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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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    Category: Awesome Workers

    A Knowing Personality

    | Miami, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Top

    (I’m showing a couple our knife sets demonstrating the difference between each brand.)

    Me: “So, if you happen to be a rocker, that is someone who keeps a part of the blade in contact with the cutting board at all times, then you’ll want this type. If, however, you’re a chopper, who lifts the blade completely off the board, then you might find these a better fit since they have a shallower curve on the blade.”

    Lady: “Right, well actually he-” *points to her companion* “-is the one who’s going to be using them, so why don’t I leave you two to it, and look for the rest of the stuff on my list?”

    Man: “Sounds good.” *turns to me* “Hey, you got anything heavier? I like putting power into my chopping.”

    (I show him several additional knives, speaking about the differences in handle shapes and steel grade when he interrupts me.)

    Man: “Oh, and you do know that if these knives turn out to be cheap sh**, I’m going to have to come back here and have some very stern words with you.”

    Me: *taken aback* “Sir, these are made to the highest specifications of German craftsmanship. Says so right there on the blade.” *I gesture to the ‘Made In Germany’ stamp* “The ones in the cabinet next to me come from Japan, and are made using the same ore and techniques as samurai swords. If you’re going to honestly come back and tell me steel of this caliber is, to use your own words, cheap s***, then I have only three words to say to you: bring it on!”

    (The man stares at me, looking not so much offended as bemused. He then proceeds to tip his hat to me in respect.)

    Man: “I see you clearly do know your stuff. Please forgive me for doubting you.” *looks around for his girlfriend* “Are you as knowledgeable about the other products in this store?”

    Me: “Every one of them.”

    (He spies his girlfriend who’s speaking to another associate.)

    Man: “Honey come back here, we’re going with this guy! He’s got the know, and the personality!”

    (They proceed to do their entire order with me, and the man even insists on shaking my hand afterward saying he’s glad to have found someone with confidence in what they sell. Definitely among my best customers ever!)

    Treading Softly On A Hard Argument

    | Australia | Awesome Workers, Top

    (I am helping in the pillows department. I have been showing a customer some soft polyester pillows, as she seems to like them.)

    Customer #1: “Hmm, what’s that one over there? It looks nice.”

    Me: “Oh, that’s a memory foam pillow. It’s quite a bit firmer than the one you’re looking at there. Here, you can feel it.”

    Customer #1: *squeezes pillow* “Oh, yuck! As if anyone could sleep on that, it’s like a brick!”

    (She continues in this vein for some time, until I show her some feather ones and leave her to browse them. Another customer approaches me.)

    Customer #2: “I’m looking for the cheapest pillows you’ve got!”

    Me: “Okay, well we have this twin pack of polyester pillows over here for $10!”

    Customer #2: “Oh, that’s a good price.” *squeezes pillows* “Eww, they’re way too soft! I could never sleep on that, there’s no support in them!”

    Me: “In that case, you would probably like a memory foam or latex pillow.”

    (I spend some time showing her the harder kinds of pillows. Suddenly I notice that Customer #1 is standing in front of me looking very disapproving.)

    Customer #1: “You told me that a soft one would be better!”

    Customer #2: “Well, she told me that hard ones are better!”

    (They glare at each other for a few seconds, then both turn on me.)

    Customer #2: “Which ones are really better?”

    Me: “Uh, well neither kind is better than the other. A lot of people like polyester and feather ones because their head sinks in to it and they have a comfortable night’s sleep, plus they’re much cheaper. But some people need more support, especially if they have a back or neck problem. A lot of chiropractors suggest memory foam and latex pillows for that.”

    Customer #1: “Oh, yeah? Well I bet you have these ones on your bed because they’re better!”

    Customer #2: “Pfft, yeah right… she would have these ones!”

    Customer #1: “Nuh uh!”

    Me: *cutting into the nonsense* “Well, actually I have two [brand] memory foam pillows on my bed, and two [brand] polyester pillows on my bed. Sometimes I feel more comfortable with the hard ones, sometimes the soft ones, other times one of each! It means I get to pick and choose each night.”

    (The customers both look like they have been hit in the face with one of our gourmet fry-pans. They make eye contact, then silently begin browsing different pillows. Even better: I later saw each of them leave later on, both of them carrying two hard and two soft pillows!)

    Twice Bitten, One Goodbye

    | OH, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Themed Giveaway

    (We have an information and special orders desk on the upper level of our store. A customer has just taken it upon himself to come behind the desk to throw trash away despite the fact that there are several public trash cans around our store. I happen to see him do so.)

    Me: “Excuse me sir, please do not come behind the desk. This area is for employees only.”

    Customer: “You need to put trash cans where we can find them!”

    Me: “Sir there are three in the cafe, one over there, one in the restroom, and you’re welcome to ask an employee to assist you.”

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

    Me: “Sir, entering an employee’s only area of our store is technically a theft prevention issue and I’m afraid that I’ll have to ask you to leave the store.”

    Customer: *gets inches away from my face* “Bite me.”

    Me: “You need to leave the store right now.”

    Customer: “Bite me!”

    (He stomps off as I call my manager to assist me. He returns having heard me page my manager and ask to speak to my manager.)

    Me: “He’s already on the way.”

    Manager: “Hi, I’m the manager, what’s the problem?”

    Customer: *turns his yelling to the manager* “Your employee was completely out of control. I walked behind the desk to throw my trash away because I got food at your cafe, and—”

    Manager: “Wait. You walked behind the desk?””

    Customer: “Yes! I needed to throw my trash away and your employee was completely rude to me.”

    Me: “Sir, with all due respect, I was merely informing you that you had entered a customer restricted area.”

    Customer: “Your behavior was completely rude and unprofessional woman! If your store is going to have a food establishment in it, you need to have trash cans for your customers.”

    Manager: “Sir, there are three trash cans in the food establishment part of the store alone, and you could have asked her to throw the trash away, we are happy to oblige.”

    Customer: “Your employee was rude! I should not have to deal with such thing!”

    Manager: “I understand. I’m hearing your side of the story, and I’m hearing her say she was not rude to you. And sir, I understand that your response was to tell her to bite you?”

    Customer: *defensively* “Well, yeah!”

    Manager: “If that was actually your response, I’m inclined to side with my employee. You need to leave the store now, or I can call security.”

    Customer: “Well I can see talking to you is a waste of my time.” *stomps out*

    Taking Account Of Your Actions

    | VA, USA | Awesome Workers, Holidays, Money, Themed Giveaway

    (I have been recently hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery, and my husband and I lost a lot of work because of it. I’m a little behind on bills but doing what I can. I come to payment arrangements with multiple creditors, including one I have been continuing to receive phone calls from.)

    Caller: “Hi, this is [caller] from [credit card company] looking for [me].”

    Me: “Hi, yeah, this is she. I think I know why you’re calling.”

    Caller: “Yes, ma’am. I see here that—”

    Me: “You know, I’ve been getting calls from just this company for almost two weeks. We have a payment arrangement. I’ve talked to just about every branch over there.”

    Caller: “Yes, I understand—”

    Me: “And you are still coming after me! I’m giving you what money I’ve got when I can! Don’t you even read the notes on the account before you call? Do you even know anything about this? Or are you just an air-headed vampire that doesn’t give a d*** whose blood you’re sucking out?”

    Caller: “Ma’am, I am sorry to bother you, but I am calling regarding a broken agreement.”

    Me: “Uh… pardon?”

    Caller: “Yes, ma’am. It appears we tried to follow through on your previous payment agreement, but your bank indicates that checking account was closed. Have you changed banks recently?”

    Me: “Um, yeah. I thought I changed everything over, though.”

    Caller: “That’s understandable. There’s a lot to think about when opening new accounts. So I’m just calling to see if you wanted to reset the payment arrangement with your new account.”

    Me: “Yes, absolutely!”

    (After several minutes of setting up the new checking account with the credit card, during which time the caller was amazingly polite, funny, and understanding, we got everything straight. I then asked to speak to her supervisor.)

    Supervisor: “Yes, ma’am! What can I do for you?”

    Me: “I spoke with [caller] and she was just amazing. I treated her like crap and she remained respectful and courteous. She was very professional and didn’t belittle me. She was awesome. In the end, I’m giving you money, and I’m happy about it. You have some great people over there. So please give her some recognition or something, because I was a b***, and I can’t say that I would’ve treated me as graciously as she did. Thumbs up, sir!”

    Supervisor: “Thanks for the feedback. Have a great day, ma’am!”

    (Suffice to say, that lesson was my Christmas present.)

    Very Front Loaded

    | Orlando, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Top

    (I stop in to my local superstore to pick up some dog treats. I decide to grab a soda for myself from the cooler. Just before I place my items on the counter, a man comes up to the line and starts talking to me.)

    Customer: “Hey! Can I go in front of you?”

    (I look at his full cart, and then at the two items in my hand.)

    Customer: “I mean, since I have so much less stuff than you, it’ll just be much faster.”

    (Again, I look at his full cart and at the TWO items in my hands. I pause for 30 seconds not fully understanding what’s going on before I finally respond. He seems kind of agitated and since I’m not in a hurry, and don’t want to cause an incident, I let him go in front of me.)

    Me: “Sure, go ahead…”

    (A few minutes later he’s finally done and I place my items on the counter. My total comes up to less than five bucks and I go to pay when I’m stopped by a woman who was in line behind both me and the man from earlier.)

    Customer #2: “Please, let me pay for these.”

    (I’m a bit shocked, and immediately protest, but the cashier cuts me off.)

    Cashier: “Kid, I’m not letting you pay. That idiot insisted on skipping you, even though you CLEARLY have less items than he did, and you didn’t make any fuss about it. You deserve much more than just this. It’s people like you that make this soul sucking worthless job bearable.”


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