In Daylights, In Sunsets, In Midnights, In Cups Of Coffee

, , , , , | Right | February 24, 2021

I work in a very popular chain coffee shop. Most days are pretty basic — a few entitled people here and there but nothing too crazy. On this particular morning, I open after getting about five hours of sleep and have to work with someone I’m not fond of. Halfway through the morning, a couple walks in and comes up to the register. I’m in the middle of taking their order when the man interrupts me.

Man: “You look familiar… Did you work here around this time last year?”

Me: *Slightly confused* “Yes.”

Man: “Oh, my God! Your name is [My Name], right?!”

I’m now even more confused, trying to remember this man’s face. 

Me: “Yeah.” *Chuckles awkwardly*

Man: “Yeah, I remember you! I came in and ordered fourteen drinks at once. You made them all so well and without complaining!”

Me: “Oh, wow! You remember that?”

Man: “Yeah! They were all, like, super-customized drinks! It was awesome. I kept trying to tip you but you said you weren’t allowed to take tips.”

Me: “Were the drinks good, at least?”

Man: *Laughing* “Yeah! You were so awesome that I remember you from a year ago!”

Me: “Oh, my God! That’s amazing. Thank you so much! That just made my day!”

I was smiling so hard and trying not to tear up because after a rough morning, hearing this guy talk so highly of me really touched me. I hope he knows how much I really appreciated the sentiment. Customers like him are rare, but they are the reason I tolerate customer service jobs.

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Let Me Just Wipe This Surprised Look Off My Face

, , , , , | Working | February 16, 2021

My mother and I were taking a leisurely trip to Arizona as I, twice a year, fly to places I’ve never been to see a concert and then make a long weekend of it and tour the surrounding area. Someone often accompanies me for the adventure, and this time my mum met me at the airport, flying in from a different city.

As we inspected our rental car, I noted that the rear bumper was very loose on the left side and pointed it out to the agent. She shrugged and said it was fine, but I insisted she note it, which she did with a literal huff.

We spent most of our travels on the smaller roads, but there was a stretch where we had to drive on the Interstate. The speed limit was a blistering eighty miles an hour, which was the absolute fastest I, a city girl, was comfortable with, so I hugged the slow lane doing the posted speed, pickups and massive trucks passing me like I was standing still.

As I raced along at eighty miles an hour, I could see the left side of my bumper starting to give at that speed. Suddenly, the left side gave out with a cracking noise and I pulled over to find it hanging by the still-attached right clips, but that was it.

Fortunately, I could see a home improvement store at the exit just back from where we’d stopped. I backed up the fifty meters or so and exited, dragging my bumper with me, and went in to buy a roll of duct tape. I called the rental company asking permission to tape their car, and they were reluctant to give it, asking me to come and exchange the car, but there were no near rental spots, so they acquiesced and I taped that bad boy up.

Returning the car was a bit of an ordeal but I was glad I’d had them note my concern. Over and over, they asked about an accident or crash and I kept saying that it had just fallen off.

They had me fill out an incident report and I wrote, “Noted it looked like bumper would fall off. Bumper fell off,” and handed it back to the agent.

To his credit, he chuckled at the description of the incident and sent my mum and me off to catch our respective flights. I asked for, but never got, reimbursed for my duct tape purchase.

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This Guy Is Nuts And We Wish He’d Bolt

, , , , | Right | February 12, 2021

I have just graduated college (with honors) for Graphic Design and have my BA in it and everything. I am looking for design work, but I work at a nationwide hardware store to make some money to pay some bills and whatnot.

We have a complete aisle dedicated to loose nuts and bolts and whatnot. We have numerous bright orange signs there CLEARLY stating that, even though we have the SKU on the boxes, we only need the quantity and price for us to ring it up and the SKU does nothing in the machine.

One day, I have this guy come in and get some items. He tosses his bag of nuts and bolts at my counter. I notice there are no prices written down.

Me: “Do you know the prices of these items, sir?”

The customer speaks in a condescending and irritated tone.

Customer: “Aren’t you supposed to know that? Plus, I even wrote down the d*** SKU for you.”

Me: “I can see that, but our system doesn’t ring up SKUs. We only need the price and quantity.”

Customer: “But the other stores need the SKU.”

Me: “Each of the stores is independently owned. It’s just how ours is run.”

Customer: *Getting madder* “So, now I have to walk all the way back there to get the numbers for you?”

Me: “I could always spitball some numbers. I see these come—”

Before I even finish, he storms off. I put his things aside and wait for him. Not even thirty seconds later, in a small store full of customers, he comes storming back.

Customer: *Shouting loudly* “They’re [three prices around twenty-five cents], but you may want to check with your manager.”

Me: *Typing the prices in* “These should be fine since I ring them as bulk.”

Customer: *Interrupts me again* “In fact, where is your manager? I wish to speak to them.”

I point to the other register across the way. My manager, who I love to death, has been right there listening to everything.

Me: “She’s right there.”

Manager: *Looks to the customer* “How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’d like to report your F****** DISRESPECTFUL-A** STAFF YOU HAVE RIGHT HERE!”

He points right at me and my hands shoot up. How was I disrespectful to him when I was telling him what our store does? My manager speaks to him for a second and then he grumbles and begins paying. As he does, he signs the screen for the card payment, nearly breaking the screen when he hits “Done,” and storms out before his receipt even prints. The whole time he is grumbling, saying this is the reason we will be shut down and that each store in this chain is usually shut down in six months. I pay him no mind, but I am put off by him. He continues screaming and pointing right at me as he stands at the door. Then, I snap.

Customer: “YOU NEED TO GET A F****** EDUCATION!”

Me: *Shouts back* “I HAVE MY COLLEGE DEGREE!”

My manager was right next to me and told me I could go calm down in the break room. I was crying back there and she came back and helped to calm me. She even said he was the one who needed an education, and I smiled at that. The other manager on duty was there, too, and said if he ever comes back, we will refuse service to him. The next person I helped when I got back to my register was the nicest lady ever. I even got a high-five from a coworker for standing up to myself.

The best part? The manager who helped me calm down is my husband’s step-mother. She set us up and we have been together for four years and married for two.

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Just A Data-Day Idiot

, , , , , | Right | February 11, 2021

I work for a company that handles digital media and printing such media. We offer printing, data loading, and packing services for USBs and CDs. I work as a designer for our custom jobs, but I also handle loading the master drive with the data — the one we keep on hand for about fourteen months in case the client reorders — and proof art and data.

I have been working here for a few months when we have this guy place an order. I have the stupidity to answer my work phone when I have just sat down for lunch at my desk and barely made my salad.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [My Name].”

Customer: “Hi, I just got a data proof and the sizes don’t match up.”

Me: “Okay. Let me pull it up for you. What size do you get when you check the properties of the data?”

When the customer responds, he sounds like I just spoke in a foreign language.

Customer: “I don’t know what that is, but when I calculate it on my end, it doesn’t add up.”

Me: “Okay… you should have a folder on your end with the data you sent us. You can highlight all the files, right-click them, and hit ‘properties’ at the bottom of the page. The size should be there.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I don’t have the data on my computer. Some other guy made the master I sent you.”

Me: *Dumbfounded* “Oh…”

Customer: “Yeah, so when you calculate it in a calculator, I get [amount #1] versus your [amount #2].”

I mentally jump out of my office window.

Me: “Calculating totals of data on a regular calculator won’t show the exact same amount. That’s not how data works.”

Customer: *Getting irritated* “Well, I’m an older guy so this is how I’ve done it for years. Here, do it with me.”

I just want to get this guy off the phone, so I pull up a calculator. He proceeds to go through each file and folder and calculate the KB each makes up. On my end, the calculator shows almost the exact amount. I am honestly surprised by how close it is, but that still isn’t how data works.

Customer: “See? The totals are off!”

Me: “Sir, I see that, but using a normal calculator won’t work—”

He interrupts me for the millionth time. 

Customer: “Why is it off? Are there some files corrupted?”

Me: *Getting upset now* “Sir, we had our tech guy check each file and there was no corrupt—”

Customer: *Interrupts again* “I know how we can check. Let’s do this.”

He proceeded to have me hold the phone to the speaker and play each of his THIRTY-PLUS FILES OF MUSIC DATA for a few seconds each to make sure the songs were there. It took over ten minutes because while having to listen to the music, I had to try to hear him over the music saying that I could proceed to each one. During this time, I had to clock in from lunch and didn’t even get to relax for my break. Thank God he hasn’t reordered.

The worst news is that I had to throw out my salad since the ranch had soaked the leaves and made them soggy. I didn’t eat anything but snacks that I had for the rest of the day. I pigged out when I got home for dinner.

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Their Behavior Sets The Tone

, , , , | Right | February 10, 2021

I am a monotone introvert by nature and working retail or anything customer-service-oriented can be difficult at times. I have to make a conscious effort to put some emotion into my voice and have learned through trial and error over the years how to deal with customers.

I have just come on shift and relieved a coworker for her break. My first two customers are an elderly mother and her middle-aged daughter. The daughter tears off something from a product.

Daughter: “Here. This has a coupon.” 

Me: “Sure thing. Let me scan it through.”  

I scan the product and then unfold the coupon to put it through, as well. Immediately, I receive an error. That’s not a surprise, as the coupons only work about 50% of the time for various reasons; I’d just been hoping this wasn’t one of those occasions. I look closer at the coupon and realize at once what’s wrong.

Me: “Ah… I’m sorry, but this coupon isn’t for the product you’re buying.” 

Cue simultaneous squinting of narrowed, angry eyes from both mother and daughter. I quickly show the coupon to them and start explaining.

Me: “It’s for other products by the same manufacturer. See here? It gives a list of other options you can buy.” 

I’m talking quickly, forgetting about any type of customer service voice, because they’re both still glaring at me, but there’s not much I can do about another company’s coupon. So, they apparently hone in on the only thing they can think to complain about.

Daughter: *Snatching the coupon back* “I don’t like your tone of voice! You need to learn better customer service! Just ring everything else up so we can get out of here.” 

I stay quiet and go through the task of scanning their many groceries, not bothering to make eye contact if I can help it. They stand there, the daughter muttering to her mom, while I work. At one point, I’m carefully placing a particular food item in the bag when I hear the mother speak up. But she is talking so faintly, even though she’s standing a few feet away, that I can’t hear what she says and assume she is speaking to her daughter. I don’t look up but stay focused on the bagging. Big mistake.

Daughter: *Scoffs loudly* “She’s not even paying attention to us now!” 

Me: *Inwardly cringes and looks up* “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear—”

Mother: “I said for you not to bag the pie sideways! Bag it flat!”

Me: “Oh!”

I lift up the bag to show her.

Me: “I already did. I—”

The daughter snatches this, too, out of my hand while leaning aggressively close to my face.

Daughter: “Don’t argue with customers!” 

I considered telling her that I wasn’t arguing and just reassuring her mother that I had already done what she wanted, but I realized that in itself would be arguing and it really wasn’t worth the headache.

The rest of the transaction was awkward and tense and they were still grumbling to each other after they left my line. I saw the daughter less than a minute later up at the customer service desk, presumably to lodge a complaint against me, but I was never approached by a manager about it. That’s not the worst experience I’ve had with a customer, but it makes me very glad to have found a non-retail job that requires very little interaction with the public.

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