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Category: Bad Behavior

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Keep Digging A Bigger Hole For Themselves

| Israel | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Popular

(I am working as an archaeology student at an excavation on the Israeli coast. Our site is located on a kibbutz — something like a small village/self-sustaining community where tourists often stay to get a more ‘genuine’ Israeli vacation experience — just a few yards up on a hill near a popular beach, so we get a lot of tourists coming up to see what’s going on, and are typically happy to explain the process to them. Because the site is located on a steep cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, however, it is quite easy to fall and get badly wounded on the rocks below. In addition to the fact that the site itself is very sensitive and should not be disrupted, most of the area is ‘roped-off’ from the public during the summer. This happens during lunchtime while most of the archaeologists and volunteers, my supervisor included, have gone down to the kibbutz for a bite to eat. Only about three of us have stayed behind to work on a cluster of pottery and animal bones that we have been meticulously unearthing for the better part of a week. A British tourist and her three young children approach the site.)

Colleague: “Hi there! How are you folks doing today?”

Tourist: “Fine. What are you doing up here, anyway?”

Colleague: “We’re excavating an archaeological site. Right now we’re working on a layer of Persian artifacts. If you’d like, I’d be happy to give you a-”

(At that moment, two of her children duck under the ropes and come ambling down excitedly into the pit.)

Me: “Oh, no! I’m sorry, but I have to ask that you stay up behind the ropes. It’s very dangerous down here.”

Kid #1: “I just wanna see what you’re digging!”

Me: “I’m sorry, it’s just very dangerous. Please go back up to your mom, and we’ll be happy to explain everything about the site.”

Kid #1: “But we’re just looking!”

Tourist: “Let them look! It’s educational!”

Colleague: “Ma’am, please, it’s dangerous…”

Tourist: “They just want to learn!”

(At that moment, Kid #1 suddenly reaches down, grabs the handle of a piece of pottery we’re working on, and yanks it out of the soil. The handle breaks, of course, and he holds it up to show his mom. My colleagues and I are too shocked for a moment to speak. The mom is grinning.)

Kid #2: “Mum! Look what I found!”

Tourist: “Oh, hold it up so I can take a photo!”

Me: “Excuse me! Please, give that back! We’ve been working on that piece for a WEEK and you just broke it!”

Kid #1: “Does this mean I get to keep it?”

Colleague: “Absolutely not!”

Tourist: *angrily* “Oh? Why not? He found it; he should get to keep it! You don’t even sound Israeli. What makes you think that any of this is YOURS?”

Me: “The site belongs to the State of Israel. It is a protected site, and your child just destroyed an artifact after entering a dangerous, roped-off excavation site. He DOES NOT get to keep it.”

Colleague: *bluffing, but absolutely incensed at this point* “You’re lucky we don’t have you arrested for looting!”

(My colleague takes the broken pottery away from the kid, but as our attention is diverted, Kid #2 pulls a dog skull out of the soil a few yards away and holds that up, too.)

Kid #1: “Mum! I think I found a human skull!”

Tourist: “Oh, my! You two are naturals at this!” *to us* “Aren’t they naturals at this?”

(My colleague and I grab the dog skull and the piece of pottery, put them aside, and grab the kids to haul them back up out of the pit.)

Tourist: “Hey! Don’t you DARE touch my children!”

Colleague: “They’re trespassing, defacing an archaeological site, looting, and putting themselves in danger. If you don’t want to wrangle them, WE will.”

(As we haul the kids back up and move them under the ropes, another colleague, an Israeli ex-marine who works for the university, happens to come up the hill. She sees us arguing with the tourist and asks what happened. As soon as she realizes that the site has been damaged, she goes into a frenzy.)

Israeli Colleague: “They did WHAT?!” *to us* “And you LET them?!”

Me: “I’m sorry. We did try, but she refused to call them back.”

Israeli Colleague: *to the tourist* “Ma’am, do you realize how dangerous and irresponsible it is to let your children down there? Especially after you were TOLD to call them back? They could have fallen and been hurt, or worse. And they have damaged our site!”

Tourist: “They were just learning! And they found a pot handle and a skull! I think they’re better archaeologists than YOU lot!”

(At this point, the Israeli colleague, barely controlling her outrage, demanded that the woman and her children leave the site and not return. She warned them that if she saw them again, she would have them detained for looting an archaeological site. We explained the situation to our supervisor when she returned from lunch and got thoroughly chewed out for not responding more aggressively – which, arguably, we could have. As some small comfort, to those who do not know, many pieces of pottery found at excavations are already broken into many pieces and it’s possible that the pot handle would’ve broken anyway – which is likely the only reason that our supervisor didn’t skin us alive for letting it happen in the first place.)

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Retail Is A Messy Business

| Allentown, PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(Two adult women come into the store. Their elderly mother waits outside until she finishes her cigarette, and then joins them. I am migraine-prone, which cigarette smoke can trigger, so when she passes me I start feeling nauseated because the smell is so strong. My coworker lets me go off the floor to the bathroom until the dizzy spell passes. When I return, the customers are gone and my coworker is untangling garlands.)

Me: “What happened?”

Coworker: “The woman whose smoke made you feel sick? She was picking these up and throwing them around in the corner over there. And when her daughter tried to clean up the mess, she pointed at me and said, ‘Leave it! She doesn’t have anything better to do!’”

Related:
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 14
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 13
Not-So-Smart Phone, Part 12

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Wants Their Complaint On A Plate

, | WA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(There is a power outage in the middle of the day. For some unknown reason, we are always one of the few with power, which means the whole city comes over to hang out since we have books and coffee. Of course, this means we have lines and lines of people anxious for the warmth of coffee and food.)

Coworker: “Next in line, please!”

Customer: “I would like a caramel macchiato and a spinach and artichoke quiche.”

Coworker: “All right, that adds to $10.12, please! And your food and drink will be right at the end.”

(We switch off who is doing what since it is so busy and I am making the drinks. After a little while we have her food and drink ready to go.)

Me: “Okay, I have spinach and artichoke quiche and a caramel macchiato!”

(Customer looks at her order clearly not satisfied.)

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Customer: “I wanted to eat this here.”

Coworker: “We’ve been really busy because we’re one of the few businesses not without power, so we ran out of plates. You can still eat it here if you would like.”

Customer: *clearly still not satisfied* “If I want this on a plate, I should be able to get this on a plate. Who is the manager tonight?”

Coworker: *says our manager’s name* “Would you like to speak to her?”

(Somehow my coworker still has a smile on her face even with how much we’ve had to do all night. I don’t know how she does it. The customer grunts, takes the bag and drink and walks away. Later that night, as my manager and coworker are getting ready to close, nearly having to kick people out in the process…)

Customer: “Are you [Manager]?”

Manager: “Yes, I am. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I have a complaint to make. You need to fix the behaviors of your employees. If a customer asks for a plate, they deserve to get a plate.”

Manager: “Well, would you rather eat on a dirty plate or in a nice, clean bag?”

Customer: *looks appalled* “Why would you give me such an attitude?”

Manager: “Sorry, but it’s now 10. We are closing up and you have to leave.”

Customer: “Whatever!” *slowly walks away*

Manager: *with a smile* “Have a good night!”

(Apparently this customer does this a lot. She always has a complaint to make about our business, yet she always comes back. We also had a customer stand up to this rude lady customer and tell our manager that we gave excellent service, especially for it being so busy in the middle of a power outage. Mind you, we had actually forgotten her food because of all the chaos, so that part restored my faith in humanity!)

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Should Have Read More Into It

| CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular

(I work at a large, well-known craft store in the framing department. My official title is custom framer, but we occasionally get lost or needy customers at our counter, especially when it’s busy. While I am assisting a few customers at once (pulling frames, fetching ready-made’s from the sales floor, etc), a very aggressive middle-aged woman approaches me.)

Me: *carrying two large frames* “Is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: “Are all of your frames on sale?”

Me: “No, not all of them. The sale sign in front of the frames will say which ones are on sale. Like, for example, this sign—” *points to one of our very bright red sales signs with big bold lettering* “—says that the Memorial collection frames are on sale. The label on the frame—” *points to frame* “—says what collection it belongs to.”

Customer: *snippy tone* “Oh. I see.”

(Believing I had sufficiently helped her, I return to assisting customers back at the frame counter.)

Same Customer: *calling from the aisle* “Excellent customer service by the way!”

Me: *confused* “No problem!”

(Later on, I hear that the same lady went to our store manager and angrily complained that I had made her feel stupid by telling her to read.)

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Within A Hairs-breadth Of A Scam

| Raleigh, NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers, Popular

(I’m working late on a Friday night. Two men and a woman are seated at one of the tables in my section. They proceed to order mixed drinks with “upsell” (more expensive) liquors, appetizers, and racks of ribs. All in all, a rather pricey check for our chain restaurant. After I’d brought out the racks of ribs:)

Customer #1: “She’d like to add a side of broccoli with her ribs, with melted cheese on it.”

Me: “Of course. The extra side dish is about $2.69.”

Customer #1: “That’s fine.”

(The kitchen whip up the side dish very quickly: a mound of broccoli with fresh, gleaming, melted cheddar over the top. I take the plate out to the table, drop it off, fill up some drinks at the next table over, and return to my section in about three minutes to check that everything is going well. The plate with the broccoli is at the edge of the table, with a long black hair embedded into the cheese. The hair is easily eight inches long, and there is no way on the planet I would’ve missed it or brought it out of the kitchen if it had happened there. Frankly, it looked so revolting that I didn’t want to be the one that had to pick it up and take it back!)

Customer #1: “We want to return this because it’s got a hair in it.”

(Both of the men are clearly trying not to laugh, and the woman just looks at me like they think they are all very clever.)

Me: “Well, I’m very sorry to see that, sir. Do you want another side dish of broccoli to replace this, or just have it removed from your check?”

Customer #1: “No… no, we don’t. Look… can we talk to your manager?”

Me: “Certainly, sir.”

(I give them a bright smile and go to find my manager in the kitchen to show him the side dish before he goes to talk to them. Our manager laughs.)

Manager: “Where did THAT come from?”

(I explain. The manager looks around the kitchen and laughs again. He has short, salt-n-pepper hair. Our head cook is bald, and our other cook has short, curly red hair. My hair, also trimmed around ear-length, is red, and the only other waiter on at that point of the night wears his hair cut in short, bleached-blond spikes.)

Manager: “Some people… Look, don’t worry; I’ll go talk to them.”

(He returns in a couple minutes and explains he is taking the side dish ($2.69) off the check, but nothing else, and that he’d made that clear to the customers. The customers decide they don’t want dessert, and pay the bill (about $78) with cash and leave me a $2 tip, making sure to make a point of reminding me that the hair in their broccoli had been gross and that they don’t plan to return. Once the trio has left, one of the pair of elderly women sitting in one of the booths in my section calls me over.)

Lady: “I saw the whole thing! That man reached over and plucked one of the hairs off her head and stuck it in the food! They were laughing about it the whole time! I hope you didn’t get in trouble.”

Me: “No, ma’am, I didn’t. You see, nobody in our kitchen tonight has hair anything like they ‘found’ in the food, so they didn’t get away with anything more than having that single extra side dish taken off their check.”

Lady: “Well, good! I don’t know what’s with these young people today, trying to pull a fast one on hard-working people!”

(It was charming how indignant she was! I gave them their dessert teas for free for her honesty, and she ended up tipping me $15 on her $27 meal.)

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