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?

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.)

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*

Toying With The Welfare State

| NH, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Holidays

(I’m the toys’ department manager at a major retail store. When an item gets damaged we do a special mark down on it to try to sell it. We can do this two times before the price is brought to zero and we throw it out. A lady comes up to me with a toy that has been marked down and I clearly write “as is” on the tag.)

Customer: “This toy is ripped open and dirty. Can you take some money off it for me? ”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. It’s already been marked down and clearly states the product is being sold “as is.” I’m not taking any more off.”

Customer: “Well, I see there are two stickers on it! The one on the bottom says 35% off and the one on top says 25% off! Why is the lesser one on top?”

Me: “When I first marked it down it took 35% off the original price. Since it didn’t sell I did another mark down on it for 25% off the previous 35% off price. On top of that the toy was already on clearance before it was marked down. You are getting a $30 toy for $5.72 right now. If I take any more off the system will automatically delete that toy out of our inventory and I will have to throw it away.”

Customer: “Well, I live on welfare and don’t have that much money! What do you suppose I do for my son for Christmas?”

Me. “The local church has a program that gives low income family’s new clothes for Christmas and there is always Toys for Tots. You could try them if you have difficulty affording presents.”

Customer: “You just think I’m white trash, don’t you? That’s why you won’t take more money off for me! You think you’re better than me because you have a fancy job and no kids to support! You don’t know how rough Christmas time is when you have kids!”

Me: “Actually I have a four-year-old son.”


(She then threw the toy on the floor and stormed away…)

Someone Had A Very Happy Holidays

| NY, USA | Holidays, Non-Dialogue, Rude & Risque

It is just a little before Christmas, I’m outside pushing carts, when a coworker asks me to check a strange black garbage bag that had been sitting next to her car all day.

Not being 100% clear of the regulations regarding random black garbage bags, I open it up to find inside a large piece of machinery. After a few moments, I lift up something that is instantly identifiable as a sex toy, which makes me realize that I am in the presence of a much larger mechanical sex toy.

I looked at my watch and see that my shift is thankfully now up, go inside, clock out, and go home. I found out later that the two night supervisors had to take care of it.

I was having no part of that.

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