Not So Tender About The Chicken

, , , , , | Right | July 11, 2018

(I work in a very popular grocery store bakery department, which is located right next to the deli. I watch this situation unfold with one of my deli coworkers, who’s a good friend of mine. My coworker only has 15 minutes left for his shift and is currently finishing up frying chicken tenders and placing them on racks to cool off and be packaged later. A customer known for being unreasonable and rude approaches the deli. I’m already feeling bad for my coworker.)

Customer: “Excuse me! Hello?!”

(My coworker turns around immediately after placing some hot chicken on the rack.)

Coworker: “Hello, how can I help—”

Customer: *interrupting in a condescending tone* “Yeah, I need five fresh chicken tenders.”

Coworker: “Absolutely. I have fresh ones still very hot right here. Would you like to wait for them to cool off—”

Customer: “No, I’m in a hurry and need them now; just make sure they are fresh.”

(My coworker is looking annoyed, but since he’s off soon, he goes along with it. He shoots me an annoyed grin from across the deli, and I smile back, wishing I had some popcorn. He begins picking up the still-steaming chicken and placing them in the container carefully, when the customer stops him.)

Customer: “Wait! What are you doing?! I said I wanted them fresh!”

(My coworker jumps and almost drops the container as she screams at him for the whole store to hear.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, these are fresh; they’re still very hot as I said.”

Customer: “No, you’re lying to me! I just saw you make those! They’re not fresh at all!”

(My coworker is starting to look angry now.)

Coworker: “Exactly, ma’am. I just pulled them from the fryer, because I was frying them, since this is fried chicken. So, you witnessed me completing the last step in preparing this chicken, making these the freshest chicken tenders you’re going to get.”

Customer: “No, that is unacceptable. I want to see you make those tenders from scratch. You’re probably lying to me and those tenders have been sitting there for hours. I asked for fresh, and that isn’t fresh!”

(My coworker stares at her in the most blank, unreadable stare as she unloads on him. I feel like I should hide behind my counter because I get a feeling he’s going to blow up on her. Instead, he lets a few seconds go by, and then catches me off guard by displaying the most enthusiastic smile.)

Coworker: “Absolutely, ma’am. Let me go in the back and grab a live chicken to kill for you.”

Customer: “Mhm, you do that.”

(He ends up just taking off his apron and clocking out, leaving the customer standing there, waiting. I go on my break so she won’t go after me next. The manager doesn’t even reprimand him, since the customer is stupid enough to explain exactly how it happened with her complaint.)

Manager: “Ma’am, this is a family store; we’re not going to slaughter a f****** chicken in front of our customers, even if we did have live animals. I’m disturbed you believed him.”

Doesn’t Put It Deli-cately

, , , , | Right | June 27, 2018

(I work in the deli of a big grocery store. It is around eight pm; our department closes at nine and, since we are a slow store, we usually have two of our three slicers cleaned and non-operational by 7:30. Our deli also doubles as a sandwich shop. I am on the deli counter helping a regular who is ordering an abnormally large number of products; meanwhile, an older lady comes up to be served at the deli. After about a minute, the lady approaches me while I’m helping the gentleman in front of her. Keep in mind that my coworker is helping a line of about three people at the sandwich shop while this occurs.)

Customer: “Is there anybody else working here that can help me?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but it’s just me and [Coworker] tonight; I will be with you as soon as I’m done helping this gentleman!”

(About five minutes pass and I finish helping the customer in front of her; it is now her turn in line.)

Me: “How are you today, ma’am? I apologize for your wait. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “Okay… Are you ready?”

Me: “Uh? Ready for what?”


Me: “Ma’am, I apologize, but we are down to one slicer; even if [Coworker] came over to help you, still—” *customer interrupts loudly*

Customer: “I don’t f****** care! You should have done something about it, knowing that that man had such a large order!”

Me: “I actually didn’t know he had such a large order, ma’am. Since we don’t take numbers here I—”

(The customer interrupts me again and continues her tirade; she asks for a manager, so I have my coworker page him over. My coworker has finished with her line and walks over to me to see what is going on.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, what seems to be the problem today?”

Me: “I stood here for twenty f****** minutes while you helped those people who came up behind me! You should have come over here and helped me first!”

Coworker: “I understand, ma’am; however, even if I had came over here, I would’ve had to wait for [My Name] to finish with his customer to use the slicer. Your wait would’ve been just as long, and then the customers at the sandwich shop would’ve been left there with nobody helping.”

Customer: “I don’t care about them! You saw me standing here for twenty minutes!”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t believe it was quite twenty minutes; the gentleman before you came up at 7:55 and it is now 8:04.”

Customer: “Oh! So, now you think you’re going to tell me how long I waited? Oh, perfect!” *right at this time the store manager walks up to address the super-patient lady*

Customer: *directed at manager* “Oh, my! My long-lost friend!”

Manager: “What seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “I waited here for twenty minutes while [My Name] and [Coworker] did nothing about it! I fully expect you to take disciplinary action against those two lazy people! They both deserve to be fired!

Manager: “Absolutely, ma’am. I’ll take care of it right now.”

Customer: “Good!”

(Our manager starts yelling at us in front of the customer. I am appalled because normally he would have us go to the office to talk about it. The customer gives me a smug look and walks away. Once she is out of sight my manager stopped yelling.)

Manager: “So, guys… what did that crazy b**** want this time?”

(Apparently this pleasant human being is a repeat offender.)

Me: “I’m not sure; she actually didn’t even order anything from the deli…”

Only Half-Listening To Half-Off

, , , | Right | June 27, 2018

(We cook rotisserie chickens all day. To try to keep from throwing away too many, if chickens have been out of the oven and on warmers for three hours, we mark them down to half-price. This particular customer is a semi-regular and is always looking for half-off chickens. She has on multiple occasions mentioned the three-hour limit, so she’s well aware of how the discount works. We’ve completely sold out of our older batch of chickens, so all that’s left are the chickens I’ve pulled fresh out of the oven. I see her walking up to the counter.)

Me: “Good afternoon! Sorry, I know you like the half-off chickens, but all we have right now are ones fresh out of the oven.”

Customer: “I’ll wait!”

Me: “Well, I just pulled them out of the oven a minute ago, so it would be quite a wait.”

Customer: “I’ll take from what you have in front of you.”

Me: “You’d like a fresh one? Sure!”

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

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’ve sold out of the older batch; all we have are these ones I’ve just pulled out of the oven, no marked-down ones.”

Customer: “Oh, then just give me the cheapest, freshest ones you have!”

Me: “Sure thing!”

(I proceed to give her exactly what she requested: our smaller-sized, cheaper chickens, since all of them were pulled out of the oven at the same time. She walks away thanking me. About five minutes later, she comes back.)

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

Me: *stunned for a moment, wondering how there could have possibly been any misunderstanding, but quickly gathering myself* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but as I explained, we had, and still have, no chickens that have been out long enough to be marked down.”

Customer: “Then I’m putting the ones you gave me back!”

(She did exactly that and walked off. I really don’t know if she was just hearing what she wanted to hear or hoping her persistence would have me eventually mark down a chicken way too early, but I’m still contemplating how I could have possibly been any clearer.)

Ask Them To Tenderly Clarify

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2018

(At our hot case, over half of our food available is various types of chicken; we have tenders, popcorn style, hot wings, boneless buffalo, and more. That being said, this exact conversation happens way more often than I’d like to count.)

Me: “Hey there. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “I’ll have some chicken.”

Me: *screaming internally*

What Do They Think “Collection” Means?

, , , , | Right | May 31, 2018

(The establishment I work for is similar to a small-scale grocery store and garden center combined. We offer delivery services to local businesses. The store stops deliveries after two pm. The following exchange happens after six pm.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’d like two pounds of ham and a pound of cheese for delivery, please.”

Me: “I’m sorry; we stop deliveries after two pm. I have no staff able to bring it to you right now.”

Customer: “NO, NO! I want to pick it up myself! That’s why I said I wanted it for delivery! God, can’t you listen?!”

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