Not How You Ent-ice Customers

, , | Working | November 5, 2019

(Iced lattes aren’t popular here, so anytime I want one I have to describe the drink to the barista.)

Me: “Can I get a freddo cappuccino with extra milk?”

Barista #1: “Sure. Hey, just so you know, that drink is an iced latte.”

Me: “Oh, I know. It’s just that most people don’t know what that is so I have to describe it.”

(I come back to the same coffee shop, the same day, but it’s after a few hours so the shift has changed.)

Me: “An iced latte, please.”

Barista #2: “I don’t know what that is, but we don’t sell it here.”

Me: “…”

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Super Committed To The Part

, , , , , | Legal | June 16, 2019

(I am sitting at a cafe with some friends when a guy we don’t know approaches us. He’s holding a box with a slot on it.)

Guy: “Hello. Excuse me for bothering you, but I’m raising a fund for two friends of mine. They had a motorcycle accident and both of them are near death. My other friends and I are trying to get enough money to pay for the surgery they need. Can you spare any?”

(We all smell a scam easily and say, “No, thank you.” After trying to change our minds for a couple of minutes, he moves on to other tables. Over the next several years, I occasionally still see him in cafes in different parts of the city, but he never speaks to me again until one day, four years after the first time, at a very different place.)

Guy: “Hello. Excuse me for bothering you, but my friends had a motorcycle accident and are fighting for their lives in the hospital. Can you spare us some money for the surgery they need?”

Me: “Wow! They’re still fighting for their lives, four years later?”

Guy: *suddenly looks lost for words, begins to stammer* “Uh, I mean, it was a really bad accident. The doctors have been trying hard to keep them alive.”

(He stared at us for a few seconds and we stared back, and then he left without saying anything more. I kept seeing him here and there for a while, but that was our last interaction. I was kind of impressed that he still tried to explain his story.)

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We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Dog Bowl

, , , , , | Right | February 14, 2019

(This story was relayed to me by my dad, the customer in question. We have a pair of pet goldfish, and I asked him to bring some more food for them on his way home, as we were running out.)

Dad: *approaches pet shop employee* “Excuse me. Do you have any food for dogfish?”

(Dogfish are a kind of shark.)

Employee: “For… what?”

(I think he was thinking of my stepmother’s dog.)

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I’ll Keep This Brief; I Will Not Buy Your Case

, , , | Right | December 15, 2018

(I am the owner of a bags, purses, etc. shop in the city centre. It’s on a street that has many similar shops; some of them have run out of business, though. I generally don’t get many weird demands, but then this guy comes over that wants to return an item that was not bought from my shop.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to return this briefcase.”

Me: *extra polite* “Yeah, um, unfortunately, I cannot accept it because you did not buy that from my shop.”

Customer: “Yeah, so?”

Me: “I cannot take items that are not bought from the shop; it doesn’t work that way. But if you have a receipt, I can check where the item was bought and point you to the correct shop.”

Customer: “Here’s the receipt.”

Me: “Wow. This was bought over a year from the shop next door. Unfortunately, it has closed.”

Customer: “What am I supposed to do with the briefcase?”

Me: “No idea. Give it to someone as a gift? I don’t know.”

Customer: “How much would you pay for it?”

Me: “Zero. I cannot buy; I sell.”

Customer: “But you buy from wholesalers.”

Me: “I will not buy your briefcase; please, stop asking that.”

Customer: “Okay, I will leave it on the floor and see what you’ll do about it.”

Me: “If you do that, I will kick it out of my shop and a passerby will take it, I guess.”

Customer: “You stupid people don’t know how to run a business.”

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Not Provider-ing The Right Information

, , , | Right | November 19, 2018

(I work tech support in a software company. Our clients are other companies whose employees use our software. If there is a technical issue, the clients’ employees call us directly. In order to help, we naturally need to know which client company they’re calling from.)

Me: “Hello, [Company] tech support. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m having a problem with your software.” *describes problem*

Me: “I see. This issue requires some investigation; please let me look into it and I’ll call you back later. Could you tell your name, and where you are calling from?”

Caller: “I’m [Caller]. I’m calling from my office.”

Me: “No, I mean which company?”

Caller: “Oh. It’s [Major Telecommunications Company].”

(That company is indeed one of our clients, and I’ve been told to give them first priority if they have any issues. After I hang up, I begin to look into the issue, but I can’t find a record of anyone with that name working there. Since their usage history is required to see what caused the problem, that means I can’t do anything about it. Fearing it is taking too long, I let my boss know, but he can’t find the user, either. After a while, he comes to talk to me, looking a mix of amused and annoyed.)

Boss: “So, this [Caller] you spoke to? In fact, she works for [Other Much Smaller Company].”

Me: “So, why did she say they worked for [Major Telecommunications Company]?”

Boss: “She called from her mobile phone, and thought you were asking which provider she uses.”

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