Tinker, Tailor, Waiter, Spy

| Mendoza, Argentina | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

(I am a US citizen. I don’t look like a native Argentine. I’m with a group of my friends. I have a face that is often mistaken for a worker wherever I am—even in the USA. I grab a menu so I can decipher it while we are waiting for a waiter. A customer grabs me by my lapels.)

Customer: *in Spanish* “We’ve been waiting for 40 minutes and no one has come. Why? We’re hungry and livid!”

Me: *thinking quickly* “I’m sorry, ma’am. We got a sudden lunch rush. Half of our wait staff called off because of sickness, and those who are here are working as hard as we can.”

Customer: “It’s not enough! You better take our order, NOW!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you’re next on my list. I’ll take care of you right now. Let me go get my stuff; I’ll be right back.”

(She shoves me away, and into another table. I stand up, apologize, and rejoin my friends.)

Friend: *in English* “What was that all about?”

Me: “That lady has been waiting for a while and she’s angry about it.”

Friend: “So… she… thinks you’re a waiter?”

Me: “Yep, and she’s going to be waiting a while longer.”

When Patience Is Paper Thin

| Howell, MI, USA | Technology, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

(A customer comes into the copy and print area while I’m helping another customer and her son. After ignoring my greeting, she goes over to the customer color-copy machines, and starts making copies.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but why am I being charged $0.49 a copy, when that sign says black and white are only $0.09?”

(The customer points to the sign over the black and white copy machines that advertise $0.09 a copy.)

Me: “You’re using the color machine, not a black and white. It’ll charge you $0.49 a copy when you use it.”

(I point to the sign above the color machine that states just that.)

Customer: “Well, can’t it see that I’m not copying color pages?”

Me: “No, it doesn’t have that sort of capability. It only knows that it is used for color copies, and charges accordingly.”

Customer: “Well why didn’t you stop me before I started making copies?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I didn’t know you only had black and white pages. I can return your money and help you on the black and white machine if you would like.”

(The customer hands me the credit card she used to make the copies, and I refund her money. As I start to walk towards the black and white she pushes past me.)

Customer: “I don’t need your God-d*** help. You did enough already!”

(I return to the other customer and her son, and continue talking about his school project that he needs printed and finished. Five minutes go by, and the older woman has a stack of approximately 250 papers in her hand. She walks up to me and interrupts my conversation with the other customers.)

Customer: “I need these cut.”

Me: “We charge $2 for every 500 pieces of paper cut, per cut.”

Customer: “$2! Just for a few pieces of paper to be cut?! You must be out of your d*** mind! I’ll do them myself!”

(I show her to the small hand-cutter. I show her how it works, using only a few sheets of paper at a time. Only five seconds after I turn away, she starts shouting again.)

Customer: “THIS. ISN’T. WORKING!”

(I turn around to find that she has stuffed a quarter of her stack of papers under the blade. Every time she tries to cut, she rips the papers.)

Me: “Ma’am, you’re only supposed to do a maximum of 10 sheets at a time, like I showed you.”

Customer: “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WASTE DOING ONLY A FEW PAGES AT A TIME!”

(The other customer and her son, and other nearby customers and associates are now watching as this angry customer fumes at me.)

Me: “I offered to cut them for you, and it was too much money. I showed how to properly cut them using the hand cutter, and you didn’t follow what I said. I don’t understand what you want me to do.”

Customer: “I WANT YOU TO REFUND MY RUINED COPIES AND DO THEM OVER, YOU LITTLE B****! AND THEN I WANT YOU TO CUT THEM ALL FOR FREE! YOU’VE WASTED MY TIME, AND I’M NOT PUTTING UP WITH YOUR SNARKY ATTITUDE!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that. I showed you how to cut them, and you didn’t listen. I have every right to refuse, especially after treating me with disrespect.”

Customer: “I AM NEVER SHOPPING HERE AGAIN!”

(The customer screams, grabs the ruined papers, and throws them into the air before storming off into another area of the store with her few good copies.)

Periodically Stupid

| Australia | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science, Technology

(I work in the kitchen department of a department store.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I have a complaint about your microwave-safe bowls.”

Me: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Well, I was cooking my lunch, when all of a sudden I see sparks inside the microwave. I quickly stopped it, took it out and the side of my microwave was burnt. This is disgusting; these are meant to be MICROWAVE SAFE. These are a hazard.”

Me: “Well, sir, many customers have purchased the same microwave-safe bowls as this and have not had any problems. It may have been a problem with the microwave, or maybe you had a bit of metal on the inside which caused the sparks? Did you perhaps accidentally leave a metal spoon or fork in the bowl?”

Customer: “There was no metal.”

Me: “Okay, what did you use to cover the food?”

Customer: “Aluminum foil.”

Me: “That would be the problem. Like having any other metal in the microwave, aluminum foil can cause sparks and possibly be a fire hazard. You need to use plastic, such as cling wrap.”

Customer: “But aluminum foil isn’t metal.”

Me: “Yes it is, Aluminum is metal.”

Customer: “Don’t be stupid; aluminum foil can’t be metal. It’s soft, so it is a plastic. Metals are hard.”