His Attitude Has Hit Rock Bottom

| Stockholm, Sweden | Bad Behavior, Pets & Animals

(A customer calls in, requesting tips for how to get rid of the ants in his garden. I give him several tips but he is very patronizing throughout the call and rather rude.)

Me: “…or, if neither of those things work, come winter, you can try and freeze the ant-hill from within.”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “You take an iron rod and stick it as far into the ground as possible, and leave it there over winter, and—”

Customer: “So, how far down do I need to stick it?”

Me: “Well, as far as you can, to make sure you get it through their entire colony. One meter is usually recommended.”

Customer: *in a very condescending tone* “Hah, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about! Let me tell you, I live on the WEST COAST. The soil here is no deeper than half a meter at most! There is no possible way I can stick an iron rod a whole meter down into the ground. I would obviously hit the bedrock way before that. So there is no way your stupid suggestion would work to get rid of the ants. I could never penetrate their entire colony.”

Me: “…but, if there is bedrock half a meter down, the ants cannot live further down either.”

Customer: “Oh. I never thought about that. I guess you are right. Do you have any more suggestions?”

(He was very polite and grateful after that!)

Should Draw A Line In The Sanding Machines

| The Netherlands | Bigotry, Home Improvement

(I am a female employee at a hardware store. An older male customer comes to the service desk.)

Me: “Good afternoon, sir. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I just looked at the sanding machines.”

Me: “All right, so what would you like to know?”

Customer: “I just looked at the sanding machines.”

Me: “Yes, and what is your question exactly?”

(The guy just looks at me and repeats himself once more.)

Me: “Do you need any help?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “With what, exactly?”

Customer: “The sanding machines.”

Me: “What part about sanding machines exactly do you need help with?”

(The customer doesn’t answer my question and says, yet again:)

Customer: “I was just looking at the sanding machines.” *after a short pause, he says* “Is there anyone here who can help me find the right one?”

Me: “Oh, well, I can’t leave the register, as there is nobody else here to take care of that, but if you ask my colleague over there, he’ll be happy to help you.”

Customer: “Yes, he does look like he knows a little something about that.”

(My male colleague was just standing there, the only visible difference between me and him being that he’s a man. The customer also greatly emphasized the ‘he.’ The customer walked up to my colleague and right off the bat started telling him exactly what he was looking for.)

Racing To Prevent Theft

| CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Criminal & Illegal

(I work at a well-known ‘tween’ girl’s clothing store. I am half black, though I am very light-skinned, so most people just assume I’m white or Hispanic. During training, we’re taught about some of the common ways people shoplift, such as lining empty shopping bags with tinfoil. On this particular day, two black women come into my store carrying a number of shopping bags, at least two of which are empty and I can see tinfoil poking out of one. We are trained to be extra friendly and helpful to people we suspect of trying to shoplift. Since I am up front, I greet them.)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thanks for shopping at [Store]. May I help you find anything today?”

Customer: *brusquely* “I’m all set! Leave me alone!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, but please let me know if I can help you with anything.”

(I go back to folding jeans, but keep a close eye on the customers. I notice them getting abnormally close to the jeans display, as though they might try to knock them into the empty bag.)

Me: “Just so you know, we’re having a special on these jeans right now. If you buy two pairs, you get $10 to spend on a future purchase.”

Customer: “I told you I didn’t need any help! Why are you following me?!” *I haven’t moved at all throughout this interaction*

Me: “I was just trying to tell you about the sale we’re having.”

Customer: “You’re racist! I don’t see you following anyone else in the store. You think I’m shoplifting! Racist!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you I’m not racist.”

(At this point a coworker of mine, who is also black, but noticeably so, has come over, as has one of my managers.)

Manager: “Is there something I can help you with today?”

Customer: *storms out of the store in a huff*