A Vanilla Thriller

, , , , , , | | Working | July 13, 2019

(My boss comes up to me Monday morning, lamenting that the coffee machine isn’t working and she wants a coffee. I’m a graphic artist — so this is in no way my problem — but pretty savvy with machines, so I go to give it a once-over. I grab the key from where I know the tech keeps it, check the coffee levels — which are low, but not out — and then close everything up and make myself a coffee — that I don’t really want — so I can test the machine. Everything works fine. I tell her I can’t find a problem, but she comes to me shortly after complaining that it’s still not working. I go back to the machine with her to see where the problem could be stemming from and see that she’s ordering some sort of flavoured vanilla drink — no coffee involved at all. I open the machine again and dig deeper into its guts to find that, indeed, the vanilla is out. She keeps hovering, complaining that the coffee machine is broken and that she doesn’t have time to go upstairs to get a coffee from another machine. She continues moaning about her valuable time being wasted that she has to go upstairs to get her coffee as I’m pulling a packet of vanilla from where I know it’s kept. She then heads for the door to go upstairs to get her sugar drink as I fill the machine and lock it back up. To this day, every morning she asks me if the machine is still broken.)

Me: “It was never broken. It just ran out of vanilla.”

Boss: “So, it’s still broken.”

Me: “No. You saw me refill it. And the tech came through Wednesday and topped everything up.”

Boss: “Do you think it will be fixed by next week?”

(This woman is not an idiot! I don’t know what was happening in her brain here!)

The Gift Receipt That Keeps On Giving, Part 2

, , , , | | Right | July 11, 2019

(I work in a chain store that sells children’s clothing. We have a very strict return policy, and deviating from it at all can result in a write-up. At least once a day we have a customer take issue with our policies.)

Customer: “This shirt is too small for my granddaughter, and I need to return it. She took the tag off but I have a gift receipt.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but without the tag, I have no way of scanning it to issue you a refund. The best I could do is swap it for the same shirt in another size, but unfortunately, we sold out of this one a few weeks ago.”

Customer: “I can’t return it? Well, what’s the point of the gift receipt?!”

Me: “Well, the gift receipt is also needed to return or exchange, to show how much was paid and to prove that it was purchased and not stolen. But we need the tag.”

Customer: “Well! I don’t know why you offered me a gift receipt; obviously, it’s useless! I’m never shopping here again and I’ll be canceling my credit card with your store, as well!”

(The customer stomps out, shouting obscenities at me on the way. Almost two months later, she comes back.)

Customer: “I talked to your corporate office!”

Me: “Oh?”

Customer: “They looked up my purchase on my credit card and emailed me the original receipt, so now you have to give me my refund!”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, our refusal to issue you a refund had nothing to do with your receipt. If you recall, it was the lack of a tag. Did you bring in the tag for the shirt?”

Customer: “No! I don’t need it. This isn’t a gift receipt; it’s a regular one.”

(The customer shoves her phone into my hand and I look over the receipt.)

Me: “Again, ma’am, it wasn’t the receipt that was the issue. I cannot take this shirt back without the tag. Also, you’re now beyond our return policy by over a month so I wouldn’t be able to take it back, anyway.”

Customer: *red-faced, shouting* “What?! That is not right! I have my receipt! You need to give me my money back now! What am I supposed to do with this stupid shirt? I’m calling corporate back right. Now!

Me: “’Kay.”

(Corporate tells her the same thing I told her. She rants a little more about canceling her credit card, then spends another $200 on said credit card.)

Customer: “…and make sure I get a gift receipt, just in case my granddaughter pulls the tags off.”

The Gift Receipt That Keeps On Giving

Bloody Inconsiderate Customers!

, , , | | Right | July 11, 2019

(I am going to get my first lip piercing with a friend. I am nervous, but everything is going well. Soon I have a ring on my lip.)

Piercer: *hands me some paper towels* “Just press this against it; the bleeding will stop soon.”

Me: *pressing them on my lip* “There is a lot of blood in my mouth already. Is there a sink somewhere?”

(My friend is talking with the piercer and they don’t seem to hear me. I am about to ask again but realize that if I open my mouth, some blood will spill out. I mumble something while pressing my lips together tightly, pointing toward my mouth with my free hand.)

Friend: *understands what I’m trying to say* “Oh! Um, is there a sink somewhere?”

Piercer: “There’s a bathroom down the hall.” *gives me quick instruction on how to get there*

(I almost run to the bathroom and spit a lot of blood into the sink. I am glad I made it; some leaked through my lips on the way there. I spit out a few more times, wipe my mouth, and go back, since it has almost stopped bleeding.)

Piercer: “Seems like I hit a blood vessel… That was some bad luck.”

(After paying, we leave. My friend jokes how funny I looked, making muffled noises and waving my hand around. I laugh at that, too. On the bus going home I realize something.)

Me: “I don’t think I washed the blood off that sink.”

Finally Getting The Message

, , | | Right | July 10, 2019

(Although I manage accounts for a specific group of customers, my official title on our office website is “Administrative Assistant.” I often get phone calls that should have gone to other departments because people see my title and call me directly instead of our main phone line. As a result, I get calls like this way too often:)

Me: “Good morning. This is [My Name]! How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I need to check on my file. I’m the one who complained about that car dealership, because I went there and they tried to cheat me and when they told me they couldn’t help me, I contacted your office—“

Me: *desperately interrupting before they get ten minutes into their story* “Okay, sure! Your file would actually be handled by [Coworker from a different department]. I can transfer you over to his phone! Hold on for just a moment.”

(I look up the number I need and transfer the call. Not twenty seconds later, the same customer calls me back.)

Me: “Good morning. This is [My Name]! How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah, I just called and no one answered. I need to check on my file, because the dealership tried to cheat me, and I was told you all were supposed to be able to help people—“

Me: *desperately interrupting again* “All right, [Coworker] is going to be the one to speak with. He’s in charge of your file.”

Caller: “But he didn’t answer his phone!”

Me: “He could be away from his desk? In a meeting, perhaps?”

Caller: “Well, when will he be back?”

Me: “I really couldn’t say; he’s in a different department than I am. But I could transfer you back to his phone, and if he doesn’t pick up, you can leave him a voicemail…”

Caller: *suddenly pleasant, as if they’ve never heard of the ability to leave someone a message before* “Oh! Oh, could you? That sounds great! Can you do that for me?”

(And I transferred their call… again… exactly the same way I’d done it two minutes before. I know leaving a voicemail is not always preferable, but repeatedly calling the wrong department is not going to fix your problem!)

Tag This One As Stupid

, , , | | Right | July 10, 2019

(This customer clearly has English as a first language and is wearing a lanyard for a government department. The customer enters the store, I greet her as usual, leaving her to look around for a couple of minutes, and then I approach her again to see if she needs help.)

Me: “Are you all right looking over there? Is there anything I can help you with?”


Me: “Absolutely, that’s a free size, and it has a lot of stretch, so it fits from a 6 to a small 14.”

Customer: *looks at price and size tag for a good two minutes* “How much is this?”

Me: “Oh, that’s [price].”

Customer: *still looking at tag* “Oh, I see on here it’s [price], and what does free size mean?”

Me: *internal screaming* “That means it comes in one size, but it’s super stretchy so it fits a 6 to a small 14.”

Customer: “And it’s [price].”

Me: *suppressing the urge to be sarcastic* “Yes, as I have told you, and you can see the size and price on the tag—“ *points to tag* “—just there.”

Customer: “Ooooh, I see!” *waves tag at me* “It says on the tag just here! Okay, I’m off now! Bye!” *dumps item on floor, leaves the shop*

(Y’know when people say things that are so stupid and unnecessary you have to squint a little? Yeah.)

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