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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!

    Caught With Her Pants Down

    | OR, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, School

    (I manage a set of female residence halls at a small, private university.)

    Me: “Hello, Ms. Smith? This is the residential coordinator for your daughter’s hall. I’m calling on behalf of my student staffer to find out what’s going on that you’re concerned about.”

    Mom: “What?! Why the h*** you callin’ me? That’s stupid!”

    Me: “Well, you contacted my student staff saying that you needed to talk to them immediately about your daughter. I told them I would call you back because there are a lot of legal issues surrounding parent communication that they are not necessarily up to date on. So, what’s the problem?”

    Mom: “I hate this university. That is so stupid. Well, anyway, some stupid [Asian slur] stole my daughter’s pants from the laundry!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, what? Tell me exactly what you know.”

    Mom: “Well, she went down to move her laundry into the dryer, and someone already had done it! She was only an hour late! And there was some [Asian slur] girl doing her own laundry! She told my daughter that she didn’t move the laundry, that it was already moved when she got there, but she could hardly speak English, so she’s lying.”

    (Note: We have five washers for 200 girls. You have to be on top of your laundry or someone will move it so they can do their own. 10 minutes is the grace period we encourage people to give others.)

    Me: “Okay, well, I will talk to your daughter and get some more information, including who the other student was.”

    Mom: “It was a [Asian slur]! I’m so disgusted with this University. We pay so much for it and it’s terrible.”

    Me: “I’m going to have to ask you to stop saying that word. We have several students of Asian descent who live in the building, and I honestly cannot imagine any of them stealing laundry. I will talk to your daughter to get more information and hopefully find the pants. I hope one student’s potential actions don’t cloud your judgment of the university as a whole.”

    Mom: “Well, I am going to go say very bad things about this University to everyone I know! You all should teach students how to handle laundry and how to be nice people! It’s your job!”

    Me: “I will be sending a reminder email about laundry etiquette to the building, but all I can do is encourage good behavior. We also will document the situation with the pants, and try to find out what happened. I hope we find them. Is that all I can help you with?”

    Mom: “Well, I’m very angry, and it’s stupid that you called, and that d*** [Asian slur] needs to be sent back to her own country!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am. Goodbye.”

    (Five minutes later, the resident found her pants, in her room, in her laundry basket. She hadn’t looked for them before talking to her mother. I hate my job.)

    Charity Begins At Home Furnishing

    , | London, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (As a charity shop, all items are donated to us. The staff are volunteers and so do not receive wages. The money made from sales goes to our cause; in this case, the care of the elderly in a local home. I approach a customer that has been looking at a sofa for some time.)

    Me: “Can I help?”

    Customer: “This sofa, isn’t it a bit expensive?”

    (Customers sometimes try to haggle or cheat us, so I’m not surprised so far.)

    Me: “Well, even though the sofa has no signs of wear and looks to be new, it has been heavily discounted. It would be triple the price from any other shop.”

    Customer: “Yeah, but this is a charity shop.”

    Me: “Yes…”

    Customer: “So I don’t see why you can’t just give it away.”

    Me: “…”

    Customer: “I rent out property, you see. I get more if the places are furnished, but if I have to buy the furniture…”

    Me: “We can’t just give things away. We raise money for the charity, which cares for elderly people.”

    Customer: “Yeah, but you get this stuff for free.”

    Me: “… “

    A Customer By Reef-erral

    | Ashford, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Funny Names

    (I’m stacking the shelves when a sweet little old lady approaches.)

    Little Old Lady: “Excuse me. Do you know where I can find some cannabis?”

    Me: “Um?”

    Little Old Lady: “Some cannabis? Do you have any?”

    Me: “I don’t think we do…”

    Little Old Lady: “Oh, such a shame. My friend bought some from here before Christmas and they were gorgeous, especially the fish ones.”

    Me: “Oh, canapés! Yes, we have those. They’re over here.”

    (I show her where they are.)

    Me: “Sorry, madam. I thought you said ‘cannabis!’”

    Little Old Lady: *laughs* “Oh, I don’t need that anymore!”

    Some Customers Are A Pet Hate

    | PA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a specific book to help my children deal with the death of a pet.”

    Me: All right. Can you give me the title or author?

    Caller: “Oh, I don’t remember it. But I’ve purchased copies from your store before. I know you have it!”

    (I search for at least fifteen minutes; using every variant on the phrase ‘death of a pet’ I can think of. The customer alternates between telling me about her poor sick dog, insisting that she’s purchased it here before, and that I really should know about it. Finally, I find the book she wants.)

    Customer: “Thank you! That wasn’t all that hard, now, was it?”

    Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m afraid we do not have this book in the store right now. I’ll happily order you a copy—”

    Customer: “When will it get here?”

    Me: “Three to five business days.”

    Customer: “But she’s being put down tomorrow! I was counting on you!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but this is the best I can do, unless you want to order the book from our website yourself and pay extra for overnight shipping.”

    Customer: “… You know what? Never mind. I’ll just tell the kids she went to live on a farm, and tell them the truth in a few years.” *click*

    Show Off

    | UK | Crazy Requests, Funny Names

    (I work in a theatre and help a customer with a very long ticket booking. He gazes at me warily through most of it as if expecting I’m going to make a mistake.)

    Me: “Okay then, sir. Here are your tickets. I hope you enjoy the show!”

    Customer: You shouldn’t call it a show you know.”

    Me: “Oh?”

    Customer: “Yes. A show is a vague description that could refer to a performance involving music or dance. I have only booked plays, so you should say ‘enjoy the play.’ Do you understand?”

    Me: “I do… and I hope you enjoy the show.”

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