The Killing Joke

, , , , | | Working | May 17, 2019

(My wife and I and two other couples go to a casual restaurant together one evening that we go to often. All six of us are sitting in a corner booth.)

Waitress: *sitting down in the booth next to my wife* “Hi! Before I take your orders, I have a joke to tell you.” *tells the joke, which isn’t funny to any of us* “Oh, I guess it wasn’t that funny. What can I get all of you to drink?”

(She takes our drink orders — at this place the waitress makes the drinks — and then drops them off at our table.)

Waitress: “I’ll be right back.”

(She then goes to another table, sits down, tells the same joke, and then takes their drink order and wanders off. We wait for a long time for her to come back to take our order, and we see her return to other tables and take their orders, but for some reason she never returns to us. We finally flag her down.)

Me: “Excuse me, you never took our order. Can we please order sometime soon?”

Waitress: “I did take your order. See, you have drinks. Let me go check the kitchen to find out why your food isn’t ready.”

Me: “We never told you our food order.”

Waitress: “Yes, you did. I’ll be right back.”

(She returns a couple minutes later.)

Waitress: “I’m really sorry, but it looks like the kitchen lost your order. I need to take it again.”

(We all kind of look at her weird but just place our orders with her. She then wanders off. At this point, all of our drinks need refills, but she never does that. We wait for a long time, to the point where other tables have had their food, eaten, and left, and we still have no food. We don’t see our waitress anywhere, so I go up to the counter. Our waitress sees me.)

Waitress: “Hi. Do you need something?”

Me: “Our food.”

Waitress: “You need to order more food?”

Me: “No, we need the food we ordered. We never got it.”

Waitress: “I brought you your food.”

Me: “No, you didn’t. Can you please find out where our order is?”

Waitress: “Let me go check.”

(I go back to my seat and wait a couple minutes. The waitress comes by.)

Waitress: “I checked the kitchen, and your food is not being made right now. I know I delivered your food.”

Me: “If you gave us our food, why are there no plates here, and why is all the silverware still clean and on the napkins just like they were when we sat down?”

Waitress: *funny look* “Let me see.”

(The waitress leaves and doesn’t come back. After about five minutes, I go up and find a man in a shirt and tie and ask him if he’s the manager. He says no, but he’ll get the manager to come to my table. He comes, and we explain that we’ve only had drinks, that the waitress had to take our order twice, and that we still don’t have food. The manager comes back after a couple minutes.)

Manager: “I’m really sorry. I checked the waitress’s ordering book and found your order; she had never given it to the kitchen. I’m not sure why. I don’t know why she’s arguing with you, either. I see you guys in here all the time, so I’m going to give you your meals and a dessert for free.”

(We finally ended up with our food after about two hours. We did go back there again, but never saw that waitress again.)

Who Does She Think She’s Kidding?

, , , , , , | Right | February 27, 2019

(I’m working at a famous hamburger place when this happens. A young lady has come in with her child, who is maybe three years old. The child is running around in the lobby while she is waiting in my line. When she gets to me, the following happens:)

Me: “Ma’am, it’s unsafe for your kid to run around in here like that. He’s going to hurt himself.”

Lady: “He’s fine. And don’t call my child a kid. A kid is a baby cow! Call him a child!

Me: “Okay, ma’am, but your child will get hurt; please ask him to stop running around.”

Lady: “He’s fine! Now let me place my order.”

Me: “Fine, what can I get for you?”

(Just as she’s starting to order, her kid falls and does a header right into the corner of one of the garbage cans. The kid doesn’t make a noise, but all of a sudden starts shaking, so it’s clear he’s having a seizure. The mother runs over to her kid and turns him over. His eyes are rolled back, his head is bleeding, and he’s shaking. One of my coworkers is calling 911 and others have rushed to help her.)

Lady: *looks up at me and yells* “THIS IS YOUR FAULT!”

(She later tried to sue us. I was asked to give a deposition, and I told them that I had asked her to stop having her kid run around, and a couple other people I worked with said they’d heard me tell her. She didn’t win her case. Also, a kid isn’t a baby cow; it’s a baby goat.)

Unfiltered Story #137015

, , , | Unfiltered | January 18, 2019

(I’m calling body shops for a quote on a very strange request. I’ve looked online and have found one with a very excellent rating and rave online reviews so I give it a call.)
Shop: “Thank you for calling <Body Shop>, how can I help you?”
Me: “Hi, I have an unusual, custom body job I’d like to see if I could get a quote on.”
Shop: “Sure, what is it you are looking to do?”
Me: “I’m curious how much it would be to remove a moonroof from my 3 series.”
Shop: “What?”
Me:”I want to get a quote on removing the moonroof out of my 3 series.”
Shop: “A moonroof? What is that?”
Me: A little more than astonished “You know, moonroof, some call it a sunroof. The window in the roof?”
Shop: “A what roof? A window in the roof? You want a window roof?”
Me:”This is <Body shop> right?”
Shop: “Yup!”
Me: “I’m going to hang up now…”

If All Else Fails, Use Guilt

, , , , , | Right | December 18, 2018

(I work in the service department at a car dealership that is part of a larger dealer group spanning multiple makes. My particular brand’s franchise is closing for business so the car make will no longer be supported, and another brand is moving into the space. We originally were to have a temporary contract extension of a few months to remain operating in order for the manufacturer to open another location, so we could transition our customers, but at the last second, they opted out of that plan. The manufacturer ‘surprised’ us with news of the last date of operations with just under two weeks’ notice until said termination. We immediately had to cease bringing in new business to give us the best shot at completing the repairs that were already ongoing. As such, we have not had adequate time to prepare our customers for the closure. However, I do think it wouldn’t have helped for some as they don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘Closed for business.’ The first example customer dropped in without calling or scheduling — something that, even under normal circumstances, we were virtually always too busy to accommodate anyway.)

Me: “What brings you in today?”

Customer: “Well, I have [problem #1] and [problem #2] and I was hoping you guys could just fit me in.”

(He’s literally coming by in the afternoon on the Friday before a holiday weekend — the least likely time a by-appointment business would be able to ever fit anyone in for a drop-in.)

Me: “Unfortunately, I have some… unexpected news we just received. We’re going out of business. Our dealership is actually closing permanently a week from today.”

Customer: “Oh! Oh, no!”

Me: “It took us by surprise, too. Unfortunately, we’re not able to take any more cars in at all; we have to finish what we have in the shop now before our doors shut for good.”

Customer: “Oh, I understand. That sounds tough. And finding out during the holidays, too.”

Me: *glad he’s taking it so well, unlike most people* “I can get you the number for [Manufacturer’s corporate helpline] so they can help you find the most convenient location for your future service needs.”

Customer: “Oh, don’t worry. It’s okay. I’ll just come back later.”

Me: “Uhm… No. That won’t help. We won’t be here.”

Customer: “OH! You’re CLOSING!”

Me: “Yes. Closing.”

Customer: “Oh… I guess I’ll get that phone number.”

(I don’t know what other meanings he originally interpreted from ‘going out of business’ and ‘closing permanently’. The next customer called to schedule an appointment and proceeded to flip out on my cashier who answered the phone:)

Customer: “BUT I HAVE TO GET MY OIL CHANGED! I’M ALREADY WAY OVERDUE! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?”

Cashier: “There are many facilities that can perform the oil change on your car. You’re not obligated to take it to the dealership where you bought the car, especially as it’s no longer in business.”

Customer: “THIS IS SO INCONSIDERATE. I WANT YOU TO KNOW I’M LEAVING A BAD REVIEW ON YELP. WHAT ABOUT MY CAR?”

Cashier: *losing patience* “It’s blindsided all of us. [Manufacturer] gave us less than two weeks’ warning. I feel bad about your oil change, but I also feel bad about the fact that we have twelve employees here who just found out they don’t know if they’ll have jobs in less than two weeks.”

Customer: “WHAT?! Oh…”

(It worked so well that our manager actually encouraged us to guilt-trip people about our unknown employment when they gave us a hard time. It worked to shut them down pretty well. Fortunately, as the dealer group is large, they have guaranteed we will be able to keep comparable jobs at other locations, most of which are nearby. And we all shared a good laugh about why she thought slamming us on Yelp would make us feel bad: we were going out of business so our Yelp score means diddly squat. The only thing her review would do would be to help us by a. spreading the word that we were closing and not taking in any more cars, and b. making us look less attractive to customers, again helping reduce the number of people trying to bring in cars we couldn’t see anyway.)

They’re A Sexist Jerk Under The Hood

, , , , , , , | Right | November 6, 2018

I currently work as a service writer at a car dealership, but my original background is hands-on; though I’m now tied to a desk, I am an ASE Master Certified Technician — among other professional certifications I maintain — and have been working on cars — first as a hobby, then in a vocational program, and then professionally — for almost twenty years. I am also a woman and am often mistaken for being younger than my age.

Many of my customers, especially “old-school” car guys, don’t expect me to be so knowledgeable. While most of them are delighted when I can not only keep up with them but teach them new things, a few just can’t quite grasp the idea of a female being technically capable, no matter how many times we’ve interacted.

One customer in particular is the type that thinks he’s very knowledgeable; he has literally said to me multiple times, “Well, I happen to know quite a bit about cars.” From what I’ve heard, his knowledge is both limited and mostly twisted by misunderstanding. He often tries to second-guess me while still asking for advice but trying to sound like he knows what he’s talking about.

Since our first interaction I have thought he’s not nearly as sharp as he thinks he is, but I try to give him the benefit of the doubt due what I choose to tell myself is our personality clash; that’s a nicer way to sort it in my brain than, “He’s a sexist jerk who squirms every time he has to come to me.”

I felt completely vindicated when one day he has to call me to ask me, of all things, how to open the hood of his car. The answer: pull the bright red lever with the silhouette of a car with the hood popped that’s right by the driver’s left knee. He has owned the same car for about a year. Anyone who “happens to know quite a bit about cars” should be able to figure out how to open their own hood after a year, without having to make a phone call to ask.

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