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On Cold Days, The Customers Are Colder

, , , , , | Right | March 26, 2021

It was one of the coldest winter days this year in my part of Ontario; the temperature is -25 degrees, -30 with the wind chill. A lady called to complain that the takeout she ordered got cold enough on the fifteen-minute drive home that she had to rewarm it.

It was hard to find the sincerity in my voice to apologize to her.

A Storm Of Bad Behavior

, , , , | Right | March 17, 2021

It is March of 2017 and we have some horrible windstorms. Power is out all across the state from twenty-four hours to weeks at a time. It is day one of the storm. I arrive at work to discover there is no power, but due to company policy, we are forced to stay open.

We have one person at the front who can process transactions in cash only, one person to verify prices as needed, and one person to limit the number of people in the store at one time, plus management. Our store policy indicates that in order to sell tobacco/vape and alcoholic products, we must ID every customer and scan their ID. We do this with regulars, out of towners, and even employees. It’s a dumb policy, but it’s to cover our butts.

Our sweet older lady is working the register, and I’m the price checker. Everything is going quite smoothly despite working by flashlight. Eventually, I hear arguing coming from the front.

Customer: “Just look at my ID and do the math! I need my cigarettes!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, I’m terribly sorry, but due to company policy I am unable to sell you cigarettes with no way to scan your ID.”

Customer: “F*** your policy! Just sell me the d*** cigarettes! I’m [number] years old!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry but it’s against store policy to sell tobacco or alcohol without being able to scan an ID.”

The customer stormed out in a huff. Over the next hour or so, this same scene happened again and again, for alcohol and cigarettes. We even put signs near all the appropriate products and on the front doors.

Eventually, our store manager — who is super nice 99.9% of the time — snapped and closed the store. He told us that we could leave the second our shift management got the okay from corporate. Luckily, about three hours later, we got the okay to finally leave. In the upcoming days, some of the same customers came in and acted as if nothing had happened, never apologizing for their obnoxious behavior.

A Heater Debate

, , , , | Working | February 23, 2021

I work for a well-known do-it-yourself moving company. I receive a call.

Customer: “My heater in my truck doesn’t work, and if I turn it on it makes my windshield freeze. But [phone line akin to AAA] says that they can’t do anything about it because it’s not an emergency. And anyway, I need to keep the truck longer.”

We go through the process of extending the rental, and then the customer starts griping about the faulty heater again and asks for a discount. This particular kind of rental does not have any kind of discounts available, and prices are only ever reduced if it is a matter like a vehicle breakdown or if something happened which was the company’s fault.

I also notice that the customer is in a southern state, where it isn’t very cold at this time of year. I hold my tongue.

Me: “As far as discounts go with this kind of rental, that would have to be negotiated with the manager of that location upon dropoff.”

Customer: “What about a manager? Can your manager do it?”

Me: “I can transfer you to a manager, but they would most likely say the same thing, as it was this location’s vehicle which had issues with the heater.”

Customer: “They made me walk two blocks to come to get my truck. I had to walk two blocks to come to get my truck because they wouldn’t bring it to me!”

Me: “Unfortunately, dropping off trucks is not a service we offer.”

Customer: *Sounding furious* “You’d better get me to a manager now before I get upset!”

The customer angrily interrupts me repeatedly while I explain that they will have to be put on hold for a moment. I call the manager to explain what happened.

Manager: “We don’t offer dropoff services.”

Me: “Yes, that is what I said when they got upset. They want a discount because the heater is broken, though it is in [Southern State].”

Manager: “Yeah, it’s probably just a little chilly.”

After completing the transfer, I checked the weather there. It was cloudless with a low of forty-five degrees – in late October. The customer had acted like they were trudging through two feet of snow and driving the unheated truck when it was ten degrees out, when in reality it was “keep your sweater on in the car” weather.

Thank goodness this company has the employees’ backs on stuff like this. It’s a good company, and 99.9% of issues people encounter are caused by other customers or themselves. In this case, it was other customers failing to report a faulty heater.

Trash Talking Over And Over

, , , , | Right | February 20, 2021

I work in town hall, and we just had a snowstorm overnight into the morning of about six to twelve inches. As an employee — but not a resident of the town — I sign up for emergency management alerts so I can be informed in case a resident calls.

I receive a text the night before the snowstorm saying that trash pickup will be delayed a day all week due to the storm. I receive an automated phone call not five minutes later with the same information. Later in the night, I also receive an email with the same information. It’s safe to say that trash will be delayed a day this week.

First phone call of the day:

Me: “[Department], can I help you?”

Resident: “Yes, hi. I was wondering if my trash will be picked up.”

Me: “Trash pickup is delayed a day this week.”

Resident: “But will it be picked up?”

Me: “It should, unless you have a different problem with your trash.”

Resident: “No, it’s fine. I was just wondering if they would pick it up.”

Me: “Yes, they will pick up.”

Resident: “When?”

Me: “They are delayed one day this week.”

Resident: “But when would they pick it up?”

Me: “One day after your normal trash day.”

Resident: “When would they pick it up, then?”

Me: “What day is your trash normally picked up?”

Resident: “Today.”

Me: “Then tomorrow. They will pick it up tomorrow.”

Resident: “Why tomorrow?”

Me: “Because that is one day after your normal pickup day.”

Resident: “But why not today?”

Me: “They are delayed because of the snowstorm.”

Resident: “I just don’t think they should be delayed. They should pick it up today.”

Me: “Every public school district in a twenty-mile radius is canceled for today. Several businesses are closed. Parking bans are in effect here and in [Cities and Towns near us]. The road crews are doing a great job, but the trash company doesn’t feel it’s safe to collect today and interfere with the road crews.”

Resident: “I just don’t understand why they can’t pick up today. It’s inconvenient for me to have to wait another day.”

Me: “Okay. Well, I hope you have a great day, and stay safe out there.”

Snow Reason To Stay Open

, , , , , , | Right | February 18, 2021

It’s the first snowfall of the year, but it’s one of those nights where it starts as rain at 5:00 and then by 9:00 turns into snow. At 8:55, all the customers have left the store, and since we close at 9:00, my manager closes the doors, only to have this interaction happen at 8:59.

Customer: *Pounds on the door* “It’s 8:59! You have to let me in!”

Me: *Looking confused* “Well, we already closed up. Are you sure it’s not 9:00?”

Customer: “Yes, look at your phone!”

Sure, enough my phone says 8:59.

Me: “Well, I really want to get home as soon as possible given the conditions of the road.”

Customer: “I really want you to get home safe, too… but it’s 8:59 so you have to let me in.”

I turn to my manager, who’s out of the viewing distance of the customer and looks extremely confused. We exchange glances for ten seconds.  

Me: *Pulls out my phone* “Oh, no! Look, it’s 9:00 now. Sorry, we’re closed.”

Customer: “It was 8:59 when I got here! This is terrible!”

The customer walked away.

Seriously, we’re open for twelve hours and she just decided she needed crafting supplies at 8:59? No crafting emergency is that serious! Luckily, my manager agreed.