Cashing And Crashing

| NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Money

(I work for the call center of a major ticketing organization. Most of my job consists of helping people find the tickets they want and then helping them pay via the phone. Most customers are great…)

Me: “All right, that brings your total to [amount]. How would you like to pay?”

Customer: “Cash.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t hold the tickets for you so you can pay later. I have to take the payment now on a debit or credit card.”

Customer: “But I want to pay in cash.”

Me: “I understand that, but unfortunately, I cannot accept cash for an over-the-phone purchase since you can’t hand it to me.”

Customer: “You just want to steal my credit card!”

Me: “Not at all. I assure you, many people buy tickets like this every day and it’s completely safe.”


Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I simply cannot take cash as a form of payment over the phone. You are welcome to come to the theater and pay cash if you wish.”

Customer: “Well, that’s stupid; I’m not in New York.”

Me: “Unfortunately, the theater is the only place we accept cash, ma’am.”

Customer: “F*** you. I’m ordering online.”

Me: “Ma’am, you can’t pay cash online either.”

Customer: *slams phone down*

Getting Lippy With The Lipstick

| New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I am sixteen, in the mall after school, still in my high school uniform, which is a black sweater with a school crest and black skirt. I pick up a few things I need and text my dad to tell him where I am. I decide to look at some lipsticks while I wait for a reply when I catch this woman staring at me. She’s staring so hard I keep glancing up from my phone to make sure she’s not going to do something suddenly. Eventually I decide to say something.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Woman: “I’m looking for some lipstick. What are you doing?”

Me: “Um, texting my dad…”

Woman: “They let you have a phone?”

Me: *not understanding* “Uh, yeah, I mean I have to buy my own credit but I only really use it so they can call me—”

Woman: “Whatever. Put it away and help me.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Woman: “I want a new lipstick! I’m in a rush. Do you mind?”

(I gesture to the range of lipsticks on the counter between us. At the same time I get a text back from my dad and look back down at my phone. When I do so, the woman slams her purse on the counter, sending a bunch of eyeshadows and blushes onto the floor, where they shatter.)

Woman: “I can’t believe this! I shop here all the time and I’ve never been treated so badly in ten years!”

(Just then, my dad shows up.)

Dad: “Ready?”

Me: “Uh, yeah.”

(My dad looks at the mess at the floor and then at the woman who is now shooting evil looks at him, too. We join the checkout line and the woman follows us, still shouting about the appalling service.)

Dad: *to employee* “Can you call a manager?”

(The employee calls the manager, who arrives quickly and looks between us and the furious but now silent woman who has followed us all the way to the front door.)

Dad: “That lady has been harassing my daughter and quite a bit of your display.”

Woman: “She should be fired! She wouldn’t help me find what I wanted!”

Manager: *looks at my high school uniform and then at the woman, and radios mall security*

(I ended up with a free lipstick for my trauma!)

Crafty Ways To Make A Call

| MA, USA | Bizarre

(I work in a well-known craft store. A customer comes up to the cut counter to get some fabric.)

Customer: “Can I get two yards of each?”

Me: “No problem.”

Customer: “Hey, do you mind if I make a real quick phone call?”

Me: “Go ahead.”

Customer: *on phone* “Hi, I’d like to order a large pizza…”

Tagged You From The Start

| Delaware, OH, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Non-Dialogue

In the early 1990s I was working my way through college in a national shoe chain known for its inexpensive shoes. The most expensive pair we sold was $50. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be alone on shift. One day I open, which among other things involves marking the weekly sale items with these sticky green cardboard tags that would hang off the edge of the box, displaying the sale price ($5, $10, etc). The original thought with these tags is that they could be reused, so they are almost the stickiness of post-its. I open up, take the old sale tags down, put the new sale tags on, and wait for customers. Half an hour after I finish, the first customer of the day comes in.

She heads directly for the women’s 8 1/2s and after greeting her I let her browse and try on stuff in peace. 10 or so minutes later, she’s brought a pair of shoes up to the register to check out. I immediately notice the $19.99 shoes have a $5 tag on it — and I know I did not put it there, nor has this style ever been on sale (no possibility I missed taking a tag off).

I ring her up; gee, what a surprise. It’s $19.99. She protests, demanding the “sale price.” I shake my head, saying no. She continues to protest but is losing steam over my wall of no. Finally I sigh and let her know I just tagged the items on sale that morning, she was the only one in so far, and I could check the video footage (gesturing towards the wall mounted curved mirror in the corner), but I was pretty sure the tag just happened to fall off and into the box below, right?

She turns pale, pays, and leaves. I go back to the aisle and she’s moved half the tags around, probably in an effort to bolster her story. It mystifies me to this day why anyone would risk a class one misdemeanor for theft, which carries up to $1,000 fine and/or 180 days in jail, to get a cheap pair of shoes.

The company eventually made the glue on the back of the tags too strong for would-be thieves to try this stunt. The real kicker to this: we, as wasn’t unusual at the time, didn’t have a security camera. The mirror was just that — a mirror.

Your Membership Is Dead

| UK | Bad Behavior, Health & Body, Wild & Unruly

(I have just started as a first aider at a children’s activity centre. I have been called to a ball pit where a child has collapsed. I am doing the necessary checks when a woman, who has been there all of ten seconds, speaks up.)

Woman: “She’s dead. There’s no point in resuscitating her.”

Mother: “What? No!”

Woman: “There’s nothing you can do. She’s dead.”

Me: “Actually she’s breathing, although her pulse is low.” *radioing for an ambulance*

Woman: *to the mother* “SHE IS DEAD! Get over it. It happens all the time!”

Me: “Excuse me, madam. If you aren’t going to be helpful, could you please leave the area?”

(This shuts the woman up, but I hear her mumbling about how I should give up as she walks away. The ambulance arrives, and the girl is conscious as she is taken away. An hour later I walk into the manager’s office and the manager motions me to keep quiet before putting his call on speaker.)

Woman: “…and this man was very rude to me. I am a long-time customer, and don’t take too kindly to—”

Manager: “Yes, madam, I can understand your frustration. However I’m afraid there is very little that I can do.”

Woman: “You can do plenty! You can fire his a** or I will never bring my children there again!”

Manager: “Yes, madam, I could. However I think given the circumstances that would be highly inappropriate.”


Manager: “He also assisted in saving a young girl’s life today, the mother of which, if I understand the context of your complaint, you screamed at saying she was already dead.”

Woman: “How the f**** would you know?”

Manager: “My colleague was radioing me for an ambulance when I heard ‘SHE IS DEAD.’ While I cannot be certain, I did recognise the voice as you just shouted.”

Woman: “Well, I… f***!” *hangs up*

Me: “What kind of a**-hole does that?!”

Manager: “A special breed we like to call ‘Gold Star members.’ They’re friends of shareholders who think they run the place because they get everything for free. Never mind traumatising a poor mother; she was told to shut up, which as we all know is an unforgivable sin!”

(The manager got put on probation after the woman told her shareholder friend, but upon realising the facts the woman was banned by the shareholder. The manager was also promoted and I got a raise. The girl made a full recovery. The woman’s daughter visits the centre frequently, still being listed as a gold star member. He father comes with her now, though, instead.)

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