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    Category: Awesome Workers

    Respect The Bottom Line

    | Bismarck, ND, USA | Awesome Workers, School

    (I supervise over the electronics area. I like to get to know the people that are working for me. It is the first day on the sales floor for a coworker just out of high school. I have just gotten the initiative to sign up for classes to get certified in Windows and perhaps improve my work situation. I am telling him about it.)

    Me: “How about you? Any plans to go to college or work in a trade?”

    Coworker: “I respect hard work to move up, more than what college fails to follow through on. I’d rather start at the bottom and work my way—”

    Customer: “WHERE THE F*** IS THE G** D*** BATHROOM?”

    (My coworker points roughly ten feet to the customer’s left, waits a second, and turns to me.)

    Coworker: “Is this what I can expect without college?”

    Me: “Higher education helps, but it isn’t a guarantee. You have to show the work and initiative to get into a position in a place where things like that don’t happen. If there is one person that no one respects, it’s the guy working at the bottom.”

    (He finished his shift, but only returned again for his paycheck. On the way out, he stopped to thank me and inform me he’s applying for scholarships.)

    Pregnant With Potential

    | Sarasota, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Health & Body, Money, Top

    (I’m stocking shelves. A customer has been browsing the same aisle for quite some time. She is visibly pregnant, and looks as though she has been crying. She’s flipping through an envelope full of coupons and scrutinizing items before putting them back on the shelf. Another customer comes down the aisle and seems to pay her close attention for a moment. The second customer leaves the aisle but then comes back a few minutes later and hesitantly walks up to the pregnant customer.)

    Nice Customer: “Excuse me. I may be way out of line, and please feel free to tell me to mind my own business if I am, but… are you afraid you’re going to have trouble paying for your groceries?”

    Pregnant Customer: “Actually, yes I am. How did you know?”

    Nice Customer: “A few years ago, I had a really difficult pregnancy. I was too sick to work and lost my job. It was a real struggle to make ends meet. I used to spend hours at the grocery store with every coupon I could find trying to save every penny I could. Looking at you was like looking in the mirror. Listen, I just went and checked out, and I came in a little under my weekly grocery budget. I know it’s not much, but I’d really like to give this to you.”

    (She hands the pregnant woman a $20 bill. The woman promptly bursts into tears.)

    Pregnant Customer: “You have no idea how much this means to me. My husband just left me for another woman. I have no idea how I’m going to support myself and my kid. My mother and brother died this year, and I have no one to lean on.”

    Nice Customer: “After the hard times I went through, things got a lot better for me. It may sound like a cliché, but I believe you’ll get through this and be stronger than ever. Just hang in there, okay?”

    Pregnant Customer: “Do you think maybe I could give you a hug?”

    Nice Customer: “Of course.”

    (The two women embrace for a long time. When they pull apart, they both wipe away tears. They don’t see, but so do I.)

    Challenging Customers Throw You A Battery Of Tests

    | ON, Canada | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Top, Transportation

    (I have just gotten off of work, and am enjoying my meal as I wait for my ride home to finish their shift. I get a call in the break room from the customer service clerk; he seems a bit flustered.)

    Customer Service Clerk: “Are you okay to clock back in for an emergency sale to a hostile customer?”

    Me: “I’ll be right up.”

    (I put my uniform back on, and clock in. I go to the main desk.)

    Customer: “About f****** time someone helped me properly!”

    Me: “I’m sorry for any confusion or undue hassle, sir. What can I help you with?”

    Customer: “My f****** truck won’t start, and I think it’s the battery. The lights don’t even come on, and I sure as h*** don’t want to be stranded in this f****** place’s parking lot! Get me a new battery!”

    (I lead him back towards my department to get the proper car battery for him.)

    Me: “Can I ask for the year, make, and model of your vehicle?”

    Customer: “Why?”

    Me: “It is our usual policy to find the exact battery.”

    (He gets into more of a huff. We find the right battery and I ask for his info to do up the proper paperwork.)

    Customer: “What the h*** do you need all this for, anyway?”

    Me: “Well, we just need to make sure we take care of our customers properly. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, we take it seriously, so we don’t end up messing things up and making you have to deal with more trouble.”

    (He gets huffy again, but I take down the required info.)

    Customer: “Well, that’s over. Oh, wait… d*** it!”

    Me: “What’s wrong, sir?”

    Customer: “I don’t have any tools to take out the old battery and stuff!”

    Me: “Well, hang on for another moment, and I can go get them. Then I will take your old battery out, and replace it with the new one. That way you can get out of here, and back home to do what you planned on doing.”

    (He narrows his eyes at me, but nods and waits for me at the desk. I go get the tools, and come back so he can lead me out to his vehicle. I do just as I said I would. I even wish him a good evening after all is said and done. The next day he comes back in. I see him making his way back to my department while I’m still working. He’s smiling somewhat sheepishly.)

    Me: “Hello again, sir! Is everything okay?”

    Customer: “Yeah, everything’s great! Heck, the truck runs a bit better now, too. It’s been years since I had to change the battery. I just wanted to apologize for how angry I was last night, and for how I treated you.”

    Me: “Well, it’s no big deal, sir. I can imagine you’d had enough hassle form the situation.”

    Customer: “Yeah, you got that right. Look, I think you’re an outstanding young man, and I want to thank you for helping me out in a pinch.”

    (He shakes my hand, but I notice the feeling of paper also being handed to me in the handshake. I look down in my hand and see a $20 bill.)

    Customer: “That’s for dealing with my grumpy old a**. Thanks again!”

    The Four Pillars Of Bad Behavior

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Food & Drink, Top

    (I work in a poutine place downtown; we stay open until 4 am on weekends due to the nightlife. We never usually have an issue with drunk people.)

    Coworker: “I’m sorry; we do not accept credit. Do you have another method of payment?”

    Customer: “I will have you know I am the f****** niece of the owner, and he will have you all fired!”

    Coworker: “Unfortunately, that does not address the issue at hand.”

    Customer: “You f****** f**!”

    (She continues to throw insults at my coworker, telling him to go back to Africa, despite him being Caucasian. He maintains his composure.)

    Customer: “F*** you, just let me pay for my f****** food!”

    (I am right around the corner, and am an African-American female. I decide to intervene.)

    Me: “[Coworker] seems to have a lot more patience for your crap than I do. Our machines do not recognize credit cards, and that fact is completely irrelevant to his orientation. Moreover, the owner’s only brother isn’t even 30, and therefore cannot biologically have a daughter in her 20s. And that stuff about going back to Africa? You can take that up with me. Have a nice night!”

    (The customer falls silent. The crowd parts as she exits the store.)

    Coworker: “Wow, remind me not to p*** you off!”

    Me: “Don’t worry; you won’t be seeing that again. It’s one thing to be so disrespectful, another to be a compulsive liar, another to be homophobic, and another to be racist. She needed a talking to!”

    (All the customers who witness the incident tip us really well for dealing with her!)

    Cease-Fire Is Over When You Can’t Be Fired

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Top

    (I am working my very first shift at a new job. The coworker training me has stepped out to make a call. A middle-aged customer comes up to the counter looking cross. As he does a young woman comes through the door and sees him.)

    Young Woman: “Oh, no! Oh, no, no, no! No you don’t!”

    (The man turns around to face her in shock.)

    Young Woman: “Not a chance! You came in here every single day for a year just to bully and ridicule me! You made me wait on you hand and foot, and complained the whole time, and you’ve yet to actually buy anything! Every day that you came in here—and made my life h***—I went home and cried! You are nothing but a mean, pathetic loser, and I’ll be d***** if I let you treat this poor girl the way you treated me!”

    Customer: “EXCUSE ME? YOU WILL BE FIRED FOR THIS YOU WORTHLESS B****!”

    Young Woman: “Nope, not this time a**-hole! I don’t work here anymore. I got into college. I’m going to make something of myself. Now you go back to your sad angry little life, and don’t you dare harass anyone who works here again!”

    (The man turns red, but leaves. The woman comes up to the counter smiling brightly.)

    Young Woman: “Hey, you must be the new girl! I used to work here; just dropped by to pick up my last pay-check.”

    (She notices my shocked expression.)

    Young Woman: “I’ve been bottling that up for a long time. He shouldn’t bother you again.”

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