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  • Category: Bizarre

    For whatever reason, some Customers are just plain odd. And the service industry unleashes them on to unsuspecting clerks with often hilarious results. If you like your customers just plain bizarre, then read on!

    The Cake Is A Lie, Part 3

    | IN, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Top

    (My aunt and uncle own a small bakery, specializing in artisan breads, muffins, and bagels. They have never sold cakes, cupcakes, or doughnuts. They also bought this shop in 1989, and have owned it ever since. It is a busy week for them, as one of their bakers is out sick. I am filling in and helping them out while their baker is recovering. A customer walks in who I have never seen before. She is carrying an arm load of wedding planning brochures and folders, and is speaking to me between text messages she is sending on her phone.)

    Me: “Hi, welcome to [bakery]! How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I need to place an order for a wedding cake. My daughter is getting married next week!” *she beams with pride*

    Me: “Well, congratulations to your daughter! That’s wonderful news, but I’m afraid we don’t sell cakes. We do offer various types of bread, muffins, and bagels, however.”

    Customer: “Good. I want it to be a three-tiered cake. On the top tier, I want carrot cake. The second tier should be dark chocolate. The bottom tier should be lemon. All of that with cream cheese icing. Doesn’t that sounds wonderful?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, it does. However, as I just said, we don’t sell cakes here. We only sell bread, muffins, and bagels.”

    Customer: “Oh, and on the top tier, could you make sure the carrot cake has no raisins? My darling hates raisins!”

    Me: “Again, ma’am, we don’t sell nor bake cakes here.”

    Customer: “What kind of special designs can you put in the icing? Her colors are black and pink, and I would like the cake to have a very modern, contemporary look.”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell cakes. I’m sure that a wedding cake specialist could make you what you want, but we can’t do that here. I do have the name of a great wedding cake designer that we refer customers to quite often, and you are free to make an appointment with her to discuss your daughter’s cake.”

    (The customer is not paying attention; she doesn’t even look up from her latest text message.)

    Customer: “Uh huh? Good.”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell cake.”

    Customer: *again, not looking up* “Okay, so the wedding is next week, Saturday. The wedding starts at 5:00, the reception at 7:00at [local hotel ballroom]. I’ll need it delivered to the hotel no earlier than 6:00, and no later than 6:30.”

    Me: “Ma’am, like I said, we don’t sell wedding cakes! I have the name of someone you can call, but with just over a week until the wedding I’m not sure she, or anyone, would have time to prepare what it is you are asking.”

    Customer: “Oh, and just put it on my house account with you and send me a bill.”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t do billing, and haven’t in the entire time I’ve been in this shop. Plus, we don’t sell wedding cakes!”

    Customer: *suddenly looking up* “What do you mean you don’t do billing?! I’ve been a loyal customer of this bakery for more than 20 years! I have never been told I couldn’t have a bill sent to my house! I am good friends with [the former owner from 1989], I’ll have you know!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sure you and [former owner] are good friends. However, they sold this bakery to the current owners in 1989. She has not owned, nor been affiliated with, this bakery in 23 years.”

    Customer: *goes back to her phone as a new text message comes in* “Yes, I thought you’d see things my way! Now, I have to run. Bill me, my name should be in your system!”

    (As I try to protest and get her attention, she sweeps out the door while answering an incoming phone call. Since I did not know her name, or any way to reach her, I simply wrote off the experience as an oddity and continued about my day. I left a note for my uncle, who was opening the next day, but he apparently didn’t share the note about the customer with my aunt.)

    (The next week, on Friday afternoon, I get a frantic phone call from my aunt. She is upset and asking something about me taking an order for a wedding cake, and begging me to come down to the bakery to help her figure out what is going on. As I enter the bakery, the woman from earlier is back, having come in to check on the status of the cake order, and my heart sinks.)

    Customer: *pointing to me* “Him! He is the one who took my order, guaranteed that it would be ready, and promised to bill me for it! Why would you hire such a worthless piece of trash?!”

    Aunt: “Miss, that is my nephew. Please do not call him names.”

    Customer: “Oh, I’ll call him whatever I want to call him! He screwed up and deserves to be held accountable here!”

    Aunt: “Miss, as I already told you, we have never sold wedding cakes. I don’t know what you are talking about!” *then, to me* “Did you promise her a wedding cake, to be delivered tomorrow to [local hotel ballroom]?”

    Me: “No, I didn’t. In fact, that is opposite of what I told her. I told her, several times, that we do not sell wedding cakes, and never have. I tried to give her [wedding cake designer]‘s name, but she didn’t listen to me.”

    Customer: “Like h*** you did! You promised me a cake for my daughter’s wedding! Her wedding is tomorrow and I demand you make sure her cake is there!”

    Me: “There is nothing we can do. I told you, several times, that all we sell are breads, muffins, and bagels. We don’t sell cakes. We don’t deliver. And we don’t bill people. I’m sorry if you didn’t understand that earlier. I’d be happy to offer you a couple loaves of bread if it would help smooth things over here. But, I’m sorry; there is nothing I can do about a wedding cake.”

    Customer: “I don’t want your disgusting breads! I want the cake you promised me!”

    (She starts swearing up a storm and threatening me bodily harm.)

    Aunt: “That’s it! Ma’am, my nephew explained to you when you first came in that we don’t sell cake. He offered to put you in contact with a wedding cake designer. You didn’t listen to him, so this mistake is all yours. Now, you are threatening him. Please, leave, before I call the police.”

    Customer: “You haven’t heard the last of this! You will all be sorry for what you have done here!”

    (Sure enough, she stayed true to her promise. Over the next six months we heard from her, four different attorneys she hired, her daughter, and her new son-in-law. Each time we explained to a family member what had happened, they apologized profusely for her behavior once they realized what kind of bakery we were. Each attorney we sat down with who represented her apologized for wasting our time, and then dropped her case. Two of those attorneys are now regular customers of the bakery and love the breads!)

    Related:
    The Cake Is A Lie, Part 2

    Acting Like The Hair Apparent

    | VA, USA | Bizarre, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a black woman, and I have natural hair, meaning there are no chemicals in it to make it straight. The customer in this story is a white woman, and she is the only one in the lobby.)

    Me: “Welcome to [movie theater]. Will that be all for you today?”

    Customer: *looks at me disdainfully*

    Me: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?”

    Customer: “Is all of that under your cap your hair?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Why do you have so much?”

    Me: “I’m Haitian. We typically have very thick hair.”

    Customer: “Do you wash it?”

    Me: “…Of course. I actually washed it last night.”

    Customer: “It looks dirty. Why isn’t it straight? It looks unprofessional like that.”

    Me: “My hair is naturally kinky. I’d have to get a relaxer for it to be—”

    (Without warning, the customer reaches out, knocks my hat off, and shoves her hands all through my hair.)

    Me: *swats her hands away* “EXCUSE YOU!”

    Customer: “What? I wanted to see what it felt like.”

    Me: “And you felt no need to ask me if it was okay to enter my body space?”

    Customer: “Not really. I figured it was okay. I mean, it’s just hair. It’s not like it’s your boob or a body part or anything.”

    Me: “It is, and I don’t care to be touched. Please don’t.”

    Customer: “I was just curious!”

    Me: “But you could have asked. I’m still a person.”

    Customer: “No you’re not! You work here, and that means I get to do whatever I want to you because I’m paying you!”

    Me: “Actually, [manager] pays me, and I will call him to escort you out if you don’t finish your transaction and return to your theater.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t want to buy anything now because you don’t want me to touch your hair!”

    Me: *voids transaction* “Please leave your items on the counter and enjoy your show!”

    (She walks off to a manager, calls me uppity, and demands I be reprimanded for refusing to let her touch me. The manager kicked her out without refund.)

    Pretty Fly For A Strange Guy

    | Columbus, OH, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink

    Customer: “Excuse me, miss, look what I found in my drink.”

    (He holds a dead fly up. I have no idea how it got in his drink, but I’m mortified.)

    Me: “Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry! Let me find my manager for you.”

    Customer: “Nah, it’s okay. I drank it all and it’s no big deal.” *laughs*

    Me: “That’s really nice of you, sir, but I do want to tell my manager about it. This sort of thing is not supposed to happen.”

    (The customer keeps holding the fly in his hand. I go looking for my manager but can’t find him. I don’t want to keep the customer waiting for their check forever, so I go back to the table.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry, I couldn’t find him, but as soon as I see him I’ll make sure to tell him about this. But here’s a coupon for your next visit, and I took the drinks off your check.”

    Customer: *smiling* “Thanks! But really, it’s no big deal. It’s kind of funny. Hey, look who’s not dead after all?” *holds up the fly, which is now squirming* “Ain’t he cute?”

    (He suddenly smashes the fly on the table, wipes his now fly-gut covered hand on my apron, and leaves.)

    The Situation Is Escalating

    | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid

    (Our down escalator is stopped for repairs, but customers are free to walk down it. There is also a clearly marked elevator near me as well as a staircase.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, miss, do you work here?”

    Me: “Yes. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Your escalator has stopped.”

    Me: “I am sorry about that. It should be fixed soon.”

    Customer: “So, am I stuck up here?”

    Me: “…Sorry?”

    Customer: “Do I have to wait here until it is fixed?”

    Me: “Of course not. You can go anytime. We won’t hold you hostage.”

    Customer: “But the escalator is broken.”

    Me: “Yes, and we are sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Customer: “How do I get down stairs?”

    (At this point, we can both clearly see other customers walking down the broken escalator.)

    Me: “Well, you are allowed to walk down the escalator, but if you feel uncomfortable with that, you can take the elevator or stairs behind me.”

    Customer: “Well, when do you think it will be fixed?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I really don’t know. They don’t tell us that much about what is happening in the store.”

    Customer: “I want to see a manager!”

    Me: “Let me call one down for you.”

    Customer: “What is your name?!”

    (My coworkers have come to watch, and are trying not to laugh. Other customers have begun to laugh.)

    Me: “My name is [name].”

    (I call the manager, she comes down, and tells the customer the same thing I said.)

    Customer: “Well, this place is trash!”

    (Believe it or not, she found a chair and sat there for an hour until the escalator was fixed!)

    The Fringes Of Sanity

    | London, England, UK | Bizarre

    (I am shaving my head in public for charity at a school fair. Because my hair is too long to shave straight off, anyone at the fair can pay £1 to chop a chunk of my hair off, putting said hair in a bucket afterwards. A man walks into the fair, sees my stall, and makes a beeline for it.)

    Me: “Hello! I’m raising money for charity. Would you like to cut a lump of my hair off for £1? It’s all being shaved at 9pm.”

    Man: *smiles, says nothing, and puts £1 on the table*

    Me: “Great, here are the scissors.”

    Man: *takes the scissors and cuts some of my hair*

    Me: “Nice one! If you’d just like to put the hair in the bucket ove—”

    Man: *smiles, looks at my newly cut hair, and walks out of the fair with it*

    Me: *speechless*

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