Acting Like The Hair Apparent

| VA, USA | Bizarre, Wild & Unruly

(I am a black woman, and I have natural hair, meaning there are no chemicals in it to make it straight. The customer in this story is a white woman, and she is the only one in the lobby.)

Me: “Welcome to [movie theater]. Will that be all for you today?”

Customer: *looks at me disdainfully*

Me: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: “Is all of that under your cap your hair?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Why do you have so much?”

Me: “I’m Haitian. We typically have very thick hair.”

Customer: “Do you wash it?”

Me: “…Of course. I actually washed it last night.”

Customer: “It looks dirty. Why isn’t it straight? It looks unprofessional like that.”

Me: “My hair is naturally kinky. I’d have to get a relaxer for it to be—”

(Without warning, the customer reaches out, knocks my hat off, and shoves her hands all through my hair.)

Me: *swats her hands away* “EXCUSE YOU!”

Customer: “What? I wanted to see what it felt like.”

Me: “And you felt no need to ask me if it was okay to enter my body space?”

Customer: “Not really. I figured it was okay. I mean, it’s just hair. It’s not like it’s your boob or a body part or anything.”

Me: “It is, and I don’t care to be touched. Please don’t.”

Customer: “I was just curious!”

Me: “But you could have asked. I’m still a person.”

Customer: “No you’re not! You work here, and that means I get to do whatever I want to you because I’m paying you!”

Me: “Actually, [manager] pays me, and I will call him to escort you out if you don’t finish your transaction and return to your theater.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t want to buy anything now because you don’t want me to touch your hair!”

Me: *voids transaction* “Please leave your items on the counter and enjoy your show!”

(She walks off to a manager, calls me uppity, and demands I be reprimanded for refusing to let her touch me. The manager kicked her out without refund.)

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Likely Story, Unlikely Store

| Wayne, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(A woman walks up to the customer service desk.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. How are you today?”

Customer: “I’d like to return these sandals. They broke when I was wearing them, and I fell.”

Me: “Okay ma’am, not a problem.”

(I look at the sandals, and they are not a brand that we sell.)

Me: “Ma’am, these sandals actually aren’t from this store.”

Customer: “Of course they are! I bought them just a few weeks ago, right on the rack over there!”

(Even if she had purchased them here, the rack she is pointing to is in the complete opposite direction of where our sandals are.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but this brand isn’t one that we sell here. I don’t know where you got them, but it wasn’t from this store.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I bought these from this store! And I fell in them and hurt myself! I’m going to sue you! I got hurt wearing a pair of your sandals!”

Me: “One moment, ma’am… I will call over a manager to assist you.”

(I call the manager, who heads over pretty quickly. The customer continues ranting in much the same manner.)

Customer: “I’m going to sue you and this store! I know for a fact that I got these here, and—”

(She has stopped mid-sentence because she is looking down at her sandals. As she does so, her eyes grow wide, and she becomes very pale.)

Customer: “…Oh. I don’t want to speak to the manager.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I don’t want to speak to anyone. I’m sorry, this is the wrong store!” *leaves*

Decent Society Hangs On A Knife’s Edge

| Gas City, IN, USA | Awesome Workers, Top

(I’m currently attending college in a very small town. I receive an assignment requiring me to carve a pumpkin. Finding proper tools turn out to be a challenge. I end up biking several miles over hilly country roads to a small hardware store in the next town over, so I arrive disheveled and over-heated. The place is empty save for a guy who seems to be the owner and an employee. Judging by the dust, they haven’t restocked anything since the 90s.)

Employee: “Hi, can I help you find something?”

Me: “Yes, I’m looking for something I could use to carve a pumpkin.”

Employee: “Well, I’m afraid we don’t carry much household stuff. Have you looked in [other hardware store, some miles away]?”

Me: “Actually, I biked here, so I haven’t gone anywhere else yet.”

Employee: “Okay, well, we could try over here.”

(Together, we scour the shelves of odd miscellaneous items, their formerly bright packaging faded with age.)

Me: “Oh, well… I guess I’ll look over at your other tools there. Thanks for the help!”

(I move off and begin looking at the main hardware section, without success. The owner comes up behind me. He’s tall, bearded, and somewhat imposing. He holds a somewhat rusty, large, serrated knife.)

Owner: “Hey, how about you take this? It’s a drywall knife, and it should work well. I’ve got three of ’em, so I won’t miss this one!”

(Beaming, I accept his kind offer and bike home triumphantly. Kind people like that make the world a much more tolerable place!)

Big Brother Is Not Watching You

| ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, Technology

(I work in a call centre that handles calls exclusively from American customers. Since we’re located right on the Ontario-Michigan border, we often tell customers that we’re located in Northern Michigan to avoid having to explain how the company manages to serve Americans properly.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [insurance company], roadside assistance. How can I help you?”

Customer: “You have a weird accent. Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m from Northern Michigan, ma’am. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Oh! That’s where I am! You must be able to see me, then!”

(I assume she means on our program’s mapping system.)

Me: “I don’t have your location listed here, ma’am. If you’ll answer a few questions, I can get that information from you in a moment. Is your—”

Customer: “You mean you can’t see me?”

Me: “Not yet, ma’am. First I have to get some more information from you and then I can bring up a map of your location.”

Customer: “No, on the cameras! Can’t you see me on the cameras?”

Me: *confused* “What cameras, ma’am?”

Customer: “They’re right there! I’m waving at it! It’s just on top of the traffic light!”

(I realize she’s talking about the traffic camera that takes photos of vehicles that run red lights. I spend the next 10 minutes trying to explain that. Eventually, she accepts I can’t see her.)

Customer: *resigned* “Well, I guess if you can’t see me, I’ll just call my husband. He can change my tire…”

(She hung up before I could explain that we could set up service. About 20 minutes later, I heard my coworker explaining to a customer that traffic cameras are not a country-wide surveillance system. It was the same woman. She hung up on him, too!)

Trouble Brewing, Part 3

| Virginia Beach, VA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(A customer buys a big bottle of beer and takes it out of the store in a brown paper bag as required by law. He returns a few seconds later with only the bag, and this conversation takes place.)

Customer: “Hey, there’s glass all over your parking lot.”

Me: “What happened?”

Customer: “Oh, I dropped my beer.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I grab the broom and dustpan and tell my co-worker to mind the till while I sweep it up. As I’m on the way out the door, the customer stops me.)

Customer: “So, can I get another bottle of beer?”

Me: “Why wouldn’t you get another bottle of beer?”

Customer: “No, I mean, don’t I get a free one?”

Me: “Why would you get a free beer?”

Customer: “I dropped it in your parking lot!”

Related:
Trouble Brewing, Part 2

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