It’s Been A Relatively Short Wait

, , , , | Right | August 14, 2019

(I am stocking shelves near a register. There is a good-sized line, as it’s a busy day, but the clerk is working quickly. We have a large digital clock on the wall nearby. One of our regulars, a grumpy woman, suddenly bursts out with this gem.)

Regular: *yelling* “Your clock is wrong!”

Me: “Ma’am, that clock has never once been wrong in all the time I’ve worked here. What makes you think it’s wrong?”

(I quickly check the clock against my wristwatch; they display identical times.)

Regular: “When I first joined this line, it said 3:14 pm.”

Me: “Okay.”

Regular: “And now it says 3:18 pm.”

(I quickly check my watch again. It shows 3:18 pm.)

Me: “It is 3:18 pm, ma’am.”

Regular: “Your clock is running slow! I can’t have only been in this line for four minutes! It’s been at least fifteen!”

Customer Behind Her: “No, you’re just an angry, impatient old c***. It’s been exactly four minutes since I joined the line, which was about one second after you did.”

Regular: “It’s a conspiracy! You’re all against me!” 

(She gets out of the line, glaring daggers at the customer behind her, slams her full cart into a nearby wall, and stomps out of the store. As she reaches the exit, she turns back.)

Regular: “I’m never shopping here again!”

(She was back the next morning.)

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Christmas In July!

, , , , | Right | August 6, 2019

(My very first job is in a card shop that is famous, in part, for its collectible Christmas ornaments. It’s early in the year, maybe January or February, and all we have left of the previous year’s ornaments are on heavily marked-down clearance. A woman comes in, gets a basket, and wanders around the shop. A few minutes later, she comes up to the counter with a couple of ornaments in her basket.)

Customer: “Are these all the ornaments you have?”

Me: “Yeah, just what’s left from last year’s stock.”

Customer: “Okay. When do you usually start putting out the new ones?”

Me: “We have our ornament premiere in July.”

Customer: *shocked* “That late?!”

(I didn’t know July was “late” for a holiday six months away, but okay!)

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Stressed Up To The Nines

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2019

(I work at an office supply store, and on Saturdays, we open at 9:00 am, which is an hour later compared to the weekdays. I come in at 8:00 am to set up shop with my manager, and after about twenty minutes the phone rings.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I take care of your business today?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m standing outside at the door, and they are locked. What’s the deal?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we do not open until 9:00 am on Saturdays.”

Customer: “What? That’s stupid! Let me in; I want to spend my money with you guys.”

Me: “Again, I’m sorry, but we are not allowed to open the door for customers until 9:00 am.”

Customer: “Well, that is really inconvenient! I guess I’ll have to go to spend my money at your competitor, then!”

Me: “Have a great day, then.” *ends call*

Manager: “What was that about?”

Me: “A guy was upset that we don’t open until 9:00 am, so he’s going to [Competitor].”

Manager: “But they open at 9:00 am on Saturdays, too.”

Me: “Well, in a few minutes he’ll figure that out.”

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Entitled To The Laws Of Thermodynamics

, , , | Right | July 22, 2019

(A customer who came through the drive-thru has returned with his bag of food, and is an obvious complainer the second he walks in the door.)

Me: “Hello, can I help you with something?”

Customer: “Yes, I came through the drive-thru about twenty minutes ago. I took my food all the way home, and it’s barely warm!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, but if you don’t mind me asking, how far is it to your house from here?”

Customer: “It’s about a ten-minute drive, so I’ve had to drive twenty minutes! I think I should get some free food.”

Me: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but in ten minutes, the food loses a lot of its heat. I can give you new food, but unless you eat it here, it’s still going to be quite cold by the time you get home.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to eat it here! I want to eat it at home.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but the food won’t stay hot if you have to take it that far. I’m happy to replace your current food, though, because that won’t be any good anymore.”

Customer: “Fine… but give me a free ice cream cone.”

Me: “Sorry?”

Customer: “For all the inconvenience. Jeez.”

(He ended up calling the store again later that night, whining about it being cold. The managers gave him the reason, but he simply wouldn’t accept it.)

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No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 13

, , , , | Right | July 12, 2019

(I work in a very small office. Due to a severe storm that knocked out power, we have to close the office for two days. When we reopen, I am working my way through voicemails. I return a call.)

Operator: “Thank you for calling [Finance Company.] Can I have your account number?”

Me: “No. I’m returning a call about confirming employment.”

Operator: “Can I have the social security number of the applicant?”

Me: “We don’t give out employee social security numbers. I can confirm employment, however.”

Operator: “I need the social to look it up.”

Me: “Then I guess we’re done here.” *hangs up*

(Over the next several days, I get multiple additional voicemails from the same company. Each return call is the same. Finally, one comes in while I am there.)

Caller: “Hi, this is [Caller] from [Finance Company.] I need to confirm employment for one of your employees.”

Me: “Yes, I’ve had multiple voicemails from you but I can’t get past the part where your operator wants me to provide a social security number.”

Caller: “No worries. I have that information. I need to confirm employment and pay for [Employee].”

(I confirm the details for her. She’s got all the information and simply needs me to say it is correct. The employee has authorized this, so I confirm.)

Caller: “I just have one final question. What are your company’s hours of operation?”

Me: “We have posted hours of nine am until five pm, Monday through Friday. We are sometimes here earlier or later, but you can always get someone during those hours.”

Caller: “I’m only asking because I called on [Date] and got the voicemail and then again on [Other Dates] and got voicemail.”

Me: “Well, as you may have seen on the national news, our area was hit with a massive storm on [Date] and we had no electricity or phones. We were closed for two days while the flood waters went down and the utility companies restored power.”

Caller: “I thought that might explain [Date], but what about the other times I called?”

Me: “Each of those calls came in after six pm. Everyone was gone by then.”

Caller: “No, I called shortly after four pm. each time.”

Me: “California time, yes. We are on the east coast.”

Caller: “What do you mean?”

Me: “You are in California. You are three hours behind us.”

Caller: “I don’t appreciate your attitude. We aren’t behind anything.”

Me: “Sweetie, what time is it where you are?”

Caller: “It’s the same as where you are: noon!

Me: “No, here it is three pm. Our time is different because we are in the Eastern time zone.”

Caller: “The whole country is in the same time zone. I’m going to have to flag this application. I don’t think this is a legitimate company.”

(Several days later, the employee told me the application went through… after she had a conversation with the loan officer about why [Caller] thought we weren’t a “real” company. I have no idea if anyone explained time to her.)

No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 12
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 11
No Fortitude For Longitude, Part 10

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