Wherever The Taxi Went, We Hope It Was Away

, , , , , | Right | November 12, 2019

(I work in a call center for a taxi company as a dispatcher, which means that in addition to taking customer calls, I handle complaints and deal with drivers directly. We often get calls from hotels for guests, and a small motel has just reopened under new management. The phone rings:)

Me: “Good afternoon, [Taxi Company]. May I start with your phone number?”

Customer: “Hi, I own [Motel] and I’m just calling to let you know I’m giving you all my business.”

Me: “Thank you; that’s very kind.”

Customer: “Remember my phone number; it’s very important. I’m very important and I will be calling you all the time. I’m going to be calling all the time for all my customers, so make sure to remember my number. It’s very important and you’ll get lots of good business.”

Me: “Thank you, sir; have a good day.”

(I can already tell this guy is crazy. That afternoon, he calls and one of my coworkers answers, and the guy screams at him for not already knowing who he was before ordering a cab for a guest. I find out later he called again soon afterward and was as happy as can be despite no difference in the calls, confirming my diagnosis of crazy. The next day, he calls again and wants to speak to a supervisor. The call is transferred to me.)

Me: “Hi, dispatch, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m [Customer], owner of [Motel].”

Me: “How can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Last night, I ordered a taxi for [Female Customer].”

(I go through the system and find the order, assuming it’s about a lost phone or something.)

Me: “Yes, sir?”

Customer: “Okay, I want to know exactly where she went. I want to know what route they took, who met her there, any stops on the way, and I want that driver’s name and number so I can call him for details.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not allowed to discuss any of that with you.”

Customer: “I ORDERED THE CAB!”

Me: “Yes, sir, but it’s against the Privacy Act for me to discuss any information like that with anybody other than the actual customer.”

Customer: “THERE IS NO PRIVACY ACT! YOU TELL ME!”

Me: “No, sir, I’m not allowed to.”

Customer: “THERE IS NO PRIVACY ACT! I AM INDIAN! YOU TELL ME!”

Me: “It doesn’t matter what race you are, sir; it’s illegal for me to—”

Customer: “NO, IT ISN’T!”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Customer: “FINE. I WILL NEVER CALL HERE AGAIN! YOU’VE LOST ALL MY BUSINESS! YOU’LL BE OUT OF BUSINESS WITHIN A WEEK!”

Me: “Have a good day, sir.”

(He ordered a few more cabs, but then stopped phoning. We never heard from the lady, so I hope she recognized his crazy and fled. I still don’t know what his race had to do with anything, or what he hoped to accomplish by just insisting the law didn’t exist.)

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Not The Kind Of Behavior That Cuts The Mustard

, , , , | Right | November 11, 2019

(I’m a cashier in a grocery store. I’m very friendly and like to help out in any way that I can, though I’m bad at picking up on “hints” that people try to give without just asking for what they want. We’re often a bit short-staffed, and when people forget an item, the vast majority of the time they’ll run off and grab it themselves while I’m scanning their other things because it’s a lot faster than waiting for a clerk, though some are still worried about holding up the line behind them. A lady in her late 50s comes through my till.)

Me: “Hi there. Did you find everything you needed today?”

Customer: “Hi. Yeah.” *finishes putting her stuff on the belt* “Oh, I forgot mustard.”

Me: *cheerfully* “Well, did you want to grab it still? You’ve got lots of time while I scan this stuff, and it’s just right there!” *gestures to the aisle, which is maybe thirty feet away*

Customer: *a bit coolly* “No, it’s fine.”

(I figure she doesn’t need it that badly and will get it next time. I scan a few more things.)

Me: “So, how are you today?”

Customer: *in a suddenly very chilly voice* “Fine. I’d be a lot better if I had my mustard.”

Me: *responding to her tone* “Oh, er… Are you sure you don’t want to grab it? There’s not a line or anything; you’ve got lots of time!”

Customer: “No.” *glares pointedly at me*

Me: *finally catching on* “Oh, would you like me to call someone to get it for you?”

Customer: *loudly snapping at me* “THAT WOULD BE NICE.”

(Taken aback by her anger, I page a clerk to come over to my till. While we are waiting, I ask:)

Me: “Ah, so, what kind of mustard would you like? Regular, dijon, flavoured? We have dill, bacon, horseradish—”

Customer: *in the same snippy tone* “Just normal mustard.”

Me: “Okay, so just yellow mustard. What size? Just a small one, or large, or something in between?”

Customer: “I don’t know. Just a regular size! It’s just mustard!”

Me: “All right, ma’am, we have quite a few types; I just want to make sure he grabs the one you want.

(A second customer joins the line as the grocery clerk arrives. I relay the message to the clerk and he hurries off to the condiment aisle as I smile at the new customer and tell them it’ll just be an extra minute because he’s grabbing an item. By now, I’ve finished scanning all my current customer’s things and we’re waiting in awkward silence. I can feel the huffiness radiating from her and use the time to take a sip of water instead of looking in her direction. The clerk comes back a moment later with a medium-sized bottle of yellow mustard. I take it from him and am about to thank him when the customer makes a noise of disgust.)

Customer: *to the clerk* “I wanted Dijon mustard!”

(I know full-well she said “normal” mustard when I offered her Dijon as an option, but I hold my tongue and remain polite.)

Me: “Sorry, must’ve misheard you. Do you want the same size as this one?”

Customer: *grunts in what I assume is approval*

(I exchange a glance with the clerk, who sighs slightly, takes the bottle back, and runs off again.)

Customer: *yells loudly after the clerk, startling everyone now in line behind her* “Bring me a large one!”

(I’m trying to hold in my annoyance as she mutters to herself about incompetent workers, hoping my coworker will be fast so I can get this lady out of here. The second customer is eyeing my current one with a raised eyebrow and an unimpressed expression. Thankfully, the clerk returns quickly and hands over the new bottle.)

Me: “Is this the one you’re after?”

Customer: *rudely* “YES, finally.”

(I quickly scan and bag the item as the clerk scurries off, tell her the total, and let her put through her card. She is still being rude and huffy with me when I ask her for a rewards card or if she’d like carry-out service, so I say nothing more than I absolutely have to, still managing to keep my tone polite. Once she’s done with payment:)

Me: “All right, you have a good day.”

Customer: “Well, it would’ve been a terrible day if you hadn’t bothered to get me my mustard!”

(She gives a final sniff of annoyance and stalks off with a great deal of haughtiness. I try not to let the irritation show on my face as I turn to the next customer, who is watching the woman walk away with an incredulous look on their face.)

Next Customer: *rolling their eyes* “…or she could have just gotten it herself and spared everyone the hissy fit.”

(Or instead of being passive-aggressive, she could have just asked. I’d have been more than happy to call someone immediately if she’d just told me in the first place.)

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Ankh-Morpork: City Of Love

, , , , , , | Friendly | October 15, 2019

(I’m waiting for my train, reading a book and giggle-snorting about it. An old lady is sitting on the other end of the bench.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, dear, but what are you reading?”

(I hold up the book so she can see the cover, which says, “TERRY PRATCHETT – FEET OF CLAY,” and has cover art featuring a spooky bat and an angry-looking, red-eyed golem holding a giant cleaver striding out of an inferno toward a dwarf, a swordswoman, and a troll hand-wielding a siege weapon.)

Old Lady: *triumphantly* “Ah! A romance novel!”

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I Have Seen The Light… And It Is Not Good

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(I’m stocking shelves when an elderly female customer approaches. Important to know is that in the store, the ceilings are about twenty feet high.)

Customer: “Can you tell me where the sauerkraut is?”

Me: “Sure, it’s actually in this aisle a few feet ahead.”

(There are only two different kinds of sauerkraut: one on the top shelf and one right below it. The ones on the lower shelf are sold out.)

Customer: “Oh… you don’t have more of this one on the lower shelf in the back?”

Me: “No, sorry, we’ve just received our order and didn’t get it in. There is more of the other kind on the top shelf, though.”

Customer: “Oh, yes, I can see that, but I couldn’t possibly take it. It’s too close to the light.”

Me: “…I’m sorry?”

Customer: “The lights! They’re shining directly on everything on the top shelves, and they make it all too hot to eat. It’s not safe.”

Me: “I, uh, don’t really think that matters too much.”

Customer: “Oh, sure, you say that now. But just you wait; one day you’ll eat warm sauerkraut and die, and whose fault will it be then?”

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Paving With Honesty

, , , , | Right | August 12, 2019

(A customer in her late 30s or early 40s walks up to the customer service desk and waits in a line of about ten irate customers. I am the only person at the counter. After I am yelled at by all these customers, the lady finally gets her turn.)

Me: “Good afternoon, what can I do for you today?”

Customer: “Hello, sir! I came in yesterday and went through your garden center. I bought a bunch of plants and some plastic sidewalk pavers. However, the cashier forgot to charge me for them. I came back today to pay for one and return the other that I do not need. Is that all right?”

Me: *speechless* “Umm, yeah, sure!”

(She goes to the garden center and brings me back a large, about $50 plastic paver, and pays for it. She then hands me a smaller plastic paver and leaves both on my desk.)

Me: *stunned* “Thank you for your honesty. Have the best possible day!”

Coworker: “Oh, my God! You are the awesomest person I have ever met!”

(My manager stopped her on her way out and gave her a gift card for her honesty! It made my day, week, month, and year so much better and renewed my faith in customers!)

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