This Arcade Sucks

, , , , | Working | February 9, 2019

(I am the manager at an arcade and it is currently our slow season, so we get a lot of groups of people with special needs during this time. All of the groups are awesome, with the exception of this one particular group. I’m in the office when I hear the backroom door open and shut but no one comes on camera. I hear the counselor talking with one of the people with special needs. By the time I go to the door, they are gone. A couple minutes later, my coworker calls me from the snack bar.)

Coworker: “Uh, did you tell one of them they could vacuum?”

Me: “Um, no… Why?”

Coworker: “One of them has the vacuum and is vacuuming.”

Me: “What? Why? Okay, I’m on my way down.”

(I can see the person on camera vacuuming the floor, with the counselor watching him and doing nothing about it. I go down there, and the counselor goes and “fake hides” by the counter, thinking everything is funny.)

Me: *unplugs the vacuum* “Hey, you can’t go in the back room and just take stuff and start using it. Let me have that.” *storms off to the back*

(I run into my coworker.)

Me: “That counselor needs a counselor!”

Plenty Of Free Samples Of Bad Customers

, , , , | Right | December 19, 2018

(I work in one of those wholesale clubs that give out free samples to customers while they shop. Our standard hours for samples are from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm and anybody who shops here knows this. This customer is a regular, and we all dread seeing him. Today he rolls up in his little, motorized shopping cart as I am cleaning up my cart at 4:50. We should all be gone by 5:00.)

Customer: “What’s this? It’s dinner time; where are you going?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, we’re done for the day.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just not fair. Don’t you have any more samples in your cart?”

Me: “Nope, sorry, sir.”

Customer: “That’s just bad business. You guys are here to serve food while we shop; why would you leave at dinner time?”

(He is still going on about how we should be working until 8:00 when everybody would be done eating, and I am silently losing my cool. But I sigh and explain to him the well-known company policy that we only work weekends during the day so parents can bring their children shopping with them.)

Customer: “But what about us that work during the day?”

Me: “We work during the day, too. Many people come in to shop during their lunch break and snack around the store.”

Customer: “Well, my work is too important for me to just leave.”

(Might I mention, this is the same customer who boasts about being retired and spending his days playing golf and living off his military pension. After him yelling at me some more, he said he was going to write to the company saying that we should work until after “dinner time” so he could get his samples after the country club closes. He was regaling my coworker a few aisles away about this as I pushed my cart to the warehouse section, and she was doing all she could to be polite until he was done. In our office, she told me that I could have at least warned her.)

Wish You Could Be (S)Miles Away

, , , , | Right | December 19, 2018

(I get paged to speak to a customer who has a complaint about his service with another employee. When I get there, the customer is red-faced, furious, and barely keeping his voice down as he complains to the employee who contacted me. As soon as I introduce myself, he lays into me, shaking his shopping bag in my face the whole time.)

Customer: “I was over in menswear, buying a belt. And the girl at the checkout was so horrible. She wasn’t smiling! So, I said she should smile. And she didn’t smile. So, I told her to smile. And she wouldn’t smile. And I said I wasn’t leaving until she gave me a smile. And the next customer in line got angry. So, I left. But she didn’t smile the whole time.”

Me: “Was everything rung in correctly? Was she professional?”

Customer: “Yes, but she didn’t smile for me! A girl can’t be friendly if she doesn’t smile!”

Me: “Sir, as far as I can tell, my employee didn’t do anything wrong. She is not required to smile on command.”

Customer: “You have to smile if someone tells you to smile!”

Me: “Would you smile right now if I asked you to?”

Customer: “No! But I don’t feel like smiling; I’m angry.”

Me: “And she has her reasons, too, I’m sure.”

(He stormed out of the store, and I heard he later contacted corporate complaining about both me and my employee. The funny thing is, that employee was on her first day back from having all four wisdom teeth removed. Between pain and swelling, I doubt she could have smiled if she wanted to, but I wasn’t about to tell the customer that. Her medical issues were none of the customer’s business, and customers don’t own my employees’ faces.)

Kindness Doesn’t Take Half-Days

, , , , , , | Hopeless | November 3, 2018

When I was seven, my family moved to a new house, which was the first house of a new development. By the time school started, a few other families had moved into other houses, but we hadn’t gotten the chance to meet them yet.

One day our school had a half-day, and we were all sent home early. The school bus dropped me off and I happily skipped home, ready to enjoy my extra time off. When I reached my house, I suddenly realized no one was home to greet me. I was always losing things, so my parents never gave me a key. I was scared and cold, and had no way of getting inside, so I did the only thing I could think of: I hid behind a bush in the garden and cried.

I don’t know how long I was there, but it was long enough that I couldn’t cry anymore and my hands were numb. That’s when a strange man approached me. He started asking me questions. “What’s your name?” “Where are your parents?” “Do you need help?” I didn’t answer any of his questions; I just kept shaking my head no, since I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers. He walked away, and I started to cry again. I was even more scared because I thought someone was going to take me.

A while later the man came back, and I was scared stiff. I thought for sure he was going to take me away. Instead, he silently and slowly handed me a cell phone; cells weren’t too common back then. When I answered the phone, I heard my dad’s voice on the other side. We exchanged our “secret passcode,” and he told me the man was our neighbor. He was a good person, and was going to take me to a demo house where I could wait until my dad could get me.

Once I hung up and handed the phone back, my neighbor smiled at me and took me over to his house. We spent a few minutes there as he warmed me up with a blanket, some hot chocolate, and a few cookies. Once I was warm and happy, he took me to the demo house where a woman greeted me. She sat with me for an hour and taught me how to use a Rubik’s cube until my dad finally came and picked me up.

Years later, I found out everything that happened. The school had never informed the parents that there was a half-day, and they were sued for neglect. My neighbor, who was on his way to work, happened to notice my little pink coat poking out from behind the bush. When he talked to me and I denied his help, he was planning on letting it go and leaving for work, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave me. He called up the Homeowner’s Association and let them know what was going on, and they’re the ones who called my dad. My dad told them I’d never leave to answer the phone, so the neighbor drove over, picked up the cell phone, and brought it to me to answer. He ended up being an hour late to work that day. The nice lady who stayed with me kept the house open two hours later than she was supposed to so she could be sure I was safe and warm while I waited for my parents.

Those people are still a part of my life to this day, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have such wonderful and kind people as my neighbors. I honestly don’t know what would have happened that day without them.

Has No Reservations At Arriving With No Reservations

, , , , | Right | November 3, 2018

(I am a store manager, and my store hosts “girls’ night out” type events. Basically people contact us and schedule them ahead of time, as an easy get-together. It’s a party-like atmosphere, there’s refreshments and a private lounge, we work one-on-one with each woman attending, and we offer a discount on anything purchased. I get an email from a woman looking to host an event for her women’s group. She asks what dates are open, and I respond back that we schedule at least three weeks in advance — so as to have staffing — and spots are open on Tuesday afternoons, Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons, and Sunday evenings after close. I send her an attachment with the contract, as well, and tell her the contract and payment is needed to hold the room. I say that the earlier she lets me know the dates, the better. She responds back saying she will discuss which dates are best at her next women’s group meeting. She doesn’t get back to me. The next Sunday, I close, and I am home making a late dinner when my phone rings. It’s the manager of the restaurant next door, who has my personal number, saying there is an angry woman in the restaurant demanding to speak to me. She puts her on the phone.)

Woman: “We are supposed to have a party tonight, and there’s no one at the store!”

Me: “I didn’t have a party scheduled for tonight.”

Woman: “Well, you did. Come out and open the doors!”

Me: “I’m not at the store anymore.”

Woman: “I have people here who drove three hours to go to this! What do you mean, you aren’t here?!”

Me: “There must be a misunderstanding, because there was not supposed to be a party tonight.”

Woman: “Well, come back and open up, or I’ll sue!”

Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I don’t have the supplies or the staff to host anything.”

Woman: “Where do you live?! I’m going to pull you out of your g**d*** house and make you open the g**d*** door! This is so embarrassing! I’m going to have my husband kick your a**—”

(At this point, my friend from the restaurant evidently got the phone away from her. The woman demanded my personal address and phone number and was so loud that security removed her from the restaurant. Monday morning, my voice mailbox at work was full of calls from this woman, and I found out she had posted on the national page for her women’s group, demanding a nationwide boycott of our store, and calling for my termination. Her version of events had me scheduling the party, being in the store and refusing to let them in, laughing at them from in the store, and refusing to refund them. All of this was false, and in fact they had never paid nor scheduled the party. I quickly contacted our legal department and public relations, sending them the emails showing that the woman never got back with a contract or verified the date she wanted — and that she would have had to schedule at least a month out, anyway, so the date she showed up was impossible. Meanwhile, I started getting daily angry emails and calls from the woman and her friends. Finally, I sent an email laying out the facts to the women’s group’s headquarters directly, apologizing for the drama. I was honestly worried how the bad press was going to affect my career. To my surprise, the women’s group agreed that I had done nothing wrong, sent out the correct facts, and threatened to kick out any members sending me angry calls. They also apologized to the corporate office for the treatment I received. It didn’t affect my career. I still get people who come in and mention the incident, and I usually smile and set them straight.)

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