Noisy Complaints Are All-Enveloping

| Provo, UT, USA | Right | July 10, 2013

(I am in a rather lengthy line at the post office to buy a bunch of stamps for work; it is early afternoon. An elderly customer behind me is complaining loudly to no one in particular about the wait.)

Customer: “I can’t believe they’re making us wait like this. It’s the middle of the day; the line shouldn’t be like this! I have places to be!”

(I glance back at her, but don’t really pay much attention.)

Customer: “This is ridiculous! They could just open up more lines and get us all through here quickly, but they just make us all wait in line.”

(When I get to the front of the line, the customer makes a big show of loudly counting all of the closed cashier stands and complaining. I ask the clerk for my stamps, and he goes to the back to get them, as I need more than he has at his station.)

Customer: “Oh, now one of them is leaving? I can’t believe this!”

(The customer suddenly walks up to the counter to stand next to me. When the clerk comes back, she speaks up.)

Customer: “I need to buy these things, now.”

Me: “Excuse me? He’s still helping me.”

Customer: “Well, I just need to buy a few things.”

Me: “So do I. It’ll just be a moment.”

Customer: “You’re buying a ton of stamps! I just need these envelopes.”

(I finally pay enough attention to realize what she’s holding: several flat rate envelopes.)

Me: “Ma’am, those are free.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “You can take those for free. You just have to pay the postage when you bring them back in.”

(The customer looks at the clerk, who nods.)

Customer: “Well, how was I supposed to know that?! Someone should have told me sooner!”

Me: “It’s written all over the stand you grabbed them from.”

(The customer looks back at the stand, and sees that I’m right. She then leaves in a huff, complaining about the post office wasting her time.)

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Stamping Her Place In History

| Kill Devil Hills, NC, USA | Right | May 20, 2013

(A male customer comes into my post office. I am a female, as are all but one clerk here. The customer asks me for a stamp. My partial book is a Rosa Parks stamp; I hand him one. He becomes enraged.)

Customer: “A woman?! Don’t you have a picture of a cat or a dog, instead? A woman! I don’t even know who this person is! I will not use a woman!”

(I act calm, but I am furious.)

Me: “This woman is Ms. Rosa Parks. She worked for the freedom and equality of all people, of every color. She is one of the people who made sure people of every race are welcome here. And she did it all without any acts of violence.”

(He takes his stamp. He sees my fury, and backs down pretty fast. Surprisingly, he became a very gentlemanly customer after that.)

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Treating Them Im-Parcel-ly Is Only Polite

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Right | March 29, 2013

(I witness a customer exchange at the counter while I am in line.)

Customer: “I’m here to pick up a parcel; here’s the delivery card.”

Clerk: “Sure, I’ll just look that up for you.”

Customer: “By the way, why were you rude to my daughter?”

Clerk: “I… what?”

Customer: “My daughter came in earlier to get this parcel. You were rude to her, and wouldn’t let her pick it up for me.”

Clerk: “I’m sorry. As I explained to her at the time, only the person whose name is on the parcel can take it. We have to do that to prevent fraud.”

Customer: “Her name is on it! Look at the card!”

Clerk: “Um… I’m sorry, but you wrote that in yourself. It’s a different coloured ink, and the handwriting is different.”

Customer: “Are you calling me a liar?”

Clerk: “Look, I’m sorry; only the person whose name is on the card can pick it up. I explained that to your daughter—”

Customer: “You should learn how to speak to people properly, and stop being so rude!”

Clerk: “Um… let me go get your parcel.”

(The clerk is visibly upset as she leaves. Her supervisor comes back with the parcel in question.)

Supervisor: “Here is your parcel. Now, can you see here on the parcel where it has your name on it?”

Customer: “I don’t f****** care whose name is on it! I wanted my daughter to pick it up, and you should have given it to her!”

Supervisor: “That would have been illegal. We can’t just give out parcels because someone says—”

Customer: “I don’t f******* care! Just give me the f******* book to sign!”

(She signs for the parcel and storms out, offering one final pearl of wisdom before going out the door.)

Customer: “You should learn to f******* speak to people more politely, b****!”

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Time To Close The Door On This Employee

| Québec, Canada | Working | March 16, 2013

(I’ve been trying to get a package from the post office for three days in a row, but I always get there after closing. On this night, I’ve asked my boss to quit early so I can get there before closing. I arrive at 4:55 pm.)

Me: “Hi, I’m here to pick a package that was left for me, three day ago. I’ve received this notice saying I had to pick it up here.”

(The clerk looks at my notice, and then walks into the backstore. A couple of minute pass before the clerk returns. It’s now past 5 pm and it’s clear she’s ready to head home; she has her jacket, purse and keys in her hand.)

Clerk: “Eh… sorry, we’re closed.”

Me: “I was here 5 minutes ago. I need to pick up a package that was left for me.”

Clerk: “Well, you should have come earlier.”

Me: “I was here earlier. I was just in front of you and you saw me before walking in the backstore and getting ready to go. Can you just give me my package? I don’t even need to pay a duty fee.”

Clerk: *locks the backstore* “Sorry, I can’t. The backstore is locked.”

Me: “You just locked it… unlock it and give me my package, please. It’s been three days that I’ve tried to get in here before your closing time.”

Clerk: “Sorry, I can’t. The system is shut off and I don’t want to reopen it. You should have come earlier. We were open since 11 am.”

Me: “Okay, you closed your system BEFORE the end of your shift, and now you blame me for not coming earlier. I was at work. How could I have come earlier?”

Clerk: “Not my problem. Come tomorrow!”

Didn’t Pass For The Passport

| Brisbane, Australia | Right | November 9, 2012

(I’m a customer waiting in line at the post office. A man is having his passport photo taken: the rules are quite strict on what photos are allowed.)

Employee: “Okay, we’re going to have to take another photo. Your mouth was open slightly and they won’t accept it. So, just look straight at the camera with your eyes open and your mouth shut.”

Customer: “At the same time?!”

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