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  • Bigotry Is Not On The Menu
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  • Category: Holidays

    Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

    Sweet Holiday Bonus

    , | Singapore | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I’ve just finished junior college, and a couple of friends and I get temp jobs as sales staff manning a small patisserie’s stall at a Christmas food fair. Everything they sell is made by hand by the co-owner’s mother and absolutely delicious. I’m rushing about the stall as usual, on my own. A customer gives me the usual ‘just looking’ brush-off and so I step back to leave them to it when two hands grab me about the arms. I jump and turn; behind me there is a tall, positively Amazonian lady. She’s in yoga pants and a tank top and flip flops, but she is unmistakably well-groomed.)

    Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am.”

    Customer: “I’d just gotten my nails done and it would have spoiled my pedicure.”

    (I thought I was in for a world of pain; but we both look down and admire her nails for a bit and the conversation turns to the wares. I offer her samples and give my spiel, and we chat while her husband, an older long-haired man just as casually dressed, stands around staring into space, occasionally munching the samples when offered. In the end she leaves with four massive shopping bags filled to the brim with cookies, gift boxes, and various other seasonal confectioneries. It is the largest sale I’ve ever made (not that I get a commission, but I am awed just keying that amount of money into my till as it was more money than I’ve ever seen in one place. They leave as my boss approaches, and they greet each other, chat for a bit, and move off. He comes to me.)

    Boss: “Do you know who they are?”

    Me: “Um… no?”

    Boss: “He owns [Large Business] and she’s the lady boss of [Car Dealership that is the exclusive distributor of a particular luxury car brand]. They’re very impressed with your service. She told me to pay you more.”

    (I’m stunned and it takes a while before it sinks in. On the last day of the fair our boss comes with our paychecks and pulls me aside to give me mine.)

    Boss: “Don’t show the others your pay-slip. You got more than them.”

    Me: “They know I put in more hours and overtime.”

    Boss: “No, your bonus is a higher percentage than theirs and it’s reflected there. [Customer] and [Husband] made sure to remind me, and [Hidden Partner] posed as a customer yesterday and he was really impressed with you, too.”

    (This was seven years ago, but as an awkward and really quite off-kilter seventeen year old, being told that my hard work paid was an insane boost to my self esteem. I still look for the stall every year at that food fair and make sure to say hi and buy something.)

    Christmas Cancellation Fee

    | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (A man rented six Santa suits for his various insurance company locations, as he owns several. Two hours before he is to pick up his order he calls in.)

    Caller: “Hi, I’d like to cancel the Santa suits, and I’d like a refund.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we require at least 48 hours’ notice for all cancellations.”

    Caller: “But I don’t need these any more.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but it’s in the rental contract you signed that you can’t cancel the day of and get a refund.”

    Caller: “What, actually you expected me to read that thing!?”

    (Our contract is one page long, size-14 font, with all major points in bold, and we go over each point with the customer before they sign it. But apparently that was too much for an insurance salesman to read.)

    Some People Have Extra Large Baggage At Christmas

    | Marquette, MI, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (A mother is buying a BB gun for her son for Christmas.)

    Customer: “Do you have a really large bag that will cover this whole box?”

    Me: “No. These are the largest bags I have, but I could put one on each end and only a little would be showing.”

    Customer: “THANKS a lot! You are ruining my son’s Christmas! It’s ruined now! He is in the car and you can’t even get me a large bag!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. These are the only bags the stores orders. I can try to cover it the best I can. But maybe next time don’t shop with your son in the car.”

    Customer: “You ruined his Christmas, I hope you can live with that!”

    (She then walked away with no bag… and guess what, I’m still living.)

    Just Won’t Leave On Christmas Eve

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s Christmas Eve at 5:30. I just finished closing registers and am doing final checks while my associate straightens out some products. All of a sudden there is a loud banging on the door.)

    Customer: “How can you be closed? It’s Christmas Eve and I need a gift card now!”

    Me: “I apologize, ma’am. We have been closed for almost a half hour.”

    Customer: “But I need a gift card! Can I slide you money through the crack in the door?” *takes out money* “See?! Look! It slides through.”

    Me: “No, ma’am. I’m sorry our registers are closed. If you need a gift card that badly try the grocery store three stores down.”

    Customer: “But… but…”

    Me: “Ma’am, as I told you, we are closed. We want to spend the holiday with our family. So you can try the grocery store as they sell our gift cards in a $25 denominations.”

    (I turned around to finish my checks and the customer left, defeated.)

    Take Your Layaway Faraway

    | Henderson, KY, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I am working layaway around Christmas at a very popular retail store. Our policy is if you put something in layaway, we need your license. That way if you decide to take it out and get your money back, we know it’s you and not just a random person pretending to be you. A lady comes in one day wanted to cancel her layaway.)

    Me: “Hello.”

    Customer: “Hello, I’d like to cancel my layaway.”

    Me: “All right, can I have your name and your license?”

    Customer: “I don’t have my license, but here’s my name.” *gives name*

    Me: “Okay, but ma’am, I’m going to need your license so you can prove who you are.”

    Customer: “Why do you need my personal information for such a stupid thing? I was never told about this!”

    Me: “It is company policy to tell each customer that to cancel, pay, or pick up their layaway, they must show their license. It is also written on our sign right here.”

    (I point the large sign next to her that has in bold letters that you need your license during each layaway transaction.)

    Customer: “You just put that there! I saw you do it! That was never there until just now!”

    (The lady storms off and comes back with an older lady and two kids. The older lady steps up to the counter and hands me her license.)

    Older Customer: “I’m her mom. Here is my license. She lives with me.”

    (I look up their address in the computer, and it doesn’t show up.)

    Me: “Ma’am, your address isn’t showing up in the system.”

    Customer: “Well, why do you need my license anyway?! It’s such a stupid idea!”

    Me: “How would you feel if, a few days before Christmas, you come to pick up your layaway and realize it’s not there, and all your money that you put into it was also gone?”

    Customer: “That would be the worst thing ever and I’d probably sue the company for giving my things and money to someone else!”

    Me: “That is the reason for us asking for the license.”

    Customer: “I don’t have my license with me, but you have my name. That should be enough.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t give it to you, or your mom.”

    Customer: “YOU ARE RUINING MY GRANDCHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS!”

    (She harshly motions to the kids, who actually seem embarrassed about the scene that is unfolding. The two women start to storm off.)

    Me: “Have a good day, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Yeah, you too, b****!”

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