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Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 42

, , , | Right | November 12, 2020

It is 1995. I work in a discount/dollar-type store where most things are very cheap, in price and sometimes in construction. Mobile phones are starting to become more common, but they are still very expensive and only sold through phone retailers and on contracts.

One of our popular items is a toy cell phone that is made of plastic that can open up and is filled with candy. It’s smaller and much lighter than phones of the time and costs $2. It’s in the confectionary section, not in toys or electronics.

I am on the registers when a man in his late twenties wearing a business suit buys one of these toy phones. It clearly states on the packaging that it is a toy and has candy inside. I think nothing of it, because it is a popular toy.

Barely ten minutes later, he comes back.

Customer: “I want to return this.”

He hands me the opened phone.

Me: “What is the reason why?”

Customer: *Mumbles* “I thought it was real.”

I processed the return and gave him his $2 back, trying to figure out how on earth he thought this candy-filled piece of flimsy plastic was a real phone. I guess he thought he’d stumbled onto an incredible bargain!

Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 41
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 40
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 39
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 38
Not-So-Smart-Phone, Part 37

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Malicious Compliance, One Gram At A Time

, , , , , | Right | October 30, 2020

I’ve worked retail for a long time and thought I had seen almost everything, but every now and then, a customer will surprise me with their outlandish demands and complaints.

I am serving at a dual counter where the deli products are, as well as the tills for checkout. It isn’t a busy period of the day, which is probably why we got away with this little game. My manager for the day is a friend from high school and he is firm but fair with a wicked sense of humour.

A regular who is known for being unbearably rude and condescending approaches the deli and makes her request for approximately 300g of cheerio frankfurts. Anyone who has worked a deli knows that it can be difficult to get exact weights, and most customers are understanding of this. Not this woman. I bag up just under the specified weight and she demands I do it again. And again. And again. On the fourth attempt, she starts screaming at me: “Useless, lazy, uneducated, f*** you, f*** this, f*** that, so on and so forth…”

I am rather shocked at how quickly she went from rude to tyrant. My manager, however, has watched the entire exchange from the nearby office and now approaches.

Manager: “Hey, couldn’t help but notice… What seems to be the issue?”

Rude Regular: “This little b**** can’t bag up f****** cheerios and I want this fixed now!

Manager: “No worries. How much would you like?”

Rude Regular: *Sneering at me* “I want 300g. No more, no less. She can’t seem to understand that simple request and I want her fired!”

My manager ignores the petulant demand to fire me and proceeds to start bagging up cheerios. As soon as he gets to just below the weight, he stops.

Manager: “I think I can see the problem. You are correct in your assumption that she cannot supply you with what you’ve requested. Only management can do this next step.”

The rude customer is now looking as though Christmas has come early, until my manager pulls out a pair of deli scissors… and proceeds to cut up a final frankfurt into small chunks. He then pops it in the bag one piece at a time while dramatically checking and rechecking the scale’s display until it hits 300g.

Then, he inputs the product code, which in most deli’s will automatically drop the weight reading between two to five grams to make up for the weight of the paper or container. Most customers don’t realise this is a thing and it’s designed that way so that customers don’t get charged for the packaging.

This drops the weight back to below 300g. The woman looks ready to explode, but my manager then holds up a single finger in a “wait a second” gesture. He then dramatically picks up the final piece of this mangled frankfurt, dropping it ceremoniously into the bag.

The final readout? 300g exactly.

She was NOT impressed, but I sure was.

Only then did she realise that if she had simply let me finish the code input, she would have had exactly 300g without having the final frank chopped into itty-bitty pieces.

Maybe next time she will be a little more courteous.

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They’re In Four A Rude Awakening

, , , , , | Right | October 17, 2020

I am working an evening shift. A customer comes in, disgustingly chewing a plastic straw right in front of my face as well as leaning over the counter. We do a $5 quarter-chicken-and-chips deal but it’s only available until 4:00 pm and there are big, bold, black letters on the banner that states this policy.

Customer: “Can I get that $5 thing you have?”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, we can’t do that after 4:00 pm.”

Customer: “What?! It’s not f****** after 4:00 pm!”

Me: “Yeah, it’s 4:45 pm. That’s what it says on my register.”

I then watch him take out his phone. He starts adjusting the time on his phone so it can say 3:55, and then he proceeds to shove his phone in my face saying it’s 3:55 pm and that my register is wrong.

Customer: *Angry* “Seeee?! Are you f****** blind? It’s before 4:00 pm, you idiot!”

Me: *Getting annoyed* “I’d appreciate it if you got your phone out of my face. Even if you think it’s before 4:00 pm, I physically can’t do it because the icon is blocked after 4:00 pm, meaning it’s useless if I touch it.”

Customer: “I don’t believe you! Let me see.”

He leaned over the register and began clicking random buttons to try and find the icon which then started popping up random orders on the bump screen. Luckily, my coworker was confused with all the random orders so he came over. He saw the guy almost in the front counter, grabbed him by the shirt, and literally threw him out of the store like rubbish and shut the door.

Never saw the guy again.

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Where Parenting Meets Intervening

, , , , , | Right | September 24, 2020

My friend is telling me about what happened to her at work yesterday.

Customer: “Could I have a large [burger] value meal, and a three-nugget kids’ meal?”

Friend: “Certainly. That will be [price].”

The customer looks through his wallet and finds that he doesn’t have enough for both the meals.

Customer: “Change that to just the large [burger] and a forty-cent ice cream cone?”

My friend looks at the man’s young daughter and doesn’t want to give her just that for what is obviously going to be her only dinner.

Friend: “Okay.”

Her coworkers work on his meal, while she makes the ice cream cone. The young girl starts crying and saying that she wants hot fudge. My friend, feeling sorry for her, decides to make her a hot fudge sundae rather than the cone, without charging the man any extra.

Customer: “What do you think you’re doing? Why are you intervening in my parenting?!”

My friend gets grumpy at this, as the man obviously values himself more than his daughter, but she just ignores it. She does, however, let her manager know about it, who decides to give the girl ten mini-nuggets, free of charge.

Customer: “Stop intervening in my parenting!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, it’s a thing called human decency and making sure everyone gets fed.”

I was completely flabbergasted that a father would value his own meal over something for his daughter to eat, when he could have bought a small meal for him, and one for her, not to mention his outrage at their attempt to help feed his daughter for him.

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Maybe Fiftieth Time Lucky

, , , , | Right | September 13, 2020

An older customer who does nothing but walk up and down the aisles all day comes in trying to play tricks on the staff. He comes up to me with a loaf of bread.

Me: “G’day, how are you?”

Customer: “I’m not going to tell you; you’ll tell everyone.”

Me: “All right, so that will be two dollars, thanks.

The customer hands me a $10 note; I give him $8 change.

Me: “All right, have a nice day.”

The customer stands there for a moment.

Customer: “Didn’t I give you a fifty?”

I am slightly taken aback.

Me: “No, you definitely gave me a ten.”

The customer then bares the biggest toothless grin I’ve ever seen and laughs.

Customer: “I’ll get you one day, mate. Have a good one!”

Ever since then, every time he goes through my register, he always does the same thing. He thinks it’s hilarious and that he’ll always get me next time.

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