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  • Bigotry Comes In All Shapes And Sizes
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    Not A Hair Out Of Place

    | Austin, TX, USA | Bigotry, Health & Body

    (I work as a driver for a car rental office. I pick up customers from their homes, or from the local service centers and body shops, and return them to the same locations when they return the car. I am male and have worn my hair long for nearly ten years. During this trip, I am returning a customer home. His head is shaved. After making small talk for a few minutes, he asks a question.)

    Customer: “So, why do you have your hair like that? You look like a f****** f**.”

    Me: “Well, sir. I’ve been blessed with the ability to grow thick, healthy hair, so I grow it out, and once a year I cut it off and donate it to ‘Locks Of Love.’ They take it and make wigs for kids with cancer, who DON’T have the ability to grow their hair anymore thanks to chemo.”

    (There is silence in the car for a few minutes.)

    Customer: “Hey, I’m sorry about before. I actually lost my son to cancer a couple years ago. I shaved my head to match his, and I keep it shaved to remember him…”

    Needs A Bridge To Reality

    | Jamaica | Geography, Themed Giveaway, Tourists/Travel, Transportation

    Customer: “Hi, I’d like to rent a car, but can I drive it to the United States?”

    Me: “Pardon? I don’t understand.”

    Customer: “Can I drive the car back to the United States?”

    Me: “How did you get to Jamaica?”

    Customer: “I flew here, why?”

    Me: “Didn’t you see the ocean underneath you from the airplane?”

    Customer: “No, I slept the whole way here. Wait. What ocean?”

    Technically They Should Be Embarrassed

    | Italy | Bigotry, Technology, Transportation

    (I’m a woman in her 20s, and I look quite young. A group of men in their 30s have come in, having booked a minivan for a trip to the Czech Republic.)

    Me: “…and here’s your rental agreement. It states that the car is a diesel, but please check yourself at the gas station, because the computer-provided data about the cars have been known to be wrong.”

    Customer: “Do you think I’m stupid? I’m a grown-up man for God’s sake!”

    Me: “Certainly not, but such mistakes happen more often you’d like to think. I’m only saying this to avoid you having to pay for any damages, or simply having a broken car in the middle of your trip.”

    Customer: “Well, you’re a girl, so I’m not surprised you don’t know that the type of fuel the car requires is written on the gas refilling hole. I’m not surprised you know nothing about cars; it’s a man thing and requires some technical knowledge.

    Me: “Okay then. Have a nice trip and be safe!”

    (The customers go out to the parking lot. I can see them fidgeting with the remote, and have some trouble just opening the car. Once inside, I see them pushing various buttons on the radio and still not driving out of the parking lot. After several minutes, the customer I’ve spoken with comes back in.)

    Me: “Is everything okay?”

    Customer: “…I can’t find the handbrake.”

    You’ll Need A Brake After This

    | USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Transportation

    (A customer has had one of our cars for three days, when he calls our customer service number.)

    Customer: “The car is stuck in park. No matter what I do, it will not go out of park. I’m trying pretty hard, but I don’t want to break the gear shift.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear about that; let’s take a look at this and see what we can do. Are you able to start the car at all?”

    Customer: “Yes the car starts just fine, and everything works. It just won’t move.”

    Me: “Are there any indicator lights on?”

    Customer: “All of them come on when you start the car.”

    Me: “Okay, go ahead and put your foot on the break, flush to the floor.”

    Customer: “What? What is that? What do you mean?”

    Me: “The brake pedal. Go ahead and push that down, and then shift into reverse.”

    Customer: “I still don’t know what you mean.”

    Me: “The pedal next to the accelerator. Push that down.”

    Customer: “It worked! Thank you so much; I thought I was going to be stuck here!”

    Misconstrued Rude

    | CA, USA | Awesome Customers

    (There are only two of us who work in the office. My coworker is male and I am female, so when customers cannot remember the name of the employee, we can still figure out who helped the customer.)

    Customer: “Hi, I called earlier this morning with a question about my bill. I don’t remember who I was talking to, but I was extremely rude to him, and I just wanted to come by and apologize for my behavior.”

    Me: “Umm… wow. Okay, let me get him for you…”

    (I go and get my coworker.)

    Coworker: “Yes, how may I help you?”

    Customer: “I wanted to come in and apologize in person for how I acted on the phone this morning. I was rude, and there was no excuse for it, so I am sorry.”

    Coworker: “Wow. Thanks, but, uh… I haven’t gotten any rude calls today.”

    Customer: “Then maybe it was another coworker of yours?”

    Me: “No, it’s just the two of us here.”

    Customer: *turning to me* “Then maybe I talked to you, although I seem to remember talking to a man.”

    Me: “I don’t think you were talking to me. I also haven’t received any rude calls today.”

    Customer: “Really? There are people who are ruder than me?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Coworker: “All the time.”

    Customer: “Then I would like to apologize on behalf of all your customers who made me seem nice and friendly!”

    (One thing I’ve learned from years of customer service: if you are worried about being THAT customer, chances are good that you aren’t!)


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