Cease-Fire Is Over When You Can’t Be Fired

, , | Toronto, ON, Canada | Right | April 18, 2013

(I am working my very first shift at a new job. The coworker training me has stepped out to make a call. A middle-aged customer comes up to the counter looking cross. As he does a young woman comes through the door and sees him.)

Young Woman: “Oh, no! Oh, no, no, no! No you don’t!”

(The man turns around to face her in shock.)

Young Woman: “Not a chance! You came in here every single day for a year just to bully and ridicule me! You made me wait on you hand and foot, and complained the whole time, and you’ve yet to actually buy anything! Every day that you came in here — and made my life h*** — I went home and cried! You are nothing but a mean, pathetic loser, and I’ll be d***** if I let you treat this poor girl the way you treated me!”

Customer: “EXCUSE ME? YOU WILL BE FIRED FOR THIS YOU WORTHLESS B****!”

Young Woman: “Nope, not this time a**-hole! I don’t work here anymore. I got into college. I’m going to make something of myself. Now you go back to your sad angry little life, and don’t you dare harass anyone who works here again!”

(The man turns red, but leaves. The woman comes up to the counter smiling brightly.)

Young Woman: “Hey, you must be the new girl! I used to work here; just dropped by to pick up my last pay-check.”

(She notices my shocked expression.)

Young Woman: “I’ve been bottling that up for a long time. He shouldn’t bother you again.”


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Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 3

, | AB, Canada | Right | February 26, 2013

(I arrive at work an hour and a half early because I forgot what time I start. I decide to sit in the lobby and have lunch before my shift. I notice that the trash can is in dire need of being emptied and that the front counter is busier than usual. I start to tie the bag up, when a customer screeches at me.)

Customer:What do you think you’re doing?”

Me: “Just changing the garbage, ma’am. It was full to overflowing and it was too busy for someone to leave their post and do it.”

Customer: “You don’t have to do that, young man! You’re not one of these dropouts that lives in their parent’s basements who can’t do anything better with their lives! What are you taking?”

Me: “I’m planning on becoming an licensed practical nurse. But, ma’am, I don’t just go to school. I work to pay my bills. As a matter of fact, I live in a condo my mother owns. She does not live with me, and I pay rent to her. I pay for my electricity, my Internet, and my heating. How do I earn the money for this, you ask?”

(At this point I remove my hat from my bag, put it on and remove my coat, revealing that I am dressed in my work uniform.)

Me: “I work here, taking whatever hours I can get. A student without anything on their resume will take any job they can. ”

(I point to one of my coworkers who is mopping the floors at the back of the store.)

Me: “She’s a neuroscience student. Just like me she has bills to pay. In the future, please remember that people who work in fast food are not always drop outs, but more often than not students trying to fund their education. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take out this trash, unless you would like me to help extract your foot from your mouth first.”

(Flustered and obviously embarrassed, the customer leaves the store in a hurry. My manager, who is also a classmate of mine, speaks with me once I return from the dumpsters.)

Manager: “Technically, you could be fired for badmouthing a customer while on the job like that.”

Me: “Technically, I’m not working right now! I haven’t clocked in, and my shift’s not for another half hour.”

Manager: “Well then, brave citizen, how does free apple pie sound?”

(I accepted, of course. You just don’t say no to free pie!)

 Related:
Why Nurses Should Rule The World

Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 2

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They Crossed A Line

, | OH, USA | Right | December 27, 2012

(It is Black Friday. I am waiting with my friend in a queue that wraps all the way around the store. After 45 minutes, we are almost to the front. A nearby rack catches my eye, and since I’m not purchasing anything, I step out of line. My friend and the customer in front of her watch me hold a sweater up.)

Me: *to my friend* “Hey, do you think this sweater’s cute? It’s the last one!”

Friend: “Definitely. I’ll hold your purse while you try it on!”

(I step away to remove my purse. Suddenly, the customer who’s been watching me dashes over, rips the sweater from my hands, and tries to duck right back into line!)

Customer: “Haha, sorry! Guess you weren’t fast enough!”

Friend: “Are you kidding me? I’m not going to fight you for that sweater, but there’s no way you’re cutting back in front of me.”

Customer: “Whatever. I didn’t even leave the line.”

(A nearby employee, who has seen the entire exchange, speaks up before I can say another word.)

Employee: *to the customer* “Ma’am, I just saw you step out of line. You need to go to the back of the queue.”

Customer: “No way! I’ve been waiting forever! It’ll take me another hour to check out!”

Employee: “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t let you buy anything from us at all!”

(The customer stomps all the way to the back of the store.)

Friend and Me: *to the customer* “Haha, sorry! Guess you just weren’t quick enough!”

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The Cake Is A Lie, Part 5

, , , , | Right | November 22, 2012

(My aunt and uncle own a small bakery, specializing in artisan breads, muffins, and bagels. They have never sold cakes, cupcakes, or doughnuts. They also bought this shop in 1989, and have owned it ever since. It is a busy week for them, as one of their bakers is out sick. I am filling in and helping them out while their baker is recovering. A customer walks in whom I have never seen before. She is carrying an arm load of wedding planning brochures and folders, and is speaking to me between text messages she is sending on her phone.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Bakery]! How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yes, I need to place an order for a wedding cake. My daughter is getting married next week!” *she beams with pride*

Me: “Well, congratulations to your daughter! That’s wonderful news, but I’m afraid we don’t sell cakes. We do offer various types of bread, muffins, and bagels, however.”

Customer: “Good. I want it to be a three-tiered cake. On the top tier, I want carrot cake. The second tier should be dark chocolate. The bottom tier should be lemon. All of that with cream cheese icing. Doesn’t that sounds wonderful?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it does. However, as I just said, we don’t sell cakes here. We only sell bread, muffins, and bagels.”

Customer: “Oh, and on the top tier, could you make sure the carrot cake has no raisins? My darling hates raisins!”

Me: “Again, ma’am, we don’t sell nor bake cakes here.”

Customer: “What kind of special designs can you put in the icing? Her colors are black and pink, and I would like the cake to have a very modern, contemporary look.”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell cakes. I’m sure that a wedding cake specialist could make you what you want, but we can’t do that here. I do have the name of a great wedding cake designer that we refer customers to quite often, and you are free to make an appointment with her to discuss your daughter’s cake.”

(The customer is not paying attention; she doesn’t even look up from her latest text message.)

Customer: “Uh huh? Good.”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell cake.”

Customer: *again, not looking up* “Okay, so the wedding is next week, Saturday. The wedding starts at 5:00, the reception at 7:00 at [Local Hotel ballroom]. I’ll need it delivered to the hotel no earlier than 6:00, and no later than 6:30.”

Me: “Ma’am, like I said, we don’t sell wedding cakes! I have the name of someone you can call, but with just over a week until the wedding I’m not sure she, or anyone, would have time to prepare what it is you are asking.”

Customer: “Oh, and just put it on my house account with you and send me a bill.”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t do billing, and haven’t in the entire time I’ve been in this shop. Plus, we don’t sell wedding cakes!”

Customer: *suddenly looking up* “What do you mean, you don’t do billing?! I’ve been a loyal customer of this bakery for more than 20 years! I have never been told I couldn’t have a bill sent to my house! I am good friends with [Former Owner], I’ll have you know!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sure you and [Former Owner] are good friends. However, they sold this bakery to the current owners in 1989. She has not owned, nor been affiliated with, this bakery in 23 years.”

Customer: *goes back to her phone as a new text message comes in* “Yes, I thought you’d see things my way! Now, I have to run. Bill me; my name should be in your system!”

(As I try to protest and get her attention, she sweeps out the door while answering an incoming phone call. Since I did not know her name, or any way to reach her, I simply write off the experience as an oddity and continue about my day. I leave a note for my uncle, who is opening the next day, but he apparently doesn’t share the note about the customer with my aunt. The next week, on Friday afternoon, I get a frantic phone call from my aunt. She is upset and asking something about me taking an order for a wedding cake, and begging me to come down to the bakery to help her figure out what is going on. As I enter the bakery, the woman from earlier is back, having come in to check on the status of the cake order, and my heart sinks.)

Customer: *pointing to me* “Him! He is the one who took my order, guaranteed that it would be ready, and promised to bill me for it! Why would you hire such a worthless piece of trash?!”

Aunt: “Miss, that is my nephew. Please do not call him names.”

Customer: “Oh, I’ll call him whatever I want to call him! He screwed up and deserves to be held accountable here!”

Aunt: “Miss, as I already told you, we have never sold wedding cakes. I don’t know what you are talking about!” *then, to me* “Did you promise her a wedding cake, to be delivered tomorrow to [Local Hotel ballroom]?”

Me: “No, I didn’t. In fact, that is opposite of what I told her. I told her, several times, that we do not sell wedding cakes, and never have. I tried to give her [Wedding Cake Designer]’s name, but she didn’t listen to me.”

Customer: “Like h*** you did! You promised me a cake for my daughter’s wedding! Her wedding is tomorrow and I demand you make sure her cake is there!”

Me: “There is nothing we can do. I told you, several times, that all we sell are breads, muffins, and bagels. We don’t sell cakes. We don’t deliver. And we don’t bill people. I’m sorry if you didn’t understand that earlier. I’d be happy to offer you a couple loaves of bread if it would help smooth things over here. But, I’m sorry; there is nothing I can do about a wedding cake.”

Customer: “I don’t want your disgusting breads! I want the cake you promised me!”

(She starts swearing up a storm and threatening me bodily harm.)

Aunt: “That’s it! Ma’am, my nephew explained to you when you first came in that we don’t sell cake. He offered to put you in contact with a wedding cake designer. You didn’t listen to him, so this mistake is all yours. Now you are threatening him. Please leave, before I call the police.”

Customer: “You haven’t heard the last of this! You will all be sorry for what you have done here!”

(Sure enough, she stayed true to her promise. Over the next six months we heard from her four different attorneys she hired, her daughter, and her new son-in-law. Each time we explained to a family member what had happened, and they apologized profusely for her behavior once they realized what kind of bakery we were. Each attorney we sat down with who represented her apologized for wasting our time, and then dropped her case. Two of those attorneys are now regular customers of the bakery and love the breads!)

 

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Viva La Revelation

, , , | Right | August 1, 2012

(It’s the 4th of July, and I’m 9.5 hours into my 10-hour shift. For the umpteenth time today, a customer asks why I’m working on the 4th of July.)

Me: “Welcome to [Credit Card] customer service. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Why the h*** are you at work on Independence Day?! Are you even American?”

Me: “Yes, sir, I was born and raised in Florida. How can I help you?”

Customer: “If you’re really an American, you wouldn’t be working today. You’d be celebrating our nation’s freedom!”

Me: “You know, I’d love to be with the rest of my family enjoying the festivities and fireworks, not to mention the food, but I’m here working to support my family. And, I wouldn’t be working if YOU weren’t calling.”

Customer: “Oh… I never thought of it that way.”

Me: “No one ever does. How can I help you?”


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