You Can Snake Around But The Answer Will Be The Same

, , , , | Right | October 30, 2015

(I am a ranger at a state park, leading a group of tourists on a short hike and telling them about the park, then an activity that involves digging through swamp muck to find critters that live in the swamps. I have a ball running and participating in this program and find that most people from three to seventy have, as well, though it is geared mostly towards younger kids. Among others, I have with me a family of French-speaking guests: a mother, a seven- or eight-year-old boy, and two teenagers.)

Boy: *in broken English* “You will show me snake?”

Me: “If we see a snake I will point it out! I can definitely tell you what type it is and all about it! Keep on the lookout.”

Boy: “No, you show me snake.”

Me: “I… can’t just make one appear. But we do have a good number of snakes in our park! Hopefully, we will see one today.”

Boy: *points* “Snake. You tell snake?”

Me: “Oh, did you find one already? Awesome! Show me where? I can tell you all about it!”

Mother: *expectantly* “No, he wants you to find him a snake out here, right now. We want to see a snake, now.”

Me: “I… can not just make one appear, I am sorry. They are wild animals that live in this park and come and go as they please.”

Mother: *scoffs, then talks to her family in French, who also all scoff* “This is not a good program for teenagers!”

Me: “Okay? It is geared towards younger kids mostly, though all ages find it enjoyable, I have found. I had an elderly couple having a ball with me yesterday! You might have more fun if you participate in searching?”

(They continued to talk to each other angrily in French and shoot dirty looks my way as I continued on with the rest of my program for the others. Next time I turned to them, they were gone. 10 minutes later we spotted not one, but three snakes!)


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Taking A Hardline On The Hardback

, , , , | Right | October 23, 2015

(A lady approaches the counter with several items.)

Me: “How are you today?”

Customer: “Doing fine, thanks”

Me: “So you found everything okay?”

(Ignoring my question, she looks at who appears to be her mother and says:)

Customer: “I am not buying that blanket. If you want it you can buy it.”

Customer’s Mom: “Okay. That’s fine, I guess.”

(As I finish ringing up everything else, I get to the books and notice they are hardbacks which are $3, so I ring them up accordingly.)

Customer: *noticing the price of the books* “Wait, the sign says children’s books are 50 cents.”

Me: “Oh, I am sorry; let me fix that for you.”

(I pull the books back out and double-check what kind of books they are.)

Me: “Ma’am, unfortunately, these are not children’s books. They are hardbacks and are $3.”

Customer: *visibly getting angry* “They were in the children’s section, so they are 50 cents.”

(A line is forming.)

Me: “I can double-check with the manager if you would like, but these books are moved around frequently in that section.”

(I walk over to the manager with the books and tell her the situation.)

Me: “The customer is saying these two ‘adult’ books are for her child and therefore 50 cents.”

Manager: *seeing the mostly nude woman on the front in a seductive outfit* “This is a thrift store. Just because she ‘found’ those books in the children’s section, it doesn’t make them so. If she really fusses about it, say you can give them to her for the paperback price, but certainly, these should not be for a child.”

(I walk back over to the customer.)

Me: “The manager said these are indeed not children’s books.”

(As the customer is about to reach mental breakdown status:)

Me: “But I can give them to you for the paperback price if that would help this one time.”

Customer: “Fine! I can’t believe you act this way.”

(After she leaves, the customer behind her asks what happened and compliment me on handling the situation nicely and I tell her what happened.)

New Customer: *jokingly and laughing* “Yeah! And I found these jeans in the Tt-shirt section. Can I have them for a dollar? …Who gives their child Fifty Shades Of Grey?!”


This story is part of our Thrift Store roundup!

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Won’t Get Her Pie In The Sky

, , , | Right | October 3, 2015

(I work in an Australian department store which has a food hall. An elderly customer approaches our bakery which sells fresh cakes and pies.)

Customer: “Hello, dearie, I’d like a steak and kidney pie.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t sell steak and kidney pies, but we do have a selection of others.”

(I proceed to read the selection to the customer.)

Customer: “I’ll have the beef and mushroom pie, then.”

Me: “Sure thing.”

Customer: “Can you pack it well? I want to take it on the plane.”

Me: “The plane?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m flying back to London today.”

Me: “You want to take a fresh pie with meat products in it on an international flight back to England?”

Customer: “Yes, of course.”

Me: “You can’t take food that isn’t sealed out of the country and into another one.”

Customer: “Of course I can. Just sell me the pie”

(I sold the customer the pie and I still wonder how far she made it before customs stopped her.)

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Not Thankful For The Early Notice

, , | Working | July 23, 2015

(I’m a waiter at a popular sports bar. I was hired on in August and was told that, due to Thanksgiving being a busy day for football games, I had to let them know if I needed that day off in advance. I know that my family is planning a trip to the beach so I go ahead and tell my boss during the initial training day.)

Me: “I’ve already made plans with my family that week so I won’t be able to work.”

Boss: “No problem; thanks for the early notice!”

(Fast-forward to the morning before Thanksgiving Day. I’m at the beach with my family when I get a call from my boss.)

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], I know you requested this week off to be with your family, but I could really use your help here at [Bar]. Is there any way you could come in for an evening shift after you’ve had dinner?”

Me: “I’m sorry, [Boss], but I’m not in town; we’re at the beach until Saturday.”

Boss: “Wait, what?! You didn’t tell me you were going to be out of town!”

Me: “Well, I didn’t think I needed to specify where I was going to be…”

Boss: “You should have told me you wouldn’t be able to get called in; I was counting on you being in town in case I needed coverage!”

Me: “Sir, I told you I wasn’t going to be available at all this week. Why would you count on me if I requested those days off?”

Boss: “Wait… which beach are you at?”

Me: “Virginia Beach… Why?”

Boss: “That’s, what, four hours away?”

Me: *knowing where he’s going with this* “Uh huh…”

Boss: “Well… if you left at three pm you could be here by seven. That way I can have someone to close.”

Me: “Let me get this straight… You want me to leave my family vacation the day of Thanksgiving, drive four hours to work one shift, and drive back after I’ve closed the bar at two am?”

Boss: *sigh* “…I’ll see if I can find someone else.”

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Driving You Crazy, Part 2

, , , | Right | July 3, 2015

(It is the Friday before Memorial Day, and we only have enough cars for people who made reservations in advance. My coworker and I check our reservation sheet regularly and call any same-day reservations to tell them we do not have a car for them and to check back at the end of the day in case of no-shows. We cannot reach one such customer, who comes in only an hour after making her reservation.)

Customer: “My name is [Customer], and I have a reservation for a car now.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but due to the holiday weekend, we are completely out of cars right now. I tried calling you—”

Customer: “How dare you tell me you’re out of cars?! I made a reservation! I demand a car!”

Me: “I understand you made a reservation, which is why I tried to call you as soon as possible to explain the situation. We will have more cars coming in about two hours, and if any come earlier, I will be happy to call you and let you know.”

Customer: “I don’t believe this! Can’t you tell I’m dropping this off at the airport? I need a car now!”

(Her reservation does confirm she is dropping her car off at an airport, but it is a two-day rental and the airport is about an hour away.)

Me: “I see that, ma’am. Unfortunately, that does not change the fact that we do not have a car for you on such short notice. As you can see, there are no cars in our parking lot right now. I’m not trying to keep one from you.”

Customer: “This is unbelievable! I am a [Rewards Club] member! I am guaranteed a car when I reserve it!”

Me: “You are guaranteed a car if you make a reservation at least twenty-four hours in advance. And because you are a member, you are put at the top of our list when more cars come in in the next couple of hours. Otherwise, I would be telling you to come around closing in case of no-shows.”

Customer: “I work for this company! I work at [Other Location]! I know how things work around here!”

(My patience has worn thin at this point. It is my second to last day at this job, my next job is secured, and I know there will be no real consequences if this customer ends up complaining to my manager.)

Me: “Then honestly, you should have known better than to make a same-day reservation at a small location on a holiday weekend.”

(The customer’s jaw drops, but she remains silent.)

Me: “As I said, I would be happy to give you a call as soon as we have a car for you, which will likely be in an hour or two. Is there a number I can better reach you at than [cell phone number on file]?”

Customer: “No… No, that’s a good number… I’ll wait for your call.”

(The customer literally ran out the door, which only barely closed behind her before my coworker burst into a laughing fit at my comment and the customer’s response. We had an unexpected return fifteen minutes later, and I rented that car to the customer less than an hour after her reservation.)


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