A Chance Encounter

, , , , , | | Right | May 17, 2019

(I work in a call center of a big home improvement supply chain. I am known for my sometimes-borderline-professional, weird humour. A customer calls:)

Customer: “Do you deliver, by chance?”

Me: “We do deliver, but never by chance; we always go directly at the address written on the sticker.”

(I never heard a customer laughing that hard and that long on the phone before.)

Call Me By My Name And I’ll Seat You Under Yours

, , , , , , , | | Right | May 17, 2019

(I work as a Maitre’D for a restaurant in a pretty fancy part of New York City. The chef is Michelin Starred, NYT reviewed, and pretty popular with celebrity clientele. The restaurant is his newest venture, and is very trendy in the industry. An online media company with a show devoted to comparing different styles of food has recently released a video featuring our restaurant, and combined with the chef’s reputation and the style of the restaurant, getting a reservation is difficult and walking in for seating is even more so. My job is to seat reservations, help walk-ins, and manage the waitlist. Because of the popularity, many people try to circumvent me, but sometimes they drive me to my breaking point.)

Customer: “Hello, we’d like a table for four. And we’ll need a high chair for our youngest.”

Me: “Wonderful. Unfortunately, at this point, we have about a two-hour wait for a party of four.” *notices some movement out of the corner of my eye* “However, it looks like there are some seats opening up at our counter seating right now. Those seats are first-come, first-served, so if you’d like to grab those you could dine immediately!”

(Her husband moves over with her kids to claim the seats; however, the woman remains in front of me.)

Customer: “That’s not going to work. My son can’t sit up on a stool that high. We need a table in the dining room right now.”

(Her son is sitting perfectly fine on the stool after his father puts him up there.)

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, I am booked full with reservations and I do have quite a waitlist already going. It could potentially be sooner if I have reservations that don’t show and parties on my waitlist also don’t return, but without both of those possibilities occurring, the counter seating is your quickest bet.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this. I come in here all the time. I’m here every weekend and we never have to wait. I am a good friend of [Chef] and we always get a seat. I’m on your VIP list. Don’t you know who I am?!

Me: “Don’t you know who I am?”

Customer:I want to– Wait… What?”

Me: “Don’t you know who I am? You say you’re in here all the time. I’m one of three people employed here in this position and have been here since the restaurant opened. If you’re here as often as you say then you should know who I am. You’re one of 300 people I am seeing this afternoon alone; I don’t know who you are. But if you can tell me my name, I’d be happy to get you seated.”

(The woman’s mouth opens and closes like a fish before she grunts and turns to join her family. My manager, who I didn’t notice was watching from just off the floor, approaches me. I’m convinced I’m about to be reprimanded, if not fired for talking to a guest like that. But to my surprise…)

Manager: “If she comes back up here and asks to speak to a manager, just give her my card and have her email or call me. I’ll make sure the boss and chef don’t hear about it. I just didn’t want to deal with her and you looked like you could take care of it.”

(Cue the sighs of relief.)

Just Keep Trump-eting That Rhetoric

, , , , , | | Right | May 16, 2019

(Our store is collecting change for a local charity that works with homeless men. As our town already has several excellent charities for families and women, this smaller group is working to help those who have previously been overlooked, and is having great success. To encourage giving, the change jar has a sign that reads, “Your change helped a homeless man buy boots so he can go to work.” I’m ringing up a woman who has been a bit brusk but otherwise polite. It’s late 2018, well after the presidential elections. As I’m ringing the woman up, she sees the change jar and makes a disapproving sound.)

Customer: “That’s not right, you know. I don’t approve. I don’t believe in helping those who won’t work.”

Me: *totally caught off guard* “Well, ma’am, that’s the goal: to help them get to the point where they can work.”

Customer: “They’re lazy and we’d be better off without them all.”

Me: *thinking: “Wait, you’d rather they just died?”* “Well, illnesses, both physical and mental, are the leading causes of homelessness. A lot of those men would love to live normal lives but can’t afford the medical care needed to get there. This group works with each one, ensuring they have the basic necessities like food and shelter, and then helps them navigate the next steps so they can hopefully get off the streets. It’s obviously more complex than that, but that’s the basic—“

Customer: “I just don’t think my hard-earned money should pay for them.”

Me: “No worries; you don’t have to give—“

Customer: “Trump’s going to fix that, you know.”

Me: “I… Excuse me?”

Customer: “He’s going to help them and fix things. Hilary wouldn’t, you know. Trump will.”

Me: “I… You… So, the Republican plan is to discourage local, grass-roots charities, and to instead fix things with federal-level programs?”

Customer: “Yeah, sure. He’ll fix it.”

Me: *pause* “Here’s your change, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

Those Who Fling Themselves Will Sting Themselves

, , , , , | | Right | May 15, 2019

(I am at the pharmacy with my one-year-old in her pushchair, waiting for my prescription to be filled. It’s five minutes before closing and the staff have been very helpful so far. A mother with a young girl storms in, slams down a prescription, and shouts at the employee, “And don’t take f****** forever!” Her daughter begins running around the store, picking up items and dropping them, screeching, and being annoying. Then, she spots the pushchair.)

Girl: *to me* “I want to pick up the baby!”

Me: “No, sorry, she’s not well at the moment. You don’t want to catch her cold.”

Girl: “I want the baby, now!”

Me: “No, no picking up or playing with baby today.”

(The girl goes to grab my daughter and I move the pushchair out of reach.)

Me: *to mother* “Could you come get your daughter, please? She’s going to hurt herself.”

(The mother looks at me, smirks, and looks away. The little girl then proceeds to fling herself at my daughter, but as I once again move the pram, she ends up face-planting into a basket of body wash. Cue screaming, crying, and a full-blown tantrum.)

Mother: *comes straight into my face, without picking up or checking on her daughter* “How f****** dare you?! You did that on purpose! I could f****** sue! I’ll smash your head in. You’re gonna be penniless when I’m done with you, b****!”

Me: *in my quiet, furious Mum Voice* “You might actually want to check on your daughter, though by the amount of noise she’s making I don’t think she’s dying. I’d like to see you try and sue. I asked you twice to control your daughter; if you’d actually been watching her this wouldn’t have happened. Now, get out of my face before I move you myself. Besides, I’m sure the CCTV of you threatening me would look lovely on Facebook.”

(The mother silently grabs her daughter and sits down, staring at me like I’m made out of spiders. She grabs her prescription and forces her daughter out the door as the girl shouts for a lollipop.)

Cashier: “Mrs. [My Name], here’s your prescription and the Yankee candle you ordered.”

Me: “I didn’t order anything, sorry.”

Cashier: “I guess this one’s on me, then. Thank you; that woman has been a nightmare for years, and no one’s stood up to her before.”

Me: *laughs* “If it hadn’t been for my daughter, I probably wouldn’t have, either. You know what they say about mother bears and their cubs!”

Everyone’s Password Is Rosebud

, , , , , | | Working | May 14, 2019

(I call my credit card company to activate my new card. While I am on hold I am on my laptop setting up online access for the account. I happen to be at the “Security Questions.” I notice the questions are kind of “fuzzy.” Instead of, “What is your mother’s maiden name?” there are questions like, “What brand of shampoo do you use?” The customer service representative comes on the line.)

Me: “Could you tell your management that their security questions are too vague?”

Customer Service Representative: “What do you mean?”

Me: “For example, one of the questions is, ‘What is your favorite movie?’ That answer can change based on my mood or even what movie I’ve seen recently.”

Customer Service Representative: “You will always be able to log in and change your answers.”

Me: “I can see it now: ‘Wow, that was a great movie! I can’t wait to go home and change my banking password!’”

Customer Service Representative: *chuckles*

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