November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Category: Crazy Requests

Some customers can be demanding, but within reason. These customers however make some requests that go beyond demanding, beyond reasonable, beyond possible! These requests, like the customers, are crazy!

A Cr-ice-is

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology

(This winter has been particularly heavy, and many of our customers are without heat, power, and/or hot water. All our techs are working overtime fixing homes without heat.)

Me: “Hello, how can I—”

Customer: “Thank God! I can’t get anyone to come out here, I have an emergency!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, what’s the problem?”

Customer: “The icemaker isn’t working!”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “My icemaker on my refrigerator! The power was out and now it’s back on but my fridge won’t make ice! I have a party tonight!”

Me: “I… see… Well, ma’am, I’m sorry to hear that but all my technicians are out on emergency heat calls—”

Customer: “This IS an emergency! Did you not hear me?! I have a party TONIGHT and no ice!”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but we’re prioritizing calls for no heat and flooding right now—”

Customer: “I knew it! I knew you wouldn’t help me! *at this point, the customer is sobbing and screaming* “No one will help me! I HAVE A PARTY TONIGHT!” *click*

Making A Dis-Appointment

| Hanover, Germany | Crazy Requests

(I am a law student doing my practice course at a law firm which houses about a dozen lawyers just in the office where I am. It’s my last day, a Friday, and I’m assisting the lady at the front desk. She has just left for the back room, leaving me at the desk, when a client storms in, beet-red in the face and clearly agitated.)

Client: *in heavily accented German and just about to yell* “I have to talk to one of the lawyers. It’s about [case reference number].”

Me: “Sure, with whom do you have an appointment?”

Client: “I don’t have an appointment. But it’s really urgent.”

Me: “Oh, that’s a bummer. You do need an appointment. With whom do you want to talk?”

Client: “Mr. [Name].”

Me: “He’s not here today; he’s in the office in [Other City]. Do you want to make an appointment for Monday, as it’s so urgent?”

Client: “No, Monday doesn’t work. I don’t have time then.”

Me: “Would you like him to call you back?”

Client: “No, this needs to be done in person.”

Me: “So you would like an appointment with him.”

Client: “No.”

(I am starting to get a bad feeling about how this conversation is going to go.)

Client: “There’s more lawyers in this office, though, aren’t there? Let me talk to one of them.”

Me: “I’m afraid that won’t be possible. Mr. [Name] is the lawyer assigned to your case.”

Client: “Well, but he wasn’t my original lawyer here at this firm. I used to be with Mr. [Other Name].”

Me: “Yes, but Mr. [Other Name] left this office and moved to another, and all his cases were re-assigned to Mr. [Name].”

Client: “How is that even possible?!”

Me: “When you brought the case to us, you signed a letter of authorization.”

Client: “Yes, for Mr. [Other Name]!”

Me: “No, our standard letter of authorization clearly says it’s for all the lawyers of this office. And when Mr. [Other Name] left, Mr. [Name] took on all his cases.”

Client: “Well, then send me to another lawyer if the letter is good for everyone!”

Me: “I can’t do that. None of them are familiar with your case; they don’t work on it. Mr. [Name] does.”

(The client starts to pace in front of the desk and is breathing heavily.)

Me: “Do you want to talk to Mr. [Name]?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Then let’s make an appointment.”

Client: “No.”

(The entire discussion described above is repeated. Twice.)

Me: *really annoyed now* “Okay, I’m going to break policy a bit now and see if I can reach him at the other office.”

(Usually, the offices act separately from each other, but I figure since the lawyer in question is a bit of an oddball by working at two offices, it’s okay for me to call. I do, but can’t reach him because he is with an appointment. The lady at the front desk of the other office – after chewing me out for breaking protocol – jots down the client’s mobile phone number, though.)

Me: “Now, Mr. [Name] has your number now, and he’ll call you once he’s available.”

Client: “Great. Now I can ask him when he wants me to come in on Monday for an appointment.” *leaves*

Me: *mentally goes through every known method of murdering a person*

Colleague: “Soooo, d’you think you’d like to work here permanently?”

Me: “I wasn’t planning on going to jail that soon into my career.”

Customers With Very Specific Baggage

| Tigard, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work at a large retail store. On the credit card machine, at the end of every transaction, a one question survey would pop up for the customer, asking to rate our customer service, from 1 to 5. I’ve just finished ringing up a customer and put her items in a plastic bag. She has been fairly normal so far, until…)

Customer: “Do you have any bags with handles?”

Me: “Yes, all our bags have handles.”

Customer: “No, I mean a paper bag. I don’t want plastic.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. All we have are plastic bags.”

Customer: *angrily replies* “Well, I don’t want a plastic bag!”

(She then picks up the stylus pen and chooses “1” on the customer service questions, deliberately pushing down so hard on the screen that it permanently leaves a mark.)

Customer: “Next time have paper bags!”

It’s All Fun And Games Until The Till

| Ashford, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(Every morning, around 9 am, we have “Team Brief,” where the manager talks about the business issues of the day with the workers. The briefing takes place in an alcove near the lift, which is just off to the side of the main store. There is no door separating the customer area and alcove. The manager usually makes the briefings very informal. On this particular day, two colleagues remain on the tills to serve customers – one on a full sized till, and one on the “10 items or fewer” till. The briefing is going well and the manager has said something amusing, causing us all to laugh.)

Angry Customer: “Why the **** are you standing here laughing? I want to be served!”

(Everyone stops laughing, and the manager goes out to see what is happening. The small till is empty, but there are two customers waiting at the big till.)

Manager: “This till is available, sir.”

Angry Customer: “That’s not a proper till! I demand a proper till! If you were serving and not f****** around in there then I wouldn’t have to f****** wait!”

(Another employee opened another “proper” till and serves the man, who stormed off angrily after that. Nevertheless, we were all in a quiet mood for some time afterward.)

Needs An Urgent Prescription Of Common Decency

| MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

(My wife is a pharmacist for a large chain. She works overnight shifts. A woman comes in with a prescription from the ER. She notes that there are allergies on the patient’s record which may be present in the medication.)

Pharmacist: “There is a possible allergy with this; I’ll need to check the ingredients for this manufacturer.”

Customer: “You don’t need to check that. I’ve taken this before. I have twins at home and I’m in a hurry.”

Pharmacist: “What kind of reactions do you get?”

Customer: “Well, my tongue and throat swell up, and I get bad rashes on my feet.”

(What she is describing is anaphylaxis and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome respectively, both serious and potentially lethal reactions even on their own. Unsurprisingly my wife feels the patient’s assurance isn’t sufficient and decides to check the ingredients to be sure it won’t kill her. The customer is obviously pissed that she has to wait. Unfortunately the ingredients show the allergens are present.)

Pharmacist: “I’m sorry, there are [allergens] present in this medication and I can’t fill it. However, I will try to contact the ER doctor to get a substitute.”

(The patient begins to give death looks and muttering angrily. The medication in question is a narcotic and a controlled substance. The laws which control the filling of the medications require a hard copy, and cannot usually be taken over the phone at all. The only way around this is to use certain emergency protocols which require the doctor to get the prescription hard copy to the pharmacy in a very short time. This is always a risky business for pharmacists in case the hard copy doesn’t make it. Most of the time a pharmacy will just refuse to fill the script, which they are within their rights to do. Against the odds, my wife manages to get the ER doctor on the phone. He agrees to switch the medication to Percoset and says he will personally deliver the hard copy in a couple hours after his shift ends.)

Pharmacist: “We got the prescription changed to Percoset, and the doctor will bring—”

Customer: “I don’t want Tylenol.”

(The customer begins getting even louder and more surly and increases the death stare. My wife knows that this customer has just decided to be angry and will just escalate it from here.)

Pharmacist: “Please, just stop. I can’t fill something that might hurt you. I’ll contact the doctor again to try to get something else.”

(She gets a hold of him and they switch it to Oxycodone. The doctor will still bring the new prescription over. During the call another doctor calls in on the second line. My wife briefly switches over to speak to them before resuming the original call. This takes about a minute. At this point not only has the patient been saved from a possible allergic reaction, but a doctor who has been who-knows-how-long at the ER is going to make a special trip on his own time to make sure she can get her prescription.)

Pharmacist: “Okay, we’ve got it switched to Oxy—”

Customer: “I don’t want to hear what you have to say.”

(She holds up her hand like a mouth and does a movement which clearly indicates “shut up”. My wife is livid at this point, but tries to focus on what she’s doing. She goes to ring her up.)

Pharmacist: “I think it might be better if [coworker from the front end] rang you out.”

Customer: “I think it might be.”

(My wife stepped away and tried to calm down and get her focus back on her other work. While Coworker was ringing the customer out she could hear her complaining about her. One of her complaints was that she took a minute to talk to on the phone to the other doctor. The punchline to all this is that the patient was given some pills at the ER and could have gone straight home with the meds if she was really in such a hurry, and filled the prescription the next day.)