Category: Awesome Workers

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Hold For An Hourly Rate

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Money, Popular

(I work for a third-party seller/distributor of cellular phone service. It is the late 1990s, when cell phone service is just starting to transition from analog to digital in most states. Because a credit check and a contract is required to activate service, some customers are surprised when the credit check comes back that we require a monthly billing to their credit card, or worse, a $700 deposit. I take a call from a customer. After I run the credit check, I get the alert that he will need to pay a deposit or set up automatic payments.)

Customer: “What do you mean? My credit’s fine! Check it again!”

Me: *calmly* “I could check it again, sir, but it’s going to come back with the same result.”

Customer: *getting angry* “Well, it shouldn’t!”

Me: *still calm* “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir, but that’s what always happens when we get a report like this. In order for me to activate a line for you, I’ll either need to take down a deposit, or set up payments using a credit card.”

Customer: “I want to speak to your supervisor!”

Me: “I am one of the supervisors.”

Customer: “Then let me speak to somebody else!”

Me: “Sir, if I get you on the line with someone, they’re only going to tell you the exact same thing that I am.”

Customer: *yelling* “I DON’T CARE! Get me on the line with your supervisor!”

Me: *still calm* “All right, sir, no problem. Would you mind holding for just a minute?”

(We were always forced to ask permission to put people on hold, never tell them we were putting them on hold.)

Customer: *now irate* “I DON’T WANT TO BE PUT ON HOLD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but in order for me to get you on the line with someone else, I need to place you on hold.”

Customer: “I’ve been waiting long enough, and I don’t want to wait anymore! I want to talk with someone else RIGHT NOW!”

Me: “I understand, sir. Let me place you on hold—”

Customer: “NO, D*** IT! Don’t you DARE place me on hold! This is a waste of my time! Do you know how much I make an hour?”

Me: *rolling my eyes* “No, sir, I don’t.”

Customer: “$350.00. I charge $350.00 per hour, and in the time I’m talking to you, I could be making money. You’re wasting my time, and I’m losing money!”

Me: *matter-of-factly* “Sir, do you want to know how much I make an hour?”

Customer: “No!”

Me: *taking authority on the line* “Too bad, sir. I make $9.00 an hour. And I’m telling you this to give you some perspective. Between the two of us, the only one that can help you get your service turned on IS ME. Frankly, I don’t care how much you make, and it doesn’t motivate me to give you better service than anyone else. So you can either let me place you on hold so I can get a supervisor, or I’ll be glad to end the call, and you can go to a local [Company] store and do this all over again with them.”

Customer: *silence*

Me: “I’m going to place you on hold now, okay?”

Customer: “Fine.”

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Working Here Is A Brain Drain

| Bellevue, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Workers, Health & Body

(I am sweeping the store when I see one of our regulars standing on a grocery basket to reach a soda bottle on the top shelf.)

Me: “Can I help you get that down?”

Customer: “It’s okay; I’m lightweight.”

Me: “So is the basket’s construction.”

Customer: “Well, if it breaks I’ll buy it.”

(He gets down.)

Me: “I’m more worried you’ll fall and crack your head open… because guess who gets to clean THAT up?”

Customer: *laughs* “Brain cleanup in aisle eleven!”

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Service With A Smile

| Surrey, England, UK | Awesome Workers

(I’ve just had a customer complain because I informed her she was waiting at an unmanned till while serving other customers. She complained to the manager, by which time she’s accusing me of being rude, something that struck everyone who heard as out of character.)

Manager: “I had a rather loud woman complain about you telling her to go to the queue.”

Me: “[Colleague on the ice cream stand] is on break, and it’s not fair on those waiting in the queue to jump it to serve her.”

Manager: “That’s what I thought; did you apologise for the inconvenience?”

Me: “I always break these things with, ‘I’m sorry’ but I guess she didn’t like the fact I was serving other customers at the same time.”

Manager: “Then there’s nothing you need to worry about. Well, there is one thing.”

Me: “Huh?”

Manager: “I’m not letting you back on the front line without a smile.”

(I admit, that made me laugh.)

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Apologizing Is Your Call Of Duty

| AL, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Food & Drink, Popular

(I worked in the bakery of a popular retail chain. This is the call and unexpected outcome I received:)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bakery]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Do you have a Call of Duty cake?”

Me: “No. I am sorry. We aren’t licensed to do that cake at this particular store.” *our town has two of these stores*

Customer: “I’m at the other, and they have it but not the kit! I need it today!”

Me: “I’m sorry. They are new and have more of a selection than us because they think they will have a bigger need. Our store can’t make the cake. And, we don’t have the kit either.”

Customer: *clearly upset and angry* “What am I supposed to do?! I need it today!”

Me: “Well, you can make the cake without the kit and find some toys to put on it? That would be the best suggestion I have.”

Customer: *hangs up in a huff*

(Ten minutes later the phone rings again.)

Me: “This is [Bakery]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “I called about the Call Of Duty cake.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “I wanted to apologize for being rude. You were very helpful and I was just upset and in a hurry. I did take your advice and I think it’s going to look much better than the kit!”

(The call back made my day. She didn’t have to apologize, but hey! She’s a good lady!)

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Juggling Two Jobs At Once

| London, England, UK | Awesome Workers, Popular

(After working in my local bakery, I’ve become quite adept at doing multiple things at once. I’ve recently moved to a new location and, whilst serving a customer, my coworker knocks a loaf from the shelf. Since we need to dispose of any dropped produce, it’s important to catch it. Without really thinking, I reach out, catch the loaf and place it back on the shelf with my left hand and turn back to my customer with their change. At this point I notice almost everyone in the crowded store is silent and staring at me.)

Me: “Erm… what…?”

Coworker: “That catch… That was amazing.”

Me: “Huh?”

Coworker: “You didn’t even look and you caught the loaf whilst you were counting change…”

Customer: “Yeah. It was really impressive. Do you juggle of something?”

Me: “Nope, I can’t juggle to save my life. Anyway, who’s next?”

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