We’re Closing Down For You

, , | Right | May 29, 2017

(I work in a retail portrait studio. Due to circumstances that actually have nothing to do with my company, our location is permanently closing. Until then, it’s business as usual. My associate, who by the way is the sweetest girl on the planet and receives more customer compliments than the rest of us combined, is working alone. The phone rings while she is busy.)

Associate: “Thank you for calling [Studio]. Can you please hold?”

(She places the line on hold for no more than one minute as she finishes helping a customer. When she returns, the caller has hung up. She then receives two calls in a row and has to let one go to voicemail.)

Customer: *on voicemail* “I understand why you’re closing if you treat all your customers the way you just treated me. I called a minute ago and a snippy little girl said ‘can you hold please?’ and hung up— er, put me on hold! That is not a way to treat customers. It is a way to turn them off! I wanted to give you my business but now I’m glad you’re closing. I hope you all lose your jobs!”

(We dodged a bullet, having to deal with that level of entitlement. But the joke is on her. We’re all being transferred to another location — and getting raises.)

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Fourth Time Is The Charm

| Right | February 2, 2017

(The studio I work at has an order turnaround time of about a week. Customers can pay to have their orders shipped to their home, or they can pick it up at our studio for free. Our hours are a little strange: we are closed on Tuesdays, we close for an hour midday for lunch, and we close two hours before the store that we are located inside. A woman rushes in to pick up her portraits.)

Customer: “You’re here!”

Me: *confused* “Yes, I’m here… Are you here for a pickup?”

Customer: “Yes! Finally! This is my fourth try!”

(I’ve had people complain about our hours before, so I brace myself to deal with her anger.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am—”

Customer: “Oh, no, no, no. It’s not your fault at all. I mean, could you guys have made it any more obvious for me?”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Well, when I called on Friday to see if my order was in, the nice girl on the phone reminded me that you closed for the night at 7 pm. I forgot that really quickly because I showed up at 7:45 to a dark studio!”

(She’s laughing as she tells me the story and I start to laugh with her.)

Me: “Well, yeah, we do try to remind people that we close before the store.”

Customer: “Exactly! Then, I tried again on Monday and I came right after you guys left for lunch!”

Me: “Yeah, I know the lunch break is weird…”

Customer: “You need to eat! And look! It’s printed right here on my receipt!”

(She puts her receipt on the counter. It’s got her pickup slip attached to it with our hours printed on it. By now she is laughing hysterically at herself.)

Customer: “She even highlighted it for crying out loud!”

Me: “That is quite a saga!”

Customer: “It gets better! I came in on Tuesday!”

Me: *face-palm*

Customer: “In addition to that also being printed and highlighted on my receipt, there is literally a sign RIGHT THERE that says you’re closed on Tuesdays! You would think I’d have been here enough times by this point to know that.”

Me: “Wow…”

Customer: *still laughing as I give her her order* “I mean you guys tried to hard to make sure I came when you were open and it still took me four tries.”

Me: “I’m sorry you had to go through all that!”

Customer: “Trust me… you are not the idiot here.”

(I love it when people are self aware.)

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Scheduling Some Disappointment

, , | Right | December 30, 2016

(I am hired at a photo studio for the holiday season. It takes me a week to lose patience with walk-ins and people who can’t grasp basic computer and camera information. Of course, I still have a customer service voice and a happy smile, and do my best to make everyone’s visit short, sweet, and to the point. And then Christmas Eve happens:)

Customer: *on phone* “I was wondering if you had an appointment available for later today?”

Me: “Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to make same-day appointments today, due to our shortened hours. I can make you an appointment for Saturday, though. Would that work?”

Customer: “No, no. I need pictures for Christmas cards.”

Me: *trying not to make fun of this woman’s procrastination skills* “Unfortunately, that won’t be possible today. You can come in and have pictures done at a later date.”

Customer: “You’re sure there’s nothing available?”

Me: “Like I said, we’re very busy and I’m not allowed to make same day appointments.”

Customer: *huffs and hangs up*

(Later that day I see a well-dressed woman and her two children come in and assume she’s our two o’clock.)

Me: “What can I do for you today?”

Customer: “I want to get our Christmas pictures done.”

Me: “Can I get your phone number?” *we use phone numbers to separate accounts in our system*

Customer: “[Number].”

Me: “Are you a new client with us?”

Customer: “Yes, I spoke to a girl over the phone and she said I could come on in.”

Me: *looks at the number, and checks the call list* “Ma’am, I’m the only one who’s been answering phones this last hour, and I distinctly remember telling you that we were not taking same-day appointments.”

Customer: “But this is a walk-in.”

Me: “Which we definitely cannot take.”

Customer: “But the coupon expires tomorrow.”

Me: “Then you should have made an appointment in advance like all of the others who are stuck here on Christmas Eve. Now, would you like to make an appointment for a later date, or are you going to move over so I can check in someone who made an appointment two weeks ago?”

Customer: *starts going on about how terrible I am while her children try to shush her*

(I moved over to the other register and got the two o’clock checked in. Another customer convinced her to leave by yelling rudely at her.)

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A Miscarriage Of Justice

| Working | November 28, 2016

(During our busiest season of the year at the studio I manage, I faint – and when being treated at the hospital, find out to my surprise and delight that I am pregnant. At that point, my husband and I have been trying for almost three years. However, I am quite ill, and suspect I am having a miscarriage. After a week of daily blood draws, I get the bad news on a Friday evening — it is confirmed that the pregnancy is not viable. I immediately called my district manager to let her know I can’t work that weekend.)

Me: “I just got a call from my doctor, and I am having a miscarriage. I’m closing the studio tonight, and won’t be in to work at all tomorrow.”

District Manager: “You can’t do that! It’s Christmas season, and every employee is required to be present at all scheduled shifts. I’m not authorizing any time off for anyone no matter what the reason! Everyone in this company is working every day we’re open!”

Me: “Did you not hear what I said? I’ve just found out that the baby I’ve been dreaming of having for years is dead. I’m not dealing well with that, I’m physically ill, and I won’t be in to work tomorrow. My staff can handle the scheduled photo shoots.”

District Manager: “You WILL be in to work tomorrow or you will NOT have a job.”

Me: “Whatever. I’ll be in if I can.”

(I go home, and spend the night and the next morning doubled over, sobbing, and going through the physical pain of a miscarriage. I finally manage to get myself to work around noon, since it really is a busy season and I know that my staff need the backup. I walk in, holding myself together. My employee hugs me and says, “I don’t even want you to see this but you need to” and hands me a fax from the DM.)

District Manager: “I’m so excited! I closed on my dream house, and I’m taking the next 10 days off to move. Nobody call me! :D”

(Oddly enough, I was then unmotivated to continue in that company’s employ. Not too long after, I went to work for their direct competitor, and brought all of my clients with me!)

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Came Within A Couple Of Inches Of The Answer

| Right | October 29, 2015

(We’re selling sets of small photo books at a discount price and they have been very popular.)

Caller: “Hey, so I heard y’all got them little books for [price]. It said on y’all’s website they five by five. How big is that?”

Me: “Well, ma’am, they’re five inches by five inches.”

Caller: “Yeah, but how big is that?”

Me: “It’s… five inches by five inches, ma’am.”

Caller: “Like, how big is that?”

Me: “Roughly the size of your hand.”

Caller: “Oh, so like three inches, then?”

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