Customers Like This Should Be Illegal

, , , , | Right | December 28, 2020

I work at an office supply store that also has a print shop. This particular day, our lead has called in sick, so I started early and am on my own for the day. We don’t normally do on-the-spot service, and today will be worse; I won’t be able to take as many same-day orders for the evening since I’m alone manning the counter and doing orders.

About halfway through my twelve-hour shift, a lady comes in needing a job done. It’s late afternoon, so it’s pretty dead traffic-wise and she is the only one at my counter.

Me: “Hello, I’m [My Name]. How can I help?

Customer: “Hey. I’m in a pinch and need to file these before the court closes in a few hours. How fast can you get these done?”

Me: “Unfortunately, I can’t take any more on-the-spot orders as we had a sick call and I’m alone all day. If it’s just a straight print job, you’re welcome to use self-serve. Otherwise, you’re looking at tomorrow morning at the earliest.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll do that. I’ll be back.”

I say okay, not knowing what she meant. I probably should have taken a hint that this would turn into more. But in my defense, I am running around and stressed.

After about twenty minutes, she comes over with three copies of a 250-page document.

Me: “Hey, did you get your stuff printed okay? Do you need a box?”

Customer: “A box would be good. I’m going to browse the store until you’re done.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I need them bound. I can’t file them like this.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I really can’t. As I explained, I already have a bunch of orders and I’m by myself.”

Customer: “What do you mean? There is no one here!”

Me: “No, there isn’t right now, but we were busy all morning and it took up all my availability, unfortunately. Sorry about that. You could try [Store about fifteen minutes away] since I know they aren’t as busy. I could call them quickly to check, too.”

Customer: “No, I want you to do them!”

Me: “Ma’am, I really can’t at the moment. I’m really sorry.”

Customer: “Well, sorry doesn’t cut it. I’m a f****** lawyer who needs them done now, or I swear I will sue your a**. Get me management!”

I call a manager who comes up immediately.

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

Customer: “I need these files in two hours and your lazy employee here won’t do it! It would only take like ten minutes, and there is no one else here, so I should get priority because I’m here!”

Manager: “Unfortunately, ma’am, we had a few sick calls, so this young lady is alone today.”

Customer: “Don’t give me excuses! You have a duty to do my order or else I’m calling head office!”

I immediately shudder because, for base-level employees, a call to head office, no matter how unjustified and ridiculous, results in a write-up.

Manager: *Sighs* “I suppose we can pull someone from the floor; however, you will have to pay additional labour fees and rush fees.”

I know exactly what my manager is trying to do and I’m interested to see what will happen.

Manager: “So, in total, we are going to charge you twenty for the three binds, and since it will take about twenty minutes to bind them the way you want, twenty dollars in labour fees. Does that work for you?”

Customer: “That’s insane! I’m not paying that much.”

Manager: “Well, there isn’t much else I can do. Sorry, ma’am.”

Customer: “You’re not f****** sorry! I swear, I will sue you all! How dare you treat a representative of the law like this?! I will have all your jobs! I’m never coming back here!”

She then stormed out after pushing all her documents on the floor. About twenty minutes later, she sheepishly walked in and asked for them. I gave them to her and she walked out, saying profanities. She was back a week later and acted like the whole thing had never happened.

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