Turning Jesus Into A Complaint

| FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Language & Words

(I work as a cake decorator in a supermarket bakery. We receive pre-made frozen cakes to put out. These are usually more expensive, but arguably more decadent… covered in caramel and cookie crumbles, etc. When an item hits its sell-by date we mark it down to half price. A woman comes up to me carrying a large, expensive, pre-made carrot cake that’s been marked down. It’s covered in chopped nuts, mounds of cream-cheese icing, and tons of little icing carrot decorations. Getting one of these on markdown is a very good deal, both in terms of quality, and the fact that they’re big enough to feed 20 people or more.)

Customer: “I need something written on top of this. It’s for a church. I need you to write, ‘Celebrate Jesus, He is Risen, He is the Way’ on top.”

Me: “Okay! I’ll do what I can. We don’t typically write on these cakes because there is so little space with all the decorations.”

Customer: *looking affronted, even though this is policy* “Well, you can just move them around, can’t you?”

(Normally, I would say no since it’s not worth my time as an employee to do something so fiddly when I have so much other work to be done, which again is company policy unless a customer really presses it. But this happens to be the last half hour of my shift, and I’m already done cleaning and just helping the other staff assist customers. And hey, I actually DO enjoy my job and a challenge.)

Me: “If you don’t mind waiting, then yes, I will do what I can for you.”

(I break out my tools and some wax paper and begin to carefully lift off the little icing carrots all over the top, which she very sharply informs me she wants in a separate little plastic container for herself. I scrape and smooth off the little bits of coloured icing that remain, rearrange the large swirls of icing, carefully push back the border of chopped nuts, and smooth it all down so it looks freshly iced. Through it all she stares me down, and at one point asks if her watching me makes me nervous, and looks disappointed when I say no.)

Customer: “I suppose you need me to spell ‘Jesus’ for you?”

Me: “I think I can handle that one, but thank you, ma’am.”

(Again, she looks disappointed, and watches almost angrily as I carefully write on the cake. Her attitude perplexes me more than anything else, but I can tell she’s trying to make me screw up or catch me doing so in order to get a bigger discount, since customers are rarely content with what they’ve got.)

Customer: “Well… I guess this will do.”

(She snatches the cake when I put the top back on, and storms off with her little container of icing carrots, not so much as a thank you. My coworker comes over and comments how impressed she is that I kept my cool. I go upstairs to finish up some paperwork for the next week’s sales before I leave, and a few minutes later, my coworker sticks her head into the room.)

Coworker: “That woman is back! She says you misspelled Jesus and she wants a discount!”

(I have no idea what expression I made, but my coworker immediately started laughing and said she’s just joking and ran off. I later found out she wasn’t kidding, but thought I looked so shocked and angry she decided to deal with it herself and went to the store manager instead. I had not, as it turned out, misspelled Jesus, and the woman’s scheme for a greater discount probably would have worked had she not accounted for everyone being able to see and read that for themselves when she showed the cake off to management. That, or maybe I should have been the one to spell it out for her.)

They Are Bali Listening

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bad Behavior, Bizarre, Geography, Tourists/Travel

(I am in the bakery to buy bread when I overhear an argument. It’s clear that this customer is a regular, since the bakers have a bit of a laugh with him.)

Customer: “Where were you last week?”

Baker: “I was in Bali.”

Customer: “What? Why were you there?”

Baker: “Uh… for a holiday?”

Customer: “But why go on holiday?”

Baker: “Because… I wanted to? And it was nice there?”

(The customer goes on and on about Bali being a horrible place, so I decide to pitch in.)

Me: “What’s wrong with Bali? It’s a beautiful place.”

Customer: “Never been. Don’t want to go. I’m allergic to Bali.”

| Cleveland, OH, USA | Unfiltered

(I work in a kosher bakery right before Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year). As I’m helping other customers, one of my coworkers is helping a customer with his order. Challah is a traditional Jewish sweet bread. The customer has ordered a 1lb whole wheat challah and a 2lb raisin challah, and is adamant that it has been packaged wrong and he hasn’t been given what he ordered. My coworker spends about 10 minutes talking to him and trying to sort out the problem, but neither ever take them out of the bag. Finally I come over.)

Me: *to coworker* “Maybe I can help. Why don’t you go help someone else in the meantime?”

Coworker: “Okay.”

(The coworker leaves.)

Me: *to Customer* “Okay, what’s the problem?”

Customer: “I ordered a 1lb whole wheat challah and a 2lb raisin challah! This bag is not what I ordered!”

Me: “Okay, I’m very sorry about this mistake. We have lots of other challahs here, let me just switch them for you.”

(I proceed to pull the challahs out of the bag in order to switch them. The customer looks at the challahs for a minute.)

Customer: *pointing to the 1lb challah* “Is that one whole wheat?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: *pointing to the 2lb challah* “Is that one raisin?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Oh, I thought they were switched. That’s what I ordered.”

(The customer put the challahs back in the bag and left.)

It Doesn’t Matter As Long As It Matters

| Chicago, IL, USA | At The Checkout, Food & Drink

(Our chocolate and vanilla cupcakes have a lot of variation in decoration from icing color to type of sprinkle. Some version of this conversation happens several times a day.)

Me: “Do you have a decoration preference?”

Customer: “Oh, it doesn’t matter.” *as I reach for the nearest cupcake* “Oh, no, I wanted the blue one!”

Not Bready For The Holidays

| NC, USA | Holidays

(I work the morning shift in a bakery on Christmas Eve of 2014. I am pretty new, and it is overwhelming. There are hundreds of pre-orders, and most of the regular sale breads are gone within an hour. I’ve had to turn away several people who wanted Christmas breads at this point.)

Customer: “I’d like a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we’re sold out.”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “I mean we’ve sold all of the cinnamon raisin bread. I could recommend—”

Customer: “Well, it’s Christmas Eve. You should have baked more!”

Me: “Ma’am, all of our bakers were up all night baking extras–”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I can see a loaf right there!”

Me: “Ma’am, that is a pre-ordered loaf. Some people have ordered weeks in advance and–”

Customer: “But I’m here now!”

Me: “But that bread was ordered by another person. Ma’am, I can recommend a different–”


(The customer storms away, and I’m left blinking in shock. The next customer is a kind elderly lady with a pre-order that happens to include cinnamon raisin bread. A few minutes later, the original customer has apparently gotten back in line and has reached my register.)

Customer: “Hey, why did that woman get bread!”

Me: “Ma’am, she pre-ordered last week–”

Customer: “But I was here first!”

Me: *heavy sigh*

(This went on for a minute or two until she declared I’d ruined her Christmas once more and stormed out for good.)

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