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They Knew Their Panic Stations

, , | Working | May 8, 2017

I’ve suffered from panic attacks and anxiety for almost 15 years, but in the past year, they’ve transformed from simple hyperventilation-style ones to completely debilitating ones which cause hyperventilation, sobbing, shaking, inability to move without help, and a severe stammer that makes what I say almost unintelligible. These attacks happen out of the blue much of the time, on an almost daily basis (up to 5 a day sometimes), but are also triggered by crowds and sudden loud noises

One day, my parents and I are at the supermarket when I feel the beginnings of an attack coming on. Within minutes, I’m clinging to my dad’s mobility scooter, trying to calm down. At the worst possible moment, one of the staff pushes a pallet of goods into the back, banging into a door a couple of feet from us and, as you might expect, it’s the catalyst for the attack going into full force. A couple of minutes later, I’m hunched over the scooter, crying, shaking, and trying to move but unable to do so.

My dad spots a staff member (I’ll call him Jim) and gestures him over, explaining the situation and asking if there’s anywhere I can sit down. Immediately, Jim says yes, I can sit on the edge of the fridge cabinet next to us, and starts pushing stock out of the way so I can sit safely. Once I do, he hurries into the back and comes out with a stack of plastic crates and sets them next to me, adjusting them until they’re the right height, and helps me to shift over to sit on them.

Meanwhile, my mum goes up to the front of the store to ask for a wheelchair for me to sit in. A few minutes later, during which Jim has been talking to me to help me calm down, and has told me he too suffers from anxiety, another staff member shows up with my mum (I’ll call her Jill) and a wheelchair. She and Jim help me into the chair, Jill explaining that she has debilitating panic attacks too, so she knows what I’m going through. She gives me a bottle of water and offers to push me to the front of the store, but by this point I’m able to use my upper body (my legs are still not working properly), and much of my stammer has cleared, so I say I would like to try to continue with the shopping. She says she thinks that’s a good idea, not letting it beat me, and she and Jim leave us to carry on with our shopping, after a few more assurances from us that I’ll be okay.

It may not sound like a lot, but to be treated with such kindness when I felt like a complete fool was such a relief. We’ve already taken in a letter to the store to tell the manager what great staff he has, so I hope they get some kind of commendation. They absolutely deserve it. It just goes to show that sometimes staff really can go above and beyond their jobs and really care about customers.

The Epic Fight Between Positive And Negative

, , , , , | Right | May 5, 2017

(I work at IKEA. Today I’m at the small food counter near the registers when a woman makes a fuss about us having run out of fish sandwiches. Behind her in line is a regular who is also the son of one of our senior workers. After a two or three-minute rant, he rolls his eyes and addresses her:)

Regular: “They sold out. Throwing a tantrum isn’t going to magically make pan-fried fish fall from the sky onto your sandwich.”

Woman: “What do you think you’re doing? Mind your own business!”

Regular: “This is my business. I’m here for a hot dog and you’re in my way; move along, please.”

(This woman sees the queue agree. She stomps off to a recently installed little machine with smiley faced buttons. The idea is to press the button corresponding with your experience. She begins repeatedly mashing the frowny-face.)

Regular: *orders his hot dog and calmly walks over to the machine, grabbing some mustard on the way while silently counting the number of times the woman mashed the button*

Woman: “What do you want now?”

Regular: *eats his hot dog in silence until she turns to leave, then he steps to the machine and starts pressing the smiley-face* “You hit it 37 times? Let’s top that score. 1, 2, 3, 4…”


Regular: “8, 9, 10, pressing buttons, 11, 12…”

Woman: “Stop that! I am leaving a negative review! You can’t make it positive again!”

(By now the regular’s mother has shown up, as the manager has been so busy.)

Regular: “19, 20, 21…”

Regular’s Mom: *takes a look at her son, having heard the short version from my coworker who paged for her and connecting the dots* “I’ll call a manager.”

(She runs into the backroom of the food counter. Barely containing her laughter, she pages the manager, who shows up surprisingly soon.)

Manager: “What’s the issue, ma’am?”

Regular: “54, 55, 56…”

Woman: “He’s removing my angry points! You didn’t want to give me fish and I left a bad review and he’s removing it!

(There is a small crowd forming to take a look at the show — and buying more hot dogs and drinks to enjoy while they’re at it.)

Manager: *also having trouble containing his amusement* “Well, ma’am, I can only apologize. We’re out of fish, and just like we can’t stop you from leaving negative reviews, I can’t stop him from leaving positive ones.”

Woman: “Fine! When he leaves, I’ll just push the angry face more!”

Regular: *waves his mother over* “Hey, mom, can I have a few more hot dogs and a drink? I’ll be here until closing, 78, 79, 80…”

Woman: *leaves, screeching* “You’re all in on it. You’re all against me!”

Regular: “83, 84…”

Understanding The Code Of Good Customers

, , , , | Right | May 2, 2017

(I am the customer in this story. A well-known cosmetic company is having another blowout sale on its website. It’s a rather inexpensive brand, to begin with, but this sale is amazing, so it’s really busy. Along with this, you can get a $10 gift card and a $30 set of brushes for $3 with a coupon code if you spend over $30. I can’t get the code to work, so I go to the chat function.)

Service Rep: “Hi, my name is [Service Rep], and thank you for choosing [Company]! What can I help you with today?”

Me: “Hi there! I have put the special on the infinite-color kit in my bag along with a setting powder, but when I try to put in the coupon code for the brushes and gift card, it won’t work.”

Service Rep: “I see that your current total in your bag is $36; you need to be over $30 to use the code. So you’re good there! Once you put the brushes in there, it will be over $60, and once you put the code in, you will see the discount.”

Me: “Yes, I have tried the code but it isn’t working.”

Service Rep: “Have you typed in the code correctly?”

(I go and try one more time in another window just to be sure.)

Me: “Yep. I tried just now and the brushes are still not showing up in my bag.”

Service Rep: “Did you actually add the brushes to your bag?”

A lightbulb goes off.

Me: “Oh, dear God. I am that customer. Yes, I thought they would magically appear in my bag. You can feel free to laugh at me now. I am so sorry I wasted your time.”

Service Rep: “It’s not a problem! Trust me, you are not the only one; it seems to be quite complicated.”

Me: “I got it to work now that I put them in the bag. Thank you again, and I hope you have a fantastic day!”

Service Rep: “Thank you for figuring it out so quickly. My day will be awesome in 15 hours, 4 minutes, and 33 seconds. Thanks for choosing [Company]!”

(That time she mentioned was the exact time ticking down in the corner of the screen… of when that promotion would be over.)

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Catered To Your Needs

, , | Hopeless | May 2, 2017

My brother is in the Navy and is about to join ship in Hong Kong for a five month tour of duty when our father dies. He asks his CO if he can take a few extra days leave. Because of the logistics involved, he can only be allowed five more days. In order for him to be able to attend Dad’s funeral, we have to organise it within a week. We manage to get everything set up for an 11 am funeral the following Monday morning — not a convenient time, but all we can manage at such short notice. My brother has to leave for the airport immediately afterwards.

The last thing I need to organise is some catering for ‘afterwards.’ People will be travelling some distance and will need some lunch. I phone various places, but with no luck. I have to do some shopping, and while in town, I go into several places that advertise catering, but they all say that the earliest we could collect the food is 11 am. The last place I try is a large Sainsbury’s supermarket. Again I am told 11 am is the earliest pick-up time.

Although I am trying to hold it all together, something must have shown on my face. The employee asks why I need the food earlier. I tell her what it is for, and why we need it so early. She asks me to wait and disappears for a couple of minutes. When she comes back she tells me that she is on first shift on Monday and will come in an hour early to get everything ready for me. It will be ready for 9 am.

I’m ashamed to say that with everything else that was going on, I didn’t take her name so I could write to her manager. I did thank her profusely both then and when I collected the food. I hope she reads this so I can tell her what a difference she made to our family at a difficult time.

Acts Of Kindness You Can Put Your (Chicken) Finger On

, , | Hopeless | April 28, 2017

(I’m the customer here. I walk in to my campus’s chicken wing place, the only on-campus food location open late. I’m good friends with the staff on both shifts at the wing bar, and I’m going in to get dinner. I’m kinda tight on cash, and the food’s quite expensive at said wing bar. The three employees — the manager and two others — greet me upon entering. I stumble and stammer a bit before getting my order out of my mouth.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager]… cash is kinda tight, but I’ll get my usual.”

(Said “usual” is a five-piece chicken-finger plate costing $10.99 plus tax.)

Manager: “Sure, hon.”

(The manager rang me up, and the total on the card reader looked off – it’s only $2.52. I’m not exactly thinking about it, so I follow through with the purchase. The receipt printed, and I find out that I’ve only been rung up for French fries. I realize immediately what my friend, the manager, had done. I stared agape at the receipt for a second, and then silently mouthed “Thank you” to her — she’s just written off an $11 order of chicken as shrinkage for me, basically giving me $14 of food for $2.52. I was not expecting this at all. I had idly said money was tight, and was fully prepared to pay full price for my food! I freaking love the people working at that place.)