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    Category: Bad Behavior

    From Mumble To Stumble To Rumble To Humble

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (I have an inner ear condition and am hearing impaired but not really to the degree that I need a hearing aid. An older woman approaches my line.)

    Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

    Customer: *mumbles while looking at the floor*

    Me: “Um… I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    Customer: *sighs and looks to the right, still away from me, mumbling again*

    Me: “Ah, okay.”

    (I ring up her items and tell her the total. She holds up three different cards and mumbles again, but I can read her lips to understand, ‘not enough.’)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch that. Did you say you want to use all three cards?”

    (She nods and rolls her eyes, then swipes the first card.)

    Me: “All right, and how much did you want on that one?”

    Customer: *mumbles into the card reader*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

    (She mumbles once more, but since this is the third time I asked her to repeat herself and I’m feeling embarrassed, I just let the transaction run through as if she was using one card because I have no idea how much she wanted on there. The card is, of course, declined and she shouts wordlessly.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Could you swipe it again, please? And I’m sorry, but how much did you say you wanted on that card?”

    (AGAIN she mumbles, with her head bowed so low I can’t even see her lips to try to read them. By that point, I’ve had enough.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I really need you to speak up, please. I’m hearing impaired and you’re speaking rather softly. I can’t hear you at all.”

    Customer: “You lying b****!”

    Me: *taken aback* “Excuse me?!”

    Customer: “Lying about being deaf is no excuse for your irresponsibility! You’re young! You’re not deaf. If you were, you’d have an earpiece in! You just listen to your music too loud; all you kids do. Keep that up, and you WILL be deaf before long!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I have [inner ear condition]. I have constant, loud ringing in my ears. Several times per day I lose all hearing in one or both of my ears for anywhere between three seconds to three hours. You’re right; I’m most likely going to completely lose my hearing before I’m 40 because there’s no cure or real treatment for it beyond surgery that might not even work. So please, while I still can hear you at all, could you speak up just a little?”

    (The customer stares at me, red-faced and silent, for a few moments. Finally she swipes the card again and then looks at me.)

    Customer: *loudly* “I’d like $10 on this card, please.”

    The Uniform Response

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Military, Top

    (I’m in a chain restaurant with my family when a group of four soldiers from the base come in. The group is very loud and rowdy, but no one wants to say anything because they’re soldiers. However, as they all order alcoholic drinks for ‘pre-gaming,’ they just get louder and rowdier. Finally, another customer at the table next to theirs has had enough.)

    Customer: “Excuse me. Can you four please quiet down? We’re all trying to enjoy our dinners.”

    Soldier #1: “With all due respect, shove it.”

    Soldier #2: “We’re willing to go out and die for your freedom and you can’t even let us have dinner?”

    Soldier #3: “We’re just trying to celebrate [Soldier #1]‘s promotion, lady. Chill.”

    Soldier #1: “Show some f****** respect.”

    (The customer takes a deep breath, stands up and turns around, revealing a missing arm.)

    Customer: “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Major [Customer] and I’ve recently been transferred to the base here after spending a few months in Walter Reed. I lost my arm to an IED in Iraq. I want all of your names. I’ll be talking to your C.O. as soon as I leave here, and I have a feeling you won’t be celebrating that promotion long. Now please keep your voices down so all of these people can enjoy their dinners, and stop being a disgrace to the uniform.”

    (The whole restaurant applauded her.)

    Cold Callers Versus Hot Heads

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Rude & Risque

    (It is my first week of cold calling people to try to encourage them to buy a kitchen or windows. I do not want to be there, but I need the money.)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer #1: “Yes?”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think—”

    Customer #1: “DON’T YOU KNOW MY MOTHER HAS JUST DIED?!” *slams down phone*

    Me: “… No?”

    (I put her on to the don’t call back list despite the fact we’re not meant to do that unless they specifically ask us to because I feel sorry for her despite her rudeness, and let the automated dialer tick to the next cold call.)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer #2: “Yes, you are. Who is this?”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think that might be something you’re interested in?”

    Customer #2: “You know, you don’t have to do this. You could go back to college, educate yourself, and get a proper job. You don’t have to waste your life in a call centre.”

    Me: “Sir, I’m studying neurobiology at university.”

    Customer #2: “Oh, well, uh, no. I’m not interested. Sorry. Please remove me from the list. Good luck.”

    (Again, I put him on the no call back list then let the dialer click on…)

    Me: “Hello, am I speaking to the home owner?”

    Customer: *sighs* “Yes…”

    Me: “I’m calling from [Company] to see if [launch into selling script]. So. do you think you might be interested?”

    Customer: “Actually, maybe. Tell me more. What does it involve?”

    (The customer gets me to answer loads of questions, sounds really interested, and I begin to hope my day might turn round and I might finally check off the measly £1 bonus for getting someone to book a visit for a quote.)

    Customer: “Brilliant, thank you for that. Can you do me one last favour?”

    Me: “Absolutely, sir!”

    Customer: “Good. Can you F*** OFF?!” *slams down the phone*

    (I put him on the urgent call back list, meaning he’ll be called the next day around lunch time, and if he’s still rude to whoever is unfortunate enough to get him they will probably do the exact same thing. If you’re going to be a jerk to cold callers, remember we are human beings, too. Politeness gets you much further and it costs nothing to say nicely ‘I’m not interested; please take me off your lists.’ I started job hunting that night and left three weeks later.)

    A Continuous Sauce Of Stress

    , | Montgomery, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Give me an extra sauce.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, but I have to charge you an additional 28 cents.”

    Customer: “I come here all the time! Just give me the f****** sauce!”

    (I’ve worked there for three years both day and night shift and have never seen this lady.)

    Me: “I’m sorry. I can’t give you the extra sauce unless you purchase it.”

    (The lady digs in her purse and pulls out some change. I hand her the sauce.)

    Customer: “Can I have a cup of water?”

    Me: “We charge for our cups as well. It would be 28 cents.”

    (I’m trying to hold back a smile as the customer glares at me.)

    Customer: “Have a good f****** night, b****!”

    (I smile at her politely.)

    Me: “Thank you, ma’am! I hope you have a wonderful evening as well!”

    Tripping About Shipping

    | Monroe, CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Transportation

    (I work in a factory office that sells school supplies around the country. We receive purchase orders via e-mail, regular mail, and fax. Most of the calls we receive tend to be about checking the status of deliveries and orders received.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. How many I help you?”

    Caller: “I would like to say that the way you shipped out my order is unacceptable and not according to what I requested in the fax. I demand to be compensated!”

    Me: “Okay, I apologize for the inconvenience. May I have the purchase order number so I can look into it, please?”

    Caller: “Yes, it’s [number].”

    (Her account has several notations, mainly about reps trying to contact the customer about her order which has over $400 worth of goods. She requested in her fax that she wanted her order divided up into four separate shipments, one for each teacher that the goods are to go to. Company policy won’t allow us to do that as doing so will increase shipping costs. The last notation reads that a rep spoke with the school secretary and explained the company policy about shipments. She was advised she could choose to either have everything shipped together or she could fax separate purchase orders with each teacher’s name. The notes showed she chose the former option.)

    Caller: “That’s unacceptable! I did not give permission to do that. You should have asked for me specifically.”

    Me: “According to these notes, the rep did and got the secretary instead.”

    Caller: “Sir! The secretary does not have permission to make changes to purchase orders. You should have asked for me! I should be compensated for this.”

    Me: “With all due respect, ma’am, that’s not company error. The secretary should have told you what happened.”

    Caller: “Don’t you think you should’ve told her to let me know?”

    Me: “Ma’am, she’s your secretary! It should go without saying that if she gets a call about your order, if she makes a change to it she should let you know. It’s not our error if she doesn’t do that. I’m sorry, but according to these notes the rep did ask for you. He did explain the situation to the secretary and he asked her if she had authorization to make changes to the order. She said yes and the changes were made.”

    Caller: “Well, I’m telling you now she should not have done that!! That rep should have asked for me specifically because the order is now ruined! It’s four other secretaries and I sorting out over six boxes of products that are scattered everywhere. It’s a complete mess that is taking too much time. I have to deal with all this aggravation because of your incompetence.”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. As I explained before, company policy won’t—”

    Caller: “I DON’T GIVE A F**** ABOUT WHAT YOUR COMPANY POLICY SAYS! I’m pissed the f**** off!”

    Me: “Ma’am, there’s no need to yell and raise your voice like that. Please be advised if you continue to use that language and tone this call will be disconnected.”

    Caller: *scoffs* “This is so aggravating! I’m so upset. I should return everything and make you pay for the return shipment.”

    Me: “Please be advised that we’re not going to do that as you placed this order out of your own volition. At no point in this phone call did you state you received incorrect merchandise. Also, be mindful that it would take more effort on your part to package everything up and return back versus you already going through the process of sorting out the merchandise.”

    Caller: “This is nonsense! I should call the Better Business Bureau on you people and my secretary!”

    Me: “You’re going to complain to the Better Business Bureau that we correctly filled your order, that your secretary did not inform you of our phone call, and the secretary that either you or your school hired didn’t do your job?”

    (The caller let out a huge scream, then hung up. When I checked on the account later on in the day notes were left stating she spoke with a manager who told her the same thing.)

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