Category: Time

They Have No Closing Arguments

| AB, Canada | Bad Behavior, Time

I do the morning show at a radio station. Because we’re in a small town and have a small staff, we close our offices at noon. I give away tickets to a concert that night, and tell the winner that she has to be at the station before noon to pick up the tickets. She says that she can’t make it by noon, but can be there shortly after noon, and asks that we stay open late to accommodate her. I ask her how late she’ll be, and she says just a few minutes after 12:00…12:15 at the latest. Since I can wait around a few minutes, I say we’ll stay open late for her.

12:15. She’s not here yet. 1:00 pm. She’s not here yet. 2:00. She’s not here yet. 3:00. I’m still waiting for her. I’ve also been at work since four am and hadn’t eaten anything all day. I decide to close up for a few minutes and run across the street to the store to grab something. I come back at 3:10 to find an angry note taped to the door. Sure enough, it’s from our contest winner, calling us a bunch of lying SOBs for saying we’d stay open late for and then not doing so, and calling us various other nasty names.

Ever since then, I’ve made no more exceptions for contest winners who’ll be “just a few minutes late.” If you can’t make it by closing time, tough.

From Now On, Always Use That Line

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Time

(I do returns and am waiting for a price check to come back. The elderly women who is next in line thinks the three-minute wait is too much.)

Customer: “What is taking so long?”

Me: “Someone is checking the price on these boots for me, ma’am. It’ll be just a minute.”

Customer: “Well, it’s taking too long. Can’t you just help me?”

Me: “I only have this one register. It will be just a second.”

(It takes maybe another minute. I get the price and start processing the return.)

Customer: “This is taking forever.”

Me: “I am exchanging items for this customer, ma’am. Just be patient.”

Customer: “Could you be any slower?!”

Me: “Probably, ma’am. Would you like to see?”

Customer: “No! I don’t have time to wait in this line!”

Me: “Well, what else would you do in a line? They’re designed to wait in.”

(At this point an assistant manager had come up, laughing, and took the lady to another register to do her return.)

Groomed For Disappointment

ON, Canada | Time

(I work in a pet store with a groomer attached. The groomer has finished for the day, and her final 1:30 appointment never came in. It’s now 2:00, and she’s feeling sick, so she leaves. About five minutes later, this happens.)

Customer: “Hi, I’m here for a nail trim.”

Me: *thinking she’s a walk-in* “Oh, I’m sorry. Our groomer isn’t here.”

Customer: “What? But I have an appointment!”

Me: *grabbing the groomers schedule* “Oh, my goodness. I’m so sorry. What time was your appointment?”

Customer: “1:30. 2:00. I don’t know.”

Me: “Could I get your name?”

Customer: “[Customer].”

Me: “Well, ma’am, your appointment was at 1:30.”

Customer: *blank stare*

Me: “And it’s after 2:00 now.”

Customer: *blank, slightly angry stare*

Me: “And our groomer is sick, so she waited a half hour in case you were running behind, and then she left.”

Customer: *very angry stare*

Me: “Would you like me to rebook you?”

Customer: “No. I’ll go to someone else! You could have called!” *storms out*

Too Tight For An Extra Night

| Reading, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals, Time

(I run a dog-walking and pet care business and as part of this, offer a live-in pet sit service where I stay in customer’s houses whilst they’re away. One of my regular dog walking customers is texting me asking about the live-in service.)

Customer: “Hi, [My Name]. Are you available to pet sit from the 7th-11th November and how much would that be, please?”

Me: “Hi, [Customer]. I’m fine to do those dates for you. Pet sits are £30 per day or part of, so it’ll be £150 in total for the five days. The price includes one walk a day but if you’d like any extra walks I’m happy to do these and they’re charged at the normal daily rate.”

Customer: “Okay, that’s fine, thanks. Can you arrive about 9 am on the Monday and leave at 5 pm on the Saturday, please? I’ll transfer the £150 to you tonight.”

Me: “Hi, [Customer]. Could you just confirm the dates for me, as in your first text you asked me to do the 7th-11th but in your last text you asked me to stay until the Saturday which is the 12th. I’m fine to stay until the 12th if you need me to but it’ll count as another day so the cost will be £180 in total.”

Customer: “No, we want you to do the Monday to Friday, including the Friday night. So the 7th-11th, which you said was £150.”

Me: “Hi, [Customer]. If you want me to stay the Friday night as well, then this counts as me staying on the Saturday, which is an extra day, so it will be £180. Pet-sits are charged per day or part of so this would be six days in total.”

Customer: “I just want you to stay until the Friday but do Friday night as well. How is that an extra day?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, [Customer]. I’m not sure how much clearer I can make it. If a customer asks me to stay until a certain day then that is the day I would expect to leave the pet sit so if you ask me to do until Friday then that is the day I’d be leaving. If you want me to do Friday night as well then you’re asking me to stay Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at your house, which is six days in total. Six days at £30 a day comes to a total of £180.”

Customer: “I don’t understand why that counts as six days. And he’d only get one walk? He normally gets walked three times a day so it seems very unfair on him!”

Me: “As I said in my earlier text I’m more than happy to do extra walks for you but these would be charged at the normal daily rates which would depend on how long a walk you’d like.”

Customer: “That just seems extortionate. I guess he’ll just have to make do with one walk a day that week I guess. I might find out how much [Company #1] or [Company #2] charges for live in jobs then, as I still don’t understand why you’re charging me for six days when I only want you to stay until the Friday.”

Me: “Hi, [Customer]. I’m sorry if my prices seem unfair but that’s how much it’ll be. I know that [Company #1] charges £35 per day or part of so would be £210 for the six days. [Company #2] charges per night rather than per day but they charge £40 per night so it would be £200 for the five nights. Both companies also only include one walk per day in their prices. If you prefer to have more walks, then [Company #3] offers an unlimited pet sit service where they won’t leave your dog alone at all for the duration of the pet sit and will walk your dog as much as you like. However, they charge £100 per day so they would charge £600 for the six days. It’s your choice, though, so let me know if you’d like me to book you in or not.”

Customer: “That’s just ridiculous. Don’t worry about the pet sit, then; we’ll cancel the holiday. Just do the normal walks for [Dog] that week, please.”

(I later found out that they had to pay cancellation fees as they’d already booked the flights and hotel for that week before contacting me. They also still paid me to go in and walk their dog every day the week they should have been away which cost them £50 as normal. All this to avoid paying an extra £30 for one more night’s pet sit!)

A Nice Big Karma Sandwich

| Cape Cod, MA, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(We close at 9 pm most nights, but on Sunday, we close at 8 pm due to there not being much business. At 7:45, a group of customers comes in and orders their meals to eat in, which we aren’t allowed to say no to. The line team gets their order out in record time and they sit down to eat. At 8 pm, I lock the doors, but I usually give customers a 10-15 minute cushion to finish up before I ask them to leave. It is required, however, that I inform them that we are closed, as they will need one of us to let them out.)

Me: “Hi, how is your meal so far? I just wanted to let you know that we are now closed. When you are ready to leave, please ask one of my coworkers to let you out. But please, do not feel rushed to leave if you haven’t finished your meal yet.”

Customer #1: “I thought you closed at 9 pm?”

Me: “Monday through Saturday, yes, but the company decided to close the store early on Sunday because we normally don’t make any sales.”

Customer #1: “Can I talk to your manager?”

Me: *pointing at my “supervisor” name tag* “I am the manager on duty right now. Is there a problem?”

Customer #1: “Well, I come in this store four times per week, and I have never heard anyone here be as rude to me as you have been just now.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer #2: “[Customer #1], leave the poor girl alone. She doesn’t make the rules. She—”

Customer #1: “NO! You listen to me! This is terrible service. The food took so long, and now you’re kicking us out when you aren’t even closed yet? I want your corporate number right now!”

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry if I have upset you somehow, but I am not ‘kicking you out.’ I told you that we were closed because the doors are locked and you will need someone to let you out, but I also let you know that you are welcome to take a few minutes to finish your meal.”

Customer #3: “[Customer #1], you heard the lady. Just finish your sandwich.”

Customer #1: “That’s not what you said to me! I demand a refund and I want your corporate manager on the phone in the next five minutes or you will be sorry!”

(I sigh and get the corporate number. I hand the man the phone. He slams it down.)


Me: “I don’t see much point in someone at corporate answering the phones at 8:15 when we close at 8. I can write down the phone number for you to try again tomorrow, if you would like?”

Customer #1: *turning red* “WHO AM I SUPPOSED TO COMPLAIN TO RIGHT NOW?”

Me: “I’m the manager on duty right now, sir.”

(The man threw his hands up, screamed expletives at me and my coworkers, headed for the door and slammed right into it when it didn’t open. I unlocked the door for him while his friends laughed and packed the remainder of his sandwich into a box. Sometimes karma strikes back at the right moment!)

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