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Category: Health & Body

Stupid customers in stories are bad enough. However, dealing with a customer’s health issues may be hazardous to your own health! Please consult your doctor before continuing.

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No One Is Getting Fired Or On Fire Today

| Rochester, NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

(I am eating my lunch at a popular lunch spot. Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. I grab my stuff and head out, along with the employees and all but one of the customers.)

Customer #1: “Hey! Where are you going? I want my food!”

Employee: “Sir, the fire alarm is going off! Get outside!”

Customer #1: “I want my [item]! Give it to me!”

Employee: “Get outside! If this turns out to be nothing, we’ll make you a new one.”

(The customer continues to make a fuss, but is shooed outside by the employees and some helpful customers. He stands outside, continuing to complain. The fire department arrives and the firefighters run inside. While they’re in there (and the fire truck sits directly in front of the main door, lights flashing) and the fire alarm continues to sound, a man approaches and tries to go in.)

Employee: *shouting* “Sir! Don’t go in!”

Customer #2: “I called in an order, and paid for it.”

Employee: “And once the firefighters come out and say that everything’s safe, you’ll get it.”

Customer #2: “I don’t see any flames. I want my food.”

Employee: *exasperated* “No one is going inside until the fire department okays it.”

Customer #2: “What if it gets cold?”

Employee: “If it’s ready and waiting, it’ll be in the warmer. But if something’s wrong with it, we’ll make a new one.”

(Customer #2 made a big show of standing directly in front of the door, arms crossed, and looking at his watch. After a few minutes, the firefighters concluded that the alarm malfunctioned and left. Everyone headed back in and business resumed. Both the jerk customers continued to complain, going to far as to demand free or discounted food for their trouble. The manager kicked them both out. They left, threatening to call corporate and get everyone fired for being “lazy.”)

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Sadly She’s Not As Bright As The Puke

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Family & Kids, Health & Body, Non-Dialogue

I’m pushing my broom around and find a giant splat of brilliant orange vomit in children’s apparel. I don’t begrudge the customer for leaving without asking for a clean-up. If I had a sick child, my first priority would be his or her care, too. I’m simply impressed at how bright the vomit’s orange is. Picture a diet of nothing but cheesy-poofs and orange pop spilled onto a floor as white as a blank webpage.

Well, admiration never fixed anything. I stick a ‘wet floor’ sign on either side on the cosmic impact, blocking as short a section of aisle as I can, and off I go to get the mop.

It turns out it’s way over in Photography. (This is in the dark ages before everyone had a digital camera or camera-phone. Yes, even before fail compilations, back when the chief after-school amusement was throwing rocks at sabretooth cats. We lost a lot of good friends that way… turns out the cats don’t like having rocks thrown at them.) So, a bit delayed, I hurry back with a mop and bucket.

A woman has moved my wet floor signs and pushed her cart straight through the large splatter of cartoonishly bright vomit.

She’s moseyed right through the lumpy middle of it, taking little slow steps to maximize the number of disgusting footprints she is now leaving behind. All four of her cart’s wheels are leaving matching snail trails, too.

Big problems first: I tackle the chief splatter, with step one being to put the ‘wet floor’ signs back where I left them. Barf Lady gives me a stink-eye every now and again while I work. (Perhaps I’m supposed to apologize for failing to nail the signs in place?)

Eventually, I reach the last step: mopping up Barf Lady’s trail. She’s moving slowly enough that I catch up and start swiping up the prints as soon as she and her shopping cart wheels leave them. We make eye contact once, so I smile sheepishly and apologize, as if her inability to avoid tracking puke around is somehow my fault.

She says nothing, does nothing, except to sneer a little harder and turn wordlessly back to the tiny, adorable outfits hanging up — none of which she takes and most of which were still accessible before she moved the signs. Indeed, I plunk the signs as close to the vomit as I can precisely to avoid tempting customers into the splash zone.

Things are pretty awkward, but if I go do the stuff I’m supposed to be doing, Barf Lady’s pumpkin-coloured tracks will get stepped in and tracked all over. Instead, I keep mopping up her mess as she makes it, getting stink-eyes until her shoes and cart wheels mercifully run out. Then I rush off to resume the set list.

Boss was not pleased that I dropped my list to clean up the nuclear mess, but at least she didn’t mention a complaint from a customer. Perhaps Barf Lady was too stupid to lodge one, as well as too stupid to avoid stepping in a giant blast of technicolour puke?

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Smoked Sausage

| Leicestershire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(I’m working the till on a morning shift in the middle of the week and it’s fairly quiet, as it’s the time of day when most people are at work or school, when a customer walks up to the bakery stand and makes a show of reading the labels on the bags of sausage rolls.)

Customer: *loudly, but to nobody in particular* “Good!”

(He walks up to my till and places a couple of bags of the sausage rolls and a few other items on it.)

Customer: *sounding very proud of himself* “I saw there weren’t any genetically modified ingredients on the label. It says if they are now.” *Note that such a law has been recently implemented in the USA, but it’s been the case here for over a year* “It’s important to be careful about what you eat.”

(I didn’t want to argue, so I just nodded and brought up the weather. After I ring up his purchases…)

Me: “Can I get you anything else?”

Customer: “25 grams of [Rolling Tobacco].”

(After I handed it over, he didn’t bother to check the label.)

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Getting The Wrong Smoke Signals

| IN, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

Customer: “I’d like a pack of [Brand] cigarettes, the brown pack.”

Me: “Sure! You know, we don’t sell much of this kind. Had a regular customer special request them and accidentally got most the other varieties trying to order the right kind.”

Customer: “I’m glad you do. They’re addictive-free!”

Me: *taken aback for a split second but managing to keep my incredulity mostly in check* “Actually, it’s just additive free. See?” *I point to the packaging* “It just means they don’t add in any extra stuff to them.”

Customer: *being super nice but sticking to her guns* “Well, they’re nicotine-free.”

Me: “No, they still have it.”

Customer: “They’re 100% tobacco, so they don’t have nicotine.”

Me: “Oh, no, nicotine is part of tobacco; you can’t really separate it out.”

Customer: *having completed the purchase starts walking away, continues responding to me, but sounding either confused, or doubtful of my knowledge* “Oh, okay…”

Me: “Yeah, it only say 100% U.S. grown. It’d be like having orange-free orange juice, you really can’t have it without the oranges… Um, have a nice day!”

(I realized as I said it that with artificial flavoring, you CAN have orange-free orange juice, but that’s beside the point.)

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This Customer Giving You An Earful

| MD, USA | Bizarre, Health & Body

(My store mostly sells gifts, but we have a rack of jewelry pieces, as well. I come around a display to check on a customer, and realize she has her hand to her ear, an expression of pain, and there’s blood on her hand.)

Customer: “I used to have my ears pierced when I was a baby, but they grew shut when I was in college. I was seeing if I could open them again with these earrings.”

(The woman was easily middle-aged, so her ears had healed decades before.)

Me: *horrified* “We don’t even allow pierced people to try on earrings for hygienic reasons, but definitely not to pierce ears!”

(She asks to use the bathroom to wash the blood, while I wipe down anything she touched with gloves and bleach, and throw out the earring she used and anything that she touched. She comes out of the bathroom.)

Customer: “Where can I get my ears pierced?”

Me: “There’s a tattoo and piercing parlor a block over.”

Customer: “A TATTOO place! Do you know how unhygienic that place could be?!”

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