Oh My Zeus!

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2017

(I’m sitting at a friend’s house on a stormy Saturday night. There are usually several people around on the weekend, but no one else is out during the storm. We are sitting at the kitchen table, discussing how boring it is.)

Friend: “I wish it’d f****** stop raining.”

Me: “Yeah. What a crappy night.”

(Suddenly, my friend jumps up from the table and throws open the back door.)

Friend: *flips off the storm* “F*** you, Zeus!”

(Almost instantly, a lightning strike hits very close to the house and the thunder is almost deafening. My friend closes the door, turns around, white as a sheet, and sits back down.)

Me: “Don’t you ever do that again.”

(He and I both worked with electricity and electronics. After that, anytime something went wrong and created a spark, we said that Zeus was angry.)

Customers Ensure There Is No Calm Before The Storm

, , , , | Right | May 7, 2017

(There’s a winter storm on the way that’s expected to dump about four feet of snow on us over the next few days starting around midnight. Naturally, schools and businesses are starting to pre-emptively close for the following day, especially as a state-of-emergency has just been issued and there’s early talk of a non-essential travel ban for non-emergency vehicles being issued the next day if it gets as bad as is being predicted. We have to make the call to close the theater down the following day due to the expected unsafe travel conditions and the potential for the travel ban, and we disable online ticketing sales for the next days. We’re also told not to sell advance tickets for the next few days in-theater. At the tail-end of my shift, a woman comes barging into the theater, clearly miffed.)

Me: “Hey there. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I can’t believe this! I had to drive 45 minutes to get here because your stupid website isn’t working! Do you know how inconvenient that is?!”

Me: “Oh, jeez. I’m sorry. Well, what can I get for you.”

Customer: “I need six tickets for [Movie] tomorrow afternoon!”

Me: “Oh, I understand. Unfortunately, our website is not allowing guests to purchase tickets for tomorrow as the theater won’t be open with the winter storm hitting tonight.”

Customer: “What?! No. You’re open!”

Me: “Unfortunately, ma’am, management has already made the call. We won’t be open tomorrow, and it’s possible it will be a few days before we can safely open back up. The storm is supposed to be pretty bad. They’re even talking about issuing a travel-bad for non-emergency personnel.”

Customer: “No, I’m telling you that you’re open, because I’m telling you to sell me tickets. And I expect someone to be here to let me in!”

Me: “Unfortunately, that’s not going to be possible, ma’am. I’m really sorry.”

Customer: *seething* “No. You don’t understand. I give you cash now. You sell me tickets. I come in tomorrow. And you have to be here to let me in. I don’t give a damn about the weather. I don’t give a damn about some non-existent ‘travel-ban.’ And I don’t give a damn about how hard it is for you. You have to be here to let me in to see [Movie]. I promised my kids they’ll be seeing [Movie] tomorrow. And you’re not stopping me. Comprendé?”

Me: “I understand your frustration, but there’s really nothing I can do. We’re not allowed to sell tickets for tomorrow as we’re not going to be open.”

Customer: “JUST SELL ME THE F****** TICKETS!”

Me: “Ma’am, please do not swear. This is a family establishment. And it’s completely out of my hands. I cannot sell you tickets.”

Customer: “Yes, you can, and you will! And YOU better be here tomorrow! If you are going to be so f****** difficult, YOU are going to be the one to suffer!”

(I’ve had about enough, so I get my manager and explain the situation. He gets a devilish smile and gives me the go-ahead to sell her tickets — but only on the condition that she acknowledges that she will not get a refund if we’re not open that day — which is a decision that was already made. I go back to the customer, and she seems ecstatic that she’s “won,” and immediately agrees with the condition.)

Customer: *as she leaves; beaming* “See you tomorrow! Remember, YOU better be the one to be here!”

(I didn’t see her the following day… or the next few days as the weather got so bad, the theater was closed until the weekend, along with basically every other business in the area. And I asked my manager… she apparently never came back. Hopefully because she realized how insane she was.)

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Not Exactly Snowed Under With Customers

, , | Stoneham, MA, USA | Working | November 21, 2016

(It’s Valentine’s Day 2014 and a massive blizzard has struck, with snow coming down and the streets becoming increasingly dangerous. I’m supposed to work from one pm to close, but my manager gives me a call around noon.)

Manager: “The roads are pretty slick and there aren’t many customers in, so don’t bother coming in right now. I’m sure corporate is going to let us close early because of the snow, but I’ll give you a call around four to let you know.”

Me: “Sure thing. I’ll be ready if you need me. Stay safe.”

(At four, my manager calls again.)

Manager: *annoyed* “So, despite the storm, every other store in the plaza closing early, and us having virtually no customers for the past three hours, corporate is insisting we stay open. I’m really sorry. Could you come in at five so I can have a dinner break? It’s going to be just the two of us tonight. I told [Coworker] to stay home, but I need another person, and you live much closer than she does.”

Me: “I understand. It sucks, but what can you do? I’ll be in in an hour.”

(I leave early due to the slick roads, but even though I only live 15 minutes away, it takes at least twice that time to get there. For the next four hours, my manager and I putter around an empty store, only having two customers the whole night. After we officially close, I’m leaning on the counter while my manager counts the registers. We haven’t even made $100 for the whole day.)

Manager: “So, think it was worth corporate dragging you in here?”

Me: “I work barely more than minimum wage, and they paid me more for four hours work than we made in that time. The only two customers we had were heading out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and were only here because her dress ripped. Add in your salary, heat, and electricity, and I’m pretty sure they would have been better off setting a bag of cash on fire.”

Manager: “At least you got paid?”

Me: “Not enough to cover my funeral if I die getting home.”

Manager: “Yeah, I know. Considering corporate HQ is in New Jersey, you’d think they’d understand no one in their right mind shops for clothes during a New England blizzard.”

(That winter ending up being one of the worst, with over a foot of snow coming down every week. Thankfully, corporate wised up and let us close, but I’ll never forget their initial idiocy.)

Weathering Demanding Customers

, , , , , | Right | February 4, 2015

(I work in a large supermarket in a tourist-y area. The last few years there has been almost persistent snow cover on the mountains from November through February. This December, however, has been really mild with temperatures consistently in the high single figures or low double figures. I am approached as I am stacking some shelves.)

Customer: “WHERE’S THE SNOW?!”

Me: “Erm… excuse me, sorry? Snow? I don’t follow.”

Customer: “You know! SNOW! I was promised there’d be snow!”

Me: *thinking he must mean a product* “Can you describe it? I can show you our seasonal aisle if you want to browse for tree decorations and ornaments.”

Customer: “No! I want ACTUAL snow. Like, falling from the sky. They said it would be the coldest winter on record. I booked a holiday here especially!”

Me: “Erm… sorry that the weather’s mild. I don’t know what you want me to do about it, though?”

Customer: “Tell me why there’s no snow!”

Me: “Well, the wind is coming from the south-west, instead of the north. I guess it’s warmer where it came from than where it’s going and keeping our temperatures mild.”

Customer: *walks off* “THERE’S NO SNOW!”

(I was left there standing and wondering what had just happened.)

Customer To The Rescue

, , , | | Right | March 4, 2008

(I am currently working in the electronics section of a discount superstore when I am approached by a customer, which is surprising since the state is being hit by a significantly large ice storm.)

Customer #1: “Hi, I’d like to pick up my pictures.”

Me: “Hmm… it seems they aren’t in yet. When did you send them out?”

Customer #1: *very angry* “They were supposed to be in today!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the lab where they are processed is hours away and it’s too dangerous for the drivers to be out on the roads today.”

Customer #1: “Well, I made it. How come they can’t?”

Me: “Sir, you live on the street behind the building, which is a much shorter and safer distance compared to the over 120 miles the driver would have to drive, especially on roads that not even emergency vehicles won’t go onto.”

Customer #1: “I was told my pictures were going to be back today, and I want them today!”

(I’m about to apologize to the man but am beaten to the punch by the customer behind him…)

Customer #2: “Yeah! You guys should have dog sleds on the side just in case.”

Customer #1: “Don’t be ridiculous!”

Customer #2: *in a very apologetic tone* “I’m sorry, I thought it was my turn to make insane demands.”

Customer #1: *storms off talking to the air about how rude people are*

Customer #2: “That was fun!” *walks away*

(Unfortunately, I never got to thank that second customer. Wherever you are, [Customer #2], thank you.)


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