Category: Awesome Customers

Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Awesome Customers, Top, Transportation

(I am taking the local subway home after work. Most of the subway customers/passengers are dressed as typical office workers except for one man across from me, who is very shabby looking—dirty patch-work clothes, hair dirty and scraggly, beard wild and unkempt—and has a large, filthy shopping bag full of what looks like all of his worldly possessions, including blankets, dirty yellow pillows and an old desk lamp. Everybody on the train is deliberately trying to look away from him, save one well-dressed man. As the train moves through the stations, the well-dressed man switches seats to be closer to the old man and strikes up a conversation.)

Well-Dressed Young Man: *amiably and loudly* “What a fine day it is today! How are you today, sir?”

Ragged-Looking Old Man: *just as amiably and loudly* “I’m doing great, just great. Hope you are, too! Got a lot to do, not enough hours in the day to get it done!”

Young Man: “That’s what I thought. You look like a respectable, busy kind of guy! Like the kind of guy who has some good business going on!”

Old Man: “Why, yeah I am! I’m a bid’ness man! Got some projects I’m takin’ care of! I’m sorry I ain’t at my best. I left my bud’ness suit at home, you see! But I’m still out here takin’ care of m’projects!”

Young Man: “Yes, like I said, I’ve got a keen eye for the entrepreneurial types, and you seem the kind of guy who has a lot of good business going on! And I think you’d make a wise investment!”

(By now, I’m openly watching these two talk like they’re a couple of old business partners. The rest of the train, though still trying not to be obvious, is stealing glances, and everybody’s stopped what they were doing so they can hear.)

Young Man: *still amiably* “I think I’d like to help fund one of your projects! Would $60 be enough to start?”

Old Man: *also still amiably* “Why, yeah sir, it would! I thin’ I can put the money to proper use in m’projects! Thank yah for your help!”

(The young man pulls out and hands $60 in cash to the old man.)

Young Man: “Pleasure doing business! By the way, it looks like you’ve misplaced your jacket.”

(It is winter, and the old man only has a shirt on.)

Old Man: “Yeah, like I said, it’s at home with my business suit.” *laughs* “Like I say, you caught me when I was just going out to look around and do some shopping.” *holds up bag*

Young Man: *chuckles* “Yeah, I’m going to do some shopping when I get home, myself. Well, I wouldn’t want the man who’s project I’m funding to get sick before he has a chance to make use of my investment! That’s bad business! Here, you can borrow my jacket until you can get home to get yours.”

(The young man takes off his suit jacket—easily worth $200—and hands it to the old man.)

Old Man: “Thank ya’ again, sir! And again, I’ll put that money to good use, don’t you worry!”

Young Man: “I’m sure you will, and I’m looking forward to the results! A pleasure doing business, and have a good day.”

(The old man gets off at the next stop. The young man’s stop and mine were the same, and as he rushed off to get out of the cold and home, I ran to catch up. As we walked, I told him that I’ve never seen anyone do anything like that before, and that he’s shown me the true path of generosity. I’ve not seen either of them since, but after that day, I’ve made sure that no matter how bad times get for me, I always reserve at least $50 and a few volunteer hours for charity a month, and a little bit of extra cash on hand for those I come across who need it most!)

Fighting Hate Is Everyone’s Job

| Halifax, NS, Canada | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Top

(There are three customers outside on the patio: three men, one with long hair. The other two customers are friends and start volleying increasingly homophobic insults at him. I, as the hostess am closest and move to intervene.)

Me: “Gentlemen, please return to your meal. Abuse of the other patrons will not be tolerated and I do not want to have you thrown out.”

Customer #1: “What the h*** are you talking about, are you dumb? That guy’s a fucking f**. Look at his f***ing hair!”

Me: “You cannot discern another person’s sexuality from a hairstyle, sir, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. I already told you that I cannot allow you to insult the other patrons. I do not want to retrieve security.”

Customer #2: “Screw that, b****! We’re not going anywhere. I’m in the middle of eating.”

(Surprisingly, a police man still in uniform walks up to us.)

Customer #1: “Hey, police man! This dumb f***ing c*** wants to throw us out instead of that d*** gay over there. Can you f***ing believe that?”

Policeman: “What I believe is that I should be very grateful to have a wonderful boyfriend who waited for me even though I was late and two idiots were heckling him. I believe that this young lady is quite commendable for standing up to those two idiots. I also believe you two want to pay for you lunches and leave.”

(There’s a bit of a stand off before the two get up and simply leave two twenty dollar bills. I turn to the remaining customer.)

Me: “I’m very, very sorry, sir. I’ll tell your waiter that lunch for you and your partner is free.”

Customer #3: “No need, miss.”

(He pulls a ten dollar bill out of his wallet.)

Customer #3: “Hostesses don’t get tipped, do they?”

Me: “That’s really not necessary, sir. It’s all just part of my job. I was happy to help.”

Policeman: “And for that miss, I think it is necessary.”

(He sits down across from his boyfriend and also hands me a ten. One of the men returned to complain to my manager ten minutes later and was summarily banned from the restaurant when the policeman and his partner explained what happened. I went to their wedding eight months later.)

Tipping On Tiptoes

, | ME, USA | Awesome Customers, Money, Top

Regular: *pulls out two dollars and looks around* “You know, I’ve never seen a tip jar. Where is it?”

Me: “We aren’t supposed to have one. It would be taxed out of our paychecks.”

Regular: “But [coffee shop next door] has one! And what if you guys do a good job and I want to tip you?”

Me: “Then we still aren’t supposed to accept it.”

Regular: “Well, that sucks!” *drops the dollars on the counter* “Oh no! I accidentally dropped my money and now I’m leaving because I totally forgot it bye!” *runs out the door*

Full Metal Jacket Potatoes

, | Norway | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Military

(On my way home from work, a buddy and I are stopping at a fast food joint just outside the military camp/training facility in my town. There is a long line of soldiers, privates, I assume, but also a young civilian lady almost at the front. As we have finally gotten to the front and are waiting for our food, a sergeant comes through the camp gates and walks directly to the front of the line.)

My Friend: “Excuse me, but I think this young man was first.”

(He points to the private who was about to place his order when the sergeant, rather rudely, walked in front of him.)

Sergeant: “No, I think that will be fine. Don’t you think so, [private’s name]?”

Private: “Yes, of course, sir.”

My Friend: “I don’t. Why do you think you can just go ahead of everyone else?”

Sergeant: “Because I am their superior officer! Now quit wasting my time.”

Me: “Ahem. Are you her superior officer too?”

(I point at the young girl standing a couple places behind him in line.)

Sergeant: “Well, no…”

My Friend: “Then get to the back of the line then! Have some common courtesy!”

(The sergeant walked sheepishly to the back of the line. We went over to our car and made sure to stay and watch until everyone had gotten their food, so he wouldn’t just barge ahead again.)

App-ology

| Houston, TX, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior

Customer: *to friend* “I wish there were some kind of app that could tell you where stuff is in a specific store.”

Me: “What was it you were looking for?”

Customer’s Friend: “Oh! Soda?”

Me: “Soda’s on aisle 10.”

Customer’s Friend: “Ha, I guess she’s the app!”

Me: “Just call me Siri!”

Customer: *suddenly very sour* “Well, I could, but that would be stupid.”

Me: “Heh, yeah, I guess.”

(I proceeded to go on about my business, and put the exchange out of my mind. A couple weeks later, the same customer comes back.)

Customer: “Hey, last time I was here, you helped me out and I was kind of rude to you. I just wanted to let you know I didn’t even realize it until my friend told me I was being a jacka**, and I’m sorry.”

(I thanked him and told him he was forgiven. If only all rude customers had friends like that!)

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