Wish He Would Shut Up Like A Clam

| Hudson Valley, NY, USA | Right | April 29, 2016

(A table of three old men come in and sit, they order, and I go back to the server station. I turn around to find one old man has followed me back.)

Me: “Sir, can I help you? Did you forget something?”

Old Man: “Clams. You got clams?”

Me: “Oh, yes, sir, we have clams in white garlic sauce, or we can do a marinara—”

Old Man: “No. Steamed clams.”

Me: “Uh, no, sorry, we don’t have steamed clams on the menu.”

(Old Man returns to his table, mumbling. As I am about to bring drinks to another table he stops me in the middle of the dining room.)

Old Man: “Let me have a look at the menu again.”

Me: “Certainly, sir, I’ll bring one over to your table in a moment.”

Old Man: “You can just give it to me now.”

Me: “Okay, sir, hold on one moment, I just need to put these drinks down.”

(He stands behind me, sighing, as I serve the drinks. I give him the menu and he doesn’t even open it.)

Old Man: “How about shrimp?”

Me: “Yes, we have shrimp, just like the clams. I’m afraid it’s not steamed though. We can do it grilled or sautéed if you’d like.”

Old Man: “Is the shrimp frozen?”

Me: “Yes, we freeze it, but it’s fresh. Our delivery comes—”

Old Man: “I’ll take it frozen.”

Me: “Uh… it’s uncooked. Do you want it raw?”

Old Man: “You serve RAW shrimp?”

Me: “No, we typically cook it. It’s frozen raw.”

Old Man: “So how do you serve it with the red sauce?”

Me: “Like… a shrimp cocktail?”

Old Man: “Yeah! Exactly.”

Me: “We don’t have shrimp cocktail.”

Old Man: “A seafood place with no shrimp cocktail, unbelievable.”

(He goes back to his table. We’re an Italian place. I bring out their appetizer, wings.)

Old Man: “I don’t get any tartar sauce with that?”

Me: “Uh, what?”

Old Man: “Tartar sauce. I want tartar sauce.”

Me: “We don’t have any fried fish on our menu; we don’t have tartar sauce.”

Old Man: “Well, it ain’t that hard to make. I want some. Go tell the cook if he can’t make me shrimp cocktail or clams he better make some d*** tartar sauce!”

(One of the cooks gives me a hard time, but whips up some tartar sauce, missing some prominent ingredients. After I clean the table I notice the tartar sauce sitting, untouched, behind the man’s glass.)

Cents-lessly Arguing

| RI, USA | Right | April 29, 2016

(A customer comes up to my register with a can of tuna. She explains that the tuna was part of a recall and would like to return it, but does not have the receipt. Normally returns without receipts are given store credit.)

Me: “Since it’s part of a recall, should I still give her store credit, or can I give her cash?”

Supervisor: “You can give her cash if the register will let you.”

(I process the refund and my supervisor overrides it so that I can give her the cash, which comes to $2.27.)

Customer: “It was 88 cents.”

Me: “Without a receipt I have to give you what the register thinks it’s currently worth, which is $2.27.”

Customer: “But I only paid 88 cents. I returned one at the other store and they gave me 88 cents.”

Me: *to supervisor* “She wants less money than I’m trying to give her.”

Supervisor: “So give her less money?”

Me: “Can I modify the price of a return?”

Supervisor: “No, the register won’t let you.”

Me: *to customer* “I’m sorry, but I can’t change the price. The register wants me to give you $2.27.”

Customer: “The other store gave me 88 cents. I only paid 88 cents. I don’t like to steal.”

(The customer then proceeded to count 12 cents from her wallet and take a dollar bill before leaving the store, leaving the rest of the money on the counter.)

Gun Control Out Of Control, Part 2

| IN, USA | Right | April 29, 2016

Me: “Thank you for calling [Cable Company]! My name is [My Name]. How can I help—”

Customer: “Now listen here, f*****! I keep getting these calls saying I’m past due on my bill! I pay my bill ON TIME, EVERY MONTH! What the h*** is the meaning of this?”

(The customer continues on in this fashion for about fifteen minutes, swearing at me and calling me names. I finally managed to get his account pulled up, and wouldn’t you know it, he indeed has a past due balance. He has actually been about a month behind on his bill for most of the year. I proceed to explain the situation to him, going a year back and explaining each bill to him.)

Me: “Sir, I understand your frustration, but the fact of the matter is, you’ve been behind a month on your bill for the past year. You’ve been turned off twice in that time. This is why you continually get those automated calls. If you’d like, I can set you up on a payment plan to get you caught back up.”

Customer: “Why? So you and your communist company can swindle me out of more money? You can go right to h***, and if I get one more call about my so-called ‘past due’ balance, I’ll send you there myself! I have a gun, and it’s looking a bit bored, if you get my meaning.”

Me: *becoming angry* “Okay, sir, you have now crossed a very serious line. Are you aware that making death threats is a serious crime?”

Customer: “It’s not a threat. It’s a promise. I will hunt you down, mother-f*****!”

Me: “See, now, I don’t think that’s going to be possible. For one thing, you haven’t the slightest idea where I am. I could be five miles away from you, or clear across the country. So, best of luck finding me. Second, this call is being recorded, as I’m sure you’re well aware, so our entire conversation would stand as evidence in a court of law. Third, in keeping with your ignorance of my whereabouts, you know nothing about me except my first name and where I work. I, however, have your full name, address, telephone number, social security number, and a whole myriad of other information that would prove quite useful to the police, should I choose to file a police report. And believe me, I intend to. Now, would you like to rethink your threats, or do you want to carry on with your plan to gun me down?”

Customer: “…’m sorry.”

Me: “Thank you. Now, these calls will continue until your past due balance is paid. I recommend paying the whole balance in full and getting your account current so we don’t have to have this conversation again.”

(The rest of the call was him mumbling sheepishly and me happily closing the call. Never heard back from him, strangely enough!)

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The Holidays Just Flasher By

| CT, USA | Right | April 29, 2016

(For Halloween, the grocery store I work at allows employees to come to work in a costume. On a tight budget, I had dressed like a 1930’s reporter, complete with the notepad in the fedora and a trench coat that went down to my ankles. (It should be noted I am a 6’3″ male.) A middle aged woman comes to my register, a concerned expression on her face.)

Me: “Happy Halloween, miss. May I see your rewards card?”

Customer: *serious tone* “Are you dressed as a flasher?”

(I’ve had customers ask if I’m everything from a private eye to a crooked lawyer.)

Me: *the trench coat is unbuttoned, with my shirt and pants visible on the middle of my chest* “Miss… if I were dressed as a flasher, the jacket would be closed.”

Customer: “Oh…”

(She went along the rest of the transaction seeming rather disappointed in my reply.)

Chipping Away At Those Cultural Differences

| USA | Right | April 29, 2016

(Some of my extended family from Ireland have come over to the US for a cross-country road trip. My one cousin is obsessed with French fries, which are called “chips” over there.)

Cousin: “Can I have some chips?”

Server: “Oh, I’m sorry we don’t have potato chips.”

Aunt: “He means ‘French fries,’ sorry!”

(Whether he just never clued in or refused to change what he called them, he never said French fries. When they finally get back to the east coast before flying home, we’re having dinner with them when this happens.)

Cousin: “Can I have chips with that?”

Waitress: “Of course!”

(We were thinking the waitress just recognized their accent and knew the difference in terms; turned out when the food arrived, alongside his hamburger was a giant mound of made-on-premises, freshly fried, potato chips! We got a good laugh out of it, and thankfully they were tasty, too!)

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