What We’re Going To Do Is Not What You Were Expecting

| NY, USA | Holidays, Liars & Scammers

(We’ve been having issues with a customer who has been bringing in gift-cards for small amounts of money — usually $5-$10 — and claiming that they were supposed to have higher amounts. We let it slide the first time since sometimes mistakes do happen. But it’s become a trend with him and we’re starting to suspect he’s been scamming us. Today is the day after Christmas and it’s the third time he’s coming in claiming that his gift-cards are missing money. He’s just ordered popcorn and drinks for himself and his young daughter.)

Me: “All right, your total is $20.”

(He hands me a gift-card. I scan it and it takes $5 off his orders.)

Me: “So, after that you’ll owe $15.”

Customer: “Then we’re going to have a problem…”

Me: “I’m sorry, why?”

Customer: “That’s a $25 gift-card. See?”

(He presents me what appears to be a printed-out piece of paper with our theater’s name and “$25 Gift Card” printed on it. The sort that come with online-ordered gift-cards.)

Me: “Hmm, let me try it again.”

(I try it twice more. Same result.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. The computer says there’s exactly $5 on this card.”

Customer: “Come on! You’re supposed to make the customer happy, right? Make me a happy customer! It’s only $15! And this was a Christmas gift for $25! Just give me my order for free and we’ll call it square… sound good? $15 isn’t a huge loss with the crowds you’re bringing in.”

Me: “Unfortunately sir, I cannot just give you free items. $15 may not be much, but I cannot just give out free items without authorization and have my register short by $15. Do you have any way of verifying how much was on the card? Like a receipt?”

Customer: “Nope. This is a problem, then. And how are we going to resolve it?”

(I flag down a manager who checks the card on another register. Sure enough, EXACTLY $5.)

Manager: *blunt* “There’s $5 on this card. That’s all we can give you towards your order unless you can give us some way to verify that there was supposed to be more on it.”

Customer: “My uncle gave me this gift-card for Christmas. He didn’t give me the receipt. Come on! We don’t hang onto receipts.”

Manager: “Then there’s nothing else we can do. If you can bring in proof to verify your claims, we can give you a refund in the future.”

Customer: “But there’s supposed to be $25 on it! I have a print-out!”

(I’m now 100% sure he’s trying to scam us. I’ve just noticed it was an in-store purchased gift-card. Those don’t come with print-outs like the one he’s presenting, meaning that either he or his “uncle” printed it out themselves.)

Manager: *stern* “There’s nothing more we can do. We can honor the $5 on the card at this time, but that’s it.”

Customer: *very smarmy* “You’re supposed to make the customer happy! Make me a happy customer! What can we do?”

Manager: *VERY stern* “I. Just. Told. You. What. We. Can. Do.”

Customer: “But it’s only $5 off! You don’t even offer gift cards for $5! Who buys a $5 gift-card! So you KNOW that I’m telling the truth.”

Manager: “We do indeed offer $5 gift-cards. So that tells me nothing.”

Customer: “So you’re not going to give me my $25 that I got as a Christmas present?”

Manager: “No!”

(The customer SLAMS his wallet onto the counter and thus thrusts his fist forward about six inches from my manager’s face, flipping him off. I cringe, trying to contain myself from both laughing and from telling him off.)

Manager: *shocked, but still very stern* “Sir, do NOT do that. There are FAMILIES here.”

(The customer mutters a weak apology, pays, and doesn’t say one word. In a last ditch attempt to calm him down, I humor him.)

Me: *handing him his now-empty gift-card* “If you can find a receipt, bring it in.”

Customer: *snatching it from my hand; to his daughter:* “And that’s what you call a lesson in highway-robbery! Let’s get out of here.”

(He wanders away whining and complaining.)

Me: *to a coworker who witnessed the whole thing* “Yeah, says the guy who just tried to scam me and get away with $15 in free merchandise…”

Can’t Be Saved From Daylight Saving

| USA | Time

(It is the day after Daylight Saving. I am sweeping the lobby when an older gentleman, probably in his fifties, walks up to me looking irritated.)

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Yes! There is something wrong with theater nine!”

Me: “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “The wrong movie is playing! Some d*** animated movie is playing!”

Me: *confused as the movie in question IS supposed to be playing in that theater* “Yes, [Kids’ Movie] is scheduled to play in there right now.”

Customer: “But I wanted to see [Movie]! Not [Kids’ Movie]! The stupid girl at the counter told me the wrong theater!”

Me: “Well, sir, she is new, so that may have happened. I’m not sure which movies are playing where but if you’d like to follow me, I can point you to the correct theater.”

Customer: *mumbles about incompetent employees but follows me back to the ticket counter*

Me: “Oh, all right! It looks like that was the correct theater. [Movie] just does not play in there until 4:25.”

Customer: “Are you f****** stupid? My movie should have ALREADY started!”

Me: “Uh… It is only 3:30.” *I point to the clock on the wall, beneath the movie times* “There is still another hour before your movie starts.”

Customer: “IT IS 4:30 RIGHT NOW!”

(He rolls up his sleeve and shoves his watch in my face. It does say 4:30, but it is starting to dawn on me what happened here.)

Me: “Did you happen to change your watch back an hour for Daylight Saving Time last night, sir?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “At midnight the clocks went back an hour. It’s 3:30 right now.”

Customer: *his face flushes red* “B… but… well, no one told me I had to do that!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. You may sit in our lobby until your movie starts, or I can refund your ticket if you’d like.”

Customer: “I, uh… I will take a refund.”

Me: *I process the transaction and go to hand his money back to him* “Enjoy the rest of your—”

Customer: “Aren’t you going to give a free pass or a coupon, too?”

Me: “I don’t believe so. We typically only give out free passes if a movie breaks down.”

Customer: “But I drove all the way down here and I don’t even get to see my movie!”

Me: “So, you’d like a free pass because you drove down here too early due to you forgetting to change your clocks, even though I fully refunded the ticket?”

Customer: “That is right.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I can not do that. Have a nice afternoon!”

Customer: *glares at me and takes his money, walking away and still grumbling about horrible service*

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action, Please

| NM, USA | Movies & TV

(It’s a somewhat busy night at the theater, and we’re doing a pretty good job at keeping a good pace for low customer wait times. We get some sticklers who ask us what’s showing and slow the entire process down.)

Customer: “What’s on around this time?”

Me: “Hmm, well we have a lot of films right now. Is there anything you want in particular? Comedy, action, romance?”

Customer: “Uh, what’s on right now?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’d be happy to help. Is there anything specific you’re in the mood for?”

Customer: “How about you tell me what’s playing now.”

(I continue to tell her every show we have playing, which at the time is roughly 14.)

Customer: “Why’d you have to waste our time? We only wanted to see an action movie.”

Thankful To Be Rid Of You

| Long Island, NY, USA | Holidays

(I’m working box office at a movie theater on Thanksgiving Day. My shift starts right around noon, and goes until around eleven at night, meaning I miss most of the holiday. I’m sad about this, as I’m a huge holiday person, but I’m trying to put on a cheery face for the customers. Two older women come up to my register, both smiling and still well-dressed from Thanksgiving dinner.)

Me: “Good afternoon! What can I do for you both today?”

Customer: “We’re just so excited to be here; we just had the best Thanksgiving dinner!”

Me: “That’s great!”

Customer: “Are you all excited to have dinner with your family?”

Me: *trying my best to keep my tone happy and light* “Well, unfortunately, I won’t be able to, but I’m looking forward to the leftovers; those are the best parts anyway!”

(Suddenly, both women lose their friendly manner and stare at me with heavy frowns, eyeing me as if I’ve just spit on an American flag.)

Customer: “You mean you aren’t having Thanksgiving dinner?”

Me: “Well, not at the same time as my family.”

Customer: “Well, why not? Don’t you like Thanksgiving?”

Me: “I love Thanksgiving, but my family always has dinner at two, and I’ve been at work since noon.”

Customer: “Don’t you have a Thanksgiving dinner to go later today?”

Me: *still trying to smile and ignore their frowns and angry tones* “Well, my boyfriend’s family does eat around six, but I’m working here until eleven, so I’m afraid I’ll miss that, too.”

Customer: “That’s unbelievable! You must not like Thanksgiving at all! How awful!”

Me: “I promise you, I do not dislike Thanksgiving. I simply have to work.”

Customer: “You just must hate Thanksgiving! I cannot imagine hating Thanksgiving!”

Me: “Again, I do not dislike Thanksgiving. We all have to work holidays here, that’s all.”

Customer: “But… why?”

Me: “…because people come to see–” *I don’t answer her for a moment, but it’s clear she sincerely doesn’t understand why, so I try to speak with the least accusing tone possible* “–movies on holidays, and someone has to sell them their tickets?”

Customer: *huffing and shaking her head* “I just cannot believe that someone could dislike Thanksgiving. Imagine, not eating with your family. We’ll take two tickets to [Movie], by the way.”

(I swipe her card and print their tickets, now trying not to cry; I was truly heartbroken to be working on one of my favorite days, but I had no choice.)

Me: “Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your movie.”

Customer: *shaking her head at her friend as they walk away* “Can you imagine, hating Thanksgiving that much?”

Multiple Email Fails

| PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Technology

(Excerpts from two near back-to-back instances where I’m signing up a customer for our rewards card, which requires an email address and then their first and last names.)

Me: “Can I get an email address for your card?”

Customer #1: *tells me an email address that includes a first and last name*

Me: “Thanks. First name?”

Customer #1: “What are you, an idiot or something? It’s right there in my email address!”

(Cut to about ten minutes later.)

Me: “Can I get an email address for your card?”

Customer #2: *tells me an email address that features a first and last name*

Me: “Thank you. Is your first name [First Name from email address]?”

Customer #2: *scoffs* “No, what do you think I am, an idiot or something?! Nobody uses their real name in an email address, you moron.”

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