You Haven’t Been A Ham

| New Zealand | Working | December 24, 2016

(It’s the day after Boxing Day and I am at the deli in the supermarket getting some ham. I had encountered the woman who served me the week prior and received a snarky, grumpy attitude. I am very patient and was as cheery as I could be still no smile. Note: in the following conversation, the snarky woman never once smiles or drops the attitude.)

Snarky Woman: *rearranging pepperoni slices*

Me: *patiently waiting to be served*

Other Staff Member: “[Snarky Woman], there are people waiting.”

(The snarky woman ignores coworker, who is unable to serve customers because she is using a big meat slicer, and continues rearranging pepperoni slices.)

Me: *still waiting patiently*

Other Staff Member: “[Snarky Woman], there are customers waiting!” *apologetic smile to customers*

Snarky Woman: *finishes rearranging pepperoni* “I was busy!” *looks at me* “What do YOU want?”

Me: “I’ll have six slices of ham, please.”

Snarky Woman: “Six?” *bags ham with attitude* “Is that all?”

Me: “Yes, thanks.”

Snarky Woman: “Here.” *hands over ham with more attitude*

Me: *finally sick of her attitude and said with as much sarcasm as possible* “You have a lovely day.”

(You have to wonder what people like her are doing in a customer service role…)

Dumb Customers: Part Two

| UK | Right | December 19, 2016

(A customer phoned today:)

Customer: “I bought a DVD from your store and my husband and I watched it together. At the end it said ‘To Be Continued’. We looked on Amazon and apparently there isn’t going to be a sequel as the film studio won’t make one. We now don’t know how the story ends. We feel cheated. Can we have a refund?”

Caught You In A Jam

| York, England, UK | Right | December 15, 2016

(I work in a store that has four floors. I work in the basement taking deliveries so I have very little knowledge of the supermarket itself save for which floor things go to. Occasionally I have to cross the shop floor to deliver said stock. Here I’m on the lowest floor, just returning to my post, when a middle-aged chap in a well-tailored business suit bursts in off the street:)

Customer: *upon seeing my uniform* “Hey, you there, where is your jam?”

Me: *just wanting to get back to my job* “I’m very sorry, sir. I’m afraid I’m not trained as floor staff so I don’t know how to help you, but I’m sure if…”

Customer: “I NEED jam!”

Me: *trying to stay polite* “I’m sorry, sir, I honestly don’t know where the jam is; I work behind the scenes here with stock delivery you see.” *I spot a floor worker* “However…”

Customer: *hasn’t listened to a word* “I NEED JAM NOW! I’m a VERY busy man and I don’t have time to be messed around by stupid, lazy, little people like you. NOW DO YOUR BLOODY JOB AND GET ME JAM!”

(He’s flaring his nostrils, shaking, and getting really quite scary eyed by now, a full on temper tantrum, basically, so I decide to have a go at pretending I’m floor staff.)

Me: “All right, then, let’s see…” *I look up and Lady Luck shines on me* “…ah, I would take a guess it’s probably somewhere near that big 6×4 foot hanging sign just behind you that says ‘Jams’?”

(The customer follows my gaze and sees said sign.)

Customer: *angry sarcasm* “THERE! You see, that wasn’t SO hard for you to do, now WAS it?!” *stomps off in the direction of the sign*

Me: *under breath* “So easy even you might have been able to do it, sir.”

(How urgent a need for jam can anybody possibly have, anyway?)

Quickly Putting Out A Fire

| Fort Wayne, IN, USA | Right | December 14, 2016

(I am working my regular job when a visibly irritated customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “FIX MY TV, NOW!”

Me: “Okay, calm—”

Customer: *interrupting* “FIX IT! NOW!”

Manager: *hearing the commotion* “What seems to be the problem?”

Customer: “Your employee refuses to help me! Fire him NOW!”

Manager: *to me* “You’re fired.”

(A few moments later, making sure the customer can hear him, he says to me:)

Manager: “Hey, you look like you would be a nice employee. Would you like a job?”

Me: “Sure.”

(The customer looked furious and stormed out of the store.)

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Jane Not Following Her Plain Advice

| Manchester, England, UK | Working | December 13, 2016

(I am shopping quite late at night in a large local 24-hour superstore that’s half a mile from my house. I find it’s better to go later because I miss the rush, plus there are no queues at the tills and it’s just all-round less stressful. I’m partly disabled and I don’t walk very well, so any reason to reduce stress is a valid one for me. On this occasion, I scan all my shopping through the self-checkout (the only ones open after 9 pm) only to realise I’ve forgotten my debit card. The trolleys (carts) are usually locked up in trolley bays, and either a £1 coin or trolley token will unlock one of them; I used a £1 coin that night.)

Me: *in a panic, totally embarrassed, to self-checkout assistant* “Oh, I’m so sorry, and I do feel so stupid, but I forgot my card. I’m going to have to go home for it and come back to pay, if that’s okay?”

Assistant: “No problem; you can leave your shopping trolley over there–” *points at an unused till area* “–until you come back.”

Me: “Thank you so much! I might be twenty minutes or so because I have to walk home and back and I don’t walk very well. Will my shopping be okay until then? It won’t be in the way?”

Assistant: *with a smile* “Yes, that’s no problem at all. We’ll wait for you; don’t rush.”

(I look at the clock; it’s 9:45 pm. I walk home as fast as I can, grab my debit card, and make my way back. I reach the self-checkout area again, completely out of breath, at 10:05 pm, to find a different member of staff standing there, and no trolley of shopping anywhere in sight.)

Me: *to New Assistant* “Excuse me, but do you know where my shopping went to? I had to nip home for my bank card.”

New Assistant: “No, sorry, I haven’t seen one, and I’ve been here for ten minutes.”

Me: “But the other assistant told me she’d leave my shopping over there for me.” *points in the area I’d left my trolley*

New Assistant: “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”

(I’m furious now. Not only do I have to do my shopping again, and it’s a big store, but that missing trolley also had my £1 in it and I don’t have another. I grab a basket and start shopping again. Just as I start down the first aisle, however, I notice the first assistant putting something back on the shelf. Sure enough, it’s something I’d chosen earlier.)

Me: *to assistant* “Excuse me? Excuse me! I’ll have that, please.”

Assistant: *with a lovely big smile* “Oh, hello again!”

Me: “Why did you put away my shopping when you knew I was coming back? And when you said you wouldn’t?”

Assistant: “Well, store policy is to put away items that have been there for more than half an hour.”

Me: “I got back in 20 minutes and my stuff was already gone. Why did you do that when you said you wouldn’t?”

Assistant: “The manager told me to. We didn’t think you’d come back.”

Me: “Did you explain to the manager what the stuff was doing there? And about my disabilities?”

Assistant: “Yes.”

Me: “And?”

Assistant: “I still had to put it back. I’m sorry. I didn’t think you’d come back!”

Me: “Okay, who’s the manager?”

Assistant: “I am.”

Me: “…I beg your pardon?”

Assistant: “I am.”

Me: “So, let me get this straight. At 9:45 pm you tell me it’s okay to leave my shopping so I can go home for my card and not to rush, despite knowing there’s a 30-minute limit on that. Then, you totally ignore said limit and put it all back after 15 minutes. But before you do so, you direct a question to yourself about my shopping, and explain to yourself about why my shopping’s there, and you tell yourself it makes no difference, that the shopping has to be re-shelved anyway, even before the time limit’s up? Is that about right?”

Assistant-Who-Happens-To-Be-The-Manager: “Yes… I didn’t think you’d come back!”

(I check her name badge, that only has her first name on it (let’s call her Jane) and, sure enough, it says “Manager” underneath.)

Me: “I’d like a Feedback Form please.”

(She walks towards Customer Service and gets me a form, which I start to fill in right then and there. The customer service clerk is behind the counter.)

Me: *to Manager Jane* “What’s your name?”

Manager Jane: “Sue.”

(I hear the customer service staff member gasp.)

Me: “So why does your badge say you’re called Jane?”

(The manager’s face is growing bright red.)

Me: *to customer service clerk* “What’s her full name, please?”

(She tells me, so I write it down on the form. After I’ve finished writing out my ‘feedback’, including the part about giving me a false name, I read it back to them both and ask:)

Me: “Did I miss anything out?”

(Both of them shake their heads, and the poor customer service clerk looks extremely miserable.)

Manager Jane: *to me* “Er. Um. If you like, I’ll put that in our Feedback Box for you.”

Me: *laughing* “Oh, yes, I’m absolutely sure you will, ‘Sue.’ Is that Feedback Box dustbin-shaped, by any chance?”

(Manager Jane winces with embarrassment.)

Me: “So, where’s my £1 out of the trolley lock?”

Manager Jane: “Your £1?”

Me: “Yes. You took my trolley back to the trolley stand, I’m assuming? Where’s my £1?”

(She gives me the £1 out of her pocket, and I walk off to finish my second go at shopping. When I get back to the self-checkout and start scanning my items, Manager Jane comes over to me.)

Manager Jane: “Hello! I just thought you’d like to know the till you used earlier still has your sub-total on it, so you could just go there and pay if you like.” *she’s beaming at me as if that idea makes everything better*

Me: “So, not only did you not think I’d come back, only half way through my time limit that I didn’t know about, you decided to leave my sub-total on the till in case I came back? Do you know how much sense you aren’t making? At all?”

Manager Jane: “I… er…”

Me: “Look, just leave me alone. I’ve started scanning already, and I wouldn’t use that other sub-total now anyway, in case I forgot something that I had before. Just go away and leave me alone.”

(When I got home, I updated the Feedback Form, plus I emailed the head office. When I next went to that store, Manager Jane’s badge read, “Assistant.”)

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