Closing Early And Opening The Floodgates

, , , , , , | Right | February 22, 2020

(I am a manager of an indoor children’s playland. I have the discretion to close early if we have not had any customers for a length of time. Weekends are always hectic with kids of all ages, but on weekdays we are mostly busy in the mornings with toddlers and often quiet in the afternoon, especially in winter with Daylight Savings. One Tuesday afternoon is particularly quiet. We had everyone pile out fairly quickly by 2:00 — probably for the school run — and we were left empty. I make the call at 4:30 that we’ll close at 5:00 and hang a sign on the door at 4:45 notifying customers. At 5:05, with everything locked up and the sign still on the door, I stand by my car, waiting with my colleague whose mum is late picking him up. Into the car park comes a car that parks next to mine.)

Colleague: “Who’s that?”

Me: “Oh, that’s not your mum, then?”

Colleague: “No.”

(A woman and her two- or three-year-old toddler come up.)

Woman: “Are you closed?”

Me: “Yes, I am terribly sorry but we have closed at 5:00 pm tonight. We will be open again tomorrow from 9:30 am.”

Woman: “But you can’t close early. He wants to play.”

(The kid looks like he doesn’t have a clue where he is and is preoccupied with a balloon.)

Me: “I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience but everything is already locked up and my colleague here is just about to be picked up. I won’t be able to open up again on my own.”

Woman: “I know [Owners] and they will fire you for closing early. They let my son and me play until close all the time.”

(This kid must have been minus-five-years-old when he met them!)

Me: “Again, I am sorry but [Owners] have not been the owners here for seven years, though they were the ones that created the rule to close early and the current owners agree with the logic behind it.”

(At this point, my colleague’s mum arrives but he stays with me, presumably in case there are any issues. Seeing the woman’s commotion, she, too, gets out of the car to see what’s going on.)

Woman: “You’re missing out on business here. You’re going to go out of business.”

Me: “Thank you for your concern, but as I mentioned, I am following protocol and we are now closed, so I will certainly be very happy to see you and your child another day for a play.”

Woman: *now yelling at us* “Tell me one reason why you can’t open. You should be open. I am a paying customer. I am right. You are wrong. [Owners] will fire you. You need to open now. My son is distraught!”

(He isn’t, though he looks upset by his mother shouting.)

Woman: “Why are you closed? Open the d*** playland now. My son is hungry and we want some chips. You’re not logical. You’re a b**** and you just want to go home early! Your manager will hear about this. This is illegal. I want free entry! I want free chips! You’re going to go bankrupt soon!”

Me: “Lady, stop screaming at us in front of your poor kid; you’re scaring him. We are closed. I was originally sorry that we inconvenienced you but I am no longer, as you’re being completely rude. I am the manager; I make the call if we close early and the correct, current owners approve this. I don’t need to explain myself to you, but since you enjoy going around in circles with no comprehension, nor manners, I’ll lay it all out for you. We had an unusually quiet afternoon and it made no logical sense to stay open any longer. Unless several customers came in, it wouldn’t cover the pays, let alone everything else. We are a business. We’re not a charity. The prices are what they are to cover rent, insurance, electricity, water, gas, food, drinks, staff, maintenance, software, play structures, cleaning, advertising, and a much longer list of items that are all behind the scenes to make us what we are today. Now, if you would like to come back on another day, when we are open, and you are polite and considerate, then we would absolutely love to see you and your son again. And if not, then I wish you a good evening, for we are all going home. Should you require any assistance leaving, I might be able to conjure up the security team we also have to pay for, to help you leave.”

(She stood there speechless for a minute before getting back into her car. The next day was my rostered day off so I didn’t have to deal with her expected wrath but, as it happened, she never called.)

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Unfiltered Story #186978

, | Unfiltered | February 22, 2020

(I work in an Asian takeaway place that serves curry, and spring rolls and dimsims, a little chinese dumpling, I had just finished serving this man his curry, and put it through the till)

Customer: wait, I’ll have a dimsim, I have a fetish for dimsims!

Me: Alright (big smile)
(Pretty sure he meant craving)

Whatever The Magazine, She Has Issues!

, , , | Right | February 21, 2020

(I work in a newsagents selling magazines and lotto tickets. A regular customer comes in a bit earlier than usual to get her magazines but they are not ready. My coworker is serving her so I get her regular magazines out of the box for her as we chat and she buys them, and everything seems fine. Twenty minutes later, this occurs. Bear in mind that this is a previously sweet old lady who I have served many times.)

Customer: “YOU!” *pointing at me*

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Customer:You gave me the wrong magazine.”

(She throws down a very old magazine which is definitely not one from our store as it is months old.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I gave you [other magazines], not this one…”

Customer: *interrupts* “I AM AN HONEST PERSON!”

Me: “We don’t actually have that magazine in our store. Could you have possibly left your magazine in the food court? They have free magazines there; they might have gotten mixed up if you were having a coffee.”

Customer: *to my coworker, shaking with anger and ignoring me* “What will you do about it?! I AM AN HONEST PERSON! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!”

Coworker: “Um…”

Me: *to my coworker* “Give the lady another magazine.” *to the customer* “Just so you know, there is honestly no possible way this magazine came from our store. It might be worth retracing your steps. “

Customer: “I have never been so insulted. I know your manager and she will hear all about the way you have treated me!” *storms out, leaving some very bemused customers in the line behind her*

(Five minutes later, while I am serving another customer, she returns.)

Customer: *to coworker* “I found my magazine in the food court but I’m returning this one because, like I said, I am an honest person!”

(She walked out, but not before scowling at me. That was last week; she sent a friend in to get her magazines this week!)

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Speaking English Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Polite With It

, , , , , | Right | February 20, 2020

(My friend is working as a bank teller in a branch of a major Arabic bank in the middle of Sydney. She was hired for being bilingual; both of her parents are of Palestinian descent, although all three of them now have Australian citizenship. My friend is a Christian and doesn’t wear any kind of headscarf, but she still looks very Arabic. An elderly, Caucasian lady walks into the middle of the branch and stands there, looking confused. My friend walks up to her and politely asks in English:)

Teller: “Is everything all right? May I help you with something today, ma’am?”

Elderly Lady: *visibly relieved* “Oh, thank goodness! And you speak excellent English, too!”

Teller: “Well, thank you, and so do you.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, but I was born here!”

Teller: “Oh, so was I.”

Elderly Lady: “Oh, I mean, my parents were Australian.”

Teller: “Yes, and so are mine.”

Elderly Lady: *flustered again* “Oh, you foreign types, coming here to take our jobs and then you speak to me like this! All you want from this country is to buy up our businesses and get rich!”

(My poor friend managed to grit her teeth and deal with this bigoted old bat, and it turns out that she had hundreds of thousands of dollars invested… in Arabic-speaking companies overseas, of course.)

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Unfiltered Story #186940

, , | Unfiltered | February 20, 2020

(It is late in the day, and my co-worker and I are beginning to clean and pack things away, although we’re still open for another hour. I am cleaning out the dessert cabinet)
Customer 1: *rudely* You aren’t closing, are you?
Co-worker: Not yet, no.
(The customer places her order and walks out, only for another couple at the same table to enter)
Customer 2: Do you have lactose free milk?
Me: We have almond milk and soy milk
Customer 2: Almond is fine
Customer 3: So how much?
Me: What would you like?
Customer 3: Just tell me how much
Co-worker: You need to tell us what coffee you want, and what size. It’s not all the same price
Customer 3: *As if it’s obvious* A flat white
(I tell him the price, and he shoves the money into my hand. As they walk outside, the wife turns back around)
Customer 2: You make sure that’s almond milk! I’ll get sick if you use regular milk!