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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!

    H2-D’oh!

    | NE, USA | Extra Stupid, Home Improvement

    Me: “[Lawn Care], how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yes, you seeded my backyard for me this spring.”

    Me: “Yes, is everything okay?”

    Caller: “Well, it isn’t coming up very well. Some of it is, but not very much.”

    Me: “I see, and how often are you watering?”

    Caller: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “How often are you watering your lawn?”

    Caller: “Oh, I’m not. Should I be? Will that help?”

    Doesn’t Understand The ‘Custom’ Part Of Customer

    | MO, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (A popular bookstore chain is going out of business, and all of their stores are having ‘going-out-of-business’ sales. One such store is located in the same plaza as the home improvement store where I work.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Home Improvement Store]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, you guys are located in the same plaza as [Bookstore] right?”

    Me: Yes, ma’am, we are located a few stores down from [Bookstore]. How can I assist you today?”

    Customer: “Are they open?”

    Me: “That particular branch of [Bookstore] hasn’t closed their doors yet, but given the fact that they’re going out of business, I’m not sure how much longer they’ll stay open.”

    Customer: “Well, I just tried calling them and no one is answering the phone.”

    Me: “I do know that they are still open. However it’s possible that whatever few employees are actually still working there are currently assisting other customers at the moment, so I would try giving them a call again a little bit later. In the meantime, is there anything we here at [Home Improvement Store] can help you with today?”

    Customer: “Yeah, could you go down to [Bookstore] and see if they have any copies of [various book titles] left?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but no one here is going to be able to leave the store in order to check that for you.”

    Customer: “Well, why the h*** not?”

    Me: “Because we’re all employees of [Home Improvement Store], not [Bookstore]. We’re all needed here.”

    Customer: “You retail people are supposed to go above and beyond for your customers!”

    Me: “We do a lot for our customers, ma’am. You, however, have expressed no interest in being our customer, but rather that of [Bookstore].”

    Customer: “Well, you’re no f****** help!”

    (I ended up transferring her call to my manager, who laughed at her request to send one of his employees to check the inventory of a different store.)

    Spinning A Yarn About Being Sorry

    | Gaithersburg, MD, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement, Money

    (A customer brings up a skein of yarn to the register. I see she is intending to use a coupon.)

    Me: “Ma’am, that coupon won’t work on the yarn because it is on clearance.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s not very fair. It’s only a few cents off from the normal price, anyway.”

    Me: “Actually, these are normally about $6, and it’s coming up for $2.64, so it’s cheaper than you would get using a coupon on a regular-priced one. Would you still like to buy it?”

    Customer: “It’s not fair! Why can’t I get my discount!? This is ridiculous!”

    Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but we don’t give discounts on clearance items.”

    Customer: “Oh, I bet you are.”

    (I am becoming both annoyed and nervous that the customer is going to have a full-on meltdown over this. I attempt to sound deeply sorry.)

    Me: “I cannot express how bad I feel about this, ma’am. There’s really just not much I can do here.”

    (The customer suddenly starts laughing and smiling.)

    Customer: “Oh, I’m sure. I still don’t think it’s fair, but thank you for having some humor about it!”

    (The customer pays for her yarn and leaves. The next customer in my line has been watching the whole exchange and is just as surprised as me that things didn’t turn ugly.)

    Next Customer: “Is your boss around?”

    Me: “Actually, I’m the boss right now; I’m the only manager here tonight.”

    Next Customer: “Oh, well I would like to compliment the crap out of you! I was going to say something pretty soon if she kept on like that!”

    Not Painting A Pretty Picture Of Himself, Part 2

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bigotry, Funny Names, Home Improvement

    (I’m a female who works in the paint department. It’s quiet, and a male coworker and I are chatting. He knows nothing about paint. We are approached by an older male customer.)

    Me: “Hi, how can I help you today?”

    (The customer ignores me, and turns to my coworker.)

    Customer: “I need to paint my doors. Do you have animal paint?”

    (I try and keep a straight face at this.)

    Coworker: “Sorry, sir, I would not know. [My Name] is more than qualified, and can help you.”

    Customer: *turning to me, visibly annoyed* “She’s a girl; she wouldn’t know. Okay missy, where’s the animal paint?”

    Me: “Sir, what I think you mean is ‘enamel’ paint. There are two types. Water and—”

    Customer: *angry* “No, stupid girl! Didn’t you hear me? ANIMAL PAINT! Not whatever you said.”

    Me: “Sorry, sir, but we only have acrylic or enamel paint. Maybe you were misled?”

    (The customer slams his items on the counter and turns around screaming.)

    Customer: “F****** women should stay in the kitchen!” *turns to face me* “ANIMAL PAINT!”

    Related:
    Not Painting A Pretty Picture Of Himself

    Finally Singing To The Same Tune

    | NM, USA | Geography, Home Improvement, Musical Mayhem, Top

    (I’m a piano tuner in a sparsely populated area in the rural west. The phone rings.)

    Me: “Hello, [Name] piano service.”

    Caller: “Do you tune pianos?”

    Me: “Yes I do. I also do all kinds of repairs, as well as complete restorations. The only thing I don’t do is moving.”

    Caller: “Great! What’s the total cost for a tuning?”

    Me: “I need some more information to give you a price. Do you know how long since it’s been tuned?”

    Caller: “Well, we live on a ranch on long way from nowhere, and it’s been here since before 1900, so for sure at least that long. Our family has never spoken to a piano tuner before.”

    Me: “Wow! That’s a really long time! I’m honored! So, do all the keys go up and down, and does each key make a sound?”

    Caller: “Yes, we checked, and it actually doesn’t sound that bad. Out of tune of course but everything works.”

    Me: “Great! You mentioned being on a ranch. How far from [city I'm in] are you?”

    Caller: “We’re 25 miles outside of [town of 500 people, 200 miles away] on a gravel road that goes through a mountain pass. Well, actually, you have to cross the entire mountain range to get here. We own an entire valley.”

    (I look up their location on Google maps, calculate the driving fee, and give them a price for a service package.)

    Caller: “That’s a very fair price! Sold! But you don’t do the moving? Is there a mover you usually recommend?”

    Me: “Yes, I have a favorite mover. Wait. ‘The’ moving? I’m not sure I follow. Oh, you’re moving it somewhere else before I tune it? I could contact my mover, tell them your location, and get a price, and get back to you.”

    Caller: “Wait, what? Now I’m confused. We like your price on the tuning, but now we need to add the costs of the moves to know the total price?”

    Me: “Moves? You’re moving it more than once? Am I tuning it, then it gets moved, and I tune it again? Is this all at once, or separate jobs? Now I’m lost!”

    Caller: “Do you actually do this very often? We’d think you’d have the procedures and costs all worked out by now.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry, but I’m not following you at all. Let’s start over. Where is it getting moved TO?”

    Caller: “How would we know that? Are you being a smart-a**?”

    Me: “What?”

    Caller: “Where do you live?”

    Me: “Why would you need to know that? Are you threatening me?”

    Caller: “We DON’T need to know! And of COURSE we’re not threatening you! But YOU asked where it was getting moved to. For Christ’s sake!”

    Me: *lightbulb goes off* “You want to move the piano to where I am?”

    Caller: “Of course! How else are you going to tune it?”

    (I am in stunned silence. In my entire career, no one has ever thought they had to deliver the piano to ME to have it tuned, and then have it moved back to their house.)

    Caller: “Hello? Are you there?”

    Me: “Yes. I’m here. I see the misunderstanding now. Piano tuners always drive to where the piano is, no matter how far away, and tune the piano where it’s at. The piano does not have to be brought to me. Pianos are NEVER brought TO the tuner. Tuners always go TO the piano. The price I gave you includes me driving all the way out there to your ranch and back home, staying at a motel if I have to, gas, tax, the work I’ll do, everything is included. There’s no need for a mover at all.”

    (There is a prolonged silence before they continue.)

    Caller: “We’re really not as stupid as you probably think we are right now. Really. No one here has the slightest idea what a piano tuner does, or how they do it, or what it costs. We’ve just been raising cattle for five generations out here, see, and… oh Christ.”

    (I hear several people in the background start to laugh. I can’t help it and start laughing too. We’re all choking on laughter over the phone for at least a minute.)

    Caller: “That’s a h*** of a long drive, so how about we get the guesthouse ready so you can stay overnight? Is cash okay? Do you like steak? What would you like for breakfast? If you like fishing we have miles of private streams. Bring a friend if you want; nothing but room up here!”

    (I end up with more value in free-range gourmet steaks and wild trout packed in a huge ice chest, than my entire tuning package fee!)


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