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    Belly Rubbed And Snubbed

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Wild & Unruly

    (I work at a department store as a cashier. I also have a medical condition where I must take a heavy amount of steroids, and a side effect of this is that I’m a bit chunky. I’m ringing up a customer.)

    Me: “Hi, did you find everything okay?”

    Customer: “Oh, my dear, how can they force a woman in your condition to stand at a cash register all day? Your ankles must be so swollen! When are you due?”

    (Suddenly, she reaches across the counter and rubs my belly, totally invading my personal space.)

    Me: “In about five years, after I finish college, get married, and get a job that pays above minimum wage. I’m fat, not pregnant, lady. And I do not remember giving you permission to put your hands on my body.”

    (The customer turns beet red, mumbles something, and abruptly leaves all her merchandise on the counter. I get a round of applause from the rest of the customers in line.)

    Next Customer in line: “I would have hit her if I were you.”

    Resistance To Assistance

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK |

    (I’m in a quite upmarket department store in Edinburgh, buying a new camera, and the store operates a concierge service for the assistants. You speak to a desk, and they arrange for a trained assistant to come and deal with you personally. I have been placed on the list and am awaiting my assistant at the camera desk, when a woman walks up to the opposite and just stands there. Five minutes later, the assistant arrives to help me.)

    Assistant: “Hi there, sir. How can I help you?”

    Other Customer: “Excuse me, I’ve been stood here five minutes and he’s been here two. You should be helping me first!”

    Assistant: “I’m sorry. This gentleman has requested assistance from the concierge. Have you arranged for an assistant?”

    Other Customer: “Yes, I did before him so you should be dealing with me first!”

    Assistant: “I’m so sorry. If you have arranged for an assistant, then one should be along shortly. However, I have been assigned to assist with this gentleman.”

    (Five minutes pass, and the other customer is getting annoyed just standing there. The assistant is taking me through various different features of the cameras. Suddenly the other customer walks around to my side of the counter and interrupts.)

    Other Customer: “Listen, I was here first! I should be helped!”

    Assistant: “I’m sure your assistant will be here shortly.”

    Other Customer: “This boy shouldn’t even be in here. He is clearly going to steal whatever it is you are trying to sell.”

    Me: “Excuse me? I’m 26, not a boy, and I was here at least 10 minutes before you!”

    Other Customer: “You’re lying! I saw you walk up to the counter after me!”

    Me: “Yes, because I was coming back from the concierge desk over there, after booking my assistant. I was here for ten minutes before that having a look around, and you were nowhere to be seen. In fact, you bumped into me whilst I was at the desk as you came off the escalator and didn’t apologise. You haven’t been anywhere near the desk to arrange an assistant, so that’s why no one has come to help you.”

    Other Customer: “It’s a shop! You don’t need to book an assistant! I’m more important than you, so I should be treated first! I’ve just left work because I’m sick and I need to have this sorted now!”

    Me: “So, you’ve not arranged an assistant even though you were standing next to two signs that said ‘If you require assistance please speak with the concierge’, and you have been stood there for ten minutes complaining about no service. You’re ill, so you thought it would be a good idea to come into a store with hundreds of other people for you to infect today, and potentially hundreds more another day because you’re getting your germs everywhere. You’re claiming you’re better than me despite the fact that I read the signs, have been patient and calm, and have not done anything to suggest I’d steal other than wearing casual clothing?”

    (The other customer then leaves in a huff, walks to the concierge and arranges the assistant. One minute later, an assistant comes to help her.)

    Other Customer: “I’ve been waiting for you for 20 minutes! The customer service here is horrendous! I want to speak to your manager!”

    Assistant #2: “Actually, I am the floor manager today. I was informed of your outburst and I was asked to deal with you as no other assistant wished to deal with your attitude, and your illness. I am fully aware that you only asked for an assistant less than two minutes ago, but have been stood at the desk next to the signs telling you what to do for ten minutes. I am happy to help you, but please try to keep calm or I will have security escort you from the building. Also, please do not touch any products or surfaces as we do not want our customers to get ill.”

    (The other customer was quite shocked, but clearly took on board everything the manager said. Her issue was dealt with, which was to find out what type of memory card her camera would take, which happened to be the cheapest model the shop sold. I left shortly after with my new, high-end DSLR at a discount because of the hassle.)

    Paying Fool Price, Part 2

    | Adelaide, SA, Australia | Extra Stupid, Money

    (We are in the middle of a massive stock-take sale. The store has two enormous banners at the entrance stating this, along with stands of our sale brochures. Every aisle and wall is hung with SALE posters every 2 metres, and there are red SALE balloons on every fixture. Every shelf or stand has an A3 sign on it stating the percentage of discount on that range, as well as smaller signs showing the price of individual items. Instead of our usual business wear, the staff are all wearing red shirts which have the company logo and SALE written on them, plus name badges. It’s quiet for a moment, so I am filling an empty shelf with stock from a trolley.)

    Customer: “Do you work here?”

    Me: *laughs* “Yeah, I do.”

    (She doesn’t even seem to take in my company shirt and apron, name badge or the fact that I’m doing stock work. She just seems mildly surprised.)

    Customer: “Oh, I wasn’t sure.” *picks up an egg poacher* “Is this on special?”

    Me: “Yes, everything is on special today. We’ve got 40% off cookware at the moment.”

    Customer: “Are you sure it’s on sale?”

    Me: “Yes, I’m quite sure there’s a sale on.”

    (I laugh, but she is just staring at me strangely.)

    Me: “The sign on top of the shelf says 40% off all cookware, and the little sign in front of the poacher says the egg Poacher now [price]. So it’s [price].”

    Customer: “I need to know the exact price. Go and check it for me.”

    Me: “Okay, well, the girls on the register can scan it for you to confirm the price before you purchase.”

    Customer: “No. I want you to check now.”

    (Giving in, I go right down the front, scan it, and not surprisingly, it comes up at the exact same price as I told her.)

    Me: “It came up [price].”

    Customer: “Oh, so it is on sale! I’ll just tell my sister!” *takes out phone* “Cheryl! They have a sale on!”

    (I ran into ‘Cheryl’ later. You’ll never guess what kind of questions she asked me.)

    Related:
    Paying Fool Price

    Murray’s Law

    | Sydney, Australia | At The Checkout, Top

    (I work at a complaints and returns desk. We generally get a few unreasonable and abusive customers each day, so we’ve developed a very effective tactic for dealing with them.)

    Me: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “You guys are idiots!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “Look at this receipt! Look at it!”

    (He holds up a receipt for a purchase; it looks normal enough.)

    Me: “Is there a problem with it?”

    Customer: “God, you’re so dumb! Look how faint the ink is! I can barely read it! You want me to go blind?!”

    Me: “Ah, well, it looks like the printer’s ink was running a little low, and it can look faded because of that. Would you like me to reprint it so you can read it?”

    Customer: “NO! Then you’ll just get away with it! Stupid idiots!”

    (The customer starts getting worked up and begins a rant full of swear words and physical threats. I realise what the situation calls for.)

    Me: “I am terribly, terribly sorry sir. That looks like Murray did it. What an idiot!”

    (This stops the customer’s rant in his tracks and looks at me, breathless.)

    Customer: “…Murray?”

    Me: “Yes, Murray! He’s always causing problems for customers like you. It’s really unfair. I’ll deal with it right now.” *calling out* “Murray? Come here!”

    (As per protocol, the nearest male coworker who isn’t busy comes over to play the role of Murray.)

    Male Coworker: “Yes?”

    Me: “How dare you upset this customer! You’re fired! Get out!”

    Male Coworker: *acts dejected* “I’m so sorry…”

    (“Murray” shuffles off looking like he’s about to cry, and once out of sight gets right back to work.)

    Me: “There we are, sir. You don’t have to worry about that sort of thing happening ever again. The customer always comes first, and we take complaints very seriously. Have a nice day!”

    Customer: “Wow, you guys are really great! Thanks, and good riddance to that idiot Murray!” *leaves*

    (This isn’t simply to avoid confrontation; our manager estimates that using the “Murray” tactic to placate customers like this saves us nearly an hour of verbal abuse each day, so we have more time to actually help the customers who need it.)

    Aisle Never Make Cents

    , | New Brunswick, Canada | Money

    (I am working the cash one busy day. A customer is disputing the price of some items.)

    Customer: “Well, the sign said these were 3 for $1. That’s why I was buying them.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, madam, but these are $1.25 a piece…they always have been. Would you still like to purchase them?”

    Customer: “Well, the sign on the display has them at 3 for $1. I want them, but at that price.”

    Me: “Madam, I can see the display from here and I don’t see the sign you are referring to. In fact, I set up that display myself last night. I can assure you there are no such signs on the display. Would you still like to purchase the items?”

    Customer: “Look, it’s right there! Can you not see? It says everything on that shelf is 3 for $1!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I still don’t see the sign to which you are referring madam.”

    Customer: “IT’S RIGHT THERE ON THE TOP! The green and yellow sign with number 3 on it!”

    Me: “You mean the sign that says aisle 3?”

    Customer: “Exactly! Now…oh…”

    (The customer turns beet red and remains silent for the rest of the transaction. When the next customer in line comes up, she speaks.)

    Next Customer: *joking* “If that’s what the signs on each aisle mean, I think I’ll do all my shopping in aisle 7!”

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