This Conversation Is Going Down The Drain

, , , , , , , | Right | October 20, 2017

(I am working with a customer to find a drain that will fit his custom-made sink. It’s going slowly, but smoothly enough.)

Me: “Okay, I have found one that will work. What finish will you need it in?”

Customer: “One that will match my faucet.”

Me: “Okay, what color is your faucet?”

Customer: “Brown-ish.”

Me: “Um, okay. So… oil-rubbed bronze? A dark brown?”

Customer: “No… Like a light brown.”

Me: “Do you know the brand? That might help narrow this down so that we get a matching drain for you.”

Customer: “Um… I don’t know. I think it starts with a ‘D’ or something.”

(I manage to narrow down the brands and find the color.)

Me: “Well, I will have to order the drain in that color, but I am positive this is the right one. It should be here in the next two to four days. Will that be all right?”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “What does what mean?”

Customer: “Order.”

Me: “Well, sometimes we don’t have the right thing in stock. We have to reach out to the manufacture and have them send one to us.”

Customer: “So, you don’t make these things?”

Me: “No, sir. Each brand is in charge of making their products. We are in charge of selling them.”

Customer: “Well, how lazy! You should make them!”

Me: “We are not a brand. We are a home improvement store. If we made all the brands, they would just be one big brand.”

Customer: “That does not even make sense! All these things are made by some big corporation!”

Me: “I can assure you that is not the case. This brand is made in Indiana, this one in California, several are made overseas in Japan or China, and I have a few that are made in Mexico. And that is just in faucets.”

Customer: “Whatever. Order that part, since you don’t want to make me one.”

Me: “Okay, we can do that! I will need at least a half payment down. That would be $25. A ten dollar handling charge will be added when the part comes in.”

Customer: “You don’t need money down! Just order it!”

Me: “I am afraid I cannot do that. Money is put down to ensure that the ordered part will be fully purchased after it comes in.”

Customer: “What if I decide I don’t want it?”

Me: “Then you pay the handling free, but the rest of the money will be refunded.”

Customer: “You would keep part of my money?”

Me: “The item costs money to be ordered; therefore, the handling fee money stays with the store. It’s like a shipping fee when you order something online.”

Customer: “That is such a lie! Why are you trying to take my money?”

Me: “I can promise no one is trying to take your money. All you have to do is put half down, and then pick up the item when it comes in, with the other half of the money.”

Customer: “And I would get the handling free back?”

Me: “No. That is part of the total price of the item.”

Customer: “I want a manager!”

(My manager comes over after a minute or two of awkward silence.)

Manager: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “Yes, this lady is trying to swindle me! She refused to make me a drain, lied to me about where this stuff is made, and is now trying to swindle me with fees!”

Manager: “So, what you are really saying is that she found what you needed, but we are out of stock, and you have to order this part with a standard handling fee?”

Customer: “Yes! Just go to the back and make me a drain!”

Manager: “I am sure it’s been explained to you that each brand makes its own parts? Each brand is unique with coloring, style, and manufacturing process.” *customer tightly nods* “I cannot go to the back and magically make one out of a pallet. Now, would you like to order the part you need, or do I have to escort you out for accusing my employee of theft?”

(The customer threw down $25 dollars and stormed out. We ordered the part, but since the customer stormed out, we never got into contact information. Two weeks later:)

Customer: “WHERE IS MY DRAIN?”

Manager: *who saw him come in* “We ordered it, but since you left without giving us any contact information, we had no way of informing you. If you would like to pay the remaining balance, I will happily send my associate to get it from the back.”

Customer: “This is such terrible customer service. You just didn’t want to call me!”

Manager: “I am supposed to know how to call you when you left no name, number, or any sort of identification to get a hold of you?”
Customer: “Yes!”

Breakfast In Cougartown

, , , , , | Working | October 20, 2017

(I am about six feet and seven inches tall, 17 years old, and a guy, while my mom is about five feet and five inches tall, and 42 years old. My face is almost identical to hers, so it’s obvious we are related. My mom and I are going out to eat breakfast. Everything is going well; our server is attentive and our food is perfect. When it comes time to pay, this happens:)

Server: *looks at me with the check* “I’m just going to give you the check, if that’s all right. You are in no rush! You two enjoy!”

(I take a peek at the check, and it’s around twenty five or so dollars, not bad for the size meal we had. We finish up our meal and our server checks up on us one last time before we go to the register.)

Server: *gestures to me* “He’s paying right?”

(My mom always insists on paying for the check so she just laughs.)

Mom: “Nope! Not a dime this time!”

Server: *turns back to me* “Some lousy boyfriend you are!”

(It now dawns on both of us what our server was thinking: that my mom, at 42, would date a guy as young as I am. My mom and I both rush to explain and we all share a laugh about it. Later, when we’ve paid.)

Me: “Did… did she call you a cougar?”

Mom: “I guess so! Man, I like ’em young, don’t I?”

You’re Oil, She’s Water

, , , , , | Right | October 14, 2017

(A customer is walking through the spice aisle, looking confused. She looks to be in her late twenties.)

Me: “Miss, can I help you?

Customer: “Yeah… What is this?” *she points to a bottle of olive oil*

Me: “That is olive oil, ma’am.”

Customer: “What does it do?”

Me: “It’s used for cooking, and used on pasta, or dips for bread.”

Customer: “You can cook with it?”

Me: “Yes, you can.”

Customer: “Oh. What is it made from?”

Me: “Olives, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh… what are olives?”

Taking The Plunge To Customer Service

, , , , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(I work front desk at a hotel. We are very short-staffed and don’t have maintenance or housekeeping 24 hours a day, just one front desk during each shift. This week we have a quite a few softball teams staying with us, and we have already had problems with one of the mothers giving us a hard time. It’s late at night, and I’m the only one working when one of the parents calls down to the front desk.)

Me: “Front desk.”

Mom: “Yes, do you have housekeeping here 24 hours a day?”

Me: “No, I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we don’t.”

Mom: “Oh?! I’ve never heard of that before! At every other hotel we have stayed at, they have 24 hour housekeeping!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about this, ma’am.”

Mom: “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” *hangs up*

(About 10 or 20 minutes pass before the same room calls back down.)

Daughter: “We need a plunger.”

Me: “Okay, I just need someone to come down here and get it.”

(Our policy is that we aren’t allowed to leave the front desk unless it’s somewhere close by, like the pool area. Sometimes if we are slower, then we can run up to the room and drop stuff off, but since we are right around capacity, we have to stay by the desk to help guests.)

Daughter: “Okay.” *hangs up*

(The same room calls down not even five minutes later.)

Mom: *angrily* “What do you mean that we have to come down and get the plunger?! You already don’t have housekeeping 24 hours, and now you don’t have anyone in maintenance to come plunge our toilet?! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about this, ma’am, but I am the only one here, and I’m not allowed to leave the front desk.”

Mom: *sighs angrily* “Fine! I’ll send my husband down!” *click*

(I hope that is the last of it, but the phone rings again less than a minute later, and it’s still the same room.)

Dad: “What do you mean, I have to plunge my own toilet?! There is no way that is going to happen! You are going to come up here and plunge the toilet for me!”

Me: “I am very sorry, sir, but as I said before, I am unable to leave the desk.”

Dad: “This is ridiculous!” *click*

(I call up the GM of the hotel and tell him he has to get here because I am having issues with some guests, and as I am talking to him, the mom from the room comes up to me.)

Me: *moves the phone aside* “How can I help you?”

Mom: “I want to talk to your manager!”

Me: “I am on the phone with him right now, ma’am.”

Mom: “Give me the phone; I want to talk to him.”

(I tell my manager that the mom wants to talk to him, and he tells me to hand her the phone. As I stand there, I can hear the two of them arguing back and forth.)

Mom: *hands me the phone* “You talk. I can’t understand him at all!”

Me: *into the phone* “[Manager], it’s me. She said she can’t understand you.”

Manager: “I will be right there.” *click*

Me: *to the mom* “My manager says he will be right here.”

Mom: “Good, and I’m so sorry about this. I didn’t know it was you that I was talking to on the phone! You have been so nice to us since we’ve been here!”

(Note that I have been working since 3:00 pm and it’s about 10:00 pm right now.)

Me: *almost in tears* “It’s okay, ma’am. I understand.”

Mom: “Oh, no! Don’t cry! It’s not your fault! Here; give me the plunger and we can do it ourselves!”

(I go to the back to get the plunger, while still trying to hold back tears, then hand it to her.)

Mom: “I will be right back with it.”

(She leaves to go plunge her toilet. She and her husband come back down and the husband is pissed.)

Mom: “Give her the plunger back, dear.”

Dad: “No! I want this man to see what he expects us to do!” *raises the plunger like a bat and looks like he is going to swing at someone*

Manager: *rushes into the front desk area, going to get a plunger*

Me: “[Manager], they already did it. They are standing at the front desk wanting to talk to you.”

Manager: “Okay.” *walks to the front desk* “What seems to be the problem?”

Mom: “What’s the problem? You expect us to plunge our own toilet! When we come to a hotel, we expect to be completely taken care of and not have to worry about stuff like that!”

Manager: “Ma’am, you are renting a room from us. If you need a toilet plunged, we have it down here. You just have to come get it.”

Dad: “That’s not right!”

(At this point they were sitting there, arguing about how the manager should have more people on staff. It got so bad that when our security guard came in for the night, the husband got pissed off at him, too! The mom had to force her husband to go upstairs so he didn’t get arrested! That’s what you get for yelling at the front desk for no reason, you jerk!)

Dealing With Humans Is A Lottery

, , , , | Right | October 12, 2017

(I work at a stadium. Across the street is a small mom-and-pop bodega owned by a very nice family from India. I usually eat there because the food is good and cheap, and the location is convenient. On game days, they get slammed with drunk tailgaters walking over from the stadium. This exchange takes place one afternoon on my lunch break.)

Owner: “Hello. How are you today, and what may I get you?”

Me: “I am doing well, sir, and you? It looks like you guys are super busy, so I will just take a [pre-made sandwich]. Thank you!”

(As he hands me my lunch and rings me up, he hands me three lottery tickets.)

Me: “Oh, I don’t need these; I didn’t pay for them.”

Owner: “Take them as a gift, sir. You are literally the only person who has been polite and talked to me as a human being all d*** day!”

(See, kids? It pays to be polite!)

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