The Genre That Time Forgot

| Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Working | February 4, 2013

(I work in a bookstore and our main clientele are business-types. As such, we have a fairly small science-fiction section, though I am more of a sci-fi reader myself.)

Customer: “Hi, do you have a science fiction section?”

Me: “Yes, we do. Right this way…”

(I lead him to the sci-fi section.)

Me: “Did you have anything specific you were hoping to find?”

Customer: “Do you have any Isaac Asimov?”

Me: *scans the section* “No, I’m sorry. It doesn’t look like we do.”

Customer: “Well, how about Arthur C. Clarke?”

Me: *looks again* “No, we don’t have him either.”

Customer: “Edgar Rice Burroughs?”

Me: “Unfortunately, based on demand, we don’t get a lot of the classic stuff—just the really new or big titles.”

Customer: “Well, that’s pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Me: “Believe me, I am…”

Would Make A Great Book One Day

| Moncton, NB, Canada | Right | February 1, 2013

(I’m a cashier in a book store during the holiday season. It’s just me and one other cashier working the registers as it’s a slow afternoon. One woman walks up and asks to do a return on a book. As my coworker is authorized for returns, she goes ahead and takes over.)

Coworker: “Alright Ma’am, I just need the receipt and the book you’re returning.”

(The customer places a bag on the counter and hands the receipt to my co-worker. The coworker scans the receipt and start the return transaction.)

Coworker: “And what would be the reason you’re returning this book?”

(As she’s asking the question, she’s pulling the book out of the bag to inspect it before furthering the transaction. Upon seeing the book, she finds it is in fact extremely damaged. Before the customer can respond to the first question, my coworker speaks on the company’s policies.)

Coworker: “…I’m sorry Ma’am, but we can’t take this book back, as it’s not in resellable condition.”

Customer: “You have to take it back! You’ve got the receipt and you’ve got the book. Now do my return and give me my money!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry Ma’am, but it’s company policy that we can not take any merchandise back that is not in re-sellable condition, unless it is found to be defective.”

Customer: “Well then, that book is defective! Look at it—the cover is mangled and the pages are stuck together!”

(Clearly this book has been mishandled before it was brought to be returned.)

Coworker: “Again, Ma’am, we can not take this book because we can not put it back on the shelves.”

Customer: “Get me your manager!”

(My coworker complies with this and pages our manager up to cash. The manager arrives and my co-worker explains what is going on. My manager then reiterates what my coworker told the customer.)

Customer: “No! You have to take it back. You have the receipt and you have the book! Now give me my money!”

Manager: “Miss, as we’ve already said, we can not do that as this book is not in resellable condition.”

Coworker: “Fine! If you won’t take it back, then I’ll make you take it!”

(The customer then proceeds to rip the book from my coworker’s hands and tears it into pieces. She then proceeds to take the chunks from the book and throw them at my manager. The customer then storms out of the store.)

Me: “Well… that was sure interesting.”

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Twice Bitten, One Goodbye

| OH, USA | Right | January 30, 2013

(We have an information and special orders desk on the upper level of our store. A customer has just taken it upon himself to come behind the desk to throw trash away despite the fact that there are several public trash cans around our store. I happen to see him do so.)

Me: “Excuse me sir, please do not come behind the desk. This area is for employees only.”

Customer: “You need to put trash cans where we can find them!”

Me: “Sir there are three in the cafe, one over there, one in the restroom, and you’re welcome to ask an employee to assist you.”

Customer: “Well I shouldn’t have to!”

Me: “Sir, entering an employee’s only area of our store is technically a theft prevention issue and I’m afraid that I’ll have to ask you to leave the store.”

Customer: *gets inches away from my face* “Bite me.”

Me: “You need to leave the store right now.”

Customer: “Bite me!”

(He stomps off as I call my manager to assist me. He returns having heard me page my manager and ask to speak to my manager.)

Me: “He’s already on the way.”

Manager: “Hi, I’m the manager, what’s the problem?”

Customer: *turns his yelling to the manager* “Your employee was completely out of control. I walked behind the desk to throw my trash away because I got food at your cafe, and—”

Manager: “Wait. You walked behind the desk?””

Customer: “Yes! I needed to throw my trash away and your employee was completely rude to me.”

Me: “Sir, with all due respect, I was merely informing you that you had entered a customer restricted area.”

Customer: “Your behavior was completely rude and unprofessional woman! If your store is going to have a food establishment in it, you need to have trash cans for your customers.”

Manager: “Sir, there are three trash cans in the food establishment part of the store alone, and you could have asked her to throw the trash away, we are happy to oblige.”

Customer: “Your employee was rude! I should not have to deal with such thing!”

Manager: “I understand. I’m hearing your side of the story, and I’m hearing her say she was not rude to you. And sir, I understand that your response was to tell her to bite you?”

Customer: *defensively* “Well, yeah!”

Manager: “If that was actually your response, I’m inclined to side with my employee. You need to leave the store now, or I can call security.”

Customer: “Well I can see talking to you is a waste of my time.” *stomps out*

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Fighting Hire With Fire, Part 3

| Ohio, USA | Working | January 30, 2013

(Our return policy is to give store credit when the customer has a gift receipt.)

Customer: “I’d like to return this CD. I have the receipt.”

Me: “Okay, with your gift receipt, all I can do is store credit.”

Customer: “No, I’ll have the cash.”

Me: “That’s not an option. If you have the original receipt, I can give credit that way, but with the gift receipt, it’s store credit or nothing.”

Customer: “This is f***ing stupid. You are a f***ing a**hole!”

Me: “I don’t make the rules; I just follow them.”

Customer: *pulls another receipt out* “I have the original receipt.”

Me: “Okay, so this was paid with a credit card. Do you have that Visa? I need it to put the credit on it.”

Customer: “No, just put it on there.”

Me: “Sir, I need the card to put the credit on it. Without the same card, it’s store credit or no return.”

Customer: “F*** you!”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Customer: “Give me the store credit, you f***ing a**hole.”

Me: “I will process your return, but you will NOT speak another word to me or I will call the police outside and tell them how you’ve harassed me this whole time.”

Customer:*shuts up*

(Two weeks later, I recognize this customer in line again. I’ve changed my hairstyle and am wearing my glasses, so he doesn’t know me at all.)

Customer: “I want to turn in this job application.”

Me: *takes his application* “Okay, thanks… I’ll it give to my manager.”

Customer: “Thanks! What is your name?”

Me: “I believe you remember me from two weeks ago?! You called me a f***ing a**hole, if I remember correctly?”

Customer: “Uh… you remember that?”

Me: “I never forget a face, but more importantly, I never forget people like you. I alerted security to your behavior last time, and as soon as you walk away from here, I’ll call them again. I’m also banning you from the store, and I know have your name, phone number, and address from this application. Please never return again, or I will call the police on you.”

(He literally turned white and sprinted from the counter. Thank goodness I’ve got the authority to do this!)

Fighting Hire With Fire, Part 2
Fighting Hire With Fire

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This Employee’s Bark Is Worse Than His Bite

| SC, USA | Working | January 23, 2013

(I work at an animal shelter and I have my own personal catch/restraint-pole which I keep in my car for use at work and for emergencies. I stop by a bookstore immediately after work, still in my clearly marked uniform. I’m about to leave when an employee forcefully grabs me by the shoulder and blocks the door, preventing me from leaving.)

Employee: “You can’t go out there! There’s a vicious dog attacking people!”

(I look out the glass door and see a large chow mix in the parking lot aggressively trying to get at two teens; they’re approximately 13 years old and trapped on the roof of a pick-up truck. The dog seems to be getting closer to reaching them with each jump, and it would be several minutes before help would arrive, so I decide I have to do something.)

Me: “Hey, let me out so I can get to my car, I think I can help.”

Employee: “ARE YOU F***ING NUTS?!? You’ll get bitten and probably sue the place!”

Me: “Sir, I do this for a living.” *points at uniform* “I think I can handle this. If I get bitten, it’s my fault alone. Please just call [animal control number] right now, and tell them to send a truck ASAP.”

(As I walk out the door, the employee grabs me again.)

Employee: “You’re out of your mind! I hope it does bite you! Are you really that stupid?!”

(I actually have to struggle with the employee to get out, but manage to get free. As I approach the dog, I notice that it’s too focused on getting the teens to notice me. I sneak to my car, and from there I am able to drive up and park alongside the pickup truck, maneuver the catch-pole through my car window and, after several attempts, am able to catch the dog. An animal control officer arrives shortly, and I hand the dog over to them. I go back inside to grab the purchases I had left on the counter and find the two teens, the employee, and other bystanders are talking near the door.)

Teens: *hugs me* “Thank you so much! If you weren’t here, I think that dog would’ve killed us for sure!”

Employee: *to me* “Are you out of your mind? That’s the stupidest thing I think I’ve ever seen someone do! Risking your life for no good reason. I bet if you would’ve gotten attacked, you would’ve said it was our fault and try to sue the store for millions too!”

(The employee the shook his head and walked off like I was the one causing the problems. The other customers were equally stunned with his reaction!)

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