Even Though The Sound Of It Is Something Quite Atrocious

, , , | Right | September 20, 2017

(I work in a well-known office supply store. We also have a print department. We get a lot of customers that have no idea what they need and hope we can help them with everything by reading their minds and making things magically appear. This happens one day when a middle-aged man walks up to the copy center counter.)

Me: “Hi. What brings you in today?”

Customer: “My daughter is getting married.” *stares expectantly at me*

Me: “Congratulations! Were you looking to have some printing done for the wedding? We do invitations, table cards, large photo prints—”

Customer: *interrupting* “I need everything you do!” *again stares at me*

Me: “Oh, we don’t really do wedding packages; we just have hundreds of printing capabilities. If you could let me know what exactly you need us to do for the wedding, I can get you prices and options—”

Customer: “Yes, let me see your flowers, and a list of your wedding helpers.”

Me: “Flowers? You mean designs that have flowers on them? And I’m sorry; I am not sure what you mean by ‘wedding helpers.’”

Customer: *getting angry* “No! I want everything for a wedding! Flowers, bands, food, printing, everything!*squints at me intensely*

Me: “Oh, I see. Well, we are an office supply store, so all we do for weddings is printing services. Unfortunately we do not do wedding planning or have food or bands or—”

Customer: *shouting, while banging his hand on the counter* “NO! LISTEN TO ME! I NEED EVERYTHING FOR MY DAUGHTER’S WEDDING! THIS IS TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! SHOW ME ALL YOUR WEDDING THINGS!”

Me: *trying to not get mad at this point* “Sir, please listen to what I am trying to say. We are an OFFICE supply store, we do not do—”

Customer: “GET ME YOUR BOSS NOW!”

(I recognize that this customer isn’t listening to a thing I say, so I decide to throw him for a loop, as this usually gets mad customers’ attention long enough to resolve the issue or make them leave.)

Me: “I am the manager on duty, sir. Can I ask you a question?”

Customer: “YOUR BOSS NOW! I AM FILING A COMPLAINT!” *more hand-banging on counter*

Me: *looks directly into the customer’s eyes* “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Customer: “No! Listen! I want… wait, what?!”

Me: *looks directly into the customer’s eyes again and smiles* “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Customer: *stares at me, confused* ” Um, I’m sorry. I don’t understand? Is that a foreign language?”

Me: “No, sir, but we do not do wedding planning, or have flowers, food, or anything like that for you. The only thing I can do that you need is wedding invitations. I suggest you contact a wedding planning company; they can help you with all the wedding things you need. WE CANNOT HELP YOU WITH THAT BECAUSE WE ARE AN OFFICE SUPPLY STORE THAT SELLS OFFICE EQUIPMENT.”

Customer: *still looking confused* “Oh, so, you don’t do weddings?”

Me: ” No, sir, we just use printers and ink to print things.”

Customer: “Oh, all right.” *turns around, then comes right back* “Can I hire you to do my daughter’s wedding?”

Me: *I just want him out of the store at this point, so I lie like a rug* “I am actually leaving the country for a while, sorry.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.” *wanders out of the store, confused*

(A regular customer who is in line behind him comes up.)

Regular: “Wow, I didn’t know you could use lines from Mary Poppins to deal with crazy people! What will you tell him if he comes back and sees you haven’t left the country?”

Me: “Haha! I will tell him I am my twin; he’ll probably buy it!”

Regular: “Just give him candy when you tell him, because ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!’”

(We get craziness like this all the time, and saying “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” usually gets them shaken enough to take care of them!)

A Very Questioning, Enquiring, Querying Person

, , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work for the court service. I am on the phone with a defendant in the court foyer. Believe it or not, this is one of the smarter conversations I’ve had with a defendant.)

Me: “The email is ‘enquiries’ at—”

Defendant: *interrupting* “What’s an enquiry?”

Me: “Er. It’s like a query, I guess.”

Defendant: “Oh. What’s a query?”

Me: “It’s like a question.”

Defendant: “Oh.” *long pause* “What’s a question?”

Me: “…how about I write down the email address for you?”

The Biography Of A Cheapskate

, , , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work at a local bookstore that is part of an independent chain. Because we do not make as much of a profit as our competitors, we cannot heavily discount the prices of our books. I receive a phone call from a customer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bookstore]. This is [Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, hi. I was wondering if you had the new biography of Napoleon. I believe it’s called, Napoleon: A Life?

(I find the book on our new biography table, and it is quite the tome. I bring it to the counter and return to the phone.)

Me: “You’re in luck. We do have it. Would you like us to hold it for you?”

Customer: “How much does it cost?”

Me: “Looks to be forty-five dollars, sir.”

Customer: “Wow.”

Me: “I know, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s a big hardcover book, and I’ve heard it’s very good.”

Customer: “…do you happen to do any trade-ins at your store?”

Me: *not initially understanding the question* “Sir, the only trade-in we’ve done is a textbook trade-in, which we stopped doing months ago.”

Customer: “So, I couldn’t just come in and exchange another book for the Napoleon book?”

Me: “…No, sir. We don’t do anything like that.”

Customer: “Aw, man. Not even for a Complete Works of Shakespeare? It’s brand new!”

Me: “…I’m sorry, sir. You’ll just have to buy the book.”

(The customer proceeded to use the common argument that our competitors were selling the book for cheaper, and I reminded him that it was his choice to buy a cheaper book or support a local store. I hung up, shaking my head, wondering just how he thought he could get away with bartering books, especially when we have plenty of Shakespeare. The “Complete Works” book he had was probably nowhere near as expensive as the Napoleon book!)

Requires More Than “Regular” Skills

, , , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work at a local bookstore in a city with a large transit center, which means we get a lot of “interesting” visitors and regulars. One regular, a Yosemite fanatic and quite the talker, comes into the store a little more hyper than usual. I am helping another customer, a middle-aged woman, while the regular cracks jokes and sings to my coworker at the register next to me.)

Female Customer: *to me* “That man is so annoying.”

(She tells me this in a voice loud enough for the regular to hear, but he doesn’t seem to notice. I remain professional.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, he’s a very nice regular.”

Female Customer: “I understand, but… he was in the travel section with me, just singing and talking to himself… and I just couldn’t… ugh!”

Me: “We do get some interesting people in this store.”

Female Customer: “I’m sure. You know what? If I had your job, I wouldn’t last two minutes.”

Me: “It takes some guts, ma’am.”

(It is only after I rang up her things and sent her on her way that I realized that this just might be the first time the customer actually acknowledged that my retail, low-wage job takes some skills, rather than acting high and mighty and like I was doing something wrong!)

That Joke Is More Than A Little Rough Around The Edges

, , , , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work at a fast food coffee chain in Canada. Our coffee chain has gift cards that you can reload and swipe to pay. A customer is having trouble getting his to register, and on the third try, he yanks it roughly and it reads the card.)

Me: “Oh, hey! There you go; you got it!”

Customer: “Yep. It’s like a woman, you gotta be rough with it.”

Me: *long, stunned pause*

Customer: “Haha, just kidding!”

(My coworker and I are both women.)

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