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Why Are You Grilling Me Over This?

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: pixelatedperspective | June 26, 2022

When I got my first job, I worked at a wildly popular tourist location in their cafe. Now, being a young eighteen-year-old at their first job, I did everything to a T. Working food service isn’t hard, but the customers never make it easy for you.

On this particular day, it was quite busy and I couldn’t see the end of the line. The kitchen was throwing orders up to the pass, and each cashier’s transaction was probably no more than two minutes, so we were constantly moving. It was required of us to also upsell as much as possible — not that we were rewarded for it or anything, but if the manager didn’t hear us try, we would get talked to.

I had done a bunch of fairly easy orders and customers could see how busy we were, so they were generally quite nice to us… except for this one lady, her husband, and their child who was definitely way too old for a stroller.

This lady came up, ready to order, but she had a question.

Customer: “I just wanted to know what the grilled cheese is? Like what is that?”

In all honesty, I was a little shocked because it’s not like a grilled cheese was like… a food from a different culture? I could understand if it was literally any other food, but a grilled cheese is quite common in North America. This woman was speaking North American English with no accent.

Me: “Um… it’s two pieces of bread with a few slices of cheese in between, and we grill it on a panini press.”

She didn’t really seem to understand the concept.

Customer: “So, it’s like a sandwich?”

Me: “Yeah, they just grill it so that the cheese melts and it’s crispy.”

Customer: “Um, okay. I’ll get one of those, then.”

Me: “Okay, cool. Would you like it with some fries and a drink?”

The lady instantly froze. I repeated the question and she just blinked.

Me: “Did you want fries and a drink, or did you just want the grilled cheese by itself?”

Customer: “I don’t know what that means.”

Me: “Oh, uh… did you want it as a combo? With fries? And a drink?”

At this point, this lady was getting really annoyed, and I really probably should have ended the conversation there, but alas, she went on.

Customer: “I don’t know what that means. I just want a grilled cheese.”

Me: “I was just asking if you also wanted fries and a drink?”

And then she absolutely lost it.

Customer: “I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS! THAT’S TOO MANY OPTIONS! I JUST WANT THE GRILLED CHEESE! WHY ARE YOU BEING SO RUDE?!”

Her husband also chimed in and started yelling at me, saying that this was terrible customer service and it was too complicated to understand. I literally just stood there waiting for them to finish. The lady ended up demanding that someone else take their order because I was making it difficult for them.

I pulled someone else to go help and walked into the kitchen and began crying instantly, mostly out of frustration because it was literally not that confusing. I watched through the kitchen doors as the guy helping this lady tried to calm her down, but she was throwing hands like her life depended on it.

To this day, any time I see a grilled cheese, I just get flashbacks.

These People Are Just Asking To Have Their Babies Stolen

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: IrrelevantQuantity | June 22, 2022

I worked for a couple of years at a major historic tourist attraction in London. It was good fun and I immensely enjoyed it, although things could sometimes be manic busy, and although most customers were friendly, some could be somewhat… unpleasant. It was tame as anywhere really. It also had some attractions for children, and while manning these I came to learn just how entitled — and irresponsible — some parents can truly be.

One of the features in the gardens was a maze. It was not particularly for children, although they could go in if they wanted and a lot of them liked it. Parents could take pushchairs in if they want, although the staff had the right to make parents leave pushchairs (strollers for Americans) outside if it got very busy inside.

That day was a hot summer Saturday, and it had been very busy. However, by the mid-afternoon, throughflow had thinned out a bit and I was manning the maze on my own as I had done before. I still had three or four groups coming through every minute, and I had made the decision to ask parents to leave their pushchairs outside the maze.

A lady stalked up to me with her ticket and a baby in a pushchair. I scanned her ticket but politely told her that she needed to leave her pushchair outside. She huffed at me and put her pushchair in a line with all the others. Meanwhile, another group of tourists had come up and I was busy scanning their tickets. I paid little attention to the lady as she walked past. However, as I rapidly scanned through all the new tourists, I glanced at her pushchair and realised… the baby was still inside!

I quickly ran into the maze, and after only a few seconds, I saw the lady. She saw me and hissed angrily.

Lady: “What are you doing here? I’ve left my baby out there with you!”

Me: “I know, and you’re not allowed to do that. You’ll have to come out and take the baby in with you.”

Lady: “But can’t you look after him?”

My duties in the maze included scanning tickets, selling tickets, advising visitors, and managing the many groups of unruly French, German, and Spanish teenagers on language exchanges. My duties did not include looking after babies.

Me: “Madam. I’m here to look after the maze. I’m not here to perform babysitting services for you! I have to walk around quite a bit and I cannot spend all my time looking after your baby. Children, including babies, are allowed in the maze, but not pushchairs. I’m afraid you’ll either have to take the baby with you or leave the maze.”

Lady: *Whining* “It’s the first break from him I’ve had all day!”

Me: “Nonetheless, if you won’t come and get your baby, I’m going to have to call security.”

The baby had been unattended for more than a minute now. As I spoke, I brought my radio up to my mouth and hovered my finger over the send button.

Me: “Also, you don’t know me. How do you know I’m not some old paedophile you’ve left your kid with?”

Just to be clear, I’m not.

She had no answer.

Me: “Now, are you going to get your baby, or do I have to call security?”

She snorted and angrily marched out of the maze and grabbed the baby, who luckily was still there. In hindsight, I should have just called security and let them deal with it and not let the baby out of my sight, regardless of what a b**** his mother was, but all was well that ended well.

She ended up taking the baby around the maze, and about twenty minutes later, she came to get the (now empty) pushchair. The look of pure hate she gave me would have alarmed The Rock, but luckily, off she went and I was not troubled by her again.

You are supposed to always want customers to come back again, but there are some exceptions. She was definitely one of them.

Give A Man A Fish

, , , , , | Right | June 15, 2022

I have a seasonal job at a popular boat tour company here in Seattle. These boats serve food and drinks (including alcohol) during the tours; however, since there’s no kitchen aboard and the crew can’t exactly load new stock during the twenty minutes guests spend boarding and disembarking between tours, all of the food either is refrigerated or has a long shelf life (chips and such).

Not only that, but the food isn’t even prepared by shoreside employees; it’s purchased from local suppliers. With all this buildup, you’re probably expecting this to be a story about a customer who insisted on having a hot or fresh meal, but it’s weirder than that.

Customer: “Can I have some salmon?”

Coworker: “Sorry, we don’t sell that. I can recommend [Seafood Place] once we dock, though!”

Customer: “Oh, that’s okay. What other fish do y’all have?”

Coworker: “Sir, we don’t sell fish on these boats. It’s just what you see on the menus here.” *Points to a stack of paper menus*

Customer: “But… this is Seattle.”

Coworker: “Yes, sir. It is.”

Customer: “So… y’all gotta have fish.”

Coworker: “No, sir, we don’t.”

Customer: “But… y’all gotta have fish, right?”

Coworker: “Sir, we have never sold fish.”

Customer: “But y’all gotta have fish.”

Coworker: “We don’t have any fish.”

Imagine these last four exchanges repeating for about five minutes, until the customer finally gave up, leaving the register as he mumbled about how he couldn’t believe there wasn’t any fish.

None of the crew had any idea what was going on in his head. Did he think there was some sort of law requiring Seattle businesses to sell fish? Was he convinced there was a “secret menu” situation going on? Unfortunately, since tours don’t often have repeat customers — especially in the same season — I doubt we’ll ever know.

A Mountain Of Issues

, , , , | Right | May 5, 2022

A tourist father with his wife and two children, all in shorts, shirts, and flip-flops and with one tiny bottle of water in the height of summer, caused a very complicated rescue mission when climbing the Julian alps.

Us: “Why did you climb a 3000-metre tall mountain?”

Father: “We wanted to see your highest mountain.”

Us: “But you climbed the most difficult path.”

Father: “You have had to make sure that there’s a proper path up to the mountain for people like me!”

On the plus side, he paid for everything because of his own stupidity. And believe me, he isn’t the only one in a very long season.

It’s Hard To Cope In Copenhagen

, , , | Right | May 4, 2022

When I was still a teenager, I had a job selling tickets to see an old lighthouse. One day we had beautiful weather and the shore on the other side of the Baltic Sea was visible. It’s only 40 km at that particular point, and with the lighthouse balcony being 91 m above sea level, you’re able to see the other coast quite clearly. We’re on the northernmost part of the island. A Swedish tourist comes up to me.

Tourist: “Is that the Polish coast?”

Me: *Taken aback.* “…eh no, that’s the Swedish coastline.”

Tourist: *Flustered.* “Oh… well, we’ve only just got here.”

He walked out quite quickly after that.