Friday, March 27, 2015

Tales from the Workplace, Part X

I am posting stories from my job, because I think they're funny.  I've done my best to disguise my company name, even the industry, and to keep the people I write about and even some details of the situation anonymous.  If you know me, and know where I work, please don't include details in your comments.  I'll have to delete your comment and reconsider posting these stories.

Okay, this might be stretching the analogy, but earlier I said that the product our company sells is kind of like chocolate used in chocolate teapots--it's packaged, but we usually sell by the truckload rather than a specific quantity.  To further stretch the analogy, let's say that when we make the chocolate, we end up with some extra cocoa nibs once in a while, just due to how things work out--they're left over from our normal processes and we don't have an immediate use for them, so we grind them up and sell them in a form easily usable by consumers, let's say as cocoa.  (I don't know much about chocolate, so this probably doesn't hold up, but let's just pretend.)

Since this is a byproduct and not something we specifically set out to make, we don't advertise it much, but through word of mouth, people know we sell it.  And it's especially popular at certain times of year, so we currently have a waiting list.

A customer with about four teeth (literally) came in the door asking about our cocoa the other day, and I said we don't currently have any, but that I could add him to the waiting list, and he'd be the fourth person on the list.  He said sure, gave me his information, and then asked, "So, when will you be getting back to me...later today?  Tomorrow?"  Um, no.  I explained the above, about it being a byproduct and not something we actually made just for the purpose of selling it, and said that it would probably take a month or two before we called him.  "Huh.  Okay.  Well, could I just buy the extra cocoa nibs you don't use in the chocolate, then?"  Did you NOT hear my whole explanation about how we take those extra cocoa nibs and grind them into cocoa to SELL?  No, we're not going to give you for free something that we use very little labor to turn in to a side product we sell for money.  He still seemed genuinely confused as he walked out the door (and believe me, the actual stuff we sell isn't as confusing as this whole cocoa nib analogy).  I think he had about as many brain cells as he had teeth.

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