I Know Where You Can Stuff Those Smudge Sticks

, , , , , | Right | March 26, 2018

(Lately there has been a commercial going around for a popular glass cleaning brand. In it, birds use a “smudge stick” to make the glass not clear.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. Welcome to [Store]. What can I help you find today?”

Customer: “I need one of those smudge-stick thingies as a Halloween decoration. I want to put fake hand prints on my windows.”

Me: “I’m guessing you saw that in a commercial.”

Customer: “Yes, I did! Now where would they be?”

Me: “Actually, that commercial is advertising [Popular Glass Cleaner], ma’am. Smudge sticks aren’t a thing. May I suggest just placing your hand on the window repeatedly?”

Customer: “No, no, no! That makes no f****** sense! If they wanted to clean the window, why would they smudge it?! Your lazy a*** just doesn’t want to help me!”

(She then proceeds to slam her shopping trolley into me, clearly enraged.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

Customer: “NO! I have done nothing to deserve being kicked out. Now, take your lazy a*** OVER TO THE SMUDGE STICKS!”

(The security guards near the entrance heard the commotion and escorted her out. She is now banned from our store, and I haven’t heard from her since.)

Off-Cutting Remarks

, , , | Right | March 26, 2018

(I am working in the lumber department of a big home improvement store, and there is one other lumber associate helping other customers. A lady that looks to be in her 60s comes in and asks me for items to make shelves. She is really demanding, clueless, cheap, and indecisive. I take her all around the department to explain the difference between using plywood, two-inch and one-inch wood, or pre-cut shelves. I am in the one-inch aisle, trying to get her to understand the difference between pine priced per piece and hardwood priced per foot, when another customer — a man in his 50s who has been waiting patiently for a couple minutes — cuts in.)

Customer #2: “I have a quick question. Where is [type of product for which there is two types]?”

Me: “I can answer quickly, but first which type—”

Customer #1: *rudely to [Customer #2]* “Excuse me, but he was with me first. You’re really rude for interrupting us before we were done.”

Customer #2: “I’m really rude? You’re the one who is rude! I just have a quick question, and then he can go back with you, since you’ve been hogging him.”

(Both customers look at me, basically to see who I side with, and I stand speechless for a minute.)

Customer #1: “Well, where I come from, it is rude to cut in on a customer before they are done with the salesperson.”

Customer #2: *now shouting* “Listen, lady! You’re the one who is rude; any decent person would let him answer a simple question first and then go back to you.”

(At this point, they are both standing tall, and I swear they are about to come to blows. To cut the tension, I speak up:)

Me: *to [Customer #2]* “I was with this this lady first. There is someone on the back saw; he can help you when he is done with his customer, or I will help you when I am done with this customer, whoever is done first.”

Customer #2: *obviously annoyed with the lady not me* “Fine, whatever.” *walks away*

Customer #1: “Thank you. That man was really rude, wouldn’t you agree?”

(I want to say that both of them were rude, but I ignore the question and spend another ten minutes with the lady to help her decide. We finally get some plywood and take it to the panel saw to cut. While cutting, I see [Customer #2] pass by and politely say I will be with him shortly. Both customers eye each other with evil eyes. The lady repeatedly makes snide remarks about the man to me, intentionally loud enough for the man to hear. I finish cutting for the lady and end up with large scraps left over from cutting out the shelves to size.)

Me: “Do you want the leftover pieces?”

Customer #1: “What do you do with scraps if I don’t want them?”

Me: “We usually keep them on a cart and offer them to customers free if they want them. Since you are paying for the whole piece, we can’t resell them, and if there are leftovers at the end of the day, we throw them away.”

Customer #1: “Okay. You can give them away to anyone except that rude man.”

(The lady takes her cart and walks away, but the register is in sight of the saw. The man comes to the saw with some oriented strand board — cheaper than plywood that the lady got — and has apparently answered his own question from earlier.)

Customer #2: “Man, that b**** was crazy. Anyway, I need this cut to [about the same size as the scraps from the lady]. Actually, what are those scraps? Can I have them?”

(I try to figure out how to say this tactfully, and without laughing.)

Me: “Um, actually, they are from that lady, and normally we give the scraps away, but, um… She specifically said not to give them to you. However, I’ll wait until she leaves the store, and then I will give them to you.”

Customer #2: “That’s okay. I wouldn’t even want anything from her, anyway. Just cut this out of the boards I grabbed.”

(I cut for him, and he left his scraps. I ended up with a bunch of scraps that I had to throw out at the end of the day.)

Making A House Call

, , , | Working | March 22, 2018

(I have a minor cold, so I can go to work. While I make sure I stay away from colleagues and keep hygiene in mind, I’m still quite foggy in my head.)

Customer: “I need to know what kind of color you used for those houses.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir; we don’t keep that data. Most of the time it’s a special batch mixed especially for us.”

Customer: “What should I do?”

Me: “Well, you can look for a chipped-off piece of paint, or something with a similar color, and go to the paint store. They can compare colors for you there.”

Customers: “So, when you need to repaint those houses, that’s what you tell the painters to do?”

Me: “Yes, but they can take their charts along with them.” *I accidentally blurt out* “You can’t take your home to them.”

(There is a short silence, I realise what I just said, prepare for the worst, but the customer bursts out in laughter.)

Customer: “Thank you for this pleasant conversation; I needed this laugh.”

Going To Tile A Lawsuit

, , , | Right | March 2, 2018

Me: *answers phone* “[Company], how can I help?”

Caller: “You sent me the wrong tiles; I want to return them for a refund.”

Me: “Oh, I am sorry. What is wrong with the tiles?”

Caller: “They are the wrong color.”

Me: “I am sorry. I can exchange them for the correct color, if you need.”

Caller: “No, I want a refund.”

Me: “Okay, you will have to return them to [Company address].”

Caller: “I can’t do that; I have already installed them.”

Me: “They are the wrong color, and you have installed them, and you want a refund? I am sorry; I cannot do that.”

(The caller gets very angry and begins to list off government laws around providing good quality and displayed products, and explain why she is entitled to a refund.)

Me: “I have studied these laws and acts regarding this. There is also a section saying if the goods can not be removed without destroying them, the supplier does not have to rectify the situation. These tiles are cemented to the floor; you cannot get them up.”

Caller: “I won’t stand for this. I will get my lawyer involved.”

(Two weeks later, a letter from a lawyer detailing the story above arrived, addressed to me. I emailed the lawyer a signed copy of the customer’s sales agreement, stating that the color ordered was what she got, and also a summary of what had been discussed over the phone. All I got back from the lawyer was, “Thank you. Please consider this closed.”)


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Beware: Contractors Afoot

, , , | Right | January 7, 2018

Customer: “I need something to fill in between metal and concrete.”

Me: “Silicone adhesive or concrete adhesive in caulking tubes?”

Customer: “No, no, no.”

Coworker: “Sounds like you need some type of mortar?”

Customer: “No. That’s not it. I KNOW! I DO THIS FOR A LIVING!”

Coworker: *quietly to me* “If he does this for a living, than he should probably know what he needs.”

Customer: *to Boss* “Those guys don’t know ANYTHING!”

Boss: “Um… yes… Yes, they do.”

Customer: “Okay. I’ll just take these.”

(“These” being what I had recommended to the “Professional” in the first place.)

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