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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Category: Awesome Workers

    She Passed With Flying Colors

    | NY, USA | Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Holidays

    (I organize events for special needs children and their families. I also work as a female clown. A little girl has approached my table.)

    Me: “Well, hi there! Would you like to get your face painted today?”

    Girl: “Yes! I want [Popular Children’s Character]!”

    (She takes a seat, and as I get my supplies I notice she is staring at my head. I am bald due to a medical condition, so I wear nice-quality wigs which, despite their artificial colors, are often mistaken as real hair. Today I’m wearing bright pink.)

    Me: “All righty, then! [Children’s Character] it is. My name is [My Clown Name]; what’s your name?”

    Girl: “[Girl].” *pauses as I ready the paints* “How is your hair pink? Is it REALLY pink or fake? I don’t think hair can actually be like that.”

    (Her mother begins to speak up, but I wink at her.)

    Me: “Well, I have special hair! I can make it any color I want. Today it’s pink, but tomorrow it might not be.”

    Girl: “Wow! Is that magic?”

    Me: “Yup, it’s kind of like magic!”

    (I proceed to paint her face, fielding several questions about my ‘powers’ to the amusement of the mother. Later the mother explains that due to her rabid love of this popular ‘magical’ franchise, other kids have begun to make her doubt the existence of magic. Weeks later, I am hosting a Halloween event when I spot the same little girl, dressed as one of the franchise characters.)

    Me: “Hi, [Girl]! I like your costume.”

    Girl: “Thanks! It’s my favorite—”

    (She stops abruptly and her eyes go wide. Sure enough, I am wearing a curly purple wig. Her mother grins.)

    Girl: “Whoooooaaaaaa.” *to her mother* “Mommy, look!”

    Mother: “See? I told you it was real magic!”

    (As if on cue, my coworker comes out from behind a trick-or-treat door, dressed as [Main Franchise Character] and signing another child’s autograph. The girl looks starstruck.)

    Girl: “Oh. My. GOSH.”

    Mother: *laughing* “Aaaaaaaand that’s just made our Halloween.”

    (It made mine, too!)

    Having A ‘Hey’ Day

    | MN, USA | Awesome Workers, Funny Names

    (I work in a store that sells various parts for various machines. It’s a policy/allowance that customers can bring in items that need a replacement to help us better identify what they are looking for at the store. This particular customer brings in an item I’ve never seen before.)

    Customer #1: “Hello, can you help me find a replacement part for this?”

    Me: “I can definitely try; do you know what it is?”

    Customer #1: “Yes, it’s a fuel tank cap.”

    Me: *after looking through the book to see if we have anything like it* “I’m afraid we don’t sell that in our store, but we can order it for you special if you’d like.”

    (The customer now turns extremely rude.)

    Customer #1: “You know what, I’m just gonna go find a store that actually sells what they say they are going to sell, and actually has it in stock. Okay, missy?”

    (She turns to walk away, and I go to finish a task I had started.)

    Customer #1: “Hey! Hey you in the shirt!”

    (I turn around to see the customer who had the tank cap is talking to me again.)

    Customer #1: “Hey, my husband needs help here.”

    Me: “How can I help you, sir?”

    Customer #2: “Yea, I’m looking for [spray] for my cattle.”

    (I lead him to the aisle that has the items he is looking for.)

    Me: “Is that it for you, sir?”

    Customer #2: “Yes, thank you.”

    Customer #1: *under her breath* “At least she found what HE was looking for!”

    (I start to walk away again when I hear shouting from the same customer.)

    Customer #1: “Hey, HEY YOU! MY HUSBAND HAS A QUESTION!”

    (I go and help Customer #2, with Customer #1 making very rude comments about my service to her. Finally, I turn and face her.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I would love to help you order that part you are looking for; however, I will have to wait until you are not negatively commenting every move I make. I am very sorry we did not have the part you wanted in the store, but I offered you another option which you clearly stated was not in your interest. If you change your mind, I will be down aisle four. Have a nice day.”

    (I start walking away now, being the husband is done.)

    Customer #1: “Hey—”

    Me: “My name is not ‘Hey,’ and I would like it very much if you referred to me properly, as I have with you. If you do have any more questions, I will be down aisle four.”

    (I never did get a complaint.)

    Shaping Up To Be An Awful Night

    | MA, USA | Awesome Workers, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (I work in a fancy little restaurant dealing with snooty stuck-up rich people.)

    Customer: “Yes, I’d like the [Restaurant Name] salad, and I want the avocado slices on the left side of the salad.”

    Me: “All right, we’ll put the order in and have your salads up in a few minutes.”

    (Roughly 10 minutes go by. I grab the food from the kitchen.)

    Me: “Here are your salads.”

    Customer: “What the h***l is this! I SAID I WANTED THE AVOCADO ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE SALAD!”

    (I notice that I served him his salad with the avocado on the right.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, just let me rectify this.”

    (I proceed to spin his salad around for him so now the avocado is on his left.)

    Customer: “WELL, NOW ALL I HAVE IS A BACKWARDS SALAD! I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER! I’M GOING TO MAKE SURE YOU GET FIRED BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE THE MOST INCOMPETENT WAITER THERE IS THAT YOU CAN’T LISTEN TO SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS AND KNOW YOUR LEFT AND RIGHT!”

    (I walk to my manager, quickly explain the issue, and he walks over to the customer.)

    Customer: “Your employee here is an absolute disgrace! I can’t imagine why [Restaurant Owner] hired them. They don’t even know their left from right! I demand reconciliation and the cost of the rest of my meal be compensated for this vast incompetence.”

    Manager: “Well, sir, I’d like to explain a simple fact. We are not going to be comping your meal; your argument and complaint is absolutely ridiculous. The salad is on a circular plate, there are no sides to a salad. It cannot be backwards. I apologize for your problem with shapes and hope you have a wonderful night.”

    Me: “So, what would you like to order for entrees, or would you just like the bill?”

    I Don’t Speak Racist

    , | USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry

    (One of my teammates is calling me to transfer a customer’s call. I’m born and raised in California. She is of Asian descent, and although her English is quite good it’s not her first language and she has her native accent.)

    Teammate: “My customer says he wants to talk to an ‘American.’ He won’t talk to me at all.”

    Me: “Seriously? It still amazes me how bigoted some people can be. I’m sorry; I’ll be GLAD to take the call.”

    Teammate: *trying to stifle the tears brought on by the customer’s abusive comments towards her* “Thank you; I’ll bring him on.” *pause* “Sir? I have my banker [My Name] on the line. He will be taking your call from here.”

    Me: *with a very slight Eastern Indian accent* “Hello, thank you for calling [Bank]. How may I help you today?”

    Customer: What the f***! I said I wanted to talk to a god-d**** American! I DEMAND that you get me a blue-blooded American on the phone, RIGHT NOW, or you are going to be in a WORLD of hurt. NOW!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. The person that transferred your call to me was BY FAR one of the most qualified bankers we have, and—”

    Customer: “YOU SHUT UP! GET ME AN AMERICAN NOW, or I swear to god, you’re NOT going to like what comes next!”

    Me: “I’m as American as they come. Born in the US, and lived here most of my life. Unfortunately, I don’t share your ridiculously myopic, bigoted views on other cultures, and find it unlikely that we’re going to be able to communicate.”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “We just don’t speak the same language. I don’t feel—”

    Customer: “Hey! I talk English, just like you! I’m not gonna let one of those [racial slur] or [even worse racial slur] look at my—”

    Me: “—see, that’s just it. I don’t speak that language. Since we don’t offer language translation services for your particular language, I’m afraid I’ll have to disconnect at this point. Have a great day, and thank you for calling [Bank].”

    Customer: “Hey! Wait! I need—” *click*

    (One of the supervisors (that doesn’t like me much) listens in on the call, and afterwards immediately reports me to management. The next day, I get pulled into a closed-door meeting with the center’s head-manager.)

    Manager: “I’m sure you know why you’re here. This was completely inappropriate; you know very well that ALL customers are due the same level of service, no matter what their particular beliefs are, and what you did was so out-of-bounds, I’m not even sure where I would start in filling out the paperwork to let you go. So, since I don’t know where to start, I suppose it wouldn’t make much sense to even try. That being said, PLEASE keep yourself in check. We’re a professional organization, and our customers expect the utmost respect from us when they call, okay?”

    Me: “Yeah. I’m sorry. If it happens again, I’ll just get a supervisor.”

    Manager: “Sounds good. Glad we had this talk. Hey, on a more personal note – good job! Don’t EVER do it again, but good job. All the managers have listened to it, and we were all rolling with laughter – we couldn’t believe that you stood up to him like you did. Just… you know; don’t do it again.” *wink*

    Always Time For A Rhyme

    | UK | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Language & Words, Top

    (Our county council has online web-forms for people to get in touch.)

    Customer Email:

    “The winds outside blew and blew
    and my bin lid verily flew
    in a lickety split
    I emailed you quick
    to request a brand new one from you”

    (Since the customer did not tell us whether it was her recycling or refuse bin that broke in the weather I have to contact her back. It is the first time I have EVER received a request in limerick form, so I decide to phone the lady. Unfortunately, it goes to voicemail.)

    Me: *to the voicemail*

    “The council received your request
    but you leave us a little perplexed
    Amidst rhyming hype
    forgot ye the type
    of the bin-lid you meant to suggest”

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