Exhausted All Other Excuses

, , , | Right | November 8, 2017

(We run a small shop that sells and repairs motorbikes. We sell a small motorbike to a couple for their child. They come back in after a few days.)

Customer: “It’s running hot.”

Me: “Why do you think it’s running hot?”

Customer: “The exhaust melted a hole in my daughter’s $80 riding pants.”

Me: “Did she get burnt?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “The riding pants have done their job, then. But what makes you think it’s running hot?”

Customer: “My husband touched the exhaust and burnt his hand!”

Had To Crack A Few Eggs To Get There

, , , , , | Right | November 7, 2017

(I am a waitress at a busy restaurant. Note: all our menu items list the ingredients after the name of the dish and before the price. I serve poached eggs to a woman in her 50s.)

Customer: “Oh, ew, no! I don’t want that salmon!”

Me: “I’m sorry. What did you order?”

Customer: “I ordered poached eggs and toast, but not with salmon and asparagus!”

Me: “Okay, let me go and check your receipt.”

(I take her meal to the service counter and confirm that she paid a full $14 for our poached eggs, which lists salmon and asparagus in the ingredients. She has also ordered extra eggs. I have the kitchen remake her order: poached eggs on toast, extra eggs, and take her the $10 difference. A minute later she approaches me again.)

Customer: “I don’t know what’s going on with my food, but this isn’t right, either! I was meant to have bacon with this!”

Me: “I’m sorry; that wasn’t on the receipt, but I’ll go and get some for you.”

(I take out the extra bacon without charging any extra.)

Customer: “I didn’t want this many eggs!”

Me: “That’s okay; you haven’t been charged for them.”

Customer: “Well, I won’t be able to eat them all.”

Me: “Again, that’s fine; they’re on the house.”

Customer: “Did you want them back?”

Me: “No, no, that’s fine. You keep them.”

(While laughing later with my coworker who took the order, I confirmed that she had repeated the original order back three times!)

A Rash Of Odd Questions

, , , , | Right | November 6, 2017

(I work in a deli. It is basically closing time, and I am pretty tired.)

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Oh, hey! Didn’t see you there. Can I help you?”

Customer: “Yeah, I have this weird rash. What do I do?”

Me: “Uh…”

(Basically, I spent ten minutes helping a guy with a rash. In a deli. With no medical experience. But lots of salami.)


, , , | Related | November 6, 2017

(My grandma is a very kind and well-meaning lady. That being said, she is 85 and has lived as a middle-class Englishwoman for most of her life, and therefore holds some opinions about race ranging from the laughably ignorant to the downright prejudiced. Here is an instance where she manages an impressive rapidfire in a conversation with me about my sister’s Pakistani boyfriend.)

Me: “I just hope she doesn’t—”

Grandma: *interrupting* “Get married?”

Me: “What? N-no. I don’t mind if they get married.”

Grandma: “Because the thing about black people is—”

Me: “But he’s not black…”

Grandma: “Right, well, you know what I mean. The thing about foreigners is that they can’t always relate to Australian culture.”

Me: “Grandma, you’re not from Australia.”

Grandma: “Oh, yes. You’re right. Then again, no one is technically ‘Aussie.’ Everyone came here from somewhere else.”

Me: “Uh… indigenous Australians?”

Grandma: “Exactly; there were Aborigines, but no Aussies here, originally.”

Me: *face-palm and subject change*

A Three-Course Disaster

, , , , , , | Working | November 6, 2017

My partner and I go out to a local restaurant to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We are seated and our waiter takes our drink order. He looks young, possibly in his late teens. After around ten minutes, the drinks haven’t arrived, so when our waiter walks past, I ask him how the drinks are going. Instead of going to check on them, he takes out his notebook and takes our order again.

I get the impression he is new and very nervous. I don’t want to make him feel bad, so we just re-order the same drinks. Five minutes later, he returns with both orders of drinks. “Oh well,” I think. We were probably going to order more drinks later, anyway, so I don’t say anything.

He takes our food order without any issues and our meals arrive at a reasonable time. Well… my partner’s appetizer and main course both arrive together. That turns out to be a lucky accident, as the young waiter delivers my food to a table nearby. When they tell him that it isn’t what they ordered, he apologizes, takes the plates back to the kitchen, and returns with my meal in take-away containers.

I am a bit peeved, but as it is our anniversary, we both just want to relax and enjoy the night, and the food is actually really good. We decide to risk ordering dessert. My partner orders deep fried ice-cream, only for our young waiter to tell us that it’s not on the menu. I point it out to him on the menu, and point to other tables where we can see people eating it. He apologizes and said he honestly had no idea that it was on the menu.

After finishing our meal, we go to the front counter to pay the bill. It seems our waiter has never used or been trained in using a POS terminal or EFTPOS machine, and has to call other staff for help three times just to enter our items into the register.

My patience is just about expired, but I still feel sorry for the kid, as we’ve been able to hear his boss yelling at him every time he goes into the kitchen. I’ve been the new guy before and totally sympathize with him. I think to try and bolster his confidence and show him some support, so I say, “Don’t worry; it looks like you’re new here, and it seems tough now, but in a few weeks you’ll be a total professional.”

His reply left me feeling so awful. I’ve never forgotten what he said.

“I’m not new; I’ve worked here for six months.”

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