The Poo-ncess Bride

, , , , , , | Right | April 28, 2020

I work in a bridal salon. I answer the phone.

Me: “Good afternoon, [Store]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

The maid of honor of a wedding due to take place today is screaming down the line.

Maid Of Honor: “THERE’S S*** ON THE DRESS!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Maid Of Honor: “THERE’S S*** ON THE DRESS!”

She starts laughing. She sounds a little tipsy. I am thinking “s***” just means there’s something like dirt there and they’re mad.

Me: “Okay, so, the dress is dirty?”

Maid Of Honor: “YEAH. WAIT, HERE’S THE BRIDE!”

Bride: *Crying and yelling* “THERE’S S*** ON MY DRESS!”

Me: “Ma’am, I understand you’re upset, but I need you to take a deep breath for me and calm down because I cannot understand what you’re saying. There’s actually fecal matter on the dress?”

Bride: “Okay.” *Still crying* “YES!”

Me: “Okay. When is the wedding? Maybe you can come in and we can see what alterations can do for you.”

Bride: “I’M WALKING DOWN THE AISLE IN FIFTEEN MINUTES! FIFTEEN MINUTES!”

Me: “Oh, God. Okay, what material is the dress and where is it? I’ll ask alts and see what we can do over the phone. They might be able to talk you through cleaning it off.”

Bride: “I DON’T KNOWWWW!”

The bride gives the phone to the maid of honor.

Me: “Okay, hi. I know we gotta do this fast. Do you know where it is and what the dress is made out of? I’ll see if we can walk you guys through cleaning it.”

Maid Of Honor: “I don’t know what it’s made out of, but she s*** herself!”

Me: *Pause* “Seriously? Okay, I’m gonna go back to alterations and have them pick up. While I tell them what’s going on, see what cleaning supplies you have on hand to work with.”

I walked back to alterations trying to keep from laughing. The whole time, I thought it was from outside pictures or something, and a dog or bird did it, not her. I explained the situation to the head of alts and her jaw dropped. I found out later that alterations was able to help, as I spent the next hour hiding in the back and laughing. I’ve heard of being nervous, but this was a whole other level!

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This Is About To Get In-Tents

, , , , | Right | April 24, 2020

I’m working at the customer service desk at an outdoor store alongside two coworkers, including my supervisor, who’s known to be pretty liberal with bending the rules in the name of providing good customer service.

A somewhat gaunt woman with thinning hair comes through the line with a little boy on one arm and the bag for a six-person tent on the other.

Customer: “I need to return this. It has a hole in it.”

She slaps the tent bag down on the table, which is no easy feat considering it’s about twenty pounds of material. I can already tell it’s been used.

Me: “Do you have the receipt with you, or can I get your membership phone number, ma’am?”

She gives me the phone number, and I pull up the tent.

Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m seeing that the tent was purchased four years ago, which means it is, unfortunately, out of warranty. Your best bet would be to speak with one of our repair shop associates—”

Customer: *Instantly irate* “I said there’s a hole. That’s a manufacturer defect! There’s a f****** hole!

Me: “Is the hole in the body of the tent, or on a zipper or structural seam, ma’am?”

Customer: “Well, I don’t know. But it’s there! It’s a f****** manufacturer defect, and you have to take it back! I have a lifetime warranty!”

Me: “No, ma’am, you don’t; you purchased this tent in 2014, and our lifetime warranty policy ended in 2013. Since it’s been used—”

Customer: “But I couldn’t f****** return it in 2014—”

Me: “Please don’t curse in front of your child, ma’am—”

Customer: “I. Have. Lupus!

This response throws me just long enough for the customer to start screaming in my face about how she’s only used the tent twice because of her life-threatening disease, how she’s been in and out of hospitals for that whole time period, and how she needs this tent to work to go camping with her child so that he can have a life outside of the hospitals she visits to deal with her illness.

She’s so angry that she’s physically spitting in my face, and every other word starts with the letter F. After about five minutes of this, I finally get a word in.

Me: “Ma’am… ma’am. Do you know where, exactly, the hole is on the tent itself?”

Customer: *Angrily* “Of course. It’s on the right side, in the back corner, on the floor.”

Me: “Okay, great. So I can go ahead and call for a manager override on our system to return your tent. However, I’d first need to find the location of the hole on the tent itself.”

Customer: “God, f****** finally. Call your manager, then!”

Me: “Not yet, ma’am. First, I’m going to ask you to step over to that roped-off area behind you, so I have enough room to spread out the tent, and we’ll set it up—”

Customer: “No.”

Me: *Pause* “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Absolutely not. You’ll do it here. And you’re not going to waste my time setting it up, either.”

Losing my will to live, I open up the tent bag and pull out all 200+ square feet of mesh, zippers and tent material. Aside from the body of the tent itself, the door areas and the partition in the middle are all completely unzipped, so I’m left standing there, ineffectually searching with my hands along what body seams I can find, while the customer watches me like a hawk. After about five minutes of this, her phone rings and she abruptly stalks off to answer it.

Immediately, I tell my CS coworker, who’s been watching this whole thing, to tell the woman to meet me at the cordoned area, which is within twenty feet of the customer service desk. On a flat surface, I successfully connect all the zippers and check the tent without tension. I can’t find a hole, so I’ve just laid out the poles to set it up when the woman returns.

Customer: “What the f*** are you doing?”

She slaps the tent poles out of my hand. In the background, her kid jumps straight onto the tent, grabbing at the fabric with his hands and pulling.

Customer: “I told you to just look at it! You don’t need to set it up, you stupid b****!”

Me: “I wasn’t able to find the hole with the tent flat like this, so—”

The customer actually howls with rage and starts ripping at the tent with her bare hands, just like her kid is doing. Surprise, surprise, she can’t find a hole, either. After helping her rezip everything, I grab at the poles and start to put them in.

Customer: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Me: *Exasperated* “I am trained on how to set up our company’s tents, ma’am. I promise you, I know what I’m doing—”

She tries to take the poles from me and do it a different way. It takes a detailed explanation, while showing her pictures of the tent on my phone, to prove that I’m right.

Two of my coworkers in camping, correctly sensing that I’m drowning in fabric and losing the will to live, come over to help me set up the tent. One of them drags the kid away from his screaming mother to entertain him for a bit. The other grabs the tent poles.

Customer: *Throwing her hands up* “Fine! You lot do it.”

The tent goes up in about four seconds.

Customer: *To my coworker* “I mean, obviously, you all have more strength than me… I have lupus, you know.”

My coworker looks unimpressed. He looks even more unimpressed when we search the tent again, with tension, twice, and don’t find a thing. The customer is visibly infuriated with this development.

Customer: “What?! What the… You f****** idiots!”

She starts crawling around the tent at this point, on her hands and knees, pulling the fabric around the body seams so hard both my coworker and I actually reach out to try and stop her from ripping the fabric. She finally pokes at a single tufted black thread, barely visible, on the ceiling of the tent.

Customer: *angrily* “There! That’s the hole I saw!”

Me: “I thought the hole was on the floor, ma’am.”

The customer looks like she’s about to start screaming when her child pops through the door, stopping dead just inside the tent.

Little Boy:Wow! Mom, is this our tent?”

Customer: *Bitterly* “Yes, [Little Boy], it—”

The little boys is now jumping up and down.

Little Boy: “It’s so cool! Mom! We need to go camping!”

Customer: “I mean, if this tent was safe and I didn’t have lup—

Little Boy: *Immediately sad* “I know. It’s cause you’re always in the hospital, isn’t it?”

The customer starts talking down her kid, who looks like he’s about to cry. My coworkers and I back out of the tent.

Kid-Helping Coworker: “D***, [My Name]. You sure know how to pick the wild ones.”

It took the customer about an hour and a half, three employees, and a manager before she let the tent issue lie. My coworkers even managed to sell her some repair tape to reinforce her seams, “just in case.” Even my customer-service-oriented supervisor agreed I should have just let that one go. Mostly, I just feel sorry for the poor, enthusiastic little kid. I hope his mom learned to lay off a little.

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You Can’t Mask That Kind Of Crazy

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 20, 2020

Because of the recent illness outbreak, the governor has asked all citizens to wear a face mask when out in public, and of course to maintain a minimum six feet distance from each other.

I need to go to the grocery store, so I put on a painter’s mask from my garage and go shopping.

I have just picked up a jar of peanut butter when I hear a loud, screeching voice.

Woman: “Give me that!”

I turn toward the voice just as a hand goes for my face, grabbing my mask. I pull back, causing it to snap back onto my face and into my eyes.  

Me: “What are you doing?”

Woman: “Give me that mask, now!

Me: “No, it’s mine for protection! Back off!”

Woman: “You have one of those nurse’s masks! My daughter is a nurse and she needs it, so give it to me now!

She lunges toward me again but I turn and block her. Store employees have heard the commotion and have arrived on the scene, wanting to know what’s going on. I try to tell them but she is screaming over all other communications.

Woman: “He’s trying to kill my daughter! That’s my mask! He won’t give it to me! She needs it. I want it now!

A male store employee tried to get between her and me, but she continued to attack me.

They got us separated and got my side of the story. Meanwhile, she continued to escalate, screaming that I was trying to kill her daughter, that the mask was hers, etc.

Security had to come to help restrain her until police arrived to remove her. They wanted to know if I wanted to file assault charges. I’m waiting to see how my face and eyes are before I make that decision.

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Far More Dramatic Than The Movie He Was Stealing

, , , , | Right | April 8, 2020

(I am working restocking shelves and helping customers find books when I see a teenage boy with a number of huge boxy bulges under his tucked-in shirt, exactly the same size as the cases we use for DVD box sets.)

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

(We are forbidden to suggest or accuse a customer of stealing.)

Customer: “Uh… Hi. No, I was just about to leave.”

(He begins to walk slowly toward the side door, which opens inward. I begin walking after him at a quick pace; he sees me and increases his speed until he is running and I am trotting behind him. As he approaches the door, he doesn’t put out his hands and tries to use his shoulder to open the door at a run. He smashes headfirst into the door and starts bleeding pretty badly out of his nose. Our Loss Protection Manager grabs him and he begins to shriek. His parents hear this and come racing across the store and confront the LP Manager.)

Parent #1: “How dare you beat our son?!”

Parent #2: “I am a lawyer and am going to sue!”

(Then, [Parent #1] begins hitting the LP Manager and tries to wrestle away their son from him. The security guard for our plaza sees this from outside and, over the course of a minute or two, cuffs and subdues the teenager and his parents. It was extremely enjoyable to watch two of the three leave in a police car.)

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To Pea Or Nut To Pea

, , , , , , , | Learning | April 3, 2020

There’s a boy in my shop class who is very allergic to peanuts. For some unknown reason, there has been a large container of peanuts in our classroom since before I started at this school. Why it remains has been a consistent mystery, and every time we think it is gone one of us will find it in a cabinet somewhere.

During finals, our shop teacher gives us a free day. A lot of people are spending the class either playing games or studying for the finals of other classes, but our classmate with the allergy somehow slips out of the main classroom and into a side room. A minute or two after he leaves the room, another classmate looks up towards the door and rushes out. 

I, along with some other students, follow to see what’s going on. There’s a lot of yelling, and as I turn into the side room, I see a larger classmate holding our allergic classmate off the ground while a girl is trying to wrestle the jar of peanuts out of his hands.

Turns out that, for some unknown reason, our allergic classmate decided it’d be better for him to trigger an allergic reaction and go to the hospital than it would be for him to just study and take his English exam next period.

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