Still Staying Strong

| Long Island, NY, USA | Uncategorized

(My area was hit hard by Sandy. Way too many of my friends and family have lost their homes and/or personal belongings. None of us, including myself, even have gas in our tanks or electricity. It is two days after the storm. Nevertheless, I am on the phone with a customer.)

Customer: *over the phone* “Excuse me, but I tried to get a refund over the phone for products I purchased on Sunday, and you guys never answered.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we’ve been closed for a couple days because of the storm. We will try our best to get to you as soon as we possibly can.”

Customer: “So, when did you reopen? You’re there now, aren’t you? Why did you not contact me?”

Me: “We reopened today, but our manager is unfortunately draining water from our other store right now, so he will be unable to contact you until early tomorrow.”

Customer: “But I emailed you Sunday night! I want you to refund me my money!”

Me: “Have you returned the products to the store Sunday or today?”

Customer: “Are you kidding?! I don’t have gas to come there with the products.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot refund you until I physically have the products and a manager here, and since unfortunately he is busy due to the hurricane, it will be a few days until I can help you.”

Customer: *starts cursing me out* “How dare you not be open the last few days? Do you know what it’s been like for me?! I haven’t had electricity for the last 24 hours! I only got it back today! And you won’t return my products for me?! And you talk too fast, slow down! Tell me your name right now! I’m going to get you fired! This is ridiculous! I lost my power!”

(I hung up the phone right in her face. Normally, I’m not so rude, but I had no patience that day. I have taken off of work every day since to volunteer at shelters for free, meeting the most humble people who have lost their entire homes and everything they own, and they are still so polite and grateful. I love NY so much. Stay strong, beautiful people!)

Editor’s note: Although this story tells the lighter side of things, the devastation caused by Sandy is very serious. Click here to visit FEMA’s dedicated Sandy page and learn how you can donate and volunteer.

Monster Having A Ball

| CO, USA | Holidays

(I’m working as a sign waver for a popular Halloween-themed seasonal retail chain. Because of the theme, I’m dressed in costume. I’m approached by a pair of teenage girls, but because I’m a little guy, I’m shorter than they are.)

Girl #1: “Hey! What are you supposed to be?””

Me: “I’m a pumpkin ghoul.”

Girl #2: “Would you be mad if I pushed you over?”

Me: *taken aback* “I believe I would. Though, because I was summoned unwillingly into this world to advertise for [Halloween chain], I am still a monster.”

Girl #1: “Okay, that’s creepy.”

(The two then run away as quickly as they could after exchanging uneasy looks.)

Me: *calling after them* “Have a happy Halloween!”

Riding In On Blazing Saddles

| Marlborough, MA, USA | Money, Movies & TV

(A man comes into my store looking a bit irate. He pulls out an unwrapped DVD case of Mel Brooks’ “History of the World, Part I.”)

Customer: “I’d like to return this and get my money back!”

Me: “Was there something wrong with it?”

Customer: “I opened it up and there was no disc inside!”

(I open the DVD case to indeed find no disc inside.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t refund your money. This is something you’d need to take up with the manufacturer. This does happen rarely, but I can help get the contact info for the manufacturer if you’d like.”

Customer: “What!? Are you serious!? I want to talk to a manager!”

(My manager comes over and explains the same thing to him, how it’s outside of our policy to refund an item if there is no item to refund. The customer finally accepts this, but is livid.)

Customer: “Fine! Well, do you have History of the World, Part II then?”

Me: “Um… sir, that movie doesn’t exist.”

Customer: “Yes it does! I saw it once!”

Manager: “No, sir. There is a fake trailer at the end of History of the World, Part I. The one with Hitler ice skating.”

Customer: “Yeah! That’s the one! Where is it!?”

Manager: “Sir, like we already told you, it was fake. There is no History of the World, Part II.”

Customer: *storms out*

Not The Sharpest Bigot

| AZ, USA | Bigotry, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I’m walking around the store seeing if any shoppers need help.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, are you finding everything all right today?”

Customer: *turning* “Oh, what the f*** is this?”

Me: “Um… what is what?”

Customer: “I haven’t been helped by a single American since I got here. Are you people even hiring whites?”

(Our town has a regrettably accurate reputation for being somewhat racist. Customers often ignore non-white employees or refuse their aid. I’m of Indian descent, but was born and raised a few miles away in Phoenix.)

Me: “Sir, all our employees are American citizens. If you don’t need help, though, I’ll just go.”

Customer: “Hang on, where’s your manager’s office?”

(I point.)

Customer: “Good!”

(Without warning, he grabs my arm and drags me forcefully to the office. He pushes it open without knocking.)

Customer: “You need to arrest this man! He’s an illegal!”

(My manager turns in her chair. She’s got light brown skin, and is often mistaken for Hispanic.)

Manager: “Sir, I know for a fact [my name] is a citizen. And you need to take your hands off him right now.”

Customer: *not letting go* “Oh my God! They’ve got a Mexican in charge. No wonder you don’t hire whites!”

Manager: “Sir, more than half of my employees are white. Now let [my name] go or I will call the police.”

Customer: “Are you threatening me? I’m a real American, you can’t threaten me!”

(At this he pulls out a Swiss Army knife and points it at her.)

Manager: “No, I’m not. Would you like me to?”

(Without warning, she draws a knife of her own from nowhere and slams it point-first into the desk.)

Manager: “That’s one. I’m carrying nine. Let him go.”

(The customer goes pale and releases both my arm and the knife.)

Manager: “Thank you.”

(Instead of letting him go, my manager locked him in the office and called the police, who came and arrested him for assault and threatening with a weapon. As they were leading him out, my manager stopped him for a moment.)

Manager: “And by the way, I’m not Hispanic, I’m Romani. If you’re going to be a racist, at least learn the difference.”

The Situation Is Escalating

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Bizarre, Extra Stupid

(Our down escalator is stopped for repairs, but customers are free to walk down it. There is also a clearly marked elevator near me as well as a staircase.)

Customer: “Excuse me, miss, do you work here?”

Me: “Yes. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Your escalator has stopped.”

Me: “I am sorry about that. It should be fixed soon.”

Customer: “So, am I stuck up here?”

Me: “…Sorry?”

Customer: “Do I have to wait here until it is fixed?”

Me: “Of course not. You can go anytime. We won’t hold you hostage.”

Customer: “But the escalator is broken.”

Me: “Yes, and we are sorry for the inconvenience.”

Customer: “How do I get down stairs?”

(At this point, we can both clearly see other customers walking down the broken escalator.)

Me: “Well, you are allowed to walk down the escalator, but if you feel uncomfortable with that, you can take the elevator or stairs behind me.”

Customer: “Well, when do you think it will be fixed?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I really don’t know. They don’t tell us that much about what is happening in the store.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager!”

Me: “Let me call one down for you.”

Customer: “What is your name?!”

(My coworkers have come to watch, and are trying not to laugh. Other customers have begun to laugh.)

Me: “My name is [name].”

(I call the manager, she comes down, and tells the customer the same thing I said.)

Customer: “Well, this place is trash!”

(Believe it or not, she found a chair and sat there for an hour until the escalator was fixed!)

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