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A collection of stories curated from different subreddits, adapted for NAR.

Making Hard Times WAY Harder

, , , | Right | CREDIT: texaspoontappa1718 | December 5, 2020

I work at a very popular pizza place. Ever since the health crisis started, we’ve been super busy, as we are the only food place with regular hours in my town. We’ve also been understaffed up until recently, so a big chunk of our staff is new. Right now, we have a deal for 50% off all pizzas. All of these things added together means that our wait times are a little longer than normal, but still in a reasonable thirty-five- to fifty-minute time frame on our bad days.

It’s a Friday night, mid-dinner rush. This lady approaches the front and gives her name.

Customer: “I’m here to pick up my order.”

Me: “I’m afraid it’s not ready yet.”

She’s annoyed but understands and waits. About five minutes later:

Customer: “Is my food ready yet?”

Coworker #1: “I’m so sorry, but no. It’s still being made. We’re very busy right now, and we’re understaffed. I can offer you some coupons to make up for the delay.”

Customer: “I don’t want any coupons. I just want my food.”

She starts complaining to everyone in the lobby.

Customer: “I put my order in an hour and a half ago, and my food is still not ready!”

That’s actually impossible; none of our orders are that old. Most of the other customers don’t pay attention because they understand that we are understaffed and busy.

Not much time passes before she comes back up to the front and starts swearing at my coworker.

Coworker #1: “We just put it in now; it will be ready in less than ten minutes.”

We even put her pizza in before a few other orders, I might add.

The customer continues to swear. My coworker walks away so she can actually help some other customers get their food.

This woman then proceeds to walk BEHIND OUR COUNTER AND GRAB SOME RANDOM PERSON’S PIZZA. She throws a five-dollar bill down at the person who is taking pizzas out of the oven.

Coworker #2: *Not yelling but loudly* “That’s not your pizza.”

Customer: *Screaming* “I need my food!”

Coworker #2: “That’s a combo, not a pepperoni; that’s not your pizza!”

Customer: “Well, where is my food?!”

Coworker #1: “I told you it’s in the oven and will be out in a minute, ma’am.”

The customer then slammed down the pizza and left the store. Some people.

We’re All Frustrated, Lady

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Alwin_ | December 5, 2020

We’re all dealing with the global health crisis. In my area, the restrictions are thirty people inside, forty outside. The last people can come in at 21:00 and we close at 22:00.

I am the host, which means standing at the entrance, counting people. We have hit max capacity and are full, so a line is forming. I have about fifteen people waiting when a lady on crutches jumps the queue… very slowly. I think she’ll ask to use the bathroom, which would be fine.

Me: “Hello, ma’am, what can I d—”

Customer #1: “I have a broken ankle so I can’t stand. I can skip the line, right?”

I hate it when people think they can decide what they can or cannot do, so I’m not willing to let her in. Besides, I am full.

Me: “Well, ma’am, I may only let seventy people in, total. We’re at seventy now, so we have to wait. That’s why these people are all waiting, too.”


Me: “I’m sorry, but I cannot let you in. Besides, if I had a spot open up, there are fifteen people before you. However, if you ask them nicely, they might let you go first, but you’d still need to wait for someone to leave. I can get you a chair so you can sit while you wait?”

Customer #1: “I DON’T NEED A CHAIR!”

Then, she turns to the people around her and sarcastically asks if she could skip the line.

Customer #2: “You’re not asking nicely enough; you can’t go before me.”

Some people snicker. The lady then turns to me and yells.

Customer #1: “Your service sucks and this place sucks!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but these are the rules now.”

Customer #1: “F*** you!”

She starts to hop away.

Customer #2: “No, f*** you, lady! Who do you think you are? We’re all dealing with this; he’s just doing what he’s told by the government. You should really chill!”

And off she went. I gave [Customer #2] a beer on the house when he went inside.

In The Biz, We Call This The A**hole Tax

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: KiltedRonin | December 4, 2020

This happens in 1994 or 1995 or so. My adopted family owns a locksmith company, and of course, they trained me into the family business. It is an old-school family business; my old man is the gruff but honest type and really cares about the work we do. We are paid by commission, so it is absolutely worth it to me to work hard and take all the calls I can.

We also have an emergency line at home that we answer twenty-four-seven. That is part of our thing. You never get an answering service; it is always one of the family.

If you’re good at it, locksmithing is one of those skills that looks really easy, and some of the work goes fast if you know exactly how to do it. When you pay a locksmith, you’re not just paying for the time they’re working; you’re paying for them knowing what to do. Like the old joke, fixing the machine by whacking it once with a wrench doesn’t cost $10,000; knowing where to hit it does.

It is around 1:00 am on a Saturday night, and we get a call from a guy that’s locked out of an early 1990s Cadillac near the middle of the city.

Me: “Okay, that should be $125 to unlock the car, and I can be there in less than an hour.”

He agrees and tells me to come down. I managed to be onsite in a little more than thirty minutes, despite a decent storm going on.

The customer is there and the car is there; it’s business as usual. I do the preliminary stuff like grab his driver’s license to cross-reference with the registration and such. The keys are in the ignition, so I grab my tool, open the car in about thirty seconds, and grab the keys.

Normally, people are happy that it’s quick, or they make some lame joke about how they should learn to do that, but the price is very reasonable for the service — especially at 1:00 am in a rainstorm.

This guy…

Guy: *Smug and condescending* “I’ll pay you fifty bucks. That was too easy!”

I’m not having any of it. I shrug, toss the keys on the seat, and lock the doors. If it’s that easy, he can get ’em.

As you can imagine, the a**hole isn’t too happy with that. He sputters a bit.

Guy: “Fine! I’ll pay you. Just open the car.”

I unlock the car for the second time.

Me: “That’ll be $250; I’ve unlocked it twice.”

Instead of boring you with his four-letter vocabulary, I’ll just say that those keys end up back on the seat with the doors locked again.

At this point, the “gentleman” really gets to yelling and threatens to call another locksmith.

Me: *Politely* “My dad is the president of the local locksmith association and I would know any locksmith that would show up this late. They won’t be any more inclined to work a middle-of-the-night call for $50 than I am, and they won’t take kindly to your trying to cheat me out of my reasonable service charge twice.”

So, he calls the cops on me.

Well, the cops show up and ask me what is going on. I explained that I quoted the man a price over the phone, that there was a verbal agreement to the cost for me to come out and unlock the vehicle for $125, and at this point, I’ve unlocked it twice.

Officer: “Sir, you can either pay this locksmith to have your car opened or you can break a window.”

Guy: “I’m not breaking a window; it’s f****** raining!”

Officer: “Then I guess you’re paying the locksmith.”

So, he asks me to unlock his car. And I oblige. For the third time.

And, with his keys in my hand, I look him in the face and say:

Me: “That’ll be $375.”

He got pretty angry and asked if I would take a check. I kindly pointed out the ATM at the end of the block and told him that, unfortunately for him, I required cash.

Bonus! That particular ATM only dispensed $20 bills, so I got a $5.00 tip because, of course, I don’t carry change at that time of night.

You Can’t Have Your Cake And Your Refund, Too

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Confusedperson000 | December 4, 2020

I start working at a big midwestern warehouse grocery store as soon as I graduate high school. I spend almost four years working in the bakery department. I work with the most amazing team. Corporate can suck a major d**k sometimes, but otherwise, we make do.

I am working the closing shift one night; only one of us stays behind after 5:00 pm to clean everything, put stuff away, get custom cakes for people who ordered them, write on cakes, yada, yada, yada. I have worked there long enough that I know the routine of regulars and I can usually see if people could be trouble. I have just cleaned the floors and am in the back, washing dishes and operating our very loud industrial dishwasher. When I’m in the back cleaning, I occasionally peek around the corner to see if customers are waiting for an employee and then get back to work.

I hear a real close throat-clearing noise; this always scares me. I turn around and see a male customer.

Customer #1: “I’m sorry, I know I’m not supposed to be back here, but I couldn’t get your attention.”

Me: “I understand. It’s hard to hear over that dishwasher!”

He goes and stands in front of the cake station. He gives me his name and a yellow receipt, and I happily oblige and go around the weird, angled wall back to our fridge to grab the ONLY CAKE FOR PICKUP with his name on an attached white receipt. I go back and set the cake down on the table we put the free cookies on and open it up for him to look at. He loves it and says his little girl will love it. He takes the cake, thanks me, and heads up front to pay for it.

I turn to head back to finish my dishes for the night. I am just about to turn the corner when I hear, “Excuse meeee!” I turn around and a VERY pregnant lady is trying to wave me down before I retreat to my hidey-hole.

Customer #2: “Excuse me. I have three cakes that I need to pick up; I’ve already paid for them.”

It’s common for people to pay for cakes before they’re made; they just have the receipt attached to the cake and the customer has a copy, as well. It’s our policy, especially for expensive or multiple cakes, to pay upfront before we make them so we don’t get stiffed at the last minute.

Me: “Oh, okay, ma’am. Give me a moment to check our fridge for your cakes. Could I get a name on that order?”

Customer #2: “It’s [Customer #2]. I was supposed to pick up at 6:30 pm?”

Me: “I’ll be right back.”

She smiles. I don’t remember seeing any other cakes in the fridge, but I walk back to our fridge and go in. Maybe they put her cakes in a different spot from the normal ones. I’m looking… looking… S***, where are the cakes?! I walk out and put on my calmest voice and softest customer service smile.

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, I couldn’t see any more cakes for pickup in our fridge. Do you have your receipt and/or order form?”

She gives me a dirty look.

Customer #2: “Why aren’t my cakes in your fridge?! I paid a lot of money for those special cakes! FINE!”

She starts furiously digging in her purse and hands me a yellow carbon copy of her order form. S***, she got the expensive tiered birthday cakes — three of them. Each cake is worth $50 a piece. Then I think, sometimes the decorators put the expensive cakes, especially the whipped icing ones, in the freezer, so the colored frosting doesn’t bleed onto the white icing.

Me: “Okay, these are bigger cakes. Sometimes they put them in the freezer so they stay looking perfect; let me go take a look in there.”

The lady gives me a smug smirk and red flags start going off. I walk into our freezer set at “I can see my breath” degrees, stand there in the cold in an average polo, dress pants, and apron looking through the backup cakes for the floor, and think, “This lady is going to go nuclear on me when I walk out with no cake.”

I stand in the freezer for five minutes so she thinks I’m doing an intense search of our freezer. Nope. I’m thinking of what to do when I walk out. “Tell her I’ll call my manager and ask where the cakes are. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. If I can get to the back doors, I can be free to panic and call my manager.” So that’s what I do: I walk out and tell her that her cakes are not in the freezer. Before I can say more:

Customer #2: “Are you guys that stupid you couldn’t even make my cakes on time?! I knew I shouldn’t have trusted that stupid decorator! She was incompetent, and I should have asked your master decorator to do it, instead! If you don’t have my cakes, you stupid idiot, I want to talk to the store manager and get a refund! I spent over $150 here and you don’t have my cakes!


Me: “I’m so sorry about this inconvenience. Let me go call my manager and I’ll definitely find where they put your cakes. Sometimes with special orders like this, they put them in another location so they don’t get bumped into.”

Customer #2: “You’d better, or I’ll call your customer service and tell them you’re incompetent, too!”

Ooookay. I take a quick walk to the double doors in the back. Safe for now. I look up the phone number for our bakery manager. No answer. I call our second decorator. No answer. I call the master decorator.

She picks up, a little upset because I called her while she was having dinner with the family, and I hastily explain what’s going on.

Master Decorator: “I’m so sorry! I totally forgot to tell you that nutcase would probably be coming in today. This lady spent an hour with our second decorator, with me in the background, ordering three birthday cakes, each two tiers. We kept the white copy of the order with ‘Needs to pay’ written at the top, and we gave the customer the yellow copy and a bar code with ‘$150 bakery goods’ written at the top. She was told to take the bar code up front, pay, and ask for two receipts; she’d keep one and bring back the other receipt to attach to our copy saying it was paid for, and we’d have the green light to make her cakes. She never came back. That was over a week ago. You should page [Store Manager] to the back and put him on the phone ASAP.”

I do. [Master Decorator] tells me that while she’s talking to the manager, I should go ask the customer for the receipt that she SHOULD have. The store manager comes to the back, and I shortly explain the situation and hand the phone over.

Enter me, serious face and straight posture, ‘bout to throw down this customer professional-gentleman-style. She looks like she’s about to burst into a pregnant Hulk.

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am. I just talked to a manager; he’ll be here shortly. Do you happen to have the receipt for your order?”

She gives me a very smug smirk, and I half-expect her to actually hand me a real receipt. She hands me the BAR CODE YOU SCAN TO PAY. Laughing internally, I tell the lady calmly that this is not a receipt; this is a bar code to pay for a product. She starts to yell at me once again that I am incompetent and an idiot.

I hear the double doors in the back loudly swing open. In steps in the store manager.

Store Manager: “Hello. Please don’t yell at my employee. Could you please tell me what’s going on?”

She flips from Hulk Customer to pure, innocent, pregnant customer.

Customer #2: “I was just trying to pick up my cakes for my baby cousin and my two other children. We are having a birthday party today and—” *sniffs* “—and I paid for my cakes and they never made them. I need those cakes… or you could just give me these cakes—” *points to the plain half-sheet cake in our decorator station* “—for free. I can’t spend any more money. I can’t work at the moment, since I’m pregnant.”

Store Manager: *With a blank stare* “Where is the receipt?”

Customer #2: “She has it in her hands; they should have it on their copy, too.”

The manager takes the bar code from my hands.

Store Manager: “Ma’am, this isn’t a receipt. Where is your receipt?”

Customer #2: “That’s it right there—”

Store Manager: *Cutting her off* “No, this is not a receipt. This is a bar code that you use to pay for something. If this is a receipt, where’s the name of the person that checked you out? The time? The date?”

She starts to stutter and slowly starts morphing back into Hulk Customer, yelling that she needs those cakes for her children, that she’s pregnant, and that she deserves those cakes NOW! She stomps her foot. She’s actually throwing a tantrum because she’s not getting free cake.

I look over at the manager after the woman finishes her stomping and he looks as amused as I am. She starts to demand a number for corporate customer service. The manager pulls out a card with his name and the numbers for both corporate and customer service for complaints. The woman takes it, still yelling that we all are idiots and thieves.

She turns around with her empty cart, still yelling how we all are stupid, and she does something I’ve never seen before. She gives us one more look over her shoulder, FLIPS her cart completely over, and SPRINTS for the front doors.

This woman, who looks eight months pregnant, is sprinting like an Olympic runner to the front doors. I’m stunned. The manager looks at me and sighs.

Store Manager: “I’ll be right back.”

He starts to jog down one of the aisles and calls for one of the boys doing carts outside to look for this lady and find out what kind of car she’s driving, along with the license plate. I’m left standing there and customers are looking at me like, “What the f***?” I just kind of give a, “Sorry about that,” to everyone in the vicinity.

I go back to do my dishes wondering if I imagined this whole scenario. Did the cleaning fumes finally get to my brain?

The store manager eventually comes back and asks if I’m okay; I am. He tells me that they have her face on camera and she’ll go on the board of customers to look out for or that are banned upfront, but she had no license plate on her old, beaten-up truck. He gives me a 15% off coupon employees for my trouble and says if there is any more news with her, he’ll let me know.

Sure enough, he comes back an hour later when I’m getting ready to leave, smiling.

Store Manager: “Guess who just called back?”

No way! Not ten minutes after she left, this woman called the manager back to yell at him. She claimed that she’d called customer service and they said he had to give her three free cakes AND a refund. His reply was that it was Saturday, and the call service is not open on the weekend. He said she screamed and hung up.

I’ve dealt with difficult people, but that was my first really entitled customer; what a ball of fun.

Dealing With You Is Taxing Enough

, , , | Right | CREDIT: A_Rose_From_Concrete | December 4, 2020

I work at my local drug store where we sell alcohol and tobacco products. We have a “Card All” policy; you could obviously look to be in your fifties, but I still must ask to scan the back of your ID.

This customer comes in and says he wants a pack of cigarettes.

Me: “I need to scan the back of your ID.”

Customer: “I don’t have it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it’s store policy to card all for tobacco.”

Customer: “I’m thirty-one.”

Me: “I understand that, but I still need to scan your ID.”

Customer: “I left my ID at the store next door; it’s where I work.”

Me: “Okay.”

He leaves, and I put the cigarettes under the counter for when he returns with his ID. He comes back, though, without his ID.

Customer: “Hey, what’s your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Customer: “[My Name]. Okay, I’ll remember to double tax you the next time you come to my store.”

He left again and I was standing there super confused. I don’t even shop at his store. I’ve lived here for three years and have only stepped foot in his store twice. I wasn’t even buying anything; I was with my mom who did buy something.