Nothing Tastes Better Than “Free”

, , , , | Right | October 9, 2018

(I am a cashier at a small cafe bakery, which has no line at the moment. A customer rushes in, phone in hand, and points at an online ad for our free bagel promotion.)

Customer: “Is this legit?!”

Me: “Yes, if you use [Rewards Card].”

(The customer fumbles for his wallet, pulling out his rewards card and handing it to me.)

Me: *swipes card* “Okay, you are eligible for the free bagel. Which bagel would you like?”

(He orders his bagel, and, since it is free, he doesn’t have to pay.)

Customer: “Is that it?!”

Me: “Yup, it’s a free bagel!”

Customer: “Aww, yeah!”

(He took his bagel and walked out, beaming with joy. I never knew anyone could be so happy about a bagel.)

Prescribing Them Some Anti-Mean Pills

, , , , | Right | October 8, 2018

(I work at a pharmacy as a technician. We have the ability to request certain prescription refills for patients at the doctor’s discretion. Notes appear on a patient’s profile when we make requests, giving us the status of the request — waiting for response, denied, or approved. It usually takes two or three days to hear back from a doctor, so we generally make the requests within a week or two of when the patient will be out of medication to avoid issues with insurance companies filling too soon. It is about nine in the morning on a weekday when a middle-aged man walks up to the pickup counter:)

Me: “Hi. Welcome to [Pharmacy]. How can I help?”

Customer #1: “I’m here to pick up a prescription.”

(I take his name and birthdate to pull up his profile. There are no prescriptions ready, but there is a note that we’ve sent a request to a doctor for a refill.)

Me: “It appears that you don’t have any prescriptions ready, sir, but we did send out a request to your doctor for a refill of [Prescription].”

Customer #1: “Yes, I know that. I was here yesterday and you guys told me the exact same thing. I have to drive a long way to get here. Why isn’t it ready yet?”

Me: “Well, it often takes a couple of days for a doctor to respond. Are you out of medication?”

(Occasionally, we will give patients a few extra pills if we’re having issues reaching the doctor, and they’re entirely out of medication. The customer gets angrier.)

Customer #1: “Why hasn’t it been filled yet? He always responds quickly! Haven’t you checked your messages yet? What kind of place is this?”

(At nine in the morning, not all doctor’s offices in our area are even OPEN, let alone writing prescriptions. We usually recommend calling in the afternoon to hear back from doctors.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the doctor still hasn’t sent us the refills yet. If you really need the medication, you can try calling the doctor’s office, as well.”

(This sometimes does help to speed up a doctor’s refills and authorizations, and we reach out to the patient to tell them if we don’t hear back in three days of a request to recommend getting in touch with the doctor. This also causes a note on a profile, which is not on this customer’s profile.)

Customer #1: “Why do I need to call the doctor when that’s clearly your job?”

(At this point I’m shocked speechless in anger. It takes me a few seconds to recover.)

Me: “You could also call us to make sure we have the prescription before coming.”

Customer #1: “You people never pick up the phone! I always end up on hold when I call.”

(The customer walks away, muttering about how we never have the prescriptions ready and don’t know what we’re doing. The customer behind him, who was waiting for her prescriptions to be refilled, has heard the whole exchange, and is equally as shocked at this guy.)

Customer #2: “Wow… I don’t know how you can put up with someone like that; I couldn’t handle being yelled at by someone with an attitude.”

Me: “Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it. Sometimes they’re even meaner.”

Customer #2: “I’m sorry. I hope you don’t have any more like him today.”

(She was very polite throughout the rest of the exchange, and whatever upset I was feeling at the first customer was erased by her. She made my day. Whoever you are, thank you; I needed it.)

Tech Support: More Important Than The President

, , , , | Right | October 4, 2018

(I am on a call with a client who’s a president of sorts for a pretty big-name company. I’m walking him through the process to install a few company applications on his phone. As we’re speaking, I hear someone trying to get his attention to ask him something. After a few moments of this, the client turns to that person speaking and says, loudly I might add:)

Caller: “Shut up, will you?! I’m on the phone with someone more important than you! You’re a VP; you figure it out!”

(I had to mute the call for a moment, I was laughing so hard.)

He Just Got Awned

, , , , | Right | October 3, 2018

(I work in a small convenience store in a town that’s very quiet out of season, and very busy during holidays. We sell the usual essentials you’d find in a corner shop: bread, milk, eggs, tobacco, etc. The store is TINY; you can see all the products wherever you stand because there are no aisles.)

Customer: “Hi, I’ve come here on my holiday, but I left my caravan awning at home. Do you sell them?”

Me: *jokingly* “If you can find one in here amongst the pasta and tinned beans, I’ll sell it to you!”

Customer: *actually starts moving tins of beans around to look underneath them*

Me: “Wait! Stop! What are you doing?!”

Customer: “You said you had an awning under the beans!”

Me: “I was just kidding, dude! Do you want directions to a specialist store in [Nearby Town]?”

Customer: “Yes, but first could you tell me… what I should have been looking for?”

(Turns out he’d been lying about forgetting the awning at home; he didn’t even know what it was! He came back the next day having purchased one from a specialist, and he comes back with his kids every holiday now and pretends to look for an awning under the beans. They’re some of my favourite seasonal customers!)

An Ending Not Won’t Cry About

, , , , | Hopeless | October 1, 2018

(A mother with a pram comes to my till. Her son is obviously displeased with something and cries loudly, so that everybody hears it. She leaves the pram behind her to make her purchase. I am encouraged to chat with customers while ringing up.)

Me: “Someone seems displeased with life here. Hey there, big guy. What’s up?”

Child: *continues crying*

Mother: “Well, you know kids; sometimes they simply aren’t happy. He’ll be all right.”

(She continues to talk to her child, trying to soothe him, but it doesn’t work.)

Me: “Okay, that will be [amount], please.”

(While the mother is looking for money in her purse, an elderly gentleman and his wife come behind her in line. The man looks at the crying child for a couple of seconds and then suddenly speaks.)

Elderly Man: “Whoa, no need to be so unhappy, buddy! Look at this t-shirt! Don’t you think it’s a great t-shirt? Or these pants; look how fine they are! Don’t you think?”

(He continues babbling like this, but the child is so surprised that he stops crying and just looks at the smiling man. His mother finishes her purchase and takes him away, which results in more cries. The elderly pair comes up to me.)

Elderly Man: “Oh, dear, he’s clearly unhappy. Listen how he cries.”

Elderly Man’s Wife: “Oh, come on, [Husband], he’s little. Children sometimes cry like that.”

Me: “This is true. And even adults are unhappy now and then and behave similarly. We’ve all been there.”

(I ring them up, and they turn around to leave the store. Suddenly, the mother of the crying child returns with him in her arms, and holding a pack of simple balloons.)

Mother: “He would like these, please.”

Me: “Great, big guy! Now you have something from the shop, too!”

(The boy grinned from ear to ear, incredibly happy with his balloons. Nearby, the elderly pair were standing and looking at him, and when the mother carried him back out, they waved goodbye. Normally people would complain and b**** about a crying child, but these two seniors were simply awesome!)

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