Barking Orders

| Cape Town, South Africa | Right | December 30, 2015

(I am a customer at a supermarket. I watch this scene unfold at the checkout. It’s extremely busy and there are long lines at all the checkouts. The customer in front of me is a middle-aged woman.)

Customer: “Please, please hurry! You’re so slow. I’ve left my dog in my car, and it’s so terribly hot.”

(It’s actually a cool, cloudy day. As the employee scans the large number of items in her trolley as fast as she possibly can, the customer keeps muttering about her dog and how slow she is.)

Customer: “Wait! Isn’t there a discount on this item? It’s showing [amount] on the display, but there’s supposed to be a special offer of [amount] off.”

Employee: “Yes, ma’am, if you just look at the line below:” *indicating the display*

Customer: *ignoring her* “No, you’re wrong. I’ll prove it! Wait a minute.”

(She rushes off into the supermarket, leaving the whole line standing and waiting. She’s gone a long time, and everyone is showing signs of impatience. Eventually she comes back carrying the price tag and special offer notice that she’s ripped off the shelf.)

Customer: “You see! There’s supposed to be a discount of [amount].”

Employee: “Yes, ma’am. There’s the discount correctly shown on the line below the item.” *she shows her on the display*

(After much peering she reluctantly agrees.)

Customer: “Wait! Here’s my loyalty card. Oh, my poor dog! He’s waiting for me in that hot car.”

(She fishes around in her purse for some time before producing her loyalty card.)

Customer: *repacking a bag* “No, don’t put that in this bag.” *she fusses around, transferring items from one bag to another*

Employee: “Your total is [amount].”

(She spends some time looking slowly through her wallet before she produces a credit card.)

Customer: “And I’d like [amount] cash back, please.”

(The employee processes the transaction and hands her her cash back. With a look of relief, the employee turns to me, next in line.)

Customer: “Wait! You gave me all hundreds. Can you please give me two fifties instead of this hundred? I need some change.”

Employee: “I’ve already closed the drawer ma’am. You’ll have to wait until it opens for the next transaction.”

Customer: “You’re so slow and inefficient. Don’t you know that I have a dog waiting in my hot car?”

Customer Behind Me: *coming forward* “Here, I’ve got change for you.”

(He handed her two fifties for her hundred and she finally left, still muttering about the dog in the hot car. I quickly finished checking out, and walked out into the parking lot. I walked past the customer, busy putting her bags into her car. There was no dog in the car.)

Does It Look Like I Give A Thank?

| Boston, MA, USA | Right | December 30, 2015

(A family with two small children is sitting at a table across from me eating pizza. The father has been serving slices cut in half to the children, who look to be around three years old.)

Mother: “What do you say to daddy, sweetheart?”

Little Girl: “F*** you!”

Mother: “No, no, honey. You mean ‘Thank you!'”

Little Girl: “Fank you!”

Mother: *to me* “She’s still learning.”

A Ballooning Problem

| Glen Allen, VA, USA | Right | December 30, 2015

(I work at a party store that specializes in balloons. We’re basically called “the balloon super store” so we tend to get very busy. It’s around high school graduation time, and we get a lot of balloon orders and we have to deal with idiotic people. We have balloon orders that fill up a basket and people walking in to get orders.)

Customer: *yelling* “I put my balloon order in 20 minutes ago!” *in reality, it was only five*

Me: *as respectful as possible* “I’m sorry, ma’am, we are trying our best to complete all the balloon orders as quickly as possible. If you could try and be patient that would be great.”

Customer: “But I am in a hurry and I have places to be!”

(At this point, she is in my face, and yelling at me, surrounded by other people yelling at me.)

Me: *I show her all the orders we have to do* “Ma’am, we are going as fast as we can. Please be patient.”

(Five minutes later:)

Customer: “I NEED MY BALLOONS DONE NOW!”

Me: *I was more than finished with this woman, so I literally dropped everything that I was doing in front of her* “FINE, I WILL DO YOUR BALLOON ORDER.”

(I start blowing up her balloons, and bag them up.)

Me: “[Customer], your balloons are ready.”

Customer: *starts yelling at me again and says* “THESE ARE THE WRONG COLORS!”

Me: *I’ve lost my patience at this point* “What do you mean they are the wrong colors? What colors were they supposed to be, and why didn’t you tell me when I was blowing them up?!”

Customer: “They are supposed to be black not brown!”

Me: *grabs the scissors – POP POP POP POP POP POP!* “DON’T COME BACK!”

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Trying To Backtrack The Conversation

| Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Right | December 30, 2015

(During peak hour traffic, it’s very slow on the highway, which also slows the number of cars trying to get out of our car park as our centre is right alongside the highway. There’s often a long queue of cars trying to leave the carpark.)

Customer: “Excuse me, how do I get back onto the highway?”

Me: “The exit is that way.” *points*

Customer: “Do I have to get behind that long line of cars?”

Me: “Yes, there’s only one exit.”

Customer: “Where’s the back way?”

Me: “There is no back way. That’s the only exit.”

Customer: “But there’s too many cars there! How do I avoid them?”

Me: “You don’t. There’s one exit. That’s why all the cars are lined up there.”

Customer: “…So, there’s no back way?”

Don’t… You… Dare.

| Right | December 30, 2015
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