Her Vision Is Electric

, , | | Right | July 9, 2019

(I’m answering the phone at work. After the introductions:)

Client: “I would like to postpone my appointment.”

Me: “Let’s see what we can do for you. Did you have an appointment with our carpenter, our plumber, or our electrician?”

Client: *without missing a beat* “The optician!”

(A moment of silence followed and before I could ask again, the customer realized her slip-up. She meant the electrician.)

Bad Customers Are A Sign Of The End Times

, , , , , , | | Right | July 8, 2019

(I work in a relatively pricey restaurant popular with foreigners and expats. We are a street-level venue in a very tall building with a five-star hotel occupying the top floors. I am serving a regular woman who is well-known among the staff for being demanding.)

Customer: “Yes, I will have my usual lunch plate, with—“

(Suddenly, the whole room starts shaking. Manila is being rocked by what I will later discover is a 7.1 earthquake. Earthquakes aren’t entirely uncommon in The Philippines, but this is the strongest Manila has had in a long while. The lights are shaking, some people are screaming, and some plates and cutlery fall to the ground, some smashing. Astonishingly, while I am holding on to the table to stop from falling over, this customer is continuing her order as if nothing is happening.)

Customer: “—with orange juice, and an extra side of ham.”

(She notices my blank look.)

Customer: “Well? Aren’t you going to get my order?”

Me: “Ma’am, we are experiencing a severe earthquake! In these circumstances, we will have to evacuate the building.”

(The customer looks around with disinterest and only then seems to notice the ensuing chaos. She sniffs.)

Customer: “Hmm, yes. Anyway, my lunch?”

Me: *noticing that an evacuation of the restaurant has started in earnest* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we will all have to evacuate the building.”

Customer: “Why?!”

Me: “Because of the earthquake!”

Customer: “Oh, it’ll stop in a minute! Stop fussing.” *shows off her crucifix necklace* “Earthquakes are the last sign of the apocalypse, not the first. Let me know when there’s a great flood, and then you can skip my lunch!”

(At that exact moment, with God-given perfect timing — pun intended — the earthquake has shaken the rooftop infinity pool on the luxury hotel so much that a dramatic amount of the water had cascaded over the side of the building. With what can only be described as a cacophonous splash, we both look outside to see Noah’s Flood in miniature playing out on the street outside while bystanders run away in a panic. I stare pointedly at the woman.)

Customer: “Fine. I’ll take it to go.”

Arguing About The Clock Until You’re Off It

, , , , , | | Right | July 5, 2019

(I’m a cashier at a big-box hobby type store where we also sell home decor items, as decorating is apparently a hobby. The store I work for has weekly sales in home decor where specific groups of items are 50% off. While we are a large national chain, we do not scan any items in and instead hand-key every item and apply discounts to sale items as needed. Because of this, and because I have been with the company for a few years now, I have all the sales memorized as they are on a rotating schedule. Being a cashier, I am no stranger to crazy experiences, but this one left me speechless. It’s five minutes before my shift ends and an older woman, her adult daughter, and her young granddaughter decide my line is the best to come through. They have four carts that are absolutely full of items from our home decor section, and most of the items they have chosen to purchase that day happen to not be on sale. I’m ringing through the items when I get to a huge wall clock that is fairly pricey; it is also not on sale.)

Customer: “No, that clock is supposed to be on sale this week! I need you to give me half off for it.”

Me: “Well, ma’am, it was actually on sale last week, so maybe there is a chance one of the signs was left up from last week. Let me call my department head, and if the sign was left up from last week I will be more than happy to give you the discount as that was our error.”

(The department head informs me that there is a sign on the end of where the clocks are, but it is not for the clocks and it does not say anything about clocks on it.)

Me: “Ma’am, my department head has let me know that the sign you saw is actually for the items on display on the end cap and not for the clocks. If you would like, I can take the clock off the ticket for you.”

Customer: *almost yelling at me* “No, I want this clock! But you still need to give me the half-off discount. It’s not like I actually read the sign. I just saw the sign said 50% off, so I figured that it was for the clocks.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, but as the sign does not actually say clocks on it, I cannot give you the discount for the clock.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just stupid, I don’t understand why I can’t just get the discount. It’s not my fault I didn’t actually read the sign. I just saw it near the clocks, so it had to be for the clocks.”

(I’m a little thrown. I’ve had this type of misunderstanding happen before, but normally, once I explain to customers about what the sign actually says, they understand. Luckily, before I say something I regret, the customer’s daughter decides to speak up.)

Daughter: “Mother, what is your problem? You’re making yourself look like a fool. Now, either get the clock or don’t, but let this nice lady do her job. It’s your fault you didn’t read the d*** thing, not hers.”

(I smiled and mouthed, “Thank you,” to the daughter and finished out the transactions they all had, with no more incidents as the daughter had decided to take over for the mother. The daughter continued to tell me how nice and courteous I was. By the time I was done ringing up all four carts, they had spent in excess of $2000 and it was 20 minutes past time for me to clock out.)

Real Pretend Advice

, , , , , | | Related | July 5, 2019

(I am taking my young daughter for some after-school shopping, and she has just been telling me about her day at school where they have been learning about personal safety, including not telling complete strangers their names. We popped into a coffee shop where they write your name on the cup and I realise I can use it as a teaching experience.)

Barista: “Name?”

Me: *gives a completely random name and steps to the side to wait*

Daughter: *looks confused*

Me: “Do you know why I gave the wrong name?”

Daughter: “No?”

Me: “What did you learn today about talking to strangers?”

Daughter: “Oh! So the lady still doesn’t know your real name!”

Me: “That’s right, so she can’t pretend she knows me. If she tried to pretend to know me, she would be using the wrong name, so I’d know she was a stranger.”

Daughter: “So if a stranger asks my name, I can give a pretend name?”

Me: “Yes, or you can just say, ‘I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.’”

Daughter: “Mum, that lady is shouting your pretend name.”

(The poor barista had been calling my order for the entire time, and I’d been listening for my real one.)

Locked In Battle

, , , , | | Right | July 5, 2019

(We’ve been closed for around fifteen minutes. All the exterior building lights, parking lot lights, and signs are off. Half of the dining room lights are off, and most of the chairs are up on the tables. The doors are locked, but I am holding one open for the last customers to exit, so that I can make sure it closes completely behind them. Before they are even all the way through the door a woman comes up and tries the other door which is closed and locked. When she can’t get it to open, she pushes inside through the door the customers are currently leaving through, squishing me and the exiting customers. I quickly move in front of her.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we are closed for the evening.”

Woman: “No, you’re not.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, we are.”

Woman: “That’s okay; I just have to go to the bathroom.”

(She starts to shove past me.)

Me: *forcefully* “No, ma’am. We are closed. You need to leave.”

Woman: “Fine! Maybe you should learn to lock your doors if you are closed!”

(She storms out.)

Me: “That’s what I was trying to do!”

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