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  • August Theme Of The Month: Best. Customer. Ever!

    Not Low Key About The Hokey

    San Jose, CA, USA | Bigotry, Bizarre, Religion

    (I’m a Muslim female barista. Two young women in headscarves come in. They get in line. Most people are surprised to learn of my faith, as I am mixed race and look white, and don’t wear a headscarf by personal choice.. A man whispers to his wife, and then comes up to me while I’m handing out drinks to customers.)

    Man: “Excuse me, could you please remove those two from the shop?”

    Me: “Who?”

    Man: “Those two in the scarves.”

    Me: “Uh, why?”

    Man: “They’re offending me.”

    Me: “How?”

    Man: *raising voice* “How dare they throw their satanic religion in our good Christian faces?!”

    (He is wearing a rather large cross around his neck.)

    Man: *raises his voice to a yell* “Be gone from his earth, devil spawn!”

    Me: “Dude, look, quit harassing them.”

    Man: “Harassing them?! They’re harassing me!”

    (Fed up, I come out from behind the counter to speak to the man.)

    Me: “Look, dude, be quiet or leave now.”

    Man: “Why should I, son of the great lord, be forced to tolerate their hokey religion?!”

    Me: “That’s my ‘hokey religion’ you’re messing with, and I’m not going to take your crap. Out. Now.

    Man: “You’re devil spawn too?!” *crosses himself* “SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, THROW DOWN YOUR COFFEE! A SINNER HAS TOUCHED IT!”

    (The shop is literally silent, and everyone is staring at him. My manager walks up behind him. He is Sikh, and is wearing a turban. He taps the man on the shoulder and speaks in a deadpan voice.)

    Manager: *deadpans, taps man on the shoulder* “Now what seems to be the problem here?”

    (As soon as he sees my manager, the customer literally screams and runs out. His wife runs after him, stopping at the door to cross herself. I go back behind the counter. The two Muslim women approach me.)

    Muslim Woman #1: “Thanks for that.”

    Me: “Absolutely no problem. I’ve had that done to me too, when I’m wearing the scarf.”

    Muslim Woman #2: “Do you get lunatics in here like that often?”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

    Dying For Some Pie

    | PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (It’s the annual Halloween event. I am dressed as Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd, but since the younger kids I watch haven’t seen the movie, I try to explain my costume in a way they can understand.)

    Little Boy: “Why do you have a fake knife? What are you?”

    Me: “I’m dressed as a lady who makes people into pies.”

    Little Boy: “That’s awesome! I wanna make people into pies! Can you make me into a pie? I wanna eat myself!”

    Me: *laughing* “Go down the slide first, then we’ll talk.”

    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 3

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

    (Our card readers are different from a lot of other stores. If you swipe a debit card, it asks for a pin number. To use it as credit, the cashier has to push a button on the register. Pushing ‘cancel’ does not change it to credit; it cancels the card, and the customer has to swipe it again. A customer approaches my register with a nearly-full cart.)

    Me: “Hello! Did you find everything okay?”

    (The customer ignores me, and starts putting items on the counter. I start to scan and bag as usual. However the customer does not remove the bags, and instead continues unloading her cart. Eventually, I have scanned and bagged everything; however all the bags are still sitting on the counter.)

    Me: “Your total is—”

    (The customer tries to swipe their debit card, cannot do so as the bags are blocking the card reader. Rather than place the bags in the empty cart, she shoves them out of the way, sending two bags to the floor and knocking over a third. After sighing loudly, she puts the bags back on the counter, swipes their card and pushes ‘cancel’ when it asks for a pin.)

    Me: “Did you want that as credit?”

    Customer: *annoyed* “Yes!”

    Me: “Could you swipe your card again, please?”

    (The customer grumbles, swipes the card, and immediately pushes cancel again.)

    Me: “Could you swipe your card again and not push ‘cancel’ this time, please?”

    Customer: “Your stupid card reader isn’t working!”

    Me: “Ma’am, pressing ‘cancel’ does not switch it to credit. Swipe your card again and don’t push ‘cancel’.”

    (She swipes her card, and pushes ‘cancel’.)

    Me: “Sorry, it’s not reading your card. Could you swipe it one more time please?”

    (This time, I’m mashing the ‘credit’ button on the register. Fortunately, I manage to get it to switch before the customer hits ‘cancel’ yet again.)

    Customer: *sees that it switched to credit* “Why didn’t pushing ‘cancel’ work before?”

    Me: “I have no idea.” *completes transaction* “Have a nice day.”

    (At this point, the customer finally takes the bags off the counter and puts them in their cart. After they exit, I call my manager over, who witnessed part of the exchange.)

    Me: “Can I go on break?”

    Manager: “Yep. Take a few extra minutes if you need to.”

    Related:
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 2

    Some Only Live For The Olive

    | Twin Cities, MN, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I’m a shopper at a high end grocery store. I stop at the olive bar to get olives for a party I’m having tonight. I’m blocked by a shopper who is grilling a store employee about something. She apparently isn’t happy about the selection and wants the store employee she’s talking to do something about it.)

    Store Employee: *to a shopper* “…I will let the manager know.”

    Shopper: “Well, what good will that do?! Can’t you just let the company know that customers want these kinds of olives?”

    Store Employee: “I don’t have a way of contacting the supplier, so my only option is to contact the manager and have him pass on your request.”

    Shopper: “This isn’t good enough! Why can’t I contact the supplier myself?”

    Store Employee: “Ma’am, I don’t have that information. I can only talk to my manager and let him know what you want and hopefully, he’ll be able to get the olives you want.”

    (The old woman chews her out and walks away. The employee just looks DEJECTED on a Friday afternoon, so I put my arm around her, and tell her…)

    Me: “When you get home, look up notalwaysright.com, and know that you are not alone. I’m not in the service sector, but I appreciate all you do for us, despite crabby old bats like that woman. Thanks for working and helping us out!”

    This Employee Isn’t Par For The Course

    | Canada | Bad Behavior

    (I work at a store that sells clothing for casual wear and work wear. On random occasions, customers mistake our store for the sports store next door. On this day, an elderly lady is just such a customer, as she wants to find something we definitely don’t carry.)

    Elderly Customer: *yelling at a male employee* “You d*** kids don’t know anything these days!”

    Me: “Excuse me miss, can I help you?”

    Elderly Customer: *whirls around, clearly angry* “You! You are too young, too! You won’t know what I’m looking for!”

    Me: “If you would just tell me, I’m sure I can help you.”

    Elderly customer: “I’m looking for a tam! Do you even know what a tam is?! You don’t! You’re too young!”

    (I actually know what a tam is, because my grandfather golfs all the time.)

    Me: “A tam is a slouched hat for men to wear while golfing. It has a small bill and a loose cap, and sits on your head like a French beret.”

    (I’ve clearly surprised the customer, as she remains silent.)

    Me: “Try the store next door, ma’am.”

    (I calmly escort her out, all the while, my other coworkers stare. I had a bit of a tough time explaining it to my manager though. I never expected a tam to be something so few people knew of.)

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