Your Patience Is Unbreakable

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(I have recently been hired at the same bookstore my mom has been working at for years because of a heavy hit holiday season. The store specializes in Christian supplies, with some Catholic supplies. The store is understaffed and the manager is desperate for help. It’s about my third or fourth shift and I’m on register. I’m young and new, so I tend to get the more demanding customers. It’s very busy, and despite our best efforts with our two registers, we still manage to get a massive line for our small store. The next customer has just come to me. She looks to be in her early forties, but she’s acting like she’s sassy sixteen, twirling her hair in one hand while the other is on her hip.)

Me: “Hi there! Did you find everything alright today?”

Customer: “Yeah, sure.”

Me: *smiling sweetly* “Great! Do you have a rewards card with us?”

Customer: “What? Do you, like, want my phone number?”

Me: “Sure.” *pulls up customer search and types in her number as she says it to me; no matches come up* “Nothing’s coming up in the system. Is there another number we could try?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t have one.” *in a slightly stricter tone* “Never assume that.”

Me: “All right, then would you like to sign up for one?”

Customer: “Do I get a discount with it?”

(Already used to this question with new rewards members, I happily explain that it doesn’t give one now, but it’s a free signup and we can send coupons monthly by both mail and by email, as well as $5 vouchers she can earn by spending money in the store.)

Customer: *wrinkles nose in slight disgust* “Nah. I don’t shop here enough for that.”

(The line is being held up, and I’m giving apologetic glances to the other customers.)

Me: “That’s all right.” *finishes ringing her up* “Okay, your total will be [over $100].”

(She thrusts the card at me and I take it.)

Me: “May I see some ID, please?”

Customer: *rolls eyes and digs in her purse for her wallet* “That’s a debit card. You know, debit? You shouldn’t need my ID.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion, but our system runs credit and debit together.”

(She scoffs and holds out her ID to me with her head back as though her own wallet is some disgusting thing. I thank her and swipe the card before handing it back.)

Me: “Now, if you could just sign this for me, please.”

(I hand her the transaction slip and a pen for her to sign it as I start getting packing paper to wrap her fragile purchases.)

Customer: *watches me wrap her items and in a very condescending tone* “You make sure you wrap those up the right way. I don’t need my things breaking on the way home. You start there on the bottom and work the paper around.”

(I’m clenching my jaw hard and biting my tongue. I’ve always despised being treated like I’m five, and my usual response is to reply in a very annoyed and smarta** way. Knowing I can’t, I just smile and nod.)

Customer: “Make sure the bags are all the way open.” *as though she’s talking to a toddler with an alphabet puzzle* “Now, you just carefully pick up wrapped items and stick them gently inside the bags. Breakables go in the same bag.”

(I handed her her items, and as sweetly and naturally as I could, I wished her a Merry Christmas, and she left. I found out later through my mom that the woman was actually the new hire she told me about that only worked two shifts before storming in one day and throwing her apron down in front of the manager, and then storming back out without a word.)

Your New Year’s Resolution Is To Have Good Vibrations

, , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(It’s a few days after Christmas when I get a box in the mail with what seems like a slightly personal gift. I didn’t order anything, and there’s no note as to who the gift could be from, so I call Amazon’s customer service department to see if I can find out who sent it. For extra context, I’m a cisgender woman. After about ten minutes of verifying my account details, and generally being very professional, the customer service rep finally asks what the problem is.)

Customer Service Rep: “So, you received a box, and you don’t know what’s in it?”

(It sounds like she’s going to look up my account to view the last thing I ordered.)

Me: “No, I just didn’t order it, and I don’t know who sent it. I opened it, so I can tell you what’s in it.”

Customer Service Rep: “Okay, what is it?”

Me: “It’s a vibrator.”

Customer Service Rep: “A vibrator?!

Me: “Yes.”

Customer Service Rep: *hysterical laughter*

Me: “You can see why I want to find out who sent it, right?”

Customer Service Rep: “Wait. Are you single?”

Me: “Yes, and I live with my parents.”

Customer Service Rep: *more hysterical laughter* “Okay, let me check your account and see if you ordered anything like this.”

(She puts me on hold, but I can’t tell if she’s actually checking my account or if she just needed a minute to stop laughing. A minute or two later she comes back and I give her the shipping number. She looks it up, but she can’t find anything besides the warehouse it came from.)

Customer Service Rep: “Okay, well, it seems like this was just an accident, so you can dispose of the item or keep it or whatever you want. Wait, how old are you?”

Me: “21.”

Customer Service Rep: “Oh, good, so you’re the right age for this item. Ha! I’m 46; I could be your mom!” *laughs* “You’re not on the hook to return it, so you can keep it or dispose of it. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Me: *desperately wanting this call to be over* “Nope, that should be it. Thank you for all your help.”

Customer Service Rep: “Be sure to call back if you have any more questions, and have a great New Year!” *giggling as she hangs up*

(I guess a warehouse just accidentally sent me a vibrator. Merry Christmas to me!)

These Christmas Greetings Are Not Very Cheerful

, , , , , | Right | December 27, 2018

(I’m the print shop manager, working during the holiday season. Our print shop offers an inexpensive, custom photo greeting card printing service where the customer supplies a ready-to-print photo, specifies the template they’d like the photo added to, and pays for a number of cards. They come in one size, the greeting message on the inside is a default greeting, and the cards are printed on one type of stock only. This is all specified in our sample book, order forms, etc. One day, we receive an emailed order from a customer.)

Customer Email: “Print me [number] Christmas greeting cards with this picture.”

Reply Email: *from shop employee* “We have printed you a sample card. Please come in to proof the card before we run the whole set.”

(The customer arrives a day later and asks to see the proof.)

Me: “Here you go! This is what your cards will look like when they’re all finished. Please review everything and make sure it’s all correct. If it is, we can print the rest out for you and they’ll be ready for pickup later today.”

Customer: “It’s all fine. I don’t see why I have to proof them! Just print out my cards!”

(She signs the proof, which says something along the lines of, “I have reviewed this order and signify that it is correct. I understand I will be charged to reprint if I find errors later,” and leaves, so we run the order. When the customer returns later…)

Customer: “These cards are all wrong!”

Me: “What’s wrong with them, ma’am?”

Customer: “My dogs have red-eye! You should have edited the red-eye out!”

(The dogs’ eyes were fine; they had just reflected some of the camera flash. They weren’t glaringly-obvious laser-beam eyes or anything that would have made us feel they needed retouching.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, do you remember when I showed you the proof of your card, and told you that it was exactly how your finished cards would look?”


Me: “Well, I can do that for you now and reprint, but since you signed the proof on the first card, saying that the card was fine as-is, we have to charge you for both sets. Photo retouching has a minimum fee of $5, as well.”

Customer: “FINE!”

Me: “So, we’ll do the retouch and have another proof ready for you in—“

Customer: “I don’t want another proof, just print the cards!”

Me: “Ma’am, I really recommend we do another proof so that you can be sure the red eye is removed to your liking.”

Customer: “No! I already made two trips down here, and I won’t do it again!”

(We’re so swamped with other business in the department that by now I’m just trying to get the woman out of the shop so I can carry on helping other people. I tell her fine, we’ll email a proof. She leaves. When she comes back to pick up the second batch of cards, we’re still so busy that I’ve called in two more employees to help with the rush, and there’s still a line and a backlog of orders. The woman cuts in line to shout at me across the counter.)


(I’m trying to run a large-format print through the laminator, which requires most of my attention to ensure nothing jams, goes crooked, etc.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am. What’s wrong with them?”


Me: “Ma’am, that’s the same paper the proof was printed on, and that the first batch of cards was printed on, and it’s the same paper we’ve been using for these cards for years.”

Customer: “I want these reprinted now, while I wait!”

(I can’t help it. I stare at her, speechless, while the department is a cacophony of noise from other customers, machines running, employees taking orders, and so on. There is a line at the counter, our self-serve machines are all in use, and four employees are all working with customers. The little print shop is crammed with people, I am currently in the middle of an order, and she thinks we are all going to drop everything to serve her.)

Me: “Ma’am, I can reprint for you again, but that’s the only greeting card stock we have, and you approved it with your first proof. If you’d like something heavier, or a different size, we can order custom cards for you, but they take about two weeks, and at this point, you wouldn’t receive them in time to mail them out for Christmas delivery.”

(She threw the cards on the counter and stormed out.)

When The Cat’s Away, The Liars Come Out To Play

, , , , | Legal | December 26, 2018

During a recent wildfire, a group I volunteer with is tasked with sheltering over 1,000 animals whose owners have been evacuated from the fire zone, as well as a couple hundred animals who have been brought into the shelter by fire, police, and other emergency workers. We immediately try to match those lost animals with their humans and reunite the extended family.

For about every hundred people looking for their lost pet, we match one very happy family. A mother and daughter couple come to the shelter looking for their lost cat. We start with a picture and try to match with an animal in the shelter to avoid crowds in the building.

English is the mother’s second language, and she is having some difficulty explaining the color and breed of her missing cat. After a couple of minutes, the mother and daughter start speaking an Asian dialect I can sort of understand, but can not speak. The daughter, upset that her mother dragged her down to the shelter to find her missing cat tells her mother, “Just find a picture of a cat you like and I will tell them it is yours.”

Nope, time to let them speak to someone with a badge.

His Jokes Are Unappeeling

, , , , | Romantic | December 26, 2018

(Overheard, walking out after a long movie:)

Wife: “As soon as we leave, I need to visit the bank to deposit my check.”

Husband: “But before we do that, I need to visit the bathroom to deposit my urine.”

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