Salty Old Man

, , , , , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(I am a customer, walking through the supermarket. I walk past a shelf, which a worker is trying to stock, but she has been interrupted by a grumpy old man who is berating her about the salt content of tinned vegetables. He is demanding to know why tins of vegetables have salt in them, being very rude about it and blaming it on the girl who is just trying to do her job. I interrupt him and we have the following conversation:)

Me: “Excuse me, sir, I couldn’t help overhearing, but you seem to be concerned about salt for some reason and I thought I could answer your questions.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Oh, really? What do you know about it?”

Me: “Well, I happen to be a chemist by training, so I probably know more about salt and other chemicals than anyone else in here.”

Grumpy Old Man: “That’s pharmacy, so I doubt you know what you’re on about.”

Me: “No, I’m a chemist. Not a pharmacist. Meaning I studied chemistry. Pay attention.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Okay, then, why do tins of vegetables have to contain salt?”

Me: “It’s there as a preservative, to keep the contents safe to eat.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Yes, yes, I know that. But why does it have to contain so much of it? I have to be on a low-sodium diet, which means I can’t eat these tinned foods. They should make them with less salt so I can eat them.”

Me: “The amount of salt present is actually quite critical for safety. If there were less, or none at all, then the contents of the tin could start growing bacteria, making them unsafe to eat. You wouldn’t want that, right?”

Grumpy Old Man: “Well, what am I supposed to eat, instead?”

Me: “You don’t have to live on tinned food. This place does sell fresh vegetables, as does nearly every other supermarket. You are hardly being denied food.”

Grumpy Old Man: *pointing at sales girl and getting angry* “Well, she should make sure that tinned food stops having so much salt put into it! I shouldn’t have to buy fresh vegetables just to avoid salt!”

Me: “Look, I’ve explained to you why tinned food has to have salt in it. Also, you’re complaining to the wrong person. Do you think someone working on the shop floor has any influence at all over the content of products on the shelves? You need to take your complaint to central management, or better still, the food manufacturers. Stop wasting the time of people who can’t help you.”

Grumpy Old Man: “Okay, you’re getting a bit weird now. I don’t want to talk to you any more.”

Me: “I’m being weird? I’m not the one making a huge fuss over a bit of salt!”

(The grumpy old git walks away, muttering to himself.)

Sales Girl: “Thank you for that. I didn’t think he would ever leave me alone.”

Me: “No problem. I find it hard to tolerate idiots, especially those who don’t understand basic chemistry.”

They’re Not Appy

, , , , | Right | April 17, 2018

(I am a manager in a busy call centre. We only take inbound calls, where the customer calls us to either purchase or cancel their subscription for a popular newspaper. There are physical copies and digital copies of the paper. I have just been asked to take a call from one of my staff, as the customer is refusing to talk to him anymore. The customer has been on the phone with my colleague for around 40 minutes already.)

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. I’m one of the managers here. My colleague has told me that you wanted to speak to me. What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “I purchased your papers app for my iPad, and quite frankly, it was utter rubbish!”

Me: “Sorry to hear that, sir. What was the problem? Anything our tech guys can sort?”

Customer: “No, it just didn’t perform as well as I expected, so I called within the seven-day cancellation period and had my twelve-month subscription cancelled.”

Me: “So, how can I help you today?”

Customer: “Well, I went to iTunes and purchased it from there, and it’s still just as bad! I want my money back!”

Me: “Okay, sir, just let me get this straight. You bought the app, and you didn’t like it. You then bought the same app and are still not happy with it?”

Customer: “Yes. I want my money back!”

Me: “Well, as you cancelled your account with us, we don’t have your money; iTunes does.”

Customer: “What the hell do you mean? It’s your app! Give me my money!

(This goes on for a few minutes; the customer just doesn’t get that a separate company has sold our product, and that getting his financial details from them would be fraudulent. I’m getting quite frustrated, and our offices are closing down soon, so I’ve begun to not care about blatant sarcasm.)

Me: “Look, sir: if you go into [Popular Music and DVD Store], buy a bands CD, you take it home, and discover that the CD is snapped in half, what do you do? Take it back to where you actually purchased it, or complain to the band?”

Customer: “Umm…”

Me: “Because right now, you are complaining to the band, and the band just don’t care to deal with your stupidity.”


Me: “I am the manager. Also, you don’t have an account with us, so…”


Me: *laughing* “Okay, sir, you do that!”

Time To Send Him Back To The Ranch

, , , , , , | Right | January 16, 2018

(A customer comes to pick up his to-go order.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can get you? Napkins? Utensils?”

Customer: “I want ranch.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll just go get you some.”

(I go and fill two to-go ramekins.)

Customer: “I want more than that.”

Me: “How much more?”

Customer: “I want two of those soup cups full.”

Me: “They’re sixteen ounces each.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “We will have to charge you.”

Customer: “WHY?”

Me: “Ranch isn’t a condiment; it’s a dressing. I’m not even allowed to give you the two smaller ones I just poured for you without charging you.”

Customer: “This is highway robbery!”

Me: “Do you get free bottles of ranch at the store?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “How is it any different here?”

Customer: “I want to talk to your manager! You’ll lose your job; I’ll have you fired!”

Me: “Over ranch?”

(My manager comes over. Needless to say, she tells him the exact thing I just told him. He threatens to call corporate.)

Manager: “They’re going to tell you the same thing, sir.”

Customer: “So, are you going to give me my ranch?”

Manager: “Have you paid for it?”

Customer: “No.”

Manager: “Well, if you haven’t, and you don’t intend to, you’re not getting ranch.”

This Place Is Not High-ly Recommended

, , , , , , | Working | January 16, 2018

(I’m at a fast food place known for their tacos, etc. It’s a little after midnight and I pull into the drive-thru.)

Employee: *giggles* “Hi, welcome to [Restaurant]. Unfortunately, we, uh… we don’t have any food right now.”

Me: “No food, eh?”

Employee: *giggling more* “Nope. We, uh, didn’t get… the truck… Should be here in a few hours.”

Me: “I see.”

Employee: “So, uh…”

Me: “Yeah, I’ll go somewhere else.”

(I have worked in a few fast food places before, and I find it hard to imagine that a place like that was completely out of everything they offered. I’m pretty sure they were high and just didn’t want to make any food. But since I was also just looking for some munchies, I decided not to call corporate or make a scene. I just went to a different fast food place and called it a night.)

Putting Complaining Into Overtime

, , , , , , | Right | November 30, 2017

(At 6:45 pm the store starts to close. We make announcements to alert customers that the store will be closing in 15, then ten, and then five minutes time. At 6:45, we close the fitting rooms to stop customers from hiding or spending too long trying on clothes when the store closes at 7:00. I am doing the closing announcements when an irate customer storms up to the customer service desk. It is currently 6:55 pm, and we only have supervisors on the floor due to the late hour and to the fact our floor is small and understaffed.)

Customer: “I want to make a complaint! One of your staff was rude!”

Coworker: “Would you like to speak to a manager?”

Customer: “NO! I don’t want to talk to someone; I want to write this down. Give me an address I can write a complaint to. An email address!”

Coworker: “I can give you the head office’s address if you want.” *starts to search for the information*

Me: *indicates where to find the information, which lacks an email*

Coworker: “If you write to this address, you can make your complaint.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to write a complaint; I want to send an email. Give me an email.”

Me: “We don’t have an email for head office; we could give you a manager’s email for this store, if you want?”

(My coworker and I then try to contact a supervisor to find out if we’re able to provide the manager’s email. In the midst of doing, this the customer changes their mind again!)

Customer: “No, I don’t want to write anything; let me talk to a manager right now!”

Coworker: “Er, yes, I can get you a manager; wait a moment.”

(They then call over a supervisor to locate an absent manager. I call the 7:00 pm closing announcement, and the manager still has not been found. We make an announcement asking for a manager to contact our floor but are still left waiting.)

Supervisor: “There isn’t a manager available right now; is this something we can resolve ourselves?”

Customer: “Yes, I don’t know. Your staff downstairs was very rude! I wanted to try on one top but she wouldn’t let me in the fitting room. I didn’t see her name.”

Coworker: “That’s okay; we can work out who it was by the shift roster if you like. I’m sorry that this has happened. We’ll just wait for the manager to take details.”

Customer: “I’ve never been spoken to so rudely before! I want to make a complaint.”

Supervisor: *comes over to try and help* “Do you need to speak to a manager? I can probably help.”

Customer: “Yes, it was the girl on the fitting rooms! I want to make a complaint.”

(Finally the store assistant manager turns up. It’s now 7:10 pm and the security guard is waiting to escort the last customer out so he can go home.)

Manager: “Yes, how can I help?”

Customer: “I want to complain about one of your staff!”

Manager: “All right, then, what happened?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t want to get anyone in trouble.”

(They then left without taking any offered information or resolving the fuss they had made for the last 25 minutes!)

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