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Category: Bad Behavior

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An Act Of Togetherness

| SC, USC | Bad Behavior, Bizarre

(I work at an arts festival over the summer.)

Me: “[Festival], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m looking at your website and I’m trying to get tickets.”

Me: “Okay, I can help with that! What event are you looking at?”

(He names an event that I’m certain is part of a sister/fringe festival that runs concurrently, because it’s definitely not one of ours.)

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. That’s probably a [Fringe] event, not—”

Customer: *immediately and violently explodes* “NO! NO! NO! NO! God-d*** it! You f****** idiot! I’ve already TALKED to them and they said it’s NOT one of theirs and I’m sick and tired of being TREATED this way!” *he continues berating me as I hold the receiver in shock*

Me: *finally regaining composure* “I’m so sorry, sir. Is there anything I can do? I’ve got their booklet here and can try to look it up, so—”

Customer: “I’m SICK of you! You need to get your f****** ACT together!” *click*

(Another employee, having overhead part of the exchange, looks over at me as I woodenly hang up the phone.)

Employee: “Yikes, what was that about?”

Me: “Well, I’m not sure, but I guess I need to get my f****** act together.”

(As it turned out, the event was neither ours nor the fringe festival’s, but a completely unrelated event. I’m sure he felt like he was getting the run-around, but he could have easily checked the local paper to verify. As for getting my act together, at the end of the festival, I was presented with a superlative: “Most likely to have his act together.”)

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Racism = Stupidity

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Popular

(My husband and I are in line to order behind this older redneck-type man with a sour attitude. For the most part, I’m paying no attention, because I’m sharing a work-related conversation with hubby, though it’s easy to see that the conversation is tense. Suddenly, the older guy explodes on the young, Hispanic cashier.)

Customer: “D*** it! I just want to order a d*** burger. Is that so f***ing hard to do?”

Cashier: “Sir, I just want to know if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “I don’t speak wetback, boy! You need to learn American.”

Cashier: *visibly upset now* “I asked if you want curly fries or regular fries.”

Customer: “Can’t understand a f***ing thing. Need to fire all of your a**es and hire some d*** Americans.”

Me: “Wait, what seems to be the problem here?”

Customer: “I can’t understand the d*** wetback behind the counter. He’s got a f***ing thick accent.”

(This is a complete lie; the kid has no accent at all. We’ve understood every word that he has said clearly.)

Me: “Well, maybe I can help. I know a little Spanish.” *I turn to the cashier, and in perfect English, ask:* “What was the order number and what comes with it?”

Cashier: “He ordered a number eight. It comes with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. I wanted to know if he wanted curly fries or regular with it.”

Me: *turns to the older customer and as loud and slow as I can* “HE WANTS TO KNOW IF YOU WANT CURLY FRIES OR REGULAR FRIES!”

Customer: “What the f***?! Why are you f***ing yelling at me?!”

Me: “Oh, I thought you were deaf. So, is it a stupidity problem, then? Or just racism?”

(He got red in the face and stormed out, still muttering about how Mexicans were taking over Texas. The cashier and his fellow workers were laughing the whole way. I got a free small shake out of it, but I’d have done it with or without the shake.)

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One Customer To Wine About

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Popular

(I am filling in for my discount grocery store’s liquor manager on his day off. It’s the closing shift, and there is more work to be done than people to do it. There are about two hours left until we close and things are getting more hectic by the minute.)

Front-End Manager: *on intercom* “[My Name], you have a wine call on line one.”

(I pick up using the nearest phone.)

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name]. How may I help you tonight?”

Customer: “Hey, I’m [Customer]. I don’t know if you know but I shop there a lot. I was wondering if you had [Popular Brand of wine]? I want to buy some.”

Me: “I think we have some of that brand. Do you mind if I put you on hold while I make sure we do?”

(The lady on the other end says it is fine. I put her on hold and trot to the wine section, where I find that we have two varieties of the red wine the customer wants, although both display stacks are down to less than three cases apiece.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we have [Wine Brand] in cabernet and merlot. Should I put some aside for you? We’re open for another hour or so if you want to buy it tonight.”

Customer: “No, don’t bother. I’ll come in tonight and get some for myself.”

(The customer briefly thanks me and hangs up. I resume my duties, which now include the tasks of another coworker who went home sick on top of stocking the beer and wine department and the bread racks. About 30 minutes later…)

Front-End Manager: *on intercom* “[My Name], service to the wine department, please.”

(I abandon the cardboard I’ve been breaking down and go to the wine department. There is a middle-aged woman standing there that I recognize from the previous evening; she’d knocked a container of pancake syrup onto the floor, where it had made quite a mess.)

Customer: “Hello, I’m [Customer]. We spoke earlier on the phone? I was hoping to get some help with my wine.”

Me: “Yep, the wine you’re looking for is right here and here.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(I motion to the two stacks of wine, on opposite ends of the block. I deduce that since she hasn’t taken any, and that she probably wants at least a case, even though she’s already declined to have me put one aside for her.)

Me: “Were you looking to buy a case?”

Customer: “How many bottles are in a case? 12?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “I think I want a bottle of the merlot—”  *there are two bottles left in the display* “—and eleven bottles of the cabernet.” *there are a full twelve bottles in that display* “Oh wait, I want ten of the cab and two of the merlot.”

(I count out the total of twelve bottles of the two varieties and place them in her grocery cart. Now, at this point it must be noted that to form our wine displays we cut the cardboard boxes about 3/4 to the bottom and give the sealed tops and dividers to liquor customers for free, leaving the bottom of the box as a flat display.)

Me: “There’s your wine ma’am. Anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “Yes, can I get a wine box?”

Me: “Yep.”

(I scurry off to look for one, but I quickly find that we are out. Customers routinely tend to pirate the boxes for non-liquor use. As quickly as possible I go to a reserve pallet in the back and cut a standard box from an unopened case. I return with the box, feeling tired and out of breath, as it has been a long day at the end of long work week.)

Customer: *in a condescending tone* “Oh, I wanted a box with flaps on the top. You know, so you can seal it up again for me. I need to store this wine in my garage with the box on its side.”adxffdfff

(At this point, she would have been far better served if she’d asked me to reserve a case. There were no empty wine boxes with flaps on them – there never were any like that to begin with.)

Me: “Okay, umm… Ma’am, we don’t have any like that right now.”

Customer: *in a condescending tone* “Sure you do.”

(She points at one of the two remaining unopened cases in the stack. The customer doesn’t even hesitate before pushing past me and clearing the two remaining bottles off the top – placing them haphazardly on the floor, tossing the flat, ripping open the next box and swiftly emptying the box. When she is done, she takes the now-empty box, leaving me to keep other interloping customers from tripping on the 14 wine bottles littering the floor.)

Customer: *still in a condescending tone* “Don’t worry; you’ll get it one day.”

(She pats me patronizingly on the shoulder and walks off, pushing her cart. At that point I observe she’s helped herself to a third bottle of the merlot, leaving the next box in that stack ripped open and thus rendering it unusable for future customers. This interaction has lasted nearly 30 minutes and I am down 3 wine boxes. I abandon restocking the wine and use the little time I have left dealing with aisles. The customer has stayed in the store. At one point, she is on the next aisle chatting up one of my equally-busy coworkers.)

Customer: “You know [My Name] in the wine department? He doesn’t seem very happy. Maybe your manager should talk to him.”

(My coworker shrugged that off and the customer eventually checked out. I later found out that the same customer makes trouble for the cashiers and routinely scams our 100% money-back guarantee.)