Burn Back

, , , , , | Related | November 11, 2019

(I am staying at my friends’ house for the night. They are sisters, and we are currently doing each other’s hair.)

Friend #1: *messes up [Friend #2]’s hair* “Hey, at least now when people see you they will be like, ‘Eww, her hair!’ instead of, ‘Eww, her face!'”

Friend #2: “Hey!”

Me: *pause* “You guys are identical twins.”

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Needs A Higher Resolution  

, , , , , | Working | October 30, 2019

(I work in an office building and we print A LOT of stuff, so there are printers for every few cubes. I go to print off a document and notice that my usual, closest printer isn’t on my list, so I print it off somewhere else and go to check on the printer. The printer shows that it’s not available on the screen and doesn’t give any options or explanations why. I put in a ticket for IT and detail where the printer is, the issues, etc. Our IT guy marks the ticket as resolved with no comments. Seeing this, I go to check the printer and, sure enough, it’s not working, so I mark the ticket as not resolved.)

IT Guy: *calls me* “Hey, I saw that you marked my ticket as not resolved. What’s the issue?”

Me: “Yeah, the printer isn’t working still.”

IT Guy: “No, it’s resolved. I checked ALL the printers on the floor and didn’t see any issues with any of them.”

(This is not true because a couple are out of ink, etc.)

Me: “Um… Nooo… The printer itself says it’s not available and won’t work.”

IT Guy: “No, it must be your laptop.”

Me: “No, it’s not. I’m looking at the screen right now. It shows that it’s not available on the printer itself. The printer is showing this error. I’m not even on my laptop.”

IT Guy: “No, no… I checked all the printers on the floor. They’re all fine. It’s your laptop. I’ll put in a ticket for someone to check your laptop. Don’t mark this ticket as unresolved again. It’s your laptop.”

Me: *bangs head on desk*

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Meet My Mother, Karen

, , , | Right | October 17, 2019

(I work at a movie theater. It’s a premiere weekend, there is a flu outbreak so we’re short-staffed, and one of our popcorn machines has broken down, meaning our concessions lines are long and slow. A customer and her teenage daughter approach, and I can tell there’s going to be trouble. Before I can even say hello, the customer starts.)

Customer: “We have been waiting in line for twenty minutes! This is ridiculous; the wait should never be this long! What is the matter with this theater that the line is moving so slowly?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m so sorry for your wait; we’re short-staffed tonight. What can I get you?”

(She orders, still very surly, and I move to gather her drinks and candy before stepping in line behind several of my coworkers at our one working popcorn machine. I can overhear the woman’s conversation with her daughter.)

Customer: “This is absolutely ridiculous. We’re going to miss the start of the movie!”

Daughter: “It’s okay. There will be a bunch of previews;  we’re not going to miss anything.”

Customer: “These workers are so lazy. If they got the lead out and picked up the pace a little bit, we wouldn’t have this long of a wait, anyway. Oh, I can’t believe it. I’ve been waiting to see this for months and now we’re going to miss the beginning.”

Daughter: “She said that they were short-staffed, and this place is mobbed. I’m sure she’s doing her best.”

Customer: “No, did you see the way she rolled her eyes at me? She’s doing it on purpose; she wants us to miss the start of our movie.”

Daughter: “Come on, Mom. It’s not like she knows we’re running late. No one’s doing it on purpose.”

(I approach with the popcorn at this moment and make sure to give my best customer-service smile. Again, before I get a chance to speak, the customer, already pushing her credit card into my hand, snaps at me.)

Customer: “You’ve made us miss the start of our movie. I hope you’re happy.”

Daughter: “Oh, my God, Mom, she’s not doing it on purpose! It’s a busy day, she said they were short-staffed, we’re the ones who were running late in the first place, and you’re being really impolite to her!”

(The customer turns bright red. For a second I worry she’s about to yell at her daughter, too, but all she does is gather up the food and take her card back when I hand it to her. She walks away as soon as I do, but the daughter lingers.)

Daughter: “I’m really sorry; she’s never like this. It’s been a really bad week, but you shouldn’t have to deal with this. I’m sorry.”

Me: “Oh, it’s okay! You don’t have to apologize–“

Daughter: “Yeah, but I wanted to. I hope your day gets better!”

(I really hope the daughter enjoyed the movie.)

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Unfiltered Story #167653

, , | Unfiltered | September 23, 2019

(I have just spoken to a reseller of one of our products who is noting that one of their customers is getting frustrated at some of the levels of service and options available to them to troubleshoot a problem. I offer to call them directly to answer any questions they might have. Reseller provides the mobile number of the client, who I call from my office phone).

Client: Hello?

Me: Hello.. *I pause briefly, it’s unusual for a business contact to answer the phone without identifying themselves and their business, so I’m waiting for more from the other side of the call. Nothing further comes*

Me: .. is this [Name of Contact]?


(I called back 3 more times, either the call rang until it was picked up by voice-mail, or the contact would give me the busy tone after a couple of rings)

Not So Book-Smart

, , , | Right | September 10, 2019

(This is several years ago, back when there were two major booksellers, both beginning with B.)

Customer: “I need to return this book.”

(I take the book and look at it. It was purchased at the other major bookseller; it even has the price sticker with the other store’s name on it still on the back.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t accept this return. This book is—”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Ma’am, this book is from [Other Bookseller]. We can’t accept a return that wasn’t purchased here.”

Customer: “There is no way you could know that!”

(I flip the book and show her the price sticker from the other store. She stares at it for a minute, then grabs the book out of my hands, peels the sticker off, jams it in her pocket, and hands the book back to me triumphantly.)

Customer: “There!”

Me: “We still cannot accept this return.”

Customer: “But now there’s no proof that it didn’t come from here!”

Me: “Ma’am, I watched you take that sticker off. I know this book is from [Other Bookseller], and I am not going to endanger my job taking a return that we both know you did not purchase from us. There is a branch of [Other Bookseller] literally across the street, and you can return this book there.”


(I call the manager. He comes over, and the customer tells him that I’m maliciously refusing her return, never mentioning where she purchased the book originally. Then:)

Customer: “…and I even have a receipt proving that I’m within the return timeframe!”

Manager: “Great. May I see it, please?”

(She hands him the receipt. The receipt that has [Other Bookseller]’s name and logo written in large letters across the top.)

Manager: “Ma’am, perhaps you didn’t remember that this book is from [Other Bookseller]?”

Customer: “I… well… You both sell books! You should both work together!”

Manager: “Ma’am, you wouldn’t try and return a shirt you bought at [Retailer #1] to [Retailer #2], would you?”


(She tried to argue for a few more minutes, but my manager shut her down, and she left with her book. I wonder if she ever crossed the street and tried to return it.)

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