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Spray Away From The Customers

, , , , , , , | Right | June 24, 2022

I work at a theme park. I’m stationed at the bumper boats, and it’s very close to closing time.  We have twelve boats total. Our bumper boats have squirters that are very easy to accidentally trigger. I’m the only person working the ride because my partner was pulled to help with sweep. These are my last few customers before I can sign out and go home. This is all one big group.

The bell rings, signaling the end of the round.

Me: “All right, people, let’s come back to the dock! Please stop spraying!”

Most customers are coming back to the dock and being patient with me as I run around and hook up their boats as quickly as possible. One customer cannot figure out how to direct her boat back and is just spinning in circles attempting to navigate.

Me: “Miss, please let go of your ‘go’ button! I can help you get back!”

I’m raising my voice slightly as she’s a fair distance away and the motors can be loud. A kid sprays me.

Me: “Hey, can you please not spray me? I don’t enjoy being wet.”

I get sprayed by another kid.

Me: “Hey, let’s make sure our hands are off our spray buttons, please!” *Raises my voice* “Okay, miss, can you point the arrow on top of your engine at me?”

The customer starts spinning in circles again and I’m slowly losing my patience as it’s ten minutes past close and I have a wet shirt and pants from sprayers.

Me: *To a different kid* “Okay, kiddo, can you hop out of your boat? I need to go get the person out there!”

The kid hops out, and I get in with our retrieval rope, grab the boat, and pull it in. I then start unloading boats, talking to myself in German as that’s the language I turn to when annoyed. I am speaking very quietly.

Me: “All right, you guys, have a wonderful night!”

The mom comes over to talk to me.

Mom: “Hey, where would I find your manager?”

Me: “Uh… I’m not quite sure. I could probably call him for you, though.”

Mom: “Yes, please.”

I call, get told he’s “backstage” (employee area), and relay this to the mom.

Mom: “Okay, and what’s your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Mom: “I’m going to report you to your manager. I cannot believe you were cursing at my kid. She only speaks Spanish, and she got scared when you yelled at her!”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Mom: “You need to be more respectful. We paid good money to be here, and now our night is ruined because you had an attitude!”

Me: “Ma’am, I apologize if that sounded like cursing. I was simply talking to myself in German, as that’s my native language. Also, I didn’t mean to yell at your child. I wanted to make sure she could hear me, and I assumed she could speak English as we are in the US.”

Mom: “That’s still not okay. Where is the employee area? I’m going to talk to your manager.”

I give her directions, struggling not to let my voice waver and not show how much she’s affecting me. She leaves with her group. I ask the remaining five or so kids in line to wait for a moment while I take a breather and get a drink of water. The dad of these five kids, who’s been waiting near the exit, comes over.

Dad: “Hey, are you okay?”

Me: “I’m fine. That was just my first negative customer experience.”

Dad: “You get off after our group, right?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Dad: “Would you mind walking me over to the employee area, as well? I know that you were doing your best to be patient with that group, and she had no right to yell at you like that. I’d like to reverse her complaint.”

Me: *In shock* “Uh, yeah. I can do that.”

I turned to the kids with a smile on my face that was actually genuine this time.

Awesome Dad, if you’re out there, thank you so much for looking out for that sixteen-year-old girl that night! You honestly made my entire week so much better.

We Still Don’t Think She Gets It

, , , , , , | Right | June 23, 2022

Customer: “Can I split the payment evenly over these two cards?”

Me: “Normally, I could, but these two cards have different names.”

Customer: “Oh, this one is my daughter’s.”

Me: “Is she here?”

Customer: “Of course not. That’s why I have her card.”

Me: “I can’t accept payment on her card without her being present.”

Customer: “Well, why not?!”

Me: “That would be fraud, ma’am.”

Customer: “And that’s… bad?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it could mean jail time.”

Customer: “Well, put it all on my daughter’s card, then. Some jail time would do her good.”

If You Need Your Mother To Do It For You, You’re Probably Not Ready

, , , , , , , | Learning Related | June 23, 2022

Many years ago, I received a call from a new college student’s mother.

Mother: “Hello, is this Professor [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Mother: “Oh, good! I wanted to talk to you about getting my son into your class.”

This particular class is a 300-level course, meaning that it’s unusual for incoming freshmen to take it. They generally wait until their sophomore or junior year. As registration takes place in the order of credits earned, the class is generally full by the time freshmen begin registration. I should also mention that I do have the flexibility to permit extra students into the class if need be. While students often contact me about being added to a full class, it’s unusual for a student’s parent to call about getting into a class (though not unknown).

Me: “I’m sorry, but that class is full.”

Mother: “I know. And my son was so disappointed. He wants to be a [major I teach in] and was so excited to get started with your class.”

Me: “Typically, new students will start with their general education classes. I don’t have many incoming freshmen taking this class. It’s also a challenging class and may not be the best way for him to start a college career.”

Mother: “Oh, I know he can handle it. He did so well in high school in similar classes, and he was so disheartened that he couldn’t take your class. He was just so sad about it. Couldn’t you let him into the class? He would do so well in it.”

We went the rounds with me trying to be respectful to this woman (she was persistent but polite), and her just repeating her assertions about her son’s disappointment and his readiness for the class and the major associated with it.

Finally, against my better judgment, I gave in. I added him to my class. When the semester began, he showed up (it’s a small class) and was very quiet. He didn’t seem particularly engaged with the material but attended faithfully… for about the first month. His performance on tests was poor, and eventually, he started attending sporadically and then stopped altogether. He got an F in the class and dropped out of college completely after the first semester.

I don’t know if it would have made any difference in the end, but I do wish I had followed my instincts on this — for both our sakes.

X-tra Bad Parenting

, , , , , , | Right | June 22, 2022

I am working security at an airport, and I see a passenger place their baby in a baby chair and then place the baby chair onto the conveyor feeding into the X-ray machine.

Me: “Sir, you can’t put your child there!”

Passenger: “It’s just for a second while I get these shoes off.”

Me: “Even so, sir, please remove the child immediately!”

Passenger: *Removes the child* “Gosh, it was just for a second. Do I look like an idiot to you?”

Me: “You look like someone who is about to X-ray their baby.”

These People Are Just Asking To Have Their Babies Stolen

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: IrrelevantQuantity | June 22, 2022

I worked for a couple of years at a major historic tourist attraction in London. It was good fun and I immensely enjoyed it, although things could sometimes be manic busy, and although most customers were friendly, some could be somewhat… unpleasant. It was tame as anywhere really. It also had some attractions for children, and while manning these I came to learn just how entitled — and irresponsible — some parents can truly be.

One of the features in the gardens was a maze. It was not particularly for children, although they could go in if they wanted and a lot of them liked it. Parents could take pushchairs in if they want, although the staff had the right to make parents leave pushchairs (strollers for Americans) outside if it got very busy inside.

That day was a hot summer Saturday, and it had been very busy. However, by the mid-afternoon, throughflow had thinned out a bit and I was manning the maze on my own as I had done before. I still had three or four groups coming through every minute, and I had made the decision to ask parents to leave their pushchairs outside the maze.

A lady stalked up to me with her ticket and a baby in a pushchair. I scanned her ticket but politely told her that she needed to leave her pushchair outside. She huffed at me and put her pushchair in a line with all the others. Meanwhile, another group of tourists had come up and I was busy scanning their tickets. I paid little attention to the lady as she walked past. However, as I rapidly scanned through all the new tourists, I glanced at her pushchair and realised… the baby was still inside!

I quickly ran into the maze, and after only a few seconds, I saw the lady. She saw me and hissed angrily.

Lady: “What are you doing here? I’ve left my baby out there with you!”

Me: “I know, and you’re not allowed to do that. You’ll have to come out and take the baby in with you.”

Lady: “But can’t you look after him?”

My duties in the maze included scanning tickets, selling tickets, advising visitors, and managing the many groups of unruly French, German, and Spanish teenagers on language exchanges. My duties did not include looking after babies.

Me: “Madam. I’m here to look after the maze. I’m not here to perform babysitting services for you! I have to walk around quite a bit and I cannot spend all my time looking after your baby. Children, including babies, are allowed in the maze, but not pushchairs. I’m afraid you’ll either have to take the baby with you or leave the maze.”

Lady: *Whining* “It’s the first break from him I’ve had all day!”

Me: “Nonetheless, if you won’t come and get your baby, I’m going to have to call security.”

The baby had been unattended for more than a minute now. As I spoke, I brought my radio up to my mouth and hovered my finger over the send button.

Me: “Also, you don’t know me. How do you know I’m not some old paedophile you’ve left your kid with?”

Just to be clear, I’m not.

She had no answer.

Me: “Now, are you going to get your baby, or do I have to call security?”

She snorted and angrily marched out of the maze and grabbed the baby, who luckily was still there. In hindsight, I should have just called security and let them deal with it and not let the baby out of my sight, regardless of what a b**** his mother was, but all was well that ended well.

She ended up taking the baby around the maze, and about twenty minutes later, she came to get the (now empty) pushchair. The look of pure hate she gave me would have alarmed The Rock, but luckily, off she went and I was not troubled by her again.

You are supposed to always want customers to come back again, but there are some exceptions. She was definitely one of them.