You Can Be Pompous In Any Language

, , , , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(I am serving a customer when an older woman comes up and speaks to me in a language other than English.)

Me: “Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

(The older woman shrugs and wanders off.)

Customer: *in a snooty voice* “She was speaking Arabic; she asked you for a bag.”

Me: “Oh, did she? I’ll get her one when I’ve finished serving you.”

Customer: “You don’t speak Arabic, then?”

Me: “Uh, no.”

Customer: “You mustn’t be very well-travelled, then.”

Me: *annoyed now* “Unfortunately not. I’m afraid I only speak four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Polish. Had she spoken to me in any of those languages, I could have responded, but unfortunately I have not yet learnt Arabic.”

Customer: “Well, I speak the language fluently. It’s quite an important language in Australia.”

(I’ve just finished an Anthropology course on migration in Australia, so I know this fact.)

Me: “You’re right; it’s currently spoken by almost 1% of our population.”

(She went red at this and we finished the transaction in silence.)

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Too Chicken To Go To Your Competitor

, , , , , , , , | Right | October 24, 2017

(At our supermarket deli, we sell two types of oven-roasted chickens. The supermarket brand is barn-raised and comes in a brown bag, while the name-brand is free-range, $1 extra, and comes in a green bag. We cut the chickens in half upon request. It is one to two hours before closing, and the oven has been turned off for the day so it can be cleaned. Our large batch of cooked chickens has managed to sell really well; there is only one “normal,” or barn-raised, chicken and two of the name-brand, free-range chickens left in the warmer. A customer comes up to the counter.)

Customer #1: “Hi, could I please get half a chicken?”

Me: “Sure thing! Just the normal one, or did you want the free-range?”

Customer #1: “Just the normal one, thanks.”

(As I get out my plate and scissors, another customer pipes up.)

Customer #2: “Can I have the other half?”

Me: “Yep, no worries!”

(I cut the chicken and give each customer half. The customers leave, satisfied. At this point, another customer who has been standing further away, but who has been eyeing the warmer this entire time, approaches the counter.)

Customer #3: “I’d like a hot chicken, please.”

Me: “Okay. We’ve sold out of our normal chickens, but you can grab a free-range one right here.” *gestures towards two free-range chickens remaining, only $1 more than the barn-raised ones*

Customer #3: “No, I don’t want the free-range one; I want the normal one.”

Me: “Okay, well, I’m really sorry, but it’s 7:30 and our oven has been turned off for the day so it can be cleaned, and this was our last batch—”

Customer #3: “Don’t just say sorry. I can’t eat ‘sorry.’”

Me: *slightly taken aback* “Um… Well, there’s a [Roast Chicken and Chips Store] just next door, so you can try there—”

Customer #3: “I don’t want their chicken. I want a [Supermarket Brand] chicken, now.”

(At this point, I am completely at a loss. Thankfully, my coworker comes back from her break, and I wave her over and quickly explain the situation. My coworker is a few years younger than I am, and has far less patience for difficult customers than I do.)

Coworker: *talking slowly like she’s talking to a five-year-old, complete with over-dramatic hand gestures* “We’ve run out of our normal chickens tonight. We only have the free-range ones left.”

Customer #3: “I don’t want the free-range chickens.”

Coworker: *continuing her condescending tone* “Okay, well, I’m sorry, but our oven is being cleaned, so we can’t magic up a chicken for you. If you like, you can always go next door and grab a chicken from [Roast Chicken and Chips Store].”

(They go back and forth a little while, and I have to clench my teeth so I don’t start laughing. The customer keeps reiterating that he “can’t eat ‘sorry’” and “wants a [Supermarket Brand] chicken.” Thankfully, the late hour means it’s relatively quiet in the store, and nobody else comes up to the deli during this exchange.)

Customer #3: “Maybe I’ll just take my business to [Rival Supermarket], then.”

Me: *in the politest, most helpful voice I can muster* “You’re welcome to do that, if you like.”

Customer #3: “That’s all you have to say? You’re just going to let me go to [Rival Supermarket]?”

Me: “You’re a free person, sir, in a free country. I’m in no place to stop you from doing what you want to do.”

([Customer #3] seems to stammer a bit, then shrugs his shoulders.)

Customer #3: “I just feel like I came all this way from [Suburb ten minutes away] for a hot chicken, and I deserve at least a voucher or something.”

(My coworker, who has gotten well and truly sick of dealing with him, whips around.)

Coworker: “You want a voucher? Okay, we’ll give you a voucher.”

(She rifles through the drawers until she finds the vouchers for free chickens. I stop myself from pointing out that the customer “can’t eat vouchers.” Instead, I turn back to the customer.)

Me: “You say you’re from [Suburb]? Next time you come here late like this, just give us a call earlier during the day and tell us you want to reserve a chicken. All you have to do is give us your name and the time you’ll come to pick it up, and we’ll keep one aside for you, so this doesn’t happen again.”

Customer #3: “No, that won’t be necessary.”

Me: *feigning concern* “I just don’t want you to have to go through the trouble of driving all the way here, as you said, and finding out we’ve run out of chickens. It’s really simple; you just have to ring up and tell us next time to save you a chicken.”

Customer #3: “No, I know what to do for next time. It’s fine.”

(The customer got his voucher and left. I suspect that he waited until all the barn-raised chickens had been bought so he could try and wheedle a voucher out of us. Judging from his reaction to my last suggestion, he was probably a repeat offender!)

Your Excuse Has Been Declined

, , , , , | Right | October 19, 2017

(I’ve just finished ringing up a customer’s purchases, and now she’s swiping her card to pay. Unfortunately, it’s declined.)

Me: “Sorry, I’m afraid that didn’t go through. Did you maybe want to try it again?”

Customer: “Huh? I just picked this card up from the bank before coming here. It should work. It’s brand new.”

Me: “That’s weird. Try it again.”

(She tries again. Once again, it doesn’t work.)

Me: “No, sorry. It’s saying ‘contact bank.’ Are you sure it’s been activated?”

Customer: “Yes. As I said, I just got it. Set it up again.”

Me: “Okay.”

(She tries paying again. Once again it is declined.)

Customer: “Why is it being declined? It should work.”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe try going back to the bank and asking them. I’ll watch your shopping for you.”

(The bank in question is in the same shopping centre as my work, and roughly a two-minute walk away, so suggesting she quickly runs over there to find out what’s going on isn’t an unreasonable suggestion.)

Customer: “No. It’ll work. Let me try again.”

(Again she tries. Again it fails. Now she’s getting noticeably annoyed.)

Customer: “This is a new card. It should work. Why won’t you let it through?”

Me: “It’s not me. All I do is tell the register you’re paying by card, and you do the rest.”

Customer: “Well, then, it should work. Do it again, and make sure it isn’t rejected this time.”

(She ends up trying it about ten times in total, each time getting more and more annoyed at me, despite my insistence that it’s out of my power. Eventually, she gives up and pays cash, all the while muttering about how her card should work. She leaves, but ten minutes later she comes back with a smug look on her face.)

Customer: “Just so you know, I just used my new card to get money out of an ATM.”

Me: “Oh, good.”

Customer: “So, obviously, it was you that was the problem all along. Maybe keep that in mind next time you decide to reject my card and tell me it’s my fault.”

(D***, how could I have forgotten about ATMs? Now she could see right through my devious plan to stop her, a random 60-something-year-old woman whom I’d never met before, from paying for her groceries. Is it any wonder my heart now skips a panicked beat every time a customer’s card is rejected?)

Unfiltered Story #97621

, | Unfiltered | October 15, 2017

So, I work at a party shop that sells balloons as well as the option to have them inflated them with helium to make them float. The following situation happens on a regular occurrence with different customers however this is my favourite one!

Middle aged customer walks in with balloons on ribbons that are tied to a balloon weight. The balloons are clearly just filled with air as they are dragging along the floor, not floating at all.
customer: Hi! I’m so confused. I inflated the balloons that I bought from you but they’re not floating! Is something wrong with them?
me: how did you inflate them? did you hire a helium cylinder from us or do you have access to helium?
customer: oh! no I just inflated them by mouth. I thought it would be cheaper than helium.
me: yes it’s cheaper but balloons don’t float with air. they need to be inflated with helium to float.
customer: oh! really?!

I can’t stop picturing the customer sitting at home, huffing and puffing away and not understanding why her breath isn’t making the balloons float x’D

The Sorting Hat Must Have Been Wrong About Her

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 4, 2017

(I work at a retail store that sells lots of geeky merchandise for rather high prices. One day, a group of kids come in who are very excited. They spend about 15 minutes looking around the shop and choosing what they want, and then they come up to the counter. I ring them up and it comes to about $60. The oldest one, a girl, looks about 16 and is using a card to pay for everything she and her siblings are purchasing. It all goes well, and we joke about Harry Potter, as she’s wearing a Slytherin scarf, and they leave the store. Ten minutes later, they come back, looking a little apprehensive.)

Oldest Girl: “Umm, hi. We were checking our receipt, and we realised we weren’t charged for something.”

(I almost do a double-take; this is opposite of what I expected. She pulls out a stuffed Pokéball, which I remember being part of her stuff, and the receipt.)

Oldest Girl: “This wasn’t on our receipt.”

(I check the receipt twice, and she’s right; I forgot to ring it up. Unfortunately, it’s store policy not to give discounts or free items except during a sale, so I have to ring it up as well.)

Me: “Thanks, mate. I don’t think too many people would have come back.”

Oldest Girl: *nervous smile* “Oh, it’s nothing.”

(She paid and left with her siblings. I was really impressed, and was glad to see that kids have the honesty and integrity to come back, especially seeing as I’ve seen far worse from people older than her.)

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