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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!

    Acting Bright At The End Of The World

    | Norway | Bizarre

    (It’s a few weeks before Christmas and I am helping a customer carry a very heavy floor lamp out to her car. It’s been raining most of December, instead of snowing, which is unusual in Norway.)

    Customer: *in a sing-song voice* “Oh, I just love the rain!”

    Me: *smiling* “Yeah? I kind of prefer snow this time of year myself.”

    Customer:  *looking both happy and serious* “Oh no, snow messes up the view! The world is going under, it’s ending, and it is important that the view is clear so everyone can see it go down!”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “Here’s my car. Thanks for the help! Bye!”

    Me: “You’re welcome.”

    (I was left wondering why she needed the lamp when the world was ending anyway. Maybe to see it happen more clearly?)

    If You Put Your Mind To It

    | Switzerland | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

    (I work part time in a store that sells sweets and little toys. A man in his mid-twenties walks in.)

    Customer: “I’d like to buy this. How much would that be?” *points at an item*

    Me: “That would be [Price].”

    Customer: “So. I’m thinking about [Price] right now. I take it out of my mental savings account and mentally transfer it to you. How about that?”

    Me: *puzzled* “Uhm…”

    Customer: “Did you get it?”

    Me: “Uhm… No, I didn’t get it. I work with real money here.”

    Customer: “But I want to buy it with my mental money! Can’t I buy it like this? I’m imagining it really, really hard right now! I WANT THIS!”

    Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t help you with that.”

    Customer: “Well, at least I tried.”

    That Old Adage About Old Age

    | Wales, UK | Bizarre, Health & Body

    (My department for the local county council takes service requests from residents of the area for all sorts of things:)

    Me: “Bore da. Good morning. This is [Local Council].”

    Caller: *shouting* “I’M OLD!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, it happens to all of us eventually. Now, how can I help?”

    Caller: “I’M OLD, YOU SEE! I’M DISABLED! I HAVE ARTHRITIS AND SCIATICA AND BUNIONS.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear you have those things, sir. Now, please tell me how I can help you this morning.”

    Customer: “YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME. I’M OLD AND YOU NEED TO GET THIS SORTED.”

    Me: “I listened to everything you’ve said, sir. You’re elderly and you suffer from arthritis and sciatica and bunions. Now, these things understandably cause you pain and would have meant you needed help with something. If you can remember what that ‘something’ was and recall why you might have phoned me up, I can try and help you.”

    Customer: “I NEED YOU TO… Oh. I can’t remember. If you remember can you call me?” *click*

    Me: *to thin air* “Uh… not without your phone number, I can’t.”

    When Larry Met Crazy

    | Mt. Vernon, IL, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

    (I am working in the afternoon as a board operator at a local country music station. At the top of every hour they play a five-minute feed from CNN news.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Station Name]. How may i help you today?”

    Caller: “I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO LARRY KING!”

    Me: “Okay, sir, I’m afraid I cannot do that. We are a—”

    Caller: “I KNOW D***-WELL WHAT YOU ARE! LET ME SPEAK TO LARRY KING!”

    Me: “I understand, but Larry King doesn’t work here. We only air CNN news, which comes in via an automated service.”

    Caller: “YEAH! CNN! THAT’S YOU GUYS! CNN! LARRY KING IS ON CNN! LET ME TALK TO LARRY NOW!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m afraid I cannot do that. He is not here in our studio. We are not CNN.”

    Caller: “YOUR MANAGER, NOW! YOU’RE FIRED!”

    Me: “Okay, please hold.”

    (I transfer him to my manager. 10 minutes later…)

    Manager: “I just dealt with the most angry man who thinks Larry King works here.”

    Me: “I tried to explain to him that we only play CNN news on the top of the hour and that we are not CNN news.”

    Manager: “Yeah, I told him the same.”

    Me: “So how did you get rid of him?”

    Manager: “I told him that Larry King traces all his calls before taking them and he hung up really quickly after that.”

    Internet Killed The Radio Store

    | Leicester, England, UK | Bizarre, Technology

    (I’m working on the till when a customer approaches me for an enquiry:)

    Customer: “I’m looking for [Environmental Report] that was published at the beginning of the week. Can you check if you stock it?”

    Me: “Of course I can. That sort of thing will probably be with the political or academic books but I’ll just look on the system to see if we’ve got it in.”

    (Customer has the exact title but it isn’t showing up on our system. This sometimes happens as the system is quite old and requires correct syntax. I look it up on the Internet and find that it’s available to download for free as a pdf.)

    Me: “I’ve managed to find a record of it online, but neither our system nor Amazon is recognising the title which suggests it’s not been published as a book. Were you aware you could read it for free from the organisation’s website? Or download a pdf of it?”

    Customer: “Well, I want a print copy. I don’t have the Internet and I don’t like reading off screens.”

    Me: “That’s fair enough but, unfortunately, it’s not something that we will ever be able to supply. I’d suggest going to your local library if you don’t have Internet access at home. You can view it just by typing the title you gave me into Google; a free online copy is the first link that comes up.”

    Customer: “But I don’t like reading on screens.”

    Me: “The only alternative I can think of is for you to access it at the library and print it out, but it’s 40 pages long so it might cost a bit.”

    Customer: “Fine. There’s another one I want that was spoken about on Radio 4.”

    Me: “That’s fine, book reviews on the radio are easy to find. Do you know the title?”

    Customer: “No it was on [Show] on Radio 4.”

    Me: “Okay, that’s fine. Can you remember on what day?”

    Customer: “No, just that it was [Author] and it was in the last fortnight.”

    (The author’s name doesn’t bring up any results and I can’t find anything similar in amongst the reviews on that show so far in a very long list.)

    Customer: “You must have listened to [Show]. It’s one of the best things on the radio.”

    Me: “Sorry, madam, I only listen to the radio in the car and my family has always listened to Radio 1 in the mornings.”

    (The customer is very shocked by this and keeps lecturing me on why I should be listening to her show. Radio 1 is all current music, while as Radio 4 is aimed at older middle aged listeners. After having no success, and getting distracted by the customer’s rant, I decide to search the BBC’s website as a last resort and tell the customer as such.)

    Customer: “No, don’t bother. I’ll look it up on the Internet at home.”

    (The customer then left the store without so much as a thank you, leaving a queue of other customers speechless.)

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