Category: Crazy Requests

Some customers can be demanding, but within reason. These customers however make some requests that go beyond demanding, beyond reasonable, beyond possible! These requests, like the customers, are crazy!

Lost In Multiple Translations

| Mariehamn, Finland | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I’m standing in line at the service desk at the library. It is located in a Swedish-speaking region of Finland. A patron is in front of me.)

Patron: “Hi! I’m looking for a book. A very specific book.”

Librarian: *very friendly and accommodating* “Of course. Do you have the title or the name of the author so I can look it up for you?”

Patron: “Well, here’s where you can help me, because I can’t remember the title of the book. Or who wrote it. But I think it was about an Italian girl… or a woman. Maybe she was French, by the way. Or Finnish. Somewhere from that area anyway.”

Librarian: *still friendly* “All right…”

Patron: “There also may have been a crocodile involved in the book somehow. But I can’t remember which page that was on. Or if it even was in this book.”

Librarian: *just a tad less accommodating now* “Well, er, you see—”

Patron: *interrupting* “And I simply can’t remember what language it was written in, but it’s very important that you find me the book with a Swedish translation. The original edition was written in English. It might have been Japanese, though. And there was a crocodile in it. I think. In Finland. Or in Italy. It’s about divorces.”

Librarian: *not looking very happy at all* “Let’s just go have a look at our fiction section, then…”

Patron: “No! It was a biography! Or a short story. I think.” *they walk away*

Me: *to the other librarian* “And I thought I had had a bad day working in retail.”

Other Librarian: “This is the second time this week!”

(I later found out that the woman was looking for ‘The No. One Ladies Detective Agency’ by Alexander McCall Smith! Way to describe it.)

In Bad Company

| MN, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

(A lady comes into my booth at a craft show and is very interested in my products. She asks me for a particular scent and I point out to her where it is on the table.)

Customer: “No, this isn’t it. This is [scent].”

Me: “That’s part of my company name. The actual scent is [scent].”

Customer: “Wait, I thought you said you made all this. Why is there a company name?”

Me: “It’s my company, so the name belongs there…”

Customer: “No! Everyone knows you don’t have your own company. Only big corporations have companies! I don’t want to support that, so I won’t buy from you!”

(She walked out and I was left to ponder how it was that I was not allowed to own a company because I’m only one person.)

Needs To Get Some Private Understanding

| CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

Customer: “I see that [Specific Time] on [Specific Day] is reserved for a private party. How can I buy tickets for that time?”

Employee: “That time is reserved for a private party and tickets are not available to the public.”

Customer: “So how do I buy tickets to the private party?”

Employee: “Unfortunately, you have to be on the host’s guest list to have access to the event.”

Customer: “Okay, I would like to add my name to the list.”

Employee: “It is a private event, so we cannot add your name to the list.”

Customer: “Okay, so I can just show up, then?”

Katy Perry Fries

| USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(A clearly irate customer walks up to my counter holding a carton of fries.)

Customer: “These fries are too cold! Straight from the refrigerator, I’d gather!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. I’ll get you another one.”

(I take back her fries, but before throwing them away, I try a piece–it tastes warm. Figuring she wants really hot fries, I get her some that are fresh out of the fryer.)

Me: “Here you go!” *hands customer the fries*

Customer: *tries a piece* “No, I can’t eat this! It’s still cold! It’s disgusting!” *storms away, leaving the fries behind*

Me: *baffled*

Something Fishy About That Complaint

| FL, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Non-Dialogue, Pets & Animals

I work at a major chain pet store as customer service and a pet care specialist. I love animals and enjoy helping customers get set up with new pets, and I have several customers who come in and specifically ask for me. Unfortunately, a big part of the job is handling returns of pets who are deceased. My job is to replace the pet and advise them on anything that they could do to ensure success in keeping the pet.

In our store, customers fill out satisfaction surveys online that have an optional comment field. The managers post the comments each week. One day, I get called in to the manager’s office. She sternly tells me that there was a serious complaint about me in the surveys. She reads it to me and I turn redder and redder as she reads the long description of how a customer came in to return a bunch of fish that had died and I did not express sympathy for her loss. “Her cold, uncaring attitude and clear disregard for my emotional well-being and satisfaction as a customer make me feel too upset and traumatized to return to your store. I hope that you discipline her and perhaps terminate her as she doesn’t exemplify the love of animals that your store claims to represent.”

I was crying by this point. By the list of fish that the customer had described, I remembered the customers and that the interaction with them hadn’t been unusual at all. I had even said I was sorry to hear that their fish died and I spent 20 minutes with them trying to help them sort out why. They had even thanked me.

Despite my great record and all the compliments about me from other customers, my manager penalized me for the complaint, suggesting that I might consider finding another job if I didn’t care for animals. (She knew that I had everything from fish to reptiles to cats myself, so that was BS.) I had my hours cut and had to go through extra training.

Two months later, my manager came to me and apologized, saying that a customer had come in saying that they felt bad because they put in a joke complaint about an employee and were worried that she had gotten fired. Guess who? The reason they gave my manager: “We were drunk or high or something, and were just upset about the fish. Anyway, we’re sorry. She was actually really nice to us.”

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