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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!

Customers Without Filters

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Technology

(I’m a server at a popular family restaurant that normally bends over backwards trying to accommodate its guests as best we can. However, we are not a fine dining restaurant by any means. I’m serving a table of two middle-aged women. Note: the tap water in our municipality is consistently ranked as one of the cleanest in the world and is better than most bottled waters.)

Guest #1: “Is your water filtered? I only drink filtered water.”

Me: “No, our water isn’t filtered. We do carry several kinds of bottled water if you like, though.” *I list them for her*

Guest #2: “It’s disgusting that people expect you to pay for bottled water. Water should be free.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Our water by the glass is free, though as I said, unfiltered. However, we have to pay for the bottled water so we do have to charge for that.”

Guest #1: *huffs* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water. Are your ice cubes made from filtered water? I only want them in my glass if they’re filtered.”

(Our ice machine is the size of an average car and is made of complex machinery.)

Me: “I’m actually not sure if the ice machine has filters as part of its system. It’s probably best to assume it doesn’t. I’ll bring you your water without ice.”

Guest #1: “No, find out if the machine filters its ice and come back.”

Me: “If you prefer, ma’am.”

(I go to the back and ask the kitchen manager. He has no idea either. We both look at the machine, but there’s no way to tell from the outside if there’s filters. There’s a huge sign on the outside saying “Danger: Do Not Open! Extreme Risk of Electric Shock” so we decide not to open it to look. I go back to the table with no new knowledge.)

Guest #1: “Well?!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. Both the kitchen manager and I looked at the machine, but we couldn’t tell if there are filters without taking apart the machine. It’s probably safest to assume there aren’t any. Shall I bring you your water without ice?”

Guest #1: “I don’t understand why you can’t just take apart the machine to find out for me. This is ridiculous.”

(I try for several minute to politely explain the size and complexity of the machine and why this isn’t really a feasible request. She constantly interrupts to insist that it must be possible to find this out and that I need to find a way. I have zero mechanical knowledge and as far as I know none of my coworkers know anything about machines. This machine would require a mechanic to take it apart.)

Guest #1: *finally* “Fine, I’ll have a glass of water with the ice on the side.”

Guest #2: “By the way, we have been sitting here forever and no one has taken our order! I just want you to know that the service here is terrible!”

(I choose not to mention that I’ve been at their table the whole time attempting to do just that. I also choose not to point out that they were just demanding that I leave their table for what would probably be several hours of mechanical work in order to answer a question for them.)

A Cr-ice-is

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology

(This winter has been particularly heavy, and many of our customers are without heat, power, and/or hot water. All our techs are working overtime fixing homes without heat.)

Me: “Hello, how can I—”

Customer: “Thank God! I can’t get anyone to come out here, I have an emergency!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, what’s the problem?”

Customer: “The icemaker isn’t working!”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “My icemaker on my refrigerator! The power was out and now it’s back on but my fridge won’t make ice! I have a party tonight!”

Me: “I… see… Well, ma’am, I’m sorry to hear that but all my technicians are out on emergency heat calls—”

Customer: “This IS an emergency! Did you not hear me?! I have a party TONIGHT and no ice!”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am, but we’re prioritizing calls for no heat and flooding right now—”

Customer: “I knew it! I knew you wouldn’t help me! *at this point, the customer is sobbing and screaming* “No one will help me! I HAVE A PARTY TONIGHT!” *click*

Making A Dis-Appointment

| Hanover, Germany | Crazy Requests

(I am a law student doing my practice course at a law firm which houses about a dozen lawyers just in the office where I am. It’s my last day, a Friday, and I’m assisting the lady at the front desk. She has just left for the back room, leaving me at the desk, when a client storms in, beet-red in the face and clearly agitated.)

Client: *in heavily accented German and just about to yell* “I have to talk to one of the lawyers. It’s about [case reference number].”

Me: “Sure, with whom do you have an appointment?”

Client: “I don’t have an appointment. But it’s really urgent.”

Me: “Oh, that’s a bummer. You do need an appointment. With whom do you want to talk?”

Client: “Mr. [Name].”

Me: “He’s not here today; he’s in the office in [Other City]. Do you want to make an appointment for Monday, as it’s so urgent?”

Client: “No, Monday doesn’t work. I don’t have time then.”

Me: “Would you like him to call you back?”

Client: “No, this needs to be done in person.”

Me: “So you would like an appointment with him.”

Client: “No.”

(I am starting to get a bad feeling about how this conversation is going to go.)

Client: “There’s more lawyers in this office, though, aren’t there? Let me talk to one of them.”

Me: “I’m afraid that won’t be possible. Mr. [Name] is the lawyer assigned to your case.”

Client: “Well, but he wasn’t my original lawyer here at this firm. I used to be with Mr. [Other Name].”

Me: “Yes, but Mr. [Other Name] left this office and moved to another, and all his cases were re-assigned to Mr. [Name].”

Client: “How is that even possible?!”

Me: “When you brought the case to us, you signed a letter of authorization.”

Client: “Yes, for Mr. [Other Name]!”

Me: “No, our standard letter of authorization clearly says it’s for all the lawyers of this office. And when Mr. [Other Name] left, Mr. [Name] took on all his cases.”

Client: “Well, then send me to another lawyer if the letter is good for everyone!”

Me: “I can’t do that. None of them are familiar with your case; they don’t work on it. Mr. [Name] does.”

(The client starts to pace in front of the desk and is breathing heavily.)

Me: “Do you want to talk to Mr. [Name]?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “Then let’s make an appointment.”

Client: “No.”

(The entire discussion described above is repeated. Twice.)

Me: *really annoyed now* “Okay, I’m going to break policy a bit now and see if I can reach him at the other office.”

(Usually, the offices act separately from each other, but I figure since the lawyer in question is a bit of an oddball by working at two offices, it’s okay for me to call. I do, but can’t reach him because he is with an appointment. The lady at the front desk of the other office – after chewing me out for breaking protocol – jots down the client’s mobile phone number, though.)

Me: “Now, Mr. [Name] has your number now, and he’ll call you once he’s available.”

Client: “Great. Now I can ask him when he wants me to come in on Monday for an appointment.” *leaves*

Me: *mentally goes through every known method of murdering a person*

Colleague: “Soooo, d’you think you’d like to work here permanently?”

Me: “I wasn’t planning on going to jail that soon into my career.”

Customers With Very Specific Baggage

| Tigard, OR, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

(I work at a large retail store. On the credit card machine, at the end of every transaction, a one question survey would pop up for the customer, asking to rate our customer service, from 1 to 5. I’ve just finished ringing up a customer and put her items in a plastic bag. She has been fairly normal so far, until…)

Customer: “Do you have any bags with handles?”

Me: “Yes, all our bags have handles.”

Customer: “No, I mean a paper bag. I don’t want plastic.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. All we have are plastic bags.”

Customer: *angrily replies* “Well, I don’t want a plastic bag!”

(She then picks up the stylus pen and chooses “1” on the customer service questions, deliberately pushing down so hard on the screen that it permanently leaves a mark.)

Customer: “Next time have paper bags!”

It’s All Fun And Games Until The Till

| Ashford, England, UK | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests

(Every morning, around 9 am, we have “Team Brief,” where the manager talks about the business issues of the day with the workers. The briefing takes place in an alcove near the lift, which is just off to the side of the main store. There is no door separating the customer area and alcove. The manager usually makes the briefings very informal. On this particular day, two colleagues remain on the tills to serve customers – one on a full sized till, and one on the “10 items or fewer” till. The briefing is going well and the manager has said something amusing, causing us all to laugh.)

Angry Customer: “Why the **** are you standing here laughing? I want to be served!”

(Everyone stops laughing, and the manager goes out to see what is happening. The small till is empty, but there are two customers waiting at the big till.)

Manager: “This till is available, sir.”

Angry Customer: “That’s not a proper till! I demand a proper till! If you were serving and not f****** around in there then I wouldn’t have to f****** wait!”

(Another employee opened another “proper” till and serves the man, who stormed off angrily after that. Nevertheless, we were all in a quiet mood for some time afterward.)

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