Tapas On Tap

, | UK | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(We’re a tapas bar, so lots of small portions. We usually recommend two-three per person. Tonight, we’ve got a lot of bookings but can sometimes fit people in for limited slots of time. Two customers come in without a reservation, and it’s around 6:30 pm.)

Me: “Well, I can fit you in now, but I’m afraid we’ll need the table back by 7:30.”

Customer #1: “That’s loooads of time. We’re only getting something light.”

Me: “Okay, here you go!” *hands over tapas menu*

(A few minutes later, I approach for drinks.)

Customer #1: “A bottle of [Wine], please.”

Me: “A bottle… Okay!”

(A few more minutes later.)

Me: “And can I take a food order?”

Customer #2: “Yeah, so I’m like really hungry so I’m going to have like everything.” *laughs maniacally and lists almost everything, about seven items*

Customer #1: “Oh, he is hungry! Okay I’ll just have [five more items].”

Me: “…no problem.”

(Their “something light” turned into me having to squeeze extra chairs onto a tiny table for an actual booking because, of course, these two hadn’t left in time.)

Doesn’t Have Tow-tal Recall

| Berlin, MD, USA | Liars & Scammers, Transportation

(I own a garage in a small town. We get a call about a woman stranded on the side of the road. It’s from her roadside assistance company whom we’ve done work for before so it’s a no-cost tow for her. They bring her car in and we get it into the garage. Her car starts up, but can’t seem to rev up past an idle and won’t go faster than a few miles per hour, basically moving like you had it in gear and took your foot off the brake. I gladly take a look at it and within a minute I see the problem. The throttle linkage has come loose. Easy fix, but my policy is that if it came off once, then it might be a little worn and might do it again at a later date. I check my parts distributer and see that it’s a $15 part.)

Me: “Ma’am, the problem is the throttle linkage. It came loose. I put it back on, but since it fell off once it might fall off again. I don’t have that part in stock, but I can get it in by Monday and it’ll take all of five minutes to swap it out. Since your tow was from [Roadside Assistance] there’s no charge to you. I’m not going to bother with labor for a two-minute fix. You can take your car and head home, no charge, but I’d be careful as this could happen again. I suggest you let me order the part and have you come back in when it arrives. That would be $15 for the part and again, I’m not going to charge you for the labor.”

Customer: *flips out totally* “How DARE you try to screw me out of my hard earned money with your mechanical scams!”

Me: *hands her the keys* “The car is working. No charge. Good day.”

(I walk back into the garage and get back to work on one of the other cars. A few hours later I get a call from the roadside assistance company.)

Roadside Assistance: “We are calling to explain that if you’re going to be scamming and price gouging the customers, we’re no longer going to use you in the future.”

Me: “Is this about the woman you had towed earlier today?”

Roadside Assistance: “It is.”

Me: *sighing* “It was a disconnected throttle linkage. I pulled back the retaining clip and slipped it onto where it is supposed to be. It literally took me longer to explain it just then than it took to do it. I charged her nothing for the repair and since the tow was on you guys, no charge there. I DID say to her that if it came off once it might come off again in the future and that it might not be a bad idea to get a new one at a cost of $15, and again, with no charge for labor since it would take maybe five minutes. At that point, for this to not be any less price gouging I’d have to pay her to let me fix her car for her.”

Roadside Assistance: “Umm… Well… I see. We’re putting a note into her account and we appreciate what you have done for her. She was telling us that you tried to charge her for the tow and was going to ‘make her fork over $600 to replace half the engine.’ I’m sorry for wasting your time and we look forward to working with you in the future.”

(That was the first time I wished a customer’s car would go boots up on them.)

A More Sedate Type Of Customer

| UK | Bizarre, Health & Body

(I’m on the checkout serving a customer who has done nothing but smile and stare at me silently the entire time. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t blinked at all either. I’m debating whether to ask her when she starts leaning unhealthily to the right.)

Me: “Miss, are you all right?”

Woman: “Oh, I’m fine. I took some sedatives before coming in. I was hoping to make it home before they kicked in but, oh well.”

(She waved me off as she turned and headed for the exit, leaving me and her purchases behind. She made it about halfway down before she collapsed. We called an ambulance and tried to bring her around. The paramedics knew her by name.)

The Butterfly Defect

| UK | Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I’m answering the phone at a small zoo; mostly, this is people asking for directions or prices, but we get the odd… interesting call.)

Caller: “Hello, there’s a large moth in my garage. Could someone come and get it, please?”

Me: “A moth? We do have a butterfly hall. Do you mean you’re local and you think it’s one of ours that’s escaped?”

Caller: “I don’t know! I live in [Town 20 miles away], and there’s just this big, brightly coloured moth in my garage, and now I can’t go in there! I hate moths!”

Me: “Well, I’m afraid we’re not actually an animal rescue, and that really is a bit of a trip. It’s definitely not one of our butterflies that far away.”

Caller: “Can’t you help anyway? I’m freaking out here!”

Me: “Umm, it’s possible if it’s a big, bright species that it may be rare, and one of our staff may be willing to go and catch it for you after work, as he’s a keen photographer with an interest in moths. If you want, I’ll ask him. What colour is it?”

(The line goes silent for a moment.)

Caller: “Beige?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we really can’t help. Maybe you can ask a neighbour to let it out?”

That Customer Was Dealt With Marvellously

| Mobile, AL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I am at one of the garden registers, not actually checking people out, but trying to fix a broken scan gun. As I’m working on it, one of my coworker’s calls in through the radio.)

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]?”

Me: “Yeah?”

Coworker: “Look; I hate to bother you, but I’m up here by myself.”

(At this point a customer walks over. I smile at her and mouth that I’m not checking out, but she’s on her phone and doesn’t seem to be paying attention to me. I assume she’s still shopping, since she isn’t quite to the register and sort of hovering a few feet back.)

Me: “Okay, so what’s up? Are you backed up?”

Coworker: “No, but there’s this creepy, old guy around, and he’s come up here to flirt with me a few times, and I’m pretty sure he followed me through the store, too. It’s making me seriously uncomfortable.”

Me: “Oh! Okay, I’ll be right back in! No problem.”

(I leave the register, and as I make to walk away, the customer on her phone stops me.)

Customer: “Wait! Aren’t you going to check me out before you go?”

Me: “Well, actually, ma’am, I’m not checking anyone out, and I have to get back inside.”

Customer: “What? For that cashier? Well, why don’t you tell her that she needs to put the customer first! The nerve of her, thinking she can just have people—”

(Meanwhile, a man, Customer #2, in line hears the woman.)

Customer #2: “For God’s sake, just go in front of me!”

Customer: “What? That’s not the point! It’s the principle of it!”

Customer #2: “The principle of it? Are you seriously telling me that you are more concerned with spending five extra minutes in line than you are a young woman being harassed by some strange man?”

Customer: “Well, I’m sure she did something to make him do that!”

Customer #2: *to me* “Go help your cashier. I’ll take care of this.”

Customer: “Take care of it? Who do you think you are? You know what? I am never shopping here again! And I’m calling corporate!”

Customer #2: “Good to know. I’m sure you’ve made everyone’s day. And by the way? I’m the owner. Have fun calling corporate.”

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