Behaving Like A (B)Rat

, , , , , | Right | April 20, 2019

(I work in a place that is well known for sausage rolls and coffee. All is going well for a quiet Tuesday afternoon and I haven’t served a customer in about five minutes. In comes an old fella who I don’t recognize as a regular. He places a sandwich on the counter. I ask in my usual friendly way, as upselling is an unfortunate part of the job:)

Me: “You can get a hot or cold drink with that for an extra 40p.”

Customer: *replies, colder than the British weather this week* “Did I say I wanted a drink?”

Me: *a little taken aback by his sour tone* “No, but I am required to ask.”

Customer: *grumbling hard* “I don’t want a d*** drink. All you want is to make me spend more money. I don’t like spending money.”

(Makes me wonder why he bothered coming in to buy anything in the first place, but I don’t say it aloud.)

Me: “Okay, then. That’s [price] on its own.”

Customer: *with an attitude like a toddler and obviously trying to pick a fight* “No, I don’t want it now. I wouldn’t feed it to the rats.”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(He huffs off and leaves. I am too caught off-guard to even make a witty comment about the ironic situation. About thirty minutes later, he returns. Luckily, my boss is on a break and I’m the only one here; otherwise, I’d never normally be this naughty.)

Customer: *a little less bitter now* “Two sausage rolls.”

Me: “You want sausage rolls from here? I’m sorry, but I can only give these to the rats.”

(I eventually got a small apology out of him — I was astounded! — and the rest of the transaction went all right. Just goes to show that sometimes it’s good to be a little cocky back, even if you’re not supposed to.)

She Has Steal Appeal

, , , , , , | Right | April 20, 2019

(I’m working the information desk with my coworker when this happens. A middle-aged, blonde woman with a strong Eastern European accent comes up, looking very angry.)

Customer: “I need police!”

Me: “Okay, what for?”

Customer: “My purse stolen! I vas sitting at bench outside, I put my purse under, and next thing I know it gone. Person next to me, gone, too!”

Me: “And how long ago was this?”

Customer: “About ten minutes ago.”

Me: “Oh, wow. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Do you need the number for the police?”

Customer: “Yes!”

(I give her the non-emergency number for the local police.)

Me: “Here. You can call that number and file a stolen property report. The police should talk to you soon.”

(She dials the number on her cell phone and starts talking.)

Customer: “Yes, I need police officer!” *pause* “My purse stolen!” *pause* “I was sitting at bus stop, I put my purse under the bench, and when I look up it gone! Person next to me, gone too!” *pause* “Okay.” *pause* “No.” *pause* “Ten minutes ago, why?” *pause* “What?! But why can you not send someone now? I at library, [address], you always have officer here! But, but…” *pause* “Fine! But be here quick!”

(I’m definitely not liking where this conversation is going. For the record, we sometimes have an officer stationed in our library, because we tend to get a higher-than-average number of patrons who do not know how to behave well, but only on weekend evenings.)

Customer: “You idiot! Why you give me that number?!”

Me: “Wha… Ma’am?”

Customer: “I need officer right now! Why you not give me 911?!”

Me: “Well, ma’am… I’m sorry, but you described a crime that happened a while ago. Dialing non-emergency and filing a report is usually the wisest thing to do.”

Customer: “But I need right now! Why officer not here?! You alvays have one!”

Me: “Well… that’s usually only on evenings, ma’am.”

Customer: “So, now, what I do?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, but the best I can tell you is to wait for the officer to come.”

(She stomps off angrily. I assume that will be the end of it. Stupid me. About four minutes later:)

Customer: “This all your fault!”

Me: “Huh?”

Customer: “All my documents gone! My social security, my passport, my medication — gone!”

Me: “Well… I’m sorry, madam, but you are expected to be responsible for your own personal property.”

Customer: “So, why not call 911?!”

Me: *patience stretching just a tad thin* “Ma’am, with all due respect, if you know the number for 911, why not just call them yourself?!”

Customer: “Because you have officer here in library!”

Coworker: “I’ll call 911 for you, ma’am.”

Customer: “Thank you! He know what he doing!”

(Even after that, she still comes back to harass me several times at my desk, telling me how stupid and incompetent I am, how she’s going to make my life miserable if she doesn’t get her purse back, etc. She also proceeds to talk over my coworker whenever he tries to mediate between us. But I’m still willing to let this go, until this happens!)

Customer: “You know vat? I bet it was black guy!”

Me: *keeps my mouth shut, as I don’t want to make an already volatile situation worse* “Mm-hmm.”

Customer: “I’m serious! That’s all black people do: steal! I remember all my pill stolen when I talk to one once!”

Me: “Ma’am, please don’t speculate like that. It’s offensive.”

Customer: “But it truth!”

(Did I mention that my coworker standing next to me, who called 911 for her, is also black? Remind me to commend him for his patience. She goes back to sit down, but — you guessed it — not even two minutes later:)

Customer: “If you just call 911 first time, I no be here, you stupid, incompetent, worthless little—“

Me: *temper finally breaking* “MA’AM, I HAVE DONE THE BEST THAT I CAN UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES! NOW, WILL YOU PLEASE STOP HARASSING ME AT MY OWN DESK AND STOP BLAMING ME FOR THE EFFECTS OF YOUR OWN FOOLISHNESS?!”

Customer: “I NOT HARASSING; I TELLING YOU TO DO YOUR JOB!”

Coworker: “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Okay, let’s calm down. [My Name], the police officer is here; how about I take [Customer] downstairs?

Me: *deep breath* “Yes, please.”

(A few minutes later.)

Coworker: “Okay, the officer’s taking her statement, but he also decided it’d be a good idea to ask her to leave the library.”

Me: “Good. Thank you, [Coworker].” *deep sigh* “I want to feel bad for her, since she did get stolen from, but some people really make it difficult. Especially considering this didn’t even take place on our property.”

(I somehow never got written up for this.)

A Hurricane Of Stupidity

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2019

(A famous US retailer closed a number of its stores earlier this year, including the last one in our city. I take a temporary job there working the final clearance sales. This takes place during our final week, a few days after Hurricane Harvey hits Houston. Our city is hours north, in the next state, so the weather doesn’t affect us. A customer has two common questions.)

Me: “Hi. How may I help you?”

Customer: “When is [Store]’s last day?”

Me: “It’s [date], this coming Sunday.”

Customer: “Okay. What are you doing with the stuff that doesn’t sell?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I haven’t been told yet. I can get a manager if you like.”

(I don’t expect to be told since I am not involved in that aspect of the closure.)

Customer: “Oh… you know what should be done with it? Send it all down to Houston. The victims need the help; they can use all this.”

Me: *resists the urge to roll eyes and forces self to use a polite tone* “Yes, ma’am. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

(What was she thinking? The whole store is almost empty and 90% of what we have left isn’t merchandise; it’s movable racks and a couple of display tables, mostly empty. I moved from Florida, where serious hurricanes are a fact of life, and have been through them. Believe me, store fixtures aren’t what those poor people need.)

Bugging You About Nothing

, , | Right | April 19, 2019

(I have just been promoted to a manager position at my hotel. Every shift, one manager is the designated manager on duty, meaning they will be in charge of fielding any serious guest complaints, and they are technically in charge of the hotel for their shift. On one of my first MOD shifts, a guest comes to the desk to complain.)

Guest #1: “We’re sitting over by the bar and there are bugs all over our table! It’s disgusting!”

Me: “Oh, my goodness! I am so sorry. Let me come over right away!”

(I follow the guest over to her group. I can see no insects anywhere, except for a single one that a guest has trapped under a glass. Being new to this, I am foolish enough to be relieved.)

Me: “Oh, well, I am so sorry about that! It must have come in from outside and—“

Guest #2: “I don’t believe that crap for a second!”

(I am just puzzled. The area they are sitting in is only about 30 feet from the main entrance, which is constantly opening and closing. It didn’t even occur to me to think that someone would question the logic.)

Me: “Sir?”

Guest #2: “That is a roach. And if there’s one of them, there are hundreds.”

(His party is all nodding in agreement, and I look down at the bug in question. While I don’t know exactly what it is, it’s about the size of my pinky nail, and very light tan. Not a roach, in short.)

Me: “Erm… Well, I am not really qualified to identify the insect, sir, but I am fairly sure it just came in from outside. However, if there is anything I can do for the inconvenience—“

Guest #2: “I want a free drink.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to give you a free drink voucher, sir. Just be aware that our bar closes in about twenty minutes, so you might want to be quick about using it.”

Guest #2: “Whatever.”

(I got him his free drink voucher, and took the bug away and squished it, tossing it in the trash. I thought no more about it. The next day, the bartender told me the guy came up ten minutes after close to try and use his voucher.)

A Handy Comeback

, , , , | Right | April 19, 2019

(I work in a popular, fairly cheap bakery and food-on-the-go retailer in the UK. We have a range of sandwiches, including several we can heat, but those are packaged in obvious brown packaging. We can’t heat any other sandwiches because of the ingredients.)

Customer: *handing me a cheese salad sandwich* “Hey, can you toast this for me?”

Me: “No, sorry, sir. We can only toast the sandwiches in the brown wrappers.”

Customer: “You won’t toast this one?”

Me: “No, sorry. Did you still want it?”

Customer: *pauses* “How am I supposed to eat it, then?”

(This isn’t said aggressively, but rather as if he’s utterly confused about this conundrum.)

Me: “Most people eat them with their hands; I don’t know about you.”

(There was a moment of stunned silence, and then he paid and left. Thankfully, my manager thought it was absolutely hilarious and I didn’t get written up!)

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