Not Too Chicken To Have Your Back

, , , , , , | Right | September 25, 2018

(I have just started work as a cashier. An older woman comes through my checkout lane. We talk, and I ask her how her day is going, etc. I finally scan her rotisserie chicken through and it rings up $8.99. She gets all up in arms.)

Customer: “That is supposed to be $5.99.”

(I look at the chicken, and sure enough, in red it says $5.99. I apologize for my error and flip my light so my supervisor can come over to fix it, since I can’t void anything over a certain amount. Apparently, this doesn’t satisfy her.)

Customer: “No, I want it fixed now, or it won’t get done.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do anyth—”

Customer: “You don’t talk to me like that! I’m the customer; you’re not! Now, fix it!”

Me: “Ma’am I honestly—”

Customer: “Stop talking! Stop! Fix it.”

(At this point, everyone in the store is watching, and I shoot a glance around for my supervisor.)

Customer: “Do you like your job? Do you want to keep your job? I’m calling corporate and you won’t have a job anymore. How’s that sound?”

(Finally my supervisor walks over.)

Supervisor: “I’m there a problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “That chicken is supposed to be $5.99, not $8.99. I want it fixed now, and she won’t do it!”

Supervisor: “That’s because she needs a manager to do it. I’ll get that fixed for you right away.”

(I walk away from my station to get a drink, thinking that when I get back she’ll be gone because the supervisor is handling it. Nope. She WAITS for me to come back so she can yell at me some more. I avoid eye contact because I am about as done as could be. She REACHES OVER my counter and pulls my face to look at her.)

Customer: “I’m the customer. You’re not. Once I get a hold of corporate, you won’t have a job anymore, understand?”

(Our store director interferes. The customer yells at him and tells him that I’ve been disrespectful. He responds:)

Store Director: “I’ve been watching the whole scene unfold, ma’am. She did her job. I will also be getting a hold of corporate, and you are no longer welcome in this store.”

(She left in a huff, ranting and raving that our store was not the only store she could go to. However, after chatting with some colleagues who had been here far longer, it turned out she’d been banned from several grocery stores in town because of her behavior.)

Shockingly Desperate To Get Internet

, , , , , | Right | September 25, 2018

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company] tier three tech support. My name is [My Name]. How can I assist you today?”

Customer: “Hello, I think with the series of bad storms we had here, my Internet and TV got knocked out.”

Me: “Oh, yes, you must be in the Tampa area. I saw on the news about the series of storms that came through. I will be glad to help, and I apologize for the inconvenience.”

Customer: “To let you know, I did reset the modem and cable boxes once the power came back on.”

Me: “Good job, and thanks for letting me know this so I don’t have to ask you to do that again. Now, can you confirm your address to make sure I got the right one?”

(The customer confirms their address.)

Me: “Can you let me know what lights you are seeing on the Internet modem? We can get to the cable boxes in a moment.”

Customer: “I see the power light on, I see the uplink and download lights blinking… I also see my Wi-Fi lights 2.4 and 5 ghz on, but not blinking.”

Me: “What about the online light?”

Customer: “It’s off; even when I try to unplug and replug the modem it doesn’t even attempt to light up.”

(I look in his area and notice his house is the only one highlighted as offline. My tool allows me to run trace routes to figure out where the signal drops. It drops right at his house’s tap, which is located on a telephone pole.)

Me: “Sir, not to switch gears here, but can you also look at your cable boxes and let me know if you see either an online, linked, or globe symbol light on?”

(The customer checks and tells me no.)

Me: “Well, sir, you’ve been a great help, but I am afraid those storms did a number on your service. While I think the individual equipment is fine, I do notice signal drops right at your outside node.”

Customer: “You mean the little green box on the telephone pole?”

Me: “I am afraid so.”

Customer: “Oh… I thought you ran everything underground.”

Me: “Not all the time. It depends on city and area if we can run wires under or not. In this case, you are connected through a cable on the telephone pole.”

(The customer gets quiet, but I can hear him moving around like he is putting on something.)

Customer: “Well, I guess someone has to go up there?”

Me: “Yes, sir, let me schedule someone to come out.”

(Right as I say that, I hear a door open and wind picking up, making it harder to hear the customer.)

Me: “Sir? You still with me?”

Customer: “Yes, I am. How soon can you get someone out?”

Me: “Well, due to the storms, my soonest available would be two days from now, in the afternoon.”

Customer: “You mean I am going without my TV and Internet for two whole days? That’s unacceptable.”

Me: “I am sorry for that, and as much as I wish I could turn on those services, due to the storm I can’t even remote in to take a look.”

Customer: “Well, I demand a credit. And honestly, I’ve been a customer for years; why can’t you send someone out now?”

(We rarely send field technicians out the same day, plus his area is backed up due to the storms.)

Me: “Sir, I will be happy to give you a credit for the days you don’t have service, but I cannot send someone out until Thursday afternoon between two and four.”

(It is Tuesday at six pm.)

Customer: “Well, why can’t you send someone out now? Aren’t I a good customer?”

Me: “Yes, you are, but I need you to understand that we already scheduled techs to go out tonight to help fix other people issues who reported them sooner than you did.”

Customer: “Don’t give me that crap. I saw a tech on the next street over; why can’t you call him and tell him to swing by?”

Me: “That is because he has another job that he is already scheduled for—”

Customer: “Not more important than me. Call him; I don’t mind waiting.”

Me: “I am afraid I cannot do that.”

Customer: *sighs*

Me: “Sir, do you want me to schedule someone? I promise you they will be out there. In fact, I don’t mind calling you back to ensure it has been fixed.”

Customer: “I can’t believe you are going to make me wait. Tell you what. Since you are tier-three, walk me through how to fix the wire on the telephone pole. I may not have all the tools, but I am sure I can figure it out.”

(I hear the customer grunting as if he is climbing something.)

Me: “Um, sir, I admire your willingness to get your issue fixed, but—”


Me: “Sir, do you realize how dangerous it is to be climbing a telephone pole. Especially during a storm?!”


Me: “Sir—”

(I hear the customer slip while on the phone, then make a joke about it, and then climb back down.)

Me: “Sir, are you okay?”

Customer: “I just took a look at the box. I was an electrician at one point, you know; I can easily figure this out.”

Me: “Sir, if you go up that telephone pole and do something wrong, you can not only make the situation worse by messing with the wrong wires, but you can seriously get hurt. Please let the field techs do this.”

(I hear the customer rustling with some tools. Moments later, his wife screams at him for climbing the telephone pole without a harness.)

Me: “Sir, are… you back up there?”

Customer: “Yes, I need my TV and Internet. What don’t you understand about that? Are you dumb or something? I pay for a service; I demand it work!”

Me: “You have every right to want your services to work, but I will schedule someone to come out there on Thursday. I cannot, however, tell you to climb up a pole to fix the tap outside. That is dangerous, especially with it raining. You can seriously injure–“

(The customer interrupts:)

Customer: “You must be one of those ‘politically correct’ millennials. Tell you what. Since you are useless, send the guy out so I can tell him how useless you are, and I will fix this my d*** self.” *hangs up*

(I scheduled the tech. When I got home that night, I heard about a man who electrocuted himself in Tampa on the news. I begin to panic, knowing that it could be the same guy. Lucky for me, it was someone else and not the customer.)

A Wristful Of Dollars

, , , , , | Right | September 22, 2018

(It’s my first year of working on the cash register. A very tall and muscular man is one of my customers. The purchase goes smoothly.)

Me: “That will be $8.25.”

(The customer puts down a few bills on the counter. I’ve seen other customers do this as a way of handing me money, so I reach over to take the bills. Immediately, my customer grabs my wrist and yanks hard enough to pull me onto the counter. He looks me square in the eyes and speaks to me in the calmest, most condescending tone.)

Customer: “Now, listen to me. I’m still getting the rest of my change out. You don’t get to take it until I give you everything. Do you understand?”

(I was too stunned to speak. He let me go and I lowered myself back behind the register, while he got a quarter and handed me the money without another word. Because of this assault, I refuse to pick up money if it’s still on the counter for me to reach over and take, not just because I’m scared of it happening again, but because I now have an aching arm injury that makes it hard to reach.)

Very Bad Beer-havior

, , , | Right | September 16, 2018

(Over the summer I frequently work in my aunt’s restaurant and tavern in a small village, which has an idyllic beer garden facing the street. On this particular day, we’re rather full because there’s a 90th birthday celebration happening in said beer garden. A young man in his late teens or early twenties stops in front of the entrance and starts helping his grandmother out of the car. Two regulars look at this young man suspiciously. I keep my eye on them, since both have a history of feeling somewhat entitled as regulars; also, they appear to be a bit intoxicated. Note that those regulars are in their 40s or 50s.)

Regular #1: *mockingly* “Boy, what a shame that entrance is too small to drive through it with a car, right?”

Regular #2: “Hey, you! If you drive a bit closer, maybe your granny could slide out of the car right onto her seat.”

Regular #1: *laughs* “Yeah. Or I could cut out a part of fence so poor old granny does not have to walk those awful few meters.”

(The young man ignores them while he escorts his grandmother to the birthday party. Just when I think it’s over and the young man is going back to his car, he quickly grabs the regulars’ beer mugs and walks out of the beer garden. The regulars jump up in outrage and follow him, while he crosses the street at a fast pace, then back to the beer garden and around the property and back to their table, returning their mugs. A few minutes later the regulars arrive.)

Regular #1: *out of breath* “ARE YOU NUTS?!”

Regular #2: *also out of breath* “I SHOULD TEACH YOU SOME MANNERS, YOU—”

Regular #1: *having to sit down* “NEXT TIME I SEE YOU I’M GOING TO BEAT YOU BLACK AND BLUE!”

Young Man: *going to his car* “You seem a bit winded, gentlemen! Glad you’re not 89 years old. Have a nice day.”

(Those regulars demanded we should throw out the man’s grandmother. Luckily, my aunt had seen the incident and instead threw out the regulars for good for threatening someone in her establishment.)


, , , , , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2018

This is a story from a few years back, when fad veganism was starting to gain traction.

At our college we had this one girl who would always hop onto whatever fad she could when they were gaining popularity. A lot of students disliked her because of her preachiness, and because it was extremely obvious that she was doing it purely for the holier-than-thou feeling, and didn’t actually believe in any of the causes she pledged to support or be into.

So, enter her vegan phase, where, day one of fall classes, she was in the cafeteria making this giant grandstand about all the positive of veganism and how it had changed her life, and so on. Everyone just kind of ignored her until she singled out a college freshmen eating a burger and proceeded to roundly mock his size — never mind that he was maybe 200 pounds — and blame it on his diet. He looked really annoyed, and a lot of the other people were really uncomfortable at her doing that to him.

Cue the day immediately after, where she did it again, but this time went up to him and started angrily reprimanding him for daring to eat meat in her presence, making her uncomfortable, and being insensitive to her diet. Without missing a single beat, he pulled the bun off and flung the meat patty dead center at her forehead, leaving a nice greasy stain for everyone to see. She paused for a minute, shrieked like a banshee, and ran out of the cafeteria crying. Campus security showed up a few minutes later, responding to a report of an “assault,” trying to stifle their laughter. They gave him a verbal slap on the wrist for it because he really didn’t do any harm and they were tired of her, too. She didn’t bother him again.

As an aside: a month afterward she was back to eating meat and processed food. Turns out she hopped into veganism without doing even the slightest bit of research, and malnourished herself into the hospital.

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