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Thank You For Calling Webster’s

, | Right | March 8, 2008

(I work in a company that sells landscaping materials. You know… rock, dirt, compost, etc. This is a phone conversation I had.)

Me: “Hello, [Company]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hello, I had a question about compost.”

Me: “We have two kinds. Mushroom compost and chicken compost.”

Customer: “Well, I want to know what is compost.”

Me: “The mushroom compost is a mixture of horse manure, peat moss, gypsum, oyster-shell lime, straw, and composted rice hulls. The chicken–” *customer cuts me off*

Customer: “No, I mean…what is compost?”

Me: “Decomposing organic matter?”

Customer: “I see… What do you mean by ‘decomposing organic matter’?”

Me: *wondering if this is a prank call by now* “As in organic matter that is breaking down in a natural process…”

Customer: “What is ‘organic’?”

Me: “Okay. What do you think happens when you throw your coffee grounds, apple cores, and other scraps into a huge pile with animal manure?”

Customer: “…it starts to stink.”

Me: “Because it’s decomposing.”

Customer: “…but what is ‘decomposing’?”

Me: “It’s rotting.”

Customer: “…and we put this in our gardens?”

Me: “Ironic, isn’t it?”

Customer: “Okay, so what do you mean by ‘matter’?”

(I’m sure you can all figure out how this conversation went at this point. Twenty minutes of my life I will never have back.)


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Next Time, Just Smile And Nod

, , , | Right | March 7, 2008

Customer #1: “We would like to exchange these items.”

(They hand over an unopened video game controller and sealed games.)

Me: “Do you have your receipt?”

Customer #1: “No, we just want to do an exchange!”

Me: “I am unable to do a return without a receipt verifying you purchased your items at this store.”

Customer #2: “We don’t want to do a return; we want to do an exchange!”

(Our store also buys used video games and accessories so I think maybe that is what they’re trying to do)

Me: “Without a receipt, the only thing I can do is buy these from you, but you won’t get the full retail price. Is that what you’re trying to do?”

Customer #1: “NO! I want to do an exchange!”

Me: “Then I’ll need a receipt.”

(The customer sits there for a minute and finally produces a receipt.)

Me: “Thank you. I’m going to return these items and when you find what you want in the store, just bring it up to the counter.”

Customer #2: “WE CAN’T DO A RETURN, IT HAS TO BE AN EXCHANGE! IT CAN’T GO BACK ON THE CREDIT CARD!”

Me: “Just go and pick out the items you want and if there is money left over we’ll give you a store credit.”

Customer #2: “BUT IT CAN’T GO ON THE CREDIT CARD! YOU CAN’T RETURN THE ITEMS!”

Me: “We have to return them to keep our inventory up to date.”

Customer #1: “WE JUST SAID WE CAN’T RETURN THEM! WE NEED TO EXCHANGE THEM!”

Me: “I’m trying to explain to you that it is a corporate policy to return items, not exchange them, but that does not mean the money goes on your credit card. We can give you store credit.”

Customer #1: “So you guys are somehow different from every other store on the planet? Every other store does exchanges but not you.”

Customer #2: “IT CAN’T GO ON THE CREDIT CARD.”

Me: “Listen, you are over-thinking this–”

Customer #1: *cutting me off* “MAYBE YOU ARE UNDER-THINKING THIS! I TOLD YOU I WANT TO DO AN EXCHANGE. I’M GOING TO THE STORE I BOUGHT THIS FROM! THEY’LL DO AN EXCHANGE!”

Me: “You can take these items to any [Store] you want. We all have the same policy.”

Customer #2: “NO, YOU’RE JUST STUPID!”

(They left the store, Half an hour later, I got a call from the store down the street laughing and thanking me for sending over such *lovely* customers.)

Full Of Sh*t, In So Many Ways

, , | Right | March 7, 2008

(Note: our bathrooms decided to back up and so we had to lock them.)

Customer: “Can you unlock the bathroom?”

Me: “Sorry, they are out of order.”

Customer: “What do you mean!? I need to go!”

Me: “The bagel shop next door has a bathroom that they’ll be glad to let you use.”

Customer: “There used to be a day when the customer was always right!” *storms off*

Pointless Obstinance

, , | Right | March 6, 2008

Me: “Good Evening, [My Name] speaking. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I just told you how you can help me!”

Me: “No, sir, you were speaking to someone in admin; they put your call through to me. If you could repeat your query I’ll be happy to help.”

Caller: “But I just told you what I wanted. I’m not repeating myself!”

Me: “Then I’m sorry, I can’t help you then.”

Caller: “Fine!” *hangs up*

John Hancock Goes Shopping

, , , , , | Right | March 5, 2008

(I have been ringing up a customer’s purchases on the register and am just about to put through his credit card for payment.)

Me: “Sir, just sign here please.”

Customer: “No, I don’t sign.”

Me: “You have to sign so that your credit card is verified; it shows you paid for it and not someone else.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to sign. Forget about it all, goodbye!”

(The customer leaves his purchases on the counter which he’s just paid for; the electronic system isn’t actually activated by a signature. It goes through automatically; the signature is just a formality.)

Me: “Wait, where are you going? You just paid for this stuff! Are you going to leave it here? Hey!”

(The customer exits the store, and my manager motions for me to follow, with a big mean smile on his face. I sigh and run after the customer.)

Me: “Excuse me! Excuse me, you can’t just leave that stuff there. You need to come back and claim it or we’ll refund it for you.”

Customer: “Why are you following me? What’s wrong with you? Leave me alone. I told you I didn’t want to sign anything!”

Me: “I’m not going to chase you all over the city, but you should know you’ve got things in there you just paid for. You’re down $120 if you leave them there.”

Customer: “But I didn’t sign.”

Me: “It doesn’t matter if you signed anything; your purchase still went through. Now are you going to come back and get your money or your items, or are you happy with donating $120 to our store?”

Customer: “You’re crazy! I didn’t sign anything so I didn’t pay. You’re just trying to get me back there so I’ll buy more stuff! Leave me alone!”

(I decide to give it up since it’s clear this person isn’t going to listen to me; he’s convinced I’m trying to rip him off while, in fact, I’m doing the opposite…)

Me: “Suit yourself, then. Thanks for the $120.”

(Sure enough, three days later, the customer returned, angry about the store stealing money from him when he didn’t make a purchase. I rolled my eyes and left him for someone else to deal with. He was still yelling that he hadn’t signed anything.)