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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!

    Trying To Re-Coup The Coupon

    | Westland, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I am working the return desk at a major department store. We offer a dollar-off coupon for every x amount the customer spends, to be used at a later date. If the customer returns products from the original purchase and the return brings the total under x amount, it makes the dollar off coupon void.)

    Me: “Okay, you are going to get $35.76 credited back to your Visa, and it will deactivate your [dollar off coupon].”

    Customer: “What do you mean, it will deactivate it?!”

    Me: “The coupon will no longer be valid. By returning these items, it drops your purchasing total below x amount, which was what you needed to earn the coupon.”

    Customer: “But I had PLANS for that [dollar off coupon]! I was going to buy my daughter new shoes!”

    Me: “I apologize for that, ma’am, but I cannot override the system. Once you return products and the total drops below x amount, the coupon is no longer valid.”

    Customer: “Well, I still have the coupon right here!” *waves the physical [dollar off coupon] in the air* “I’m not gonna give it to you, so I am just going to take it right up to the register and use it! HA!” *she actually laughed right in my face*

    Me: “Well, it actually deactivated electronically, not manually, so the cashier would see that it does not have any balance on it. You can—”

    Customer: “But, but… THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but if you would like, you can make another purchase, and if that purchase and your old purchase combine to equal more than x amount, I can issue you a new dollar off coupon.”

    Customer: “No, no, no! I shouldn’t have to spend more money. I already earned that dollar-off coupon when I made THIS purchase! You are just trying to rip us hard working people off so you can pocket more money! I was going to get my daughter shoes, so I guess you want my daughter to walk around barefoot, looking homeless, and catching some wild disease. You want my daughter to die!”

    (She storms off, exiting our store for the rest of the mall, still raving about how I want to kill her child.)

    Me: *to my coworker* “Well, if she needed shoes for her daughter that badly, maybe she shouldn’t be purchasing $70 worth of nail polish and fragrance.”

    (That customer called to complain to my manager, saying I “threatened the life of her and her child,” and chased her out of the store. Of course, my coworker vouched for me about the threats, but even my manager didn’t believe that I chased her out of the store!)

    This Customer Is A Time Bomb

    | IL, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (My patron is a young boy of about seven or eight. He is using the online card catalog and looks stumped.)

    Me: “Can I help you find something?”

    Patron: “I want a book on how to build a nuclear bomb.”

    Me: “Uh… I don’t think we’re going to have anything like that in our collection.”

    Patron: “Well, how can I learn to make one, then?”

    Me: “I would suggest a PhD in physics.”

    Patron: “Oh! Here’s one!” *shows me a catalog record for a book called “How to Build a Nuclear Bomb”*

    Me: “Oh, see, actually that book is about the global economics, politics, and resources that would…” *noticing patron’s blank stare* “You know what? Yeah, I can get you that book.”

    (A couple of weeks later, the young patron comes in to check out his reserve.)

    Patron: “Uh… I don’t think this is what I want. It doesn’t have any nuclear bomb plan in it, or anything.”

    Me: “Yes, well, like I said before, we won’t have anything like that here.”

    Patron: “Oh, well, I found a can of gas in the garage, and I have some matches. Do you think I could do something with that?”

    Me: “Uh… stay in school?”

    Raise A Broken Glass To That Employee

    , | Supermarket | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Health & Body

    (I’m a manager at a popular grocery chain. A certain brand of pasta has just been recalled due to some broken glass getting mixed into some of the batches of boxes and as a precaution, all boxes are removed from the store. One of my new employees, a high school part-timer, is stocking shelves with me. She’s so timid that she makes a rabbit look exciting, but she is normally very good with customers. On this day, a well-dressed older gentleman approaches her and asks about the pasta brand.)

    Employee: “Oh, sorry, sir. That brand has been involuntarily recalled.”

    (Most people understand that that means we have none of it and I thought it would be the end. However, when I hear her scream suddenly, I turn to see the man has hurled his shopping basket at her face and she’d barely managed to duck in time.)

    Man: YOU’RE F******* KIDDING ME! I NEED THAT FOR MY GRANDSON’S BIRTHDAY TOMORROW! YOU’RE GOING TO GET THAT SCRAWNY LITTLE A** BACK IN THAT F****** STOCKROOM AND GET THAT F****** BRAND NOW!!

    (I’m about to storm over, but to my surprise and amazement, my employee gets right up, composes herself and turns.)

    Employee: “Right away, sir. I’ll be right back.”

    Man: “WALK FASTER, YOU LITTLE SNOT! I’M IN A HURRY!”

    (Dumbfounded, I watch as she goes to the back for a minute and comes back out with one of the recalled boxes AND the notice stating the recall. She hands him the box.)

    Employee: “Is this what you wanted, sir?”

    Man: “YES! You’re too f****** slow!”

    Employee: “My apologies. Oh, and sir, could I get your grandson’s name, please? I’d like to send him a get-well soon card in a few days when he’ll have to be hospitalized.”

    Man: *whirls around* “WHAT?!”

    Employee: “Oh, yes, sir. Eating broken glass is sure to lacerate his insides horribly. He’ll be hemorrhaging blood, no doubt, maybe throwing it up as well. It’s really not a pretty sight. That’s why this brand has been recalled and taken off the shelves. Some broken glass got into the mixing vats at the factory. But if you’re so insistent on having THAT brand of pasta, then I guess it can’t be helped.”

    Man: “Y-YOU’RE S****** ME?!”

    Employee: “No, sir, I’m afraid I’m serious. We have some generic brands of the same thing that’ll taste about the same if you’d like.”

    Man: *pales considerably and drops the box* “Uh… y-yeah, sure. Can… uh, can you show me where they are? Maybe?”

    Employee: “Of course. They’re right here, and they’re actually cheaper!”

    Medicareless

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Crazy Requests

    (I have called a patient to confirm an appointment she has with us the following day. Medicare is Australia’s free healthcare system and it entitles some people to receive discount health treatments if on a certain program.)

    Me: “Hi, this is [My Name] from [Company]. I just wanted to confirm your nine am appointment with us tomorrow.”

    Patient: “Oh, yes, that’s fine. Can you tell me what the cost will be?”

    Me: “No problem. I see you’re a Medicare patient. If your [Program] has been renewed for this year, it will only be $6. Otherwise, if you haven’t, it will be $65.”

    Patient: “Oh. Well, I don’t know if I have been renewed for that. I won’t come if I haven’t. Could you find out if I have been?”

    Me: “I can’t find out directly ma’am, but your doctor will have told you if you have.”

    Patient: “I have a letter from him. Would that help? Can you read it for me and tell me?”

    Me: “Sure. Did you get the letter sent here or do you have it?”

    Patient: “No, it’s in my hand. Can you read it?”

    Me: “…Not over the phone. I would need to actually see the letter. You can read it over the phone if you’d like.”

    Patient: “No, no, I don’t want to open it. Are you sure you can’t tell me what it says?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. I can’t tell you what the letter says without seeing the letter.”

    Patient: “…Oh. Are you sure?”

    Me: “…Yes, ma’am.”

    Patient: “Okay, then. I’ll just bring it tomorrow.” *hangs up*

    Parting With Some Closing Comments

    | NH, USA | Crazy Requests, Time

    (I work at a well-known furniture franchise part time while attending college. Since I have classes during the day, I usually get stuck doing the closing shift. The store is supposed to close at nine – however, many nights, the office staff is stuck late due to the sales associates and their customers.)

    Me: *over intercom at ten to nine* “Attention [Store] customers, the store will be closing in ten minutes. If you have any questions, please see your nearest sales associate. Thank you!”

    (Ten minutes go by.)

    Me: *over intercom* “Attention [Store] customers, the store is now closed. Please see your nearest sales associate if you have any further questions. Thank you!”

    (45 minutes later, the customer and sales associate FINALLY get to the desk. Whilst finalizing the transaction, the customer makes this comment:)

    Customer: “What time do you guys close?”

    Me: “We close at 9.”

    Customer: “Oh. But it’s 9:45.”

    Me: “Yes, well, we have to stay open to serve customers.”

    Customer: “Yeah… that announcement over the intercom is pretty rude. You guys shouldn’t do that.”

    Me: *trying not to scream* “Well, I apologize if it reads that way. However, without the announcement, some customers will stay hours past closing to finish shopping.” *pointed stare at customer*

    Customer: “Yeah, but who shops for furniture that late anyway? You shouldn’t make those announcements. They distract people.”

    (She finished paying and left. I ended up having to stay until 10:15 to finish closing out the front desk, since everyone else already went home.)

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