A Pop Song

Chicago, IL, USA | Employees, Family & Kids

(I’m with my family at one of those places where the wait-staff is encouraged to be blatantly disrespectful. Guests are encouraged to be just as ornery. At another table, a boy is having a little party. He has eight balloons tied to his chair.)

Mother: “Well, are you lazy, good-for-nothing ingrates going to sing Happy Birthday to my son or what?”

Server: *she’s standing next to the boy* “Sure! Are you ready?” *pops a balloon with her pen* “Happy birthday to you!” *pop* “Happy birthday to you! ” *pop* “Happy birthday,” *pop* “Happy birthday,” *pop* “Happy birthday to you!” *pop pop pop*

(She popped all eight balloons. It was sooooo satisfying.)


Robot Security

| Streamwood, IL, USA | Technology

(I get one of those calls where it’s an automated voice that sounds real and responds to what you say as if human.)

Caller: “Hi, My name is Carol and I’m calling from [Security Company]. How are you today?”

Me: “Fine and you?”

Caller: “I am fine, thank you. The reason I am calling today is to offer you a state of the art home security system for free. Do you currently have a home security system?”

Me: *catching on this is not a person* “Yes, I do!”

Caller: *slight pause* “Great! We can upgrade you at little-to-no cost!”

Me: “I seriously doubt your upgrade is better than MY shotgun!” *my husband, who is sitting near me, is cracking up at this point*

Caller: *pauses as it figures out a response* “Let me put you through to our security experts. Will that be all right?”

Me: “Seriously?” *hangs up*


A Late Realization

| USA | Bizarre/Silly, Time

(As a single twenty-something with no spouse, kids, or pets, I’m usually assigned the night shift at our shop: one to nine pm. It’s an hour to closing and the bell chimes, letting me know there’s a customer up front. I leave my two coworkers in the back, finishing up a project, and greet the customers, a mother and daughter.)

Me: “Good evening, welcome to [Shop]! How can I help you tonight?”

Customer: “Oh, my god, it’s so late! What are you doing here?!”

Me: “Er… we’re open until nine, ma’am.”

Customer: “But it’s so late! Do you have to stay here the whole time?!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “When do you close?”

Me: “Nine pm, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh, my god, that’s so late! Why are you open so late?!”

Me: “…”

(And then she and her daughter left, without buying anything.)


Becomes A Soap Opera Drama

| IL, USA | Extra Stupid, Rude & Risque

(I work as a correctional officer. Last night, a sink in one of the blocks was clogged, so maintenance had to fix it.)

Maintenance Guy: “Got it cleared; it was a bar of soap.”

Me: *to the two inmates in the block* “Don’t drop the soap!”


Knows Zip About The Post Code, Part 2

| Moncton, NB, Canada | Employees, Geography, Ignoring & Inattentive

(A guest is wanting to check in. He has a prepaid reservation made through an American travel site that we don’t do very much business with, since their prices are advertised in American funds and after the conversion the customers often ending paying more than they would have if they had booked directly with us. As I pull up his reservation I notice that the company’s credit card number is missing from the reservation so once he is off to his room I give the company a call in order to get the credit card number.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name], and I am the assistant general manager at [Hotel]. I am calling about a reservation for a customer named John Doe. The credit card number is not attached to the reservation and I’m going to need that information.”

Worker: “Yes, ma’am, I can certainly help you with that. May I have your name, the name of the hotel, and the name of the customer, please?”

Me: “You mean the information that I just gave you? Okay.” *I repeat the information*

Worker: “Okay, and can I have the customer’s confirmation number, please?”

Me: “I can give you our confirmation number but I wouldn’t have the one provided to the customer by your company.”

Worker: “Well, how can I look him up, then?”

Me: “…By his name, check in date, and the hotel name? That’s normally how it’s done when I have to make these kinds of calls.”

Worker: “Oh, yes, yes, okay, ma’am. Sorry. Yes, what is the hotel address then?”

(I proceed to give the street address, city and province and postal code.)

Worker: “Okay, and the zip code?”

Me: “The postal code is A1A 2B2.”

Worker: “No, the ZIP code. Five numbers.”

Me: We live in Canada; we don’t use zip codes. I’ve given you my postal code. You need to use that.”

Worker: “What is your zip code?”

Me: “Again, I don’t have a zip code. This is a Canadian address, our POSTAL CODE, is A2A 2B2.”

Worker: “Okay, I found it. This is Northwood Medical Center in North Carolina?”

Me: “What?! No, this is [Hotel] in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.”

Worker: “Okay, what is the zip code?”

Me: “NO ZIP CODE! We are NOT in the United States; we are in CANADA. As in up north, igloos and snow and toques? We have POSTAL CODES. They are six figures, letter and numbers. It is A1A 2B2.”

Worker: “Oh, I’m so sorry, madam. This is New Brunswick, New Jersey, correct?”

Me: “No! We are in Moncton, which is a city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. We are not located in the United States. Have you tried changing the country code on your search page from the US to Canada? If it’s anything like our system you have to change the country code for the postal code or zip code to pull up the correct city.”

Worker: “Please hold while I speak to my supervisor.”

(She then sighs loudly and I hear dialing followed by ringing. I realize right away that she thinks I’m on hold and that I can’t hear her while she connects to whoever she is going to speak to.)

Worker: “Yeah, Jane, I don’t what to do here. This crazy b**** is wanting help with her reservation but she’s too dumb to know her own damn zip code so I can’t pull up the hotel to find the reservation. I’m asking and asking and she’s trying to tell me she doesn’t have a zip code. She’s giving me a bunch of letters and s*** trying to tell me that in New Brunswick, New Jersey they don’t have zip codes?”


Worker: “There’s no such thing as a postal code. I’m 52 years old I’ve never even heard the word postal code. She’s just confused and doesn’t know how to read her own address. She’s probably giving me her postal box number or something. And she claims to be the assistant general manager. What a laugh.”

Me: “Excuse me, but first of all I heard everything you just said because I’m not on hold so you might want to pay a little more attention to what you’re doing before you bad mouth your clients. Second of all, those letters and numbers are in fact my business postal code. I told you number of times that we are NOT located within the United States; we are in CANADA. I have told you this a number of times and you have ignored me. Now I would like to be assisted by someone who knows how to listen and then I would like to speak to someone about making a formal complaint.”

(There is a click as the supervisor immediately connects.)

Supervisor: “Ma’am, I am so sorry about this. [Worker], transfer the call to my line, clock out, and come to my office. We need to talk.”

Worker: “I don’t… Wait, what? I don’t understand.”

Supervisor: “Most countries don’t use zip codes; they use postal codes. Remember in training when you were shown how the country codes were configured to determine the city and state or province based on the zip or postal code?”

Worker: “Yeah? So… OH! She’s not American!”

Supervisor: “Transfer the call; she can still hear you.”

Worker: “Oh, right!” *back to formal telephone voice* “Is there anything else I can help you with today, ma’am?”

Me: “No… No, you really can’t.”

Worker: “Thank you for choosing [Company]. Have a nice day.”

(The supervisor got me the information I needed just by using the customer’s name and arrival date and she allowed me to file a formal complaint which they later followed up on. I hate dealing with this company but I’m glad to know some people there have a brain.)


Knows Zip About The Post Code