In The Wrong Place At The Right Time

| PA, USA | Food & Drink

(I’m busing tables at a small, family owned restaurant. There is another restaurant about fifteen minutes away with the same name, so we sometimes get mix ups. We are just started to slow down after a fairly busy dinner rush when I overhear the hostess talking to a customer.)

Hostess: “Hi, welcome to [restaurant]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I placed an order with you guys and I’m here to pick it up.”

(The hostess checks but sees no order for her.)

Hostess: “I’m not seeing any order under your name. Are you sure you didn’t accidentally call [other restaurant] instead?”

Customer: “How DARE you accuse me of being that dumb? Of course I called here! You just can’t do your job right. Look in the back; I’m sure they have it!”

(The hostess goes to the back waitress station but doesn’t find it. She decides to call the other restaurant, and, sure enough, they have her order.)

Hostess: “Ma’am, I just called the other restaurant and they have your order. If you’d like, we can put your order in now but it won’t be done for another fifteen minutes.”

Customer: “NO! I need my food now! Give me someone else’s. I have stuff to do!”

Hostess: “I don’t know what to tell you, ma’am. You can either drive fifteen minutes to the other restaurant, or you can wait fifteen minutes and get it here.”

Customer: “Hmph, fine! I guess I’ll wait, but this is the worst service I’ve ever had!”

(As she waits, the customer stands at the counter while tapping her her foot and staring at her watch. When her food is finally finished, she tears it out of the hostess hands and storms out.)

Customer: “I’M NEVER COMING TO THIS S***HOLE AGAIN!”

Next Customer: *to the hostess* “…and we’re all very thankful for that!”

Time To Get Your Self Checked Out

| Newmarket, ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

Customer: “I want to make a complaint! The cashier triple charged me for the cheese!”

Me: “Really? Let me see the receipt so I can give you a refund.”

Customer: *shoves the receipt at me*

Me: “Ma’am, you said the cashier triple charged you?”

Customer: “Yes, and she was very rude and disrespectful!”

Me: “Ma’am, our receipts show which till the sale went through on. You were on self-checkout, so you overcharged yourself. Are you still wanting to make a complaint?”

Customer: *stammers and quickly leaves, minus her refund*

Next Customer: *jokingly* “Hi, I’m feeling guilty and would like to complain about myself as well!”

Your Weekend Makes My Grief Extend

| Nanaimo, BC, Canada | Bizarre

Customer: “So, how are you spending your long weekend?”

Me: “I’m working here.”

Customer: “Why would you be here?”

Me: *confused* “Because I’m working?”

Customer: “But why?”

Me: “Um, because I’m scheduled to work.”

Customer: “That doesn’t make any sense!” *walks away*

Murray’s Law

| Sydney, Australia | At The Checkout, Top

(I work at a complaints and returns desk. We generally get a few unreasonable and abusive customers each day, so we’ve developed a very effective tactic for dealing with them.)

Me: “Hello, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “You guys are idiots!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Look at this receipt! Look at it!”

(He holds up a receipt for a purchase; it looks normal enough.)

Me: “Is there a problem with it?”

Customer: “God, you’re so dumb! Look how faint the ink is! I can barely read it! You want me to go blind?!”

Me: “Ah, well, it looks like the printer’s ink was running a little low, and it can look faded because of that. Would you like me to reprint it so you can read it?”

Customer: “NO! Then you’ll just get away with it! Stupid idiots!”

(The customer starts getting worked up and begins a rant full of swear words and physical threats. I realise what the situation calls for.)

Me: “I am terribly, terribly sorry sir. That looks like Murray did it. What an idiot!”

(This stops the customer’s rant in his tracks and looks at me, breathless.)

Customer: “…Murray?”

Me: “Yes, Murray! He’s always causing problems for customers like you. It’s really unfair. I’ll deal with it right now.” *calling out* “Murray? Come here!”

(As per protocol, the nearest male coworker who isn’t busy comes over to play the role of Murray.)

Male Coworker: “Yes?”

Me: “How dare you upset this customer! You’re fired! Get out!”

Male Coworker: *acts dejected* “I’m so sorry…”

(“Murray” shuffles off looking like he’s about to cry, and once out of sight gets right back to work.)

Me: “There we are, sir. You don’t have to worry about that sort of thing happening ever again. The customer always comes first, and we take complaints very seriously. Have a nice day!”

Customer: “Wow, you guys are really great! Thanks, and good riddance to that idiot Murray!” *leaves*

(This isn’t simply to avoid confrontation; our manager estimates that using the “Murray” tactic to placate customers like this saves us nearly an hour of verbal abuse each day, so we have more time to actually help the customers who need it.)

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A Case Of Misbehavin’ Identity

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Top, Wild & Unruly

(I am working in a post office inside a mall. I am in a rather secluded part of the store and usually only one or two customers are here at a time. This is my first night alone, and I have just learned this particular transaction about two hours earlier with my manager. The first meeting occurs with my manager there as a witness.)

Customer #1: “I’d like to do a change of address, please.”

Me: “Sure. I just need two pieces of photo ID and something showing your old address. It could be your driver’s license or a bill.”

Customer #1: “I don’t carry ID with me. I don’t want to get mugged. I took the bus here just to do this. Can’t you do it anyway?”

(Unfortunately, there is no way to do this. If I don’t write the information down on the form, it will be rejected and the customer’s money will not be refunded. I explain this to her several times, and mention TWO pieces of ID repeatedly. I also write this down on a note and hand it to her. She leaves, upset, and tells me she’ll be back later. Work continues as normal, until I see the same customer come back in the store two hours later. This is after my manager has left me alone for the night.)

Me: “Hi there! So, you brought your ID?”

Customer #1: *grumbles* “Yes. I can’t BELIEVE you made me bus it home and all the way back here for ONE STUPID CARD.”

(At this point, I know she’s going to get even angrier. She’s only got one piece of ID, and I still can’t do the transaction.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I need two pieces of ID.”

Customer #1: “Are you f***ing joking?! ALL THE WAY HOME AND YOU STILL WON’T DO IT?!”

Me: “I asked you for two pieces of ID, ma’am, several times. I even sent a note with you.”

Customer #1: “YOU EXPECT ME TO READ A NOTE? ARE YOU STUPID? YOU HAVE ONE PIECE! THAT’S ENOUGH! JUST DO THE F***ING FORM!”

(The customer is fuming, and there are other people in line behind her. I call my manager, who immediately remembers the customer and tells me to “just do the transaction anyways and she can lose her $40 if she wants to”, but by this time the woman is screeching while I’m on the phone.)

Customer #1: “YOU ARE REFUSING ME SERVICE BECAUSE YOU’RE A RACIST, AREN’T YOU?! YOU F***ING RACIST!”

(Suddenly, she vaults herself over the counter and grabs the nearest object—thankfully just a roll of kraft paper—and starts whacking me with it. Security happens to be passing by and they tackle the woman to the ground, kraft paper in hand, still screeching about my “racism” and “ignorance”. I go back to helping the customers that have been waiting.)

Customer #2: “My god, that was the best thing I’ve ever seen! What the h*** did you do to her?!”

Me: “Long story…I just needed more ID and she didn’t have it. What can I help you with?”

Customer #2: “Oh, a change of address. But I only have one piece of ID…” *gets a sheepish look on his face* “You just spent the whole time I was in line explaining that you need two pieces of ID for this form, didn’t you?”

Me: “Oh, um, yes… so, you know that I can’t do it then?”

Customer #2: “Yeah, I just hoped for some hair pulling.” *slinks away*

Customer #3: *grinning* “I have two pieces of ID, and I just want to mail this.”

Me: “I’m so sorry you had to witness that, sir. You could use the drop box beside the desk next time. It’s right over there.”

Customer #3: “Oh, I know. But I’m an officer and I wanted to witness that woman in case things went south.”

(It turns out he really was an officer! He had the woman charged with assault and petty theft for taking the roll of kraft paper.)

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