Listen To The Lady’s Directions

| Grand Canyon, AZ, USA | Geography, Tourists/Travel

(I’m the assistant manager of a deli at the Grand Canyon that, because of the landmark’s worldwide popularity, receives a lot of foreigners, especially Europeans. Consequently, they don’t know the country layout that well and ask any “official” looking employee about it. I am finishing ringing a foreign guest up on the till.)

Me: “And that’ll be [total]; is there anything else I can do for you today?”

Customer: “Yes, I was wondering if you could tell me when we would see the ‘Liberty Lady?’” *he raises his fist like he’s holding a torch* “We’ve been driving since Florida and haven’t seen her yet.”

Me: “Sir, I think you’re going to have to go back the direction where you came from, and then North from there to see her.”

Customer: “You mean, she isn’t here?”

Me: “No, she is not. She is located in New York, which is about 2,500 miles to the North and East of where we are.”

Customer: *turns to wife* “I told you we should have stayed by the water!”


Draining Training

| WI, USA | Crazy Requests

(We’re in the middle of a busy spurt of the day in the deli of a grocery store. At this time, there are only two deli clerks: a boy, who is still training, and me. The trainee lands himself a customer known to have an attitude problem and wants him to open a new ham and block of cheese to slice. I am helping other customers as they come.)

Me: “Who was next?”

Bad Customer: “This is taking forever! I’ll have some potato salad!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we’re not supposed to double up on a guest; I need to help other customers first.”

(I return to helping others after apologizing and offering her a free sample of our dessert, as the trainee emerges from the cooler with the items in tow. He begins to slice her two pounds after she repeatedly reminds him to lay the ham flat. Two minutes then pass.)

Bad Customer: “He’s taking such a long time! How hard is it to slice some d*** cheese and ham?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but he’s still in training, and it probably took him a minute to find them.”

Bad Customer: “I’m in a hurry! I want an experienced worker!”

(I’m barely out of training myself, but I inform the trainee that I was going to take over and for him to take care of other customers. He thanks me and rushes off. I begin to slice her ham and cheese, after she informs me twice that she wants them flat.)

Me: “Here you go, ma’am. Was there anything else tonight?”

Bad Customer: “No, thank you. But you should inform your manager that trainees shouldn’t be out here where customers are busy and want to go home. I only want experienced workers helping me!”

(I’m still not sure how you can be experienced if you’re not trained.)


Just Another Slice Of Retail

| Wareham, MA, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(A customer approaches the counter with her approximately three-year-old son.)

Customer: “Can I please have two pounds of bologna?”

Coworker: “Sure, German or all beef style?”

Customer: “Oh, uh… I think my son here likes the beef.”

Coworker: “I can gladly give him a slice to try so you can be sure it’s the one he wants.”

Customer: “No, the beef is fine. Two pounds, please.”

(My coworker slices the two pounds of bologna and hands it to the customer. The customer opens the bag and hands a slice to her son. He takes a small bite before making a disapproving face and handing his mother the slice back.)

Customer: “Oh, I guess it’s the German he wants. Here, take the beef back and I’ll have two pounds of German style.”


Too Chicken To Pay Full Price

| Wareham, MA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

(I’m pulling chickens out of our oven. It’s a busy day, so we’re all sold out of our older batch. A regular comes in and I recognize her as the woman who always comes in and asks for, as she calls them, “three hour limit chickens,” as in after they’ve been out of the oven for three hours, since they get marked down to half-price.)

Me: “Good evening, ma’am! I’m sorry, I know you like your half-off chickens, but it’s been a busy day so we are all sold out of the older batch.”

Customer: “I’ll wait.”

Me: “Unfortunately, all we have right now are these chickens I’m pulling out of the oven right now, so it would be quite a wait.”

Customer: “Oh, then give me whatever you have.”

Me: “You’d like a fresh one? Sure thing!”

Customer: “No, I want a half-off one!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, there are no half-off chickens left. All we have are the fresh.”

Customer: “Then give me the cheapest, freshest ones you got.”

(I show her what I have and she picks the ones she wants. About five minutes later, she comes back.)

Customer: “I think we misunderstood each other; I wanted half-off chickens!”

Me: *stunned for a moment* “Uh… Ma’am, I apologize, but as I explained we don’t have any chickens left that have been out of the oven long enough to get marked down, only the fresh ones that aren’t ready to be marked down.”

Customer: “Then I’m putting them back!”

(She put them all on the warmer and walked away.)


Enough To Make You Want To Hit The Bottle

| Concord, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Popular

(I work as a lobby specialist, which is just a nice way of saying I’m a table busser. There’s a woman, about 50-60, with her husband and a few of her kids who are all approximately in their late teens or early 20s. She’s been a hassle all day, yelling and saying rather cruel things to her family, before I can get to her table. At this point, they’re just about done eating and I can see a few plates that need to be taken away. I walk over and pick them up, when I hear one of her kids talking next to me to their mom.)

Kid #1: “Mom, no, that’s not ours!”

Mom: “What does that mean? I bought it!”

Kid #2: “No, yours is in the bag; that belongs to the restaurant!”

Mom: “No! This is mine! I bought it!”

(The object in question is one of the restaurant’s mild BBQ sauce bottles that is on every table in sight. We have a wall of shelves covered in glass bottles of different BBQ sauces that sell for fairly cheap and look vastly different from the plastic squeeze bottles on the table that’s currently heading on this woman’s purse. I had to cut in.)

Me: “Ma’am, that’s the store’s. Please don’t take that.”

Mom: “No, no, I bought this! You’re wrong!”

Me: “Ma’am, we sell glass bottles, not the plastic ones. Those are on every table in here. Please put it back.”

Mom: “Well, then, what the h*** did I buy?!”

Kid #2: “The one already in the bag, Mom.”

Mom: “Well… can I have this one anyway? It’s nicer.”

Me: “Ma’am, no. Please don’t steal our bottles. They belong to the store. Please put it back.”

Mom: “Well, I bought a bottle of this stuff and I want this one!”

Me: “Those are not for sale, ma’am. Now please, give it back.”

Mom: “Where’s your manager? I want this one!”

(The manager, who saw all this, spent another ten minutes trying to stop the woman from stealing our bottle and ended up giving her another bottle, which we saw her oldest kid quietly put back on the shelf.)

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