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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!

    Praying For That Lightbulb Moment

    | MN, USA | Bizarre, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a retail store that generally closes before all the other ones around us. At this moment we have just a few minutes before close and I am back in my department, which is empty, when a customer whom I watched enter just 30 seconds before comes up to me.)

    Me: “How can I help you tonight?”

    Customer: “I need a lightbulb.”

    Me: “Well, that would be in our light—”

    Customer: “You don’t understand. I NEED a LIGHTBULB!”

    Me: “Ma’am, we don’t have lightbulbs in this department. But if you’ll let me direct you to—”

    Customer: “You’ve got to be kidding me. Where are the d*** lightbulbs, kid?!”

    (The announcer goes off, saying we are now closed, and I’m trying to be as polite as possible.)

    Customer: “F****** people are f****** closed now! You people need to get your s*** together before you f****** close on a paying customer! I’m never coming back here!”

    (I tell my coworker about the lady that night. He finds me during my shift the next day.)

    Coworker: “Hey, did that lady happen to have [color] hair and a [color] purse with her?”

    Me: “Yeah, why?”

    Coworker: “She came back this morning. Apparently she knew exactly where they were. And she was very disappointed to discover they weren’t by the gummy worms.”

    Will Not Be Moved

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I’m working the register at a grocery store when a mother and her 10-year-old son start unloading their cart. As I’m finishing with the customer before them, I hear the boy continually trying to finish his mother’s sentences, occasionally getting them right and prompting her to say, ‘Hey! Stop predicting the future!’ Their turn comes up and we exchange the usual greeting pleasantries. I address the boy.)

    Me: “So you’re trying to tell the future, huh?”

    Boy: *matter-of-factly* “Uh-huh! I’m trying to learn all kinds of stuff, like telepathy and telekinesis.”

    (I happen to be Pagan with some mystic friends who taught me a few tricks. Plus, despite being a humanities major, I spent a good deal of college reading up on quantum theory.)

    Me: “Well, you know the secret to telling the future, right?”

    Boy: “Um…”

    Me: “It’s not about seeing the future, it’s remembering the future.”

    Boy: “Huh?”

    (I explain to him the theory that all time happens at once but the human brain only perceives it as moving in one direction, meaning the future is already here and we just don’t remember it yet.)

    Me: “So what you’ve got to do in the future is bundle up what you’re trying to remember and send it back in time to yourself. I’ve been training myself to do it for years and now I can sort of remember emotions from situations I haven’t experienced yet. It’s a good thing you’re starting so young. Maybe by the time you’re my age you’ll be able to remember words, too!”

    Boy: “… I think I’ll stick to learning telekinesis.”

    Me: “Ah, that’s slightly trickier. What you have to do there is learn how to mentally manipulate the electromagnetic attraction between certain objects.”

    Boy: “… Never mind, then.”

    (As they left, the mother was chuckling to herself and the boy looked both confused and dejected. Hopefully he had better luck with telepathy!)

    Takes A Long Time To Close The Matter

    | Raleigh, NC, USA | Bizarre, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month, Time

    (I am a waitress. Around seven pm, a couple is seated at one of the two booths in my section. Since our very busy weekend ‘rush’ usually starts around five pm, I knew they would have waited almost an hour to have been seated.)

    Me: “What can I get you to drink?”

    Customer: “We will have a single glass of wine each, and entrees.”

    Me: “Absolutely. Is it a special occasion tonight?”

    Customer: “We are a married couple, and this is the first time in six months we’ve seen each other.”

    Me: “Oh, my!”

    (They were very low-demand, and after they finished the entrees, they lingered over a shared dessert and a pair of coffees. And lingered. And LINGERED.  Around 9:15 pm…)

    Customer: “Can we please have the check?”

    Me: *thinking ‘finally!’* “Absolutely!”

    (The average table turnaround time in our restaurant is 45 minutes. They have already been here over two hours, and since they are taking up one of our four existing smoking tables, my section is still steadily busy well past 9 pm. They don’t put down any form of payment, however. The check folder just lingers in the same spot at the end of their table for hours. By 11:30 pm there are no other customers in the place aside from a few at the central bar. The other closing waitress and I have already cleaned and restocked all the tables in the restaurant, and closed two of the four sections. Our manager sends the other waitress home, so it is me, the bartender, and two line cooks left.)

    Me: *making a show of closing down for the evening* “Here, let me refilled your decaf coffees, and just so you know we close at midnight.”

    (I try to stay nice, as they seem like a very nice couple, and they gave me the impression that they knew they’d taken up the table far longer than normal customers and would tip me accordingly. Normally, on a Saturday night, that table would’ve turned over at least half a dozen times or more, and be easily worth some $50 in tips. The folder still remains in the same place on their table. When midnight comes…)

    Customer: “Just to let you know that the restaurant is now closed.”

    (The last of the bar patrons is gone by 12:15 am. Chairs are on top of tables in every section except mine, because it ‘wasn’t our policy’ to do something as impolite as putting chairs on the tables if customers are still in a section. Our manager cruises by their table to remind them once more than we are closed. I vacuum the far sections of the restaurant. 12:45 am rolls around and they are still there, check still untouched. We have now been closed for 45 minutes, and they had now been there nearly six hours. I go back and talk to my manager.)

    Me: “All the other sections are closed and cleaned, the side stations are broken down and cleaned, and I just need this long-seated couple to pay so I can go home!”

    Manager: “Unfortunately, company policy means we can’t ask them to pay up, so go put the last of the chairs up, and finish your vacuuming, starting with their section. ”

    (The minute I click the vacuum on in the smoking section (nearly an hour after we’d closed!) the couple jump in their seats and then started complaining.)

    Customer: “How rude! Why haven’t you told us you were closing?! We demand to talk to the manager!”

    (I walk back to get our manager, who rolls his eyes at the list of complaints I deliver to him.)

    Manager: “Six months apart and the first thing they do is spend six hours here?”

    (He walked back out to the section with me and politely listened to the couple rant away, then took their check and knocked the price off of their dessert and wines (worth about $20 all together) before running their credit card. Eyes flashing, and still complaining about how rude the ending to the night had been and saying that they wouldn’t return, the couple left in a huff – finally! – just past 1 am, more than an hour after we had been closed. Needless to say, they only left me $4 on a check that had originally been around $50. My manager assured me that I wasn’t in any kind of trouble, and sent me home for the night once I’d finished vacuuming.)

    Closing Time Is A Vicious Cycle Accident

    | Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | Bizarre, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at a popular home-improvement store. At two minutes to closing time a man comes dashing through the door. This happens regularly, so I think nothing of it.)

    Me: *joking* “Better run!”

    Customer: *with a huge grin on his face* “Yeah, I crashed my bike getting here!”

    (As he runs past me, I see that he’s bleeding in several places on his side and arm, but I have no time to say anything before he’s off down an aisle. A couple minutes later, he comes back with a large box of nails cradled in the crook of his arm.)

    Me: “Woah, hold on. Are you okay? Let me get you some bandages—”

    Customer: *still grinning* “Nah, I’m fine. I think I dislocated my shoulder, though. Does it look bad?”

    (I look, and sure enough, the joint is popped out of its socket. He heads over to the checkout counter, grinning the whole time.)

    Me: “It looks terrible! Oh, my god. You need medical attention. Do you want me to call you an ambulance?”

    Customer: “Nope, don’t call an ambulance.”

    Me: “Are you sure? That looks like it really hurts!”

    Customer: *cheerfully* “It really hurts!”

    Me: “You’re bleeding and your shoulder is dislocated! You need to go to a doctor or something at least!”

    Customer: “Yeah, or something. See ya!”

    (He grabbed his stuff and dashed out the door. It was the end of my shift, so my supervisor made me go clock out in spite of my begging her to let me stay to make sure he was all right. When I got back, he was gone. I can only hope the crazy dude got himself to a hospital.)

    Saying Bi To Singledom Any Way Possible

    | Torrance, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Love/Romance

    (I’m female and helping an elderly customer and his 18 year old grandson at the register. As I am ringing him up, he starts up a conversation.)

    Customer: “How would you like to go out with my grandson?”

    Me: *smiling* “I’m sorry, sir.”

    Customer: “Aw, come on.” *points to grandson* “He’s good-looking and needs someone.”

    Me: *feeling a little awkward* “I have a boyfriend. Sorry, sir.”

    Customer: “Why are all the cute ones always taken?” *takes bags and leaves the store*

    (30 seconds later, a male coworker notices the customer’s receipt still in the register. He grabs it and runs out of the store to give it to the customer. My coworker walks back into the store a few minutes later.)

    Me: “You know, that customer just tried to hook me up with his grandson.”

    Male Coworker: “…he just tried to do the same thing to me.”

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