Wishing You Could Flip Them The Bird

, , , , | Right | March 15, 2019

(On a busy Saturday, a customer comes in with her three-year-old son and her mother to purchase a parakeet.)

Customer: “We’re going to take him to the vet to have his wings clipped.”

Employee: “Really? You don’t have to go to the vet for that. They charge for it, and we can do it here for free if you want.”

(No one in my store enjoys clipping the birds’ wings. Not only does it fail to benefit the bird in any way, but it’s also a literal pain in our fingers; birds bite. Still, since customers sometimes want it done, we will clip the wings if they ask… or in this case, to save the customers some money. The customer agrees, and my employee clips the wings and sends them on their way. About half an hour later, I get a phone call.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Pet Store]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I just purchased a bird there, and when we got it home, it was all bloody! Your employee cut the bird’s wings, and she obviously did a bad job!”

Me: “Oh, that’s strange. If you bring the bird back, we can take a look and see what’s going on.”

(I let my boss know what’s going on, and then I approach my pet care employee.)

Me: “You clipped a bird’s wings a while ago, right? I have a customer who called and said you injured it.”

Employee: “Really? I clipped them the same way I’ve always done it, and I didn’t see any blood.”

(When the customer comes back with the bird, my employee and my boss both take a look at it. The bird’s injury is not on its wings, but on its side.)

Customer: “See? You guys didn’t cut its wings right! We got this bird because it was getting picked on by the other birds, and now you’ve hurt it worse!”

Me: “It looks like the bird’s wings aren’t hurt at all. There’s a small wound on its side. If you’re right, and the bird was getting bullied by the others, I think one of the other birds might have scratched or bitten it, and the wound tore open from the stress of getting caught, clipped, and put in the box. What we can do is you can return the bird to us—“

Customer: “We don’t want to exchange it! My son is attached to it already.”

Me: “No, ma’am, we don’t want you to exchange it. If you return it, we can take it to our vet here in the building, and we can nurse it back to health, and we can sell it back to you once it’s healed.”

Customer: “We don’t want to do that. My son will miss him!”

Boss: “Well, I’ve cleaned the wound and stopped the bleeding, so it looks like you can take the bird home today if you prefer to do that. I would just leave him alone for a few days and give him time to heal. If you do that, he should be fine.”

(Two days later, the customer and her mom storm into the store with their bird, who is now bleeding worse than ever. They completely dodge my boss and go straight to the vet, who is in our building but technically part of a separate company. The vet tells them that she has to keep the bird overnight, which they are NOT happy to hear. All of this happens on my day off, so when I come back to work the next day, I have no idea that their bird is even in our building. I get a phone call when my shift starts.)

Customer’s Mother: “I brought my bird in because it was injured; how is it doing?”

(I search everywhere for the bird, starting with our sick room in the back, which is where we keep any injured or ill animals to nurse them back to health. The bird isn’t there. I finally find the bird at the vet.)

Me: “I just talked with the veterinarian, and it sounds like your bird is doing just fine. She thinks we need to keep the bird here for a few days to make sure it heals properly–“

Customer’s Mother: “A few days?! That’s too long! We want him back now! He still belongs to us!”

Me: “Did you return the bird to us at the register?”

Customer’s Mother: “Of course not!”

Me: “That’s strange; I’m not sure why my boss would let you do that. We usually have customers return animals to us, so that way we’re the only ones who get charged with a vet bill–“

Customer’s Mother: “There’s no way I’m paying for all this!”

Me: “I didn’t say you would, ma’am. That’s why I’m trying to figure out why it wasn’t returned to us. I wasn’t here yesterday. I’m going to call my boss and figure out what’s going on, and I’ll call you back.”

(I contact my boss, who tells me that we’re going to pay the vet bill, even though the customer never returned the bird. I’m worried that we’re now responsible for a bird that technically isn’t ours. Not only is it against our policy, but now we’re liable if something happens to him. I call the customer back.)

Me: “All right. I talked with my boss, and it sounds like we will be paying the vet bill, and your bird is going to be fine. We’re going to keep him here until he’s all better, and we’ll call you when he’s ready to be picked up, okay?”

Customer’s Mom: “Can I call you in the meantime to check on him?”

Me: “Absolutely!”

(Late in the evening, I start getting frantic calls and texts from my boss AND the store manager, both asking me what on earth I said to the customer’s mom. Apparently, the customer posted on a local Facebook group, claiming that we “insisted” on clipping the bird’s wings against HER judgment, that I tried to make HER pay for the vet bill, and that I tried to make her exchange the bird for another one so we could KILL her bird for being “too much trouble”! Meanwhile, her Facebook followers were eating up the story and telling her to sue us.)

Store Manager: “Is any of this true?”

Me: “No!”

(After I explained the truth, my store manager realized that the bird was a massive liability. She called the customers and told them that they were free to pick up their bird anytime. The customer’s boyfriend came back in the next day and took the bird, stealing the cage it was in while he was at it. The customer made a second Facebook post about how “traumatized” the bird was from the ordeal because, “he won’t let me touch him,” even though the vet told her AGAIN to leave the bird alone until it healed!)

Unfiltered Story #143145

, , | Unfiltered | March 12, 2019

(I’m the stupid customer in the story. The fast food place has been under going renovations, and while the lobby is – obviously – closed, but the drive thru is open. It doesn’t help that my brother had gone there the day before, but anxiety is a pain and I was afraid that, being my luck, they would be closed I’d look a fool. Alas, I still accomplished that.)

*Having pulled up to the window, i see the guy who regularly serves me*
Him: I”m so sorry lobby is closed right now, i know you normally come inside!

Me: Oh it’s completely fine, i didn’t know if you were open or not with all the construction going on. *Making a light joke out of it, but i was actually paranoid it WAS closed.*

Him: *Laughing* Oh we’re still open, obviously, so it’s fine *Joking back at me.*

*As I’m pulling out of the parking lot, the only entry AND exit, i notice a HUGE, white sign with red lettering that says “DRIVE-THRU: OPEN LOBBY: CLOSE”

*Dies internally*

Roaming For The Answer

, , , , , | Right | March 6, 2019

(This takes place during the recent romaine lettuce recall before the CDC was able to trace where the contaminated lettuce was coming from. My boss overhears this snippet as he is walking by a table:)

Customer: “You would think that they would have this figured out by now, with the lettuce coming all the way from Romania!”

(We don’t know if the customer was serious or joking. Hopefully joking, but I have strong suspicions she was serious.)

Unfiltered Story #142169

, , , | Unfiltered | March 1, 2019

( I am a front desk agent at a hotel that’s located right off the main parkway running through town. I’m working third shift on this particular night.) 

Me: Thank you for calling (hotel name) this is (my name). How may I help you?

Customer: Yes, I need directions to your hotel. I have a reservation under (their name.)

Me: Yes sir, I do see your reservation. (I then give directions to the hotel. These directions are very simple. You get off the interstate and stay on the same road for 5 miles until you reach the hotel, which is facing the road with a well-lit sign.)

(Over an hour goes by when I receive this call.) 

Customer: This is absolutely ridiculous! I’ve driven miles past where YOUR hotel is SUPPOSED to be only to arrive and find a sign on the door saying the lobby is closed until 7:00 am. How the hell am I supposed to check in?

(This takes me off guard and I actually look outside, knowing there is no sign on the door and it isn’t locked. There also isn’t anyone waiting outside.)

Me: I’m sorry sir but I’m right here at the front desk. There is no sign on the door and our lobby is open 24/7. What businesses do you see around you?

Customer: Ugh! If you’d given me better directions I wouldn’t be out on a wild goose chase. (He complains a bit more then finally tells me what’s around him.)

Me: Okay sir, it sounds like you’re at (different hotel chain a few miles past us that does in fact close their lobby at night. I give him directions to the hotel from his current location.)

(I get a call roughly 15 minutes later from the same customer.)

Customer: Finally! It’s you again! I don’t know what kind of tricks you people are trying to play but I’m tired of it! I’m standing here at the front desk trying to check in and they claim that I don’t have a reservation and they’ve never even heard of you! 

Me: Sir, I am at the front desk desk and I am working alone. Is it possible you’re at another location?

Customer: Are you f****** kidding me? Of course not, I am at the ( same hotel chain) and that’s where i am supposed to have a reservation!

(There is another hotel that shares the same, popular, chain name in the town right past us. I look up the number and call on my cell phone while the man is still ranting and raving; I have him on mute on the work phone.)

Me: Hi, this is (my name) at (hotel name/ location). Is there a guest there by the name of (customer’s name) who is trying to check in but doesn’t have a reservation?

Other desk clerk: Yes… (she sounds kind of relieved as I explain the situation to her.I ask her to put the guest on the phone when he finally stops talking.)

Me: Hello sir. It appears you’re at the (same hotel chain) in (city name). Your reservation is for (hotel name/ correct city name). I’ll be happy to give you directions back to our location.

Customer: Oh no! I’ve had it with your directions! You’ve already gotten me lost twice tonight and I’m too tired to drive back there anyway! I’m staying right here!!

(fed up from this man’s stupidity but still being professional)
I can cancel your reservation sir but you will be charged for tonight’s stay as it is past the 48 hour cancellation policy. 

Customer: It’s the same hotel! You don’t have to cancel the reservation! Just change the location!

Me: That isn’t possible sir. The hotels share the same franchise name but they are independently owned and operated. If you’d like to keep your reservation here I’m sure the desk clerk there will print you directions to get back to our property. It’s only 15-20 minutes away.

Customer: No! I’m not staying at your hotel and I’m not driving one more minute! Cancel the damn reservation since you’re refusing to help me! 

(He hangs up on me without giving the front desk clerk a chance to relay whether or not she will be able to accommodate him. I charged him for the room for one night. The cherry on the cake? He came in the next day, mercifully while I wasn’t working, and demanded he be given the room he paid for from the previous night. He received nothing!)

This Couponer Can Can It

, , , , | Right | February 26, 2019

(Lately, our store has started a “buy one bag, get two cans free” deal on several dog and cat food brands. However, corporate had the brilliant idea of designing all the sales signs so the “buy one” and “get two free” parts were in large, prominent writing, while the “bag” and “cans” parts were in tiny writing. Sure enough, I end up having to deal with all the angry customers, as a result.)

Cashier: *paging* “Manager to register one.”

(I rush over and see a lady yelling at my cashier. Meanwhile, her four children are running around the store making an even louder fuss.)

Me: “How can I help?”

Customer: “The price is wrong on these bags of dog food! It’s supposed to be buy one, get two free!”

Me: “Sorry, it’s actually buy one bag, get two cans free.”

Customer:No, it’s not! I’m an extreme couponer! I know what I’m talking about! It’s buy one bag, get two bags free! I’ll show you!”

(I let her lead me to one of the sales signs.)

Customer:See? It says it right there!

Me: “It says, ‘Buy one bag, get two cans free.’ See?”

(I pointed at the words, “bag,” and, “cans.” In response, she THREW her bags of dog food at me and stormed out of the store with her children. For some reason, she took an empty cart out with her and left it in the middle of the parking lot when she drove away. Payback, I guess? I can understand being frustrated at the misleading sales signs, but you’d think an “extreme couponer” would have the sense to read the fine print… and also maybe not throw heavy products at people.)

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