Can’t Muscle Her Way Into This Argument

, , , , , | | Right | July 12, 2019

(I grew up on a small-scale farm, and right after college, I take a job as a clerk in a butcher shop. A woman comes in one day and starts giving one of my coworkers a hard time about the size of the pork chops. He comes to me asking for a hand, and I ask her what the problem is.)

Customer: “Your pork chops are too small; I need bigger ones.”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. I’ll go talk to the butcher in the back and we can cut them thicker—”

Customer: “No, not thicker, I want them bigger.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but they don’t come any bigger than this. This is the largest you’ll find at any store.”

Customer: “Well, I got them bigger at [Other Store].”

Me: “Ma’am, I raise pigs. The muscle in a market-sized pig does not come larger than what we have presented here.”

(She bought six chops.)

It’s A Gateway Candy

, , , , , | | Right | July 11, 2019

(I’m in a candy store shortly before Valentine’s Day. A customer and her elementary-school-age son come in. She’s helping him find candy he can share with his class.)

Clerk: “Maybe these?”

(He shows her a box of those little pastel hearts that have messages printed on them.)

Customer: “Okay, we’ll get those! But we also need something for the boys.”

Clerk: “Oh, uh… You mean, a candy that’s more… masculine?”

(The clerk looks surprised, probably because this is a strongly LGBTQ neighborhood, so it’s odd to hear someone assigning a gender to something like candy. Still, he tries to help.)

Customer: “Oh, what about these for the boys? Candy cigarettes.”

Clerk: “Uh, uh, okay…”

(She and her son go to check out. After a moment of banter…)

Clerk: “Would you also like to buy some of our Breaking Bad candy crystal meth?”

Customer: “What?!”

Clerk: “Well, uh… to go along with your candy cigarettes…”

We’ll Just Give Aquaman A Call And See What He Can Do…

, , , , , | | Right | July 11, 2019

(I’m a housekeeper at a local motel with beachfront rooms. One of the guests comes marching into the front office where I am working.)

Guest: “You need to do something about that smell in my room, right this minute!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m terribly sorry that your room has an unusual smell. I’ll come up and take care of it right now. What kind of smell is it?”

Guest: “My room smells like the ocean! I can’t stand it!”

Me: *pause* “Ma’am, you rented a room in a motel that is just a few yards from the ocean. It’s part of the atmosphere of our motel.”

Guest: “It stinks! Turn the ocean off! Make it stop!”

Pray For The Wedding Planner

, , , | | Right | July 10, 2019

(I have worked in this print department for six years. No two orders are ever the same and I am constantly amazed how customers expect us to read their minds. Not to brag, but I get feedback on keeping my cool and helpfulness on a regular basis, but sometimes I wonder if I will just crack one day with customers like the following.)

Customer: *walks up to the counter*

Me: “Hi! What brings you in today?”

(This customer has sour expressions and a HUGE chip on her shoulder; I can just FEEL it in the air.)

Customer: “Well, I need help, obviously.”

Me: “Of course! What can I help you with?”

Customer: *frowns* “Our printing!”

Me: “What are you looking to get printed?”

(She rolls her eyes like my question is stupid. I am not kidding.)

Customer: “We need wedding inserts.”

Me: “Wonderful! We have helped people with that before. Do you have a design or idea already or do you need something custom made?”

Customer: *sarcastically* “ I don’t know.”

Me: “Oh, um, okay…” *tries to ask a different question to determine their needs* “ Do you have a budget you want to stay in?”

Customer: “I don’t know!”

(I have no idea how to help the customer when they just keep saying they don’t know.)

Me: “Okay… Well, is there a size you need? Some people do business card sizes or quarter sheet sizes like this?” *shows them a quarter page size*

Customer: *looks at examples and frowns at me* “I don’t know! Aren’t you supposed to be the expert?!”

Me: *still very polite* “Oh, well, then, I have no idea what you need. I can try to guess or offer what other customers have done, but that may take a while since I don’t have any details about what you want. Let me suggest doing this quarter sheet size on a medium weight paper—” *holds up the example* “—and I can type up what you need on it and provide you with a proof, and then, depending on how many you want, I can give you a price. How does that sound?”

Customer: *turns her mouth down at me* “Fine!” *shoves paper at me with hotel and direction info written in terrible writing*

Me: “Wonderful. Would you like the hotel information or directions to come first on the quarter sheet?”

Customer: *loudly* “ No! They are supposed to be two separate pieces for the insert!

Me: “Oh, okay, no problem. Is there anything else I need to know before I type this up really quick to get you a proof?”

Customer: *again rolls her eyes at me* “I don’t know!”

Me: *just about to give up* “Okay, great. Let me get your proof for you; it will be about five minutes.”

(I quickly type up a quarter sheet for the direction info and a separate one with the hotel info, I format it nicely using a nice font. The customer is tapping her fingers loudly on the counter and sighing rudely this entire time.)

Me: “Okay, here are the proofs on the paper I recommended. What do you think?”

Customer: *frowns at the proof, and then rolls her eyes AGAIN* “ I don’t know; I guess that will work.”

Me: “Okay, how many do you need of each design?”

Customer: “I don’t know!”

Me: “Well, do you know how many invitations you have?”

Customer: “200.”

Me: “Great! So, if you want the hotel and directions to be in each invitation, then you need 200 of each. For this paper I showed you, that will be [price].”

Customer: “Whatever.”

Me: *getting REALLY FED UP at this point* “Super! ‘Whatever’ sounds great!” *still polite and cheerful*

Customer: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Well, since it looks like this is exactly what you need based on the feedback you have given me, can you just sign approval for the order? I will get it started and call you when it is done. You can also pay today to get it out of the way.” *smiles*

Customer: “What?! No, I am not sure if this will work; I want to take this proof to my family and make sure it is right. And I don’t feel like you gave me very many options!” *glares at me*

Me: “Well, ma’am, we have dozens of papers, and could do thousands of variations of custom designs, and since most of the feedback you gave me was that you didn’t know, I can only guess what you need. If you come back with more details of what you want, or maybe research what other folks do or get info from your family, then we can show you options more specific to your needs.” *the customer is frowning at me this entire time* “I will email you the file I typed up, charge you a few bucks for the typing and formatting I did, and then when you decide, you can come back in and we can finish your order. Does that sound okay?”

Customer: “I don’t know! I have never done this before! Aren’t you supposed to know how this works?!”

Me: “Yes, what I just suggested is how it works.” *as I am ringing her up for the typing charge* “I will send that email to you. Have a good day, and good luck consulting with your family on the proof” *still smiling and respectful*

Customer: “Fine!” *snatches proofs of counter and stomps off*

(This whole thing took ten times longer than it should have, and I had another associate helping other customers that were behind this idiot lady that “didn’t know” the entire time. I can only recommend so much; what did the lady expect me to do? Magically know quantity, design, price, and other details she and her family would want? Like Charlie Brown says, “GOOD GRIEF!”)

In Receipt Of A Crazy Request

, , , | | Right | July 10, 2019

(In our charity shop, if a customer wants to return something, we offer an exchange or a credit note, as long as they have their receipt. We always offer a receipt, but usually, for smaller purchases, customers don’t want one. A customer has bought something for £4.95 — about $6.50 — and declined the receipt, so I crumple it and throw it in the bin. Later that day, they return.)

Customer: “I bought this earlier.” *shows me the item in their bag*

Me: “Yes, I remember.”

Customer: “I want my receipt.”

Me: “Did you want to return it?”

Customer: “No, but I didn’t take my receipt. I need it.”

Me: “I threw it away because you didn’t want it.”

Customer: “Can you print another one?”

Me: “Sorry, no, we can only reprint the last receipt, and I’ve had other customers since you were here.”

Customer: “What did you do with my receipt, then?”

(I point at the bin, now full of receipts, price tags, dirt from when I swept behind the counter, sweet wrappers, sticky tape, and several used teabags.)

Me: “It’s in there, sorry.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll wait. I want it.”

Me: “You seriously want it?”

Customer: “Yes.”

(I picked through that filthy bin, unfolding bits of paper, for ten minutes before I finally found her receipt. It was wet from a teabag and had tape stuck to it covered in dirt. I offered it to her. She declined.)

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