Needs That Shampoo With Those Calming Herbs

, , , , , , | Right | March 29, 2020

(I am a manager, dealing with a customer that has nothing better to do today. The first time she calls, she wants me to walk to our shampoo aisle and begin listing all our shampoos. All. Of. Them. We have an entire aisle of the things, on both sides. Many brands, many varieties.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I am unable to do that. You will need to come in yourself and look for whatever you’re hoping to find.”

(There are about five minutes of blessed silence after hanging up, and then she’s calling back, very upset.)

Caller: “You need to do your job and help me! I am the customer and you need to–“

Me: *far more reasonable than I normally am* “That’s not my job, ma’am. I cannot spend time on the phone listing an entire aisle of products. Either physically come into the store or look online. Now, I have customers who are waiting for help—” *a lie; thankfully, no one else is being inconvenienced by this nonsense* “—and I need to go.”

(Third time. I answer. She is no longer “upset.” She is screaming full bloody murder, in words somewhere between the Cthulhu language and something that would deafen a dog. She takes big, deep breaths and then full-volume screams a word or two, followed by a breathless sob. I hang up again and grab my walkie-talkie. I brief the staff not to answer the phone and to let me handle all incoming calls. I have a feeling this is going to be a doozie. I go into an office and sit down. Fourth time she rings; it’s been approximately twenty minutes since her first call, with a call every five minutes. All I hear is incomprehensible screaming, mixed with overdramatic sobs and heaving breaths. This time, I don’t hang up. Instead, I set the phone down on the counter and leave it there. She is left screeching word salad at empty air. I start typing at the computer, writing an email to the higher-ups, explaining the situation and detailing the times she has been calling. Blessed silence falls and I cautiously pick up the phone.)

Caller: *soft sounds of sobbing and half-moaned cries* “Why won’t you help meeeeee… I just want to buy some shampooooo…” *moan, sob, hiccup*

Me: “Are you done?”

Caller: *sniffling* “What?”

Me: “Are you done acting like a two-year-old?”

(There’s a heavy silence, and I can hear her breathing ramping up again. She’s working herself up to another screaming fit.)

Me: *quickly* “Ma’am, if you are suffering from a medical emergency, you need to call 911. However, I am unable to help you. And no, I will not ‘make it better’ by listing every bottle of shampoo we carry.”

(The moaning and sobbing vanish like magic. The way she was carrying on before, I expected tears to pour through the receiver. She is suddenly and completely calm; there’s not a waiver in her voice to indicate that she was ever in any kind of emotional distress — nary a sniffle or hiccup to mar her perfectly even tone.)

Caller: “But that’s your job! That’s why I’m calling you! You have to list them! I’m the customer! You can’t refuse to help me!”

Me: “Actually, yes, I can. I can refuse you service due to your behavior. We don’t take over-the-phone orders, nor are we allowed to spend a lot of time on the phone listing all of our products. Now, you can check online, or you can come in yourself. Those are your options.”

(I hang up. At the fifteen-minute mark, the phone rings again. As soon as I pick up, there’s a click. I put the phone down. Ten seconds, the phone rings. Click. Phone down. Ten seconds, the phone rings. Click. Ah. We have resorted to this, have we?)

Me: *over walkie-talkie* “Heads up, everyone. Ignore the phone ringing if it’s from [number and name from phone ID].”

(The phone rang. This time I didn’t answer it. I let it ring. She was no longer getting human interaction… at all. No acknowledgement. No response. She was now getting a very indifferent, automated answering machine. The line went dark. Then, the phone rings again. The woman tried four times to get someone to pick up before finally… FINALLY… giving it up. I sent my email, detailing the situation. I never heard from her again while I worked there, and nothing came back from the upper management.)

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A Bad Sample Of Humanity

, , , , , , | Right | March 27, 2020

Corporate has decided to ban all sampling indefinitely in lieu of all the very busy days and panic buying. I was just informed of this a few hours before this incident. I am working the counter while my manager is stocking the shelves in front of the cases. An older man comes up, smelling like alcohol, and I go to assist him. Everything he says is slightly slurred but still understandable.

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

 A customer is pointing vaguely at the hot case where everything is chicken.

Customer: “How much is this chicken?”

Me: “Which chicken?”

Customer: *louder* “The chicken!”

Me: “The fried chicken, the baked chicken, the chicken tenders?”

Customer: “Just give me a sample of your chicken salad.”

I start to grab a sample cup and spoon, but my manager, who has been watching, tells me no samples.

Me: “I’m sorry, we’re not giving samples right now.”

Customer: *Angrily* “Why not?”

Me: “Due to the viru—”

The customer completely cuts me off.

Customer: “F*** you and your mom!”

Me: *Calmly* “May you be blessed with the same kindness you show everyone else.”

I just moved on to help the next customer and my manager followed the first customer upfront and made sure that he wasn’t allowed to buy his beer.

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You Probably Shouldn’t Tackle Civilians, Either

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 13, 2020

I take a ferry to get to work most days and the ferry dock has a lot of interesting people hanging around. I utilize the time on the ferry and the walk up to work listening to audiobooks on my earbuds or planning my meetings.

One day, I am suddenly tapped on the shoulder by a tall man who does the most interesting Inspector Clouseau impression saying, “You slowed down suddenly and my face hit your bag.” 

This is almost physically impossible but I just say, “Okay, look where you are going.”

Next thing I know, he is in my face saying, “I did not hear you. Are you going to say sorry or say something smart?”

I just say, “I am not going to say anything to you,” and start walking away along the walkway along the river.

I go maybe ten steps before instincts from years as a front line public safety officer get me to step sideways; I move just in time for the idiot from before to barrel past me for what must have been a charge meant for me. He runs unchecked into a support column for the shade structure and splashes into ankle-deep stinking muck from the preceding day’s stormwater discharge.

I would have the guy arrested but he just had karma served right in front of my eyes. Also, his female companion has spotted my badge and is hauling the stinking idiot towards the tap, muttering, “Of all the people, you pick on one with a badge.”

For the record, I am not a street cop.

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Let Me Explain This To You In Black And White

, , , , , | Right | March 12, 2020

(I’m the owner of several copy centers. In the early days, I used to be on location quite often to adapt the business to customer needs. I answer the phone in order to let employees concentrate on in-store clients.)

Customer: “Hi, is this [Copy Shop]?”

Me: “Yes, how may we help you?”

Customer: “I’ve seen your advertising on the street and it says you also make color copies?”

Me: “Of course.” *gives her some pricing information*

Customer: “Can you also make a color copy of my ID card?”

(This is a precise translation of the customer’s wording; luckily, I have a recording of the conversation.)

Me: “Yes, sure, we can do that.”

(I give the customer our address and instructions on how to get to us. One hour later, in the store, I overhear this from the back:)

Customer: “Hi.”

Employee: “How may I help you?”

Customer: “I spoke with somebody on the phone and he told me that you can make color copies.”

Employee: “Sure.” *gives pricing information* “Can I have the material?”

Customer: “Here you go.” *hands out an A4 sheet and a black and white copy of her ID card*

Employee: *confused* “Are you sure you want a color copy of this? Please note that using a color copier will usually give better quality in this instance.”

Customer: “Yes, sure!”

(My employee makes the copy, which is obviously still black and white, and gives it to the lady.)

Employee: “Here you go!”

Customer: “What’s this? Where are the colors?”

Employee: “Since your original only had the color black, it is the only color on the copy, even if it’s a color copy.”

Customer: “No, I want a color copy. I specially called in advance and asked if you make color copies and I was told so!”

Employee: “I am sorry, but what you demand is technically not possible; I would need your original ID and then the copy would have the colors.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t have it, so this will have to do. Please do your minimum-wage job or get somebody more competent here; I didn’t spend an hour reaching this place only to be refused service.”

Employee: “I’m sorry, but there is no one else to take your order.”

Customer: “How about the guy over there, pointing at me?!”

Employee: “That is our manager.”

Me: “I’m the owner, and it is me that you spoke with on the phone. Everything that my colleague did and said is correct.”

Customer: “Are you joking? Are you making fun of your clients? You gave me misleading information.”

Me: “No, the information was correct. Either you failed to provide us with all the information or failed to understand the basic concept of a copy.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t care. I was misled and I’m not leaving here unless there is color on that copy.”

Me: “Okay, one moment, please.”

(I go with the copy in the back, take some highlighters, and put some color on it before returning.)

Me: “Here you go.”

Customer: *still taking the sheet and before looking at it* “See, it was possible all along!” *looking at it* “What the h*** is this? Are you making fun of me?”

Me: “Yes, it’s most entertaining, and as it turns out, you were right; I was able to add some color.”

Customer: *takes the tip jar off the counter and throws it at me* “You are a cretin and an idiot! I’m going to close this business; I’ll send ‘Consumer Protection Oversight’ and the police! You’ll see!”

(She left, slamming the door, forgetting the folder containing all of her paperwork. That’s probably how she “lost” her ID in first place, to be left with only a copy. To this day, she hasn’t returned for her stuff, but as promised, we got a visit from the “Consumer Protection Oversight” after a complaint from her. They brought the complaint paper, which was quite accurate, and only came to see if it was true; they were as amused by the events as I was and did not even consider giving us a fine or asking for a bribe, as it usually happens around here!)

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No Point Climbing The Ladder In This Place

, , , , , | Working | March 11, 2020

(I HATE my job and am only going in order to continue to be able to pay my bills. I’m looking for something else that pays similarly, as I’m actually making above minimum. It’s a sunny afternoon moving into early evening, and there are three of us in the store: me, a coworker who smokes, and the unbalanced kitchen manager, who is technically higher ranked than us but also not our boss. My coworker has just stepped out for a smoke and I have just finished a task that required the step ladder, which is typically kept in the far back corner of the kitchen. As I am moving to the kitchen to put the ladder away, I see the front door open out of the corner of my eye. I call out to the kitchen manager that I’ll be right back to properly put the ladder up and whip around to the registers, a good six feet away on a slightly raised platform. The intrusion was my coworker and as I’m moving back to the kitchen to finish with the step ladder, it comes sailing at me from the kitchen door. I leap back and it clatters harmlessly to the floor, but I am badly shaken.)

Me: “What the f***, [Kitchen Manager]?! I said I’d take care of it.”

(I am so shaken, I actually don’t remember if he responded, or how. He leaves for the night soon after. A few days later, the store’s general manager arrives at my apartment to give me a lift into work, as he insists on scheduling me before the buses start for the day.)

General Manager: “So, [My Name], I heard there was an incident with [Kitchen Manager] the other night.”

(I’m unsure where he’s going with this, and I’m already uncomfortable with him because he’s my boss and I have some fear issues with authority figures and this guy has already proven to be unreliable.)

Me: *cautiously* “Yeah.”

General Manager: “Well, how could you have handled that better?”

(I am stunned enough that I respond in a manner much unlike my normal self with management.)

Me: “Besides call the police because that was attempted assault?!”

(At this point, my general manager started spluttering, shocked that I had reached that very logical conclusion. He began to try to placate me, telling me that it wasn’t [Kitchen Manager]’s fault, that he hadn’t been taking his medication for a while. I let him know that that wasn’t an excuse and then, fortunately, we were at our store and I ended the conversation by walking away to clock in. In the end, the kitchen manager was let go, but unfortunately, that was well after I quit for a job that paid about $1 less per hour.)

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