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!

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.”)

In Soviet Russia… I Still Can’t Speak Chinese

| CT, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words

(I’m multiethnic and have a unique look. This usually prompts questions from strangers. This time I’m at a salon and the inquirer is a fellow patron, about 18 years old.)

Patron: “Where are you from?”

Me: “I was born in Ukraine. Dad is from Central African Republic. Mom is from Russia.”

Patron: “Africa? Russia? Where’s Russia? Is that in China?”

Me: *politely* “Erm, no. It’s in– ”

Patron: “So, can your mom, like, speak fluent Russian?”

Me: “Yep, so can I.”

Patron: “You can speak Russian? Tell me something!”

Me: *Says ’nice to meet you’ in Russian*

Patron: “Oooh! Hey, Ma, she just said something to me in Russian. Wait, so does that mean, like, you can understand Chinese?”

Me: *politely* “Erm, no.”

The Last Thing You Want In A Bank Is An Alarm

| UK | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

(I work in the customer service sector of a call centre for a well-known bank in the UK. I am working a later shift and it’s almost nine pm when an elderly gentleman calls.)

Customer: “Hi there, I’d like to order an alarm call.”

Me: “An alarm call… What exactly do you mean by that, sir?”

Customer: “You know, an alarm call! Like, you call me at a certain time?”

Me: “All right… is the call to discuss anything in particular to do with your bank account? Are you looking to make an appointment within a branch today?”

Customer: *getting frustrated* “NO, I just want you to call me at nine o’clock tomorrow morning to wake me up!”

Me: “Sir, that’s not a service we offer. Are you aware you’ve phoned the bank?”

Customer: “Yes! And it is a service you USED to offer. Why don’t you do it anymore?”

Me: “I can assure you that we have never ever offered an ‘alarm call’ service.”

Customer: “You’re bloody useless; I’ll try my other bank.”

Teal Me Something Different

| AL, USA | Bizarre

Customer: “Do you carry this brand of hearing protection in pink?”

Me: “No, but we stock these other ones in teal. Those are the only colored ones we carry in that particular style.”

Customer: “I’m a boy. What color is teal?!”

Only Drinking In Knowledge

| Wales, UK | Bizarre, Food & Drink

(It’s about 11 am and a very hot day. There are only a couple of customers having cold drinks in our cafe opposite my desk. A customer comes in and spends 10 minutes under the cold air fan above the door before making his way to my reception desk.)

Me: “Good morning.”

Customer: “One beer, please.”

Me: “Oh, sorry, we don’t serve alcohol, but the cafe has cold drinks.”

(He looks blankly at me, then at the cafe on the other side of the room.)

Customer: “I’ll just have whatever you got on tap, love.”

Me: “This is the reception desk for the building. We don’t serve alcohol. But there is a pub just three doors down.”

Customer: “Oh… what is this place, then? You’ve got people eating.”

Me: “We are a museum.”

Customer: “Really… Well, you should sell beer.”

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