I’ll Take My Coffee As Someone Else’s

, , , , | Right | January 17, 2019

(I have just finished taking two orders, the first being a younger man’s breakfast meal with a coffee, the second being just a small black coffee for an older man. At this restaurant, we leave the orders on the front counter for our customers to pick up. The younger customer’s food has just been put up, so I quickly make his coffee and put it on the tray to complete his order.)

Older Customer: *grabs coffee*

Me: “Oh, sir, that’s not your coffee. That one goes with this meal. Let me make yours real quick.”

Older Customer: “I don’t care. I want my coffee. Sucks for them.” *walks away*

Me: *baffled* “But sir… it’s not the right one.”

Younger Customer: “Did he just take my coffee?”

Me: “Uh, yeah. Sorry about that. I’ll make you a new one.”

Younger Customer: *laughing* “That’s so weird! Was it even the same kind?”

Me: “No! Yours has a bunch of cream and sugar in it, and his was supposed to be black! I guess he liked it, though?”

(At least he didn’t come back and tell me that “his” coffee was wrong!)

Return To Being Off The Clocks

, , , , | Right | January 11, 2019

(At my store, we have a policy to clock out during breaks, and a further policy not to do any work while clocked out, as employees legally must be compensated for their time. Small favors such as guiding a customer on the floor are okay, but anything at a register is strictly prohibited. I have just clocked out for a break and am still in my uniform. During the last few minutes of my shift, a customer has been standing at the service desk with a cart full of items, growing increasingly visibly agitated that no one is manning the desk. The customer sees me passing by and approaches me.)

Customer: “You. You need to help me. I need to make a bunch of returns and no one is manning the f****** desk.”

Me: “Sir, I sympathize with you, but I am not on the clock right now–“

Customer: *cutting me off* “That’s bulls***! I just saw you working!”

Me: “I was on the clock then, but now I am not. And I legally cannot do anything at a register right now or corporate will get in trouble for—“

Customer: *interrupting again* “I don’t f****** care; just go back there and do my return!”

Me: “Sir, even if I were clocked in, I can’t help you. We have to be trained in processing returns, and I haven’t been, so I’m not authorized to do anyth—“

Customer: “I don’t care if you’re not f****** authorized. I need this s*** done now!

Me: “Sir, as I’ve already said, I’m not on the clock anymore. But if you just go to register twenty you’ll find my manag—“

Customer: “I don’t want to go to register f****** twenty, you stupid b****. I want you to do my returns now. Where is your manager?! I’m going to get you fired!”

(I have been on register fifteen, within earshot of the manager’s desk, the entire time. The customer is now so close to me I can feel his breath on my face as he yells at me. I have been trying not to panic and to stay professional, but since I am off duty at the moment, I get impatient with him.)

Me: “My manager is right there at register twenty, as I just said. And since I’m not on the clock right now, I feel at ease saying that if you don’t want to walk five registers over to get the help you want, that is not my problem.”

(I walk away, leaving the customer still yelling obscenities at my back, and take my break in the fast food restaurant at the front of the store, where I have a clear view of the registers. The customer does indeed go directly to register 20 and proceeds to yell my manager up one side and down the other about me, pointing toward me frequently. She stands there smiling serenely the entire time. He then comes up to me in the restaurant and puts a finger so close to my mouth I could lick it.)

Customer: “I just got you fired.”

Me: “How are those returns going, sir?”

(He stormed out, leaving his cart and all his items at the service desk. After my break, my manager approached me, clearly trying not to laugh. She informed me the customer had tried to tell her had I cursed at him and called him names, which she knew was false because she had overheard everything, having only been five registers away. She did, however, think “that is not my problem” was the funniest thing she’d ever heard because it was the tamest part of his version of the story and the only part that was true. “That is not my problem” became a running joke around me from then on.)

Cashiers On Third Day Of Work Are Already Hardened

, , , , , , | Right | December 5, 2018

(I am at a big box store, waiting in line. There is only one line open in the whole store. The poor girl who is checking us out is fairly new. She looks frazzled and is trying to hurry along. When it gets to my purchase, there is a problem ringing something up, and she has to call for the manager. There are well over seven people in line behind me; several let out moans and sighs of aggravation. One particularly obnoxious guy behind me in line has been making plenty of negative comments laced with profanity. He is getting on everyone’s nerves, and of course he just HAS to make a comment.)

Customer: “Well, if they would hire enough f****** people, we wouldn’t have to wait on this stupid b**** to ring everything up wrong.”

(The poor cashier, who I later find out is only on her third day of work, looks like she is about to cry. Fed up, I turn to him.)

Me: “Excuse me. They do hire enough people. I happen to know the manager here, and people come in all the time begging for jobs, get hired, and then don’t show up for work. This poor girl is working as hard and fast as she can, and doesn’t need your snotty attitude.”

(Shocked, he did shut up, but started mumbling under his breath. I gave him a dirty look and he finally marched out of line, cussing along the way. The poor cashier thanked me. She told me she had been yelled at all morning. The people in line behind me smiled at her, one said don’t worry about that jerk, another said they weren’t in a hurry anyway, etc. She told me I made her day.)

Driving Like A Pre-Schooler

, , , , , , | Related | November 26, 2018

(One summer while in college I take a job at a day-care center to earn extra book money. My job is to drive the kids in a passenger van to the local pool. It is the kids’ favorite day of the week and they are usually incredibly excited. One day we’re slowed down by a group of police cars with their lights on taking care of an accident on the side of the road. The kids are hollering, “Faster, faster! Drive faster!” A little four-year-old sitting behind me cries out:)

Four-Year-Old:No! Oh, no. Don’t drive faster!”

Helper: *curious* “Don’t you want us to take you swimming?”

Four-Year-Old: “Oh, yes! I just don’t want the driver to walk the white line.”

Helper: “What do you mean?”

Four-Year-Old: “Well, every time the police stop my daddy, they make him walk a white line, and we always end up not being able to go where we wanted to.”

Making A Beerline For The Road

, , , , , , | Right | September 15, 2018

(I work in the take-away area of a popular Australian steakhouse. My job is to bring food to customers waiting in their cars, so they can drive off and take it home to eat. This exchange happens at 10:45 on a Saturday night. I have just gotten this woman’s change while she is waiting for the rest of her food to come out.)

Me: “Can I get you anything else while you wait?”

Woman: “Yeah, can I order [alcoholic beverage] from the bar?”

Me: “What?”

Woman: “Can I order something from the bar and drink it while I wait?”

Me: “No, ma’am, you can’t.”

Woman: “Well, why not?”

Me: “I’m not allowed to give you alcohol. You’re sitting in your car in the to-go area. It’s illegal to drink and drive.”

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