Making A Mocha-ry Of A Mocha

, , , , , | Right | November 4, 2018

(I work in a deli, which also has a full espresso bar. I have a first-time customer come in with her husband and child. They each order a sandwich, and then she orders espresso drinks for each of them; hers is a triple-shot mocha, while his is a standard vanilla latte. A few minutes after I take their drinks out to them, this exchange happens.)

Customer: “Excuse me. Could you add more chocolate to this? All I can taste is the espresso.”

Me: *inwardly face-palming but still smiling on the outside* “Sure thing, thanks for letting me know!”

(I add more chocolate and milk to it, and then give it back to her.)

Me: “Try it and let me know what you think; I don’t want you to be unhappy with your mocha!”

Customer: “Much better, thanks.”

(Two things: first, how did she not know that adding an extra shot would give it more of a coffee flavor? And second, because I don’t want to end this on a negative note, at least her husband told me that mine was one of the best lattes he’s ever had in his life.)

Attack Of The Mansplainer

, , , , , | Right | August 12, 2018

(For several years, my dad and I have been running a booth at a local annual comic book convention where we sell pieces of our comic book collections and some comic book-related artwork. My dad and I are both collectors; he’s been collecting for 60+ years and raised me on comics. This year, my dad is unable to help man the booth due to a work conflict, so I’m working the table on my own. During a lull in business, an older gentleman approaches the booth and begins looking through a box of $1 comics.)

Me: “Hi there! Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?”

Customer: *glancing at me briefly with a sigh* “Are these yours?”

Me: “Yup.”

(He suddenly snatches a comic book from the box and shoves it toward me.)

Customer: “This is priced incorrectly.”

Me: *thinking that he means it’s overpriced* “Oh, the comics in that box are actually only $1.”

Customer: “That’s not what I mean! It’s way under-priced. This comic is worth much more than $1.”

Me: “Well, I know it’s worth a little more, but we’ve got multiple copies of that issue, and we’ve had some trouble selling it, so we marked it down. Think of it like a clearance item. It’s a pretty good bargain.”

Customer: “You really need to charge more for it. Trust me; I know comics. It’s worth more.”

(I glance at the comic and recognize the title. I’m certain that the issue is really only worth about $5, but don’t want to embarrass him by correcting him.)

Me: “We’re really just trying to unload it. It’s hard to sell that issue for more than $1.”

Customer: “Where’s the owner of this booth? I think I should talk to him about how you’re pricing his comics.”

Me: “I’m the owner of this booth, sir.”

Customer: “These aren’t your comics.”

Me: “Actually, they are.”

Customer: “Who paid for the booth? Whose comics are these? That’s the guy I want to talk to. You obviously aren’t familiar with comic books if you think that this is worth only $1. You’re really screwing over the guy who owns it.”

Me: “I paid for the booth, and the comics in that box belong to me. I’m very familiar with comics, which is why I’m working here… at a comic book booth, at a comic book convention.”

Customer: “Then you’d know that this comic isn’t worth $1.”

Me: “That issue is worth only about $5. But if you really want to pay more for it, I can charge you more. What do you think it’s worth?”

Customer: “I don’t want to buy it; I just think you need to do more research before you try to come out here and pretend that you know anything about comic books. You’ll just end up embarrassing yourself. You know, not everyone is as polite as I am, sweetie.”

Me: *obviously insulted, but really just wanting him to leave at this point* “Noted. Is there anything else you want to buy?”

Customer: “Well, let me finish looking!”

(I shut my mouth and sat quietly as he finished rifling through the box. He finished, finding nothing else he wanted, and then walked away without a word. About thirty minutes later, I spotted him at a booth a few yards away, giving grief to another young vendor and lecturing her about how much he knew about comic books and how “annoying” it was to have to deal with so many “fake” female comic book vendors who under-priced their comics. I had never seen anyone so angry about being asked to pay LESS for a product!)

A Wait Doesn’t Carry Much Weight

, , , , , , | Right | August 11, 2018

(I work in a small deli. One particularly busy Saturday, I am running the front of the store by myself, trying to keep up with the rush, while my coworker is busy baking our bread product in the back. About ten people all arrive at the same time, approximately half of whom order sandwiches that take the longest to make. I rush through everything, but I’m sure they still wait in line for close to ten minutes, plus another ten for their food. A customer and her husband both order breakfast sandwiches. I take their food out to them with a smile and while I am there, the wife — who, I happen to notice, is on a website putting up a review — asks me if I am a manager. I am not, I answer, but I tell them my manager’s name and when she’ll be in next. Fast forward a couple days later. I go into work, where my manager ambushes me as soon as I come in the door to tell me about this phone call she got yesterday, on my day off, from the very same customer:)

Customer: “Is this the manager?”

Manager: “Yes.”

Customer: “I want to make a complaint.”

Manager: “Okay.”

Customer: “I was in on Saturday, and it looked like you only had one employee here, and we had to wait for a long time!”

Manager: “So?”

Customer: *huffing* “Well, that’s just ridiculous! We had to wait in line, and then we had to wait for our food!”

Manager: “Was it busy?”

Customer: “Well, yes, but—”

Manager: “And what was my employee doing while it was busy? Was she outside having a smoke?”

Customer: “Well, no, she was helping other people, and making food.”

Manager: “So, what are you complaining about, then?”

Customer: “Well, I had to wait!”

Manager: “And?”

Customer: “You need to hire more people!”

Manager: “Maybe. But we’d rather have ten good ones than twenty mediocre ones. Was your food good?”

Customer: “Yes, but—”

Manager: “So, you have nothing to complain about. The food was good, and you got good service; you just had to wait. This isn’t a fast food place. If you want fast food, there’s a burger place down the street. Next time, go there, so you won’t have to worry about waiting. Now quit wasting my time. I have work to do.”

(And then she hung up. I only wish I’d been there to see it.)

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You Can’t Stay Here And That’s The Naked Truth

, , , , | Right | December 15, 2017

(It’s May, and a guest walks in to get a room. I go about putting in the info and pulling up his name then see that he’s on our “Do Not Rent” list. I tell him I can’t rent to him and he’d have to stay at another hotel.)

Guest: *in a whiny voice* “But why?!”

Me: “Well, it’s noted that you were seriously intoxicated the whole time, you wouldn’t stay in your room, and you were naked through it all.”

Guest: “But that’s what I wanted to do.”

Me: “Well, you can’t do that here.”

Guest: “But I came here to be safe!”

Me: “But all our other guests obviously don’t feel safe with you around.”

Guest: “Well, how long ago was that?”

Me: “Last February.”

Guest: “But that was so long ago!”

(By this point I’m looking at him like he’s an idiot.)

Me: “Not really.”

Guest: “What am I supposed to do, then?!”

Me: “Go to another hotel.”

Guest: “But—”

Me: “There’s one down the street.”

Guest: *quietly* “Thank you.” *walks out*

Gift Carded And Dearly Departed

, , , , , , | Hopeless | September 20, 2013

(I am working as an assistant manager at a retail store. A customer comes in while it is slow, so I am able to pay a lot of attention to her, and find her exactly what she wants.)

Customer: “Is it okay to pay by gift card?”

Me: “Of course.”

(I start ringing her in.)

Customer: “I hate to use it, though.”

Me: “Oh, really? Why is that?”

Customer: “My mom gave it to me for my last birthday, and she passed away two months ago.”

(I pause for a moment to make eye contact with her.)

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost my own mom a little over a year ago, so I know what you’re going through.”

Customer: “Oh! I guess you do understand, then. Does it get easier?”

Me: “No. I still miss her horribly, and still want to pick up the phone and call her every single day. But I suppose I’m not as raw as I was. You’ll get to that point, too, though you’ll always miss her.”

Customer: “Yeah…”

(I finish ringing her up, and swipe her gift card, which pays for everything. Afterwards, I bring her bag around the counter for her, and hand it to her.)

Customer: “Can I… Can I make a really strange request?”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “Can I keep the gift card?”

Me: “Oh, of course you can!”

(I hand it to her. She puts it back in the envelope that bears her name, and caresses it. I can see she’s on the verge of tears.)

Me: “Right before my mom died, she gave me the package she never sent me for my birthday, which had some Avon perfume in it. I like the perfume, but I hardly ever use it, because I don’t want to have to throw away one of the last things she ever gave me.”

Customer: “Oh, so you completely understand why I want to keep this!”

Me: *eyes filling with tears* “Oh, yes, ma’am, completely!”

(We wind up chatting for close to 45 minutes, sharing stories about our moms. By the end of it, we’re both crying openly, but they’re good tears.)

Customer: “I’ve taken up so much of your time; I’m sorry.”

Me: “No, don’t apologize. I’m so glad you came in, and that you were willing to share with me!”

Customer: “Can I… Can I hug you?”

Me: “Of course you can!”

(We hugged for a long time, with both of us still crying. She thanked me profusely, and vowed to come back and ask for me especially. I never did see her again, as I quit not long after that, but it was a wonderful experience. I hope wherever she is, her grief has become less raw than it was when I saw her. I’ll always, always remember her as being one of the best customers I ever had.)

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