Driving In The Car Fool Lane

, , | Right | December 7, 2018

(I work in the service department of a car dealership. Despite the fact that I’m a girl and in my mid-20s, I know a lot about cars. A grumpy old guy in his 70s comes in.)

Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

Customer: “The car told me to get my brakes fixed.” *refers to automated message in the car*

Me: “Sure. Let’s make an appointment, then.”

Customer: “No. You have to do it now!

Me: “Sorry, sir, but that’s not possible. We are fully booked for the next couple of days. However, if you could leave the car here, I could get someone to drive you home, and we could possibly manage to get it done by tomorrow evening.”

Customer: “No! I’m going on holiday tomorrow morning, with the car! Can I drive to [Place about 600 miles away] with the brakes being in this condition?”

Me: “No, sir, I don’t think you will make it there. When did the car start to show you this warning?”

Customer: “Two weeks ago.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “Can you tell me what the new brakes are going to cost?”

Me: “Sure. It will take just a few minutes.”

(One of our mechanics takes a look at the brakes, and then prints the offer for the customer. We have hardly any influence on the prices, as they are given by the brand. I hand the offer to the customer, and he tells me he will be driving home to think about it. I then give him some information on how to make the brakes last a little longer, like avoid using the speed limiter.)

Customer: “No! You are wrong! That’s not true! You don’t know anything about cars! Why do you say something like that when you don’t even know how brakes work!?”

(I try to keep calm but tell him I know what I’m saying, as I was trained to know things like that. He insists I don’t know anything and leaves, refusing to make an appointment. About three weeks later, the same guy approaches our store. I recognize him immediately, and I tell my coworker I’m going to take this. He comes in and pretends we have never met, obviously hoping I have forgotten him. He tells me the exact same story — that he needs his brakes fixed — and asks for the price.)

Me: “Oh, what happened to the offer that [Mechanic] printed for you? You took it with you when you were here three weeks ago.”

Customer: *shocked that I recognized him* “Um, I, eh… I guess I lost it.”

Me: “Well, okay, then. We can just print it again. The price will be the same.”

Customer: “Oh… The price is going to be the same?!”

Me: “Yes, and we still need to make that appointment.”

Customer: “But I can’t make an appointment! Why can’t you do it now?”

Me: “For the same reason I told you three weeks ago. We can’t let other people who have made appointments weeks ago wait, just because you don’t want to make an appointment.”

Customer: “Now that’s ridiculous. Let me talk to a mechanic.”

(I call one of the mechanics on duty and tell him the whole story. He then tells the customer the exact same things that I told him, but the guy continues to ask really stupid questions.)

Mechanic: “Look. I really don’t have time to talk to you about things that you could have easily asked [My Name]. I have work to do. Now, if you have any more questions, please go talk to [My Name]. She is great at her job and knows what she’s talking about.”

(I can’t help but smile and wave slowly at him. He comes back to me, obviously pretty unhappy with what he has just been told.)

Customer: “I’d like to make an appointment.”

Me: *with big smile* “Sure. The next appointment will be available next Thursday.”

Customer: “Okay, I’ll take that.”

(When he came to pick up his car after his appointment, he told me he did some research and it turned out I was right with everything I said. He used to be a mechanic himself and said things had just changed so much since he retired. Apparently, he was just extremely sad to find out that his knowledge from twenty years ago wasn’t going to help him anymore.)

Telling Employees What They Want Is Rewarding

, , , , , | Right | December 3, 2018

(I’m the customer in this. It’s late in the evening and I’m at the movie theater with my sister. I approach the counter to get some snacks before the movie starts.)

Me: “Hi! I’d like two [menu items], one with [Soda #1], one with [Soda #2], and both with salted popcorn, please.”

Employee: “Oh, my god! [Coworker], she’s the first to actually straight up tell me what she wants!”

Me: “Uhm…”

(The employee grabs one of the chocolate bars from the display (not just any kind, but the expensive brand chocolate, too!) and slams it on the counter.)

Employee: “Here, you get chocolate for that.”

Me: *baffled* “Thank you…”

(I honestly just ordered as I always did but her reaction made me think about what kind of things she must have been dealing with all day.)

Giving Them The Power To Solve Their Own Problems

, , , | Right | December 1, 2018

(I work for a small IT service provider and I’ve just finished preparing a new computer for a customer. I had it here, installed the OS, requested software, and so on. The customer comes by and takes the computer home after I am finished. A while later, he calls.)

Me: “[Company], [My Name]. How can I help?”

Customer: “This is [Customer]. I just set up the computer you prepared for me. It does not work.”

Me: “Okay, can you start the remote maintenance program so I can connect to it and check it out?”

Customer: “No! It does not work!”

Me: “Wait… You mean you can’t start it?”

Customer: “Yes! That’s what I said. You sold me a broken computer!”

Me: “Well, it is a brand-new computer and it worked just fine a few hours ago. Did you connect the power cable?”

Customer: “Of course I did!”

Me: “Okay, did you flick the main switch in the back like I showed you?”

Customer: “Yes, I did! It still doesn’t work! It’s broken! I’ll bring it back. Now I have to crawl back under the table!”

Me: “I could come over and…”

Customer: “No! I’ll bring it back! I don’t want a broken computer!”

Me: “Okay. I’ll be here until six pm. I’m sorry about the problems.”

(The customer hangs up. A few minutes later the phone rings again.)

Me: “[Company], [My Name]. How can I help?”

Customer: “This is [Customer] again. Well… the computer works now.”

Me: “Oh? What was the problem?”

Customer: “When I use a multiple-extension outlet, it might be a good idea to actually turn the thing on.”

(The customer apologized for getting mad at me. I stayed on the phone with him while he checked if everything worked, in case he needed further assistance.)

Warning: Nuts Contain Nuts

, , , , | Right | December 1, 2018

(I work at a somewhat larger bakery chain in Germany, and I am alone when this happens. A lady comes to the counter and points to a plunder — pastry.)

Customer: “What is this?”

Me: “That’s our nut plunder.”

Customer: *quiet for a bit* “Does it contain nuts?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, our nut plunder contains nuts.”

Customer: “Oh, I can’t have it, then; I am allergic to nuts. What’s this?” *points to our gingerbread cake*

Me: “That’s our gingerbread cake with cherries, but if you are allergic to nuts I would advise you not to buy it; it may contain some, and it’s lying next to a cake with lots of nuts in it.”

Customer: “Oh, I know that one. But it doesn’t have nut pieces.”

Me: “Yes, that is true, but it still may contain some nuts; plus, it’s lying next to a nut cake.”

(At this point there are five customers waiting.)

Me: “Ma’am, if you still need some time to decide, may I help another customer?”

Customer: “No, I need that cake right now.” *silence for the next thirty seconds* “Does the nut cream cake have nuts in it?”

(At this point I am not sure if she just wants to mess with me, and the other customers are looking annoyed or amused.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am, the nut cream cake contains nuts. Maybe you would like to try our cherry cake? Or maybe the poppy seed cake? Neither contains nuts, and the poppy seed cake is on sale right now…”

Customer: “No, I want to choose myself.”

(Another while of her staring at the cakes…)

Customer: “But the gingerbread cake doesn’t have nut pieces.”

(The other customers groan.)

Me: “That is true, but like I said—”

Customer: “Yes, yes, I know, the cake next to it has nuts.”

(This went on for what felt like an hour. Other customers left. I asked her to let me help her decide or help the other customers first, but she kept denying me. After a while, with the help of another customer, she finally decided to buy some poppy seed cake.)

Unfiltered Story #128179

, | Unfiltered | November 28, 2018

(A friend runs a mouse roulette, a common attraction on medieval markets in Germany. There are several houses on the side of a small playing field. Players select a charm and place it on one of the houses where they think the mouse will run into. When enough players join in, usually at least three, the mouse is placed in the middle and the players can try to lure the mouse by clapping their fingers to attract its attention. Everyone can keep the charm, and the winner also wins a small plush mouse. There are several terms for running attractions with animals, the mice are treated well and swapped regularly, so animal welfare is not a problem. A group of one man, two women, and four children approach the game on their own.)

Woman #1: “Hello, we want to play this game.”

Operator: “Sure, that will be 2€ per person that wants to play.”

Woman #1: “Two of us.”

([Woman #1] hands her 5€, operator collects the money, [Woman #2] hands her a 20€ note.)

Operator (to woman #2): For how many people are you paying?

Woman #1: Give me my change back!

Operator: Just one moment, let me collect the money first.

Woman #1: But I already paid for both of us, my friend didn’t notice.

Operator: Oh sorry, I didn’t realize that.

(Operator gives woman #1 back her change. The women start to pick a charm, one child tries selecting a charm too.)

Women #2: Hands off! This is not a childrens game.

Child #1: But I want to play too!

Operator: Actually, this game is mostly played by children.

Woman #2: I know, I don’t care!

Child #2: Can I play?

Woman #1: No, shut up!

Operator (to the other two children, assuming they belong to the man): What about you, do you want to join in? We could use a few more players.

Woman #1: No, I already said they are not allowed to!

Operator: I know, I was addressing the other two children.

Woman #1: They are ours too! I am so glad we had this conversation.

Woman #2: Can’t you join in yourself?

Operator (irritated and not wanting to spend more time with the two women, thus not waiting for more players): It doesn’t work that way. Let’s just start the game then. You can clap your fingers to attract the attention of the mouse so it goes into the house you selected.

Woman #2: Wow, that’s stupid! Let’s get this over with.

(Operator gets out the mouse and proceeds to place it in the middle.)

Woman #1: Ewww, a real mouse! How nasty!

(They proceed to watch the mouse anyway, without clapping their fingers, which the children do instead.)

Woman #1: Stop it, you’re not playing!

(The mouse is given three attempts to run into a house one of the players selected. Usually that’s enough to select a winner, sometimes the mouse is given more attempts so the children are not disappointed, and if the round is over quickly, a second place is usually determined, since most people enjoy seeing the mouse the most. A game usually takes around two minutes, on this occasion, the mouse quickly runs from one house to another, visiting three different houses within 20 seconds, which neither of the women selected.)

Operator: Oh, I’m sorry, but it looks like the mouse didn’t select the right house, so there is no winner! (She proceeds to put the mouse away again.)

Woman #2: Fine. Let’s go.

Operator: Goodbye and have fun on the market!

(The group leaves.)

Operator (to me): What the hell was that? I didn’t even ask them to play! And those poor children!

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