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    Some Customers Are Thicker Than Others

    , | Wichita, KS, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Technology

    (It is my third shift at my first job. I have been mostly getting complicated/difficult orders, and I’ve had no real training; they threw me into the chaos and expected me to figure it out as I went. So far I had been managing, but only barely. An elderly customer  approaches the counter.)

    Me: *smiling brightly* “Hi there, ma’am. What can I get for you?”

    Customer: “I’d like a half pound of [specific cheese] sliced as thick as your slicer will go.”

    Me: “That’s half a pound of [specific cheese] on the thickest setting, right? Coming right up!”

    (I am incredibly relieved as I get the cheese she wanted and get it on the slicer. This is the easiest order I’ve had all day and I can’t see how it could possibly go wrong. I bag the cheese and hand it over the counter to her.)

    Customer: “No, this is wrong.” *hands it back*

    Me: “I’m sorry. What’s wrong with it?”

    Customer: “That’s not how thick I wanted it. That’s not thick enough!”

    Me: *bewildered* “I’m sorry, ma’am. You asked for the thickest setting on the slicer, and that’s as thick as it will cut things.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t! I get it cut thicker all the time! It should be one block. ONE. BLOCK.”

    Me: “Uh, I’m terribly sorry about that. I’ll fix this.”

    (I go get one of the knives and proceed to cut about half a pound off the block of cheese and bag that for her.)

    Me: “Here you are. I’m really sorry about—”

    Customer: “NO! NO! YOU HAVE TO CUT IT ON THE SLICER!” *throws the block back over the counter*

    Me: “I…I…Ma’am, I’m really sorry, but the slicer won’t—”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! Don’t you lie to me! I want my cheese cut that thick on the SLICER!”

    (I begin looking around frantically for a coworker, but my shift supervisor, who had been there only moments ago, has conveniently disappeared, and my only other coworker is dealing with a long line of customers at the hot bar.)

    Coworker: *calling across the deli to me* “[My Name], go cut it on the ‘special slicer’ in the back. I guess [Shift Supervisor] forgot to show it to you. It’s by the prep table back there.”

    (I’m confused but take the cheese back. The only thing by the prep table are the sinks, but then I see clean knives on it and realize that I just need to cut the block with a knife where the customer can’t see me doing it, so I hurriedly do so and rush back to the front.)

    Me: *handing the new block over* “I’m really sorry about that, ma’am. I just started and no one told me about that slicer.”

    Customer: *snatching the cheese* “Hmph. Well, you should have known. Next time don’t be so stupid.” *storms off*

    (This coworker saved me on several other occasions when customers were being exceedingly difficult, though the ‘special slicer’ remains the most amusing to me.)