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The Alarm Tag Wasn’t Designed For This Alarming Situation

, , , , | Right | October 11, 2017

(I work in a big retail store. Our clothes have those annoying plastic tags on them that require a cashier to slide them into a magnetic setup at the registers to remove them. This happens one day as I am working the returns counter, and an elderly woman approaches me.)

Customer: “I bought pants here, and they didn’t remove that alarm tag. Can you do that?”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry about that.”

(I see that she has no shopping bag, but I think perhaps they are in her car or purse.)

Me: “I can take care of that for you right here. It is store policy that I ask to see a receipt before removing any tags, though.”

(The woman places her purse on the counter and takes the receipt out. I can see there is, indeed, a pair of pants on her receipt.)

Me: “Okay, I can see the pants here on the receipt, so if you want to go ahead and bring them in I can certainly take care of that for you.”

Customer: “Perfect! Where should I stand? Should I sit up here?” *gestures to my counter*

Me: “Pardon?

(The woman then lifts up her leg a bit, and I can very clearly see the nub of the tag on the seam of her pants, near the hem.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I can’t remove the tag with them still on you. That’s quite impossible with our setup.”

Customer: “You mean I need to take them off?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry. I have no way to remove that tag while you are wearing them. You would have to come back with them not on so I can take off that tag.”

Customer: “Okay, then.”

(She steps back, and I assume she is going to leave and come back, when, I kid you not, this woman then proceeds to unzip her pants and starts to remove them.)

Me: “Ma’am? I’m sorry, what are you doing?”

Customer: “You said you can’t get it off while I’m wearing them. What does it look like I’m doing?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t have you do that, here, in the middle of the store.”

(I begin looking around now because there is a line behind her, and I am nervous that at any point my manager will come around, and that I will somehow be blamed for this woman trying to strip down.)

Customer: “Well, how the f*** are you going to get it off?”

Me: “You will have to come back on another day with them not on?”

Customer: “That’s a waste of my time! I came all the way here, just to find out you can’t take this tag off! You deserve to be fired for lying to the elderly!”

(She stormed off. I saw her again a week later, wearing the same pants, with the same alarm tag still on.)

Urine Trouble Now

, , , , | Right | October 10, 2017

(My style is punkish, with colorful hair and piercings. It’s a slow day and I am working the counter on my own when an angry, rather posh-looking customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “Go tell your manager to buy some urinal cakes. Here is 10€, since it seems that your restaurant can’t afford them!”

Me: *confused* “Uhm… Okay?”

(I refuse to take the money, since he’s made his point. He then throws it on the counter.)

Customer: “Take it and go to your manager!”

(As he leaves the counter new customers arrive, so I temporarily put the money in my pocket and take their orders first. While I am quickly serving the last customer, my manager joins me at the counter. Before I can say a word, the angry customer is back.)

Customer: *to the manager* “Did she give you the 10€ for the urinal cakes? Your toilets are really dirty and disgusting, and you should do something about it!”

Manager: “I am sorry that our restrooms seem to be dirty, sir. I will go and check them myself. But what money are you talking about?”

Customer: *to the manager* “I gave her 10€ and told her to give them to you, so you can buy some urinal cakes!” *to me* “You little piece of s***! You put the money in your own pocket without even telling him!”

Me: “I was going to tell him, but then I had to serve new customers. Here: you can have the money back. I didn’t even want to take it in the first place, but you made me.”

Customer: *looking me up and down* “It seems that you are in need of all the money you can get. So, keep it, you poor piece of s***! What a crappy place!”

(He then storms out of the restaurant. My manager takes me to the back to ask what just happened there. I tell him the whole story, afraid that I’m in trouble for this.)

Manager: *laughing* “What an idiot! Just keep the money!”

Don’t Sweat It; No, Seriously, Don’t Sweat

, , , , | Right | October 10, 2017

(It is summer in San Diego, around 1:00 pm, and our air conditioner is broken. It is quite warm, to say the least. We are busy, and sweating is inevitable. I have a table of two women, maybe in their 40s, and I have just returned with their drinks.)

Me: “Ladies, are you ready to order?”

(One of them hands me a napkin because of the perspiration blatantly streaming down my forehead. I take it as a kind gesture, so I pat my forehead dry.)

Customer: “It’s a bit warm, huh?”

Me: “Thank you. Yes, it is; our air conditioner is broken.”

Customer: “You know, it’s not polite to sweat in front of customers.”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry, but it’s very hot in here, and I can’t really help it.”

Customer: “Oh. You’re one of those people.”

(…wait, what?)

All Opinions Matter, But Some Matter More

, , , | Right | October 9, 2017

(I work at a public library at the front desk, checking out books to patrons. I’ve seen many different characters, but this guy takes the cake. It’s a relatively busy Friday afternoon and I’ve just finished serving a few people when an older man in his 60s approaches me. He doesn’t have any books with him, so I just assume he has a question or two. It’s important to note that we have a “teen night” once a week, and they often help create displays to put up in the library.)

Me: “How can I help you?”

Man: “I just wanna say, it’s nothing against you or the staff here, but I’m really disappointed that the library would choose to support this ‘Black Lives Matter’ nonsense. I can’t believe you support that racist and violent propaganda! You really have to take that display down!”

(I just stand there in shock as he continues to rant about “violence propaganda,” and how “people in the United States are killed because of this movement,” and other unnerving things. As soon as he stops to catch his breath, I jump at the chance to offer to get my manager.)

Me: “I can go get my manager for you right now, if you’d like to complain.”

Man: “I’m not making a complaint; it’s just my opinion. It looks like some kids did that display so maybe they don’t know, but the staff should know better! It’s disgusting!”

(I ran and grabbed my manager anyway. After hearing another rant, she told him that the circulation staff don’t have any voice in what displays the library chooses, and offered him a meeting with our branch manager, who is the head of our library. He refused and left. My manager said after he left, “For someone who was so offended and wanted us to do something, he sure left quick!”. It’s been a few days and I haven’t seen him back. Hopefully, I won’t see him again.)

Measuring The Time

, , , , | Right | October 9, 2017

(I usually work in the factory, but on this day I am replacing our sales person who is sick, when a customer comes in.)

Customer: “I need someone to come to my house and take the measures for the windows I want to order, but they can only come after four in the evening because I am at work until then.”

(I set it all up and tell her our technician will call her and come by next day after four. The next day, the lady returns.)

Customer: “What kind of a business is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You said someone would come to my house and take the measurements. Why hasn’t anyone come?”

Me: “Didn’t you say that we can’t reach you before four o’clock?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s half past two.”

Customer: “Well, I got off early.”