They Need To Be Set Straight

, , , , | Working | February 16, 2018

(I’m a customer, wandering around the mall with my husband to kill time while my phone is being repaired. I pass a kiosk that is selling hair-straightening devices. A worker spots me.)

Worker #1: “Hi! We’ve got a great deal today!”

Me: “No, thanks.” *keeps walking*

Worker #1: “Imagine no-damage, straight, shiny hair!”

Me: *over my shoulder* “No, thanks.”

(Later, I’m heading back to pick up my phone and I pass the same kiosk. The worker now has a coworker with them.)

Worker #2: “Hey! We can get rid of those curls for you!”

Me: “No, thanks!”

Worker #2: “No one wants curls!”

Me: “No!”

([Worker #2] then RUNS up behind me and tries to grab my hair. My husband blocks her, and I scream:)


Worker #2: “Geez! No need to be so rude! I’m just trying to help you get rid of those ugly curls!”

Husband: “Who is going to help you get rid of your ugly personality?”

Even The Gangs Can’t Deal With This Kind Of Crazy

, , , , | Right | February 16, 2018

(My friend is mute and often uses sign language to communicate. Most customers know this, so they don’t expect much sound from him. I’m visiting him at work this day.)

Me: “Bet you get a bunch of crazies here.”

Friend: *nods and signs* “You do not know the start.”

(Just then, a customer gasps loudly and runs up to the counter, pointing her finger at my friend.)


Friend: *signs* “For what?”


Me: “Uh… Ma’am, he’s mute. That means he can’t speak, so he has to use sign language.”


Me: “…so, is that the start?”

Friend: *looks at me with unamusement*

Wiping This Customer Away

, , , , | Right | February 16, 2018

(Most of our customers are regulars and are really nice, understanding, and patient. I am serving one of those nice, patient regulars when a customer I have never seen comes up and is served by our brand-new employee. We have two slicers for meat and two for cheese. They are fully washed every four hours, and quickly wiped down in between customers if we have the time. We have a line, and three employees working on the deli section.)

Customer: *demanding* “I want one pound of [Brand] turkey.”

Coworker: *on her first day* “Sure!”

(She looks at her trainer to ask where that brand is and her trainer points to the right sliding door.)

Customer: *shouts* “No! Excuse me!”

(She gets the attention of the new coworker and her trainer, who haven’t even turned their backs to her yet.)

Customer: “You will wash that slicer!”

Trainer: *very cheerful* “Yes, we can wipe that down for you.”

Customer: “NO! YOU. WILL. WASH. IT!”

Trainer: *slightly confused* “You want us to take it apart and wash it down?”

Customer: *rolls her eye and glares* “YES!”

(The trainer looks slightly confused, but starts instructing the new girl to take it apart, pointing to the steps, and telling her what she’ll need to clean it. Once the girl is off to wash the pieces at the back sink and getting what she needs, the trainer turns back to talk to the lady.)

Trainer: *back to cheerful as she always is, giving her a big smile* “This will take about 20 to 25 minutes, but if you are willing to wait, we are willing to do it for you.”

Customer: *suddenly angry* “It shouldn’t take that long!”

Trainer: *taken aback, but keeping her helpful attitude* “Well, you see, she’s a new employee, and it usually takes just about that long, anyway.”

Customer: “Well! It shouldn’t take that long! And you should have more people back here; you have a line!*that she was holding up* “I have a deli in [Big Town two hours away], and I have six meat slicers and four cheese slicers, all going all day, and they are washed between each meat change!”

Trainer: *skeptical* “Well, we really don’t have the manpower or the space back here for that, ma’am, but you know what? I think you’re right that we do need to wipe them down more. I’ll ask the manager about changing that. In fact—” *she turns to the other deli workers who all respect her very highly* “Start wiping down the machines between each kind of meat.”

Customer: *scoffs* “You should have more people back here; your service is slow.”

Trainer: “I’m sorry.”

(The lady looks down her nose at the employee the entire time she cleans the slicer, the trainer pointing out anything she missed then giving it a once-over herself. They then cut all the customer’s meat, wiping it down after each kind of meat she orders. She complains to everyone who comes to the line, and tells them to come to her deli if they’re ever in the area, because her girls are so much better. After she has everything she wants, the trainer asks her if she wants to talk to a manager about the changes she wants to see, and she shouts, “NO!” and storms off. She comes back a couple weeks later. The trainer sees her coming, has a girl start cleaning a slicer, and greets her with a smile.)

Trainer: “We saw you coming, and we are already getting a slicer ready for you! And you know what? We also started doing better cleans between meats!”

(We did, because we all agreed it was a good idea to keep cross-contamination down.)

Customer: *gives a sour face and crosses her arms* “Well, I haven’t seen it!”

(The trainer has lost her patience with this lady and doesn’t try to convince her, but keeps her cheerful demeanour, as the customer demands her food the way she wants it. The woman continues her previous rants to the other customers. She leaves again. By this time we have dubbed her “Crazy Deli Lady.” A couple weeks later, she comes again. This time, the trainer turns to have them clean the slicer and calls the manager for our section, to whom we have been reporting every time this customer has come in. She peers through the back door the way she does when she spies on us, and watches this time. The woman goes through her normal scowls and complaining and being rude to the other customers, yelling at the younger employee serving her, and telling everyone within ten feet of her how horrible our service is and how slow and incompetent we are. After watching her, our manager comes out to talk to her. The woman spends ten minutes right there in front of everyone telling her how bad our service is. Our manager then tells her that she’s been watching.)

Customer: “Maybe I will take my business elsewhere!”

Manager: “Good, please do so. Thank you. We won’t be missing you.”

(The manager goes back to her post. The customer turns to our trainer as they finish her order and asks her about her baby, nicely. The trainer has had enough, and gives her short, polite answers, very irritated that she tried to have us all in trouble or fired and then suddenly became nice. I later talk to the manager.)

Me: “So, how did you like ‘Crazy Deli Lady’?”

Manager: “She said she wasn’t coming back. Call me if she does; I’ll have her thrown out. You guys don’t deserve that. I’ve had regular customers call in about her, asking us to ban her. I won’t have her battering my girls again.”

(Before that, I thought she was a pretty strict and mean manager, but I have found a new love for her.)

Hair-Curlingly Bad Behavior

, , , , | Friendly | February 15, 2018

(I’m just finishing checking out at a grocery store and I have my son with me. He’s just under two years old, loves everyone, and has very distinctive blonde curls in his hair. He is sitting happily in the seat of the shopping cart. I am in the process of paying when I hear an older woman’s voice behind me.)

Woman: “Oh, don’t you just have the most amazing curls?!”

(I turn around and see her with both of her hands in my son’s hair.)

Me: “Um, ma’am, please don’t touch my son.”

Woman: *not removing her hands or even looking at me* “But his curls are just so delicious!”

Me: “Thank you, but I’m not comfortable with strangers touching his hair.”

Woman: “He doesn’t mind! Do you? Do you? Can I have a curl? Can I?” *pinches one of his curls between her fingers*

Me: “He’s two. I’ve asked you nicely not to touch him. Please stop.”

(At this point she finally takes her hands off him.)

Woman: *huffy* “Well, there’s no need to be rude about it.”

200 Miles Away Isn’t Enough

, , , , , | Learning | February 15, 2018

Me: *answering the phone* “Hello, [School].”

Woman: “Could you please tell me if [Student] is in school today?”

Me: “Are you a relative?”

Woman: “I’M HIS MOTHER!”

Me: *holding the receiver away from my ear* “All right. Just give me a moment.”

Woman: “I need to make sure that useless, good-for-nothing, piece-of-s*** father of his is keeping his upkeep of our son!”

Me: *after searching* “Could you confirm his name again, please?”

Woman: *sighs* “[STUDENT]!”

Me: “There’s only one student by that name in our records.”

Woman: “Is he in?”

Me: “No, Miss. He—”


Me: *interrupting* “Miss [Woman], the reason he isn’t in is because he left. Three years ago.

Woman: “What?!”

Me: “He finished his education with us three years ago.”

Woman: “Then, where is he?”

Me: “It says he went to [University 200 miles away].”

Woman: *pause* “THAT UNGRATEFUL PIECE OF S***!” *hangs up*

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