Category: Wild & Unruly

Mowing Down The Questions

| MI, USA | Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

(I handle special orders at the farm store where I work. Quite a bit of it is parts requests for lawn and garden equipment. In five years I’ve rarely had someone come in prepared with brand and model information, and when pressed for it, they typically get annoyed and try to insinuate that I’m being the difficult one. Case in point:)

Me: “Hello, sir, how are you today?”

Customer: “Well, that all depends on if you’ve got what I want or not.”

Me: “All right, what can I help you find?”

Customer: “I need a part for my mower.”

Me: “Okay, be glad to help. What kind is it?”

Customer: “It’s a rider.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I meant what brand is it?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Aren’t they all universal?”

Me: “Umm… actually, no. There are hundreds of different brands and models, each taking different parts.”

Customer: “Well, mine is the blue one.”

Me: “I’m sorry but I need to know who makes it. Did it have a name or numbers on the side of the hood?”

Customer: “I think so.”

Me: “Great! What did it say?”

Customer: “I painted over all that last year.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Look, I bought it here; you oughta be able to look something like that up in your computer.”

Me: “I can look up parts and prices, but I need a little information to get started on. Is there anyone at home where the tractor is that can perhaps go out and take a look at it and get the numbers off the serial tag under the seat?”

Customer: *disgusted sigh* “Well, see, the thing is, the dog don’t answer the phone!”

Me: “Ummmkay. Well, there are so many different applications. I just want to make sure you get the right part to get you going again; that’s the only reason I’m asking for more information. If I take down your name and number, can you call me when you get home and read what it says off the serial tag? Then we’ll be able to get you going.”

Customer: “So you’re telling me I wasted a trip in here because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, then you want me to waste another trip in to get you something you should already have? So are you gonna pay my gas money? I drove all the way from [Neighboring Town, which is two miles down the road]. Forget it, I’m gonna go down the street to your competitor!”

Under House Arrest

| Upper Marlboro, MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement, Wild & Unruly

(I am an engineer who helps design water drainage for when a new house is built. I get a call from a county inspector that our design of the water flow on the new house we are helping build is going towards the neighbor’s house. We did not design it this way as it is supposed to be draining to the street. I drive out to the site to meet with our customer, the county inspector, and the neighbor. The neighbor and our client have been fighting over the building of this house for years. The house that is under construction, almost completed, is a very expensive, multi-million dollar house. It is too high end for the neighborhood as all of the other houses are only in the $200,000 range.)

Neighbor: “All that water from last week’s rain is going into my basement. I should sue you for damages.” *points to me* “I should also sue you for designing it.”

Me: “Sir, please calm down. I need to inspect the area.”

(We designed a one foot-high wall built with concrete to keep the water from flowing into his yard along with a ditch that is supposed to flow into the street. I get to the area. He has not built any ditch but also built a small six inch-high wooden wall. It is way too small for the water area, plus the wood he used is cheap plywood.)

Me: “Excuse me, [Client], why did you build this wall here? I proposed a concrete one.”

Client: “Oh, the house was costing too much to build so I found some wood in the alley to use.”

Neighbor: “So that explains what happened to my floor. You stole my wood you—”

(Right before he can finish, our client punches the neighbor in the face. It turns out the neighbor was rebuilding his bathroom floor and brought the wood to repair his floor. Our client then admits to stealing it and using it to make the water flow into the neighbor’s basement as punishment for stalling his project. The inspector holds down our client while I call the police. As he is being lead away from the police:)

Client: “This isn’t right. All I was trying to do was build a house!”

A Taxing ‘Twenty’ Minutes

| USA | Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

(I’m a cashier in a wholesale club where shoppers must have membership cards. Some of our customers are business owners or members of non-profit organizations, so they don’t get taxed. This requires having a special card. Scanning one brings up a prompt on the register asking for a manager override to confirm that it’s a tax-exempt transaction. A woman hands me her card and says her purchase is going to be tax-exempt. I scan it.)

Me: “Oh, something’s wrong with the card. It didn’t give me the option to make it tax-exempt.” *I inspect the card and see it’s NOT a business card* “This isn’t—”

Customer: “But I have the paper.”

(She takes a paper out of her purse confirming that she’s part of a non-profit, which is used as proof of eligibility when applying for a business card.)

Me: “Ma’am, that’s just confirming that you qualify for a business card. I can’t take the tax off with that. There’s nothing for a manager to override. It won’t go through. You need to get a business card—”

Customer: “But I don’t have one! Just ring it up regardless; it’s tax exempt!”

Me: “I can’t without a business card. You—”

Customer: “I don’t HAVE one! I just explained it to you!”

Me: “I understand that, but I’m saying there’s no way for me to ring up this purchase without a tax-exempt card. There’s literally nothing I can do to take the tax off, so there’s going to be tax—”

Customer: “But it’s TAX EXEMPT!”

(After a few more failed attempts at explaining that she needs to use the document to get a business card and then come back, she has me call a manager. Since I’m just a cashier, all I can do is set my register’s light to blinking and wait. About ten seconds pass.)

Customer: “Ugh, can’t you just call a manager?!”

Me: “That’s what I’m doing, ma’am; don’t worry. I set the light to blink so a manager should be here soon.”

Customer: “No, I mean CALL him!”

(By the time I figure out what she means and am about to explain that I don’t have a radio, one of my managers arrives.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem here?”

Me: “She wants this purchase to be tax exempt, but she doesn’t have a business card.”

Customer: “But I have the paper!” *she waves the paper around. My manager looks to me for clarification*

Me: “She wants to… use the paper to make it tax-exempt.”

Manager: “Ma’am, you can’t do that. You need to go to customer service and get a business card. Without a business card there’s nothing I can do here.”

Customer: *she’s suddenly very rigid, like she’s doing all she can to keep her anger in* “You know, she had me wait TWENTY minutes to have you come here and tell me that. I’ve been here for TWENTY minutes!”

Manager: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. I do apologize; I was handling a flatbed and I—”

Customer: “Can YOU just ring me out somewhere so I don’t have to wait on another line for TWENTY minutes? It’s been twenty MINUTES!”

Manager: *sighs* “All right, just… just follow me.”

(He obviously had a long day, and looked way too exhausted to argue anymore. I voided the transaction and handed her back her card before my manager led her away. I saw the time stamped on the top of the voided receipt from when the card was first scanned; it was dated just four minutes before — nowhere near twenty!)

Screening The Customers

| Portsmouth, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Movies & TV, Wild & Unruly

Me: “That’s two adults for [Movie] at 15:50; you’ll be in screen 12.”

Customer: “No, that’s wrong.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Did you want a later showing?”

Customer: “No, screen 12. You don’t have a screen 12.”

Me: “Um, yes, we do. We have 14 screens.”

Customer: “No, you’re lying to me and sending me to the wrong screen. You don’t have a screen 12. You only have 3 screens.”

Me: “No, we have 14.”

Customer: “Then why does that say screens 1-3 on it?”

(The customer points to a large sign on the opposite side of the foyer that indicates where screens 1-3 are.)

Customer: “Huh, huh, so, fix this now, and do your f****** job correctly.”

Me: “Screen 12 is on the other side of the foyer.”

(We are at the ice cream counter which obscures the view of the sign indicating screens 4-14.)

Customer: *leans over the small counter and right into my face* “There is no f****** screen 12. Fix it, you stupid b****!

Me: *I step back, walk around the counter and step into the foyer, taking a few steps out until the sign is visible* “Sir, if you could just step over here?”

Customer: *looks confused, but stamps over* “What?”

(I point at the sign for the screens and remain silent.)

Customer: “But… But…”

Me: “That is the direction for screen 12, but since you were verbally abusive and threatening towards a member of staff I’m refusing you service and asking you to please leave the premises before I call security. The front doors are that way.”

(He started screaming and swearing enough that in the end we had to call security to remove him, and he didn’t get a refund on the tickets he’d already paid for.)

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Low On The Milk Of Human Kindness, Part 2

| IL, USA | Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

(I work in my family’s grocery store, which has been in my family since 1956. We’ve had the same hours at least since my parents purchased it in 1993. We close at 7 pm every Monday through Friday night. It is currently 7:05. The doors are locked, and I am cleaning the deli slicer, which is clearly visible from the front doors. An elderly man walks up to the door, looks at the “Closed” sign hanging on the door, and begins incessantly banging on the door. I look at my coworker who is counting money at the counter and agree to answer the door.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, but we’re closed.”

Customer: “All I need is a d*** gallon of milk.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’ve already shut down the registers.”

(The customer proceeds to push me back with the door, which opens inward, walks across the front of the store to the milk cooler, and grabs a gallon of milk.)

Coworker: “I can only ring this up if you have cash.”

(Customer throws five dollars down on the counter and stomps out the door, cussing my coworker and I out the entire time.)

Me: “Well, he was nice.”

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Low On The Milk Of Human Kindness

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