A Colorful Comeback

| Marietta, GA, USA | Bigotry, Theme Of The Month, Top

(I am getting ready to check out a customer. The only other customers present are a large African American family. My customer is a middle aged Caucasian woman. She leans forward, and motions to me as if she wants to tell me a secret.)

Customer: “There are black people behind you.”

Me: “Uh… yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “You have to watch out for them, you know.”

(I step back and stare, not knowing exactly how to respond to this. My quick thinking coworker walks by.)

Coworker: “Their money is the exact same color as your money.”

Customer: “What!… Well… I…”

(She leaves her merchandise on the counter and exits the store in a huff.)

This Is Water

No Insight To Get The Right Site

| Australia | Extra Stupid, Money

(The company I work for has a competitor with a similar name.)

Me: “Welcome to [my company], this is [name].”

Caller: “Yeah, hi, I need you to cancel my automatic billing.”

Me: “Well, sir, for security reasons we don’t store your payment information, so we don’t do automatic billing. Are you sure the charge is from us? What does it say on your statement?”

Caller: “It says [competitor name].”

Me: “I see. I’m sorry, sir, but that is a different company. You have called [my company]. You will need to call [competitor] if you want to cancel your automatic billing.”

Caller: “But on the site it says to call this number for assistance!”

Me: “Yes, on our site, it does. But you are not a customer of our site. You need to go to [competitor]’s site to contact them, or I can give you their number.”

Caller: “Look, I just want to cancel my automatic billing!”

Me: “Yes, sir, I understand, but we are a completely separate company. [Competitor] is not associated with us in any way. You will need to call them if you need help.”

Caller: “Why won’t you help me? Just cancel my automatic billing!”

Me: “Sir, the only help I can offer you is to give you [competitor]’s phone number so you can call them. I can’t cancel your account with us, as you are not a customer.”

Caller: “I got the number off the site! It’s the number I called! Why won’t you help me?”

Me: “Sir, as I already explained, you are looking at the wrong site. You will need to visit [competitor]’s site, or I can give you their number. We are not associated with them at all.”

Caller: “Fine, I’ll just dispute the payment! I’ll get you shut down!”

Of All The Reasons For A Cause To Give You Pause

| Austin, TX, USA | Bigotry, Religion, Theme Of The Month

(I work at a call center for a cancer charity. I generally speak to donors and volunteers that are very supportive of our mission.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [name]. Thank you for calling—”

Caller: “Are you a Muslim organization?”

Me: “Uh, no we are not.”

Caller: “Are you some kind of terrorist?”

Me: “No, of course not.”

Caller: “Well, I saw the bumper-sticker for your event, and it uses that d*** Muslim symbol with the moon and star.”

Me: “Oh… I can see why you might misunderstand. There is some similarity between the Muslim star and crescent, and the logo we use for our fundraising events. See, the event is a relay that goes on for 24 hours. It has a sun, moon, and star to symbolize that the fight against cancer goes on, day and night.”

Caller: “Where’d you get the idea for that!?”

Me: “The… sky?”

Caller: “I bet you have Muslims in your organization!”

Me: “Well, we do not discriminate on the basis of creed or race, and we are quite a large organization. I assume we do have some Muslims.”

Caller: “Well… you shouldn’t use that d*** Muslim symbol! You’re confusing people!”

Invoking Blind Fury

| Culpeper, VA, USA | Health & Body, Home Improvement, Wild & Unruly

(I’m working in the area of the store where we have patio furniture and the like. Per my standard style, my hair is pulled up but my long bangs are heavily covering my left eye. I’m helping a little old lady with some patio cushions.)

Me: “Yes, this style will fit your furniture. It’s UV-stable, so if it’s out for a long time it won’t damage, crack, or fade too quickly.”

Lady: “Oh, thank you so much! You’ve been just so helpful. Why, it’s so difficult to get straight answers sometimes; everyone’s always in such a hurry!”

(The customer starts rambling a bit, as older ladies sometimes do. I’m used to this behavior, so I tune out just a bit, and consider when I should take my next break. Suddenly I see the customer reach towards my face, and I tune back in immediately.)

Lady: “Young people nowadays just don’t know anything! Look at you! Get that hair out of your face! If you leave your hair in your eye like that, you’ll go cross-eyed!”

(The customer has her hands on my face, and is physically pushing my hair out of my eye. As we’re not allowed to touch customers no matter what, I simply back up. The customer gets aggravated.)

Lady: “Now come here missy, and stop being so disrespectful!”

Me: “Ma’am, let me stop you right there. I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t touch me again. Second, if you will let me move my own hair out of the way, you will see that my left eye is severely crossed. I was born with significant strabismus, and can’t see out of that eye. I have never been able to see out of it. I usually have my hair covering my left eye because it often disturbs customers, and they don’t know which eye to look at. So, I don’t think your advice has much weight here, does it?”

Lady: “Well… you should consider yourself lucky! My niece was born with a cataract! Humph!”

(The lady walks away, not buying a single thing I have spent twenty minutes helping her pick out. I sigh, put my hair back in place, and decide yes, this is a great time for a break.)

Page 992/2,736First...990991992993994...Last