That Was Not A Uniform Response

, , , | | Right | May 16, 2019

Customer: “Hi. I have an item put aside on reserve.”

Me: “No problem. Do you have the reservation number there at all?”

Customer: “Yep, it’s [store number] foxtrot, sierra… umbro?”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Uniform, actually, but good try!”

(I retrieve the reservation and process the sale, still trying not to laugh, until it gets too much and giggles burst out of me.)

Customer: “Yeah, that was stupid, wasn’t it? Why do I even try…”

Data Protection Protects You From Callers Like Her

, , , , , | | Legal | May 16, 2019

(I am working in the collections department for an energy supplier when I get a call from a woman regarding a letter she says she received. She says she has a question about it. She gives me a reference number and I pull up the account.)

Me: “I’ve got the account up. May I ask your name?

(The customer gives me her name and it is the same as on the account. I then ask her to confirm address and DOB, both of which match what is on the account.)

Me: “Thank you for confirming those details. What was your query?”

Customer: “Yes, what is this letter all about?”

Me: “There is a balance on the account. It needs to be paid. You owe [amount].”

Customer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “I’m not seeing any payments since [date].”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand. This isn’t my account.”

Me: “Your name is on the account and you confirmed the address.”

Customer: “No, no. This letter isn’t for me. This is my friend’s account. My name is [Different Name].”

Me: “I’m sorry, madam, I can no longer discuss the account with you without the customer’s permission. Is the customer there?”

Customer: “You just broke the data protection law. You disclosed my friend’s details.”

Me: “Actually, madam, you committed fraud.”

Customer: “No, I didn’t. I never said I was the customer. You broke the law; now you’re going to lose your job. I’m going to report you.”

Me: “Actually, madam, when I asked what your name was, you told me it was [Customer’s Name], when I asked what your address was, you said it was [Customer’s address], and when I asked you to confirm your date of birth, you told me it was [Customer’s DOB]. You pretended to be your friend, which is fraud.”

Customer: “No, I didn’t. If you heard that, that’s your fault. I’m going to report you!”

Me: “You are welcome to report this to the data commissioner. I’ll get you the details if you like. We are obligated to report this incident, as well, and will send the recording of this call to prove what was said.”

Customer: “How dare you say that to me?! Get me your manager!”

(I got my manager, who took over the call. My manager promised to listen to the call and arranged to call the woman back once she had done so. Later that day, my manager came and spoke to me. She listened to the call and confirmed that the customer definitely committed fraud – she clearly said her name, address, and DOB were the customer’s. My manager gave me an anti-fraud form to fill in so it could be passed on to the police. During the call, the woman gave me her full name, and she gave my manager several phone numbers when they arranged the callback, one of which was a work number. My manager also got the woman’s address because she wanted me to write her a formal apology for accusing her of committing fraud. All these details went on the form we sent to the police.)

Trying To Kill The Pain, Not The Bank Balance

, , , , , | | Friendly | May 16, 2019

(A friend and I have just gotten piercings. I have some already, so I suggest we get ibuprofen to handle the immediate swelling and pain. We go to our local pharmacy.)

Friend: “Which one do we need?”

Me: “One that has ibuprofen in it.”

Friend: “Ah.” *picks up the most expensive branded box*

Me: “Ugh, I’d rather go with the generic kind.” *picks up my own box*

Friend: “But look at it. It’ll probably kill you!”

Me: “They are literally the same. Yours is branded, though, so they charge extortionate prices.”

Friend: “No, this one is better.”

(I take his box and show him the ingredients on the back. By a stroke of luck, they are EXACTLY the same.)

Friend: *after spending a long time comparing* “Mine is still better!”

(I shrugged and we paid for our own painkillers. He paid £3.49, while I paid 39p.)

Haggle Is A Hassle

, , , , , | | Right | May 16, 2019

(I am working in a shop where all profits go to a local charity. Unlike other charity shops, we buy brand-new stock to sell, as well as accepting donations. None of the staff are paid; we all donate our time.)

Customer: *comes up to the counter with a brand new skirt* “£5.”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “£5.”

Me: *suddenly realising she’s trying to haggle* “Oh, no, ma’am, that item is labelled as £6.99, but I can give it to you for £6, if you like?”

Customer: “No. £5.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, £6 is the best offer I can make. Our manager is on lunch and we can only take small amounts off new stock.”

Customer: “But I’m not sure if I like it.”

Me: “We do have a changing room, if you’d like to try it on.”

Customer: “£5 because I’m not sure I like it.”

Me: “The best I can do is £6, ma’am.”

Customer: *violently grabs the skirt and bunches it up in her fists* “But it’s creased! £5.”

Me: “Ma’am, it would be creased if you grabbed it like that. Now, you can have it for £6 or £6.99, or I can hang it back on the rail. What would you like me to do?”

Customer: “Oh, FINE!” *throws £10 at me* “But I get 28 days for a refund if I don’t like it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t accept refunds. We can do an exchange, provided you keep your receipt, though.”

Customer: “NO REFUNDS?! £5 because you won’t refund.”

(I start reaching over to take the skirt back to hang up.)


Me: *after cashing the customer up* “Thank you, ma’am. Have a wonderful day.”

(The customer storms out with her new skirt and my coworker turns to me.)

Coworker: “That just happened, right?”

The Bigger Child

, , , , , | | Learning | May 16, 2019

(I am a kindergarten teacher at a private school. The children are waiting for their parents to pick them up. It has been quite a difficult day.)

Mother: *furious* “EXCUSE ME! Why is my son telling me you did not give him some birthday cake?”

Me: “Actually—”

Mother: “I demand you give him some cake now, or I am calling the police for abuse!”

Me: “Actually, Mrs. [Mother], your son did get a piece of cake; however, he decided to throw it at one of the girls. Then, when [Son’s Friend] didn’t give him his piece, he kicked him in the crotch. We do not reward bullying or violence, Mrs. [Mother], and your son was appropriately reprimanded. A letter will be sent to you with more details.”


Me: “You will not use that language in this building. I am going to have to ask you to leave. You and your son are no longer welcome here.”

(She continued screaming for another couple of minutes until another teacher came out with the aforementioned cake inside a glass cover. She stormed up to it and tried to wrestle it off the teacher. The cover was broken and both the mother and the teacher were injured. The mother then stormed out, smashing a window in the process. We were all a bit rattled by it, but tried to calm everything down when two police officers arrived. They said they’d had reports of a woman — me — wielding a knife, demanding that I “convert the children to the burka” — a literal quote. We showed them the security footage of the area and had to go down to the police station to give statements — the mother included, who was still outside being seen by a paramedic. The other teacher refused to press charges and we were all free to go. A week later, the mother showed up again to drop off her son. I refused, saying they were no longer welcome. She had another tantrum and broke the same window we had just replaced the day before. She then left, screaming that she would take her money elsewhere. At this school, parents do not have to pay for kindergarten if they are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, which she was. Her sister left her son with us occasionally, and I’ve heard that that mother has built such a reputation that she has to take her son out of the county and is going to be homeschooling. I’m considering allowing the child to attend with us again, even if just for a bit of stability, but I’m fearful of what he might do. It was a first-time incident, but it was pretty serious.)

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