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    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!

    Some Customers Will Even Pull Your Hair Out For You

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

    (I am trying to fix the printer on a self-check out machine. I am a girl with long hair pulled back in tight braids and a bun. A loop of hair has snagged on a lag screw on the raised portion of the screen.)

    Me: *calling coworker on the phone* “Hey, I got myself stuck in the self-check. Can you come help me?”

    Coworker: “Sure.”

    (A customer pulls up to her station with a large order. I can’t see her and she can’t see me, so I wait patiently, bent completely over.)

    Customer: *walks up to me* “Can you check these out for me?”

    (The customer hands me a bunch of bolts.)

    Me: “I would be happy to, sir, just as soon as I get unstuck from this machine.”

    Customer: “Have you called anyone to help you yet?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. She should be here in a moment.”

    (There is a very long awkward pause, while the customer just stands there looking at me.)

    Customer: “Well….she’s not here yet. I guess I could help ya out.”

    Me: “I would appreciate that. Thanks!”

    (The customer proceeds to yank violently on my hair. A few strands come completely out of my head. Finally, the loop of hair comes off the lag screw.)

    Customer: “There. Will you ring me out now?”

    Making A Bad Impression

    , | Japan | Crazy Requests, Military, Politics

    (I am the operations manager of an overseas military TV and radio station. In place of regular commercials, we run locally-made information spots. We get feedback through an email system, mostly complaints about stuff out of our control, such as TV shows and music selections. A few months ago, we got an email from an irate listener complaining about a radio spot advertising the base library, where one of the producers did an imitation of former President George W. Bush. He was livid about the disrespect to our former Commander-In-Chief. I responded professionally, explaining we often use humor in our spots to make the information memorable, and the impression was fairly innocuous. He kept emailing back more irate, insulting military broadcasters, questioning our patriotism, accusing us of communism, etc. Finally, he came to our station to personally confront me. The following exchange occurred in our lobby.)

    Irate Marine: “Your excuses are just that! The ‘humor’ of that imitation is offensive and disrespectful! How dare you demean the former president!”

    Me: “Well, he didn’t seem to think so.”

    Irate Marine: “… What?”

    Me: *points to framed picture on the wall* “See that?”

    (It’s George W. Bush in our production room laughing with a young Marine.)

    Irate Marine: “He came here?”

    Me: “Years ago, I’m told. See that Marine in the photo? He’s the one who voiced and produced that spot. That photo was taken while he was playing the commercial for The President. He apparently has a better sense of humor about himself than you do.”

    Irate Marine: *walks out the door, mumbling* “Well, it’s STILL disrespectful!”

    No Holding Back

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (I work at a popular lingerie store that also sells a line of young women’s clothing. It’s nearly closing time on a Sunday night when a teenage girl and her mother come in.)

    Me: “Hi. Welcome to [Store]. What brings you ladies in tonight?”

    Mother: “Yes, I called earlier today about a hoodie y’all sell. I was told you had several.”

    Me: “Sure, I can help you with that. Which hoodie was it?”

    (The mother produces a picture of the hoodie from our website. I recognize it as a style that we have not had for a few days, due to the style’s popularity.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. We haven’t had those in for almost a week. The few we did have sold out between yesterday and today. I can order one online for you, though, and you’ll get free shipping right to your house.”

    Mother: “This is unacceptable! I called at nine this morning, and the girl told me you had a bunch!”

    Me: “Are you sure you called today, ma’am? We don’t open until 11, and nobody was here before 10.”

    Mother: “Well, maybe it was 11. I don’t know. But you still should have saved one for me!”

    Me: “Did you put one on hold? If so it’s still in our closet.”

    Mother: “I don’t know.” *speaking to daughter* “Did you put one on hold?”

    Daughter: “Yeah, it should be under Kelly.”

    (I check the closet. The hoodie is definitely not there.)

    Me: “That’s weird. It should be here.” *to mother* “And you called today, you said?”

    Mother: “Well, no. It was my daughter who called.”

    Me: *to daughter* “And you called today?”

    Daughter: “No, I called Thursday. Maybe, Wednesday. No… I think it must have been Monday. Yeah, Monday.”

    Me: “So, you called on Monday? And you put a hoodie on hold? Did they tell you that we only hold merchandise for 24 hours?”

    Daughter: “Um, idk, maybe?”

    (Yes, she really said ‘idk.’)

    Mother: “It shouldn’t matter when she called! You should have held it for her!”

    Me: “Well, unfortunately, we don’t have the space to hold product for that long, especially over a weekend. Plus, it’s not really fair to other customers. But, like I said, I can always look online and see if we can get one shipped to you.”

    Mother: “No! Go into your back room and find one.”

    Me: “I’m really sorry, but we don’t have any more in the stock room; I’ve checked several times today for other customers. I can check again, if you’d like, but you’re going to be disappointed.”

    Mother: “GET ME YOUR MANAGER! I’M GOING TO GET YOUR A** FIRED!”

    Me: *losing all patience* “Sure, but I’m going to have to ask you to please watch your tone and language.”

    Mother: “You little b****! How DARE you speak to me like this? First you sell my daughter’s hoodie to some tramp, I’m sure, and then you refuse to do anything about it. MANAGER! NOW!”

    (I radio to the back for my manager.)

    Me: “She’ll be out in just a minute. Again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Mother: “I bet you are! I drove an hour to come to this store just for this hoodie because you lied to my daughter and told her you had a product you clearly don’t have! This is incorrigible.”

    Me: “What’s incorrigible is your attitude right now. I’m very sorry about all this, but your daughter did call our store nearly a week ago about a product. Of course our inventory is going to change between Monday, when we get all our shipment in, and Sunday just before close. If the hoodie was that important, perhaps you should have come out sooner. I can only apologize so many times for something that is outside of my control. Additionally, we are now closed, and have been for several minutes. However, I would still be willing to call another store or order this hoodie online. Alternatively, you could leave and come back at another time, and perhaps we’ll have some in then.”

    Mother: “Well, I never! All right, here’s what I want you to do. I’m going to give you my number, and you are going to call me when you get more of these hoodies in. Then, you are going to send me one to my house free of charge. Do you understand me?”

    (My manager comes around the corner with a look on her face that clearly indicates she had been listening.)

    Manager: “Of course, ma’am. Let me take down your name and number, and I will be sure to talk with my associate about all this.”

    (The woman smugly gives my manager her info, then she and the daughter leave. I wait by the registers while my manager pulls and locks our gates.)

    Me: “Am I fired?”

    Manager: *crumples up paper with the customers info* “Like h*** I’m catering to that b****.”

    Going Bananas Over The Bread

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Crazy Requests

    (I’m at the self-checkout, and I can hear a woman yelling about her own self-checkout order to the cashier.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you would just let someone bag their own groceries! How was I supposed to know bananas would flatten my bread? I want a new loaf of bread, and I want it free!”

    Supervisor: “Ma’am, we can’t just give you free groceries for your own errors. As we told you last week, putting heavy things on top of light things will cause problems. We’ve suggested you take your items to a cashier to be bagged properly, and—”

    Customer: “I don’t care what you said last week! There is no sign here telling me the bananas will squish my bread! I want it free!”

    Supervisor: “No. I told you, you can’t get any more free groceries.”

    (At this point, I decide to intervene.)

    Me: “Ma’am, can I help you with something? Do you need money?”

    Customer: “What the h*** do you mean by that? Do you even work here?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I don’t work here. I just thought given the fuss you were making over a two dollar loaf of bread, you probably needed the money. Let me write you a check; how much do you need?”

    Customer: “I don’t need anything! It’s the principle of the thing!”

    Me: “And what principle is that?”

    Customer: “Well… I… These people need to learn their place!”

    Me:“They make minimum wage, and I’m sure many of them have second jobs. I’m sure many of them know ‘their place’ in YOUR version of society. So you mean to tell me you’re just being mean to make others feel inferior?”

    Customer: “Well… I…”

    Me: “In that case, I’ll buy you a free loaf of bread just to get these poor employees some peace!”

    Customer: “Well, I never met someone so rude!” *storms out of the store with her squished bread*

    Not What The Doctor Ordered

    | MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (In one week we are hosting a benefit dinner to set up a scholarship fund helping underprivileged kids go to summer camp. It is my job to take reservations, which have been closed for a week. I take a phone call.)

    Me: “[Business]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes. This is Doctor [Name]. I would like three tickets to the dinner.”

    Me: “Well, unfortunately ticket sales closed a week ago. We had to give final numbers to the caterer and—”

    Customer: “No, you don’t understand. I’m a doctor and I know the speaker. She and my daughter went to college together.”

    Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but the speaker knew when ticket sales closed and she never mentioned—”

    Customer: “But I’m a doctor! And I know the speaker!”

    Me: “Congratulations, ma’am. But we’ve turned the numbers in—”

    Customer: “You’ll just have to tell them you have three more guests. What time is the dinner? We will be coming.”

    Me: “I can’t—”

    Customer: “You will tell them. I know the speaker.”

    Me: *sigh* “I will talk to our director and see what I can do but—”

    Customer: “Good. My name is Doctor [Name] and I know the speaker.”

    (The caller proceeds to give me all of her contact information. I talk to my boss a few hours later and she reluctantly agrees to sell tickets to the woman because we ordered more meals than necessary for this exact reason. I am getting ready to call the woman back when the phone rings and I answer it.)

    Customer: “This is Doctor [Name] and you said you would talk to your— whoever it is —and make sure we get tickets. We will be coming. I know the speaker.”

    Me: *sigh* “Yes, ma’am. We have extra plates available and we have your name on the reservation list for three tickets.”

    Customer: “Good. See, this is how you treat a doctor. Now, what is my discount for knowing the speaker?”

    Me: “You don’t get a discount.”

    Customer: “Of course I do; I’m a doctor and I know the speaker.”

    Me: “Ma’am, everyone pays the same ticket price. We have everyone from doctors, engineers, nurses, janitors, and camp counselors coming to this dinner and they all reserved their seats before the deadline and are all paying the same ticket price. Your total is [total].”

    Customer: “Ugh! Fine! But I won’t give you people a dime more for whatever it is you’re doing, you hear me?”

    Me: “Yes, doctor.”

    (She was just as rude and egotistical when I met her in person, still making sure to let me know she was a doctor and more important than anyone. And she made good on her promise to not give anything to the scholarship fund for children.)


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