Someone’s Feeling Salty

, , , , , | Working | October 5, 2020

I’m at a sit-down, twenty-four-hour burger and shake joint with a friend late at night to get coffee and chat. He and I and some other friends frequent this place. We order from a server who’s about our age — early twenties — and we get our drinks quickly.

After about an hour, she comes to see if we need anything else since she’s going to be clocking out soon; we say we’re fine, pay for our coffee and tip early, and get back to our conversation. She’s very friendly and talks with us a bit as she does her side work, filling up the condiment caddies, etc. The odd thing is that as she fills up the salt and pepper shakers, she fills them WAY over the top and spills a ton of salt and pepper all over our table — literally at least as much of both to fill up another shaker each. We are just sitting, not eating, and the restaurant is mostly dead, so I think nothing of it, strangely enough. (I am easy going to a fault at that age; it honestly does not phase me.)

That server leaves and we’re checked on periodically by a bitter, middle-aged woman who is just starting the third shift.

As my friend and I continue talking for another couple hours, I scoop the salt and pepper mess up into a pile and shape it into smiley faces, band and superhero logos, words, etc., just to fidget as we talk. Eventually, it’s time to go and we get up and leave.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. This same friend and I are back at this restaurant with a couple of other friends. Our server — who was not there the previous visit — recognizes us.

Server: “You guys really made [Middle-Aged Server] mad. She’s actually recommended that our manager ban you from the restaurant.”

Me: “She what?! Why?!”

Server: “Something about you guys making huge messes all over the tables and floors and leaving them for her to clean up?”

It takes me a minute to figure out what she’s talking about. Thankfully, I’m able to not only remember what happened, but also remember the younger server’s name.

Me: “Oh! I know now! [Younger Server] made that mess when she was talking with us and she was refilling the caddies!”

Server: “She quit two weeks ago.”

I later see the middle-aged server and grab her attention to let her know what actually happened.

Middle-Aged Server: “So, she took the time to shape the salt and pepper into little symbols? I saw you doing that! Quit trying to pass the blame!”

There was no reasoning with her. We were never banned, nor even talked to by management, but there was always a very heavy tension in the air any time she was around while we were there.

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Should Have Scratched That Drink  

, , , , , , | Right | August 5, 2019

(A customer turns in $4 worth of scratcher winnings and has a $0.89 drink. This takes place just after I told him how much he won on them.)

Customer: “I’d like $14 out on pump three, please.”

Me: “All right, that will be $10.83 altogether.”

(The customer hands me two five-dollar bills and starts looking at a pocket full of change.)

Customer: “Wait, what? No, I wanted $14 in gas.”

Me: “Yes, you owe $10 for the gas and 83 cents for the drink.”

Customer: “But I want $14 in gas.”

Me: “You won $4 on your scratchers, so you still owe $10 for the gas, and the drink is 83 cents.”

Customer: “So, what do I owe you still?”

Me: “You still owe 83 cents.”

Customer: “But I had $4 on those scratchers and wanted $14 in gas.”

Me: “Yes, you already gave me two fives for the gas and just owe for the drink; did you want it rung up separately?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: *giving up on trying to reason with him* “It’s just 83 more cents and you’re good to go.”

Customer: *counts out change and hands it to me* “All right, if that’s what I still owe…”

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Wish You Had A Device That Could Silence HIM

, , , , , , | Right | April 18, 2019

(There is a product advertised on TV that promises its user the ability to listen to their TV as loud as they want without disturbing other people in the room via a special pair of wireless headphones. All someone has to do is plug in the receiver to the audio ports on their TV, sync the receiver and the headphones, and voila. Of course, we all know that it’s never as easy as they advertise in the commercials. Unfortunately, the store where I work has sold many units of this product and nearly all are returned because the customers can’t get the headphones and the receiver to properly sync. Most people are mildly upset that they can’t get the device to work, but realize that the product is worth less than the plastic it is made of and ask for their money back. But this one guy just takes the cake.)

Customer: *places the device on the counter in front of me* “I can’t get this to work on my TV.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. If you have your receipt with you, I’d be happy to do the return.”

Customer: “No. Weren’t you listening? I didn’t ask for a refund, now did I? What I said was that I couldn’t get this to work on my TV. Tell me how to make it work.”

(Our store specializes in the sale of bedding, bathroom, and kitchen products, not electronics. None of the employees have any specialized knowledge of home audio setups or TVs.)

Me: *sighing internally, as I’ve given this spiel a hundred times already* “I’m sorry, sir, but if you’ve already followed the instructions in the manual that came with this product and the headphones and receiver still aren’t syncing up properly, I’m afraid there is no other suggestion that I can offer you that’ll make it work. I know that there is a 1-800 number listed on the backside of the manual you can call, but I do not know if they are offering tech support beyond the original instructions. I’d still be happy to do the refund for you if you’d like.”

Customer: “I don’t want no d*** refund and I ain’t calling no 1-800 number where they’ll just transfer me to some call center run by a group of [slurs]. I want you to make this work on my TV.”

(He and I keep going back and forth on the issue, with him refusing the refund and me unable to help him. I bring over my manager and explain the situation to her, and she tells the customer the exact same thing I did. Finally, the customer just snaps. He starts yelling and calling me and my manager names. He makes ludicrous demands, such as a significant discount off his next purchase or having [Store] pay for a technician to come out and install the device for him. It gets so bad that people around us have paused and started listening to his tantrum. This occurs after both my manager and I have said no to all of his demands.)

Customer: “Now listen here: I want you two to call an actual manager up here this time. A real man-ager. Get it? That way he can tell me what to do and I won’t have to listen to you two squawk and squabble with me anymore.”

Manager: “Sir, I am the manager on duty now and I will not permit you to speak like that to anyone here. You have one of three options. One, you can take your item here, leave, and come back when you’ve learned some manners. Two, you can provide [My Name] with your receipt, we will refund you your money, and you can be on your way. Or three, you can take your item, leave, and see what information you can find that we haven’t been able to ourselves. Maybe try asking someone at [Popular Electronics Store] next door and see if they have any suggestions.”

Customer: “Well, who do you think I bought this from originally?”

Manager: *frozen in place* “Excuse me? Did you just say that didn’t even buy this from us?”

Customer: “Yeah?”

Manager: “So, you have been nothing but rude and disrespectful towards me and [My Name]… over this product that you didn’t even purchase from us in the first place?”

Customer: “Well, the people over there only hire children who don’t know anything. Even the manager didn’t even know what he was talking about. I was walking back to my car when I saw in the window that you guys sold this, too, so I figured I’d come in and ask for your help.”

Manager: *completely deadpan* “Sir… just go.”

Customer: “But–“

Manager: “Just… go.”

(Finally, the customer left, muttering about poor customer service and everything. All the while, most of us, employees and customers, were just standing there in awe of what had just transpired. I just felt sorry for whoever had to deal with him next.)

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To Sleep, Perchance To Dream Of Sleeping

, , , , , | Right | April 4, 2019

(I’m nineteen, but I look no more than sixteen. I run a cash register in a department store. A young mother pushing a stroller comes up to make her purchase. Her child, roughly a year old, is sound asleep in the stroller.)

Me: “Boy, I’d love to be doing that, myself.”

Woman: *look of shock and disgust* “Having KIDS?!”

Me: “Sleeping.”

Woman: “Oh.”

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Pencil You In For Self-Service

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2019

(I am trying to update my wardrobe, so I go to various stores to see what styles they have. I go to a department store where I am unfamiliar with the layout. I go to a female employee who is putting away clothing from the fitting rooms in the misses section.)

Me: “Hi. Where would I find pencil skirts? If you could please point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.”

Employee: “Pencil skirts… Hmm, men’s or women’s?”

Me: “Um, women’s.”

Employee: “I don’t think they make those for women. I know what you need.” *leaves for a minute and then comes back* “This is what you’re asking for.”

Me: “That’s a pair of men’s swim trunks. No, thanks. I’ll look for it by myself.”

(I left, shaking my head, while she was grumbling about how customers are not appreciative of her finding things that they asked for.)

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