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!

A Very Sharp Customer

| Portland, OR, USA | Home Improvement, Language & Words

(I used to work at a semi-popular retail store. On my first day of working customer service I get called up to the registers, where I see a foreign man standing by the till.)

Coworker: “[My Name], can you help this gentleman here?”

Me: “Sure, no problem.” *turn to the man* “What can I help you with?”

(The man holds up his hand, obviously asking me to wait. He pulls up his phone and types something down, then hands it to me. He’s opened a translator app, and the word he’s put in directly translates to ‘meat processing board.’)

Me: “Right this way.”

(I lead him over to the kitchen appliance section and show him our selection of cutting boards.)

Me: “Is this what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “Ah, yes! Tacktacktack! Thank you!”

Me: “You’re welcome; if there’s anything else you need just let me know!”

(Later that night after closing my coworker comes up to me while I’m sweeping the floors.)

Coworker: “So, what did that man want? He wasn’t speaking any English!”

Me: “Oh, he wanted to know where our cutting boards were.”

Coworker: “I was wondering why he was pretending to brandish a knife at me!”

Taking Good Account Of The Plumbing

| Barrhaven, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Home Improvement

(I am working in the plumbing department of a big home improvement store. A customer comes to me on a busy weekend afternoon and asks about how to replace a toilet. I go through the steps. As I do so, he regularly interrupts to challenge what I’m saying.)

Me: “You have to set the toilet down straight to ensure a good seal. Hold it by the sides here and stand like this.”

Customer: “No, that’s not right.”

Me: “Yes, it is, because if you set it down on an angle the wax seal is squished and can’t bounce back.”

Customer: “Hmm.”

(And so on. This goes on for some time until finally he challenges what I say and instead of explaining, I ask how he plans on doing this.)

Customer: “Oh, I’m not doing anything. I’m an accountant; I don’t know anything about plumbing. I’m having someone else do it but I want to be able to challenge them and look like I know what I’m talking about.”

Not Their Brightest Outdoor Light-Bulb Moment

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Bizarre, Home Improvement

Me: “[Company] Lighting, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, do you carry outdoor lighting?”

Me: “Yes, we sure do! Were you looking for a specific kind?”

Customer: “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve dialed the wrong number.” *click*

Me: “But…”

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!”

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