How We Wish We Could Respond To 99% Of Customers

, , , , , | | Right | May 30, 2019

(I work alone at a gas station with two cash registers in different parts of the station. Depending on what needs to be done and in what part of the station, I naturally open the register closest to where I am. This is fine with 99% of my customers, but today I met entitled Mr. 1%. Mr. 1% walks up to the closed register, although he clearly saw me at the other one. I cheerfully call out to him that there is an open register by me. Mr. 1%, stubborn as can be, keeps waiting at the closed register. I wonder if he heard me but I decide to just wait for him to “get it,” watching me check out customer after customer. Eventually, Mr. 1% walks over to me, grumpy as can be.)

Mr. 1%: “Why don’t you run to your customers? Customers shouldn’t have to go to you!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I was sure you heard me say that this register is open. I apologize.”

Mr. 1%: “Everyone else comes to where I am; why won’t you?”

(And that’s when it clicks for me what he is trying to achieve. This isn’t a simple misunderstanding; this is an a**hat who gets kicks out of making people working in retail do his bidding. I have worked in retail all my life, I’ve had to follow the “customer is always right” rules before, and I know his type. Well, sucks to be Mr. 1% today; I don’t follow anyone else’s rules anymore, which means his power play is doomed to fail. As it happens, he walked into MY station. That’s right; I write the rules today, Mr. 1%. You have no power here because I own this place.)

Me: “Everyone else shouldn’t have to run to you. Do you typically stand by closed registers complaining about not being served? Sounds stupid to me.”

(Mr. 1% becomes red and goes surprisingly quiet. I am a little surprised; based on his attitude, I was expecting a full-blown tantrum.)

Mr. 1%:  “I… I was just wondering…”

Me: “I’m logged in on this register; the other one is closed. Pick whichever you prefer. It’s all up to how fast you want to get out of here.”

(And that ended the conversation. I get great personal pleasure out of talking back to bad customers. I know he probably pulls this crap with retail workers everywhere who are bound by the all-powerful “the customer is always right” rule. Also, a lifetime in customer service has kind of transformed me into a b****. Anyway, I wanted to share the story in case someone gets pleasure out of knowing one jerk learned a lesson today. May your customers be sane and have a nice day!)

Jehovah’s Witless, Part 16

, , , , | | Friendly | May 15, 2019

(One day, while walking with my kid in a pram, two rather conservatively-dressed people intercept me. I immediately identify them as Jehovah’s Witnesses, as they carry a bunch of JW-published magazines each.)

Jehovah’s Witness #1: “Hello, do you have a moment to talk?”

Me: “Yes, but why don’t I save your time and mine?”

Jehovah’s Witness #2: “How so?”

Me: “See this pin?” *points at my rainbow flag pin, which I nearly always wear* “Usually, your people aren’t really interested in my people, right?”

Jehovah’s Witness #1: “What?”

Me: “I’m gay. Not about to change, not interested.”

Jehovah’s Witness #2: *goes pale and takes a step back*

Jehovah’s Witness #1: “Oh… Um…”

Me: *walks on, uninterrupted*

Jehovah’s Witless, Part 15
Jehovah’s Witless, Part 14
Jehovah’s Witless, Part 13

For Her Nothing Else Matters

, , , , | | Learning | May 14, 2019

I worked in an English language preschool as a teacher’s assistant.

There was a five-year-old little girl with blonde hair, who always had pink clothes on, and she was a little shy and very polite.

One day, in our after-school club, one of the teachers put a CD on and a song by Metallica started playing. The little girl calmly walked into the middle of the room and started head-banging. Not only were the staff laughing out loud, the other kids were also amazed.

She was doing what she had seen her older brother do, her mom later explained.

A Tantrum Of Rewards

, , , | | Related | May 1, 2019

(I work as a cashier in a supermarket. Sometimes we get parents who come to the register to pay for the groceries and hand cashiers some empty wrapping papers, juice boxes, etc. because their kids have consumed the items in question during their shopping. Technically, it’s not all right to do this, since the groceries should obviously be paid before consuming them, but I guess in the name of good customer service we usually don’t do much about it. A lady approaches my register with her toddler. She hands me an empty juice box, empty croissant paper from our deli, and a wrapping paper of an ice cream.)

Mother: “Could you please scan these items, too? Sorry, I had to give these to him to eat because he was misbehaving so much!”

Me: *thinking* “So, you decided to reward him because of that?”

(I mean, seriously… I have seen this happen quite often: “Oh, my child was screaming and throwing a tantrum in the supermarket, so I, like, had NO CHOICE but to give him an ice cream so he would keep quiet during the shopping.” If I threw a tantrum in a supermarket when I was a child, my parents CARRIED me out of the store and wouldn’t take me back in before I calmed down. And if I didn’t, they usually took me to our car to wait with either of my parents while the other one did the shopping without us two. I DEFINITELY did not get any snacks as a reward for my tantrum.)

Unisex Perplex

, , , | Right | April 26, 2019

(I work in a supermarket in Finland that also sells some clothes. Our children’s clothing section is not divided by gender, only organised by age, brand, use, and colour, mostly in that order. I’m stocking the section for toddlers when an angry-looking woman approaches me holding a onesie meant for babies. She doesn’t speak Finnish very well, and it is not considered polite to speak English if the other person tries to speak Finnish, so I have trouble understanding her. That would not be a problem, but the customer is also clearly annoyed, and her tone is short and somewhat rude from the beginning.)

Customer: “YOU!”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Customer: *snappily* “THIS!” *waves the onesie in front of me* “This cloth… Who fits it?”

Me: “Do you mean what age is it meant for? Let me see.” *takes the onesie and reads the label* “It says here that it is 68 cm, which usually means that it for children who are between about four and six months. But children are all different, so if you are not sure, it is always better to buy a bit too large than too small since babies grow so fast.”

Customer: “NO! NO! WHO! Who it fits?!”

Me: *thinking she might not have understood me* “Usually children between four and six months, madam.”

Customer: “NO!” *snatches the clothing back from my hands and proceeds to wave it in front of me again* “WHO IT FITS?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.”

Customer: *in English* “BOY OR GIRL?”

Me: *also changing languages* “Oh, I’m sorry, madam. I did not understand. The cuts on baby clothing generally fit all the babies, regardless of sex. The size is the only thing that matters in how the clothing fits.”

Customer: “NO! BOY OR GIRL?!”

Me: “Both? You can decide yourself, madam. They are unisex.”

(This was clearly the wrong thing to say. The customer sort of screeched and shouted, “NO UNISEX,” threw the onesie into my stocking cart, and stomped away. What was the sexless, offending onesie like? It was light beige with little yellow ducklings. I still have no idea for which sex baby ducks are reserved.)

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