Not So Closed-Minded: Extreme Edition

, , , , , , | Right | June 4, 2018

I work as a corporate trainer for a chain of quick-service restaurants that feature a cafeteria-style line with the food on display. I am responsible for leading the training teams, and teaching the new employees. Since the building exterior is finished and there are uniformed employees and activity inside, it could appear that the location is open and disappoint potential new customers.

At this particular new location we have the following in place to prevent any confusion: All three sets of stairs up to the patio deck that surround the restaurant are roped off, with a large stanchion sign that says, “In training! Opening day is [date].” The main door and two side doors are locked and have the same sign, but double-sized. In addition to the locked doors and signs, the patio furniture is not set up, but stacked at one end and chained together. There are no tables of chairs in the dining room yet; the chairs have just been delivered but are still in boxes, stacked up ten feet high, and there are so many, it’s hard to find a path through the dining room. I’m sitting on a box doing paperwork when I witness the following…

A woman in her mid-thirties approaches the main patio stairs. She stops and reads the stanchion sign. She walks over to one of the side stairs, stops and reads the stanchion sign. After looking around for a moment, she goes back to the main stairs, lifts the rope and ducks under to enter.

She tries to open the main door. After a few pulls, she appears the read the sign again. She continues to try the door two or three more times. She walks over to the two side doors and does the exact same thing. By now I’m so astonished, I decided to see how far she will go, instead of going outside to stop her.

She proceeds to try the main door yet again, reads the sign, checks her watch this time — to check the date maybe? This time, she spots the side entrance between the restaurant and building lobby, which, by law, we have to keep unlocked for safety. She enters the building lobby, stops in front of another sign that states we’re not open, then reads and pushes it aside to access the door.

She enters, looks around at the boxes and chaos and continues to work her way to the service line. At one point she almost has to crawl over a box to get through. After finally getting to the service line, she stares at the empty cases — with manufacturing stickers and packing materials all over them — and looks around for someone.

I decided to finally intervene and approach her. When she sees me, she asks, “Are you open?” I mentally facepalm. I tell her, “I’m sorry, no. We’re not open yet. We are training the staff, and opening day is next week,” and motion for her to follow me safely out.

She immediately turns angry and starts yelling at me that we’ve wasted her time and used up her limited lunch hour and ruined her lunch, that she can’t get lunch anywhere else, and that we should provide her a free meal from someplace else right now! I try to remain calm and state that she ignored all of the signs telling her we weren’t open, and that the doors were locked for the same reason. I finally have to ask her to leave or deal with the police and a charge of trespassing.

On her way out, she continues to rant, adding that we should also pay for the dry cleaning and repair of her clothes, damaged by her acrobatic attempts to get in through the boxes.

Sadly, this is the first of six similar incidents that day. By then, all I can muster is, “Signs blocking your path, roped-off stairs, and locked doors are normally enough to indicate we’re not open for business. I’m sorry that wasn’t enough. Exactly what would have indicated to you that were we’re not open?” and with the stumped silence, I escort them out.

Keeping Abreast Of Outrageous Complaints

, , , , , | | Working | June 2, 2018

(A coworker and I are in our manager’s office, giving a verbal status report to our manager about a rapidly changing situation. I am male. My manager is female, somewhat flat-chested, and an out lesbian. My coworker is female and quite busty; it’s rumored that the office manager hired her as eye candy.)

Me: “…and in conclusion, [Manager], I’ll keep you abreast of the situation as it develops.”

Coworker: “Did you hear what he just said? He sexually harassed me!”

Me: “I wasn’t even talking to you. I was addressing [Manager].”

Coworker: “You just commented on my breasts, you perv!”

Manager: “No, he did not.”

Coworker: *yelling* “You’re a perv, too, you [lesbian slur]! You probably get off fantasizing about my chest!”

Manager: “I am quite happy with my partner, and do not need to think about you.”

Coworker: “You’re all against me! I’ll call corporate and complain!”

Manager: “I will call them myself. I’ll put the regional manager on speaker.”

(True to her word, she dials the regional manager and puts the call on speakerphone.)

Manager: “One of my employees, [Coworker], claims she was sexually harassed because [My Name] used the word ‘abreast’ in a verbal status report the two of them were giving to me about [developing situation]. I have the call on speakerphone, and both of them in my office right now.”

Regional Manager: “[Coworker], is that your complaint?”

Coworker: “Yes!”

Regional Manager: “Complaint denied. Look up ‘abreast’ in a dictionary.”

Coworker: *enraged* “YOU’RE ALL AGAINST ME!”

(She punches a wall, kicks over a potted plant, and bolts out of my manager’s office.)

Regional Manager: “I’m glad all my phone calls on this line are recorded.”

(When the coworker returned the next day, my manager fired her on the spot for destruction of company property, referring to the wall and the plant.)

Heartfelt Antagonism

, , , | Right | May 31, 2018

(The store I work for sells various types of fried chicken, wings, and tenders. A former customer is notorious for coming in late around closing and complaining that the product is sold out or past expiration and unable to be sold. Our butcher station is located next to the chicken holding station. Our butcher has cut steaks into heart shapes for people to celebrate Valentine’s Day with.)

Customer: “Do you have any tenders left?”

Employee: “No, they all sold out earlier.”

Customer: “This is f****** ridiculous; every time I come in there are none of the ones I want left!”

Employee: “I’m sorry. Unfortunately, they are the most popular and tend to sell out first. If you’d like to call ahead in the future, we will be sure to put some aside and make you a fresh batch.”

(Unsatisfied with this, she huffs out of the store. The following night she comes in and I cringe, seeing how the exchange is going to go. This time she has her boyfriend with her. The woman goes to the butcher station to browse our selection of steaks. She picks one up and is holding it. Her boyfriend quietly comes to the chicken station and sees that the chicken she desires is once again out. He approaches her. I’m watching to see how this unfolds. Shouting in my direction she yells:)

Customer: “This is f****** ridiculous; I’ve had it! I’m never coming in again and it’s your fault!”

(She then rips the car keys out of her boyfriends hands and throws the heart-shaped steak in my direction. Both customers leave in an angry manner.)

Coworker: “At least it was heart-shaped! She left you a token of her love!”

(God bless you, poor man, and good riddance, crazy chicken lady.)

Well, That’s Food For Thought

, , , , | Right | May 31, 2018

(I’m a supervisor at a grocery store chain. At my store, we sell two different kinds of store gift cards: one that’s open-ended, and one that’s restricted to grocery items only. The open card can be used to purchase tobacco and alcohol, but the restricted card can not. We put refunds onto the restricted cards when the customer doesn’t have a receipt and the refund is over a certain amount, to deter theft. On this day, one of my cashiers had taken a no-receipt refund that needed to be put on a gift card before I got to work, and when I’m clocked in she warns me that the customer was unhappy with getting a gift card and not cash, and that he said he would call to complain. A few hours later, I take a phone call and have the following conversation.)

Customer: “I have this gift card for your store, and it says something on it that I don’t understand.”

Me: “Can you please read it to me?”

Customer: “It says, ‘Not to be used for tobacco/alcohol purchases.’ What does that mean? I can’t buy booze with this?”

Me: “That’s correct.”

Customer: “That’s bulls***. So, I can come to your store and buy anything in your store with this, except alcohol? What kind of gift card is that?”

Me: “It’s a restricted gift card, sir. We have standard gift cards that are open, and then restricted gift cards.”

Customer: “What the f***? That’s stupid. Can I come in and have you approve me to buy alcohol with it, anyway?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the register will automatically deduct the alcohol from the total when you use the card, leaving you with a cash balance owed.”

Customer: “Wait, you said you have real gift cards, right? Can I buy one of them with this card?”

Me: “No, sir, that’s illegal and also against store policy, anyway.”

Customer: “That’s f****** r*****ed. This card is f****** useless. What the hell am I supposed to do with this piece of s*** if I can’t buy alcohol with it?!”

Me: “Well, you could buy food with it.”

Customer: *silence*

Me: “Sir?”

Customer: “F*** you!” *hangs up*

Peppered Eyes Peppered With Lies

, , , , , , | | Working | May 24, 2018

(This happens to my friend who works at a popular sandwich shop during high school. A customer in her mid- to late-50s walks in.)

Friend: “Hello, ma’am! Welcome to [Sandwich Shop]. What can I get for you today?”  

(The customer slowly walks up to the counter and stares blankly at my friend, not saying a word.)  

Friend: “Is there anything I can help you with, ma’am?”  

Customer: *snaps awake and cheery* “Yes. Could I please get the Italian hero with a medium drink and cookies?”  

Friend: “Absolutely!”  

(My friend then proceeds to do the usual game of twenty questions when getting a sandwich done at these shops, and things are going smoothly up until she gets to the vegetable portion.)  

Friend: “What veggies will you be having on this today?”  

Customer: “Oh, I’m not sure. Could I have a look at the lettuce and spinach over the divider to see if it’s wilted, please?”

(The customer tries to give puppy dog eyes. My friend thinks this is odd, but she doesn’t to be rude and refuse, so she holds the container over the divider so the customer can see.)  

Customer: *moans* “Oh, yes, yes. Please give me a big handful of both. Could I also see the jalapeños?”

(The customer attempts to give puppy dog eyes again. Just wanting to get this order done with fast, my friend obliges her and holds the container over the divider. The customer smiles, and then immediately digs her hand into the container and squishes a handful of jalapeños on her face. She begins to scream bloody murder.)  

Customer: “OH, MY GOD, I’M BLIND! YOU STUPID B****, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DID THIS TO ME! MANAGER! MANAGER! SOMEONE GET ME A MANAGER RIGHT NOW!”

(She continues to scream until the manager comes rushing out from the office.)

Manager: *to my friend* “WHAT HAPPENED?” *grabs first-aid kit and stuff to help clean up the customer*

Friend: *still in shock* “I… I’m not sure. She just… And smacked it… Like, on herself…” *keeps staring in shock*  

Customer: “THIS B**** THREW PEPPERS AT ME AND HAS BEEN RUDELY YELLING AT ME SINCE I CAME IN! I CAN’T BELI—” *gets cut off by the manager*  

Manager: “Okay, ma’am, let’s go talk in my office to get this whole thing resolved.” *to another coworker in the backroom* “Go take [Friend] into the break room and cover the register, please.” *quietly to my friend* “I’ll be back there in a bit. Go relax until I get this sorted.”

(My friend waited for around ten minutes before the manager came back to get her. Apparently, once the manager got the customer’s details down he asked her if she could show him where in the video my friend had thrown the peppers, and she got nervous and ran out, saying that wouldn’t be necessary. My friend got sent home with a free sandwich to cool off and calm down after everything that happened. Later that week, they all found out that woman had been going around town to the different locations trying to get free stuff and people fired.)

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