Wishing You Could Flip Them The Bird

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(On a busy Saturday, a customer comes in with her three-year-old son and her mother to purchase a parakeet.)

Customer: “We’re going to take him to the vet to have his wings clipped.”

Employee: “Really? You don’t have to go to the vet for that. They charge for it, and we can do it here for free if you want.”

(No one in my store enjoys clipping the birds’ wings. Not only does it fail to benefit the bird in any way, but it’s also a literal pain in our fingers; birds bite. Still, since customers sometimes want it done, we will clip the wings if they ask… or in this case, to save the customers some money. The customer agrees, and my employee clips the wings and sends them on their way. About half an hour later, I get a phone call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pet Store]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I just purchased a bird there, and when we got it home, it was all bloody! Your employee cut the bird’s wings, and she obviously did a bad job!”

Me: “Oh, that’s strange. If you bring the bird back, we can take a look and see what’s going on.”

(I let my boss know what’s going on, and then I approach my pet care employee.)

Me: “You clipped a bird’s wings a while ago, right? I have a customer who called and said you injured it.”

Employee: “Really? I clipped them the same way I’ve always done it, and I didn’t see any blood.”

(When the customer comes back with the bird, my employee and my boss both take a look at it. The bird’s injury is not on its wings, but on its side.)

Customer: “See? You guys didn’t cut its wings right! We got this bird because it was getting picked on by the other birds, and now you’ve hurt it worse!”

Me: “It looks like the bird’s wings aren’t hurt at all. There’s a small wound on its side. If you’re right, and the bird was getting bullied by the others, I think one of the other birds might have scratched or bitten it, and the wound tore open from the stress of getting caught, clipped, and put in the box. What we can do is you can return the bird to us—“

Customer: “We don’t want to exchange it! My son is attached to it already.”

Me: “No, ma’am, we don’t want you to exchange it. If you return it, we can take it to our vet here in the building, and we can nurse it back to health, and we can sell it back to you once it’s healed.”

Customer: “We don’t want to do that. My son will miss him!”

Boss: “Well, I’ve cleaned the wound and stopped the bleeding, so it looks like you can take the bird home today if you prefer to do that. I would just leave him alone for a few days and give him time to heal. If you do that, he should be fine.”

(Two days later, the customer and her mom storm into the store with their bird, who is now bleeding worse than ever. They completely dodge my boss and go straight to the vet, who is in our building but technically part of a separate company. The vet tells them that she has to keep the bird overnight, which they are NOT happy to hear. All of this happens on my day off, so when I come back to work the next day, I have no idea that their bird is even in our building. I get a phone call when my shift starts.)

Customer’s Mother: “I brought my bird in because it was injured; how is it doing?”

(I search everywhere for the bird, starting with our sick room in the back, which is where we keep any injured or ill animals to nurse them back to health. The bird isn’t there. I finally find the bird at the vet.)

Me: “I just talked with the veterinarian, and it sounds like your bird is doing just fine. She thinks we need to keep the bird here for a few days to make sure it heals properly–“

Customer’s Mother: “A few days?! That’s too long! We want him back now! He still belongs to us!”

Me: “Did you return the bird to us at the register?”

Customer’s Mother: “Of course not!”

Me: “That’s strange; I’m not sure why my boss would let you do that. We usually have customers return animals to us, so that way we’re the only ones who get charged with a vet bill–“

Customer’s Mother: “There’s no way I’m paying for all this!”

Me: “I didn’t say you would, ma’am. That’s why I’m trying to figure out why it wasn’t returned to us. I wasn’t here yesterday. I’m going to call my boss and figure out what’s going on, and I’ll call you back.”

(I contact my boss, who tells me that we’re going to pay the vet bill, even though the customer never returned the bird. I’m worried that we’re now responsible for a bird that technically isn’t ours. Not only is it against our policy, but now we’re liable if something happens to him. I call the customer back.)

Me: “All right. I talked with my boss, and it sounds like we will be paying the vet bill, and your bird is going to be fine. We’re going to keep him here until he’s all better, and we’ll call you when he’s ready to be picked up, okay?”

Customer’s Mom: “Can I call you in the meantime to check on him?”

Me: “Absolutely!”

(Late in the evening, I start getting frantic calls and texts from my boss AND the store manager, both asking me what on earth I said to the customer’s mom. Apparently, the customer posted on a local Facebook group, claiming that we “insisted” on clipping the bird’s wings against HER judgment, that I tried to make HER pay for the vet bill, and that I tried to make her exchange the bird for another one so we could KILL her bird for being “too much trouble”! Meanwhile, her Facebook followers were eating up the story and telling her to sue us.)

Store Manager: “Is any of this true?”

Me: “No!”

(After I explained the truth, my store manager realized that the bird was a massive liability. She called the customers and told them that they were free to pick up their bird anytime. The customer’s boyfriend came back in the next day and took the bird, stealing the cage it was in while he was at it. The customer made a second Facebook post about how “traumatized” the bird was from the ordeal because, “he won’t let me touch him,” even though the vet told her AGAIN to leave the bird alone until it healed!)

Parents Scream Louder Than Kids For Ice Cream

, , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(The fast food place where I work has a policy that unopened toys from kids’ meals can be exchanged for a kid-sized ice cream cone. I am working one morning during breakfast when two kids come up to me.)

Kid: “Can we get ice cream?”

Me: “Sure, it will be [price].”

Kid: “Um, can I just have one?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t just give you ice cream.”

(The kids walk away and say something to their mother, and then she storms up.)

Mother: “I want a manager.”

Manager: “How may I help you?”

Mother: “I bought meals for my kids and they aren’t getting their free ice cream.”

Manager: “Well, if you give me the toys from the meals, we can exchange them for ice cream.”

Mother: “They didn’t get toys. I got them breakfast meals.”

Manager: “Okay, well, toys don’t come with breakfast meals. So, if you would like a kid-sized ice cream cone, it will be [price].”

Mother: “Well, can’t you just give them ice cream? I mean, they’re kids! I paid more for their breakfast meal than I would have for kids’ meals!”

Manager: “I apologize, but if you want the ice cream, you will have to pay for it.”

Mother: “I’ll be calling corporate about this! This would never happen at the place I go to at home!”

Deactivated Brain

, , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(Our furniture company has a card that we use to finance customers’ cash for their payment; they then get a certain amount of months to pay it off. This customer has just received his. I’m trying to take a payment and the card keeps getting declined.)

Customer: “So strange, I just got this card!”

Me: “Sir, you need to call the number on the card and activate it.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

(The customer calls. It is a very long automated system full of menus and submenus. It takes the customer five to ten minutes to talk to an actual person.)

Customer: “So, you’ll activate my card?”

Woman On Phone: “Yes, I’ll transfer you to the automated system; you just put in a PIN and it will be done.”

Customer: “Thanks!” *hangs up without activating the card*

(It took us TWO more tries and fifteen more minutes. He eventually got his furniture.)

Lift Them Up From The 1950s

, , | Right | March 15, 2019

(I’m working in the floral section, stocking flowers for a holiday, when an older male customer approaches me. I’m female and carrying heavy-looking boxes.)

Customer: “You really shouldn’t be doing that.”

Me: *confused look*

Customer: “You should get a man to lift that for you.”

Me: “No, it’s fine. It’s not that heavy, anyway.”

Customer: “Really, you should get a man to do that. Women shouldn’t lift things. It makes it so you cannot bear children.”

Me: *laughs kind of awkwardly* “It’s really fine.”

Customer: *starting to get agitated* “I’m not joking. Lifting will make you unable to bear children!”

Me: *starting to get uncomfortable, I lay the box down as it’s in the area it needs to be, anyway*

Customer: *walking away muttering* “She really shouldn’t be doing that.”

(I have no idea why he thought any of that was a good idea to tell a complete stranger, but he just seemed really concerned for my wellbeing.)

Would You Please Just Pokémon GO!

, , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(Working in a video game store, we’re used to people lecturing us for selling games that are violent, inappropriate for children, etc. We’re not allowed to engage them, other than nodding and saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” In this story, a middle-aged woman has been ranting at my manager and me about how gaming is bringing about the downfall of society, rots children’s brains, etc., and then she says this:)

Woman: “Kids these days don’t go outside like they used to; they just sit inside all day staring at a screen. They’re all going to be losers, living with their parents, not being able to handle the real world!”

(Suddenly, a customer pokes his head around the corner with the most deadpanned expression and stares at the woman.)

Awesome Customer: “Lady, you’re taking time out of your day to lecture a video game store for selling video games. Who’s the loser here?”

(The woman stares at the guy with no response before huffing and storming off. The customer comes up to the counter with his game.)

Manager: “I’d give you a hug for that, but HR wouldn’t be happy with me, so I’m giving you a 15% discount on your purchase today, instead!”

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