That Request Comes With A Bone Of Contention

, , , , , | Right | August 13, 2018

(I work in a cafe where there’s a hot case that we fill with pieces of breaded, fried chicken, various flavored chicken wings, chicken tenders, and two fried sides. Today we have three flavored wings: two bone-in, and one boneless.)

Customer: “What flavor are those wings?”

Me: *pointing to the sign and reciting the flavors* “I have buffalo and garlic parmesan in the bone-in wings, and sweet red chili in the boneless.”

Customer: “Well, I like that chili one, but I don’t like boneless wings. Can you just make the bone ones in that flavor?”

(I offer to take an order, which will take about twenty minutes.)

Customer: “No, I ain’t waiting that long. Just put the bones in the red chili ones.”

(Sometimes customers want their favorite sauce put over one that we’ve already made, so I offer to do this.)

Customer: “No, just take the bones out of those buffalos and put them in the chilis!”

(Another person who knew this customer came over and suggested they try the garlic parmesan. Crisis averted.)

A Wait Doesn’t Carry Much Weight

, , , , , , | Right | August 11, 2018

(I work in a small deli. One particularly busy Saturday, I am running the front of the store by myself, trying to keep up with the rush, while my coworker is busy baking our bread product in the back. About ten people all arrive at the same time, approximately half of whom order sandwiches that take the longest to make. I rush through everything, but I’m sure they still wait in line for close to ten minutes, plus another ten for their food. A customer and her husband both order breakfast sandwiches. I take their food out to them with a smile and while I am there, the wife — who, I happen to notice, is on a website putting up a review — asks me if I am a manager. I am not, I answer, but I tell them my manager’s name and when she’ll be in next. Fast forward a couple days later. I go into work, where my manager ambushes me as soon as I come in the door to tell me about this phone call she got yesterday, on my day off, from the very same customer:)

Customer: “Is this the manager?”

Manager: “Yes.”

Customer: “I want to make a complaint.”

Manager: “Okay.”

Customer: “I was in on Saturday, and it looked like you only had one employee here, and we had to wait for a long time!”

Manager: “So?”

Customer: *huffing* “Well, that’s just ridiculous! We had to wait in line, and then we had to wait for our food!”

Manager: “Was it busy?”

Customer: “Well, yes, but—”

Manager: “And what was my employee doing while it was busy? Was she outside having a smoke?”

Customer: “Well, no, she was helping other people, and making food.”

Manager: “So, what are you complaining about, then?”

Customer: “Well, I had to wait!”

Manager: “And?”

Customer: “You need to hire more people!”

Manager: “Maybe. But we’d rather have ten good ones than twenty mediocre ones. Was your food good?”

Customer: “Yes, but—”

Manager: “So, you have nothing to complain about. The food was good, and you got good service; you just had to wait. This isn’t a fast food place. If you want fast food, there’s a burger place down the street. Next time, go there, so you won’t have to worry about waiting. Now quit wasting my time. I have work to do.”

(And then she hung up. I only wish I’d been there to see it.)

Attack Of The Entitled Mummy

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I work for myself as a children’s entertainer, advertising mostly by word of mouth. I receive an email asking for a quote.)

Customer: “Hi! [Parent I have worked with] gave me your info. I’m looking for a quote for my little princess’s fourth birthday. How much are you?”

Me: “Hello, [Name from email address], thanks for reaching out! I need a few more details to give you an accurate quote:

1) What day and time is your daughter’s party?
2) How many little guests do you expect to be there?
3) Where will the party take place?
4) What services are you interested in? I do balloon twisting, glitter tattoos, face painting, and a limited number of character interactions.

Talk to you soon!”

Customer: “Wow! I didn’t know you’d be so invasive! How did you know my name? I’m not telling you where I live! Just give me a quote!”

(After blinking at my screen for a few minutes I shake my head and try again.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I assumed your email was your name. My apologies for startling you. I need to know generally where the party is to see if mileage charges apply, and when it is to see if I’m already booked. I don’t need your exact address if you’re having the party at your residence; nearby major cross streets would work to get you an accurate quote. Thanks again for the opportunity to make your child’s birthday a little more special!”

Customer: “Main and 1st.”

(My eye is now sporadically twitching, but business slows down in summer due to the crushing heat and I could use the money. After a deep breath, I reply:)

Me: “Fantastic news! You’re well within my standard radius, so no mileage fees will apply. I just need to know the day and time you’re looking to book me, how many kids I’ll be working with, and which of my services you’re most interested in. Just a heads up: if you’ve hired a bounce house, I likely will not be able to face paint, as it’s against the bounce house company’s policy.”

Customer: “Don’t worry about who or what else I’ve hired. You are very unprofessional! I just want a f****** quote and you’re taking forever! I’ve wasted an hour of my life with you now! For f***’s sake! This Saturday at three pm, for an hour. And, you had better give me a discount for this horrid service!”

(I glance at my weather app and see that it’s going to be nearly 115° at that time. My balloons require indoor space under 95°, and most private-at-home birthday parties are backyard events. My suited characters don’t perform in that heat, either.)

Me: “I am available to face paint and/or do glitter tattoos on Saturday! Yay! It’s unfortunately projected to be too hot to offer balloon animals or character meet-and-greets. My minimum booking for just face painting is for two hours at $100 an hour. Usually glitter tattoos are an additional charge, but to make the day extra special I’ll throw in a dozen free glitter tattoos for the birthday girl and eleven of her closest friends. I will need a ten by ten flat space to set up my canopy unless you have shade, table, and chairs provided. If you would like to book me, please fill out and return the attached contract. Once I have received the deposit and signed contract, we’re all set!”

Customer: “I only want an hour. I’m only paying for one hour! And $100 is outrageous! It’s only thirty kids; it shouldn’t take you two hours!”

(I’m now full-on headdesking. Industry average for face painting is twelve to fifteen kids an hour. My rates aren’t the cheapest in the city, but I’m far from the top earners, and my work is solid, I’m insured, and I only use top-quality supplies. This is exactly why I always ask how many kids there are, not how long the parents think I’ll need to get to everyone. Two minutes per kid to pick what they want, sit down, get painted, and admire themselves in the mirror just isn’t reasonable. At this point, I pretty much want to just write her off but, again, I could really use the money. Without much hope, I try again.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but my rates and timeframe are both very fair. I average ten to fourteen faces an hour, so getting to all thirty kids in only two hours will be very challenging. I do want to help make your little one’s birthday as special as possible and work with your budget, so I’ll make you a deal. For my usual two-hour rate I’ll guarantee all thirty kids get painted, even if it takes another hour. I’ll bring a sign-in sheet to make sure everyone gets painted while still enjoying the party. I hope this works for you; if not I hope it’s a fun filled day, anyway!”

Customer: “So, if my nieces and nephews show up, too, you won’t paint them?! I can’t believe [Parent I have worked with] recommended such a shady, rude person! I’m going to tell everyone I know that you’re a selfish, horrible person!”

(The next day, the parent who originally referred me reached out and apologized for their friend. The customer showed the complete email chain as evidence of how “rude” I was in a Facebook group, and is apparently now the laughing stock of her mommies group.)

Slaves R Us

, , , , | Right | August 9, 2018

(I am shopping at my workplace on my day off.)

Public Announcement: “[My Name] to Cash, please. [My Name] to Cash.”

(Confused, I go to the cash register where I was summoned.)

Coworker: “This customer needs help with something.”

Me: “Uh, you do realize I’m not working today, right? I’m not even in uniform.”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, [My Name], but he insists that it must be you who helps him.”

Customer: “Come on, man! It’s just one little thing! You can help me!”

Me: “Nope, I’m not here to help you. I don’t work for free.”

Customer: “That attitude isn’t going to take you very far! If you worked at my company, you wouldn’t last very long!”

Me: “You’re right. I wouldn’t work for a company that operates on slave labor.”

(And with that, I walked out the door. I’ll admit that was a bit snarky of me, but strangers who waste what little free time I have are one of my biggest pet peeves.)

Refund Of Limitations

, , , , | Right | August 9, 2018

(I am working the customer service desk on a slow night at a popular baby store.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Baby Store]! Do you need help finding anything today?”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to return this.”

(The customer brings around a baby swing.)

Me: “I don’t recall seeing this product on our floor. Let me see if it came from us.”

(I scan it and it says the UPC is not found.)

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, it looks like this didn’t come from us.”

Customer: “Well, this is your shipping label, and I need to return this.”

Me: “Okay. When was it purchased and do you have a receipt?”

Customer: “No, I don’t have a receipt! I purchased it seven years ago, and need to return it.”

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, this product has been out of our computer system for so long that it doesn’t recognize the UPC as an item from our store. Your best bet would be selling it on eBay to at least get some money out of it.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I would like to speak to your manager.”

(I call my manager up, and she tells her the exact same thing I did. The lady grabs her swing and swears she’s never coming back. The look on my manager’s face is priceless.)

Manager: “She kept that thing for seven years and thought she could just return it? Some people.”

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