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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    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!

    There Were No Children In The Wild West

    | Cody, WY, USA | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (My husband and I own one of those photography studios where people dress up in Wild West costumes and get a sepia toned picture taken. Our sitting fee is based on how many people will be in the picture, regardless of their age.)

    Me: “Welcome, how many people do you have in your picture today?”

    Man: “Five, and one child.”

    Me: “So six people?”

    Man: “Five and a child.”

    Me: “Six people, then. That will be—”

    Man: *getting frustrated* “You charge for children?”

    Me: “Yes, we charge the same for children and adults, considering we have to costume and pose them just the same.”

    Man: “Even if they’re sitting on laps?!”

    Me: “Does having a child sit on a lap for a photo make them magically morph into one entity?”

    (Anybody who has to ask why a photographer doesn’t charge less for children has clearly never photographed children.)

    A Ham-Handed Approach To Religious Sensitivity

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Religion

    (I am working in a café-type chain that specializes in cinnamon-based, circular baked goods, but we also serve sandwiches, crepes, etc. A woman in a hijab comes up and orders a ham and cheese crepe.)

    Me: “Right away, ma’am!”

    (I start making the food, then realize she is most likely Muslim, and ham is a pork product, so I go back to her.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry but I just wanted to double check: are you a practicing Muslim? Because ham is a pork product and I know that it is prohibited. If so I have no problems making one with turkey or chicken, or even a vegetarian one for you.”

    Customer: “How DARE you ask me about my religion? I’m going to file a complaint about this for your discrimination!”

    Me: “I’m very sorry. I don’t believe I was being discriminatory. I just wanted to make sure you weren’t going to eat something you shouldn’t be eating…”

    Customer: “I know what I f****** ordered! Just give me my food!”

    Me: “Oookey dokey, right away.”

    (I finish making her ham and cheese crepe, and bring it to her where she’s seated.)

    Customer: “People like you sicken me.”

    (After three or so bites, she storms up to me, slams the food down directly onto the counter, yelling at me:)


    (After a few minutes of this lady yelling at me, with me apologizing and explaining the situation, the owner (a practicing Muslim from Lebanon) shows up and asks what’s going on. I explain what happened, he then asks the woman, and she immediately goes on a rant in Arabic to him. Another few minutes later, he says two sentences in Arabic to her, she looks extremely angry and storms away.)

    Me: “What did you say to her?”

    Owner: “I told her that although she does have ears and a brain, she clearly has many years to go before she actually knows how to use them.”

    (Needless to say we never saw her again.)

    Handily Not Available

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I am working alone at night at a small town library. The town also has a prison nearby. A customer approaches the desk.)

    Customer: “I’d like to order a specific book.”

    Me: “What’s the title?”

    Customer: “‘How to Use Your Hands as Lethal Weapons.’ The prison librarian would never order it for me.”

    (I was relieved that I couldn’t find it for him either!)

    A Cent-less Exercise

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Crazy Requests, Money

    (I work in store for one of Australia’s largest phone and Internet companies. An older customer walks in to pay a bill for $14.99. Australian currency doesn’t come in pennies, the smallest denomination being 5c, so he has to pay $15.)

    Me: “And there’s your receipt. Do you need help with anything else?”

    Customer: “It says here I paid off $14.99.”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “I gave you $15. I should be building up a credit.”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “I want my credit!”

    (I had to process a 1c bill payment for this guy so he’d get his credit. I was told that he came back when I wasn’t working a week later to complain that the credit hadn’t show up on his next bill!)

    Not Getting The Focal Point

    | Rochester, NY, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests

    (I am working as a manager in an optical chain, helping to fit a middle aged man with glasses. It is VERY common for patients to try and avoid going to bifocals, and this particular patient is misogynistic on top of it, making inappropriate comments to our receptionist and refusing to believe I am the manager.)

    Me: “So, sir, I see you haven’t had a bifocal lens before. Let me talk you through it…”

    Patient: “You will NOT give me a bifocal!”

    Me: “Okay. Did you just mean you don’t want bifocals with lines and would rather have a progressive lens, or do you want to have your glasses be specifically for reading or distance instead?”

    Patient: “Don’t be stupid. I need to see far and to read! But NO BIFOCALS.”

    Me: “Sir, you have something called presbyopia, which means that you can’t see both distance and reading in the same pair of glasses without some kind of multifocal. I can certainly make the type without visible lines for you.”

    Patient: “NO! What are you, r******d? NO BIFOCALS. I don’t care if they have lines or not! I need to see near and far and no bifocals!”

    Me: *trying to be professional* “Sir, perhaps you’d like to talk to the doctor again so he can go over your options…”

    (The patient turns to my nearest optician, who happens to be male:)

    Patient: “You! This b**** is just a woman, so she’s too stupid to get my glasses right! Can YOU order me a pair of damned glasses that will let me see everything without bifocals?”

    Optician: “Not without a time machine, gramps.”

    (Officially, I had to give my optician a verbal reprimand for insulting the customer, but I took him out to lunch the next day!)

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