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Category: Family & Kids

Trying To Go Beyond Beyonders

| USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

(I’m working in the kids’ section of our bookstore.)

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for the fourth book in the ‘Beyonders’ series.”

Me: “Oh, well, ‘Beyonders’ is a trilogy.”

Customer: “Okay. Do you have the fourth book?”

Me: “It’s a trilogy, so there isn’t a fourth book. But I can show you some of the other books by that author. He’s pretty popular!”

Customer: “No, my son wants the fourth book of the Beyonders, not something else. Can you order it for me?”

Me: “No, because there isn’t a fourth book.”

Customer: “My son SAID he wants the FOURTH BOOK. Just show me where they are and I’ll find it myself.”

(I show her where the three books are. After combing through the shelf for five minutes, the woman leaves empty handed and angry.)

Customer: “I’ll just order it online!”

Complaining For The Devil Of It

| Australia | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Religion

(I am serving a customer who is buying shoes. She has come in with her daughter, no older than six. She is really nice to me until she spots a necklace I am wearing that my mother bought me for good luck. It is a moonstone with a pentagram above it, traditionally a pagan symbol for good luck before it was associated with Satanism.)

Customer: “ARE YOU A SATANIST?!”

Me: “… pardon??”

Customer: “You’re wearing a satanic symbol around your neck! You’re a Satanist! How can you wear that and be hired here?”

(The customers daughter looks very shocked and looks at me worryingly, mostly startled by what her mother had just said.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not. This necklace was a gift from my mother. The symbol was originally pagan as a symbol of good luck and other nice things. It later got associated with Satanism, although it really isn’t anything to do with Satanism at all. I am no Satanist. I did not mean to startle you.”

Customer’s Daughter: *smiles and looks relieved* “It’s very pretty.”

Customer: *huffs and glares at me* “Well, it traumatises children! You should never wear that filth to work!”

(The customer stormed out of the store, fuming, dragging her confused daughter along with her. I chose to keep wearing the necklace every day as she was the only customer who had a problem with it.)

This Customer Is A Train-Wreck

| Wales, UK | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Technology, Tourists/Travel

(A woman comes in with her daughter.)

Customer: “Hi, I’d like to collect some pre-booked tickets.”

Me: “Sure! Have you got the booking reference printout?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Oh, well, never mind! If you have it written down in another format or maybe saved in your phone, I should still be able to find it.”

Customer: “No. I don’t have it. The girl who served me last time didn’t ask for it. I just put my card in the machine.”

Me: “I’m sure you must have misunderstood. We cannot issue tickets without some type of secondary reference. Do you know the postcode associated with the billing address, and could I have your surname?”

Customer: “I don’t see why I need to give you those details. Look, I just want to print my daughter’s tickets and go back to work. You’re costing me money here.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but unless you can give me more details such as name, postcode, and destination, I can’t print your tickets. Look—” *swivels computer screen so the customer can see* “—here are the search fields I have for when there is no collection reference number available. Unless I can fill in two of these, I cannot print your tickets.”

Customer: *turning to daughter* “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE THE REFERENCE NUMBER?”

Customer’s Daughter: “Sorry, mum, you said I shouldn’t waste paper and the ticket people didn’t need it.”

Customer: “Well, clearly they do. YOU’RE ALL COSTING ME MONEY HERE!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but one of the terms is that you provide a reference for collection. Could you please let me try and help you with some of your other details?”

Customer: *snappily* “FINE! It’s [Surname] and [postcode].”

Me: “I’m sorry; nothing’s come up.” *shifts screen around again so she can see* “See? Could you have used a different postcode?”

Customer: “No. Look, this really isn’t good enough. Why won’t the destination work on its own?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but hundreds of people travel every day from [Our Station] to [Major London Station]. I’m just thinking: whose email did you put in? Since it’s quiet in here, I could let you around the back to use one of the staff computers to log in and find me the reference number. I should tell you though, that this is against company policy and that I am doing this at my own risk. I could face disciplinary action.”

Customer: “It’s [Daughter]’s email. Can she just do it? Can I go? I need to get back to work.”

Me: “If yours was the payment card, then I am afraid you will need to wait until your daughter has accessed her emails since the reference number is useless without the payment card and vice versa.”

Customer: “Fine. [Daughter], go in the back with this idiot and see if you can’t find this bleeding reference number between your half-a-brain-cell each.”

(The daughter nips around to my side of the booth, accesses her email, and within 30 seconds I have the tickets up. The woman inserts her card and collects her tickets, and before she leaves decides to have one more dig at me for how slow I was to get her tickets up on the system.)

Me: “I’m sorry it took so long to resolve your issue, but perhaps next time you might consider writing the reference number down? You needn’t print it; in fact [Train Company] offers to send a free SMS containing the details to your phone. It would save an awful lot of problems.”

Customer: “Or, you know, they could just hire competent staff who don’t need reference numbers!” *to Daughter* “Look at all the money you’ve cost me! I’m selling your Xbox when I get home!”

(She stormed out. Fortunately I haven’t seen her since, although the daughter stopped by on her return journey to thank me for helping her.)