The Stupid… It Burns!

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2020

(I work for a small-time electrician, doing a wide variety of small three- to five-day jobs. A few months back we were redoing most of the electrical work in a convenience store that had gotten hit by a car. They drove right through the front, leaving a huge gaping hole. When I get there, all the shelves and everything else are pushed into the far back corner of the store. The front is boarded up, and of course, the lights are out. The manager lets me in and hangs about while I do my work — likely for security reasons, so I don’t mind. The store is closed. The front door, remarkably intact, is locked. Someone tries the door. When it doesn’t give, there is a loud crunching noise. I’m at the top of a ladder, and the manager is just kind of hanging out. At the noise, both of us whip our heads around to see an idiot lady literally RIP A BOARD OFF THE FRONT OF THE STORE, come in, and go:)

Idiot #1: “Is the store open?”

(I’ve got wires all around me and I’m halfway into the drop ceiling, just staring at this lady with my mouth hanging open. The manager shoos [Idiot #1] out.)

Me: “What is… I don’t even…”

Manager: “Don’t think about it. The more you do, the more the stupid will burn, and the store can’t afford an insulation fire of that magnitude right now.”

(This was [Idiot #1]. [Idiots #2 – #5] come one by one, close enough together to have literally seen the manager usher the previous person out and re-lock the door behind them, only to have the next one simply move the now-loose board out of the way to get in, instead.)

Idiot #2: “Do you work here?”

(Yes, lady, the eighteen-year-old wiring a drop ceiling fixture is certainly also working the non-existent register…)

Idiot #3: “Hey, I just need one thing.”

(So do I: to be left alone.)

Idiot #4:  “You guys need to fix the door. I couldn’t get it open.”

(How do you breathe and walk at the same time?! By [Idiot #5], the manager finds the darn hammer that he’s been hunting for for the past half hour and hammers the board back into place. We’re leaving for the day, and the manager opens the door to let me out. A lady barges forward, trying to shove her way inside.)

Idiot #6: “It’s about time! You two really need to work on your customer service and… Hey, move!”

(I’m literally blocking the way inside.)

Me: “Lady, the store is closed.”

Manager: ‘We’re going to be closed for a while. You can’t buy anything.”

Idiot #6: *to manager* “I just need one thing.” *to me* “Go get me a [item].”

(I don’t work here. I don’t have to be nice.)

Me: “No. Get out.”

Idiot #6: “EXCUSE ME?!”

Me: “You’re excused. Get out. They’re closed.”

Idiot #6: “Where’s the manager?!”

Manager: “Right here. And I’ll tell you the same thing. Get out. We’re closed.”

Idiot #6: “HOW DARE—”

Me: “I’m gonna just call the cops.”

Manager: “Go right ahead.”

(The lady is sputtering as I reach for my phone. She freezes, stares around at the empty store and the moved shelves, gapes, and then silently turns and walks out. I follow her and the manager locks the door behind us. After the lady silently climbs into her car and drives away:)

Me: “You realize that after we leave, somebody’s going to come and rip the board off again and start yelling for service.”

Manager: “Doesn’t matter. We’ll both be home by then and it’s not going to be our problem. Besides, I’m so out of f***s to give right now.”

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Their Inventory System Is Crap  

, , , , , | Working | January 22, 2020

(We have to evacuate our summer cabin because of a forest fire. When we return, we find that the cabin is fine, but the disused outhouse has burned to cinders. When the insurance adjuster comes to evaluate the damage for our claim, I have to explain to him what happened.)

Me: “The fire burned our jakes! It’s a total loss, I’m afraid.”

Insurance Guy: “What’s a jakes?”

Me: “Our outhouse. Just don’t ask me to inventory the contents.”

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Not “Closing” In To Her Point

, , , | Right | January 22, 2020

(Our location is closing. There are other branches nearby, but people are still closing their accounts. I’ve stopped trying to retain customers, because I’ve gotten screamed at, cussed out, and/or personally blamed for the branch closing when I try.)

Customer #1: “Hello, I’d like to close my account.”

Me: “I can take care of that for you. I just need your ID.”

(She hands it over.)

Me: “Okay, you’ve got [amount] left in your checking. Would you like cash or a cashier’s check?”

Customer #1: “I’m closing it because you’re closing.”

Me: “Yep, we’ve gotten a lot of that, and I will take care of the account closing process for you. I just need to know if you want cash or a check.”

Customer#1: “I’m going to [Competitor].”

(She stares at me expectantly.)

Me: “Whatever works best for you, ma’am. Cash or check?”

Customer #1: “They’re not closing.”

Me: “That’s great. So, the fee for a cashier’s check is [amount], and I can just take that out of what’s left in your account.”

Customer #1: “What?! No! I want cash!”

Me: “All right. Please sign here.”

(She signs. I count her cash back.)

Me: “And your account is closed. I see you had a debit card, as well. I’ve deactivated it for you. Your online banking login is also deactivated. I’m not sure if you had checks on this account, but you can shred them. Or, if you’d prefer, you can bring them in, and we’ll shred them for you. Can I get you anything else?”

Customer #1: “Oh, so you actually closed it?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. That’s what you asked me to do.”

Customer#1: “I guess I’ll go to [Competitor] now.”

(She sighs dramatically and continues to stare at me. The line is building behind her.)

Me: “Ma’am? Is there something else I can help you with?”

(She walks out slowly, continuing to sigh dramatically. I call the next customer up.)

Customer #2: “I’m also closing my account. Here’s my ID, I’d love a cashier’s check, you can take the fee out of my remaining funds, I’ve already cut up my debit card, and I’m not going to [Competitor].” *laughs* “Where do I sign?”

(I hand him a withdrawal slip.)

Me: “Right here. Thank you!”

Customer #2: “It’s no problem at all. You’ve got way more patience than I’d have in that situation.”

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Slooooowly Does It

, , , , , | Right | January 21, 2020

(It’s early in the day and fairly slow. I’m manning the till while my coworker is preparing trays of pizza dough just a few feet away. A man dressed in business attire walks into the shop and approaches my till, endlessly jabbering on his phone. He thrusts a coupon for a free one-topping slice at me, but says nothing apart from continuing his phone conversation.)

Me: *quietly, turning to my coworker* “It’s a policy of mine to ignore customers if they’re on their phone.”

Coworker: “Yeah, me, too.”

(I remain at the till but say nothing to the man, waiting for him to, at the very least, swivel his phone from his face for the half a second it would take to say whatever topping he wants on his slice. But alas, he continues his phone conversation like we’re not even there. I continue to stand in silence, just waiting, for a good three minutes at least, still holding the coupon, and I haven’t touched the order screen at all.)

Me: *turning to my coworker* “Dude, this is getting awkward.”

Coworker: *nods*

(Finally, the man takes a moment away from his super important phone call.)

Customer: “Are we about ready to go here, or what?”

Coworker: “Yeah, we’re just waiting on you.”

Me: “Whenever you’re ready.”

Customer: “Oh, uh, I’ll have pepperoni.” *returns to phone call*

(We made him his pepperoni slice, but we took our time and made sure to put it in the oven that cooks slower.)

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For That Price, We’ll Just Give You The Fermented Grain Mash  

, , , | Right | January 21, 2020

(I work at a higher-end specialty whiskey and beer store. Anything the supermarkets and liquor stores carry, we don’t. It’s simply not exclusive enough anymore. Sadly, I have a conversation along these lines roughly once a month:)

Me: “Hello, can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, you see—” *goes into spiel about how a coworker is retiring, it’s a friend’s or family member’s — usually father’s — birthday, Fathers’ Day is coming up, etc.* “—and so I’m looking for a nice bottle of whiskey as a gift.

Me: “All right, that sounds great. I have all the whiskey right here. Is there a particular style that you’re looking for? 

Customer: “Well, it has to be Scottish, Single Malt, and preferably at least twenty years old.”

Me: *cautiously* “Do you have a budget in mind?”

Customer: “Yes, around €20.”

Me: *head-desk*

(For added information, here in the Netherlands, whiskey usually starts at around €25 a bottle for the cheapest blended stuff, not counting the sample size bottles. Save for some exceptions, a normal, common brand whiskey is about €40 to €80 per bottle, depending on origin and popularity. Scottish Single Malts generally start at €50 a bottle, with better brands going up to €80 to €120 a bottle. A twenty-year-old bottle disregarding the origin and malt status starts at €150 a bottle. Combine all those criteria and you’re looking at a starting price of €300 per bottle. Quality whiskey is hard to come by and some people really need to do more research.)

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