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    • CommentAuthorCassa
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    Some carpentry and general construction secrets:

    Yes, we can probably do it for cheaper, but if you're a prick we'll charge you full.

    Offering a drink is never a bad idea, especically between 11am and 3pm when it's hottest.

    If you're hiring a plumber, don't expect him to landscape, don't think you can get a plasterer to put down tiles, etc. Except a Carpenter, we know everyone and can get someone to do it for cheap, scratch our back and we'll scratch yours.

    When you change your mind, that's fine, we're happy to do what you want. Just don't be suprised if the price changes because a new awning got turned into a veranda.

    Don't haggle over work after it's been done, if you want to argue that it's our fault the bathroom flooded when we did what you explicitly asked for, we don't care, we'll just walk away.

    Oh, and finally, to hell with you for giving us a check on Friday. We will leave early to run down to the bank to try and cash it before you 'forget' and take out the money you owe us so it bounces and we spend a month trying to catch you up. If you think burning a restaurant is bad, try burning the people who build your home. It's all fun and games until a supporting beam shatters and traps little billy.

    Of course, this is all coming from an Australian perspective, so don't be suprised if it's completely different and wrong for you antipodeans.
  1.  (4956.42)
    Having worked customer service for a major long distance company in the US for four years here goes a couple bits of advice.

    We quoted 7 to 10 business days to receive your bill. Your bill is due 21 days after it is issued. Your payment can take 7 to 10 business days for us to process it once we have received it. So, after that, you will pretty much have a late fee on each and every bill if you pay by mail. Be smart, pay online. Be smarter and do not sign up for automatic billing as we will eventually screw up your bill.

    Do not threaten customer service with anything other than getting a lawyer. We will report you to the police. We are required to.

    If you complain often enough and long enough about a bill we will eventually give you credit. either because you deserve it or because you got someone that does not want to listen to your crap.

    If you are crazy, please keep the crazy at home and do not send us letters stating stuff like we are controlling your mind or that you work for the CIA. These are entertaining but a waste of time as we are required to read them.

    Old people, do not try to pay your bill in postage stamps. This is not a viable currency. And also, please do not tape pennies to your bill.

    If you have a fetish of one type or another please go see a prostitute. We do not have time for you. We are actually trying to help people.

    We do not own your telephone lines for local service. We rent them from the company that owns them. When we file a request for repair and the service person does not show up, it is not our fault. We can only file another request for you.

    Taxes and surcharges are silly. It is the companies way of getting more money out of you while making you think you are getting 5 cents a minute long distance.

    Never be afraid to ask for a supervisor. The supervisors are usually afraid to get on the phone so if you insist then more than likely you will get your account credited.

    If you have an old bill on your credit history do not wait to talk to us until the day before you are getting a $500,000 loan. We can correct your credit history if the bill is incorrect we just can't do it fast.

    If after you have tried everything else to get credit you can complain to the FCC. They will then send your complaint to a group within the company who pretty much has free reign to give credit. It is cheaper for us to give credit than pay FCC fines. If you live in michigan, always complain to the fcc about your bill.

    Your 5 cents a minute plan is probably only viable for 90 days. After that time the company has released their new suite of calling plans and will start to increase your rates. This is usually stated in the small print on your bill. Please read every bill every month for notices like these.

    Whew...that was very liberating...thank you...

    also, from working at a toothbrush factory for 6 weeks, when you buy a new toothbrush be sure to clean it completely before you use it for the first time. They do fall on the floor and they don't care that they did. I recommend whiskey or vodka.
  2.  (4956.43)

    My father was a union painter and a building super for a 30+ unit building with my mom for over 15 year. Never ceased to amaze them when people tried to "float" their rent checks month after month.

    "We know where you live you idiot. And we have keys."

    At one point a college student, who regularly paid 10-14 days late claiming that "His dad was sending him a check" was shocked to find the locks changed. He kicked down the door and just went about making dinner as if the splintered jamb was always there.

    Don't shit where you eat is a fine motto. Maybe in latin it sounds better ("operor non curtus que vos epulor")
    • CommentAuthorjohnmuth
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    On working in Grocery stores:

    - A good portion of that "Organic food" you're purchasing at your local, grocery store - and all those organic standards that are posted everywhere - is total bullshit. If the boxes of produce don't come in with conventional food stacked on top - with the chemically-laden ice melting and dripping onto the Organic food, then the people that are prepping it (like the greens and stuff that goes on wet walls) or loading up carts, don't give a real shit and stuff will have fallen on the ground, been co-mingled.

    - Of course, this doesn't take away that it's still grown without the chemicals...but it is still grown in shit and uses other things that YOU OUGHT TO WASH OFF!!

    - Old ladies have it right, all of the freshest stuff (milk, produce, pastries) are indeed in the back of the shelving...

    - Meat and seafood are the nastiest and grossest departments in a grocery store. Deli and Prepared Foods departments are close behind, because a good portion of that beautifully created food is made with the cast-off from the other departments.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    I've worked in e-commerce for about a decade and could teach a class on the subject, but let's keep things simple and focus on selling from a small to mid-size business perspective:

    - Shopping carts don't move money by themselves. You still need a way to get paid for your products/services. This is where a merchant account, payment provider, or reseller comes in. Find one that lets you call and talk to a human being when you have questions.

    - You are not Amazon. Your customers don't want to register an account just so they can complete their purchase. Autogenerate customer accounts, if necessary, just don't slow down the transaction process.

    - It's much easier to dispute a fraudulent chargeback if you have a tangible product.

    - You cannot eliminate risk, but you can manage it and price to compensate for it. Know your market and its associated fraud risk.

    - Read and understand all contracts, especially those with your merchant account/payment provider/reseller. There are countless laws and industry regulations that define the nature of these relationships, so don't assume what you know about one company applies to another.

    - As a small business, you probably don't want a merchant account. The ease of use, customer service and fraud mitigation provided by an e-commerce provider/reseller/whatever are worth the extra transaction costs. If you do get a merchant account, consider going through an ISO/MSP that provides these extra services.

    - If you can get paid via some kind of electronic funds transfer (EFT) to your bank account (ACH in the US, BACS in the UK...), do so. Wire transfers go through multiple banks on their way to their destination and are difficult/slow to track. If your payment provider says they sent your funds and your bank says they didn't receive it, they're both correct. You'll eventually get your money, but yelling won't speed up the process. Getting paid through EFT will.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    I work in a grocery store.

    Every store has vermin. Mice, rats, birds (yes, birds!). Good stores don't have cockroaches.

    Milk is disgusting.

    Customers are sheep.
      CommentAuthorGreg SBB!
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    Chicken factory:

    Anything that has fallen on the ground WILL be put back on the line, having been kicked around first.
    The pre-packaged cuts covered with strong-tasting sauces and Kievs etc will undoubtedly be the slightly smelly off stuff even at the factory stage.
    Chicken drumsticks make excellent cross-factory floor projectiles.
    Posh brand chicken passes down the same line and is packed by the same people as the standard brand stuff. I have no idea whether the chicken is actually any different (and I suspect not).
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    I work at an Opticians teaching people how to insert, take out and look after their contact lenses.

    For those of you who wear contacts, we know you lie about how long you really do wear them. The Optom's always add at least another two hours to what you tell them; they can also tell by the state of your eyes.

    The amount of people who get fitted for lenses and then go "Oh I don't like touching my eyes" is incredible, they don't make lenses that float into your eyes on their own yet folks ;)

    If you are waiting for a teaching session and the person before you is struggling, don't laugh or boast about how easily you'll do it.
    Chances are you won't and if your teacher hears you they will make you suffer, you'll be able to get them in and out because we'll keep going until your eyes are red and sore.
    Oh and working at an Opticians turns people into sociopaths.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    i work at a dvd store

    yes its alphabetical

    no i don't care if its "all in forrin" thats not a good reason for a refund

    you need to tell us your name and what you're picking up if you're collecting an order, we don't know or care who you are

    yes. it is a busy/tough/shitty day and you asking won't make you seem like a nicer person

    fuck off and look yourself you're a grown up, i have fucking work to do, the diplays are there so you can find things yourself

    if something is still in the cinema WE WILL NOT HAVE IT FOR YOU TO BUY!!!!

    if you are happy and really looked and can't find it, thats cool we'll see what we can do, exclaiming "you can't find anything in this fuckin' place" will simply make me forget to give you your change and receipt and make security stop you.

    we can see you steal... you are not subtle

    if you buy porn we will laugh and tell our friends

    sorry i ranted a bit
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    For those of you who wear contacts, we know you lie about how long you really do wear them.
    You'd have to, considering my six-month packs tend to last a good year and a half.
    • CommentAuthorE0157H7
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    Finally, you see how I have the scanner in my hand? The "return consignments" screen up on the console? The giant stack of books I'm returning? Well, I'd appreciate it if you'd please ask before you shoehorn yourself in front of me, log off the drive that we do consignments on and them log on to a different one to "check something really quick". If you need to do something with the console, just ask me,. I'll clear out and let you do whatever and we can both dispense with the lie that it's going to be "just a second". I'll go get a drink at the gas station or take a piss or something.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009 edited
    All this work talk is excellent. Inspired me to share my other, less savory career. Oh, not the porn production, no shame in fuck movies, I mean children's entertainment.

    I used to to be a kid's party entertainer. I did a magic/science act. Dry ice, lots of explosions, color changing chemicals, robots. It was meant to be kind of educational, but not boring at all. I made quite serious bank off it too, 200-250 for an hour's performance? I'd do 2-3 a week while in grad school. I did libraries and school visits for up to a grand. I went by the name "Doctor Oddness". Most everyone who knows me now has no idea what I did then. And would be STUNNED, or possibly scared. People who do know always assumed the kids were the hard part. Bullshit. The parents are evil

    -They will always try to cheat you out of money. "We said 150 right?" No, we signed this contract, that I have here, for 250. Yesterday.

    -Referrals are everything. So in getting your actual pay you have to be polite.

    -Get paid before the show but after you set up. If something goes wrong (Billy shits himself, Janey barfs up a lung) they'll blame you even if you had nothing to do with it and stiff you.

    -Everyone assumes that a man who works with or near children is a pedophile. I allayed this fear by bringing female friends and girlfriends to assist and making eye contact with an adult with my hands in clear view when the kids would run in for a hug (and they love to hug you, it's kind of cute)

    -Parents will offer you beer, weed and even coke.

    -Mom's will flirt with you, but they're often just having a laugh. When a dad cruises you...well that was awkward.

    -Teenage siblings think it's cool to fuck with your stuff, including trying to steal ipods and chemicals. They will also offer you drugs or try to convince you to get them drugs or beer. DON'T.

    -There are territories and communities that certain entertainers work, like a circuit really, and some people get really fucking defensive about it. Somewhat understandable, it is their livelihood, but having a guy leave threatening messages if I ever took a job in Rosemont without "getting his permission" was ridiculous. Most of them are cranks, but I never marked my car with ads or showed up with any costumry showing after being told by another performer that his tires had been slashed.

    -Don't eat the food. You can see the mental subtraction the client is doing about your pay.

    -Kids will get bored, even if you are fucking amazing. The only kid that matters is the client's kid. Make them happy and you're golden

    -Never let the kids see you out of character. I used to show up early and hide out so they never saw me arrive. My "costume" was a custom lab coat, einstein wig and goggles. If I took that all off, slipped on my street clothes I was just another adult.

    -Get a really good accountant. The IRS loves nothing more than to audit performers, since we are almost always hiding something.

    -The fancier the party, the unhappier the family.

    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2009
    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but if you own a comic book store, teenage boys in groups of three are generally the best to watch for thievery...
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009

    Amazing. That is all.
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009
    @orwellseyes - Outstanding. I think America just gets laid bare by encounters where we deal with service. It is in those moments that what passes for class consciousness in America just gets thrown aside and you get these raw moments of just wrangling for your labor vs. their money that purely illustrates the underlying tensions. That was always difficult as hell for me when I was working as an individual consultant, and is one of the reasons I keep working for a company now - I just don't like dealing with the money end of things, and having to personally justify and extract my value in $$$ out of the client while trying to maintain a relationship.

    All the contributions are excellent. I'd love to see concierge secrets - either hotel, or the credit card people.
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009
    Genius. What a great insight to so many jobs. Here's a few nuggets from some of my income sources of the past 20 years:

    1. Never show the client a sketch/concept you are not 100% ready to develop, because THAT is the one they will choose, and you will curse yourself through the entire job. The "I should drop in another sketch, this initial client presentation looks a little thin" scenario will screw you every time.

    2. I have an hourly rate for my work, but I'm not going to tell you it. I use it to figure out how much honest time I have to charge for, then just give you a lump sum. Pricing does come from actual calculation, but I've always had trouble when I've involved the client too much in how I get my pricing. Most people just like to see one price tag, boom, done.

    3. Graphic designers who use terms like "cornflower blue" or "mauve" are idiots. Real designers use real color terminology, and not just Pantone color information. Terms like "orange, to the red side" indicate much more knowledge of color than "fire engine red".

    4. Designers who stretch type don't know shit about type. Typefaces are built with specific weights and balances to make them visually even, and able to relate to the type forms around them. Quick test to see if someone is stretching type; check the cross strokes on an upper case E or A or H. If the center cross stroke is wider that the ascending strokes on either side, someone had stretched the font, and you should run away from them, because real designers don't do that. They find condensed versions of a font, or use/custom design a font that is built to serve that purpose.

    1. Asking a caricaturist to not make you look fat or make you look pretty will put thoughts of doing the exact opposite in their brains. Trust that they somewhat have your best interests in mind, especially if you are paying them. I'd rather flatter and get paid than ridicule and get punched.

    2. White guys; asking to be made to look like a gangsta rapper, holdin' a 40 and a gun just makes you look like the colossal fucking dork you are.

    3. Going the extra distance to make a heavier set/gangly/handicapped teen look awesome in their caricature isn't lying or deceitful, it's showing them that they are more than just their body at that point. I've had hugs and tears with giving a teen at a grad bash party a really good picture of themselves that didn't ignore what their body looked like, but didn't make it the center focus of the image.

    4. Babies look all the same. Sorry Mom, your 4 month old looks the same and all the other babies on Earth. I will dress them like you have them dressed, and draw their hair in the way you have it styled that day, but they all look the same, and if I draw them how they really look, you will run away crying.

    5. Waiting for the person who is going to pay you for a gig to get drunk is a really good way to have an extra $200 bucks added to the hand written check they make out for you that night.

    1. When I'm deejaying a wedding and I say to you "I'm sorry, the bride and groom gave me a very specific playlist for this reception", I really mean I don't feel like clearing the dancefloor because you want to hear a Clint Black song.

    2. I am working, even when I'm just listening to my headphones. Please don't ask me tech questions during the set. I am trying to figure things out, even if it doesn't look like I am.

    3. I've heard of every song you want to request, but I may pretend to not know who 98 Degrees is, if 98 Degrees' song will screw up the groove I have going.

    4. Every DJ has a copy of "ABBA Gold: The Greatest Hits" with them, even if they say they don't.
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009
    4. Every DJ has a copy of "ABBA Gold: The Greatest Hits" with them, even if they say they don't.

    This is what we call a TRUE FACT.
  3.  (4956.58)
    I work for the cable company, and have a small number of secrets. Nothing too major-

    * Can't get online? That's probably because of your router. Not always, of course, but often enough that it's the first thing I go for.

    * Setting up your new HDTV? Yeah, you only need the component or HDMI cable to connect the cable box to the tv. The coax cable is not only redundant, it's hurting the video output ability of the cable box. That's where all the HDMI errors on screen are coming from.

    * We bill a month in advance, but it's not due until two weeks into the billing cycle. No, this isn't unfair.

    * No, we are not a monopoly. We may be the only providers of television services that use a physical cable connection from the outside world, but there are many, many ways of getting access to hundreds of channels.

    * 8 Megabits per second is pretty zippy (for the US), but most people can get by just fine on 768 kilobits per second. A little e-mail and some light web-browsing doesn't take that much bandwidth. If someone is looking for a break in the price then the $20-$25 difference in monthly rate between the two services makes it the first thing I'll suggest, and if they don't tell me how they really use the internet that's not my problem.

    * Always leave good notes on the account. Always.

    * Somebody ordered all that porn, and we can tell if it was watched. Just because it was ordered at 7AM doesn't make it unlikely that your 15-year-old son didn't watch it.

    * Just because I can see a problem and know what the solution is doesn't mean I can fix it.

    * I have zero control over the available time for a service call. If this is what we have, this is what we have. Yes, it's inconvenient, but service calls can take anywhere from no time at all to just shy of forever, so our scheduling has to be a bit vague.

    * Friday and Saturday nights are an endless parade of "My video on demand doesn't work!". The first thing to check is the bill, because when it tops $400 or is running two months late the VOD services go away. Of course, it could also be a missing code, weak signal strength, or the box just needs a quick reboot. VOD sucks.

    * Finally, and most importantly, some phone personnel care about fixing problems and others are in it for the sales. Personally, I like solving problems, but the fat paychecks come from sales so that's what most people aim for. Good luck getting the right person when you call.
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009
    Speaking for video game testers everywhere:

    - We found the bug that you found - it was just deemed not important enough to fix.

    - Likewise, we knew that the last boss fight was no fun, but it either wasn't worth fixing or no one listened to us.

    - We don't play games for a living. We try to run through every wall in the game. It's not particularly glamorous.

    - With that said, some of us get very, very good at the games we're testing. The high scores that come with most games are possible - you just need to spend eight hours a day working at it.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2009 edited
    If your a retail salesman (especially and have the option, always have free candy, toys, comics, dog treats and other little gift items behind the counter. People actually remember that and bring their kids back it adds a perk to your day when you can give a treat to a kid who's parents were too cheap to actually buy him anything...

    We KNOW the story to your favorite book we sold don't have to tell us...we've heard it...many times...

    Oh, and if you own a comic book store...hire cute geek girls to run the counter. You sell a lot more that way. Seriously... :P

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