A Whirlwind Of Dispassion

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2020

I’m a cashier working at a chain store in a small town. A massive storm system that spawned multiple deadly tornadoes ripped through the region two days ago. We’re asking for donations to help those in my county who’ve suffered most from the storm.

Me: “Hello, would you like to donate to the tornado relief effort tonight?”

Customer: “No! They have insurance.”

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Welcome To The Cala-Zone

, , , , , | Right | May 25, 2020

I work in an Italian restaurant that serves pizza, calzones, and strombolis. I have this conversation at least a couple of times a day.

Me: “Are we ready to order?”

The customer has spent almost ten minutes reading our menu.

Customer: “Uh, yeah. I want the cheese and the bread and sauce and toppings, but not like… pizza. Do you guys have something else?”

I gently take another menu and open it up, pointing.

Me: “Yes, we do also have calzones and strombolis. Honestly, I prefer them over pizza; they’re good and they’re big portions. We have the calzones and strombolis as [specialty options], and we can also just start with cheese and you can pick any of these toppings—” *points* “—to put in them. It’s kind of like building your own pizza. We offer small and large versions.”

Customer: “So, what’s the difference between the two? The cala-zones and strombonis?”

I make sure I am enunciating the names clearly.

Me: “Calzones start with mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Strombolis start with just mozzarella. Both generally use the same amount of dough for the bread.”

Customer: “Huh. I’ll have one of your cala-zonies.”

I am internally cringing.

Me: “What would you like in it?”

Customer: “Can I get it with green peppers?”

Me: “Certainly! Anything else?”

Customer: *Hand waves* “Yeah, whatever else comes in it.”

Me: “So, to confirm, just mozzarella, ricotta, and green peppers?”

The customer is looking at me questioningly.

Customer: “No, I want the meat and veggies in it too. And no ricotta. I hate ricotta!”

Me: “We do offer [specialty calzone listed on menu] which has [ingredients] and green pepper already in it. We could make it as a Stromboli; it would be a bit cheaper since you are forgoing the ricotta.”

Customer: “[Specialty] sounds perfect! But I want the calzone; no ricotta!”

Me: “Small or large? The large is about the size of a large pizza folded in half; the small is about half that.”

A coworker passes by and gives their two cents:

Coworker: “Do you want some for now, or do you also want some for later?”

Customer: “Definitely a large!”

When their food comes out:

Customer: “Holy cow! Why didn’t you tell me this was so big?! I can’t possibly finish this!”

Me: “Would you like a box?”

Customer: “No! I don’t have room in my fridge!”

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The Cat Isn’t The Only One That Needs Holding

, , , , | Right | May 25, 2020

This takes place on Memorial Day, so the clinic is closed. I’m the only one scheduled to work this day, coming in for an hour or so to feed and medicate any animals in the boarding facility or hospitalized patients.

One of my duties is to check any phone messages and reply to them, if possible. I’m a high school student who just works as a veterinary assistant after school, on weekends, and some holidays.

Me: “Hello, is this Mrs. [Client]? This is [My Name] calling from [Clinic]. I received your message about needing some assistance with your cat. Is this a medical emergency?”

Client: “Oh, thank you for calling! No, you see, I need to give my cat some fluids, but I can’t hold him still. I know you guys are closed today, so I can’t bring him in, but I was wondering if you could send someone to my house to help me?”

We do offer house call services, but it’s very rare and rather expensive.

Me: “Unfortunately, since we are closed, there are no technicians on staff today, so there is no one available to send to your house. However, you can bring your cat in any time tomorrow, when we are open, and we’ll be happy to administer his fluids. It would be about a ten-minute appointment.”

Client: *Suddenly angry* “I have to work tomorrow! I’m not working today! I’m off because it’s a holiday! Why can’t you come to my house today?” 

Me: “As I said, we are closed today. You are off today because it’s a holiday; so are we. You work tomorrow; we do, too.”

Client: “Well, if I could even bring him in tomorrow, it would have to be very late. At least 4:30.”

Me: “That’s great! We’re open until 5:00.”

Client: *Rudely* “Oh.”

Me: “Would you like me to put an appointment in the computer for 4:30 tomorrow?”

Client: “No. I have to be at work at 9:00 in the morning! Do you know how early that is?”

Me: “Well, if the afternoon is too inconvenient, we open at 8:00 am, and you can drop your cat off for the day as early as 7:30. You can pick him up after work, if that would be easier for you.”

Client: “No! I can’t do that! I need someone to come to my house right now and hold my cat.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there is no one on staff today. Everyone is off for the holiday. We are closed.”

Client: *Demanding* “Wait a minute. You’re there! You come to my house.”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I am not qualified to make house calls.”

Client: “But I only need you to hold my cat for a minute! I’m sure even you can handle that.”

Me: “It’s against policy. I’m just an assistant; house calls are technician appointments.” 

Client: “I don’t even live far! It’s easy! You’re just being lazy!”

Me: “Ma’am! I am just a high school student who was assigned to work the holidays. I don’t even have a car! I cannot come out to your house! The best I can do is schedule you an appointment for any time you wish tomorrow.”

Client: “Well, if you can find anyone there who is willing to help me, then you call me back. I know that someone will!”

Me: “All right. If I can find any staff who is willing to come to your house to hold your cat, I will certainly let you know–“

Client: “Finally!”

Me: “–but I must warn you that that is very improbable, because we are closed today and there is no one here! If you would like to schedule an appointment for tomorrow, please leave a message for the receptionist, and do enjoy your holiday. Goodbye!”

I hung up.

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Socially Distancing Yourself From The Jerks

, , , , , , , | Right | May 25, 2020

The story with this customer is a bit of a saga. It begins in late fall of 2019 and continues into March 2020.

We have an older semi-regular shopper at my grocery store who is just an a** to all of us. He has never once been polite. I honestly don’t remember what he said to me the first time I had him at my till, but the interaction caused me to dislike him from the start. I think it was just his “cashiers are worthless and your only purpose is to serve me” attitude.

The second time this customer came through my till, I was warned by my supervisor that he would be difficult to deal with, and I received similar treatment from him. I was yelled at for not immediately moving to load his single bag of groceries into his cart. Admittedly, loading carts is something we are required to do by corporate. However, since we are the only store in the area with that policy, most customers load their carts themselves, especially if they have small purchases. They always thank us when we do it for them. But not him.

The third time I saw this customer, I was the supervisor on duty, and he went through a coworker’s till. I went over to her till and bagged for her — even though cashiers at my store are supposed to work without a bagger — because I knew this customer would be disrespectful to her. I was right. He yelled at her for touching his groceries before he had everything out of his cart and then yelled at her again when she took too long to ring him up… which wouldn’t have happened if she could have started when he was loading the belt.

The fourth time I saw this customer, I was again the supervisor on shift, but I couldn’t get to my (other) coworker’s till in time to help her. He berated her for similar “mistakes.” He first yelled at her because she offered to put his receipt in a bag. Then, the customer yelled at her again when she asked if he would prefer to hold on to his receipt or have her toss it.

I’m sure you get the idea; this guy is a piece of work. None of us like dealing with him, but you know how it is when you work in customer service. No matter how big of a jerk someone is being, you still have to smile and be polite.

The most recent time I see this customer is in March 2020, during the crisis. A lot has changed in my store in order to keep it running. Now, there are plexiglass screens in front of the tills, sliding doors behind them, and markers every six feet so customers know where to stand in line. We’ve also had to hire a lot of new people, both to cope with panic buying and because we need to have more tills open to reduce the number of people in close proximity to each other. Also, corporate has suspended our cart-loading policy for the moment, since it would mean getting within six feet of customers.

This time, my supervisor notices this customer first, as he gets into line at a till manned by one of the new hires. At her suggestion, I let the new hire out on break so she doesn’t have to deal with him on her third day after training.

He is just as rude to me as he has been in the past. I complete the sale with a smile on my face in spite of this. When I finish ringing him up, he demands I move his groceries to his cart. I take great pleasure in telling him he will have to load his three bags himself, as I am no longer required to do so by corporate, due to the current crisis.

It’s not much, but boy, did that feel good.

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Please Teach Me How To Ruin Your Business!

, , , | Right | May 25, 2020

I work in a small café that also serves rice bowls for lunch. A customer calls in an order that I have ready when she arrives. The following conversation happens:

Customer: “These are so good. Do you ever teach people how to make them so they can make them at home?”

Me: “Um, no.” 

Customer: “Why not? It would be great to be able to make them myself.” 

Me: “It would be detrimental to business if we taught our customers how to make them. Then no one would come here anymore.” 

Customer: “But I have to drive here from [Town five minutes away]. It would be sooo much easier if I could make them myself.” 

All I could do was facepalm.

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