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My Soul For A Steam-Iron

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Family & Kids, Popular

(I’m selling $250 steam irons and working on straight commission. A customer chats with me for 10 minutes, growing progressively more interested in the machine. I need this sale to make quota for the day, so start to hope when he says “I’m going to go find my wife and bring her to see this!” A few minutes after, while I’m scanning the aisles hoping to see him come back – 75% of the time these “Be backs” never return – a three-year-old boy comes up to my booth.)

Little Boy: “I’m lost. Can you help me find my mommy?”

Me: “Absolutely!”

(I’m a traveling demonstrator and don’t work for the store, so have no idea policy about lost children, but figure I’ll walk him to the managers. I take him up front, but forget to put out my “Be back in five minutes” sign. After I get him into the hands of the floor manager, I head back to my booth, gone less than five minutes. Shortly, the customer returns.)

Customer: “You just lost a sale! I came back with my wife and you were gone! We weren’t going to wait around for hours for you; she’s gone to check out. Guess you weren’t really interested in a sale!”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but a little boy was lost and asked me for help finding his mommy. He was scared and I took him to the manager.”

Customer: “Too bad for you! That’s not your job. You’re here to sell!”

(Customer storms off just as the manager walks by with the little boy, bringing him to the mom who happens to be near my booth and is starting to panic.)

Manager: “This brave little boy knew what to do when he realized he was lost. He went right to a staff member in a badge—” *pointing to me* “—and asked for help. Always go to a person in authority and we’ll take care of you!”

Mother: *looking at me* “Oh, my god! Thank you so much! I’ve worked these kinds of booths; I hope being away didn’t cost you a sale?”

Me: “Not helping would have cost me my soul.”

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Not Trying To Pop Your Corn About It

| OK, USA | Food & Drink, Movies & TV

(I work at a movie theater where we offer the usual concession foods, drinks, etc. Our large popcorn and drinks always come with free refills.)

Customer: “Hi, do you remember me from earlier? The popcorn you gave me had a rip in the bag and I’d like to speak to a manager about it. Also I need refills on my drink.”

Me: “Sure, no problem.” *I go off and get his drinks* “Would you rather me get you a free large popcorn since your last was refillable anyways?”

Customer: “No, thank you. I’d just like to speak with a manager.”

(I go off and tell someone to call a manager over before walking back to the till where the customer was.)

Me: “I’m really sorry about the inconvenience. I’m getting a manager for you now.”

Customer: “Can you just get me a free large popcorn instead?”

Me: “Yes…”

(I hand him the popcorn and he walks off.)

Coworker: “What just happened… Didn’t you suggest the free popcorn in the first place?”

Manager: “Did you need something?”

Me: “I guess not.”

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Banana Split Of Opinion

| King of Prussia, PA, USA | Food & Drink

(Our standard banana splits are made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate, pineapple, and strawberry sauces, peanuts, whipped cream, and a cherry. We always ask people if they would like to change the flavors or toppings before we start making the item.)

Customer: “I’d like a banana split.”

Me: “Okay. We usually make that with vanilla ice cre—”

Customer: “No. No. No. I want it with two scoops of strawberry on either side, and one scoop of vanilla in the middle. No toppings but the strawberry sauce, and whipped cream but no cherry.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I proceed to make the banana split. Ice cream goes down first, then the sauce, then half a banana split long ways down either side, then whipped cream. I bring it to the window.)

Me: “Here you go. Will that be all?”

Customer: *disdainful look* “Yes… That’s all.”

(He pays and I give him his change. He is about to walk off.)

Customer: “You know you did this all wrong, right?”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Customer: “I’ve been coming here for five years and they’re never like this.”

Me: “I’ve been working here for a few years and this is how I was trained to make them. What is it that you don’t like?”

Customer: “The banana is on top of the ice cream. I’ve been coming here for five years. It’s supposed to go on the bottom.”

Me: “Like… under all the ice cream?”

Customer: “Yes. How am I supposed to get to the ice cream without touching the banana when it’s like this?”

Me: “I think the point is to be able to eat the ice cream and banana together.” *points at poster of banana split on store front* “See? That is how we make them here. If you would like me to remake it, I’d be happy t—”

Customer: “No. I’ve been coming here for five years. This is all wrong.”

Me: “Would you like me to refund your money?”

Customer: “No. No. NO. This is just wrong, though.”

Me: “So you don’t want a replacement item and you don’t want a refund?”

Customer: “No.” *continues to stand at counter blocking the next customer in line*

Me: “I’m sorry but beyond remaking the item and a refund, there’s not really anything I can do. Would you like to speak to my manager?”

Customer: “No.”

(He continued to stand there for another minute, looking down, flaring his nostrils at his ice cream, blocking the next customer in line. Finally he moved away. Ten minutes later, I saw him throw his empty carton out. I guess he found a way around the banana.)