Dealing With A Very Sour Lemon

| PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I am a waiter at a very popular Italian restaurant chain. I am serving two middle-aged women. Customer #1 is a very frumpy woman, while Customer #2 is much nicer and does not make a single complaint. I start by welcoming them.)

Me: “Good evening, ladies, welcome to [Restaurant]! Would you like to try our—”

Customer #1: “Iced tea, unsweetened, with lemon.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we have just run out of lemon. I could substitute it with a lime, if you’d like.”

Customer #1: “I can’t drink iced tea without the lemon! What kind of restaurant runs out of lemon?! Fine, I’ll have a diet soda with lemon, then.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but we’re out of lemon. We have iced tea and diet soda, but we’re out of lemon.”

Customer: “I CAN’T DRINK DIET SODA WITHOUT LEMON! YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF FOR RUNNING OUT OF LEMONS!” *she calms down a bit* “Okay, I’ll have a water with lemon.”

(I see her friend mouth “Sorry!” at me. Later on, after the drink fiasco and their meals have been served, I come to check back on them.)

Me: “How are your meals so far, ladies?”

Customer #1: “My food is great, but the tines on my fork are too far apart, and I cannot twirl my pasta properly!”

Me: “Oh, I am very sorry, but these are the only forks we have.” *turning my attention towards Customer #2, as I’ve had enough of Customer #1’s complaints* “How is your food, ma’am?”

Customer #2: “Well, my dinner is excellent, young man. You are an outstanding server!”

(After they paid the check, which they had requested to be separate, I find that Customer #1 has left me a very disappointing tip, but Customer #2 has left me more than enough to make up for dealing with her friend’s outrageous behavior!)

Trying To Re-Coup The Coupon

| Westland, MI, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Money

(I am working the return desk at a major department store. We offer a dollar-off coupon for every x amount the customer spends, to be used at a later date. If the customer returns products from the original purchase and the return brings the total under x amount, it makes the dollar off coupon void.)

Me: “Okay, you are going to get $35.76 credited back to your Visa, and it will deactivate your [dollar off coupon].”

Customer: “What do you mean, it will deactivate it?!”

Me: “The coupon will no longer be valid. By returning these items, it drops your purchasing total below x amount, which was what you needed to earn the coupon.”

Customer: “But I had PLANS for that [dollar off coupon]! I was going to buy my daughter new shoes!”

Me: “I apologize for that, ma’am, but I cannot override the system. Once you return products and the total drops below x amount, the coupon is no longer valid.”

Customer: “Well, I still have the coupon right here!” *waves the physical [dollar off coupon] in the air* “I’m not gonna give it to you, so I am just going to take it right up to the register and use it! HA!” *she actually laughed right in my face*

Me: “Well, it actually deactivated electronically, not manually, so the cashier would see that it does not have any balance on it. You can—”

Customer: “But, but… THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but if you would like, you can make another purchase, and if that purchase and your old purchase combine to equal more than x amount, I can issue you a new dollar off coupon.”

Customer: “No, no, no! I shouldn’t have to spend more money. I already earned that dollar-off coupon when I made THIS purchase! You are just trying to rip us hard working people off so you can pocket more money! I was going to get my daughter shoes, so I guess you want my daughter to walk around barefoot, looking homeless, and catching some wild disease. You want my daughter to die!”

(She storms off, exiting our store for the rest of the mall, still raving about how I want to kill her child.)

Me: *to my coworker* “Well, if she needed shoes for her daughter that badly, maybe she shouldn’t be purchasing $70 worth of nail polish and fragrance.”

(That customer called to complain to my manager, saying I “threatened the life of her and her child,” and chased her out of the store. Of course, my coworker vouched for me about the threats, but even my manager didn’t believe that I chased her out of the store!)

This Customer Is A Time Bomb

| IL, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(My patron is a young boy of about seven or eight. He is using the online card catalog and looks stumped.)

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

Patron: “I want a book on how to build a nuclear bomb.”

Me: “Uh… I don’t think we’re going to have anything like that in our collection.”

Patron: “Well, how can I learn to make one, then?”

Me: “I would suggest a PhD in physics.”

Patron: “Oh! Here’s one!” *shows me a catalog record for a book called “How to Build a Nuclear Bomb”*

Me: “Oh, see, actually that book is about the global economics, politics, and resources that would…” *noticing patron’s blank stare* “You know what? Yeah, I can get you that book.”

(A couple of weeks later, the young patron comes in to check out his reserve.)

Patron: “Uh… I don’t think this is what I want. It doesn’t have any nuclear bomb plan in it, or anything.”

Me: “Yes, well, like I said before, we won’t have anything like that here.”

Patron: “Oh, well, I found a can of gas in the garage, and I have some matches. Do you think I could do something with that?”

Me: “Uh… stay in school?”

The Price Is Fright

| Dublin, Ireland | Food & Drink, Money, Movies & TV

Customer: “I’ll have two medium popcorns, two cokes, and packet of sweets, please”.

Me: “No problem, sir. That’ll be €20.”

Customer: “Are you f****** serious?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “That price is ridiculous. I’m not paying that”

Me: “That’s okay, sir. If you are unhappy with the prices there is a shop across the street.”

Customer: “Do you know what you are? You’re a f****** criminal. How dare you charge those prices!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t make the prices.”

Customer: *pauses for a moment* “Yeah, well… I don’t make the prices either.”

Me: *completely confused* “So, would you like your items or should I put them back?”

Customer: “Well, it seems I don’t have a choice. I guess I’ll have to buy them now. Oh, and I’ll also take a nachos.”

Should Have Taken A Different Rhode

| Newport, RI, USA | Geography, Tourists/Travel

(I live and work in a popular tourist town on an island. We provide boat tours around the bay between the island and the mainland. A woman comes up to me.)

Woman: “How do you know when you cross state lines during the tour if you’re on the water?”

Me: “Well, our tours don’t leave the bay, so we don’t encounter that situation.”

Woman: “You don’t cross state lines?”

Me: “No, we don’t.”

Woman: “Well, what’s that then?”

(She points at the mainland in the distance.)

Me: “That’s Providence, ma’am, and right across the bay is Jamestown.”

Woman: “No, no. What state is it?”

Me: “It’s still Rhode Island.”

Woman: “No, it can’t be. What state is it?”

Me: “I assure you, it’s still Rhode Island. Providence is the capital city.”

Woman: “How can the capital city of Rhode Island be outside of Rhode Island?”

Me: “It isn’t. All the land you see across the water is still Rhode Island.”

Woman: “But that’s impossible!”

(Suddenly I realize why she’s confused.)

Me: “Ma’am, the island we’re on right now is called Aquidneck Island. Rhode Island is a state comprised of several different islands and a large mainland. Providence is on the mainland and Jamestown is on Conanicut Island, which I assure you is still a part of Rhode Island.”

Woman: “You mean we’re not on Rhode Island?”

Me: “We are IN Rhode Island, but we are currently ON Aquidneck Island.”

Woman: “Well, that’s just false advertisement!”

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