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?

Putting The Grin In Grinch

| WI, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I do chat support for a major mobile device manufacturer. A customer comes in to chat all upset:)

Customer: “Christmas is ruined! I spent $180 on a cell phone and it isn’t going to be delivered in time.”

Me: “That is unfortunate, sir. I see we shipped it on time, and it is in the shipping company’s possession. But for some reason the tracking shows that the package had been diverted, causing a delay in delivery. I apologize.”

(I try to explain that it is not something I have any control over, but he isn’t having any of it. Finally, there is a pause, and then he tells me:)

Customer: “Okay, I just called my son over to the computer. He is here now. Go on… explain it to him. Tell my 12-year-old why you ruined his Christmas.”

(I was stunned. There were a few false starts where I started typing a reply, then deleted it and tried to gather my thoughts. I was SO glad this was a chat and not a call, or things would have probably gone downhill very fast.)

Me: “I am very, very sorry that the package did not arrive on time. I promise you, it is on its way and you will receive it soon. In the meantime, I want to ask you to please be patient, and to be grateful that you have a dad that would buy a cool phone like this for you, because there are a lot of children who have to make do with much less. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a good night.”

(The chat suddenly terminated a few minutes later, when he disconnected without a word.)

Customers Can Be Both Naughty And Nice

OH, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I am working at a very popular toy store around the Christmas holiday. Naturally, we are very busy. As a result, we run out of our larger size bags. A man comes up to the counter with two smaller building sets and a very large one. I have a very long line behind him.)

Me: “Would you like bags for these?”

Customer: *rudely* “Of course I would!”

Me: “Well, we have unfortunately run out of the larger bags, but I can bag the small boxes for you.”

Customer: “What kind of f****** store runs out of bags? You are a s*** employee! It’s f****** snowing out there! My toys are going to be ruined!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. We have been extremely busy this week. I can do my best to cover your box so it doesn’t get ruined.

(I take two smaller bags and place them on each end, covering a majority of the box. By this time, people throughout the store are staring.)

Customer: “What the f*** is this going to do?! You piece of s***! How f****** useless are you? Who the h*** hired your dumb a**, b****?”

(He throws the boxes over the counter back at me. I have never worked retail before, so I am very overwhelmed and begin to cry as he screams at me in the middle of the store. I’m trying to not be confrontational and just get him out as quickly as possible. He continues to throw things and swear loudly. My manager comes over and tells him that the authorities have been called and that he should leave the store immediately.)

Customer: “Fine! F*** all of you and f*** this store! I don’t need this s***!” *storms out*

(I quietly begin to check out the next customer, still crying slightly and shaking. She looks at me and says:)

Next Customer: “Don’t worry about him sweetie. He’s a d***.”

(She handed me a candy cane before she left. For twenty solid minutes I had people coming to my register so they could apologize for his behavior and make me feel better.)

Eat, Drink, And Be Merry Christmas

| PA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(It is the day after Christmas. Around one pm, a guy in his late twenties walks in. Given his eyes, scruffy appearance, and behavior, he is clearly hungover from the holiday.)

Customer:  “For the love of God, can you please tell me where I can buy beer in this bizarre state?!”

(Unlike most surrounding states, Pennsylvania doesn’t allow sale of beer in convenience or grocery stores. Most people get their beer from ‘beverage distributors,’  which are separate from wine and liquor stores. I assume he’s visiting relatives and isn’t from the area.)

Me: “Oh, yeah, PA is a little weird. The best place is Beer-to-Go in [Next Town Over]. Or you can just go to [Local Bar] like I usually do.”

Regular #1: “Dude, you should go to [Other Bar]. It’s farther but it has great fried chicken.”

Regular #2: “No, man, [Third Bar] is closest and cheapest.”

(Several of the regulars get into a heated discussion of the best local bar. At this point, the hungover customer looks a little uneasy, as many of our ‘redneck’ patronage can seem a little intimidating when you first meet them.)

Customer: “No, I really don’t have time to drive anywhere, and I’m in trouble if I don’t bring some beer back with me.”

Me: “Oh, I know [Pizzeria] sells six packs. Right on the square on the other side of the street. They don’t have great variety but they’ll work in a pinch.”

Customer #1: “You’re telling me that the best place to get booze in this town is a freaking pizza joint?” *mumbles to himself* “And she wants me to move down here with these crappy laws and d*** hicks. I need a drink.”

(The guy walks out without buying or looking at anything else. Everyone watches him as he leaves and there’s a few seconds of silence.)

Regular #1: “Annnddd that’s why I don’t invite my in-laws to my house for Christmas.”

Should Have Put Dairy In The Diary, Part 2

| PA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(Every year, a seasonal favorite at the liquor store is eggnog with the good stuff in it. I was in my local liquor store and heard another customer complaining to the clerk.)

Customer: “Where’s all of the eggnog at?”

Clerk: “I’m sorry, but we are all sold out.”

Customer: “This is unbelievable. It’s Christmas Eve and you’re all out of eggnog. The same thing happened last year. Didn’t you people learn anything from that?”

Clerk: “Actually, I did. I bought my bottle two weeks ago when I found out that Christmas was finally coming.”

Chickening Out Of New Years

| IA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I’m the on duty manager at a small town grocery store. We have a full service deli that offers roasted chicken and potato wedges. Normally it closes at seven in the evening to allow clean up time before the store closes at nine, but on New Year’s Eve, food service stopped at five. Around 6:30, a pair of women approach the deli counter, I’m one aisle over working on some stock with a coworker.)

Customer #1: “Excuse me, we would like a 16-piece chicken.”

Customer #2: “And two large orders of potato wedges!”

Deli Worker: “I’m sorry; we stopped serving food at five tonight. We’re closing the deli up early because it’s New Years Eve.”

Customer #1: “We called in earlier and talked to the manager. He said you were open until seven!”

(I didn’t talk on the phone at all that night.)

Deli Worker: “Well, let me call the manager over here. He’ll sort this out for you.”

(I come over.)

Me: “Yes, ladies, what can I do for you?”

Customer #1: “We called in earlier and the manager said the deli was open until seven.”

Customer #2: “And we have a party of eight people waiting for us to come back with chicken to eat.”

Me: “Well, I’ve been the manager all day. I got here at 11 this morning and have yet to speak to a single customer on the phone. If you talked to the opening manager, I apologize if you received the wrong information. However, I can’t give you any chicken because we don’t have any. It also helps to call ahead on orders of this size because we don’t always have 16 pieces fresh and ready to go at half an hour to closing the deli.”

Customer #1: “We come here all the time, [My Name], you know that. You carry my groceries out. Isn’t there something you can do to help out a loyal customer?”

Me: “I’m sorry. You’re lucky that [Deli Worker] is even still here. She actually was just about to clock out when you got here.”

Customer #2: “This is outrageous! How are we supposed to serve eight people food now?”

Me: “Well, in town there’s three different stores that sell pizza for carry out, and they’re all down Main Street. Otherwise, the sandwich shop is open until 10 tonight, and even here in the store we have all sorts of food.”

Customer #1: “We could probably try [Pizza Place]…”

Customer #2: “Better idea! How about we buy four frozen pizzas and you just put them in the oven for us in the deli!”

(Customer #1, Deli Worker, and I all stare at Customer #2.)

Customer #2: “I demand your service!”

(Customer #1 ended up talking Customer #2 down and they ended up buying four frozen pizzas and taking them home.)

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