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Category: Bizarre

For whatever reason, some Customers are just plain odd. And the service industry unleashes them on to unsuspecting clerks with often hilarious results. If you like your customers just plain bizarre, then read on!

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Retail Makes You Unbreakable

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Money

(The video game store in the mall I work at isn’t very big and we usually only have two people working at any given time. Since it is slow I decide to take my lunch break and am sitting in the back room eating when a customer slaps open the door to the backroom that is clearly marked “Employees Only”.)

Customer: “Hey! Can I get some help out here?”

(I’m immediately annoyed that he came in our back room and that he’s asking for help while I’m off the clock, but I figure that if he was desperate enough to do that, the sales floor must have gotten extremely busy while I was eating, and decide that I don’t want to leave my coworker stranded with all those customers. So I offer to help and come out to the sales floor. When I get out there I see that there is actually only one other customer in the store, whom my coworker is busy helping. But still, I manage to keep a smile on as I follow Customer to our video game accessories section.)

Customer: “Yeah, I wanted to know how much this controller is.”

(I point to the clearly marked price on the front of the package.)

Me: “It’s $49.99.”

(The customer points a thumb in the general direction of my coworker.)

Customer: “Yeah, that’s what he said when I asked him.”

Me: “You asked him too?”

Customer: “Yeah, but I didn’t believe him.”

(Losing my patience now.)

Me: “Well, the price on the price tag is the actual price.”

Customer: *disbelievingly* “Okay….”

(I turned around and went right back to the back room and my lunch. The real kicker? The controller he was asking about was a name brand controller which has the prices set by the video game company that makes them, so they are the same price at pretty much every store that sells them!)

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Partly To Blame

| CA, USA | Bizarre

(Our front door is a Dutch door so on nice days we have the top half open and the bottom half closed. A family closes the top and comes in.)

Customer: “Are you open?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “But your sign says closed.”

Me: “That’s because the top half of the door is supposed to be open.”

(She stares at the door for a minute.)

Customer: “Oh. Guys, they want to only partly open.”

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A (Mason) Jarring Request

| Warwick, RI, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I accidentally pick up a call from a customer who had asked to speak to “the manager.” Although I’m not the store manager, I am A manager, so I decide to try to power through what is clearly going to be a ridiculous call.)

Me: “So sorry for the wait. This is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I asked to speak to the manager because the regular people who work in the stores don’t actually know anything.”

Me: “Okay… how can I help you?”

Customer: “First of all, I would like to make a complaint about your hold music. You shouldn’t have it. It gets in your head. So I think it’s incredibly rude, and you should get rid of it immediately.”

Me: “All right, sir, I do apologize about that. I will certainly let my superiors know about your concerns.”

Customer: “Good. Next, I’m looking for two things. One, I need small mason jars, preferably in a two-pack. Second, I need a replacement antenna for my TV. I wanted a manager, because I don’t think the regular workers know the full stock of the store and will just tell me you don’t have them without looking.”

(We are not an electronics store, per se, but we do have a large website with an enormous assortment from which we place orders for customers all the time. As he’s talking, I am quickly doing an online search for a replacement antenna. Turns out, we do carry a wireless antenna that none of our stores stock, but which we can order for the customer and have sent directly to him.)

Me: “All right, sir, it looks like we do carry a wireless antenna through our website that our stores don’t have in stock, but which I could order for you and have sent straight to your house.”

Customer: “I don’t like ordering things without seeing them first! This is the fifth antenna I’ve had to buy now, and they all break! I just want to watch local channels, the local news, international news, and basic things. I don’t know what is so hard about this! This is the fifth one!”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, sir. Like I said, we carry one. We just have to order it. I’d probably recommend some kind of electronics store—”

Customer: “I already tried them!”

Me: “Ohhhhkayyyyy, well, I’m sorry I can’t help you with the antenna, then. As far as the mason jars go, I definitely have some small jars in stock, although they come as a set of four, not two.”

Customer: “But I only need two. I want it to come as a set of two.”

Me: “I’m so sorry about that, sir, but all of our mason jars come as a set of four or more. I do apologize that I couldn’t help you with either of those things today.”

(The customer continues to rant at me for a few more minutes, saying the exact same unhelpful things, before finally letting me go. I immediately went and found my store manager, and relayed the customer’s “concerns,’ including that we should do away with our hold music.)

Me: “You owe me.”

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Maybe You Didn’t Say What You Thought You Said

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bizarre, Language & Words

(We have a lot of multicultural customers come into our store and as I love languages I like to ask about their accents and learn a phrase or two if I can. A young woman and her elderly mother have been talking in another language before coming to my register.)

Me: “Hi there, did you find everything okay? And do you mind me asking what language that was?”

Daughter: “It’s a dialect of Italian.”

Me: “How would I say ‘have a nice day’?”

Mother: “Fi una bella giornata.”

(As I hand them their purchases.)

Me: “Well, then, fi una bella giornata!”

Daughter: “Very good!”

(The mother then says something in Italian before slapping me in the rear.)

Mother: “Maybe I find you boyfriend!”

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A False Cart

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Popular

(I work in a superstore in a mall with three floors. The first and second floor have the only entrances/exits and the only registers, so that’s where we keep the cart returns, but the escalators have a mechanism to bring carts up and down between floors. The third floor is all merchandise. I’ve brought a cart upstairs for my own use, to hold cleaning supplies, defective merchandise, etc. I already have some equipment and my own jacket in it. A customer approaches me with a full handbasket.)

Customer: “Excuse me, where can I get a shopping cart?”

Me: “That would be downstairs, on the first or second floor.”

Customer: “There’s none up here?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry. Since the only entrances and exits are on floors one or two, that’s where we keep the carts.”

(He seems less than satisfied, but by this point I’ve gotten to the employees-only supply room, and bring my cart inside to fill it. A coworker comes in a moment later with his own cart.)

Coworker: “There’s a customer out there asking for a cart. Like, he wanted me to give him mine.”

(I laugh, but brace myself. Sure enough, when I exit the customer is loitering by our employees-only door. At this point he would have spent less time going downstairs and getting his own cart.)

Customer: “Hey, I want to speak to your manager.”

Me: *brightly* “Sure! He’ll be down on the second floor, at the service desk. Just right of the cart return.”

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