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    The Drive To Do Good

    | Dublin, Ireland | Awesome Workers, Theme Of The Month, Top, Transportation

    (I have a bunch of friends over for a concert, and we all stay at the same place in South County Dublin, about 20 minutes from the City Centre. It is almost midnight by the time we get to the bus stop. Dublin Bus provides a free shuttle service to the concert, but by that time all the free shuttle buses are gone. Just then, an out of service bus arrives.)

    Bus Driver: “Hm, there’s a lot of you left here. Tell you what: we’ll just pretend I’m a shuttle.”

    Me: “Sorry, when’s the next Nightlink?

    Bus Driver: “That just left; the next one’s at 02:00 h. You might have to get a cab.”

    (I try to call Enquiries for a cab company, but can’t because my phone is out of battery. My friends are all from abroad and therefore don’t have Irish Enquiry numbers on their phones. The bus driver overhears our increasingly worried conversation and gives me his phone. At this stage we’re almost at Trinity College, where the shuttle terminates.)

    Me: “Thanks, are you going on to Donnybrook Garage?”

    Bus Driver: “Yeah, don’t worry. You can stay on.”

    (I try to get a cab, but am told by the cab company that they can’t send out a seven-seater to the bus garage but we should just flag one down—pretty much an impossibility.)

    Me: *to my friends* “S***, we’ll have to flag one down… or two, rather.”

    (At this stage, the only people left on the bus are me, my friends and one guy on the back bench. We’re all getting seriously worried about getting home.)

    Bus Driver: “Right, so where are you all going?”

    Me: “Deansgrange!”

    Guy on the back bench: “Dun Laoghaire!”

    (Both these suburbs are off the same main road, about three miles apart.)

    Bus Driver: “Shag it, I’ll drop you all home!”

    (The driver dropped us, and presumably the guy from Dun Laoghaire, all the way to our respective street corners, thus staying on about half an hour after his shift ended and going out of his way about 10 miles there and back. All we had to repay him for his awesomeness was one of our homemade message board badges commemorating the concert meet-up and half a Duty Free bag of gummi bears, and he accepted them with a smile. That’s why I love this country.)

    Off The Clock And Into The Fired

    | MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Top

    (It’s my day off, and I’m shopping at the store where I work when this happens.)

    Customer: “You!” *runs up to me*

    Me: “Uh, yes?”

    Customer: “That’s not how you respond to a paying customer. You’re supposed to say, ‘How may I help you today, ma’am’, and smile!”

    Me: “Um, actually right now I’m a paying customer too.”

    Customer: “You still work here don’t, you? So, you have to help me or I will get you fired!”

    Me: “I’m not working right now. That means—”

    Customer: “I don’t care what it means!”

    Me: “It means that I cannot help you, will not help you, and it also means I get to walk away.”

    (A few minutes pass. Then the customer returns with my manager.)

    Customer: *points at me* “Her! She refused to help me. Fire her!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, she’s not working today. She’s here as a customer, and if that was you I heard yelling at her, that means I can kick you out of the store for harassing other customers. Please finish your shopping and leave.”

    Customer: “But she still works here so she has to help me! I am the customer! I am right!”

    Manager: “Geez.” *hands me her manager card* “Use this on your stuff to get my discount. I have to deal with this.”

    Me: “Remember boss, the customer is always right!”

    Manager: “Oh, shut up.”

    Do The Return, Feel The Burn

    | Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

    (I’m helping a customer, Customer #1, pick out a watch at a department store jewelry counter. Another customer, Customer #2, interrupts.)

    Customer #2: “Excuse me, I have a return. I had to wait in line at Customer Service just to be told I have to come up here.”

    Me: “I’ll be with you in a minute ma’am, I am helping this other lady at the moment.”

    Customer #2: “Well! I don’t have all day!”

    Customer #2: *to me* “You can return that for her.” *whispers* “Before she throws a fit.”

    (I do the return and turn back to Customer #1.)

    Customer #2: “EXCUSE ME! The customer service lady said you would ring this all out for me as well.”

    (Customer #2 holds up 2 boxes of shoes, some shirts, jeans and under garments.)

    Me: “Normally I would be able to, but as I said before I am helping this lady in watches. You can wait until I finish helping her or go up to the registers with your purchases.”

    Customer #2: “Well, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you!”

    (Customer #2 storms off to the registers and stands in line, but continues to glare at me from afar.)

    Customer #1: “Whoa! Someone needs a nap!”

    Small Purchase, Large Bill

    Praise Cheeses

    | Orlando, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (Most delis have two slicer machines: one for meat and one for cheese. My coworker is cutting meat for an elderly woman who has placed a very large order, because she’s hosting a book club meeting at her house this afternoon. We’re chatting with her when a 40-something customer approaches the counter.)

    Me: “Good morning. Can I help you, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Hi. Could I get a half-pound of [brand] roast beef, please?”

    Me: “Certainly. I’m afraid [coworker] here is using the meat slicer to fill this lady’s order at the moment. Could I get you any cheese in the meantime?”

    Customer: “No, I don’t want any cheese.”

    Me: “Okay, then. If you want to do some more shopping and come back in a few minutes I should have your order ready by then.”

    Customer: “No, I don’t have any more shopping to do. This is the last thing I’m buying.”

    Me: “I see. Then I’m afraid there will be a little wait while my coworker finishes cutting meat for her order.”

    Customer: “What do you mean I have to wait? That slicer’s not being used, just use that one!”

    (She gestures toward the cheese slicer.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. That’s our cheese slicer. I’m afraid I can’t cut meat with that one.”

    Customer: “Why the h*** not?!”

    Me: “It’s a possible health hazard. They call it cross-contamination, and that’s what happens if I use equipment to prepare food for you that was just touching something you’re allergic to. Say, if you came to get cheese but were allergic to some kind of meat, the meat juice could get on the cheese you order and make you sick.”

    Customer: “Well, I’m not allergic to any kind of meat or cheese. Just use the stupid slicer already!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t do that. Even though you might not have any allergies, some of our other customers might. On top of that, our management has a zero-tolerance policy for that. I could get fired for doing it.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s an idiotic policy! I’m not other customers, I’m me! I don’t care what happens to your other customers! If they’re allergic to meat it’s just proof that God wants to get rid of them so they won’t inconvenience people like me!”

    Me: “Well, I do care about our other customers, ma’am. And I’m going to ask you to please lower your voice and not tell them that God wants them to die, or I’ll have to call my manager over.”

    Customer: “Go ahead and call him, smart guy! You think you know what God wants better than I do? I’ve gone to [church] for 10 years!”

    Me: “No, ma’am. I don’t think I know what God wants. Actually, I don’t believe in God.”

    Customer:You’re an atheist! No wonder you won’t just cut my f***ing meat! You were sent here by Satan himself to stop me! You’re just like Hitler or Saddam Hussein! Call your manager over here right now, so I can tell him there are demons casting spells over his meat!”

    (Fed up, the elderly woman my coworker is serving slaps her own forehead and turns to the raving customer.)

    Elderly Woman: “Miss, you need to hush your fat mouth up and let these folks do their job. They don’t need you hooting and carrying on. And I’ll have you know I’ve been attending [the same church] for 40 years, and I know that over there they teach you to have some respect and decency! No wonder you don’t have any, because you can’t hear anything over the sound of yourself screeching! And whatever that young man believes about God is between God and himself, but God loves him no matter what.”

    (The customer is silent, and then stammers angrily for a few seconds.)

    Customer: “Well, he, uh… he should have just cut my d*** meat!”

    (She storms out of the store.)

    Elderly Woman: “Some people have no tact.”

    Me: “Would you like to try a free sample of our [most expensive cheese], ma’am?”

    Elderly Woman: “I’d love to, young man. God bless you.”

    Me: “He already does, ma’am.”

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