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Category: Holidays

Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

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Better Give Them A Deal Quickly

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Holidays, Money

(I am working in a busy department store at Christmas less than a week out. I am instructed to take a phone call.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help?”

Customer: “I was in there Tuesday… No, Wednesday, and my sister was with me and after we got a coffee, we came in and bought 2 DVDs and 2 games. They were on sale, you see, and we were getting them for my nephew, who is eight and loves superheroes. We are going up the coast for Christmas to see him and his family as his dad works in the military and he has recently changed schools…”

(The store is packed busy, people waiting, as she tells me every detail of her life.)

Me: “Is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: “I need to know the games I bought and what the original price was.”

Me: “Okay, what games were they?”

Customer: “A superhero one and an army one.”

Me: “I will need to know the exact games to let you know the price.” *I go on to suggest some recent titles that they might be*

Customer: “Oh, I don’t know. How much are games these days?”

(I explain they range in price but new releases $60-$80 on average.)

Customer: “I just want to know the original price because that’s more than I paid. Do you think I got a good deal on the ones I purchased?”

Me: “Perhaps you could look at you receipt and let me know what you purchased?”

Customer: “I don’t have one.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I think you got a wonderful deal. Have a nice Xmas.”

Customer: “But I didn’t tell you what ones I bought?”

Me: “Have a nice Christmas, ma’am…”

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Got Belly Offended

| Fort Worth, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Holidays, Spouses & Partners

(A customer asks if we carry anklets, so I lead him to our selection.)

Customer: “Don’t you have any for belly dancing? Like the ones that jingle?”

Me: “Unfortunately not. Is your wife a belly dancer?”

Customer: “What, do you have to be a belly dancer to buy these or something? Of course she’s not a belly dancer. What a stupid question.”

Me: “Uh… I only asked because you had said… never mind. Let me know if you need anything else.”

(A few minutes later, he comes to the register to purchase the anklet. I ring him up, hand him his purchase, and wish him a Merry Christmas.)

Customer: “You’re a dumb mother-f*****, aren’t you?”

(I still don’t know what his problem was!)

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Identity Clause

| Plano, TX, USA | Awesome Customers, Holidays

(My wife and I are eating at a pizza buffet restaurant with our two sons when we notice a large older man with a full white beard seated at a nearby table, wearing a red shirt. This man is happily “admitting” to the kids who approach him that he is actually Santa. My boys are just past the age of believing in Santa, so we all enjoy seeing the wide-eyed wonder of the younger kids in the restaurant. About midway through our meal, “Santa” finishes his dinner and leaves. Barely two minutes after his departure, ANOTHER man with a white beard and red shirt enters the restaurant. It is uncanny; he clearly looks like Santa Claus himself, but is very obviously a different man. There is quite the commotion from the younger kids in the restaurant. Sensing the potential for disaster, I get up and approach the second man:)

Me: *quietly* “Hi. I thought you should know that the reaction you’re hearing is not just because you look like Santa Claus, but because another man who looks like Santa just left here.”

Second “Santa”: *to the room, without skipping a beat* “Sorry about the confusion, boys and girls. I’m the real Santa; that other guy was probably my brother Jim. He likes to pretend he’s me. I should stop him, but he’s a pretty nice guy himself. Merry Christmas!”

(That seemed to satisfy everyone. It makes me laugh to this day that there are kids who grew up thinking they’d seen both the real Santa and his brother “Jim.”)

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Trying To Take You For A (Helicopter) Ride

| Cambridge, ON, Canada | Holidays, Liars & Scammers

(It’s just after Christmas in a very popular store that sells mostly infomercial products, with a few random toys and accessories. A woman is waiting in line to make an exchange and I can tell immediately it isn’t going to go well. She is tapping her feet, huffing and puffing, and I’m pretty sure she wants to blow my house down.)

Woman: *slams bag down on the counter* “I want a new helicopter; this one is a piece of shit! We took it out of the box and it only went 5 feet off the ground then fell down and never worked again. I want a new one or my money back, right NOW!”

Me: “I’d be happy to help you with that. Let me take a look here and see what the problem is.”

(I’m the resident helicopter pilot and repair woman, so I know everything about them. Immediately I notice that the chopper is mangled. Chunks missing out of the wings, the stabilizer fell off, the tail rotor is missing, one of legs is bent. This is not normal flight wear and tear.)

Me: “Oh, wow, I see this little guy is quite beat up. You said you only flew it about five feet high and it fell, then never worked again?”

Woman: “Yes, that’s exactly what I said. It’s the truth, so gimme my new one now!”

Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am. For starters, our exchange warranty covers manufacturer defects only. Second, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with these choppers and I know for a fact that yours did not come out of the box like this, nor did 5 feet of up and down flight cause such damage. Despite their size and weight, they’re rather durable. Watch. *I pick a tester one up, hurl it at the floor and fly it back to me from across the store* Lastly, if you had of been honest with me I would’ve been more likely to consider the exchange, but you lied to my face.”

Woman: “ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR, in front of ALL these people?!”

Me: “Yes. Yes, I am. Please take your helicopter and vacate the store. I will not subject myself or my staff to this type of belligerent attitude. Here is our corporate customer service phone number, our store number is [number], and my name is [My Name]. I look forward to dismissing your complaint.”

(After a few more choice words from this woman and the look of complete disbelief that I never gave her what she wanted, she reluctantly turned to leave. On her way out she hollered some expletives in front of many other customers, including children. The next few people in line were kind enough to mention that I handled that very well and they also would not have caved in to her demands.)

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Trying To Buy A Little Christmas Spirit

| NM, USA | Food & Drink, Holidays

(In my state, it is illegal to sell alcohol on Christmas — and, yes, I’m well aware that this violates separation of church and state. It does lead to some interesting conversations.)

Customer: “Hi there, can I get a bottle of [Brand] whiskey?”

Me: “Sorry, it’s actually illegal to sell alcohol on Christmas in New Mexico.”

Customer: “How about I give you an extra $20?”

Me: “Tell you what. If you want to do my mandatory six months in federal prison, and pay my $5,000 fine, sure.”

Customer: *shocked expression* “Oh, wow, um, never mind. Thanks.” *leaves*

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