The Windy City Versus The Windbag Customer

, , , , | Right | February 1, 2018

(I’m around 19 with blonde hair and dimples, working my summer job while I attend college. I’m trying to be just ordinarily pleasant.)

Customer: “You’re so cute and friendly! You must be Canadian!”

Me: “Actually, I’m from Chicago!”

Customer: “UGH! Why would anyone want to be from there?!

Me: *counting the ways this question is weird*

Customer: *accusatorily* “AND, you don’t have a Chicago accent!”

Me: “Um, sorry?!”

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Parking Should Have Been A Walk In The Park

, , , , | Friendly | January 31, 2018

(This happens to my husband while on a road trip. He pulls in to a well-known coffee chain and sits in his van in the parking lot, just going through the accumulation of stuff from his trip, throwing out trash, etc. A woman in a Range Rover pulls into the space on his right, so close that the side mirrors are nearly touching. She then puts down her window, motioning for him to do the same.)

Husband: “Can I help you?”

Woman: *very snooty* “You have positioned your vehicle in such a way that I am unable to get out of mine. I need you to move.”

Husband: “Lady, I’ve been sitting here for 20 minutes. You parked too close to get out.”

Woman: “Well, are you going to move?”

Husband: “No!”

(She sat for a minute, and then when she realized he really wasn’t moving, she huffily left, presumably to park in one of the other spaces. The kicker? Two spaces away, in the same row, there were at least five empty spaces in a row.)

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Breaking Bread With Bad Customers

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(I’m using a bread slicer machine to slice a loaf of bread for a customer.)

Customer: “No, no. You did it wrong!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

(I show him the bread. He points out a small indent in the bread and says I need to slice another loaf while holding the top of the bread slicer machine up so it doesn’t squish the bread. I comply, and the bread comes out clean with no minor dents. I place the rejected bread on the sample board, and as the customer is checking out, he takes slice of the bread.)

Me: “So, the bread wasn’t good enough to buy, but still good enough to eat?”

Customer: “That’s right.”

(I wish I could have charged him for that.)

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It’s Not Policy To Keep Our Workers Alive

, , , , , , , | Working | January 31, 2018

(A major highway leads to the mall where I am store manager. I’m driving to the store in the morning during a freezing cold and icy day, when all local schools have been cancelled. Normally, I plan to be at the store a half-hour before my employees. This day, my GPS tells me that the entire highway is blocked off ahead of me due to an accident. I quickly reroute to go around the blocked highway, but spy thousands of cars stuck in standstill traffic across four lanes. I then find myself navigating slippery back roads, passing cars that have slid off onto the shoulder. Traffic is slow or stopped along the back roads, too, as commuters avoiding the highway overwhelm the smaller streets. Finally, I get to the store, a half-hour later than anticipated, and find that two employees have arrived before me out of my opening staff of 19. I send one of my employees a few doors down to a doughnut shop for two dozen doughnuts and a large box of hot chocolate. Then, as employees arrive, I assure each of them that I will be overriding their late clock-in, and I sweeten the deal with coffee and donuts to calm frayed nerves. We manage to get the store open ten minutes before our first customer arrives, and all my employees are in great moods despite the miserable morning. It seems fine… until corporate calls.)

Corporate: “You had a seventeen people come in late, and you overrode every single one. Explain yourself!”

Me: “We had dangerous driving conditions.”

Corporate: “And?”

Me: “And I was later than I anticipated, as well.”

Corporate: “And?”

Me: “And I bought them all breakfast.”

Corporate: “What?!”

Me: “Look: I want my people to know that they should be safe. Their lives are more important than being on time.”

Corporate: “Well, that’s not corporate policy!”

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Self-Inflicted Refunder Blunder

, , , , | Right | January 31, 2018

(A new tenant recently moved out without notice just a couple days after moving in. She contacts me to get a refund of part of her rent. I remember the tenant well; she paid her first month’s rent with several large money orders and a small personal check. The boss approves the waiving of the 30-day notice policy for this case, in hopes of making the tenant a little happier so she doesn’t badmouth us around town. I call the tenant back to give her the good news, and to let her know that the paperwork has been filed to get her refund.)

Me: “[Boss] agreed to waive the 30-day notice requirement, so we’ll be able to refund $[amount] to you. I’ve submitted the paperwork to our central office, so a check will be issued next Wednesday and mailed to you.”

Tenant: “What? I can’t wait that long; I have bills to pay at my new apartment! I’ll just come in, and you can write me a check today.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot write a check myself; all our checks go through our central office across the state.”

Tenant: “Hmph. So, I’ll get the check next Wednesday?”

Me: “No, the check will be printed next Wednesday. Unless you want to drive across the state to pick it up, they’ll have to mail it, and it should arrive on Friday.”

Tenant: “Nonsense like this is why I moved out! I’ve never seen another company so incompetent!”

(The next Wednesday, I get a call from my supervisor at the central office.)

Supervisor: “We got notice from [Tenant]’s bank that she stopped payment on her check, so I had to adjust the balance on her account. You’ll need to redo the paperwork on that refund. We’ll just plan on refunding it next week, instead.”

(The purest moment joy in my life was calling the former tenant to let her know that by stopping payment on her check, which we were refunding in full, she had delayed her refund another week.)

Refunder Blunder, Part 32
Refunder Blunder, Part 31
Refunder Blunder, Part 30

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