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    Piecing Together An Apology

    | FL, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I’m the assistant manager currently helping out on the registers, when one of the new hires flags me down for help.)

    Me: “Hello. How can I help?”

    Coworker: “Yeah, she was wondering how much it would cost for us to put together everything.”

    (I glance at the cart and see that the customer, a woman in her early 40s, has a total of 11 furniture pieces, all of which require a lot of time to assemble.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but unfortunately we don’t offer that particular service at this time.”

    Customer: “You’ve got to be kidding me. [Competitor] would put all of this together for me no problem. Main reason I’m coming here is because you all are cheaper.”

    Me: “Yes, and I thank you for choosing to shop with us today. I also know that [competitor] offers an assembly service and that they staff people who do nothing but assemble furniture for their customers. Unfortunately for us, we simply don’t have that kind of manpower or the space to take on that particular service.”

    Customer: “I don’t really care if you have the manpower or not! I have f***ing arthritis in my wrists. You honestly think I’d be asking for help if I could do it myself?”

    Me: “Of course not, ma’am. Before I go and ask the store manager if there is something that can be done, let me ask you something: are you needing these pieces assembled right away?”

    Customer: “Not really. How long would it take you think?”

    Me: “I imagine that we could do all this in a little over a week. Reason being is that we’d have various people working on your furniture in between customers. With 11 pieces here, it will take some time to put everything together.”

    (The customer reluctantly agrees on the wait time and the store manager agrees to have us assemble everything for free. I take her information and promise to call her whenever her furniture pieces are completed. The following day, she calls in and asks if we’re done yet. This repeats every day for the next four days. Finally I end up taking her phone call on the fifth day.)

    Me: “Hello, this is [me], how can I help you?”

    Customer: “You can help me by getting my damn furniture finished already. I bought everything last weekend and I have company coming in two days. What the h*** is taking so long? What do you think I’m paying you all for?”

    Me: “Ma’am, as I explained to you then, it will take some time for us to put everything together for you because we are low on staff and that it could take a little over a week. You said that that was fine. Secondly, we offered to do this for you free of charge, so you aren’t actually paying us to assist you. But on the positive side of things, we currently have more than half of your furniture assembled and I believe that we’ll be able to have everything put together in two more days if you’re willing to remain patient with us.”

    Customer: “You’re all lazy and incompetent! I’m going to have you all fired!”

    (The store manager, who has been sitting next to me the entire time, has heard all of this and immediately grabs the phone.)

    Store Manager: “Hi, this is the store manager. Now listen here, we have been more than patient with you. Just about every single employee I have, including myself, have agreed at one point or another to take time out of their incredibly busy schedules just to help you out because we value all of our customers. Not once from you have I heard a ‘please’ or a ‘thank you’, yet we still are willing to help out. However, I will not tolerate you berating my employees who are actually completing this project ahead of schedule. Now, if you still feel that we are not moving fast enough for your liking, you are more than welcome to come to the store, pick up your furniture and assemble the rest yourself. I’ll even help you load your car if you need the help.”

    (After more incoherent yelling, the customer hangs up. The next day she came in and apologized for her behavior, saying that it was uncalled for. She then went around the store and thanked each employee for being so helpful. Can’t say that I was expecting that.)

    Water Is A Force(Field) Of Nature

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (I work in a small outdoors store. Most of our customers are total gear-heads and know almost as much about the product as we do. A well-dressed man who looks to be in his sixties walks in, stansd in front of the cash register, and announces loudly that he needs a new coat as “the rain kept getting in” his old one. I proceed to speak to him for about an hour. Despite English appearing to be his first language, he doesn’t seem to understand the term ‘waterproof’.”

    Me: “This is another good option over here, totally waterproof and seam-sealed. It’s from [brand]. I guarantee the rain won’t get in it.”

    Customer: “So, the rain won’t get in this one?”

    Me: “Not at all.”

    Customer: “It won’t get in? Not even a little bit?”

    Me: “No.”

    Customer: “Even through the top?”

    Me: “Well… not if you put the hood up.”

    Customer: *nods curtly and smiles* “I see. So you’re sure the rain won’t go through this one?”

    Me: “No, it’s waterproof. The rain won’t go through.”

    Customer: “So…” *looks as if a light bulb just went off* “Does the rain touch the jacket at all?”

    Coworker: *who has heard the whole exchange* “Sir, it’s a rain jacket, not a force field.”

    Saw Through His Sexism

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Bigotry, Top

    (I am a female woodworking student, shopping for a specific kind of saw in a hardware store. There’s only one on the shelf, so I grab it and start to move towards the register.)

    Customer: “You can’t have this saw.”

    Me: “And why not?”

    Customer: “Because I need it!”

    Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but I picked it up first when you weren’t even near it. They’ll probably order some soon.”

    Customer: “Give it to me, I really need it.”

    Me: “As much as I do. I’m sorry, sir, but it’s mine.”

    Customer: “I clearly need it more than you; you’re a woman! You can’t have any use for a saw!”

    Me: “I’m sorry sir, but I’m doing woodworking and I need this saw for an order a client placed with me. I am not going to give it to you and delay my client’s order.”

    Customer: *sheepishly* “Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t know… If I knew you were a woodworker, I wouldn’t have said that.”

    Me: “You shouldn’t make sexist comments like that, regardless of what field I work. Every woman is allowed to buy a saw… not only woodworkers.”

    Small Change Can Make The Difference

    | Boston, MA, USA | Awesome Customers, Money, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (During the month of February, my clinic has a special where our rabies vaccine is a much lower price than we would normally have it. I have just dealt with an extremely rude customer, and am prepared for the worst.)

    Me: “Hello again, sir. Was there a problem with anything?”

    Customer: “Did I get a three-year rabies vaccine?”

    Me: “Yup, you did, sir. It shows how long it’s good for right there.”

    (I show him the paperwork.)

    Customer: “Okay, so… Why did you only charge me $8?”

    (The customer pulls his change out of his pocket.)

    Me: “Oh, that’s because this month we have a discount!”

    Customer: “What? Really? That explains why it’s so busy. I was ready to give you back the change you gave me. Thanks!”

    (I had to tell everyone I was working with what happened. To this day, thinking about him during a rough shift brings a smile to my face.)

    Going From Bad To Warsaw

    | West Sussex, England, UK | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Language & Words, Top

    (I am half Polish, and fluent in the language, but have lived in England all my life so speak without an accent. Between my degree and my masters, I get a job in a pound shop—everything costs £1—to earn some money. I am on tills and call two young women forward.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    (The customer dumps her items on the counter without acknowledging me, and then turns to her friend and speaks in Polish.)

    Customer #1: “Look at this dumb b****! How bad must your life get to work here?!”

    Customer #2: *in Polish* “I know! And she judges us for being Polish! All English people are so racist!”

    Me: *in Polish* “That will be £7, please.”

    Customers #1 & #2: *both turn red and hurry out of the shop*

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