Makes You Want To Curl Up And Cry

, , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

My roommate and I decide to splurge on a treat, so we go to a popular ice cream place known for little curls on the top of their ice cream. It’s a little, silly aesthetic thing, and I’ve never thought anything of it until this.

We’ve just stepped up to order when a woman in her forties bursts in and bypasses the line to demand attention. She sets two hot fudge sundaes on the counter.

Customer: “I just went through your drive-thru and my sundaes don’t have curls on them!”

After a moment, during which I can visibly see him deciding if she’s messing with him or not, the employee says:

Employee: “I’m sorry about that?”

Customer: “I want new sundaes!”

Employee: “Ma’am, they’re hot fudge sundaes. The curl probably melted.”

I glance at her food; indeed, the whole thing is a swirl of melted ice cream and cooled fudge, as it’s meant to be.

Customer: “I always get hot fudge sundaes and they always have curls!”

Employee: “I can make you a new one, but it’s hot fudge. It’s still going to melt.”

Customer: “No! They always have curls! Always!”

The employee gave up, agreed, and then fashioned her new sundaes with the hot fudge carefully poured around the ice cream rather than on top, aside from a few careful drips, probably so she wouldn’t whine about that, too.

The lady left with a few huffs about it “not being so hard” and my roommate and I shared a look with the employee before placing our order. While waiting at the counter, we relentlessly mocked the lady aloud, pitching our voices screechy and whiney, crying, “Why can’t you bend the laws of physics for me? It’s not that hard!”, “I don’t know how heat works,” and, “But they ALWAYS have curls!” I could see the employees trying to hide their grins, probably glad we were doing it for them because they were not allowed to mock customers like that.

Ever since, whenever we overhear someone making a stupid complaint, my roomie or I will look at the other, scrunch up our face, and say in the most whiney, screechy tone possible, “But they always have curls!” I don’t think we’ll ever stop mocking that lady.

Moral of the story: if you’re being rude and stupid in public, you’re probably going to become a running joke and be mocked in an awful voice until the end of time.

The Saga Of Jane Complain

, , , , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

I am sixteen, working my first day of employment EVER. I am assisting and observing a coworker at the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant. My coworker is giving me some tips when he looks up at the screen that shows incoming cars and stops talking.

He immediately calls out to the workers on the grill.

Coworker: “I’ll need three [burgers], cooked fresh, one with tomato but no pickles, one with pickles but no tomato, and one without either but extra mustard. It needs to be hot. I need three large portions of fresh fries, one salted, one unsalted, and one extra-large unsalted!”

Me: “What’s happening?”

Coworker: “Just watch.”

As he is doing all this, I see him gather together every type of sauce and sachet and condiment we own, in varying numbers and combinations. He also prepares four soft drinks: Cokes and Diet Cokes, each with ice and without. While doing all of this, he takes out his mobile phone — he’s a manager so he’s allowed to have it on him — and takes a picture of every item in front of him.

The customer pulls up to the window as soon as all the food arrives.

Customer: “I’ve been waiting so you had better hurry.”

Coworker: “Certainly, madam. You’re the only vehicle in the drive-thru, but I apologise if you felt there was a wait.”

Customer: “Whatever, I’ll take a [burger], no pickles, with fries, not salted, and they better all be fresh and hot! And if it takes longer than—”

Before the customer can finish their sentence, my coworker has bundled up the food.

Coworker: “Certainly, madam. I have your food ready right here, so there is no need for you to go to the collection window! If there is nothing else your total is [total].”

The customer stares at him for a moment as if challenging him.

Customer: “Actually, make that a [burger] without pickles and tomato, but extra mustard. And I want a Diet Coke! No ice! And hurry!”

Coworker: *Almost immediately* “Certainly, madam. I have that food right here, and your total is now [total].”

Customer: “That can’t be fresh and hot!”

Coworker: “I assure you, madam, they are all fresh off the grill and too hot to touch right now. I bet if you took a bite right now in front of me, it would burn your tongue.”

My coworker says this last part with a smirk on his face. Now he’s the one issuing challenges.

Customer: “We’ll see about that. While we’re at it, make my fries extra—”

Coworker: “—extra-large, madam? Of course, I have that right here, and I won’t even charge you the upcharge. Your total is still [total].”

Customer: “I want the salt on the side, not the fries!”

Coworker: *Grabbing a salt sachet* “Certainly, madam.”

The customer narrows her eyes but wordlessly hands over her card for payment. My coworker swipes it and hands back the receipt with the food.

Coworker: “Thank you, madam. Here is your receipt which lists the date and time of the transaction, the exact and itemised listing of your order, your payment method, and who served you, which is me, [Coworker]. I’ll put my copy here at this counter for reference. Have a great day!”

The customer looks like she is about to say something, but instead, she scowls and drives off. Before I can ask what just happened, my coworker turns to me.

Coworker: “It’s a good thing you met her on your first day! We call her ‘Jane Complain.’ She used to come in almost every day and complain about having to wait, even for just a few seconds, and she would always get a discount or a free item because of it. When we started to wise up and get her order ready for her so she would have no wait to complain about, she started to add silly little changes to the order to catch us out, but only ever small things like tomato or pickles; she isn’t very imaginative.”

Me: “Wow.”

Coworker: “I’m barely getting started. Then, she started to complain that the food was too cold and not fresh enough, so we would prepare a sizzling hot batch the moment we saw her car. She still complained it wasn’t hot enough, but we stood our ground on that one and said if she ate the burger right there in front of us and it didn’t burn her mouth, we would let her have it for free. She was about to do it but then realised how hot it actually was. I make sure I remind her of that every time she challenges the ‘freshness.'”

Me: “And the receipt bit?”

Coworker: “If she can’t scam free food from us when she purchases it, she usually comes back five minutes later to claim we missed something, which we didn’t, but policy states we have to give it to her if we can’t prove it. She always conveniently loses her receipt, too. Now I make sure to remind her that we both have copies of that receipt, it has all the information on it that I can use against her, and my copy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

Me: “That’s awesome!”

Coworker: “It’s become a matter of principle for us! We want to keep one step ahead of her so she can stop scamming us. The look on her face when we’re a step ahead of her is priceless.”

The day continues without incident and I continue to be mentored. Near the end of my shift, I look up at the screen and see that same car pulling up.

Me: “[Coworker]! Jane is back!”

Coworker: “Here comes the backup complaint!”

She pulls up and my coworker makes sure he is the first to greet her with a smile. He is already getting out his phone.

Coworker: “Nice to see you again, madam! What can I get you?”

Customer: “I was here earlier this afternoon and you forgot my fries!”

Coworker: “That was the [burger] with no pickles and no tomato, extra mustard, extra-large fries, salt on the side, with a Diet Coke and no ice. Your order was at 2:37 pm precisely, and I have the picture of the order right here, which clearly shows the fries with the burger and drink. You’ll see that the photo is both time-stamped and has the checkout’s clock in the background. Are you sure you didn’t just ‘misplace’ your fries?”

Customer: “This is absurd! That is no proof! Get me your manager right now!”

Coworker: “I am the manager on duty at this time. If you’d like to make a complaint to corporate, you can find the number on your receipt, which I can still see on your dashboard next to the empty fries container. Thank you for dining at [Fast Food Restaurant] and I hope we see you again. We’ll be ready!”

With that, he shuts the window and walks away. The customer sits there dumbfounded for a moment but eventually drives away.

In the year that I worked there, I witnessed “Jane Complain” come back many many times. Sometimes, she would frustrate the combination of food enough that there would be a delay, but since everyone in the kitchen was wise to her antics, they were able to get the substitutions to her quickly enough that she could no longer scam free items. I even got to serve her directly myself after my training and it was very satisfying denying her, eliminating any excuse she might have to complain.

When she stopped coming by, we soon discovered through friends in our nearest branch that she had started her tricks again over there. My coworker “assigned” himself a cover shift in that other branch to be the one to greet her over there and was just as ready for her there as we all are here.

She hasn’t been seen in three months. We miss her.

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The Gift Of Paranoia

, , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

I’m working at a bank, and my main job is to sit down with customers in an office for basically anything that you might come to a bank for that’s more complex than basic transactions.

One of my regulars is a gentleman who is very nice but also very paranoid. He refuses to allow mail, even though he already uses a post office box, because “people keep getting into his box.”

To get around mandatory disclosure requirements, he sets up all statements to be online… but he never sets up an online account or checks his emails because he doesn’t trust them, either. Some disclosures are important enough that when they are not opened online, they will automatically be mailed — in particular, the mandatory disclosure of when a share certificate is coming due. And he has a lot of share certificates.

Whenever he receives one of these notices, he comes in and opens a new account and closes the old one due to his fear that the mail that came from the bank was pulled out of his post office box, read, and then put back exactly how it was, included resealing the envelope, to try to fool him. He also will close out certificates early, paying the early close penalty, only to open a new one right away, just to avoid those renewal notices going out.  

I work with him a lot, opening up new accounts and share certificates. Part of his paranoia is that people are trying to steal from him, sometimes with very convoluted reasoning, so you’d better believe that I am even more careful than I always am about making certain everything is done perfectly, with absolutely nothing that could hint at a break of privacy. I also never skip out on requesting the multiple passwords on his account or checking the two IDs — his account request, not our policy.

So he trusts me. And he decides that he will show this trust… by trying to give me money.

At first, he just straight-up offers cash — $20 or $50 bills — as tips. I explain that I work for a bank. I cannot take tips or financial gifts.  

Then, he starts hiding the cash in my office. He’s not very good and I always check my office for private materials left before taking the next customer, so I just take the cash to the teller line and have it deposited into his account. I have no way to call him, either, by the way; he doesn’t trust phones.

I have my manager talk to him about this. It turns out he’s picked up this habit with the other employees that he trusts to help him also. After the manager talks to him about it, he switches to gift cards.  

Those are still refused. Keep in mind, these are not $5 cards; they are $50 or $100. I make a folder for him in the lock files just to be able to hold any cards that get left behind so we can return them the next time he comes in.

I get smart. I let him know that if he leaves any gift cards behind, I will have to mail them back to him.

The attempted gifts immediately stop.

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Five Thousand Reasons To Dislike This Customer

, , , , , | Right | August 3, 2020

Since lockdown, we’ve been closing from 12:00 to 13:00 for walk-ins to avoid having to sanitize the reception desk area computer, phone, chair, etc. We’re still available by phone. A client comes in at 13:00 sharp.

Client: “You’d better have a good reason to be closed during lunchtime! And you’d better not tell me it’s ‘cause of that corona, ‘cause that’s not a good reason!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but that is why. We can—”

Client: “That’s not a good reason!”

Me: “As I was saying, we cannot sanitize the area and share the desk every day; it would take too much time.”

Client: “You guys really need to let your clients know! This is ridiculous. That’s not a good reason. I’ve been here twice during lunch to make a payment and you were not open.”

Me: “Sir, it says right on our door and when you call that we’ve modified our hours and are closed from noon to one.”

Client: “That’s not good enough! You need to advise me by mail. I need it to be written down! I came here and it was closed.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, but that would make no sense. We can’t send a letter to all our clients to advise that we’re closed to walk-ins from noon to one temporarily.”

We’re a local business but have over five-thousand clients; that would be thousands of dollars for something they would literally know by calling.

Client: “That’s stupid. This makes no sense. It’s not a good reason. Anyway, you guys suck and I won’t be your client again next year.”

Me: “No problem, sir. How about we cancel today, then?”

Client: “No! I don’t have time for that.”

We proceeded to payment. He asked a question and asked if we were going to be open at lunch then. I told him no and he stormed off, yelling to make sure I told my boss about this. I did. They laughed.

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Keeping Things Fresh Is No Small Fry

, , , , , | Right | August 2, 2020

I work at a restaurant well known for its desserts and lengthy menu. Due to the nationwide shutdown, we are only doing takeout and have limited staff working. This customer places her order around 1:00 pm for an order of sweet potato fries. I inform her that they will be ready in ten minutes.

Ten minutes go by and no one has arrived, so we place the fries under a heat lamp on low. 

Twenty minutes later, she arrives and our manager goes to collect her order but finds that they are too cold to serve.

Five minutes go by, and the cooks have only just dropped the new set of fries in to cook. I am sent up to let her know it will be just a moment.

Me: “Hi! I just wanted to update you that my manager is having the fries remade as they got cold.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! This is exactly why I called ahead; why aren’t they ready yet?”

Me: “Well, we made the fries and put them under a heat lamp, but it was decided they weren’t good to serve; my manager is having a fresh batch made for you right now.”

Customer: “This is a huge inconvenience for me. What kind of compensation am I going to get?!”

Me: “Let me check with my manager; it should be just a moment.”

The length of the eye roll I had would astound. I checked in with my manager and informed him of the customer’s expectations that this wait time be compensated. He laughed, sold her the new fries, and gave her nothing extra. Moral of the story: don’t show up for French fries half an hour after you order them and be pissy that the staff wants to serve them hot!

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