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    Give The Beneficent The Benefit Of The Doubt

    | Texas, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s a few days before Valentine’s Day, so there are a lot of rush orders for flowers. One of our usual customers, Ben, is an elderly man who isn’t mentally healthy, but he’s a sweet man who doesn’t bother anyone. He’s decided to buy 100 roses and stand outside to hand them out to women, young and old alike.)

    Female Customer #1: “I want your manager.”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am…”

    (I call for my manager, who arrives shortly.)

    Manager: “What seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

    Female Customer #1: “There’s a drunk outside accosting women. I want to know what kind of store lets drunkards stand around like that to bother ladies. He’s standing out there slurring and making sexual comments to everyone.”

    (As she explains this, another female customer with her daughter has been standing nearby. After she finishes, the second female customer interjects.)

    Female Customer #2: “I hope you don’t mean Ben.”

    Female Customer #1: “Who the f*** asked you?”

    Female Customer #2: *to my manager* “Ben isn’t doing anything at all. This lady here asked for two flowers and started hitting him with her purse when he only gave her one.”

    Female Customer #1: “You f***ing liar! You’re just some godless w****!”

    Manager: “Lady, if getting a d*** flower for Valentine’s Day pisses you off this much, I feel sorry for the poor b*****d who gets in a relationship with you. Get out of my store and don’t come back.”

    (The manager brought Ben in, who was in tears and confused. However, he cheered up when he received some very nice comments from other customers as well as a free meal from my manager.)

    Suited To The Role

    | San Francisco, CA, USA | Awesome Workers, Bigotry, Top

    (I work the floor at an independently-owned menswear store. The owner, my boss, spends a lot of time at the shop, and tries to keep prices as low as possible to help our city’s large homeless population get good job interview clothes. A clearly homeless man is wandering around the store. The other patrons are giving him looks.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, sir?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I think you may want to call security. That… bum over there, he keeps feeling the suits and muttering to himself. I’m just sure he’s planning to steal one.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, I think that’s quite unlikely.”

    Customer: “Oh, come on, you know how they are! I mean, I’d keep an eye on him even if he wasn’t homeless!”

    (The homeless man in question happens to be Hispanic.)

    Me: “We don’t discriminate here, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m sure the owner would want to hear about this!”

    (I give in and call him over. The customer explains her concerns. As a black man, my boss isn’t happy with her racism, but agrees to talk to the homeless man.)

    Owner: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding what you need?”

    Homeless Man: “Well, not really. I’m hoping for something versatile in a dark or navy wool, but most of the options in my size are cut American style instead of European, which fits me a little better. Not to mention they’re all pinstriped, which I really don’t have the build for, you know?”

    Owner: “I… yes, I understand. I think we may have some options over here, if you’ll follow me. How did you know all that?”

    Homeless Man: “Back before I lost my job, I used to be really into this stuff. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something I can use to look good for a job interview later today.”

    (My boss helps him find something he likes, and comes to the counter with him. The suit is priced at $87.)

    Homeless Man: *digging in his pockets* “Hang on, I think I’ve got enough.”

    Owner: *to me* “Take my card. I’m buying it for him.” *to the homeless man* “Here. The suit’s yours, on one condition. After your interview today, you come back and apply for a job here too. Got it?”

    Homeless Man: “I… oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much.”

    (Two years later, that formerly-homeless man is my manager, and has a little girl with his new wife—the owner’s sister.)

    Crying Over No Spilt Milk

    | Detroit, MI, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

    (I work in a convenience store, and am calling to make a dairy order.)

    Me: “Hi, this is [store] calling. I’d like to place my order.”

    Rep: “Sure! Whenever you’re ready.”

    Me: “I’ll take 15 ‘2%’, 5 whole, 2 skim—”

    Rep: “I’m very sorry; can you hold on just one moment?”

    Me: “Sure, take your time.”

    (The rep puts me on hold for a few moments before returning.)

    Rep: “I’m very sorry about that. I had this guy on another line screaming at me about how he didn’t get his Pepsi order. It took me a few minutes to finally get a word in and to let him know that he had called the dairy company.”

    Me: *laughing* “Are you serious?”

    Rep: “Yes! I’ve never had that happen to me! Haha! Okay, I can take the rest of your order now!”

    Harping On

    | CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Musical Mayhem, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m working at a high school orchestra concert when the fire alarms go off. As we evacuate the building, I come across a gentleman in the hall trying to get the harp onto a harp-tow.)

    Me: “I’m sorry sir, but you need to leave the hall. We’re evacuating the building.”

    Gentleman: “I need to get my daughter’s harp out first.”

    Me: “Sir, you need to evacuate.”

    Gentleman: “I don’t expect you to understand, but this harp is important and expensive, so why don’t you worry about your pretty little self, while I worry about more important things?”

    Me: “Sir, you have a choice: you can either leave on your own, or you can leave in handcuffs. I will have you arrested.”

    Gentleman: “I said I’m not leaving with out the harp; get it through your stupid head!”

    (A police officer has entered the hall to let me know that the fire department is on their way and that the building is clear except me and this gentleman.)

    Police officer: “Problem, [my name]?”

    Gentleman: “Yeah, I’m trying to get this harp out of here, and she’s in my way!”

    Police Officer: “Aw, that’s too bad. Guess you have to leave with out it. You can leave with me, if you’d like. I’ve got some nice handcuffs.”

    (His eyes widen and he bolts from the hall.)

    Police Officer: “Well, that’s a shame. Anyways, no fire. Fire department will reset the alarm as soon as they get here.”

    (The gentleman’s wife ends up coming in for the harp about 25 minutes later. Surprisingly, she sides with us.)

    Gentleman’s Wife: “My husband was an idiot. Thanks to you and your coworkers for a job well done… you should have had him arrested anyway!”

    Some Customers Are Beyond Belief

    | VA, USA | Hotels & Lodging

    (A harried young woman enters our hotel and approaches the front desk. She’s holding a voucher that I know we don’t accept.)

    Me: “Hi. I’m sorry, but we don’t accept that voucher.”

    Young Woman: *in dismay* “Really? This one?”

    Me: “Yes. Plenty of others before you have tried to use that, and my manager says no. The other hotel on [other street] uses it.”

    Young Woman: “What?!”

    Me: “We don’t accept that voucher.”

    Young Woman: “I must make sure. Can you give me their phone number? Can I use your phone?”

    Me: “Um… okay. But like I said, this has happened many times before and they’re the only ones who take those.”

    Young Woman: *calls anyway* “…That’s what the hotel I was just at said about you!”

    (She calls and they confirm they take it. I give her the address and call her a cab.)

    Young Woman: “Thank you so much for your help!”

    Me: “No problem.”

    Young Woman: “I didn’t mean to disbelieve you earlier, but I just had a bad day and had to make sure!”

    Me: “That’s okay!”

    (She smiles and wishes me a good night I do the same. Too bad more people can’t make an effort to be pleasant even after a long day like her!)

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