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    Murray’s Law

    | Sydney, Australia | At The Checkout, Top

    (I work at a complaints and returns desk. We generally get a few unreasonable and abusive customers each day, so we’ve developed a very effective tactic for dealing with them.)

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

    Customer: “You guys are idiots!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “Look at this receipt! Look at it!”

    (He holds up a receipt for a purchase; it looks normal enough.)

    Me: “Is there a problem with it?”

    Customer: “God, you’re so dumb! Look how faint the ink is! I can barely read it! You want me to go blind?!”

    Me: “Ah, well, it looks like the printer’s ink was running a little low, and it can look faded because of that. Would you like me to reprint it so you can read it?”

    Customer: “NO! Then you’ll just get away with it! Stupid idiots!”

    (The customer starts getting worked up and begins a rant full of swear words and physical threats. I realise what the situation calls for.)

    Me: “I am terribly, terribly sorry sir. That looks like Murray did it. What an idiot!”

    (This stops the customer’s rant in his tracks and looks at me, breathless.)

    Customer: “…Murray?”

    Me: “Yes, Murray! He’s always causing problems for customers like you. It’s really unfair. I’ll deal with it right now.” *calling out* “Murray? Come here!”

    (As per protocol, the nearest male coworker who isn’t busy comes over to play the role of Murray.)

    Male Coworker: “Yes?”

    Me: “How dare you upset this customer! You’re fired! Get out!”

    Male Coworker: *acts dejected* “I’m so sorry…”

    (“Murray” shuffles off looking like he’s about to cry, and once out of sight gets right back to work.)

    Me: “There we are, sir. You don’t have to worry about that sort of thing happening ever again. The customer always comes first, and we take complaints very seriously. Have a nice day!”

    Customer: “Wow, you guys are really great! Thanks, and good riddance to that idiot Murray!” *leaves*

    (This isn’t simply to avoid confrontation; our manager estimates that using the “Murray” tactic to placate customers like this saves us nearly an hour of verbal abuse each day, so we have more time to actually help the customers who need it.)