Just When You Thought It Would All Be Yankee Doodle Dandy

| Savannah, GA, USA | Right | July 15, 2016

(I’m working the floral counter at a high-end natural foods store. An older woman comes in, well-dressed and with a strong upper class southern accent, and peers at the cut flower display. Note that my accent is quite clearly Bostonian and couldn’t pass for southern even if I tried.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am, welcome to [Store]! Can I help you with anything today?”

Customer: “Yes, you can. My daughter is graduating from Georgia Southern. I’m having a party for her tonight, and I need flowers to make an arrangement.”

Me: “Oh, well, congratulations to your daughter! Are there any types of flower or colors in particular you had in mind?”

Customer: *looking affronted* “The Georgia Southern colors, of course!”

Me: *anxious smile* “Um?”

Customer: *as if this is a universally known fact* “Blue and white!”

Me: “Oh, okay! Well, we have quite a lot of lovely options for white, but I’m afraid as for blue we only have these blue hydrangea or this blue thistle.”

Customer: *frowns* “Hmm. Well, what would go with the hydrangea?”

Me: “You know, we just got these peonies in, and they come in an ivory as well as a cream, and they’re really quite stunning the way they open up, and we only have them for—”

Customer: *shocked* “Peonies? Honey, don’t you know those are a YANKEE flower?!”

Me: *speechless*

Off-The-Shelf Remarks

, | Oslo, Norway | Right | July 15, 2016

(In our store, fresh fruit and vegetables are right through the only entrance. The section is quite large and you have to walk several meters through it to reach other parts of the store. My deli counter is at the innermost part of the store itself. A male customer in his thirties comes up to the counter just after opening.)

Me: “Good morning, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Where are your vegetables?”

Me: “Oh, did you mean our frozen vegetables? You can find them in the freezers over in that corner.” *points in the direction of the freezers*

Customer: *suddenly quite irritated* “No, I meant fresh vegetables. Don’t you have any?”

Me: *a bit perplexed* “Uhm, yes we do. They are at the entrance, where you came in.”

Customer: *now angry* “Well, I didn’t see any when I came in! You need to start stocking more vegetables, when people can’t even see where they are!”

Me: *giving up* “Let me just show you…”

(I lead the customer back to the entrance and show him our bulging shelves.)

Me: “Was there anything in particular I could help you find?”

(The customer just stares blankly at me, before hurriedly exiting through the entrance, almost knocking over several entering customers on his way. A bit shocked, I walk back to my counter, where one of my coworkers stands staring towards the entrance.)

Coworker: “Was that guy for real?”

Me: “Yep. It’s going to be one of those days, I guess.”

It’s Going To Be A Long Weight

| Dunbar, PA, USA | Right | July 15, 2016

(I am a cashier.)

Customer: “Excuse me… but why does that say I am being charged $2.91 for these bananas when they are only 44 cents a pound?”

(I look at the screen to see that the customer confused the weight of the bananas, 2.91, with the price he was being charged, $1.44.)

Me: “No, sir. That’s the weight. The price that you are being charged is here.” *I point to $1.44 on the screen*

Customer: “I know that. But why does it say that I am being charged $2.91 for these bananas?”

(Since I am new at the store, I started to think that this was a prank being done by a few friends of mine who got me the job.)

Me: “No, that’s the weight. Not the price. The price you will be paying is $1.44.”

(At this point, I take my finger and walk the customer through what is on the screen, which looks something like this: 2.91 lbs. X .44 [price per pound] = $1.44)

Customer: “I know that’s the weight—” *points to the weight* “—that’s what I am being charged—” *points to $1.44* “—but why am I still going to pay 2.91?”

Me: “Sir, that’s the weight. Not what you will be paying.”

Next Customer In Line: “Oh, my god!” *picks up his groceries and leaves*

(I am working one of the express lanes and have a line of about five customers, not including the current customer. After this latest exchange, I noticed that my line is completely gone. At this point, I am out of things to say and do.)

Customer: “OH! THAT’S THE WEIGHT! SO I’M PAYING $1.44!”

(After this sudden revelation, I quickly rang the customer’s remaining items and sent him on his way!)

A Dated Customer Service Model

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Romantic | July 14, 2016

(I work as a night cashier at a grocery store. It is a little after midnight. The doors are shut, but we’re not yet locked as the manager is helping a woman load her groceries in her car. A customer walks in the front door.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we are shut. If you’d like to come back tomorrow, we open at six am.”

Customer: “Actually, I just came in here to ask you on a date.”

(I am in my mid 20’s, and this guy is at least in his 60s.)

Me: “Sorry, sir, but I’m actually in a relationship right now.”

Customer: “No, you’re not! I found you on Facebook and know that you split with your boyfriend two weeks ago! Now, say yes!”

Me: “No! I will not go out on a date with you!”

(My manager walks in at this stage and the customer turns to him.)

Customer: “I want to make a complaint against [My Name], as he isn’t doing his job!”

Manager: “What seems to be the problem, sir?”

(The customer explains the situation to my manager, and to my amazement, he describes everything that has just happened without telling any lies.)

Manager: “So you want to make a complaint against [My Name] because you’re not getting a date?”

Customer: “Correct! I want us to go on a date, and as the customer is always right, I demand a date, or I will take my complaint further!”

(My manager told the customer he was banned from the store. Some weeks later, the big manager for the state happened to be at our store and he told me that the customer indeed put in a complaint against me for refusing to go on a date with him. Apparently head office got a great laugh out of this customer.)

Be Careful With Your Free Speech

| CA, USA | Working | July 11, 2016


(I work at a grocery market where my job is scanning and keeping track of bakery sales. Having just started my shift I am searching for my portable scan-gun. I see that the deli is borrowing it and ask Coworker #1 there to get it for me. Coworker #1 is black.)

Me: “Hi! Can I get the scan-gun?”

Coworker: *cheerfully* “Sure! Your wish is my command!”

(Her quote reminds me of the Disney’s Aladdin character Genie. Without thinking I respond with Aladdin’s quote to Genie.)

Me: “And now I wish you to be free!”

(Coworker #1 immediately frowns and looks offended.)

Coworker #1: “I already am free!”

(It takes me a split second to realize what I’ve done. My face turns bright red with embarrassment.)

Me: “Wait! No! I didn’t mean that! I was just movie-quoting what Aladdin said to Genie! I didn’t mean… I’m sorry! I was just—”

(She continues to glare at me and I’m too embarrassed to keep talking. I stammer a few more apologies out, grab my scan-gun and dash away. She told one of her coworkers and they burst into laughter explaining that I was a movie buff and tend to movie quote a lot. I was told later that she let it slide.)

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