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    Soldiering Through Bad Customers

    | Westminster, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Military

    (I used to work full time at a large retail clothing store. I am now in the military and when I take leave, I come back and often work a few days during a week.  A man and wife come up to the register.)

    Me: “How’s your day going? Did anyone help you find everything?”

    (I always ask because I don’t really have a quota I need to meet.)

    Husband: “Oh, it’s going. No one helped, but we found everything easily.”

    Me: “Sorry about that. Glad you found everything, though.”

    Wife: “Do you make commission?”

    Me: “Nope! But most of the employees have sales quotas they have to meet.”

    Wife: “You don’t?”

    Me: “No, I’m part time. I actually have other goals in mind.”

    (The husband half laughs at this point and looks right at me.)

    Husband: “Oh, do you actually have high dreams for yourself?”

    (His wife chuckles, so I straighten up, stop scanning things, pull out my secondary wallet carrying my military ID, with ‘specialist’ listed as the rank and my military police badge and slam it on the table.)

    Me: “Actually, I’m in the Army. I am here on leave and I can’t stand to just sit around. My family is working, so a few days each time I’m back I come here to work. I have been on details I’m not allowed to discuss and you will never learn about from the news.”

    (The husband literally looks straight down and slinks a little.)

    Me: “Not to mention while I’m doing this, I’m about a year and half into my bachelors of science in criminology. But, hey…” *I go back to scanning his items and putting away my wallet* “…it must be extremely nice for someone like you to enjoy being here so casually thanks to people like me.”

    (During the rest of the time I scan the items, neither person says a word.)

    Me: “That will be [price]. We can do any credit card or cash.”

    (The husband says nothing and simply hands me his card politely.)

    Me: “All right, here you go! Continue to enjoy the rest of your day!”

    Husband: *in a hushed voice* “Thank you…”

    Me: “You’re WELCOME. For everything.”

    (I continue with the polite tone and smiling, and then call up the next customer.)

    Next Customer: “THANK YOU!”

    (The customer shakes my hand and we talk about his time in the Marines during Vietnam. I made sure to give him the 10% military discount.)

    Adjourning A Returning

    | NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (I manage a furniture store. A regular customer is the wife of the owner of several car dealerships in our area. Over the years she has made many purchases, always custom orders from the factory, and not once had accepted the original piece. Sometimes chairs have been reordered multiple times before she would find one she found acceptable. I see her working with one of our designers. After the sale was written, I cringe when I see she has ordered a recliner in the most expensive leather we carry. I decide to develop a plan, as we would never be able to sell this chair if she returned it. On the day of delivery, I approach the drivers.)

    Me: “Bring the chair to the showroom, please.”

    Driver: “But we have this down for delivery.”

    Me: “Please, just bring it in. You’ll see.”

    (The drivers bring it in, and I take a hammer and smash the frame of the swivel base. I then hand the drivers a new swivel base.)

    Me: “Please deliver the chair with the smashed base.”

    (Of course, on delivery, the customer saw the damage and insisted on a new chair. My drivers took the chair to their truck, replaced the damaged base and brought the same chair back into the house. She accepted the chair. That was the first (of many) custom orders she never returned!)

    Fortune Favors The Foretold

    | USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Themed Giveaway

    (A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

    Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”

    Customer: “I NEED MY FORTUNE TOLD!”

    (At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

    Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

    Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

    (Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

    Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

    Customer: “YES!?”

    Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

    Always Been A Leg Man

    | Singapore | Language & Words, Rude & Risque

    Customer: “So this table leg, can it fit onto this table?”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    Customer: “And is it easy to fix it?”

    Me: “Yup.”

    Customer: “We just have to screw it ourselves yeah?”

    Me: “Yes, just screw yourselves.” *suppressed laughter*

    The Final Word On Passwords

    | OH, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work in an internal technical support where we have just recently change password systems that have strict requirements for new passwords. A customer is having trouble with creating a new password. It should be noted that this customer speaks perfect English.)

    Customer: “It won’t accept any of the new passwords I make up.”

    Me: “Well. keep in mind that the passwords have to be at least eight characters long, and have letters and numbers.”

    Customer: “What does that mean?”

    Me: “It means that you have to have letters and number and all of the letters and numbers add up to eight. Like four letters and four numbers. Or six letters and two numbers. It can be more than eight characters too, so anything that adds up to eight or more.”

    Customer: “No one can come up with that many letters… This is too hard.”

    Me: “Um… Some people like to pick a word and then put some numbers at the end of the word. So long as you don’t use the word ‘password’ it will accept it.”

    Customer: “A word? Like what? What words? Can’t you just make one up for me?”

    Me: *feeling very uncomfortable and frustrated now but still wanting to help* “Well, what’s your favorite color?”

    Customer: “Green! I love green.”

    Me: “Okay… So, make your password ‘green’ and then add the year you were born to the end.”

    Customer: “But… green isn’t a word.”

    Me: “Wait… What?”

    Customer: “You said pick a word.”

    Me: “… Just type in ‘greenXXXX.”

    Customer: “Oh that worked! Thank you! But you should be more clear with your directions next time.”

    Me: “Yes, I’ll do that. I’m sorry for the confusion.”


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