Category: Bad Behavior

Listening To The Voices Of Reason

| CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Technology

(I am transgender, male to female. I have an amazing voice range due to being a singer in a high school band. I am working at a call center in tech support for an ISP that caters to CT, NY, and NJ. A large number of our clients are immigrants from a country that traditionally looks down on women. I get this call shortly before the end of my shift.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [ISP]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I’m having trouble with my Internet. Can you transfer me to a man who would be able to help me?”

Me: “I’m a fully trained technical support representative; I’m sure I’ll be able to help you. What kind of issues are you having?”

Customer: “No, I don’t think you can. Could you transfer me to a man, please? I’m having trouble with my Internet.”

Me: “Sir, as I just said, I am a fully trained tech support employee. I’ve been working in the IT sector for a number of years. If you could describe your problem, I’m sure I could help you.”

Customer: “No, you women don’t understand technology. You just don’t have the brains for it. Now, get me a MAN who can help me!”

Me: “One moment, please.”

(I place the customer on hold for 30 seconds. When I come back, I voice drop so I sound male.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [ISP]. My name is [Fake Name]; how can I help you?”

(The customer describes his problem — router is offline. I walk him through the troubleshooting steps. A basic reset fixes his issue.)

Me: *still voice dropping* “All right, looks like that takes care of your issue. Anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “Nope, thank you very much!”

Me: *switching back to my female voice* “I just want you to know, you’ve been helped by a woman this entire time. Have a nice day!”

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Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout, Part 3

| TN, USA | Bad Behavior

(We have self-checkouts that customers can use to do their transactions themselves. Some of those have “cards only” notices on them.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I am trying to pay for these things and it doesn’t have the option to pay for cash. Why wont it let me pay for it?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but that one is for cards only, but the next one can do both.”

Customer: “WELL, THERE SHOULD BE A SIGN THERE OR SOMETHING TO SAY THAT!”

Me: “There is a sign.” *points to it — it is the size of a sheet of paper written in black permanent marker in large, bold writing, on the till, basically in her face, and there is one over the cash entrance so customers don’t force cash or change in the machine*

Customer: “WELL, IT SHOULD BE BIGGER! GOD! NOW I GOTTA RING MY STUFF OVER AGAIN! YOU NEED TO FIX THAT MACHINE AND MAKE IT WORK! YOU NEED TO PUT SIGNS ON IT, TOO! AND IT NEEDS TO BE BIGGER! BIGGER!”

Me: “I really am sorry about this, ma’am, I know how frustrating it can be, but I have put signs up to prevent this type of thing and I really am sorry. As for the machine, I can’t fix it. We have a company that handles it for us. I am just a cashier so there isn’t a whole lot of power that I hold. It is scheduled to be fixed within the week, though, so that should help to prevent this from happening again.”

Customer: “WELL, I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT THERE SHOULD BE SIGNS, SO PEOPLE LIKE ME WHO ARE IMPORTANT DON’T WASTE THEIR TIME DOING YOUR JOB!” *huffs off*

Coworker: *who was walking up* “God, that woman gets on my nerves! She does that all the time and I know she just does that s*** on purpose!”

Related:

Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout, Part 2

Needs More Self-Help Than Self-Checkout

It’s A Tall Order And They Won’t Let It Slide

| TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I work at a local pool. Our policy is that children under 48″ in height are not allowed to ride the waterslides, period. If they are just barely tall enough, we will measure them and provide a wristband so the lifeguards know they’re okay to slide. On this particular day, I’m working the front desk. A mother comes in with her obviously-too-short daughter and asks to have her measured for a wristband.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but your daughter isn’t tall enough.”

Customer: “Seriously? She’s only, like, an inch too short!”

Me: “Actually, she’s about three inches too short, ma’am. Unfortunately, I cannot give her a wristband unless she’s tall enough. If she were to get injured, our insurance would be void and we could be sued.”

Customer: “But I’m her mother. I give you permission.”

Me: “Unfortunately, that doesn’t help. The slides are very fast and if the patron isn’t a strong swimmer, they can be swept under the current. It is very likely that your daughter could get hurt on the slides.”

(The mother huffs and puffs and storms away, telling her daughter not to worry because she’s friends with the owner. Later, I’m on the slide tower and allow a younger boy with a wristband to slide down. Moments later, I hear a commotion below. The same customer from earlier has confronted the little boy about having a wristband, and is forcing him to stand back-to-back with her daughter to compare their heights.)

Customer: *screaming up at me* “See? They’re the same height! Why does he have a wristband and she doesn’t?”

(Sighing, I walk downstairs, bringing our portable measurement stick with me. I hold it up to each of the kids, and find that the boy is well over the height requirement.)

Me: “Ma’am, as you can see, this child is tall enough to ride. Your daughter is not. You cannot yell at other people’s children in this park, and if I see it happen again, you will be banned. And for the record, I’m surprised you’re so adamant about your daughter riding a slide that could severely injure her.”

(The customer had the decency to look ashamed, at least. Some parents just can’t tell their children NO!)

Don’t Appreciate The Lack Of Appreciation

| Randers, Denmark | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading

(After spending nearly 20 minutes summarizing the plot of various crime novels from memory, because the customer doesn’t want to read the back covers, I finally convince her to choose a book to purchase.)

Customer: “If I don’t like it, I’m coming back here to yell at you!”

Me: *confused, but using my cheery work voice* “Well, if you do like it, I hope you come back and let me know!”

Customer: “Why would I do that?”

(Apparently being mean is worth the trip, but being appreciative isn’t.)

Maybe He Was Checking His Eyelids For Holes?

| Silver Spring, MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Technology

(I am a librarian with a city library. I usually work behind the information desk, but every so often, if no one asks me any questions, I walk around the library and see who needs help. One of the things I am supposed to do is remind people of the rules, such as no sleeping. I see a man sitting in an armchair with his eyes closed, and assume he is asleep.)

Me: “Sorry to disturb you, sir, but I’m afraid we don’t allow sleeping in the library.”

Customer: *with a really nasty grin* “Come here.”

Me: *taking two steps closer* “Yes?”

Customer: *pulls out black phone* “You see this?”

Me: “Sir, that’s really not the issue—”

Customer: “I was trying to adjust the screen. Not everyone’s eyes work as well as yours. So do yourself a favor and don’t go around assuming everyone with their eyes closed is sleeping!”

Me: *this flies in the face of every bit of training I’ve gotten, not to mention, I didn’t see him with his phone out when I saw him* “Sir, there is no need to take that tone with me. Also, your eyes were closed and your phone wasn’t there; exactly what am I supposed to assume?”

Customer: “Get out of here, boy, and mind your own business!”

(Since it is possible I may not have seen the phone, I decide it’s enough. His eyes are open.)

Me: “Okay, then. You have a nice day.” *I turn and walk away*

Customer: *mutters* “Mother-f***er!”

Me: “And the same to you, sir.”

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