Not So Closed Minded: Ultimate Edition

, , , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(A chain is opening another store in town and several of the new employees, me included, are setting up the stock. It’s Tuesday and the shop opens on Friday; there is a huge sign outside advertising this and we are all in our own clothes. As well as the local employees, we have the shopfitters, who have been doing the decorating but are also sorting stock. I’m at the till testing deals when two guys in paint-splattered clothes approach me with cans of soda. I haven’t worked in customer service for nearly ten years, and have anxiety, so I probably could handle this better.)

Customer #1: “You know these aren’t even cold, right?”

Me: “Um… I don’t think we’re turning the drinks fridges on until Thursday.”

Customer #1: *thrusts cans at me*

(I take the cans and scan them, thinking they want me to test the deals.)

Me: “It’s not showing any deals on those.”

Customer #2: “We don’t care; we just want to buy them.”

Me: “Oh… I’m sorry, but we’re not open. We’re just setting up to open on Friday.”

Customer #2: “What the f***? We walked around the entire shop and not one person stopped us. Are you saying you’ve all wasted our time?”

Me: *starting to get anxious* “Um… uh… I’m sorry. There is a sign outside, but I guess you didn’t see it and—”

Customer #1: *mockingly* “‘Um, uh…’ I think you should sell these to us, don’t you?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, but there’s no cash in this till for change because, well, because we’re not open.”

(The guy leans over the counter, and I step back, but there isn’t much room. One of the shopfitters notices and approaches.)

Shopfitter: “You okay?”

Customer #1: “We want to buy a drink and she won’t sell to us, and nobody told us you guys weren’t open yet when we walked around.”

Shopfitter: “Look around you, mate. There’s ladders in the aisles and very little stock on the shelves, the lights and fridges aren’t on, nobody is wearing a [Chain] uniform, and there’s a large sign that says, ‘Opening Friday [date],’ you had to have walked past to get in, so you do the math.” *holds up a hand when they try to interrupt* “I’m not done. I saw you guys walk past, but I was focusing on my job, and at a glance you look like one of my lot. You’re not going to be buying a drink, because it isn’t possible. I suggest going to [Chain Store five-minute walk away].”

Customer #1: “F*** you both!”

(They both stormed out. I thanked the shopfitter and we got on with our jobs, although I was shaking slightly. The opening went very well, and I worked there for several years and dealt with worse customers. I got better at it, though. The guys never came back, even after we were open.)

The Hottest Thing On The Menu

, , , | Right | July 18, 2018

(I’m halfway through making a customer her hot chocolate.)

Customer: “Could you make it hot, please?”

Me: “Um… It is made with boiling water.”

Customer: “Yes, but I want it hot.”

Me: “Do you want me to not add any milk?”

Customer: “Well, no, I just want it hot.”

Me: “Don’t worry. It will be hot; it’s just boiling water and hot chocolate power.”

Customer: *getting frustrated* “Yes, I know that! But I want you to make it hotter!”

Me: “…than boiling water? So… Steam?”

Entitlement Bred From Good Intentions

, , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(I’m picking up a coffee with my three-month-old daughter. I’ve noticed the woman in front has had multiple cards declined to pay for her drink. Tired, and with a hungry baby, I offer to pay for her just so I can get my coffee.)

Customer: “I don’t know why your f****** machine won’t take my cards!”

Cashier: “I’m sorry, but it’s not the machine. There’s a cash point outside if you’d like to try there.”

Customer: “No! No, that’s just not going to work! I need my coffee!”

Me: *to cashier* “Excuse me, can I pay for her order? Can I get a black tea, too, please?” *to customer* “Don’t worry. We all have days like this.”

Customer: “Fine. Hurry up, I haven’t got all g**d*** day!”

Cashier: *helpless shrug* “Thanks.”

(I get my drink and sit down to feed my daughter. Barely two minutes later, the customer looms over us.)

Customer: “ I want a cookie.”

Me: “Uh… What?”

Customer: “I wanted a cookie; you need to pay for it.” *gestures to the cash desk where the same cashier is looking embarrassed and helpless*

Me: “Uh, I’m sorry, but I’m feeding at the moment. Besides, the cashier said there’s an ATM outside; try there.”

Customer: “Don’t be such a b****. It’s only £2! Give me your card and I’ll do it myself, if you’re going to be like that!”

Me: “Seriously?! You’re going to swear at me right now whilst I’ve got my t**s out feeding my baby?! You need to back off and enjoy the coffee you never bothered thanking me for in the first place!”

Customer: “Well, there’s no need to be such a b**** about it!” *to cashier* “Aren’t you going to say something about this?!”

Cashier: “No, miss, I’d really better not. You might want to leave before you are removed.”

(The customer stormed out of the coffee shop, barging into an elderly lady in the process and spilling her drink all over the floor. Not a total loss for me, though; the cashier brought me a cookie for free!)

The Menu Has Mushroom For Improvement

, , , , , | Right | July 17, 2018

(I am a duty manager at a five-hotel near Soho, helping at the bar and restaurant when needed. I see a table has finished their main course.)

Me: “How was your meal?”

Guest #1: “Excellent.”

Guest #2: “I didn’t like my dish.”

Me: “Aw, really sorry about that. What was wrong? Would you like something else?”

Guest #2: “It tasted too much of rice and mushrooms.”

Guest #1: “You should have thought of that before ordering the wild mushrooms risotto.”

Me: “Um… Dessert?”


Hooked On That One Room

, , , , | Legal | July 17, 2018

(I am working as a receptionist. One evening my colleague and I observe some unusual behaviour with three or four different gentlemen requesting a specific room number. That’s usually a good indication of having someone making “business” in your hotel. With the last gentleman:)

Gentleman: “Hello, I have a friend in room [same number as previous gentlemen].”

Me: “Certainly, sir, could you please tell me the guest’s name?”

Gentleman: “[Female Name].”

Me: “Thank you, sir, but unfortunately the name I have for that room is different. Would you be able to call that person to ask her to meet you here in the lobby?”

Gentleman: “Sure.”

(The gentleman calls the lady. They are talking on the phone and are three meters apart. I realise they are talking to someone they have never seen before; they soon realise and they go upstairs to her room. After about an hour the gentleman leaves and the lady asks me for a coffee. I serve her coffee and take payment.)

Me: “Madam, I’m sorry, but I need to talk to you in private.”

(I escort her to our office and close the door.)

Me: “Madam, I’m really sorry, but I have reason to believe you are making business in our hotel and we cannot allow it for obvious legal reasons.”

Lady: “Business? What business?”

Me: ”It can be either prostitution or drugs, madam, and we cannot allow it here.”

Lady: “Oh, no, no, no. I would never do anything like that! You are wrong; I’m just a normal guest meeting friends.”

Me: “Meeting friends you don’t even know how they look? A bit unusual.”

Lady: “…”

Me: “Madam, look. You have paid so you have the right to stay here. This is your life and I don’t judge you for your choices. However, if I see any more signs of activity I will be forced to ask you to leave the hotel.”

Lady: “Absolutely. I am not making any kind of business.”

(She goes up to her room. Five minutes later she calls reception:)

Lady: “Hi, we spoke a few minutes ago.”

Me: “Hello.”

Lady: “Can I please just have one last client coming up?”

Me: “No.”

Lady: “What if I give you £20?”

Me: “No.”

Lady: “Oh, okay.”

(The lady left the hotel a few minutes later.)

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