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They’re The Only Ones Entitled To The Holiday Season

, , , | Right | December 20, 2021

It is Saturday night, 7:00 pm, mid-December. It is a widely-known fact that companies have their office Christmas parties around town starting from October.

The restaurant is still fairly quiet; one small group is in the dining area, there are a couple of people at the bar, and there’s a group of around forty in a private room.

A family of three comes in. They order starters, mains, desserts, and drinks, and everything is going smoothly. About twenty people come in from the private room to the bar and dining area to enjoy the evening as a live duo is about to start performing. The duo is a calm blues/swing with a piano and vocals.

The mother of the family waves to me.

Mother: “We have been waiting for forty-five minutes for our main courses. What’s taking so long?! This place is terribly noisy and we want to leave!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’ll ask the kitchen to expedite your order. We did have a private group in the other area and now some of them have come over to listen to the live music.”

I haven’t checked the time, nor do I have a clear idea on how long they have been waiting, but the starters have just been finished, so…

Mother: “You should have warned us about the number of people in here. We just wanted to have a nice, calm meal with our family, and it’s so noisy with all the people talking and music blaring!”

Me: *Pauses* “My apologies, I didn’t think to mention that our restaurant has customers. There is really nothing I can do about them chattering.”

Father: “We don’t care! You should have told us that there was a private party going on and that they were coming in here after!”

Me: “Yes… So, I’ll ask the kitchen to hurry up, then.”

Mother: “Bring the check while you’re at it!”

Absolutely I will, just to get rid of you idiots.

I went to the kitchen and checked the order. It had been printed thirty-one minutes before. So, okay, they might have waited five minutes with the empty starter plates, but forty-five?

The orders came up quickly, and with the biggest customer service smile, I took them over and wished them bon appetit. I got grumpy huffs as a reply.

A couple of minutes later, and not surprisingly, the dishes were not spicy enough, the burger was missing an onion (not part of the dish or description), the steak was too thick (?!), etc. Luckily, they paid without further incident and left.

It was the middle of the hottest Christmas party season and Saturday night in a restaurant. Would it be too much to assume that customers would expect someone else to be present at a restaurant, as well? It’s a public space; everyone is welcomed. If you want peace and quiet, eat at home or come in on Monday evening.

She Has A Bone To Pick With Evolution

, , , | Right | December 7, 2021

I’m working on a customer service counter at a high-end hypermarket that serves all fresh products like fish, meat, cheese, cold cuts, and so on.

Customer: “Are there any bones in this fish?”

She points to a whole fish.

Me: “Yes, madam, there are; it is a whole fish. But I can filet it for you if you would like; then, you would only have filets of the fish.”

Customer: “But like, are there any bones in this?”

Me: “Yes, madam. It is a whole fish.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “…”

Customer: “But I want a fish with no bones.”

Me: “Well, that is impossible, madam. I can still make any kind of filet for you to take out the bones.”

Customer: “I just want a whole fish without bones.”

Me: “…”

Annoying Times Call For Annoying Measures

, , , , , | Working | November 24, 2021

A couple of years ago, I received an email from the UK branch of an American travel agency, informing [Stranger] that her new account with them had been created successfully. I had received similar emails in the past, always addressed to [Stranger], and the last name was always different, so I suspect a bot was creating accounts in online services that don’t verify email addresses before activating accounts.

I sent [Travel Agency] an email informing them of the fact that I had not created the account and saying I would like them to remove my email address from their systems. No response, and I kept getting emails from them addressed to [Stranger], so I decided to call them.

After talking to a guy who promised to take care of the issue, nothing changed until, one day, I received a confirmation of a flight booking from, let’s say, Manchester to Amsterdam early in the morning on [date]. At least they had had the common sense to not include the entire credit card number used for the booking in the email, no doubt as a result of earlier blunder(s) featuring stolen credit card number(s) and irate customer(s).

That’s when I decided I’d had enough. I went to the site and used the “recover password” function to gain access to the account and deleted the account, after which I blocked the agency’s domain name from my email. The deletion of the account shouldn’t have affected the booking, and even if it did, it’s not my fault they didn’t take action when they had the chance, is it?

Besides, since my email address does not contain the name [Stranger] — or anything even close to it — there is no way that half a dozen [Stranger]s from the UK, all with different last names, have all accidentally entered my email in account registration forms instead of their own, so I doubt than any real [Stanger]s were harmed in the process.

I hope the aftermath caused them at least as bad a headache as their incompetence caused me.

They’re Pretty Green At This

, , | Right | November 11, 2021

A customer comes in looking to print some holiday pictures and asks about picture frames, as well. I show her some of the frames we stock, all fitted with professional photographs for showcase purposes. She suddenly gets uneasy, closely inspecting some of the photographs and looking back and forth between me and them.

Customer: “Would my photos have the green stuff on them, as well?”

I’m completely confused, and for a moment, I fear I’ve missed a printing error.

Me: “I’m sorry? Green stuff?”

Customer: *Gesturing at the model photograph* “The stuff! The green stuff! I really don’t want that in my pictures!”

Me: *Dawning realization* “Do you mean the green leaves in the photo? That the photographer included in their shot?”

Customer: “I don’t want those on my pictures!”

Me: “I promise you we will not add any green stuff to your pictures.”

Just Sweep This One Under The Rug

, , , | Working | October 14, 2021

I spot a woolen rug on a website that I want for my first own apartment. Its starting price is quite good, but it is even on sale for 99€ , and I check that they have the same rug in their store near me for the same price. I quickly go with my mom to get it, since it’s quite big. We search all the carpets and finally find one. The tag reads twice the price stated online, and in the store, there is no sign of sale anywhere — according to the web store, most rugs, including this one, are 50% off — so I flag down an employee to be sure of the price.

Employee: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to buy this carpet. What is the price?”

Employee: *Looks at the price tag* “It’s 199€.”

Me: “Funny, I looked online before coming here, and it should be much less.”

Employee: “The price is what reads on the tag.”

Me: “Could you check the price? I’m sure it isn’t right, as there is a sale on the rugs.”

Employee: “No, we don’t have any sale on the rugs. The price is 199€.”

Me: “I’m sure your store website read 99€.”

Employee: “This is quite a big woolen rug; I’m sure it wouldn’t go that cheap.”

Me: “Could. You. Go. Check. It. For. Me.”

The employee huffs and leaves.

My mom is quite shocked because normally, I’m so shy that I would never do that. On several occasions, when she demanded customer service like me here, I slunk away under displays or left the store altogether because I hated drawing attention. I kind of surprised even myself.

The employee comes back.

Employee: “Yes, it is 99€.”

I did a little victory dance in my head and I think my mom did the same. While ringing us up, the employee looked like he’d eaten a sour lemon. All the other carpets were on sale, too, and I was left to wonder if they marked them down.