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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!

    Change Can’t Make You Change

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I’m a 22-year-old queer female. While I don’t exactly go around singing my orientation from rooftops, I do have two queer pride pins on my work uniform and I always wear a rainbow bracelet, so it’s pretty hard to miss. A  man who’s about 60 years old comes through my line.)

    Customer: “I have a bad back. Can you lift that out for me?”

    (He points to a 15-pack of beer. I lift it out, scan it, and put it back in his cart.)

    Customer: “Wow, look at you. You’re pretty strong. Your boyfriend must be happy with you.”

    Me: “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

    Customer: “Well, why not?”

    Me: *deadpan* “I have no idea.”

    Customer: “Well, we can’t have that. How about I take you out to dinner tonight?”

    (I take a moment to very pointedly look at my two pins and then hold my arm up in plain sight and stare at my bracelet.)

    Me: “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “Come on, it’s just one night.”

    Me: *as I hand him his change* “I already have supper plans.”

    Customer: “That’s a shame. I would have let you keep the change if you’d said yes.”

    (After he leaves, my manager, who’s known me since high school, approaches.)

    Manager: *laughs* “Yeah, because eight bucks is gonna turn you straight and take away your standards.”

    Making A Fresh Start In A New City

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (It is 20 minutes before close. A man comes in alone and demands to be seated in the closed half of the restaurant. He insists this is the only ‘real’ part of the restaurant. My coworker takes his initial order then sends me over to continue with him. He’s ordered something that only comes as an add-on to an entrée, but he wants it first while he’s deciding on the entrée. This is no problem and I go to drop off his drink.)

    Customer: “Limes are very precious in this city. So precious. Do you have any limes?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. I can get you some if you like.”

    Customer: “Yes, both lemon and lime are so precious.”

    (I fetch him some.)

    Me: “Did you decide on an entrée this evening or do you still need a few minutes?”

    Customer: “What time do you close?”

    Me: “10 pm.”

    Customer: “[City] is terrible! Nothing stays open. If we were in a different city you’d be open till midnight at least.”

    Me: “Well, they do stay open in some areas where there’s things around them that are open later like movie theatres. But we find here people don’t really come in for dinner so late. Did you need another minute with the menus?”

    Customer: “This city is terrible. I hate this place so much. All the stores are awful. Everything is awful.”

    (Another guest is trying to hail me so I politely excuse myself from the still-ranting man. A few minutes later I bring him the add-on he wanted as a starter.)

    Customer: *in a demanding tone of voice* “Is it cold?!”

    Me: *glancing at the clearly steaming food* “No, sir. It’s hot.”

    Customer: “If you’re sure.”

    Me: “Did you decide on an entrée? I can get them cooking it while you’re eating.”

    Customer: “I’ll have chicken.”

    Me: *thinking of the dozen diverse items on the menu that contain chicken* “Chicken, sir?”

    Customer: “Yes, but only if it’s fresh. It needs to be really fresh! You need to give it the smell test. If you haven’t stuck your nose into the burger it’s not really fresh! If it’s not fresh I’ll just send it right back!”

    Me: *thinking that we’ve at least narrowed it down to the four chicken burger options* “Absolutely, sir. I’ll triple check with the kitchen, but our chicken is generally really fresh. Do you know which of the chicken burgers you’d like?”

    Customer: “No, no, no! You’re not listening! You have to listen to your customers! It . Must. Be. Fresh. I know it’s not! I eat here all the time and it’s not. This place is terrible. All the restaurants in this city are terrible.”

    Me: “I’m sorry if you’ve had a bad experience, sir. I can tell you that our chicken today is very fresh. Is there a particular burger you’d like?”

    Customer: “I’ve called head office and left a message for the CEO, you know. They didn’t care about freshness. No one cares about freshness. You’re not even listening! You have to listen to your customers! You know what, f*** it! I’ll just take this to go.”

    (I go get him a take out box and he puts the hot food in that, dumps the salad out onto the table and the floor and storms out. He paid for the add-on and even left me a one cent tip.)

    Can’t Avoid This Going Down The Toilet

    | Rochester, NY, USA | Bizarre, Home Improvement

    (I take emergency maintenance calls from apartment complexes when the office is closed. A woman calls around 2 am.)

    Caller:  ”Why should I have to leave my apartment when I have to use the bathroom? That’s just not right.”

    Me: “I’ll call maintenance right away and send someone right over.”

    Caller:  ”Oh, he’s already here fixing the toilet. He’s been working on it for a while.”

    Me: “Ma’am, if maintenance is already working on the problem, I don’t know what you would want me to do.”

    Caller: “I thought you could tell me what I’m supposed to do until the toilet is fixed.”

    Southern Discomfort

    | Washington DC, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Food & Drink

    (I am giving out samples of hot sauce with tuna salad. An old man with a long grey beard and a thick Southern accent comes up to my table…)

    Me: “Hello, sir, would you like to try some tuna salad with hot sauce?”

    Customer: “Maybe. Can I see the hot sauce bottle?”

    Me: *thinking he wanted to see the ingredients* “All right, sure.” *I hand him the bottle*

    Customer: *carefully shakes the bottle, then tips it upside down to see how much is left*

    Me: “Sir?”

    Customer: “Good girl, you’ve used a lot of it.”

    Me: “Well, I’ve been serving it to a lot of people.”

    Customer: “Yee-hee!”

    (The man unscrews the bottle, then tilts his head back and starts shaking hot sauce into his mouth.)

    Me: “Sir! Sir, I have to ask for that back now!”

    Customer: “Hee-hee. You can’t say you’re Cajun unless you can do that. You need one of those little bottles. I can chug them. Can’t call yourself Southern otherwise. Yee-hee!”

    (The man handed back the bottle and walked off. I sanitized the bottle as thoroughly as possible!)

    Unhappy To Have Nothing To Complain About

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bizarre

    (It is after dark and I am attending to a line of customers as we have had a pretty busy night due to the holidays. An older woman comes up to my register.)

    Me: “How are you today, ma’am?”

    Customer: *is quiet for a few moments before throwing her items onto the table* “Hello.”

    (I begin to scan her items all the while she makes numerous demands of how she would like everything bagged a certain way. I am pleasant and cheerful the entire time as she has caught me in a good mood.)

    Customer: “And see that you pack these together! Oh, and all the food in one bag. And make sure that box isn’t scratched!”

    Me: “Oh course. That’s no problem!”

    (I smile and continue to pack her things. There is a long pause.)

    Customer: *in a sharp and sarcastic tone* “Well, you sure are… chipper and rather fast today.”

    Me: *I smile* “Oh, I try to be! I’ve been here so long this job just comes as second nature.”

    Customer: “Well, see that you stop that! You’re going too fast for me! And stop being so happy!”

    Me: “… I’m sorry?”

    (The woman walks off as I am left stunned.)

    Coworker: “Did you really just get yelled at for being too nice?! Now I’ve seen it all!”


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