Unfiltered Story #218555

, | Unfiltered | December 17, 2020

(One thing that might be worth mentioning first is that in germany, employees are given more leeway to deal with rude or difficult customers. There is also no such thing as asking for the manager. Many stories on this page could not happen the way they do here.
I have an tempt job at a 24/7 gas station where i work a few shifts every month on weekends and after school. The station shares its premises with a car dealership and repair shop. We belong to a big chain of gas stations and are not affiliated with the dealership. However, as a favour to our neighbors, we allow them to offer their customers to pick up cars after hours and during the weekend, when the dealership is closed. In order to do this, the dealership employees park the cars on their parking lot, put the keys in an envelope that has the owners name on it and hand those envelopes over to the gas station employees after closing time. The customers can then get their keys from us.
I always ask people picking up keys for ID, which has never caused any problems, until one day i am working with a colleague late Friday night.
I am stocking shelves when around 10 PM a customer enters the station and aproaches my colleague who is at the register. I cannot fully understand their conversation, but it soon gets obvious that they are having a disagreement. I aproach the counter and stand next to the customer.)
Me: Hi, is everything alright over here?
Coworker: He want his keys but has no ID with him.
Me (Turning to the customer): I am so sorry, but we need to see prove of identity in order to give you your keys. I am sure you understand that this is a necessary meassure to prevent theft. Do you have any other form of identification, maybe a drivers licence or an health-insurence card?
Customer: No! Look, i am here to pick up my lorry! I just rode here by bike from [Town 9 miles away] and you will give me my keys now! I do not have time to go and get my ID, i need the lorry tomorrow moring! I can call my boss at [company], he can tell you that that is my truck!
(I go behind the counter and grab the envelope with the key.)
Me: I see that we have Mr. [Costumer] and [company] listed as authorized for pick up, but without confirming your identity, i cannot be sure that you are that person. I am sorry, but you will have to get some form of ID. We are open 24/7, so you can still pick the lorry up later.
(The Customer storm out, but remains outside by the door, only to reenter shortly after.)
Customer: Ok, i found a solution: You give me my keys and i will leave my bike, 50 euros and hey, even my smartphone, it was quite expensive, as a collateral. I will drive home, get my ID and come back with my car to pick up my stuff. So now give me my keys!
(I can only stare at the customer, while my coworker just starts laughing.)
Coworker: Are you out of your mind? Do you have any idea how expensive lorries like that are? There is no phone in the world that would come even close to being an acceptible collateral! Forget it!
(He storms out again, only to return a few minutes later, this time talking on his phone.)
Customer: I have my boss on the phone, talk to him!
Coworker: No, i will not. Look, i am running out of patience. I need some prove of identity in my hand, otherwise the keys stay here. Period.
Customer: (into the phone) Did you hear that, did you hear that!? They refuse to give me the keys!
Me: Give me the phone, i will talk to him.
Caller: Hey, i am [Name] from [company]. [Customer] is my driver, this is his lorry, so give him the g*dd*mned keys!
Me: Sir, you have to understand that i cannot do that. I know neither you nor your driver. For all i know, you both could be anyone caliming to work for [company]. I am sure you appreciate that we try to protect your property from theft.
Caller: Don’t give me that, we never had to show ID to get our keys befor!
(I honestly do not remember if during training i was told that i needed to check ID befor i hand out keys and as this is not official company business there is no official policy i could check in the handbook. But i remember my manager telling me this about asking for ID when people buy alcohol or tobacco: It is my call weather or not to ask for ID when the person looks like they could be older than 30, but as soon as i ask for ID, there is no backing down until in see ID. I decide to stick with this.)
Me: It might be possible that some of my coworkers handle this differently, but right now its my neck that is on the line and i will not hand over keys without prove of identity. I hope you understand that.
(I hand the phone back befor the caller can get another word in and tune back into the discussing between the customer and my coworker.)
Customer: I cannot believe that you don’t believe me! I am not angry with you, but i need my keys! Just give me my d*mn keys already! I have never lied once in my whole live!
Coworker: How could i even know if that were true? I do not know you! And if i may, you shout an aweful lot for someone that is not angry.
(The Customer runs back out, where he starts talking to someone pumping gas. He comes back inside.)
Customer: Ok, so this man will give me a ride to [Town] so i can pick up my ID and then drive me back here. Happy now? Oh, and where do i leave my bike? i do not have a lock with me.
Coworker: Well, the safest place should be right here outside the window, where it should be in our sight most of the time. However, we will not provide any guarantee.
Customer: (while going back outside) Well i never! Making such a fuss over keys but cannot provide guarantee for my bike!
Me: Well, you are not our neighbor we are doing a favour for.
(When the other customer comes in and asks what was going on with that man, we explain the situation to him and he agrees with us. The first customer parks his bike at our window and they drive of. They later return and the customer comes into the station. He just glares at me and hands me his ID. I confirm his identity and hand him the envelope, remaining polite, but not backing down under his glare.)
Me: Ok, here are your keys. Have a nice night.
(He leves, but turns around at the door.)
Customer: (in a tone that does not sound honest at all) And sorry, by the way!
(After he walks out, my coworker turns to me.)
Coworker: you know what i ask myself? How did he plan on driving his lorry without his drivers licence? Thats a trafic infringement, is his boss really ok with him doing that?
(I later asked my other coworkers and my manager about asking for ID when someone picks up some keys.)
Manager: Of course we need ID! [Dealership] always makes sure to tells it’s custumers several times! Otherwise we would be liable, after all!

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