A Tale Of Two Customers

, , , , , , , , | Right | June 13, 2020

A customer enters her local grocery store, notes all of the changes that have been made recently to keep customers and staff safe due to the health crisis, and follows all of the guidelines. After paying for her purchases, she tells the cashier:

Customer #1: “I just want to say that you guys are doing a wonderful job. I know this can’t be easy.”

The cashier beams and thanks her.

[Customer #2] enters the same grocery store to look for yeast. She is unable to find any, since it has become a hot commodity, so she wants to leave the store. She discovers that doing so without actually going through the checkout is extremely difficult, due to many of the usual egresses being blocked.

In her confusion, she goes the wrong way down an aisle. In other words, the aisle has clear “WALK IN THIS DIRECTION” arrows on the floor, and she forgets to check them. Another customer barks at her.

Other Customer: “You’re going the wrong way!”

[Customer #2] yelps in distress, almost in tears:

Customer #2: “I’m just trying to GET OUT OF HERE!”

An employee comes along and helps her out of the store. She practically runs out the door, face burning.

Reader, both of those customers were me. I wish I could say that I’m sorry to the people who witnessed the second situation!

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Fixed It Like Clockwork

, , , , , , | Working | June 12, 2020

I work at a store that does personalized engravings for people. It’s very common for us to add special messages or monograms to people to mark milestones in their lives, either to something they bring in, or to objects we sell for the purpose.

One day, a young woman comes into our store with a clock that had been engraved at one of our sister stores in another state. Her fiancé had secretly purchased it as a wedding gift to her while visiting his family. He had picked it up at the store but had liked the wrapping and did not unwrap it at the time. 

When he gave it to her, they discovered that there were several mistakes in the engraving. The date for their upcoming wedding was incorrect and her name was misspelled. Her fiancé had tried calling the original location where they got the engraving done but just got the runaround. He was basically told, “We already have your money, so… too bad.” 

Although she is perfectly polite and kind to me, it is clear that the customer is very upset, and I don’t blame her. She has had to drive over sixty miles to come to our location — the nearest to them — to see if meeting in person might work better than calling. 

It’s a little tricky to look up their order, since it was made through another location, but fortunately, she has brought their paperwork, which helps. It also shows that her fiancé had put down the correct date and spelling, so the mistake was entirely on our side.

I manage to not only get the order entirely redone — correctly! — and have it shipped to them to save the customer from having to make the long drive again, but I’m able to get my manager to approve a 50% refund for the trouble and inconvenience. 

I also tell my manager about the other location, and she says that she’ll escalate it to her superiors, but I have no idea if anyone working at that other location gets in any trouble over it.

Nicest of all, two weeks later, my manager calls me into her office to have me listen to a message someone left on her voicemail. It is the customer, calling to say that they received the engraved clock and that it is perfect, and also to compliment my customer service. “We were planning never to use your company ever again after the initial trouble, but after exemplary service from [My Name], we will certainly be back. At least, to your location!”

I tried to go a little bit above and beyond, because I felt like my company had messed up, but it really meant a lot to me that she took the time to call and say something nice. People often call to complain or criticize, but I can’t think of another time someone called simply to be kind.

It’s been a few years and I’ve long since left that job, but to this day, that lady remains my favorite customer.

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When It Works Out, And Then It Works Out

, , | Right | June 9, 2020

I work for a phone provider help service. As I was born in India, I have an accent that can often irritate people because they can’t understand. Before connecting to a server, an automated message is provided explaining that many problems can be solved by just turning the phone off, removing the sim card and battery, and then turning it on again, so it is sometimes assumed that most customers have at least tried that.

Customer: “Hi. My phone isn’t letting me make calls and says I have no reception wherever I go, even places I used to have reception!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I see you’re calling from a landline. Can you give me the number for the phone in question?”

Customer: “Yeah, I can’t call from my mobile at all.”

She provides the number. I spend about forty-five minutes on the phone to her, asking questions to try and figure out the problem, with her replying to all my questions calmly and not once complaining about the length of the call.

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’m just going to ask you to turn your phone off for a second.”

Customer: “I tried turning it off and on earlier, but it didn’t work… but okay.”

Me: “Yes, but before you turn it on again, did you remove the battery and sim card?”

Customer: “Oh… no. Oh, it worked! Thanks! So, uh, sorry for wasting your time on a petty problem.”

Me: “Not at all, and I would just like to thank you for being so patient with me through this process. I really appreciate it!”

Customer: “Well, you’re helping me out, right? What use would it to me to be a b**** to the person fixing my silly problem? Anyway, I’m a bit late for work now, so I have to go, but thanks again for fixing my phone!”

To the customer, whoever you are, I don’t think you realise how rare it is for a customer to be so patient after a forty-five-minute call, especially if they’re running late for work. So, thank you, sincerely!

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There Is Such A Thing As A Free Lunch

, , , , | Right | May 29, 2020

I’m working the counter on a very, very slow Monday morning. Two customers walk in at about 8:00 am, laden down with suitcases and bags.

Me: “Hi, how can I help today?”

The customer has a very obvious American accent.

Customer: “Oh, hi! We were just wondering if we could sit in the corner over here and just rest up for a bit? We’ve just come in off the train and we have a few hours before our flight out of here.”

I’m pretty impressed, because the train station is about twenty minute’s walk, and they carried all that luggage from there.

Me: “That’s no problem at all! Just take one of the booth seats in the corner there, and let me know if you need anything at all.”

Over the course of the next few hours, they order coffee, brunch, and lunch from me, asking only to deal with me and not with my coworker. They tell me all about how they are a cruising couple who take cruises all over the world, and they are visiting New Zealand for the first time after an extended stay in Africa. They are incredibly polite and very interesting to listen to, and they always apologise for “interrupting” me whenever they want to order something.

At about 1:00 pm:

Customer’s Husband: “We’re just about to head off now; would you be able to call that taxi that you mentioned? Our flight’s in about an hour.”

Me: “Certainly. One moment.”

I go into the back, and when I come back out front I see my coworker finishing a transaction with the customer’s husband.

Customer: “You’ve been such an absolute dear to us, we’ve bought you lunch. [Coworker] here told us what you usually order; it’s on us today. Thank you so much for your amazing service today, and I’ll be filing a good conduct report with your management.”

Best. Customers. Ever.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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This Story Tips Both Good And Bad

, , , , , , , , , | Right | May 28, 2020

My husband and I are Australians on holiday in America. My cousin spent about two years working in America as a waitress and has drilled into us the importance of tipping our servers. Even when the service is shockingly bad, including the time they forget to put our order into the system for forty-five minutes, we tip at LEAST 18% because that is what my cousin recommended, and we’re a little stunned that servers work for pennies an hour and rely on tips to survive.

A large amount of staff who notice our accents seem pleasantly surprised when we tip them the proper amount or more. We stop for lunch in a little diner near our hotel and the waitress is AMAZING. She chats with us, asks about Australia and expresses how much she’d love to visit, tells us where to find a specific store I really wanted to visit but haven’t been able find, and is just all-around wonderful.

She is coming over with our refills:

Waitress: “Here we go, guys, here’s your—”

Mid-sentence, a small child who has been running around unchecked for the last half an hour slams into her legs. She drops both our drinks — one all over the kid and one directly into my lap.

The kid’s mother starts SCREECHING at the top of her lungs and demanding to see a manager. The waitress is trying to clean up the kid, apologise, and get us napkins all at once. I clean myself up as best I can and wave her off — I can easily pop back to our hotel to change — so she leaves to get her manager to deal with the screaming mother and her crying child.

She comes back a few minutes later with new drinks for us and is near tears; while her manager had her back, the other woman had said some awful things and her entire party of ten had left her without a tip. She drops off our drinks and we finish them, and she brings back the bill.

Waitress: *Still nearly crying* “I am so sorry about that, guys. I took your refills off the bill; those are on me.”

Feeling bad, my husband is trying to make her laugh.

Husband: “I think you’ll find they were on my wife and that demon kid.”

The waitress, realising we’re just kidding, does crack a smile as she walks off to handle another table. While we were already going to tip her about 25% on our tiny lunch bill — seriously, food is RIDICULOUSLY cheap in the States — for being so wonderful to us, my husband just rifles through his pockets for whatever he has on him in cash and shoves it into the billfold. It adds up to about $60 on our $19 bill, and we try to escape before she sees it as we don’t want her to thank us for it. 

We’re about five steps out the door when she chases us outside.

Waitress: “Wait! You guys, two of these are twenties! I know we joked that you’re used to your rainbow money but you’ve gotta read the numbers. Here!”

She tries to hand us back some of the money and we refuse to take it.

Me: “Honey, no, that’s your tip. You were amazing. Take it.”

The waitress seemed dumbfounded that we had deliberately left her that much, and my husband joked that it was to make up for the gremlin’s parents stiffing her. She legitimately started to cry and asked if she could hug us, which we accepted, and she went back inside.

I’m still stunned that she was honest enough to try and give the tip back to foreigners she thought didn’t understand. We saw her again a few times before we left — the food was incredible at that diner — and she was just as lovely each time. Tip your servers, people!


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

Click here to read the next story!

Click here to go to the roundup!

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