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Members Of The British Tomato Jerk Association

, , , , , | Right | December 10, 2020

I’m working at a chain sandwich shop which is popular in the US but does not exist in Britain. The past week or so, we have had a large group of British tourists come in several days during breakfast. Normally, cashiers are required to ask if the customer has a membership card with us before finishing every transaction, but this group of tourists has told me multiple times that they don’t have cards and don’t want to get them, since they’re going back home in a week and won’t be able to use them.

One morning later in the week, an older couple who I do not recognize comes in to order breakfast. I notice two things about them; first, they both have British accents, and second, the wife’s phone has a case covered in pink rhinestones. Because of their accents, I stupidly assume that they are with the group of tourists who have been coming in lately and I just forgot their faces — plausible since it is a large group — so I don’t ask for their membership card. They both order the same breakfast sandwich, and I finish the transaction. After they are all paid out, the husband speaks up.

Husband: “Why didn’t you ask for our membership card?”

Me: “Oh, do you have one?”

Husband: “Of course, we do.”

At this point, I realize I have made a mistake, but I don’t want to admit that I assumed they were tourists because of their accents, both because I am afraid they will be insulted and because I’m embarrassed at having made such an assumption.

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. It must have slipped my mind; that is entirely my fault.”

Husband: “So we won’t get credit for this transaction?”

Me: “Unfortunately, there’s no way for me to add a transaction to your account once it has been paid out, but if you log into your account on our website and enter the code at the bottom of the receipt, it will add the transaction for you.”

Husband: “So because you made a mistake, we have to do work? That doesn’t seem fair.”

Me: “I know, and again, I’m sorry, but once the transaction has been paid out, there really is nothing I can do.”

The husband sighs, disgruntled, and he and his wife head to our patio and sit down. A few minutes later, one of our runners brings them their food, and a few minutes after that, the husband comes storming back inside. 

Husband: “There are tomatoes on those sandwiches! I hate tomatoes, and so does my wife! Why didn’t you tell me there were tomatoes?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that you didn’t want tomatoes.”

Husband: “It should say on the menu that there are tomatoes! Nowhere on there does it say there are tomatoes!”

He’s right, and I privately agree that it’s a huge mistake not to list all the ingredients, but I have no more control over this than he does.

Me: “I’m very sorry about that. I can see if it’s possible to get the sandwiches remade.”

Husband: “This is just pathetic.”

Me: “Um, let me get you my manager.”

We are trained to get a manager whenever customer satisfaction is at stake. I get my manager who, like me, is a rather petite young woman. The husband berates her, calling her, me, and the rest of the staff “useless” as she apologizes profusely, refunds his order, and has the sandwiches remade. He and his wife receive their remade sandwiches, eat them, and leave. I think that is the end of it until my coworker in charge of table cleanup comes over.

Coworker: “I found this on the patio. A customer must have forgotten it.”

She hands me — you guessed it — a phone in a pink rhinestone case.

Me: “I know exactly who this belongs to. This should be interesting.”

Sure enough, a few hours later, the man and his wife are back. I can see them from the register frantically searching the patio before giving up and heading back to their car. I leave the register and chase them down with the phone.

Me: “Ma’am! Ma’am!”

The wife turns around as I catch up with them.

Me: “Is this yours? Our staff found it left behind on the patio.”

Wife: “Yes! Oh, my God, thank you so much!”

Me: “Of course, happy I could help.”

The husband stood a few feet back, scowling at a spot to my right, but refusing to make eye contact with me. They left after that and I never saw them again, but being the bigger person has never felt more satisfying.

An Order That’s Not Just Wrong, It’s Passive-Aggressive

, , , , , | Working | November 20, 2020

I like [Local Chicken Franchise] and have been going there for many years, usually either mid-day on a weekend or late in the evening on a weekday. On this occasion, it’s Friday, I have the day off, and I go through the drive-thru at 5:00 pm, which I haven’t done before. I’m worried about a rush, but the parking lot is empty. There’s a giant sign on the drive-thru order board advertising the current special, a buffalo ranch tender combo meal for about $3 less than the standard tender combo.

Employee: “What do you want?”

Me: “I’ll have the five-piece buffalo ranch tender combo.”

Employee: “We don’t sell those here.”

I pause. I really don’t want to be that customer.

Me: “Uh. I was here last week and I got that combo, and I’m staring at a giant sign out here advertising them.”

Employee: “I don’t know what to tell you. We don’t sell those here.”

This is not worth escalating, there’s no way I’m going to win, and I don’t care that much, so I give up. Maybe the employee means they’re out of them and is wording it badly.

Me: “Okay, I’ll have the regular five-piece combo, without the drink.”

Employee: “Okay, pull around.”

Me: “Wait, don’t you need to know whether I want the spicy or mild tenders, and what side I want?”

The employee heaves an incredibly loud, exaggerated, teenager-on-a-sitcom sigh and then pauses.

Employee: “Spicy or mild.”

Me: “Spicy, please.”

Employee: “What’s your drink? What’s your side?”

Me: “Fries for the side, no drink.”

Employee: “The combo comes with a drink.”

Me: “I don’t want the drink. Usually, if I ask for it without the drink, you take a dollar off and don’t give me a drink I don’t want.”

Employee: *Very obviously exasperated* “You want the dinner. The combo comes with a drink. The dinner doesn’t have a drink. They’re different prices.”

There is nothing on the menu board about a “dinner” combo with no drink and no posted price for it. I’ve been going to [Franchise] for twenty years and no one’s ever tried to tell me that my standard combo-without-a-drink order is called something different. It’s still not worth fighting over, but I do hate it when employees use their condescending “We’ve always done it this way, idiot” voices for something they’ve never done that way before.

Me: “Fine, I guess that means I want the five-piece spicy dinner. With fries.”

Employee: “Pull around.”

Me: “I’d also like an order of extra-large fries to go with that.”

Employee:Pull around.

I do. It’s a long wait, but someone eventually comes to the revolving drive-thru window to take my credit card. They say, “Three-piece with fries and an extra fries,” and turn away from me toward the register.

Me: “Excuse me, I wanted a five-piece.”

The employee keeps keying in the order.

Me: “Excuse me, hello?”

Employee *Long-suffering look* “What is it now?”

Me: “I asked for a five-piece.”

The employee just stares at me like I’ve demanded a dead cat. Then, they turn around and walk up to a much older employee who I assume is the shift manager and start talking to them, gesturing back at me in a frustrated way. Finally, they come back to the window, obviously annoyed.

Employee: “Five-piece and fries with an extra order of fries.”

They ring it in. Through the scratched-up drive-thru window, I can see them tossing things into a bag in an agitated way. About fifteen seconds later, they shove a bag into the drive-thru airlock and stalk away. I take the bag and briefly check it, but it more or less looks like what I ordered.

When I got home, I found out I’d gotten four chicken tenders, a small order of fries in a large box, and none of the usual extras — dipping sauce, ketchup, napkins, etc. I still have no idea why that employee was so angry. Also, to leave the parking lot, I had to drive past the giant [Franchise] marquee sign that read, “BUFFALO RANCH TENDER COMBO MEAL: [price $3 less than what I paid].” Guess I know what shift to avoid from now on.

There Is No Cured For This Behavior

, , , , | Right | November 13, 2020

I am a cook in a display kitchen in a restaurant. In other words, my part of the kitchen is in the dining room, separated from the dining room only by a counter, so I am visible to anyone in the dining room. However, it is still a sit-down restaurant where guests order from servers who come to their table and bring their orders to them; they do not order directly from me or take food from the counter.

Our restaurant offers plates of cheeses and charcuteries — cured meats — that are very popular. I have just completed some orders of them and placed them on the counter for the servers to pick up when some guests are seated in the restaurant. One of the guests comes from the table to talk to me.

Guest: “Hey, these look great! What are they?”

Me: “These are some of our cheese and charcuterie platters. They are on your menu.”

I explain the items we have and how to order them.

Guest: “Oh, wow! Can I just take one of these?”

Me: “No, sir, these are orders for another guest, but you are free to order the same thing if you like and I can make it for you, too. Just give your order to your server.”

Guest: “But I really want one of these.”

Me: “These are already for someone else, but if you’d like the same one, I can start making it now and your server can bring it over to your table.”

I gesture back toward his table, hoping that will encourage him to return to it. No such luck.

Guest: “Come on! I’ll pay you double!”

Me: “Sir, please. You don’t need to do that! Please return to your table and order from your server for the regular price. It’s right on your menu.”

The guest begins laying out cash on the counter in front of me.

Me: “Sir… you can’t…”

A cocktail server has come over from the bar while we were having this exchange and she intervenes.

Server: *Raising her voice* “She can’t take your money! You don’t order from her! Just go back to your table and tell your waiter like she’s been trying to tell you!”

Guest: “Oh! Oh, okay, sorry.”

He picked up his cash and went back to his table. She was a little unpolished, and that’s not how we should be talking to our guests, but at least she got him to listen!

Let’s Hope They Really Didn’t Need To Go

, , , , , , | Right | November 5, 2020

I work in a museum. There is an information kiosk that is literally fifteen steps from the bathroom. If you are talking to me, you need to turn around 180 degrees, decide if you want men’s or women’s, angle your feet 45 degrees, and walk fifteen feet. The bathrooms are large and can be entered from either end of a long hallway. Most people are able to find them.

Some people are both obtuse and rude. It’s like they expect me to hold their hand and walk them into the stall. Those people get directed to the “other bathroom.”

I send them up the stairs, across the main hall, down the other stairs, and into the other door of the same bathroom. The look on their faces when they exit and see they were back at my kiosk is priceless. If they are really, really obnoxious, I send them to the bathroom at the complete opposite end of the museum, assuming correctly that they will never find me again.

He’s Just Mall Fry

, , , , , , | Right | October 20, 2020

I work at a large bookstore that has two floors. On the bottom floor, there are two sets of registers: one by the parking lot entrance and one by the mall entrance. The vast majority of the time, we only have the parking lot registers open. We really only open the mall side around the holidays.

Coworker: “Hi, sir, what can I help you find today?”

Customer: “There’s no one at those registers.”

He points to mall side registers, which each have a CLOSED sign up at them.

Coworker: “I’m so sorry, sir, but unfortunately, those registers are closed today. There are open registers on this side of the building, though!” *Gestures*

Customer: “I have a heart disease! I can’t walk over there! F*** you!”

He threw his books down on the counter and walked away. The books? All on how to use an air fryer.