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    Category: Awesome Customers

    The Good, The Bag, And The Lovely

    , | Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Holidays

    (I spend about 20 minutes dealing with a middle-aged woman and her elderly mother, sorting out a rather complicated order. Despite my reassurances, they are continuously apologising for taking so long to decide.)

    Me: “Okay then, is there anything else I can help you with today?”

    Customer: “Nope, that’s brilliant; thank you! Have a lovely new year!”

    (The customers leave. About an hour later, the young woman returns and heads straight for my register, looking rather flustered.)

    Customer: “Hi again! I was in here about an hour ago if you remember me?”

    Me: “Oh, yes! Did you enjoy your meal?”

    Customer: “Yeah, but did you happen to come across a black leather handbag in your dining area? My mother left hers here!”

    Me: “Yup! I have it safe under my register for you. I found in just after you left!”

    Customer: “Oh, thank you so so much! You’re a life saver!”

    Me: “Not a problem; just doing my job after all. Have a good day!”

    (She walks off and I begin to serve the next customer. I can see her conversing with her mother out of the corner of my eye. She comes over again.)

    Customer: “This is for everything you’ve done for us today, young lady!”

    (She hands me what I thought was a scrap of paper, but is in fact a £20 note.)

    Me: “Thank you ever so much for the gesture, but I cannot accept this!”

    Customer: “No, no, you keep it! That’s for putting up with us today!”

    Me: “I can’t accept this, though! It was a pleasure to serve you, and thank you bu—”

    Customer: “Okay then, call it a New Year present or something! Bye now!”

    Me: “But I ca—”

    (She all but ran out of the store before I could protest further.)

    A Good Idea On Paper

    | State College, PA, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Money

    (I have the opening shift at a well-known steak chain. It’s a weekday and typically pretty slow to start off. I get my first table: an older man and his grandson. I leave to get their drink orders, and come back to see the boy wearing origami boots on his fingers made out of $1 bills.)

    Me: “That’s some pretty fly kicks you got there. Did you make them yourself?”

    Boy: “My pap just made them for me! We’re learning about origami in art class, and he showed me how to make shoes so I can impress my teacher.”

    Man: “Don’t expect her to just hand out dollar bills so you can show everyone.” *chuckles*

    Boy: “Pap, show me another!”

    Man: “That’s the only one I know.”

    Me: “That’s a pretty neat trick! I need to learn how to do that when I give people their change. Hey, I know how to make a paper frog; want me to show you? It hops and everything. We used to race note card frogs in middle school.”

    (The boy gets wide-eyed and nods his head yes.)

    Man: “A frog you say? Let’s see it!”

    (The man pulls out another dollar from his wallet. I fashion it into a frog. It hops just enough to make the boy get really excited.)

    Boy: “No way! How did you do that?”

    (They are still my only table at this point, so I take the time to sit down, and teach the boy how to do that, who thinks it’s the coolest thing. They finish up their meals, pay their check, and leave the restaurant. I notice they tip me very well on their card. However, when I get back to clean up their table, there are 10 little boots sitting by the man’s plate made from various dollar bills along with a note.)

    Note: “We thought you needed some fly kicks, so here’s one for each finger.”

    (I unravel the bills to discover an additional $36. It was a great start to my shift!)

    Her Manners Are Phone-y

    | Tampa, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Top

    (I work at a very busy supermarket and sometimes we don’t have enough baggers to keep up with all of the registers and help people out to their cars. I have a long line and the customer is talking very loudly on her phone at my register. I don’t have a bagger.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today? Will plastic be alright?”

    (The customer continues talking on her phone, completely ignoring me.)

    Me: *a little louder* “Ma’am, will plastic be okay with you today?”

    (She continues to ignore me. So, I start ringing through her large order and then proceed to bag it all in plastic, which is my usual default in situations like this. After everything is bagged…)

    Me: “Okay ma’am, your total comes to $193.55. Do you have any coupons today?”

    Customer: *to her phone* “Hold on a second.” *to me* “Didn’t your mama ever tell you that it is rude to talk to people when they’re on the phone?! Honestly! I swear you people don’t have any manners anymore! Oh, and I wanted everything in paper. Double bagged and pack it all light!”

    (She then turns back to her phone and continues talking to her friend, complaining how rude I was and how slow I am moving. However, Customer #2, who is behind her in line, is a regular of mine. She winks at me and then speaks up loudly.)

    Customer #2: “Honestly! The manners of some people. I mean didn’t her mama ever teach her to get off the phone while in line at the grocery store?” *turns to Customer #1* “And if you have a problem with how she bagged your stuff then you need to answer the sweet young lady when she was talking to you. At least when she finishes putting herself through college she will have the experience to put up with b****** like yourself as she moves to the top of a company.”

    (Customer #1 gets completely enraged and starts screaming how she will complain on me and will get me fired. She then grabs her groceries, still mostly in plastic and storms out of the store.)

    Customer #2: “If she calls and complains you let me know, darling. I’ll set the story straight. You keep up the good work!”

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Powers

    | Queens, NYC, NY, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m half-Chinese, but with my sunglasses on, people usually can’t tell. I’m fluent in Mandarin. One day I get a text from my friend, a grade-school teacher.)

    Friend: “You speak Chinese, right?”

    Me: “Yeah, why?”

    Friend: “Come down to [intersection] around noon and explain what the f*** is going on.”

    (At my lunch break I head down there. On one side of the street is a crowd of school kids, while on the other side an elderly Chinese man with an ice cream cart.)

    Kid #1: “I’m gonna do it.”

    Kid #2: “No way.”

    Kid #1: “Yeah way. I’m fast enough!”

    Kid #2: “You’re not Chinese.”

    Kid #1: “So?”

    Kid #2: “Only [Chinese name] can do it.”

    Kid #1: “I’m gonna do it.”

    (Kid #1 dashes across the street, yanks back the cover of the cart, and grabs a handful of ice cream. He takes off, but the vendor catches him, pinning both arms behind his back.)

    Vendor: “Ah, three bars? Your total is $9.28.”

    Kid #1: “Lemme go!”

    (The vendor removes some money from the kid’s pocket with his free hand.)

    Vendor: “Cash paid is $20.”

    Kid #1: “Yeah, yeah, I know the drill.”

    (While still holding the struggling kid, the vendor deposits the $20 in his till and takes out change.)

    Vendor: “Your change is $10.72.”

    (The vendor puts the change and ice creams in a bag and hands them to the kid, who takes off.)

    Vendor: “Have a nice day!”

    Kid #2: “Told you.”

    Kid #1: “Fine! Okay, [Chinese name], you do it!”

    (A short Chinese boy steps forward. His clothes are patched and despite the weather, he’s not wearing a coat.)

    Chinese Kid: “Let us meditate… on the way of the wind.”

    (He strikes a ridiculous pose and exhales loudly. The other kids jump back.)

    Chinese Kid: “…on the way of the snake…”

    (New pose, hissing loudly. The others back away even more.)

    Chinese Kid: “…on the way of the hawk.”

    (He flaps his arms and jumps in a circle. The kids are a good twenty feet away now.)

    Chinese Kid: “The meditation is done.”

    (He runs up to the ice cream vendor and grabs a handful of bars. The vendor strikes him with an exaggerated karate chop which the kid easily blocks.)

    Chinese kid: *flees, speaking Chinese* “Thank you, Mr. [Name]!”

    Vendor: *shakes his fist angrily, also in Chinese* “Sorry, we are out of lime today!”

    (The Chinese kid kicks towards the vendor from across the street.)

    Chinese kid: “My mother says she hopes your leg feels better!”

    Vendor: *red-faced with rage* “It does! Tell her thank you for the tea!”

    (The kids are enthralled. As they eat the ice cream, I approach the vendor.)

    Me: *in Chinese* “What just happened?”

    Vendor: “Oh… you understood. That little boy is a new immigrant, and all the other children mocked him because he is small and weak. He told them Chinese people have special powers, and they beat him up and told him to prove it. But I overheard and whispered to him to rob me. Now we have a deal.”

    Me: “How wonderful!” *pointing behind him* “Hey, can you tell what that is?”

    (As he turns around, I drop some money on the cart and grab a bar of ice cream, fleeing.)

    Vendor: “You forgot your change!”

    Me: *shakes my fist* “It’s a tip!”

    Kids: “Whoa! How did you do that?”

    (I slip off my sunglasses. The Chinese kid bows to me and I bow back.)

    Kid #2: “Told you they have special powers. Never bully a Chinese kid, man. Never!”

    Flying Off The Handle Will Get You Handled

    | USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

    (I’m at an airport, and the flight I’m on has been oversold. The representative calls over the PA system for volunteers willing to be bumped to another flight, in exchange for a free ticket. I am talking with the representative about changing my flight when a man storms up and begins berating the lone employee at the counter.)

    Employee: “I’ve found another flight on [airline] departing in 15 minutes which would get you to your final destination half an hour later than your originally scheduled arrival. Is that okay?”

    Customer: “This is outrageous. My family needs to travel together. I demand that you give my son a boarding pass at once! Stop helping other people!”

    Employee: “Sir, as I have already explained to you, your son bought a standby ticket, while you and your wife bought normal tickets. Your son will not be able to board this plane unless there are empty seats, and we are currently seeking 7 passengers willing to alter their travel plans. Please sit down and I will call you over if that becomes possible.”

    Customer: “No! I was talking to you first; you need to deal with me now!”

    Employee: “Sir, I cannot help you if there are no empty seats, and there currently aren’t, but there may be shortly if you will just wait.”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t have to wait!”

    (I decide to speak up.)

    Me: “Excuse me, but you’re making your own problem worse. I’m one of the 7 people who might be willing to get off this flight, for which I have a valid ticket, but only if the airline can reroute me. This man was trying to do so, but the flight he was going to put me on is leaving in less than 15 minutes. If he can’t get me on that flight, I’m not getting off this one. There is only one employee here; if he is busy with you yelling at him, he can’t process people being rerouted, and your son won’t be allowed on this plane. If you want your family to travel together, get out of the way and let this man do his job.”

    (The customer walks off in a huff and goes back to sitting with his family, muttering all the while. Meanwhile, the employee speaks to me.)

    Employee: “Technically, sir, I have to instruct you to let the airline employees deal with the other passengers.” *pauses* “That said, I’ve booked you an exit row window seat for all of your remaining flights at no additional charge, and please accept these vouchers for meals valid today at any of the airports on your itinerary, in addition to the credit for a round trip ticket we had already mentioned. Here is your new boarding pass, and your new flight departs from [gate] at [time].”


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