I was covering for a coworker today at work and answering sales email, and I got a message that contained, in part, the following:

Paying for software sucks when the vendor is THIS MUCH OF AN IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I quickly typed my response:

Dear Sir: That may be, but it’s also true that answering sales email sucks when the customer is THIS MUCH OF A JERK.

PS. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, of course I didn’t. I was ridiculously pleasant and professional, although I did start out my email with the words “Whoah there”.

9.999 times out of 10 in customer service, when someone has worked themselves into an obnoxious state of being and you respond with politeness and a willingness to fix their problem, they instantly deflate. Usually they end up being apologetic and perfectly reasonable.

Why take the low road to begin with, though? Why do so many people vent their frustrations on people who had nothing to do with their bad day/month/life?

I really don’t get it. I’ve worked a number of jobs where I had to deal with the public and I have taken a heap of abuse (although on rare occasion it’s been deserved, like the time at a Kinko’s job when I accidentally laminated a FLY onto someone’s antique map they got in Europe), so maybe I’m extra sympathetic, but I don’t think it takes the experience of having someone yell directly in your face about how they ordered it WITH CHEESE, JESUS FUCK, in order to understand that it’s just not right to treat people with a complete lack of respect. I mean, I think it just takes common sense.

Years ago I worked at a small video store where part of my job was to call the “late list”. The late list was a dot-matrix printout generated by our computers each day that listed all the late rentals and the customer who had them. I hated calling the late list more than anything else at that job–I’m including the time a small child barfed an entire Pizza Hut onto the carpet and I had to clean it with a broom and a box of Kleenex–because people were so incredibly defensive and rude. Admittedly it’s intrusive to get a call at home about your copy of “Weekend at Bernie’s” but people would lose their damn minds. They would deliver an impassioned speech at top volume about how of COURSE it wasn’t late THEY certainly didn’t have it and maybe I should check the fucking SHELVES, etc, and then five minutes later the video would come slithering through the drop box with a guilty thunk and a car would screech off.

Those same people would raise so much hell over a late fee I would literally feel a wash of dread come over me every time someone’s account had a fine associated with it. I’d clear my throat, tell them they had a fee, and take a step back to duck their flying spittle as they generally freaked the fuck out over $1.50. The patriarch types were always the loudest, bellowing about the injustice of it all while their family cowered beside them, and it went without saying that the late movie was always something like “Lusty Latina Lockup”.

Oh, and ONE time? A woman came storming in, accused me of not warning her that “Reservoir Dogs” wasn’t a child-friendly movie (I am not even kidding), and threw the tape (this was back when dinosaurs roamed the land, the earth’s crust was still cooling, and movies came on VHS) directly at my head.

Anyway, I seem to have gone off down Unpleasant Memory Lane. My point is, why be a dick? No one is paid enough to take abuse from strangers.

Well, maybe certain 1-976 operators. But that’s it.

Okay, your task for the comments section: tell me your worst customer experience, a bad-behavior situation that you can laugh at now but was a nightmare at the time. Ready, go!

(ETA: Oh my GOD your stories are killing me. Man, we’ve all been in the shit.)

(Dog always treats everyone equally. EQUALLY DELICIOUS THAT IS.)


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16 years ago

This didn’t happen to me, but to my sister. Her story beats just about anything that ever happened to me. (In her own words, hence the profuse swearing) (sorry it’s so long):
“So I was building up a luggage display in front of the store when I looked in the store and saw that a woman and her son were in the store looking at purses. Now, to get purses off of the top racks I use a long hooked metal pole. Under no circumstances is a customer allowed to use the pole themselves. You know, the store doesn’t want to get sued if some idiot customer pokes an eye out and what not. But of course, since I wasn’t inside the store and couldn’t see what people in the store were doing, the boy had picked up one of the poles. The kid was like 7 or 8 years old. Yeah, that’s right, I big pointy metal pole in the hand of a little boy, that sure is safe. Not! So I hurried into the store and took it out of his hand telling him that he’s not allowed to play with it. Apparently that was the wrong thing to say because next thing I know the mother freaks out. I mean top-of-her-lungs-screaming-at-me freaking out.


If this sudden barrage of screaming wasn’t surprising enough for you, it gets worse. So she was in the middle of screaming at me about being rude and evil and all that when she picked up a purse off the shelf behind her and threw it at me. Yes, that’s right. She threw a purse at me. THREW a purse at me! Just picked it up and hurled it at me! And to top it off she said ‘how’s that for being rude’!

I was shocked, to say the least. I didn’t know what to say. Heck, I didn’t say anything. The purse didn’t manage to hit me. Missed me by a foot or two. But man, what the heck? I just gave her the biggest WTF look, turned around and walked away. I could not deal with her. I wouldn’t know how. And how was I rude? I wasn’t being rude in the least. I nicely told her son that he couldn’t play with the pole for his own damn safety. Gah!? Luckily she left on her own right after her little tantrum ’cause I was just at a loss.

In retrospect I probably should’ve told her to get the fuck out of the store before I called security, in my sickly sweet retail worker voice of course, but I was completely and utterly in shock. I mean, she threw a fucking purse at me.”

16 years ago

Why in the hell would someone laminate an “antique” map? Fly or no fly, that thing was ruined the moment they thought that was a good idea…..

16 years ago

Worst customer experience, other than the Army, where everyone sucks: I worked at a cookie store in our local mall, and one day this lady came in and ordered three cookies. I had the nerve to pick up all three (which were different types) with the SAME PIECE OF BUTCHER PAPER OH MY GOD, and the world apparently ended. The lady threw a shit fit, complete with huffing and puffing, and when she wasn’t looking (probably while her head was spinning, Exorcist-style, on her neck), I spat into her bag of cookies. No regrets, yo. Even though I am a bit of a petty bitch.

Amy D
16 years ago

I used to be a cable company CSR, and they always made me call the people with overdue accounts. On nights when I was particularly low on self-esteem, I would just mark “line was busy” or “no answer” on 9 accounts and call 1, mark 9, call 1.

And then there was the guy who insisted that I should sent a tech out during a tornado to PICK UP THE POLE that had been blown down.

16 years ago

I work at a bank. The policy at my bank is that you ID every customer who is cashing a check, or getting cash back from a deposit, no matter how small the amount of money is, unless you know them really well. When I was training, I obviously didnt know…well…anyone. I had a gentleman come up to my window wanting to cash two checks, equaling about two grand. I then ask him for idea. He then leans over the counter, shoves his finger in my face, and screams “YOU CASH THOSE CHECKS NOW!” The man literaly went from zero to enraged in a half second. He continues to have a total meltdown screaming “I’ve been a customer here for twelve years, you cash those checks without ID now.” I calmly explain that I’m new. He rips the checks out of my hand, papercutting me in the process. He says that since the bank I work at “won’t stop hiring retards”, he’s taking his business elsewhere. All because I asked for ID.

The best part of the story is that two hours later, he was back. He had gone to his other bank and told them how horrible I’d been, expecting sympathy, and the other bank teller bitched him out for being a prick to me and said they wouldn’t cash his checks until he came and appologized to me.

16 years ago

this one time i got a second job at public storage. i only worked weekends and i was still relatively new when a customer comes barging in over some sort of misunderstanding he had with an employee who was not scheduled that day. i’m not easily intimidated and i have this ability to stare someone down until they slink away with their tail between their legs, but in this case, i was not familiar enough with the policies questioned to employ that tactic.

i called over the manager on duty, a short and plump twenty-something girl in her last trimester. the customer was OUTRAGED, i say, and even though it became apparent that the error was on his part, he was employing the same stare-down tactic i use. the poor manager just couldn’t handle it. at first she glanced away, and looked at me. when she saw tht i was staring at her, she focused on some spot on the counter and would not look at him. this man is leaning in over the counter, closer and closer, holding a lit cigar the whole time, mentally daring her to look at him. the poor thing broke, and started laughing uncontrollably. and the man did not back down.

so i gave him a dose of his own medicine and said that we have the right to refuse service to anyone and he would have to kindly leave the premises or i would be forced to call the cops.


he finally left.

16 years ago

Jaci: He apologized!! that is so AWESOME!

Kristen V.
Kristen V.
16 years ago

Okay, I used to be a pharmacy technician. And this woman came in to get her prescription refilled, and I told her that I could see in our files that she’d transferred that prescription to another pharmacy–in which case, it had to be filled THERE. She yelled at me for not CALLING HER TO REMIND HER THAT SHE’D TRANSFERRED IT, so that she wouldn’t have wasted a trip. Like I was supposed to suddenly become psychically aware that a former customer of ours was considering refilling a transferred prescription, and call her out of the blue to remind her that she should refill it at a different pharmacy.

16 years ago

I first worked in retail for 3 years and people were such retards. I sold electronics and MALE CUSTOMERS absolutely couldn’t believe that a person with a vagina could know how to operate an answering machine or set a digital clock. They would demand that we call a male sales clerk over. They usually ended up asking me how to do things because, I was like Obi Won with electronics. I knew all. I later sold advertising at a newspaper. People would call screaming because a comma was missing in their ad. One day I got so fed up with these babies, I actually politely put a screaming woman on hold, ripped the phone cord out of the phone and threw the phone across three desks. Needless to say, the boss let me take the rest of the day off. I left the job 2 weeks later and never worked with the public again. YAY!

Kristen V.
Kristen V.
16 years ago

Another thing I used to really hate when I was a pharmacy technician is that people would do this huge sigh-and-eye-roll routine when I told them the wait to have their prescription filled would be 20 minutes. They’d look at me all incredulous, like that was the craziest thing they’d ever heard, like it’s just ASTONISHING that it would take that long to make sure we gave them the right pills in the right dosage and double-checked it for their own safety. Meanwhile, often as not their prescription had been written, like, 3 months ago, but of course they suddenly feel the urge to fill it half an hour before closing on a Sunday night. Often they’d grab their prescription and spin away, saying they’d take their business elsewhere. Then they’d be back 20 minutes later, because they’d gone to the other pharmacy in town and been told the wait was an hour. I was always tempted to point out that if they’d left it with us to begin with, it would be eady by now.

16 years ago

I worked at our local McDonald’s (pronounced ‘MAC-donalds’ here) and this older woman ordered a child’s hamburger with onions. We gave her what we had ready as they come with those little rehydrated onion-chip thingys. She comes back and explains that she wanted REAL onions. I explained back to her that we don’t put large onions on a child’s size burger (hey, I don’t make the rules I just sold the food). She then tells me “Well, this is SHIT” pointing to her burger and spitting at me as she spoke. So I told the grill to make a new one with extra onions; the guy put about a cup of the onion chips on her burger. I almost couldn’t get the wrap around it. She came back to the counter and demanded to see the manager who told her the exact same thing I told her. She threw the burger away and stomped out. The manager actually laughed at what we did. I could tell you some horror stories from the bank I used to work at but it would involve the management and not the customers.

16 years ago

Hoo boy, am I the right person for this response.

I work at a major department store, so I’ve got all kinds of fodder for crazy customer stories. I’ve got a particularly nauseous one at my blog if you click the link. It involves poo, and that’s really all the intro that one needs.

Probably the one that was the most distressing at the time and is the funniest to look back on is what I lovingly refer to as The Tale of the Exiled Czarina.

I run the petites and plus-sized section of my store and had just walked into my fitting rooms to see if anyone needed any help. There was one middle aged woman in there trying on pants. When I asked her if she needed anything she snapped, “Tell me how zees pants look.” in a very thick russian accent.

This woman already had a very sour look set into her somewhat withered face and steely dark eyes, so I told her they they looked like a good fit. “I think if you went any larger they’d be too big and…”

“I don’t vant zem too bick, tell me how zey look.”

“Umm… I think that’s the right size. They look good and if you went smaller…”


Seriously, the amount of hate she was radiating out of her mean little eyes almost floored me. So I repeated AGAIN, “They look good.”

She sniffed and said, “Fine.”

I got the hell out of there and made myself busy hoping she’d ring up elsewhere but that was just asking too damned much. Since she’d been so prickly I didn’t say anything past “Let me get these rung up for you.” Everything was going hunky dory until I go to swipe her store card. It’s store policy to ask for ID, but you’d think I’d just asked her how much her husband paid to bring her over from mailorderbrides.com.

HER: I am not a teef!

ME: Uh… Excuse me?

HER: Dat’s vaht you are implyink when you ask for my ID. You’re saying I’m a teef! *Hate eyes*

ME: I’m very sorry if it sounds like that, ma’am, I’m certainly not meaning to imply anything of the sort.

HER: *flashes ID quickly in my face* Dere! Are you happy now dat you know I’m not a teef? *More hate eyes*

ME: (Now, of course, I HAVE to get a good look at the ID because regardless of whether or not she is a “teef” or not, she’s sure as hell acting like one) I’m sorry ma’am, can I have a closer look at that ID, I didnt’ get to see it.

HER: *shoves it at me with an exasperated gasp* I am a valued customer and I can complain about this online! You should not go about accusing people like dis! *squints eyes* Vaht is you name?

I was shaking with fear at this point, which is something to say when you consider how tiny this woman was. I easily out weighed her by a 150 pounds, but I was almost pissing myself. In a stroke of genius I said, “Do you want a manager? You should talk to a manager, let me get you a manager!” Because this lady was spewing more vitriole and aggression than I have ever seen from a single customer my entire retail career and I wanted someone, ANYONE, there in case she went postal on me. The whole time she was complaining about how she didn’t want a manager and how she was going to have my job. I took as long as possible to fold her clothes and finish the transaction, when the manager showed up. I explained to the manager that this “Nice customer was a little upset that I’d asked for her ID and would like the ID policy explained to her.”

At this point it’s needless to say I wanted to screw with her a little bit.

“VAHT IS YOUR NAME?” she screeched.

“My name is Cookie, ma’am, I wrote it at the bottom of the receipt for you and you’re more than welcome to go online and put in your feed back,” I walked around the counter and gave her her bag, “and you have an OUTSTANDING day.” I say with a huge smile.

She scowled and ripped the bag from my hand. “You’ll be hearink from me!” She said with all the menace of a scooby doo villain.

After she left my manager told me that every time this woman comes in a manager gets called because she’s SO STINKING AGGRESSIVE. She’s gone so far as to push children out of her way if she feels they’re obstructing her path while she’s shopping. She’s also sworn at associates who apply the four garment limit when she’s using a fitting room and physically plows through them screaming “I’m just tryink to fuckink shop vithout beink treated like a fuckink criminal!”

Whoever bought her bride price must be really ugly. That’s the only reason I can think of to be so angry.

16 years ago

this isn’t a story about one incident, but my husband has developed a catchphrase which has become my absolute favorite way to deal with a customer service rep when their company has royally pissed me off. no yelling. no being a bitch. just:

“i am not angry at YOU, but i am angry.”

try it. it totally works.

kara marie
16 years ago

I worked in retail a lot through out college, and have been cracking up reading some of these. More than one out of line customer has made me CRY on a particularly bad PMS saturated day. But the worst?

My first job in high school was as a maid for an Econolodge. Although I didn’t deal with people’s rudeness in person, I had some pretty rude/gross experiences just from the nasty nasty shit they left behind.

Once I went into a room and there was, um, semen all over the television set.

That was the worst.

16 years ago

I manage a tax office. I can’t even pick out which story to enter in your contest, but there were four possibilities today alone. Wah. I want to cry.

16 years ago

This is more about how retarded people are than how rude they are… I used to be a PR rep at the state Lottery. People would call me every.single.day and bitch me out because lottery tickets said on the back that the ratio of winners was 1 to 4 and they bought four and didn’t win anything. This happened multiple time EVERY SINGLE DAY and I worked there for months. These people were irate too. You would have thought someone took a chunk out of their paychecks, they were so irate.

The best though was when this guy from po-dunk Michigan wrote a letter eight pages long in childlike handwriting saying how he deserved the “Grand Looser Award” of $35,000 because he had been playing the same game with the same number for 9 years and had never won the $35,000 prize, so after all this time he deserved the “Grand Looser Award,” and we could mail the check to him at his house.

Also I had to give the checks to the winners, and they used to ream me out for “taking” their money in the form of the 30% tax. Yeah, I’m pocketing 30% of your million dollars and I work HERE. Right.

One family smelled like pee and another old black man proposed to me on the spot.

This crazy old guy used to call every day, like clockwork, to get the daily 3 and 4 numbers and then rattle on and on and on about how squirrels like to eat walnuts, and pretty much every crazy man story he could come up with from his armchair by his window. He was homebound and lived with his mother. Awesome.

Oh I used to work at a sleazy truck stop motel doing housecleaning and this creepy guy had moved all his own furniture in there, and he used to watch me clean his shower and toilet. I had to clean a room full of 9 (NINE) carnies, too. The jobs you can get in small towns are sweet.

16 years ago

Oh I have another one, but this one didn’t happen to me. My friend works at a gym, and this crazy ESL lady came in to work out. She only had a t-shirt and panties on, and is typical for some ESL students, did not shower frequently. Plus, they knew her as a “sweater” who usually left pools of sweat under whatever machine she had been on. After asking her repeatedly and threatening to call the police, my friend finally just said look, I have some shorts upstairs, will you put them on if I give them to you? This lady was NOT about to leave. She definitely did not ask for her shorts back.

And last week, at the gym I work at now, our Operations Manger found, for the second time this year, POOP in the women’s shower stall. She did not have to clean it up this time (she made her boss do it), but she did the first time. Now I understand in some places of the world, it is commonplace to poop in a hole in the ground, but in a gym locker room shower stall? The toilets are five feet away, lazy gross lady. Still don’t know who it is.

16 years ago

Oooh I have more! You must hate me. My bf worked at a coffee shop and these three happened in the same week:

#1 Guy SUES the coffee shop because after ordering a steaming hot tea, which he sees steaming and the cup says “HOT BEVERAGE”, he puts a straw in it, goes out to his car, takes a big swig, and scalds his mouth.

#2 Guy orders a drink with a HUGE line of people. People are waiting to get their drinks and he marches up to the counter two seconds after ordering, cutting in front of the other waiting people, and says “Is my drink ready YET???” BF holds it up, dumps it out, and says “it was almost ready, but since you were so rude, you can get back in that long line over there and wait for a refund.”

#3 Guy orders a hot coffee beverage with extra shots of espresso at precisely 120 degrees. It comes out WAY hotter than that and when you order extra shots it comes out even hotter. BF does his best to not steam the milk so hot, but guy comes back up and says it’s way too hot for him to drink. It’s busy as hell but to make his point (and make the point to everyone in line as to WHY their drinks are taking so long) BF makes a completely new drink, stands there with a thermometer in it until it is exactly 120 degrees, and then walks it around the counter to the man saying very loudly “sir, your drink is precisely the temperature you ordered, heaven forbid you should have to wait for it to cool down, but it’s fine for all these people to wait for me to cool it down for you” or something to that effect.


16 years ago

Christen: That bf of yours has come cajones. God I wish I could tell my customers what I think like that. My biggest irritant? The customers, usually little old ladies, who agonize for actual HOURS over making sure the outfits they’re getting have every color perfectly matched. God I hate matchers. It wouldn’t bother me but for the fact they’re constantly interrupting you to ask, “Do these go together?” Hmm… let me think… They’re from the same brand and the same group and PROBABLY the same exact freaking dye lot, but what’s the point in telling you they DO match because you’re just going to say, “I’m not sure…” and scrutinize another pair of garments for twenty more minutes.

16 years ago

Let’s see…
I worked in a convenience store and had a customer who came in every other day. I could tell he “wasn’t all there” and tried to be polite but it’s hard to even stand there when a guy comes to a counter, drooling like a teething 9 month old, and hands you soggy money. Turns one’s tummy a bit and it got to the point, I’d sic the other clerks on him.
One of the worst “customers” I dealt with was as a clerk in our local police department. Typically, we saw either people coming in to MAKE a report or coming in as a suspect IN a report. In this instance, it was a drunk man escorted in by the State Highway Patrol. The man was so nasty, the trooper had allowed him to drive his own vehicle in to post bond. By nasty, I’m not talking just attitude. He was verbally abusive, drunk as a skunk and covered in a mix of vomit, feces and urine. He had lost control of his vehicle while drunk driving and grazed a guardrail. That action caused him to lose track of his bodily functions. SO. Imagine the dilemma when faced with chunky money for bond and no rubber gloves! It was awful. We ended up layering paper towels in the window well, had him place his money inside, then layered more on top of the bond money. Then, because I was gagging like a Cali girl and her proverbial spoon, my coworker ran to the bathroom and dumped it in the sink while running water over it.
Gotta love customer service!

Violet Poppy
16 years ago

When I was a waitress, a burly biker looking woman came in and ordered a liver dinner. When I brought out her plate, she pushed back from the table, stood up and screamed, right into my face, “WHY IS MY CORN TOUCHING MY POTATOES????? THIS IS DISGUSTING!!!!” Hello…corn touching potatoes is nasty..but liver isn’t? As I was trying to formulate a response, she reached down, grabbed a slice of buttered rye bread, and threw it at my forehead, where it stuck for a minute before falling on my shoe. It was all good though, the rest of my customers lef me huuuuge pity tips.

16 years ago

Mary, you poor dear. I hope you can get another job. Life, it is too short.

16 years ago

I worked in a Salvation Army thrift store years ago. I was the closing manager one night. Right before closing, I got a call from a customer who wanted to return furniture he had purchased because it did not match his blinds. I explained that we have a no-returns policy for furniture. He got instantly abusive, cussing me out. I tried to be nice, telling him that he could call in the morning to talk to the store manager, but he said he was calling from his cell phone, and that he was on his way to bring the furniture back.
I told him that even if we did take furniture back, the store was closed. He was rambling on about how I WAS GOING TO TAKE THIS SH*& BACK, so I hung up on him. He instantly called back and told me that I had better get ready for him because he was coming to “get me”. I told him that the store alarm was set, and that the minute I saw him pull into the parking lot, I was going to hit the panic button and call the cops. He tells me that I will not even have the chance to hit the button, because he is going to kill me before I can.
Just then, a male co-worker who had forgotten something came back to the store, and stayed with me while we called the cops. The guy never showed up.

16 years ago

I used to work at a dog and cat shelter. The absolute worst case of stupidity/jerkitude was when I was trying to get a leash on one of our fearful dogs and take him out. There were two fences to his gate, because when people reached their hands over or through fences, he had a probability of biting, because he had been abused through and over fences. So this guy opens the first gate and reaches over the second one AS I’m trying to get this dog settled and the dog leapt up and snapped at him. It startled me and pissed me off, and I said, “Back away from the dog, sir!” And he said nonchalantly, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s no big deal.”

“It IS a big deal. He almost bit you. If he bites you, he dies.”

Then he argued, “No, no, I wouldn’t make you do that…”

And I yelled after him as he was leaving, “It’s the LAW!”

I was just so taken aback. The people who sucked were just kind of dumb, though. Like,some people would bark at the barking dogs (who were clearly terrified – clear to everyone except the barking human, that is), or stare the dogs down in the eyes, while the dogs barked and cowered in the back of their kennels. I would be as patient as possible with them, but sometimes they’d ignore me and think it was funny to upset the dogs and keep doing it, which is when I’d get pissed and calmly tell them to leave.

But others have had far worse experiences than me! And I agree that people should not be so quick to be mean. I’m sorry you had to deal with that call list – whew! That must have been awful. I’m so glad I’ve never had to be a telemarketer of any sort. Especially because one time I had a taste of it… I was referred to someone for petsitting – a little old lady, I was told. So I called, and her husband answered. I tried sounding professional, stating my full name and the petsitting company’s name, and stating why I was calling. I guess he didn’t understand me, because he started yelling into the phone, “What?? Don’t call here anymore!! We don’t want WHATEVER IT IS you’re selling, so why don’t you just leave us alone?!!” before hanging up on me. Yeah, you know what? I did. But wtf? Why treat telemarketers that way, even if I was one? – It’s not an easy job, I would imagine! I can’t imagine ever screaming at people for no good reason. Man.

16 years ago

Ok, from the waitressing days:
Just started my shift. Customer calls and orders take out, comes to pick it up. She walks in carrying her purse on one arm and her baby in the other. Now before I go on, I’d like to clarify that I’m all for her not leaving the kid in the car (that’s what trunks are for, isn’t it?!) (kidding!).
I tell her the food is almost ready, bring her the bill, and she stands there, realizing she’s got to put the baby down in order to write a check for the food. I offer to hold her baby, because, hey, it looks sturdy and can hold its own head up. She pulls out her checkbook, and as she starts to write out the check, the little chicklet in my arms barfs. All. over. the. front. of. my. shirt.
With baby yap dripping from my shirt, I wait for her to finish writing her check, handed her back her little lovely, and had the chef bring out her food.
The best part? No tip. And my boss? Wouldn’t let me go home and change. Tips weren’t good that night. Nobody likes a stinky waitress.

16 years ago

A friend of mine works as a receptionist in a doctor’s office. One day she received a call asking for a doctor’s note for her daughter to bring to school.

“Sure,” my friend replied. “What date did your daughter see the doctor?”
“She didn’t,” the woman replied.
“If the doctor didn’t see her, he can’t write a note for her,” my friend explained politely. “It’s against his policy.”
“Well how the hell else am I going to send her to school with MAYONNAISE on her head?!” the woman seethed.
Ready to burst out laughing, my friend instead asked, “Um, why would you do that?”
“Because she has lice, goddamnit!”

P.S. Apparently, mayonnaise isn’t a cure for lice. ;)

16 years ago

I worked at Cinnabon in the Bellevue Square Mall (snooty, ritzy mall on the Eastside of Seattle near where Sundry lives) back in 1991 and boy, did we take a lot of shit from the extremely wealthy “patrons” that came in to get their goddamn cinnamon bun who seemed to think that just by entering in the doorway of our bakery, we should fall over our feet grateful for their patronage. Apparently, they also felt that they should compensate us for their patronage by treating us with the utmost disrespect. So anyway, the store charged 10 cents for a little container of extra cream cheese frosting at that time. We were given a lot of crap for this, for some reason–I guess the pound of cream cheese frosting that already came with the bun wasn’t nearly enough and they did not feel that they should have to pay a penny more for extra frosting. My favorite experience with this was when one of the Nordstrom family members came to grace us with his presence–dude dressed in his very expensive suit with his blindingly bling-bling Rolex. He threw an effing FIT when I told him that extra frosting was ten cents, demanded it for free, and when I declined, he made a big show of pulling out his credit card and screaming, “Fine, ring it up on my credit card then! It’ll cost your store way more than ten cents to process this transaction!” He practically threw the credit card at me. When I smiled politely and said, “Okay, sir,” and proceeded to ring it up, he looked as if he was going to burst a vein. I think he thought I was going to cave in to his prestigious family name and his frosting rage, but it was so much more fun to charge him instead! What a dick.

16 years ago

I once had a manager come to me and tell me that they needed help with an “upset” customer. Me, taking them at their word (DUH!), made a blind phone call back to the customer, expecting the typically distraught but willing and appreciative end-user. “Hi, may I speak with *****. My name is **** from ****** Technical Support”. To which, I heard nothing but dead air. Until, unearthly screams started coming from the phone. I literally had to pull my headset off. The customer was over the edge, freaking out about how they couldn’t install their $&*#! software and they had dealt with every one else and how could I possibly help? This abuse went on for 20 minutes or so, with her screaming all the while and freaking out about how her sister had tried to commit suicide and she was trying to hold the family together when I realized that she was entering the wrong serial number. I won’t give away my employer at the time, but it would be like you trying to enter a WinZIP serial number into your Microsoft Word dialog box. I finally got her calmed down and off the phone. Two hours later, the .WAV file came through from her first phone call to our Level 1 support (if you get an abusive customer you were supposed to hit a “record” button to do a little CYA). Anyway, this insane customer who, I’m sure was frothing at the mouth, was screaming about “…HOW. I. WANT. THAT. CUSTOMER. SERVICE. REP. ****DEAD****!!!!”. Level One support didn’t even have a chance. Nice that they told me what I was up against, huh?

16 years ago

Starbucks employees get treated TERRIBLY by the dilated, trembling coffee addicts who take their caffeine withdrawl out on the hapless barista. So here are a few stories, with one about chicken.

Story the first: A man walks into the Chick-Fil-A where I used to work and orders a fifty-cent cup of coffee and a chicken sandwich, and hands me a coupon for a free sandwich. Sure, okay, we give those out everywhere. What’s NOT okay is trying to pay for a fifty-cent item with a one-hundred dollar bill.

Story the Second (and boy do they get better as we go along): I worked at a Starbucks for a while, and on my third day a woman comes in and demands to see a manager. I reply that she’s not there at the moment but would be happy to help. She said that she had ordered a Frappucino earlier and it had been made improperly (by an employee who, by the way, WASN’T me). She then ordered that I make a Frappuchino for her and each of her five children (FIVE) and if I didn’t, she could make sure I was fired because she had ties with the district manager. Did I make them for her? Yes I did, with her spitting at me the whole time. What? I was sixteen and scared to get fired.

Story the Third: A man comes into a Starbucks and orders a “Mint Mocha Chip”. Since there is one and ONLY one drink on the menu with something remotely close to that name, I double check – “So that’s one mint mocha chip Frappuchino, that’ll be blah blah blah.” He pays, and I make the drink. When I hand it to him with a chirpy “Have a nice day!”, he glares alternately at me and then at the drink, and says, “No no. I wanted a mint mocha espresso.” “A…a what?” “Don’t you guys get trained?! A Mint. Mocha. Espresso. Brew me two shots and put mint chocolate syrup and chocolate chips in it, and then refund my money.” I explain that I can’t do this as the error was not my fault, and he storms out, knocking over a display I’d so meticulously arranged that morning.

If you like this, go to livejournal.com/community/customerssuck. It’s worth it.

16 years ago

Mary, yes, get a new job, please! Christen, your stories are awesome, and I am a fan of your boyfriend. I wish I had guts like that! And Samantha, that is one of the scariest, worst things I’ve ever heard! I’m glad he never showed up. I love these stories – great idea, Sundry!

So as I was reading more of these, I remembered others of my own –

I was teaching a 2-4 year olds class, and the thing is, if the kids come into the classroom early, they look at everything, then they’re bored stiff during class, which causes them to tantrum and have to leave while disturbing everyone else in class. So, I had the door locked before class, and opened it precisely at ten, when class began. The parents and kids merrily pile into the room to sit, and this pregnant lady comes up to me, gets right in my face and whispers nastily, “I cannot BELIEVE you expect TWO year olds to just WAIT PATIENTLY outside the door while you just sloooowly get everything together. Why can’t you actually just be PREPARED?? That is just ridiculous!!” It was all in such hushed tones that no one else had heard it and once she was done, she swirled away from me, shouting a pleasant, “Hi there!” to the other moms. Talk about psycho lunatic!! The next class, I had my boss standing right next to me, and the woman was never rude to me again. I am still shocked that that even happened.

Yet another class (same age group), I was reading the children a story. All but one of the kids was doing really great. One of the mom’s kids got fussier and fussier and then suddely both her kids were full on tantrumming. Finally, she stood up, grabbed them both by the arms, dragged them out angrily and yelled at me on her way out, “I can’t believe you expect kids to SIT STILL for so many stories!!!” The name of the class? Animal Tales! The description of the class had clearly outlined lots of story time when she signed up for it, and yes it was the third story in an hour and the last one of the day, but we’d had play time and games in between! And all the other kids could sit still for story time! Holy crap.

Okay, I’m done. I think.

16 years ago

I used to work for this start-up airline (that is no longer in busines) and I was the HR person in the office. We had this gate agent in Philadelphia who couldn’t do anything for herself. Her mother was always calling and complaining about whatever.

Well one day she called and got me because her precious 21-year-old did not fill out her benefit forms and was therefore not enrolled in any dental plan and of course had to get a filling or some nonsense. So, as you mention, I calmly and sweetly told her why I couldn’t speak with her and could only release information to her daughter as our employee and without authorization I couldn’t even confirm her daughter worked for us. Blah blah blah.

So Mommy Dearest go ballistic on me. Yelling and cursing and threatening me. Calmly, I respond that it is not appropriate to speak to me like that and if she continues I will hang up the phone. Imagine head swerving, finger pointing, Philly style – I’m from Philly so I can say this indicating I had no right to hang up on her and blah blah blah Sue your ass and other colorful expressions of anger. I warned her one more time, this time raising my voice so she could hear me over the screams. She continued. I hung up.

I calmly walked into my boss’ office and lost it, cried and cried and cried. Not 2 minutes later, Mommy Dearest is calling him to apologize. Didn’t want to speak to me, but apologized to my boss. What-the-fuck-Ever!!

16 years ago

I spent about 6 months as an Assistant Manager at a high end jewelry store in a fairly nice mall. We had Rolexes, which were fun to play with – but I digress.

I was working one day and this well dressed gentleman and his wife came to look at diamond earrings. They wanted some one carat total weight earrings set in platinum. These particular earrings were certified so they came with an appraisal, and in our store certified items only went on sale a select dew days out of the year. (Well, you could sell them for less the others, but you needed a code from a district manager, and she would be mighty pissed about handing one out.) Furthermore, not that the customers really know, but the most you’ll get for a reduction is about 10% in price. Anyway, as I’m helping this guy, he tells me that I should give him these earrings for about 20% off. I calmly tell him that they’re certified, and as such they aren’t available for a discount. That’s when this guy just goes off on me swearing, telling me how he was such a good customer and he’d spent thousands of dollars with us in the last month or two and how dare I insuniate that he couldn’t get a sale price, since he knew everything could go on sale. I repeated that they were certified, told him that we were actually locked out of discounting them, and suggested that if he was such a good customer (like he said) he should use his Merry Money (which is a certificate for $100 off a $300 purchase that you could earn by buying however much during the Christmas season). I could give him up to half off the earrings by using his Merry Money. He proceeds to continue swearing a blue streak at me, only pausing to beller, “I want to speak to the manager!” That’s when my head nodding and “Yes sir” stopped, and I got to look him square in the eyes and say, “I’m sorry sir, I *am* the manager on duty.” He ended up leaving, still swearing and yelling at me. His wife was embarassed beyond belief and at least she apologized to me as she ran after him. The part that ticks me off is that the prick brought back his Merry Money a couple of days later, bought the same damn earrings, and one of the people working with me took the full commission on the sale.

I hope the guy’s wife loses her earrings.

And the kicker is, I also worked for one of this company’s stores in what could be considered the ghetto. The people who were in the ghetto were so much nicer across the board than the yuppy scum that shopped the higher end store. They were grateful when you helped them and didn’t expect any special treatment.

16 years ago

the worst i ever receeived was at a shoney’s. we were waiting for a table for 3. they gave away tables for 2 & 4 to people who came after us. when i complained, i was told that mo tables for three had been made available. i had to go to restaurant shift manager’s level- thru the shift captain and team leader- to get them to realize that since there were no triangle shaped. 3 sided table tops, there would NEVER be any tables for three. they comped us dinner but think they probably spit in it.

16 years ago

I was working as a cashier in a grocery store in NAwlins. A hurricane was coming in. As usual the shallow end of the gene pool had waited until the VERY last second to stock up on water, batteries, candles etc. Imagine their surprise & dismay when they arrived at the store only to find that anyone with a double digit IQ had bought everything the day before. Of course this was somehow all my fault …

Or (and remember that this was back in the days of manual cash registers, & speed counted) the day some no-account woman stood girmly by while I rang up her huge grocery order. And then announced, in ringing tones, “I KNOW you made a mistake!” (The line behind her groaned & rolled their eyes.) I asked her what I’d done incorrectly and her retort: “I KNOW you made a mistake! You look tired, so I’m sure you screwed something up. And I’ll be back when I find it!”

Or the time some woman insisted she get a refund for something that was against company policy. All I could do was tell her she wasn’t entitled to a refund, & why (the details of this are fuzzy now, blessedly.) So she insisted on talking to a manager, who promptly gave her everything she asked for. Urk!

And then …. I worked as a claims adjuster. We’ll draw the curtin gently over that debacle, shall we?

entropic ankh
16 years ago

i worked the drive through window at a fast food restaurant while i was in high school. thered be the usual things, like a customer paying for a ten dollar bill in quarters, but only one customer was actually trying to be mean and deceitful.

someone drove up to the speaker and said “i just drove through and my bag is missing an order of fries?” of course, good customer service, “ok, pull through, and well give it to you at the window”

well, girl drives up and its someone from my class at high school. someone who certainly had not come through drive through at all, or i would have remembered seeing her. looking back i shouldnt have given her the fries, but i did, and added some snide comment about how im sure i would have noticed her come by my window earlier.

i hope she never tried that trick again at any restaurant.

16 years ago

Oh, wow! I love these stories!

I once filled in for a receptionist at a newspaper while she was on jury duty. It was pretty easy stuff, if you didn’t count the irate phone calls. It was an alternative weekly (like The Stranger or ), so there were always dozens of people who were just upset the paper existed. On publication day, one well-dressed man came in, picked up a copy of the paper, and proceeded to scream at me for everything in the paper, especially the “massage” ads in the back. The paper was evil, dirty, suggestive to children, blah blah blah. He got all red and sweaty and spittle began to fly! He even called me an mf-ing c-word a few times. Being all of 21 at the time and having a nice-girl rep to protect, I basically just sat there, silently hoping someone would save me. It was an open office plan! Anyone could hear and come to my rescue, right? Not so much. After telling me I was going to burn in hell for all the people I was corrupting, I thanked him for his time, invited him to write a letter to the editor (because, hi, I’m the receptionist), and told him to have a nice day.

He was so angry by the evil, evil paper and, perhaps, my cheery response that when he spun out the door, he tripped on the doormat! I was laughing so hard I had to pee. And that’s when one of the paper’s big guys came out to see if I was okay. . . .

16 years ago

Whoah there…
I used to work for a video store during summers and I TOO had to call the late list.
I always loved it when the car sped away and their crusty thumbprinted (ewwwww, that was the worst- touching the pornos…..ewww…*shudder*) copy of “Sperms of Endearment”, which of COURSE they still didn’t have and had I checked the shelves in the kiddie section for it? Cause, yes kids were always moving the porno titles around, just for shizzles and gizzles. It’s not like there was a beefeater standing guard at the back “grey room” ya know. There was however, a surveillance camera in there with a monitor in the managers office…..some, er..interesting feed there…..

Anyhow, thanks for taking me back to the good ol’ days of video clerking.

I think my worst customer service nightmare involved me working at a fast photo place in high school, and this one guy always brought in naughty pictures (eww, again no 15 year old should see the likes of THAT) and he always wanted to me to “fix” them cause the color was “off” or it looked “blurry” or some shit like that. How.FUCKING.AWKWARD and also, gross. I think he did it just to be weird and pervie.

16 years ago

I used to work for WELFARE– so have more than my fair share of Stories.
The worst tho was dealing with supervisors instead of clients– yes clients yelled and screamed and threw stuff and spit on you, but, hey, lots of them were mentally ill or addicted to meth or otherwise f**ked up. Actually reading these stories always puts it in perspective for me– these people can’t deal with all of society, it’s not just the social workers that they freak out on. We just deal with all of them, instead of the isolated few that most people encounter in their experience. So, many of your stories remind me of at least weekly crisis in the office.
The worst worst thing that happend to me is that I was talking to a client on the phone who was in crisis and needed a little extra cash. Now, at the time we had the ability to issue ‘crisis grants’ on occaison (long since gone) to assist if someone was robbed or other unforseen crisis– not alot of $, just 20$ for food to get them thru till the next check issue. It was a discretional grant and if you deemed the client ‘worthy’ you could swing them a little every once in a while (like, max 2 x per year or something).
ANYWAY so I was talking to this desparate soul, who was really screwed up and needing a grant. It had been a long week, it was friday, and I was feeling generous so told her I would issue the check and it would be waiting for her that afternoon to pick up. She had to hitchike to the office to pick it up because no car/no money for bus/no friends with cars.
Anyway she phoned that afternoon to CONFIRM it was ready, it was ready and printed and in the pick up box. So, she started the trek to the office.
In the meantime, my supervisor reviewed the file, and called me into the office. Said she knew the client had lied on numerous occaisions before and that she didn’t believe this client ‘deserved’ a grant– in fact, she had already cancelled the check. She then told me that I should have never been suckered into believing the client and that, by the way, she had to leave early that day so IIIIIII had to be the one to explain to the client when she got here that there was in fact nothing for her.
Regardless of reason, this client had a NEED– frankly it doesn’t matter so much if they tell the ‘truth’ I think, so much as they are telling you what they think gives them the best shot at getting what they need. If it is a good story and meets the criteria, who cares? Give it to them, life’s hard enuf.
I ended up giving the client 20$ in cash from my wallet– and 2 smokes.

16 years ago

oh yeah, a million years ago I worked in a video store as well– we had to ‘dust’ the boxes in the porno room– sometimes that ‘dust’ needed pretty skookum cleaner to remove…

Mama Ritchie
16 years ago

I was in high school, working at Chris and Aurelia’s Hallmark Gifts and Cards. An old man walked in on a relatively quiet day in the store. As he walked up and down the long aisles, my co-workers and I heard this strange snipping sound over the easy lite radio station we were forced to play. Soon, he approached the register and carefully and deliberately placed a pile of his freshly-clipped fingernails onto the countertop. My co-workers and I were stunned, to say the least. He then turned to walk away, presumably leaving the store. I said, very politely and without laughing or throwing up, “Excuse me, sir, but would you like to throw away your fingernails?” He stopped, stared at me for a second, and said nothing. He then continued on his way out the door from which he came.

And the worst part is – he didn’t even buy a fucking card.

16 years ago

I worked in jewellery for 15 years – i have a thousand horror stories – i couldn’t read all the comments, they brought back all those horrible memories!

My worst? A customer i had known for about 5 years, she’d been in and out a lot, always buying stuff, spending lots of cash, and always adorable – midway through the 5 years, her husband got cancer, knew he was on his way out, so the two of them headed off round the world. While visiting Brazil, he bought her some really beautiful aquamarines, her favourite stone. Then they came home and he died.

She came in a little while later, told me all out about their trip, and then she got very emotional – long story short, i ended up making her coffee and she poured it all out, we chatted for a couple of hours, she made this long, involved point about how her husband loved to go scubadiving or something, so wearing these aquamarines would remind her of the sea and bring her husband right back to her, or something, and then she went away. Came back the following day and said about the stones, how she wanted them set and how wonderful it was going to be, husband around her neck, all that. Basically, this whole commission was a BIG DEAL and i let EVERYBODY know about it, i wanted the best service we could give and everybody hop to! I was on FULL ALERT.

We lost the stones. Someone broke in to our workshop and stole everything. And i had to tell her.

WORST THING EVER THAT HAPPENED TO ME. EVER. I swear, through crying that day, she easily lost 10 pounds. That poor woman was a wreck.

There you go! Love your site Sundry, LOVE Riley (don’t take your eyes off him, i’m hatching a plan to steal him away and clone him)

Hello Dog! I love you too!

16 years ago

I worked for the YMCA in childcare for a year or two in a small town that just happened to be near a water park. We had swim tests on Tuesdays and field trips on Fridays. The week that we were to go to the water park on a field trip, I had a little girl around 8 years old join my group on a Wednesday (after the swim tests for that week). We explained to the dad who dropped the girl off that she could go to the water park, but she couldn’t go on the slides or into any water over her hips because she hadn’t completed a swim test. He said that was fine, because she couldn’t swim anyway.

Fast forward to Friday. We’re all nervous because just the day before, a Y kid from another town had drowned at the water park just the day before (it turned out he hit his head diving off a floating platform). So we’re all super-strict with our kids, keeping them in waist-deep water only unless they were swimmers, and watching them like hawks coming down the slides & otherwise. The girl who’d just joined played with the other non-swimming girls, and was happy as a clam. Everyone has a great day.

We get back to the school, and the new girl’s mom comes to pick her up. She walks her down the hallway and asks her, “Did you have a fun time?” The girl says, “yes, but I couldn’t go on any of the slides. They said I couldn’t.”

“WHAT?” screams the mother, and all my kids jump. (We kept the doors open.) She comes barreling into my room, running straight at me with her hand raised in the air. “Excuse me?” she says, putting her hand in my face and getting right up close and personal. “Excuse me? I PAID for her to go on the fucking field trip and you tell her she can’t go on the slides? Who are you to do that?”

I call for backup on my walkie, which is unnecessary because at that point 3-4 other leaders have heard this woman screaming. Some of my kids have started crying, including the woman’s little girl. I explain our swim-test policy to the woman once my backup leaders arrive and say that we notified the girl’s father when he dropped her off.

“I don’t give a shit what your policies are. You ruined my daughter’s field trip!” the woman snarls.

“Ma’am,” I said, trying to remain calm, “if your daughter couldn’t swim and we let her go on the slides, she could drown. We had no way of finding out if she could swim well enough to go on them unsupervised without a test. She joined the day after the test. She can take it next week on Tuesday. It was for your child’s safety.”


With that, she ripped my nametag (clipped to my collar) off of my shirt and threw it at me, called me a fat piece of assy trash, grabbed her now-sobbing daughter by the arm and dragged her screaming down the hall.

My director threw her out of the program that day.

16 years ago

where to start…I worked at a video store too and I actually loved doing late calls, ’cause I would sit down and let everyone else do all the hard stuff while I ate M&Ms and called people. They were never actually angry when I called, I’m not sure why.

I liked asking for late fees too, ’cause I knew that if they complained, I didn’t give a fuck.

Umm customer service nightmares…

They’re all video store ones.

Mostly do with late fees/people forgetting their passwords. One lady didn’t have any ID and didn’t know her husband’s password, so I wouldn’t her rent out or start an account (’cause of the ID). She started screaming at me “Why do you have to make this so hard for me?” I asked one guy to add a password to his account, and he refused. We got into a long argument about it (I don’t even know why I cared) and I was all “So, if someone comes up and uses your account because you don’t have a password, you’re okay with paying for all the movies?” He’s like “Yes, that’s fine”. I’m like “Okay, I will make a note of it.” a few seconds later he mumbles “Fine, my password will be password.” “Password doesn’t fit, so it will just be PASSWO”.

Man I have soooooo many memories that I can’t even write them all here, I think I’ll have to write about it on my site.

The last one I remember is a guy who’s tape didn’t work, so he brought it back, which was fine and we swapped it. Then he gave me a chocolate bar and said “this as well” and I said “that’s $1.50” and he was like “No, I think that will be on the house. And this too,” and just pulled some random confectionary out. So I was all “I don’t think so,” and then it went to the manager (I was the manager on duty but our real manager was there too) and the guy was rambling about telling our head office, and I was trying to explain that they’d be on our side, as in the contract he’d signed, it had said that if a movie was faulty, we would exchange it. And that’s all. So he was all “Give me the contract, I’m complaining to your head office, and highlight the bit where it says you’ll exchange it” so I did, and I have no idea what he proved to anyone considering I highlighted the bit that said we’d EXCHANGE IT. THAT’S ALL. Gah.

Then there were all the people who said “I’ll go to the video store across the road in future,” and it was all “Do you really think I CARE? Do you think I get more money because you come here instead of going over there?” which I never said, but my boyfriend also used to work at a video store and he always told me to say “Okay, I’ll call them and warn them you’re coming.”

Actually, I can’t believe I never got disciplined.

16 years ago

No, stop press! I just remembered the bizarrest customer I ever had…

This guy comes into the shop and browses the DVDs for ages. Then he comes over to me, and he’s all “What movies do you recommend about cross-dressers?” so I was all “Umm…” and he’s like “Because I want to start cross dressing and I’m looking for ideas.” He held me there for about 20 minutes answering questions about stuff – “I love the way they dress in Mean Girls. I love the way you dress! Could you give me some advice? Where did you get your skirt?” I would think he was taking the piss, except he was dead serious and I totally believed him. Gah. He was way better than all the creepy guys who’d hit on me though, or would start yelling at us girls through the window when we closed after midnight. The best part about the job was watching porn on the TVs once the doors closed.

16 years ago

oh boy, thinking about this makes me realise that customer service has taken way to much of my time over the years, I definately need to find a different line of work!

one of the most incredibly evil things anyone has ever said to me happened when I was working for this fairly big hotel-chain, they had a policy about people bringing visitors after hours, this was a very big between flights kind of hotel, so lots of business people who had to get up early in the mornings and the after hours policy thing was mostly to guard against parties and and such.
So I was working the night shift with another girl (very clever of course, a couple of, what, 25 year olds doing the night shift!) when these two guys, form a group of, I think Hockey players, stayng at the hotel show up, piss drunk with a couple of equally drunk, women, we explained the policy, which of course they thought was rather stupid, but they promised they were only going up for a couple of drinks (duh), we however let them go cause, I mean, a “couple of drinks” aren’t always loud! Anyway, then we start getting complaints, so we warn them and after a couple of more complaints we tell them the women have to leave, eventually we had to go up to their floor and tell them, of course very nicely, to get the heck out of there.
One of the drunk women started yelling at me and telling me that I was horrible and stupid and whatnot and that I’d never work in this town again, you know yadayadayada! and then one of those hockey players looks me in the eye and with utter hatred and lots of spittle says: If I ever get married, I hope I wont have to marry someone like you! I was actually only 23 at the time, so yeah, that hurt, and all I could do was stand there, stare at him and make sure they didn’t lock themselves in their rooms before the police got there!
I work in a library now, and believe it or not, we get so much shit from our customers. I feel the same about people who write hate mail and spiteful comments, why do they feel the need to make total strangers feel miserable! WHY?
Love reading these stories thou, always good to know your not alone, thanks for asking Sundry!

16 years ago

Okay last one I promise!

If a customer ever swore at me, I’d always tell them to stop swearing or I’d have to ask them to leave, which normally shuts them up. I remember though one time I just went “Don’t you dare talk to me like that.” That shut him up, too.

I was standing in the manager’s pit once, talking to my friend who was standing on the ground. Suddenly she looks at me strangely and said “That kid just bit me.” There was a kid running around the store, causing havoc. So I went down there to do something else, and the kid runs up to me, and claws me down my arm so bad that it started bleeding. I didn’t say anything to his mother only because she looked incredibly stressed, but that was pretty out of character for me.

A lady threw a DVD at us too…silly woman, she was complaining about the stupidest thing, too.

One man complained to me because Basic Instinct (or something R18 but not porn) had sex scenes in it, and he wanted a refund. I had to take him over to the case and say “See this sign that says R18, contains sex scenes…?”

Oh, and all the porn DVDs that came back sticky.

This wasn’t my story and it’s not really customer service but it has to do with work…one time a guy hid in our porn room with a brick in a stocking, about a week after I’d started working there (but I wasn’t working that night). After close he punched out one of the staff that went in there, and attacked the other staff member by swinging the brick at his head and gashing it open. Then he ran to the door, and couldn’t figure out how to unlock it and started yelling “Let me out! Let me out!”, so the staff, blood dripping everywhere, had to go let him out.He didn’t even steal anything. Gah. It was lucky I wasn’t working that night – I’d worked all the nights before that, and it woulda sucked if I’d had the brick to my head.

16 years ago

Oh, there are sooooo many. The most annoying was a “star” basketball player from the local university would come into the deli where I worked right before closing on a regular basis. Since he was such a “star” and a “big-shot” the owner would not let us clean up the front of the restaurant until this guy left. He usually stayed an hour past closing chatting with his agent or whoever the hell he was with, while the staff sent him tiny daggers of hate through our eyes because we had just missed our plans. It wasn’t like he did it on a certain night either, it was random so we never knew when to expect to have to stay late.

He made it into the NBA, but I don’t think he ever made it off the bench and I haven’t heard of him in years. Serves him right.

16 years ago

When I worked at the local library we used to have a woman who would come in every Monday and scream at me “do you work here?” (no lady, I just like loitering behind the desk!) When I’d politely say yes she’d then scream “is the Syc. News here yet?” and I’d kindly explain to her it doesn’t come out Wednesday. She’d then scream at me for it not being there. This would happen week after week.

I worked at McDonald’s when I was a senior in high school and in the first week I had some woman come up to me, screaming that her chicken mcnuggets were raw and she whipped them at my head. When I calmly said I would get a manager, that I’m sorry it happened, blah blah blah she began screaming about how stupid I was to give her those. I managed to calmly say that I didn’t KNOW they were raw as I didn’t COOK them or BITE INTO THEM before serving them. At that point she started telling me how fucking stupid I was and when a manager stepped in to take over another manager grabbed me and stuck me in the walk in freezer because it was apparent I was about to go postal on the bitch. I didn’t last long at that job ….

16 years ago

I used to work in a photo lab. Enough said.

Customer: “These pictures are too dark!”
Me: “Maybe you should learn to use the flash on your camera.” *snark*

Customer: “Did you stretch these pictures out? I look really fat.”
Me: “Maybe if you put down that donut for a minute you’d have time to realize that there’s no way I could have done that.” (this was in the pre-photoshop days)

etc. etc. etc.

The worst one was this lady who had taken pictures of her dog. After seeing the 4×6 prints, she requested an 8×10 enlargement of one of the pics. I explained to her that 8×10 is not a full-frame print and some of the dog’s nose and tail would be cut off if I printed it at that size. The lady flipped her sh!t b/c she couldn’t understand why this would happen, even though a coworker and I explained several times about how photographic proportions work–anyone who has ordered an enlargement from a photo web site knows what I’m talking about. I’m thinking all the while, hey, it’s not my job to teach you math. She threatened to call my manager. Bad day anyone?

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