Category: Bad Behavior

An Alarming Lack Of Patience

| MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(A man walks up behind the person at the counter, even though the line is away from it.)

Cashier: “Sir, the line is over there.”

Guy: “What? Where?”

Cashier: “Right there, sir.”

(Guy leaves. I go up to the counter. He returns.)

Guy: “I’m going to pull the fire alarm if you don’t serve me.”

An Accent Waiting To Happen

| Kingston, NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Crazy Requests

Me: “Hello and thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name] and I’ll be your—”

Caller: “I need your name and your state.”

Me: “My name is [My Name]. And I’m sorry, but what was the other thing?”

Caller: “I need you to spell your name and tell me what state you’re in.”

Me: “[I spell my name] and I’m currently in New York State.”

Caller: “You have an accent. Transfer me. I live in Houston, Texas.”

(I have never been told I have an accent before, in fact I’ve been noted to have remarkable little accent given that I grew up in New Jersey. The woman on the phone speaks like me and has no distinguishable accent.)

Me: “Um, where do you want me to transfer you to?”

Caller: “You have an accent. Transfer me. I live in Houston, Texas.”

Me: “Okay, but where do you want me to transfer you? What department?”

Caller: “You have an accent. I can’t understand you. Transfer me. I live in Houston, Texas.”

Me: “Okay, but I can’t—”

Caller: “You have an accent. I can’t understand you. Transfer me. I live in Houston, Texas.”

Me: “I can’t promise—”

Caller: “I can’t understand you. Transfer me.”

Me: “I can’t promise you’ll get—”

Caller: “Transfer me.”

Me: “—a representative from Texas—”

Caller: “Transfer me.”

Me: “I’m putting you—”

Caller: “Transfer me—”

Me: “—back in the queue—”

Caller: “Transfer me.”

(I put the call right back in the queue and wrote a warning in my team’s chat to anyone who gets her next. About 10 seconds later in the chat my coworker on the other side of a divider from me wrote, “I have a woman who says I have an accent and wants to be transferred, but won’t say where to. What do I do?” That’s when I noticed another coworker, also in New York State, but in a different city, had gotten this woman before me and put her back in the queue. The woman eventually hung up on my other coworker.)

R2-Dum Too

| LA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Geeks Rule

(It’s a really slow night so I pull a crochet project out of my bag and sit off to the side of the counter in the break area so that I can work on it. A customer walks in and points at it.)

Customer: “What you making?”

Me: “A hat for my boyfriend.”

Customer: “That’s a funny color pattern.”

Me: “Oh, that’s because it’s not finished. When it’s done it’ll look like this.”

(I show him the pattern’s photos, which is for an R2-D2 hat, and he wrinkles his nose.)

Customer: “Is he a kid?”

Me: “No, he’s not.”

Customer: “Is he actually going to wear that thing?”

Me: “Yes, because he specifically asked me to make it for him.”

Customer: *makes a disgusted face* “Ugh! So he’s a geek!”

Me: “Yes, he is. And your point is?”

Customer: *condescendingly* “He’s a nerd.”

Me: “Yes, and so am I. Again: what’s your point?”

Customer: *throws up his hands* “He’s a nerd! A geek!”

(The customer kept saying that over and over again as he picked up the items he had come to purchase. I’ll never understand people that think being geeky/nerdy is a bad thing. At least my boyfriend likes nerdy handmade things he gets.)

Getting Tired Of Your Hangups

| Germany | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid, Technology

(The international call code for Germany is 0049. My own personal area code starts with 049. A lot of businesses that have international customers will call me.)

Me: “[My Name].”

Caller: “Yes, I’m calling about a problem with my order of [Product]. Can I—”

Me: “—Sorry to interrupt, but you have the wrong number. This is a private household.”

Caller: *hangs up*

(A few minutes later, the phone rings again. I see the same number flash in the display.)

Me: “[My Name].”

Caller: “Yeah, I’m calling about my order—”

Me: “You have the wrong number. This isn’t [Retail Place].”

Caller: *hangs up before I can tell him how to reach the right place*

(Moments later, my phone rings again. Same number.)

Me: *sighing* “[My Name].”

Caller: *hangs up*

(This continues three more times. Then the phone rings again.)

Me: “DON’T HANG UP THE D*** PHONE AGAIN!”

Caller: “Uh… what?”

Me: “You’re trying to reach [Retail Place], but you keep getting me, right? Didn’t it occur to you that this is obviously the wrong number? And if it’s obviously not working, why do you keep calling and then hanging up before giving me a chance to say anything?”

Caller: “Well, uh. This is the number on the website and—”

Me: “No, it’s not.”

Caller: “Yes, it is.”

Me: “Read it out to me.”

Caller: “+49 [rest of number].”

Me: “Look, the 49 is the code for Germany. For people calling from other countries. You need to leave it out when you dial or your phone will convert it to a regular phone number and you end up back here. Again.”

Caller: “But this is the number on the website.”

Me: “Look, we could play this game all afternoon, but I have better things to do and I’m sure you want your order sorted out at some point today. So how about this: you dial WITHOUT the 49 and if you still end up calling me again, I will personally drive the 500 km to [Retail Store] and make sure they fix your order.”

Caller: *does not sound convinced* “Well. I suppose…” *hangs up*

(Lo and behold, it must have worked because my afternoon was a lot calmer after that. It’s a family joke by now that we should bill [Retail Store] for dealing with their customers all the time.)

Teenage Drama

| OH, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(Due to a problem with teens destroying merchandise when unsupervised, my store has implemented a curfew which states that after nine pm, no person under 18 may be in the store unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. It’s frequent for children to lie about their age or say their parents are in another part of the store.)

Me: *spotting two obviously underage kids* “Hey, guys, are you both 18?”

Boy: *laughs* “No?”

Me: “Are your parents in the store?”

Girl: “…No?”

Me: “I’m sorry, guys, but we have a curfew and after nine you need to have your parents in the store with you.”

(They leave. About 15 minutes later a coworker spots them:)

Coworker: “Hey, are you 18?”

Boy: “Yeah.”

(I radio my coworker to tell her these are the same kids we just spoke to. She kicks them out again. 10 or so minutes later I’ve moved to the upstairs of the store and I spot the boy again.)

Me: “Hey, come on now; are your parents with you this time?”

Boy: “Yeah, she’s just downstairs.”

Me: “I’m sure. Look I need you to stay WITH your parents; you’ve been kicked out twice already.”

Boy: “What? I need to sit on my mom’s lap?”

Me: “You have to be accompanied by a parent after nine.”

Boy: “She’s right downstairs.”

Mother: *coming up the stairs* “Is there a problem?”

(I try to explain to her about our curfew but the whole time she is shouting over me.)

Mother: “HOW DARE YOU! I don’t understand why anyone would talk to a CHILD like this.”

Me: “I’m sorry if I addressed your son inappropriately, but you see we have a curfew—”

Mother: “YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m calm, but I’m trying to explain to you that we need your children to remain in your supervision at—”

Mother: “GET YOUR MANAGER. NOW!”

(I radio my manager who is covertly standing around the corner the whole time. The customer insists that I was screaming at her kids and that I rolled my eyes at her when she asked for a manager. After she leaves, another customer walks up.)

Other Customer: *to my manager* “I just want to say that she was fine, and that lady was a crazy person.”

Me: “THANK YOU.”