If Only He Could Hear Himself

, , , , | Right | August 23, 2017

(I have “Deaf friendly” on my nametag. After a customer, who is maybe in his fifties, and I have an ENTIRELY VERBAL conversation, at the end of the transaction he stops me directly in the middle of my “have a good day,” and we engage in the following:)

Me: “Okay, have a good da—”

Man: “Can you hear me?”

Me: “Wh… what?”


Me: “What?! I can hear you, yeah…”

Man: “You’re not deaf?”

Me: “What?”


Me: “Uh, no, I’m hearing. I can hear you right now.”

Man: “But your nametag says ‘DEAF friendly.’ You’re not deaf?”

Me: “No, I know ASL and am also an interpreting student.”

Man: “Well, that’s not right; you should specify you’re hearing. That way people won’t think you’re a… deaf person.”

Me: “I’m confused, I’m sorry.”

Man: “You should write ‘hearing’ on your nametag so people don’t misunderstand your confusing nametag.”

Me: “So you want me to publicly announce my hearing status on my nametag, rather than have me keep my current one, which indicates I can communicate in another language if needed?”

Man: “Well… I don’t know. So you’re NOT deaf, right?”

Me: No, sir.”

Man: “Ok, see ya!”

(This… this is a horror story to put in the books. He was rude about it and was serious about my nametag suggestion… Too funny to NOT share!)

A Library Of Unreasonable Requests

, , , , | Right | August 22, 2017

(You would be amazed at just how many people come to the library expecting a full range of services that don’t fall in our scope of expertise, and then get mad when we tell them we can’t do it. My guess is that because we’re free, and the services they want aren’t, they think they can circumvent us.)

Customer: *with a strong Eastern European accent* “I want get computer.”

Me: “Okay, sure. Just scan your library card at that machine and one should be assigned to you in 0-10 minutes.”

Customer: “No, I want get computer and then I want you help me with visa.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I bringing friends to America and I want to make sure their visas are right.” *takes out a 30-page document* “Here. I want you to look at each page to make sure it done right.”

(For the record, we’re not supposed to hold anyone’s hand while they work on a project, both because we don’t have time, and because we’re not necessarily qualified. I quickly flip through the document anyway, in the hopes it will convince him to leave.)

Me: “It looks good to me, sir.”

Customer: “No… I want you come with me and help me with visa all way!”

Me: “We’re not immigration attorneys, sir. And we’re not supposed to give that kind of time.”

Customer: “So that’s it?! You won’t help?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s the best I can tell you.”

Customer: “Where your supervisor?! I want talk your supervisor!”

Me: “He’s on the third floor, but I don’t think he’ll tell you anything different.”

(He stomped off angrily. I paged my boss to let him know he’s coming. I never heard back from my boss or the customer, so I can only assume he told the customer the same thing. Pro-tip: A library is a place to gain public information about anything, or a place to get your books. It is not a law office, a medical clinic, a bar, a brothel, a homeless shelter, a public bathhouse, a public storage facility, or a free daycare service. Please do not treat us like one.)

Drowning In Bad Customers

, , | Right | August 21, 2017

(The weekend leading up to July 4th is always interesting. We sell farm supplies, but since we’re the only game in town open on the holiday weekend, we get a lot of unrelated requests from campers, boaters, or people leaving on vacation that planned poorly and didn’t get what they needed ahead of time from a sporting goods retailer. The requests don’t bother me as much as the rude responses. Today I approached a couple on our sales floor and had this exchange:)

Me: “Hello, folks. How are you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, where did you guys hide your life jackets?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t carry life jackets.”

Customer: “Wait, what? You don’t carry…” *puts his hand over his face in exasperation and sighs deeply through it* “You. Don’t. Carry. Lifejackets?”

Me: *a bit apprehensively* “No, I’m sorry, we don’t carry boating supplies.”

Customer: *turns to wife* “What are we gonna do now? Seriously, what the f*** are we going to do?” *she doesn’t respond and they both turn to glare at me*

Me: “Might I suggest [Boat Dealer four miles from here]? I think they’re open today.”

Customer: *yelling* “Well, that doesn’t do me a whole lotta f****** good standing here, now does it? We’re not headed in that direction! We’ve got friends coming over in two hours to watch fireworks on the boat. This is going to ruin the whole evening! Just how is it you people—” *he spat out “you people” with a look someone getting a surprise mouthful of dog s*** might wear* “—get away with not having what the customer needs?”

Me: “Maybe because we’ve never heard of a farmer falling off his tractor and drowning in the dirt?”

Not So Nuts About Their Attitude

, , , , , | Right | August 21, 2017

Customer: *points to empty barrel* “Excuse me, do you have any more hazelnuts?”

Me: “No, sorry; if we had them they would be out on the floor already.”

Customer: “Can you check in the back?”

(I already know that we don’t have any but I check anyway.)

Me: “Sorry, no, we don’t have any.”

Customer: “Are you just saying that because you’re lazy and don’t want to bring it out for me?”

Me: “Um… no. We don’t have anymore hazelnuts. We get our next shipment on Saturday, if you would—”

Customer: “SO THAT JUST MEANS YOU’RE BEING LAZY. FINE!” *storms out*

Just Give Them A Toaster And Be Done With It

, , , | Right | August 21, 2017

(An elderly customer approaches me at the customer service desk.)

Customer: “I need your help finding something.”

Me: “Certainly. What are you looking for today?”

Customer: “Well, I’m not really sure what it is.”

Me: *not sure if I’m being pranked, or if she is confused* “Okay… what sort of item is it?”

Customer: “Well, it’s… about this big?” *gestures about the size of a bread box* “Maybe bigger? Or maybe it’s smaller? I’m no good with this stuff.”

Me: “Well, is it an electronic? Or maybe something in appliances?”

Customer: “NO! NO! NO! You’re not listening! It’s not that big… and I think it has buttons? Maybe round ones? And… it’s green… I think…”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m terribly sorry, but I really don’t think I can help you.”

Customer: “And why the h*** not?!”

Me: “Because with all due respect, you’ve given me nothing to go on. I really can’t tell what you’re looking for given the description you’ve given me.”

Customer: “No! That’s not good enough! I’m the customer! You’re supposed to know what I want! Now tell me what I want and don’t be such a little b***h about it!”

(I told her again I couldn’t help her given the information provided and she stormed off saying I was useless… I never did find out what she wanted.)

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