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No Need To Restart This Conversation

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2021

I work for a grocery chain as a supervisor in a very affluent area. Because of our location, our customers tend to be very demanding and somewhat out of touch. A fellow employee tells me that a customer is having trouble at the [Movie Rental Company] machine we have outside, so I go out to help him.

Me: “Do you need help?”

Customer: “Yes, your machine isn’t working. You need to fix it. I need a movie for tonight.”

I look at the machine and see that the screen is black. 

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t own the machine, [Movie Rental Company] does. I’ll call a technician, but in the meantime, you’ll have to use one at another location.”

Customer: “No.”

I’m a bit flabbergasted by how abruptly he says it. His face is expressionless, and he doesn’t say anything else.

Me: “Again, I apologize, but I really have no way to fix it. I can help you find another one.”

I take out my phone and start looking for directions.

Customer: “No. This is the only one for fifty miles.”

Me: “It looks like there are two within a ten-minute drive.”

Customer: “That’s too far; I need a movie for tonight.”

It’s 10:00 am and he’s holding car keys.

Customer: “I worked in tech. Just restart it.”

Me: “I’m not sure if I should do that. I can call the technician to ask, but if it requires a password to log in, I won’t be able to bring it up. Do you want to wait?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, in that case— Sir, please don’t do that!”

He has started looking behind the machine and tugging on wires.

Customer: “I’m going to restart it. It’s okay; I worked in tech.”

Before I can say anything else, he pulls the plug out of the wall. When he plugs it back in, the start-up screen for [Outdated Operating System] loads.

Customer: “Well, there’s the problem! They can’t use this version! How could you let them use this?! It’s not supported anymore.”

Me: “We don’t have control over that.”

We wait in silence as the timer counts down to when the operating system will finish booting up. When it does, the screen returns to black.

Customer: “I guess it is broken. I’ll just go to the other one. You need to call somebody and have them fix it!”

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Have you ever met a customer who thought the world revolved around them?

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