Misconstrued Rude

| CA, USA | Right | March 4, 2013

(There are only two of us who work in the office. My coworker is male and I am female, so when customers cannot remember the name of the employee, we can still figure out who helped the customer.)

Customer: “Hi, I called earlier this morning with a question about my bill. I don’t remember who I was talking to, but I was extremely rude to him, and I just wanted to come by and apologize for my behavior.”

Me: “Umm… wow. Okay, let me get him for you…”

(I go and get my coworker.)

Coworker: “Yes, how may I help you?”

Customer: “I wanted to come in and apologize in person for how I acted on the phone this morning. I was rude, and there was no excuse for it, so I am sorry.”

Coworker: “Wow. Thanks, but, uh… I haven’t gotten any rude calls today.”

Customer: “Then maybe it was another coworker of yours?”

Me: “No, it’s just the two of us here.”

Customer: *turning to me* “Then maybe I talked to you, although I seem to remember talking to a man.”

Me: “I don’t think you were talking to me. I also haven’t received any rude calls today.”

Customer: “Really? There are people who are ruder than me?”

Me: “Yes.”

Coworker: “All the time.”

Customer: “Then I would like to apologize on behalf of all your customers who made me seem nice and friendly!”

(One thing I’ve learned from years of customer service: if you are worried about being THAT customer, chances are good that you aren’t!)

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  • Christina Veronica Larsson

    I have two examples of this in my life:

    One was a guy in high school who, although something of a jerk, was more the type to make me roll my eyes versus all the people who bullied me to the point of tears. When I first got Facebook two years later, he sent me a friend request which I accepted, and started by apologising for his “bad” behavior. It turns out we both like Star Trek and he got me interested in Lovecraft.

    Number two was a customer when I was working at a grocery store. We had had a really good sale on ribs; as such, we ran out fairly quickly and had to issue raincheques. Trouble is, with the meat department, we can’t just adjust the price at the register, because the meat is weighed and then issued a unique barcode according to the weight of that particular package. Each customer is supposed to be told (some cashiers forget to tell, other times the customers forget they’ve been told) that, in order to use the raincheck, they have to bring their selected meat to the meat department so that they can weigh according to the sale price and print appropriate stickers for us to scan. As I mentioned, not everyone remembers to tell the customer when issuing the raincheque, or sometimes the customer forgets.
    A woman came to my register with four packages of the ribs and a raincheque, but she hadn’t gone through the person at the meat counter to have adjusted barcodes put on her meat. I informed her what she had to do, and she replied with “I don’t have time for this!” left the meat and stormed away. I sighed, and called for the meat department to come pick up the ribs.
    The following week, she returned to me, apologised, and handed me a 10$ gift card for a coffee shop, saying she had already cleared with my supervisor that she could give it to me. Definitely not my rudest customer in the slightest, even without the gift card!