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  • Bigotry Is Not On The Menu
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  • Category: Home Improvement

    Stupid customers still have to live somewhere. While we applaud them for sometimes wanting to make the place look nice, please don’t assume flat-pack furniture comes ready out of the box, or that power-tools are named as such because they need power! They make Tim The Toolman Taylor look like Frank Gehry!

    Needs Some Fabric Softener

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (I work at a large big box retailer that sells fabrics, interior furnishings and home-wares, and craft. The phone rings.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Store Name and Location]. You’re speaking with [My Name]. How can I help you this afternoon?”

    Customer: “Hi, I was in your store earlier and I purchased some curtain fabric, and I have an issue with the piece.”

    Me: “Okay, sure thing. If there are any flaws, just bring the piece back with your receipt and we’ll be more than happy to replace the piece for you.”

    Customer: “Excuse me? Did I say the fabric was flawed?”

    Me: “Uh, okay. So what is the issue then?”

    Customer: “Well, as I was saying before you rudely interrupted me, I was in your store purchasing some curtaining fabric earlier today, and I paid for five metres. The problem is that I was only given five metres of fabric.”

    Me: “Okay, well that is standard practice for all of our stores to give you as much fabric as you pay for.”

    Customer: “Well, this is obviously unacceptable. What if I make a mistake when sewing the edges up? You should have given me half a metre extra, so I am coming back to the store now and I want five and a half metres of [fabric] waiting for me for the inconvenience you’ve caused me.”

    Me: “That is fine; you’ll have to pay for the extra metre so I will let the department team know you’re coming in for the exchange.”

    Customer: “Aren’t you listening to me? You owe me a free half metre of fabric so I will not be paying for it.”

    Me: “Unfortunately, we cannot do this, madam. I apologise for any inconveniences caused but no customer will get fabric for free.”

    Customer: “You clearly don’t understand how retail works, you stupid child.”

    Me: “How about I get a manager to chat with you about this and we can go from there?”

    (The manager who had been standing next to me the entire time laughing at me threw me a dirty look, and answered the call. The customer still didn’t understand why we wouldn’t give her the free fabric, and angrily hung up on my manager. She never came in, as far as we know.)

    Male, Female, All Hose

    | New London, MN, USA | Home Improvement

    (I am a female working in a hardware store, so I get a lot of grief from male customers who think they are smarter than me.)

    Elderly Gentleman: “I need to get a new end for my garden hose.”

    (I show him to the section where we carry hose repair parts.)

    Me: “Do you know what size hose it is?”

    Elderly Gentleman: “A regular one.”

    Me: “Sir, they come in various diameters, usually from 1/2 up to 7/8.”

    (He pulls a section of the hose out of his jacket pocket.)

    Me: “That helps me a lot! Which end do you need? The male or female?”

    (I have somewhat grown out of giggling to myself over those words.)

    Elderly Gentleman: “The female. That’s the end that you put the nozzle on.”

    Me: “No, you put the female end on the faucet. The male end is for the nozzle or sprinkler.”

    Elderly Gentleman: “No, you’re mistaken, miss. It’s the female end for the nozzle.”

    (I have dealt with this issue many times, and I pull out the visual aid.)

    Me: “Sir, male goes into female. Just like people.”

    (I use my index finger to show the male end going into the female circle I made with my other index finger and thumb. He pauses and looks at me like I slapped him with a fish.)

    Elderly Gentleman: “By God, you’re right!”

    Coming In For War Paint

    | Bethesda, MD, USA | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (I’m a manager at a popular home supply store in the paint supplies department. I’m filling orders for paint, because the work is getting so backed up, when a clearly angry customer approaches the desk. One of the employees talks to the lady for a while before she starts screaming for a manager. The employee points in my direction and waves at me to come over. I drop what I’m doing and walk over.)

    Customer: “HELLOOOOOO!”

    Me: “Hello there! How can I help you?”

    (She lifts a nearly empty can and slams it on the counter.)

    Customer: “You dip-s***s sold me the wrong color! My living room is RUINED!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I understand you are frustrated, but please refrain from using coarse language. What color were you trying to get?”

    Customer: “A DIFFERENT ONE! YOU gave me a MUCH darker color than what’s on this swatch!”

    Me: “Here, let me see what you have.”

    (The customer hands me a paint swatch with a honey-color circled in marker. I look at the paint and it matches exactly.)

    Me: “Is this the color that’s on your walls now?”

    Customer: “YES! How many times do I have to say it?! It’s hideous and YOUR fault!”

    Me: “By chance, did you try a sample of the paint first? To see what it looked like with the normal lighting in your room? The samples are quite inexpensive and allow you to try out a few different colors to make sure you like something before—”

    Customer: “WHY would I spend money on a SAMPLE?! SAMPLES are FREE!”

    Me: *glazing over* “This is paint we’re talking about. We give you enough to cover a small area. It’s not like the sample has noth—”

    Customer: “You need to fix this mess you made NOW!! You ruined my living room! Now you’re going to fix it!”

    Me: “We are not responsible for you not liking the paint you picked out. I CAN mix up some samples for you to take ho—”

    Customer: “And YOU need to come to my house to paint my living room!”

    Me: “That’s not going to happen.”

    Customer: “And you’re going to do it for free to make up for the distress you’ve caused.”

    Me: “That is DEFINITELY not going to happen.”

    Customer: “And you’re going to refund me the price of the paint!”

    Me: “That is also not happening.”

    Customer: “AND I want a gift certificate to show me how sorry you are for the headache you’ve caused!”

    Me: “In that case, that will definitely never happen.”

    Customer: “Then give me my next room’s worth of paint for free!”

    Me: “Absolutely not.”

    Customer: *shrugs* “Oh well, it was worth a try.”

    (She then turned around and left without her empty paint cans.)

    Should Draw A Line In The Sanding Machines

    | The Netherlands | Bigotry, Home Improvement

    (I am a female employee at a hardware store. An older male customer comes to the service desk.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, sir. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “I just looked at the sanding machines.”

    Me: “All right, so what would you like to know?”

    Customer: “I just looked at the sanding machines.”

    Me: “Yes, and what is your question exactly?”

    (The guy just looks at me and repeats himself once more.)

    Me: “Do you need any help?”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “With what, exactly?”

    Customer: “The sanding machines.”

    Me: “What part about sanding machines exactly do you need help with?”

    (The customer doesn’t answer my question and says, yet again:)

    Customer: “I was just looking at the sanding machines.” *after a short pause, he says* “Is there anyone here who can help me find the right one?”

    Me: “Oh, well, I can’t leave the register, as there is nobody else here to take care of that, but if you ask my colleague over there, he’ll be happy to help you.”

    Customer: “Yes, he does look like he knows a little something about that.”

    (My male colleague was just standing there, the only visible difference between me and him being that he’s a man. The customer also greatly emphasized the ‘he.’ The customer walked up to my colleague and right off the bat started telling him exactly what he was looking for.)

    You’re My Number One Problem

    | MI, USA | Home Improvement, Pets & Animals

    (I overhear the following conversation between a resident and the manager of our building. The resident is notorious for being a nuisance, and for letting his yippy little rat of a dog relieve herself everywhere, both in his apartment, and in common areas.)

    Resident: “The carpet in my apartment needs to be cleaned. It smells awful!”

    Manager: “Maintenance deep cleaned it a month ago; it’s really smelling again?”

    Resident: “Yes! It’s disgusting. You need to find staff who know how to clean things properly. I’m paying far too much to live in a smelly apartment.”

    Manager: “The last time the carpet was cleaned, maintenance reported that the smell appeared to come from dozens of urine stains. Perhaps if your dog were to stop urinating on the carpet, the smell wouldn’t come back.”

    Resident: “What!? My precious little [cutesy dog name] is housebroken, and I walk her several times a day! How dare you blame her? You people have been trying to get rid of her for years, and I won’t stand for it!”

    Manager: “Oh, I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have made that assumption about [cutesy dog name]. Perhaps if YOU stop peeing on the carpet, the smell won’t return.”

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