A Birthday Fit For A King

| Belgium | Language & Words, Top

(This call takes place during pre-Internet times, back when I was a student working a holiday job at a call center for a national telecom operator. My job was to look up international phone and fax numbers for our customers.)

Me: “International inquiries, how can I help you?”

Elderly Male Caller: “Hello? I need the number of The King of Morocco’s direct line.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that type of information would be classified. I can give you the number of our embassy in Morocco if you like. Maybe someone over there can further assist you? ”

Elderly Male Caller: “No, no, that won’t do. Your colleague already told me to dial [embassy’s number], but that’s no good. I want the direct line of The King. He lives in Casablanca.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m afraid we cannot help you.”

Elderly Male Caller: “Are you quite sure? It’s The King I’m looking for, he lives in Casablanca, which is in Morocco, and I’m quite sure there is only one of them in the whole country. Surely you can look up his number?”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t, sir, as I’ve explained before—”

Elderly Male Caller: *sadly* “I used to have his number, you know, but I’ve lost the notebook it was in. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for him to call me then. Goodbye…”

(The caller hangs up. However, over the next hour, several of my coworkers get the same call, with the elderly man sounding more desperate, and repeating over and over he needs to speak to The King in Casablanca. Eventually, I get him on my line again.)

Me: “Sir, I’m really sorry, but there’s nothing more me or my colleagues can do for you. The King’s direct number is private. We simply cannot access that kind of information.”

Elderly Male Caller: “But it’s his 68th birthday! I ALWAYS call him on his birthday! Ever since he moved to Casablanca, over 25 years ago! My brother, The King!”

(At this point, it finally dawned on me that “The King” he was trying to call was simply the elderly caller’s brother, Mr. De Koning (“The King”, literally), who had indeed moved to Casablanca, and who indeed turned out to be the only “De Koning”/”The King” in the Casablanca telephone directory. When I finally gave our customer the number of “The King” of Casablanca, he was extremely grateful!)

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With Customers Like These, Sales Are Guaranteed To Take Off

| Las Vegas, NV, USA | Language & Words

Me: “Hi, may I help you find something today?”

Customer: “Uh, yeah. Where do you have your ceiling propellers?”

Me: “Do you mean ceiling fans?”

Customer: “No, I’m looking for ceiling propellers.”

(I assume that she is looking for ceiling fans anyway, and point her towards them.)

Me: “Is that what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “Oh yes! There’s your ceiling propellers. I thought you sold them!”

This Phone-y Claim Doesn’t Ring True

| North Carolina, USA | Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Top

(I am working the front counter at the post office. Customer #1 is in front of me, while Customers #2 and #3 are at the center counter filling out paperwork.)

Customer #2: “Hey, have you seen my cellphone?”

Customer #3: “I thought you brought it in with you.”

Customer #2: “Yeah, so did I. Can you call it for me?’

(Customer #3 obliges and dials Customer #2’s phone. Surprisingly, a phone starts ringing. Customer #2 walks around by the front of the counter and looks at Customer #1.)

Customer #s: “Ma’am, I think my phone is in your purse.”

Customer #1: “No, you must be mistaken. That’s my phone.”

Customer #2: “Well, if it’s your phone, aren’t you going to answer it?”

Customer #1: “I think I’ll let it go to voicemail.”

Me: “Ma’am, I think you need to show us that phone.”

(She reluctantly reaches into her purse and brings out the phone. Customer #2 takes the phone.)

Customer #2: “That is MY phone!”

Customer #1: “Oh, I’m so sorry, I forgot. I did find it on the counter and I was going to turn it in, but I got distracted…”

(Moral of the story: if you’re going to steal a cellphone, have the sense to turn the ringer off!)

It’s Gonna Be Them, This I Promise You

| Portsmouth, NH, USA | Musical Mayhem

(A customer comes into the music store where I work and asks me and my coworker if we can identify a song for him.  He sings a little bit and I immediately recognize it as being by NSYNC.)

Customer: “No, I’m sure it’s not them. A woman sings it.”

Me: “I’m sure the song you were singing is by NSYNC. I’ll show you the CD.”

Coworker: “She’s right, sir. The song you want is definitely by NSYNC.”

Customer: “It’s by a WOMAN! I’ll find it myself!”

(A little while later, the customer comes up to the register with a CD by Alicia Keys.)

Customer: “This has to be it! It sounds just like her!”

Me: “Okay, but I have to warn you that we do not give refunds on open CDs, so if you find out this isn’t the right one you won’t be able to return it.”

Customer: “I’m sure it’s the right one!”

Me: “You’re sure you don’t want to give the NSYNC one a try?”

Customer: “It’s not by them! I told you already!”

(I sell the man the CD and watch as he walks across the parking lot to his car. He sits in his car for a few minutes, gets out, and starts to head back to the store with the CD and wrapper in his hand.)

Customer: “This isn’t the song I wanted! I need to return this!”

Me: “Unfortunately, as I said a few minutes ago, we cannot give refunds for CDs that have been opened.”

Customer: “But I just bought it!”

Me: “I understand that, but I told you before you bought it that it was not right one. You didn’t want to listen to me.”

(The customer and I go back and forth for a few minutes.)

Me: “Look, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll let you exchange this CD for the NSYNC one.”

Customer: “It’s not them! It’s a woman!”

Me: “Humor me. I’ll let you exchange this CD for the NSYNC one and if it turns out that I’m wrong, I’ll give you a refund. What have you got to lose?”

Customer: “This is a waste of my time! Fine!”

Me: *gets the CD for him and does the exchange*

Customer: “I’ll be back for my refund!”

(Again, I watch the man walk to his car. Not surprisingly, after listening to the CD for a few minutes, he starts his car and then drives off.)

Wilt By Association

| Manchester, UK | Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Top

(I’m the only barman on shift and have just told a rather rowdy customer that he’ll have to leave if he doesn’t calm down. However, he starts to mouth off at me instead. A MASSIVE guy who I’ve never met before turns around to watch him.)

Customer: *to the massive guy* “What the f*** you gonna do? I’ll f***ing take you, I’ll beat the f***ing s*** out of you!”

Massive Guy: “Hah! No you f***ing won’t. This guy…” *indicates me* “…can chokeslam me, so I’d love to see what he can do to YOU.”

(The rowdy customer looks up at him, and then looks back at me in surprise.)

Customer: “Uh… yeah, right. He’s a f***ing twig. He couldn’t do s*** to anyone!”

(I shrug and start to walk round the bar.)

Me: “Okay, if you’re so sure, let’s go outside, shall we?”

(At this, the rowdy customer deflates and backs towards the door.)

Customer: “Uh… nevermind… I’ll… I’ll take your word for it!” *turns tail and runs*

Me: *to the massive guy* “Thanks for the help there.”

Massive Guy: “Don’t worry about it. I hate seeing people try to bully barstaff. You shouldn’t disrespect the guy who gives you beer.”

(His drinks were free for the rest of the night!)

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