdue and I need to renew it.”

Me: “Okay, can I have the name?”

Flustered Woman: “Goleman! Daniel Goleman!”

Me: “No, madam, I need your name…”

(We got there in the end!)


Just Dropped A Jaeger Bombshell

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I stop at the gas station to buy a frozen drink. There are two girls working behind the counter, talking loudly to one another about pregnancy and C-sections. I get my drink and go up to the counter.)

Me: “Hello.”

Cashier #1: “So, was it weird to be having his baby when you weren’t together with him?”

Cashier #2: *doesn’t acknowledge me while ringing me up* “Ha! We were never together in the first place!”

Cashier #1: “Well, then, how did you…?”

Cashier #2: “Way too much Jaeger.” *laughs* “That’s why I always advise everyone against it at parties.” *hands me receipt without looking at me*

Me: “Thanks…”

(It’s amazing what people will talk about in public!)


Cut Ties With That Manager

| KS, USA | Employees, Pun

(All of this takes place over the walkie talkie:)

Coworker: “May I please have [Manager #1] to the customer service desk to speak with a customer?”

Manager #1: “It’ll be just a minute; I’m tied up right now.”

Manager #2: “Well, obviously the knots weren’t tied very well if it’ll only take you a minute to get untied.”


Should Survey Your Surveyors First

| USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Employees, Ignoring & Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Popular

(I’m at work one afternoon when my cellphone rings. Even though I don’t know the number, since the number comes up as a non-800 US number, I answer it.)

Caller: *with the most disinterested tone I have ever heard* “Hello. I am calling you on behalf of the CDC to conduct a survey about childhood immunizations. Your number has been randomly selected using random dialing. I assure you this is not a sales call and any information you provide us will be kept totally confidential. This survey should only take 15 minutes. Before we begin, I want to ensure that you are not driving or doing anything else dangerous, and need to verify that you are over 17 years of age.”

Me: “I am over 17, and I’m happy to answer your survey, but I’m at work right now. Can you call me back tomorrow evening after 6 pm?”

Caller: “Ah, work, the famous excuse. When can we reach you at a better time?”

Me: “Um, it wasn’t an excuse, I’m actually at work right now and I don’t think my boss would be very happy if I spent 15 minutes answering a survey on his dime. As I said, if you can call me back tomorrow after 6 pm, I’ll gladly take your survey.”

Caller: “Are you sure you can’t take just 15 minutes of your time to answer the survey now?”

Me: “Lady, I did research surveys for two years as a second job when I was first starting my career. I know you can punch right into your computer that I am responsive and requested a call back tomorrow – or, frankly, any weeknight besides tonight – after 6 pm. At that time, I’m happy to answer your survey. Vaccines are important. I’d be glad to support your research goals, after 6 pm tomorrow.”

Caller: “You don’t have to be so snippy about it. I’ll note that you declined to take the survey.”

Me: “No, I didn’t decline. What is the name of your research company?”

Caller: “I can’t tell you that.”

Me: “You can and are legally required to because I asked. Remember, I did exactly what you’re doing for a couple of years. What is the name of your research company?”

Caller: “Due to your aggressive tone, I am forced to end this…”

(Before she can finish, another voice comes on the line.)

Supervisor: “I’m so sorry for your experience with this call. Your response is not mandatory. We will take you off our calling list.”

Me: “I’m not refusing to respond. If you’ve been listening, I just requested a call back after 6 pm tomorrow or any other weeknight this week. I’m just busy right now and tonight.”

Supervisor: “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I picked the call up partway through because the surveyor keyed that you were aggressive. So… if we call you back after 6 pm tomorrow you’ll answer the survey?”

Me: “Absolutely. I told her that upfront. Go back and listen to the tape. Is she still on the line?”

Supervisor: “No, I cut her off.”

Me: “Okay, and fire her. As I told her, I did surveys for a couple of years. I know people can request a call back at a more convenient time, but she tried to persist that I take the survey right now. I was pretty gracious about it, too, just saying ‘after 6 pm any night but tonight.’ If she can’t handle that, she has no business in that line of work.”

Supervisor: “That is not what we expect from our survey callers. I will review the tape. Can I call you back myself and administer this survey tomorrow at 6:30 pm?”

Me: “Of course, if you’ll tell me just one thing… What is the name of your research company?”

Supervisor: “[Survey Company]. Please don’t badmouth us online because of this experience.”

Me: “I won’t just yet, particularly because you did a good job of recovery. But select your staff a little more carefully, okay?”

Supervisor: “Noted fully. Again, I’m sorry, and we’ll talk tomorrow at 6:30.”

(I took the survey the next night at 6:30 on the nose. After the survey, we spent a little time chatting about some of the terrible experiences we’ve both had in survey research, from abusive respondents to sexual harassment when the survey required some slightly personal information (I once had to do a follow-up survey for a product test for men’s underwear… I could HEAR her wincing when I said that, and she, unprompted, said “I don’t know; how is the fit of YOUR crotch?”) to technology foibles and everything else.)