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.)

:::
40406_doglick.jpg
(Dog always treats everyone equally. EQUALLY DELICIOUS THAT IS.)

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Denise
Denise
16 years ago

Great stories–misery loves company!

As a college freshman I worked in a retail clothing store for a year. This gave me all kinds of horrid customer stories–people having sex in the dressing room, shop lifters..you name it. But the queen of them all was this woman who came in on a Monday afternoon and picked out about $250 of our cheap clothes. I mean seriously cheap…nothing over $10 in the place. So I folded all of her crappy clothes, rang them up, swiped her credit card……and it was declined. Nothing like telling someone his/her credit card has been declined. She screamed, ranted, raved, name called, then she huffed and puffed out of the store saying she was going to have me fired…..yadda yadda. Everyone in the store was looking at me and waiting to see if she would come back in for round 2. Well, she did come back in the next day and APOLOGIZED!!!! Come to find out, her teenage daughter maxed out the card over the previous weekend and failed to tell Mommy Dearest of her kick ass weekend. Solid.

Smooches to Dog!!!!

Jennifer
16 years ago

God, I’m mortified at the thought of being in any of these situations as I haaaaate confrontation and would probably start to cry. The whole aquamarines debacle would have easily sent me into heart failure. But I digress…

Here’s my .02 — I waited tables in college and happened to be working the closing shift one night. I’m the last server in the house. NATURALLY a family of four comes in five minutes before closing (And hello? What are two kids under the age of ten doing out at eleven o’clock on a school night?) Although the kitchen is pissed and I am tired, the family enjoys their meal. Right as I deliver their check hoping to get them the fuck out of there, my worst nightmare begins to unfold (OK, so it’s not really my worst nightmare compared to oh, anal rape by a bunch of lacrosse assholes, but still…)

Mother: “It’s Suzie’s birthday. Do you do anything special?”

Me: “I’m sure I can arrange a free dessert for the birthday girl.”

Mother: “You don’t sing ‘Happy Birthday?’ I’ve eaten here before and I know the staff sings ‘Happy Birthday’.”

Me: “Well, ordinarily it wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m the only one here tonight and TRUST ME, my solo rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ would be an unwanted gift.”

Dad: “Look, we came here for a BIRTHDAY, a CELEBRATION of my daughter’s LIFE. Do you want to make a little girl CRY? Do you want her to remember that NO ONE SANG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HER ON HER EIGHTH BIRTHDAY? Now are you going to sing or do I have to ask for the manager?”

(At this point the kids are getting cranky – probably because they’re still awake at midnight on a Tuesday and the daughter really doesn’t seem to give a shit one way or the other whether I sing the fucking song. The father, however, is beet red with rage.)

Me: “Allow me to get him for you.”

Manager: “You have to sing the song.”

Me: “Come again?”

Manager: “It’s not like you’re going to forget the words or something, just go out there and get it over with.”

Me: “No. Seriously, I can’t. I just can’t.” (I’m starting to tear up. Maybe singing in public IS my worst nightmare)

Manager: “Sing or quit. You know very well our rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ is what we’re known for and these people probably came here for that reason alone. Apologize, sing and tell them the meal is on the house.”

Me: !!!!!!!!!!!!! (I really need this job. Shit.)

So I suck it up and head back to the table, Suzie’s dessert in hand and my dignity left behind in the kitchen.

Father: “So?”

Me: “Remember, I warned you that I don’t sing very well.”

I proceed to sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ Did I mention that I had to sing it IN ITALIAN? What came out of my mouth was something akin to Roseanne’s screaming of the ‘National Anthem’.

I finish and there’s silence.

Father: “Wow. You weren’t kidding about the singing.”

TEARS. TEARS OF RAGE.

Me: “I’m sorry for the fuss. The meal is on the house. Happy Birthday, Suzie.”

Suzie: “My birthday was in June!”

It’s October.

MOTHERFUCKER.

I quit that night.

Zoot
Zoot
16 years ago

I can not TELL you the number of times people yelled at ME when the cash registered declined their credit card. Because I’m totally the one that maxed it out for them. The best time, however, was when I politely told the woman her card was declined and she said “You have NO RIGHT to tell me whether or not you can accept my credit card when you are nothing but an uneducated cashier making 5 bucks an hour.”

omuchacha
16 years ago

Okay, another one because the girl sort of ended up being famous (infamous?).

I was a client in a horse show barn as a teenager, but I also worked at the barn as a groom to help pay the bills. As the groom, I would get horses ready at the shows prior to their classes, make sure the horses were lunged down enough so they’d be tired and not misbehave, and cater to the other clients a little bit. We had one client in particular who had a pretty big sense of entitlement. She had been a nurse, but her real life’s ambition was realized when she married a plastic surgeon and didn’t have to work anymore. The couple had three little girls, ages about 13, 10, and 8. Now, the oldest two kids were great kids. The surgeon was a very nice guy. The wife, well, she was an insecure bitch. Anyway… we’re at a show in Milwaukee and it’s hot out. I’ve been up and running since about 5:00 am catering to clients, etc. and I finally get a break to sit and eat some food from the concession stand. I’m at a picnic table out in front of our stalls eating my sandwich. All of a sudden, their 8 year old comes over and stomps on my foot as hard as she can – for no reason whatsoever. So being me and being more than a little pissed off, I grab the girl by the arm, stand up, and then I tell her (pretty loudly) “Don’t you EVER do that to me again.” As soon as I let go of her arm, the little girl runs off to her momma crying about how I abused her and how I was so mean to her. So of course I go to my trainer and tell him and his wife what happened (cuz I know they’re going to hear about it anyway). I couldn’t believe it, but my trainer’s wife tells me that I should have never spoken to the girl like that, since she’s the daughter of a very important client. That’s when I reminded her that *I* was a client too – and that as of that moment I was done working for her. (I pulled my horse pretty soon thereafter too.) I went back to eating my sandwich. The mom runs to my trainer saying I was a horrible person and how dare I talk to her daughter that way, to which my trainer says they understand and I’m no longer working for them. The surgeon dad, however, comes up to me, asks what happened, and after I explain to him what his kid had done, apologizes to me profusely.

So the true resolution to this… I found out a few years after this that the woman pulled her horses from my old trainer too – and she’d been cheating on her surgeon husband with her new trainer. But even better than that, just last year I found out that the little girl from heck was actually the underage babysitter that one of the Green Bay Packers was caught with at a hot tub party drinking and doing other inappropriate stuff. Gee, like you couldn’t see that one coming.

Kristin
Kristin
16 years ago

My senior year of high school I was a waitress/hostess for a local diner-style restaurant. One of the regulars was a middle aged Italian man who was built as though he might have been a linebacker when he was in high school. His favorite thing to do was tell all of the girls to “Undo another button there, honey, I can’t see very well.” The waitresses would play rock paper scissors to see who got to deal with him. He was absolutely serious and did this every time he was there, which was pretty much daily. Of course he was the type who sat at the counter and drank the same cup of coffee for two hours while he talked to his buddies – and then left a quarter tip. Our manager took the opinion of, “Oh, he’s harmless!”. Bah. I can tell who’s trying to be cute and who’s a pervert. And men pushing sixty generally shouldn’t be telling 17 year old girls to undo their shirts.

You don’t want to know we did to his coffee.

wealhtheow
16 years ago

I worked in a toy store during the Beanie Baby craze. We used to get the weirdest people in there. One day we got a huge shipment of boxes, including some new Beanie Babies. We had a policy of only putting a few of the new ones out and keeping the rest in the back room for kids. So amid all the other weirdos lining up, this crazy old lady comes in and starts screaming “I KNOW YOU HAVE 70 BOXES OF BEANIE BABIES!!! YOU NEED TO LET ME SEE THEM!! YOU NEED TO LET ME SEE THE BEANIE BABIES RIGHT NOW!!”

People would ask for 5 or 6 of the same stuffed animal and examine them closely to see which one was better. They’d bitch at me because the tag was bent. One woman kept moaning “But Fucker the Woodpecker was the one I NEEDED. I NEED Fucker!!” I was thinking “Wow. Some kids in third world countries need food or clean water. You need a stuffed toy. Let’s think about our priorities here for a minute.” It was totally out of control.

Best Beanie Baby moment? This tiny adorable little girl had been saving up for one of the dogs. It was really crowded in the store and we didn’t have any more of the new ones on display, so I had to tell her that we didn’t have any right now. But I took her mom aside and told her to wait around for 15 minutes and I’d make sure she got the dog. When the store had emptied out a little, I went into the back room, got the dog, and gave it to the little girl. She hugged me so hard I almost choked.

Amy
Amy
16 years ago

All I have to say is that I, too, used to work at a video store (back in the early 90s), and I, too, dreaded calling the Late List. Other dreads included cleaning out the popcorn machine (mmm, nuclear-yellow butterstick drippings!) and putting returned movies back on the shelf in the Back Room (i.e., the Porn Room). When there were customers browsing in there. yeeech.

I once had a couple of fine upstanding evangelicals come in and inform me they were boycotting the store because we rented porn. I was like, “Uh, I’m seventeen. I don’t own the place. Am I supposed to care about this?”

msmoir
msmoir
16 years ago

oh, so many, many choices. here are two of my favorites.
working in retail we get some special types. a lady comes into the store and asks for help to pick a handbag for her 13yr old daughter. i take her through our most popular styles, the ones the staff like, the seasons “in” colours, ask a young customer her opinion… etc etc. i’m going WAY out of my way at this point to help. then i’m showing her a long handled shoulder bag, popular with kids at school and she says… “i think she’ll need something a little smaller, she petite, not chunky like you.” it took all my strength NOT to slap her. ps 60kg is not fricking chunky!!

i’ll try to make this short. i was working in canada for a year and was still getting used to the fact that as a bartender you LIVE off your tips. my weekly paycheck was generally big enough to pay for a coffee,or the bus, not both. so three guys rack up at tab to the tune of $200, then as i have my back to them, they bail. this is bad as my boss would have taken it out of my check. problem is they don’t realise i see them go into a house opposite the pub. i’m already in the process of closing, so as i’m not exactly a shy person, i lock the bar, go through the snow, and bang on this guys door at three am in the morning. takes about ten min for him to answer, he says he has no idea what i’m talking about, his friend was supposed to pay, and shuts the door (there was much colourful languge from me during all of this but it’ll take forever). i go back to the bar and call the cops, explain it when they turn up, they go over there, bang on the door, drag him over to the pub, go through his wallet, get me to try and process all of his cards to try and get the cash… no funds… asshole, and then run his ID only to realise his visa is up and he has outstanding warrants. so this is how it ends; cops make him call a friend to pay the bill, insisting that i get a $50 tip, arrest the guy and then young cop gives me his phone number and asks me out. NICE!

Sarah
Sarah
16 years ago

I worked retail at a pretty large, somewhat high end mall. I had some crazies (the German woman who came out of the dressing room sans shirt to ask for another size, then once she had tried it on began parading around asking “Do you like my bl-owwwse?” in her thick accent) and the embarassing (having to cut a woman out of a too-small skirt), but the horror story I always think of involved a sweet little girl and her mother shopping for Precious’ first bikini. The girl came up to me and sweetly asked “Can you help me find a bikini?” while mumsy was standing there looking oh-so-proud at this “baby’s first steps” moment. It reminded me of being that age and doing something “grown-up” for the first time and quite frankly, warmed my cold, bitter heart. And then I had to tell her that we didn’t carry the French Halter Cut in our store.

Y’all, it was like Mr. Hyde. The sweet little girl turned into a shrill little harpy, demanding to know why we would advertise stuff in our catalog that wasn’t carried in the store?? I tried to show her another, very similar style, but Princess wasn’t having it. She eventually went to my manager to complain. He didn’t care.

My favorite shoplifting story would have to be the woman who was stealing ties. I started following her around while another employee went to get a manager (we weren’t allowed to confront shoplifters for safety reasons, we were only allowed to throw some customer service at them). I asked if there was anything I could help her find and she immediately cut in with “Why are you following me?? Do you think I’m some low-down thief? I have money! I could buy all of you!” She ranted for a little while and I stood there and waited. Eventually my manager came up, just in time for “How dare you treat me like a criminal!” and asked “Ma’am? I’m sorry for interupting your shopping, but I noticed you have some of our ties in Gap bag. Would you like us to find some matching shirts?”

She threw them on the ground and stomped out.

Wait, why did I leave retail again?

Pete
Pete
16 years ago

That’s why I am a programmer because I can’t deal with the public, or people for that matter.

filakia
16 years ago

I worked for a few years as a Financial Aid Counselor at a prestigious (expensive!) private university, and people were almost without fail NASTY NASTY NASTY. Take someone’s precious little child-genius, add their financial situation, and then subtract the huge financial aid package they expected to get (because Junior DESERVES to go to this Prestigious University but should be able to go for free, or at least without any student loans), and you get some very, very obnoxious parents.

One day, a father called me completely ballistic because we had been sending the financial aid information directly to his son (during the academic year when the son was living on campus) and not to him. Apparently, Junior had neglected to pass the information on to Daddy-O, and Big Daddy was pissed.

I tried several times to explain, calmly, that the financial aid package belonged to the student, not the parent; student loans were in the student’s name and not theirs; that consequently for these and many other reasons, information about the aid package and such gets sent directly to the student and said student must step up and take responsibility and pass the information to the parents, etc. — but I couldn’t get a single word in edgewise because the man kept yelling at me, cutting me off and demanding with a withering condescension, “Who do you THINK pays the bills? Who? WHO? No, really, WHO do you think pays them? You think Junior does? I am the father. I pay the bills. WHY AM I NOT GETTING THE FINANCIAL AID LETTERS SENT TO ME?!”

(Why the hissy fit, Mister, over such a minor problem? Shut and listen, and I will tell you the financial aid information and even offer to send you a copy of the letter).

I got so angry, I hung up on him mid-tirade. I know I shouldn’t have done it, and later I was told that he had called back immediately, demanded to speak to my boss, and insisted that I be fired. I didn’t get fired, but my boss did inform me that there were better ways I could have handled it. — I know; after I had hung up I thought of all the brilliant and snarky things I could have said. Oh well.

Tip: financial aid counselors are not unlimited in power, but we do have some discretion and I can assure you that nastiness will get you on a fast road to nowhere, financial-aid-wise. For Sure. We are over-worked, underpaid, and almost completely unappreciated because no one Ever. Gets. Enough. Money. Don’t piss us off.

Sarah Y.
16 years ago

I’m an environmental engineer and I do work on sites where gasoline has leaked out of underground storage tanks and contaminated the soil and groundwater. On one of my sites, we’re having to install little monitoring wells in a neighborhood, so we have to get permission from the residents. Ha ha ha. You’d think that instead of trying to protect the neighborhood in general from cancer-causing chemicals, I’m politely offering to sodomize their dog (or their kid) with a rake. We’re talking serious outrage.

But the worst resident was this one chick who gave us permission, then came out while we were drilling and went BALLISTIC. This was about 5 minutes after her neighbor yelled at us, so we were already on edge. She screamed at me, called the Better Business Bureau, called my boss, then threw a copy of the permission form in my face. She demanded that we quit RIGHT THEN and leave her alone. Of course, we couldn’t because, hello, 20 feet of auger in the ground. So there was more screaming and threatening. The whole time my drillers are in the background, debating the potential benefits of whacking her in the face with a pipe wrench.

Later, after we set the concrete pad for the well and left, she snuck outside and scratched her initials in the new concrete.

Weird, I tell you.

SalGal
SalGal
16 years ago

Let’s see . . . My first job was as a waitress in a crappy buffet/steak place (think Ponderosa or Golden Corral) and every Tuesday was “Kids Eat Free” night. Oh God, the HORROR of having to work on Tuesdays! The kids always made a HUGE mess and the tips were crap. Now that I’m a parent, I’m much more sympathetic to the plight of trying to pay for a night out and finding a kid-friendly place to do but I was 16 at the time . . .

At this same place every August, we fed the local college’s football team twice a day for two weeks (they started two-a-day practices before the dorms and cafeterias opened for the semester) and THAT was a nightmare too. After they left, it looked like a plauge of locusts had hit the salad bar and buffet and they were not exactly taking full advantage of th educational opportunities either. Once we served them chicken fried steak and had to answer the question: “Is that chicken or steak?” so many times it boggles the mind.

After that I worked as a bank teller and I always hated summer because it meant working men coming into cash the checks . . . that had been in their wallets . . . soaking up a full day’s worth of butt sweat. Eewwww. Oh – and also, we had a strip club as customers so the “dancers” brought in their check to cash which was fine but they also brought in their tips to be exchanged for larger denominations. We always flipped for who had to handle the G-string singles. Again Eeeewwwww.

Thanks for making me appreciate my current boring little white colar corporate job, Sundry!

Jenny
Jenny
16 years ago

Oh GAH! The worst job I ever had was working collections for the credit card division of a major appliance and electronics company. I had to call people who were two months or more past due on their credit card payments. I was cussed out and/or hung up on AT LEAST 50 times a day. Fun stuff! Eventually it wore down my spirit and made me into a hateful person, and one day some guy was cussing me (which I never got, why be made at ME for YOU not paying your bill?!?!) and I finally said “Hey, you know that t.v. I hear in the background? Why don’t you pay for it and then I’ll quit calling you!! Have a nice day!” and hung up. My manager just looked at me with disapproval in her eyes, but it was enough to make my day.

Kimberly
Kimberly
16 years ago

I worked at a dry cleaner in college in a really upscale neighborhood and you would be amazed how gross people were. We had the rude people demanding that we stay an hour past closing so they could come get their clothes becasue they had to have them for the next day. My personal favorite story- a woman came in with a pair of nice black dress pants and with a lilting british accent goes “Can you give me some of that little red tape to mark stains? I totally creamed in these pants.” TMI!!!!!!!!!!!

rai
rai
16 years ago

I worked as a customer resistance operator for a telemarketing company of questionable morality. My job was to “encourage” the customer try the product before they were eligible for a refund. And when I say “encourage” I mean out and out refuse a refund until they had mailed in proof that they had applied for a grant and been denied, attended an auction for a car or a home, etc.

I hadn’t been working there too long, but already was an emotional wreck, what with people yelling at me every day. The worst was a guy who started screaming at me right after I told him my name. I was called bitch and fucking cunt, and those were some of the nice ones. He then told me that he was going to pay me personal visit at [insert my home town here]. Being quite upset at the time, I told the customer that I would not tolerate personal threats and that I was going to end the call now. I then noted in the file that I was threatened with a personal visit by said customer.

I found out later that day, while my soon to be ex-husband was listening in on one of the trainer’s calls, the same guy called up and started yelling at the trainer. He (the trainer) noticed that I wrote in the file that I was threatened, and noted the man’s location. When the call terminated, he called his friend, who was a police officer in the same town, and filed a report on my behalf.

em
em
16 years ago

I worked at a similar video rental establishment. One Saturday night about 12:30am, a patron came in who was obviously drunk and tried to rent a handful of videos. The account had a hold on it because it was under his ex-wife’s name and she didn’t want him using the card, and the account also had about $30 in late fees. Anyway, after the situation was explained to him I offered to set him up to open a new account, and he wouldn’t even be liable for the late fees. He didn’t want a card, and freaked out about the late fees anyway. He got really belligerent and started ranting like an angry drunk guy with late fees. My boss told him to leave, but that just got him more pissed off and he kept yelling about various things, and urinated on him self a little bit. Eventually, we had to call the police to escort him out. Totally sucked.

em
em
16 years ago

Also, I had a short stint at a fabric store, which was also a terrible job. Once, a woman came in right at closing, demanding over 30 yards of burlap cut into 1 yard sections. The whole transaction took almost an hour. Who the hell needs 30 years of burlap on a weeknight?

Kris
Kris
16 years ago

Hi Sundry I LOVE LOVE LOVE your site! So funny, and Riley is just adorable! I’m a lurker, but just had to comment when I saw this story. I too, used to work at a video store. I too, had to call the dreaded late list. And it was horrible. I don’t really have a horror story because you covered pretty much exactly what I went through. Wait. There was one lady, she had rented out The Little Mermaid. And it was late, and late, and late. So we called, and she insisted that she DID NOT have the movie, HER DAUGHTER had rented it, and take it up with her! Well, we gave up after a while, and deleted the movie as lost. What happens the very next day? Oh yeah, it drops with a thunk into the box. She’s never been back in there, thank god. I don’t miss that place at all.

Erica
16 years ago

I have two, both from back in my waitressing days, and neither of which were actually MY tables, but anyway:

1.) Once, in a Chili’s, a gentleman in the section next to mine had been a bit overserved so the server asked the manager to speak to him and cut him off (standard policy). The man sat at the table insisting in a very slurred voice that no, he was fine and had not had too much and then there was this wierd expression on his face and he looked the manager in the face and said, “Do you know what I am?”. The Manager of course said, “No, sir, what?” and in one move the drunk jumped up from the table, grabbed the manager by the collar, got in his face and yelled, “MORE THAN YOU CAN F*CKING HANDLE!” Needless to say, the police were called and that guy was no longer welcome.

But at least he was drunk, which is more than I can say for the next one.

2.) I was working in a restaurant called Mozzarella’s and was helping a another server cary food to one of her tables where there were two ladies and a child of about 2 or 3. The plates, having been baked in the oven, were VERY HOT. We told the lady to keep the kid back, but of course she didn’t listen and when I went to put the plate down the kid reached for it and as I pulled back to keep her from burning her hand, I knocked a glass of tea over onto the woman. Well, she raised holy hell about how we had purposefully ruined her sweater (and honestly, with that ugly thing, we had done her a favor). The manager spoke with her, comped off their meal and asked her to bring in her dry cleaning reciept and we would take care of that too. The woman was still furious and started yelling that the food was terrible, the entire service had been awful and that WE HAD BEEN MAKING FACES AT HER BABY TO SCARE IT. What is the matter with people?

Sonia(DDM)
16 years ago

My worst one ever……. Go to http://crazymadmomma.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_crazymadmomma_archive.html
And look for the December 14th, 2005 entry.
My last ‘real job’ was as a Pharmacy Tech for 14 years. Uh? Sick people? ARE CRANKY! I’ve been called names that even my truck driving Uncles hadn’t heard of. When your insurance has a glitch, the first place you hear about it is the pharmacy. Because your doctor’s office is not online with your insurance company. So NO, despite the fact that “Everything was just fine at my Doctor’s office!!!!”, your insurance isn’t working, and NO it’s not my fault. But you’re right, I may be a ‘scum sucking bottom feeding vampire’. That was one of my favorites. Or when your insurance doesn’t want to cover your medication? Yes, it’s probably because I called ahead and told them not to…muwahahaha! Because I like being yelled at. Fifteen times a day, every day. THAT is what I went to college for.

megan
megan
16 years ago

I used to work a second job at a pediatric office. My job was to see the patients as they left their appointment and collect their copay and any balances. This was always a problem as no one likes to pay extra money. Funny thing is the people from the most affluent neighborhoods were the worst. So this dad is on his way out with his kid and I sweetly tell him that in addition to his copay, he also owes the office $825. Mildly put? The guy was not happy. There he is, standing there in his expensive clothes and I swear a Rolex and he starts screaming at me. Telling me I am incompetent and how dare I ask for money. The guy went on and on and all I could do was sit there. For some reason I was stuck on mute, with my jaw hanging open. I guess I was suprised that this guy would be such a jerk. And it was a Sunday, shouldn’t people be more relaxed on a weekend? I tried telling the guy it was for 6 months of visits and it was due to the fact that he had a deductible that he had to pay first before his copays would start. And he started again about “Don’t tell me about my insurance, all you people want is money. How dare you talk to me and demand I pay anything. YOU are required to take care of my child!” And then he started calling me choice names. Luckily my manager was there and stepped in and we got him out of there. And he drove off in a Jag.

I exacted my revenge though. I had to call his son’s prescription into the pharmacy and I knew the pharmacist. I told her the whole story, and she was furious. So she held up his prescription. First she made him wait an hour, and then told him that she needed his insurance card again because the system lost it. Which he didn’t have and had to drive all the way home and back. Then he waited another hour. (the kid was only minorly sick, so it wasn’t imperative to have the medication right away. I’m not that mean!)

Just knowing how mad he must have been made me smile all day.

laura
16 years ago

I spent several summers in college working behind the Front Desk of a hotel – which is prime nasty customer territory. One of my favorite experiences was the woman staying at our hotel who was an egg donor for a couple. She stayed in the hotel for approximately 2 weeks racking up a huge bill ($10K+) and was trying to stick the childless couple with it. When we explained that the couple was only required to pay room and tax, and not all the spa and room service charges (including liquor for the egg donor) she hauled off and screamed at us about the valuable service she was providing and on and on and on. When we called the cops to evict her and take her away she somehow quieted down and paid her bill.

Lisa
Lisa
16 years ago

Heh- I worked at a Kinko’s when I was in college and we had one of those guillotine cutters. A woman gave me a big stack of wallet sized photos of her baby to cut. Imagine my horror when I realized that most of them were not facing the right way in the stack and I’d accidentially cut her precious little baby’s face into pieces. Eeek! My bad, indeed!

megan
megan
16 years ago

thought of another one! actually i have TONS. it’s amazing how horrible parents of sick kids can be.

so same pediatric office. woman comes in with her son who looks positively green. they sit on the chairs and i can hear her telling the woman next to her that her son was throwing up all night, but hee was ok so far today so she fed him soup.

i looked at the kid and knew we were in for it. Not even 5 minutes later the kid bolts up and states he needs to throw up. I tell the woman that the bathroom is right there, about 10 steps away from her. Instead she goes up to him and smooths his hair and asks in a sweet voice “are you ok honey?” Of course he says no. She keeps talking to him and is not moving him towards the bathroom at all. I repeat, “Maam, you need to get him to the bathroom! If not, there is a garbage can right by you.” She ignores me. He starts to gag and the she is just standing there not doing anything. And he proceeds to vomit chicken and rice soup all over the carpet. (poor kid)

The woman? Takes her son to the bathroom to clean up his face as we are scurrying to get a room to put him in. She sits back down with him in the waiting room and refuses to even look at the mess on the carpet. Didn’t get paper towels from the bathroom, didn’t ask for help, nothing.

We open the door to bring them in (and hand her a bowl for future “accidents”) and she looks at me and says “there’s vomit on your carpet.” Gee? You think?

I had to clean it up. The other mom in the waiting room was furious that mom didn’t even try to help. She actually offered to help me. (i didn’t let her though)

The mom also didn’t say thank you when she left either.

Leah
16 years ago

Oh man, so many memories.
I used to work as a lifeguard at a beach. One day, these kids start building a sand castle right next to my chair. I ask them to move, because they’re in the way of the ladder, which allows you to get in and out of the chair.
They snark at me, and I insist. The parents come over and I explain to them that their children are blocking access to the chair.
They move.
The next day, the same family comes back, and sets up directly next to the chair again. This time, though, the kids decide to build their sandcastle directly at my feet, where I would jump, most likely without looking, if I had to go for a rescue. They’re their because there’s a nice big pile of sand to cushion the landing.
I ask them to move, they tell their parents, and the dad comes over to yell at me for harassing his children.

A few summers later, I worked for a major hotel chain taking reservations by phone. The chain actually owns several franchises, and most people don’t know they’re all the same company. That summer, internet reservations have just started to get big.
I get a call one evening from a very angry business man who wanted a Park ‘n’ Fly (airport hotels often have longterm parking with a night’s stay) and the hotel wasn’t honouring it. The reservation, which was made online, wasn’t for a Park ‘n’ Fly, and the hotel couldn’t give it to him because it had to be booked in advance – at least a week – to guarantee the parking spot. The guy got even angrier when I said I couldn’t fix the reservation he had made himself. He then yelled, “Screw you guys at Chain X. I’m going to the Chain Y Hotel!”
And I took his next call for a reservation.

Niki
Niki
16 years ago

I have worked in customer service since I was 11 yrs old (paper route-if i wanted to have a horse I had to have a job) and I have found that (most of the time) when someone screams at you they are not screaming AT you- they are screaming and you happen to be there to take the brunt of it. It doesn’t make it right but it does help me when i want to kick the shit out of the asshole who deserves it! They aren’t mad at me- they are mad at their wife-husband-kid-mother-father-boss or the jerk who just cut them off and they are taking it out on MOI!
I currently am a branch manager for a bank and let me tell you… people are rediculous about $$$. They get downright strange.

TB
TB
16 years ago

I waited tables for almost ten years, so the stories I have could fill a book. One of the most memorable happened on a night that the power had gone out at the microbrewery that I was working at.

Most of the employees had the sense to actually go home when the manager closed the restaurant, but a few of us boozehounds stayed for free beers. Well, two hours later the power came back on an the manager decided to reopen the restaurant.

We are all half in the bag and there were only four or five servers left and a few kitchen guys for a 40 table restaurant. The manager figured it wouldn’t get that busy. Well wouldn’t you know by some freak of nature the entire restaurant filled up within 45 minutes.

We were in hell. All of us were weeded beyond belief and had killer buzzes. I went up to my 11th table, a five top, to get drink orders. The woman asked about our wines by the glass, I told her what they were and she asked if she could taste the house chardonnay. Then when I was taking their dinner orders she asked if she could taste the BBQ sauce – just totally running my harried ass all over the restaurant.

As I’m walking away from the table to put their dinner order in, I hear her say to the table. “That waitress has NO personality.” I lost my shit, walked back over to the table and said: “Maybe I have no personality, but I have really good hearing, so let me get the manager to find you another server and it will probably take awhile, because if you havent’ noticed, we’re all a bit busy.

angela
16 years ago

back when i worked at the house of fabrics in high school, this woman came in wanting to return a crochet book or some other such thing because halfway through it, she realized a page was missing. she didn’t have a receipt and she had written in the margins of the book, so i couldn’t exchange it for her, but i wanted to help her out since knowing the quality of our merchandise, it was entirely plausible that we sold her a bunk book.

the store was next to a sav-on drug store, so she asked that since we had one copy of the book left, if it would be all right if she took it to sav-on to make a photocopy of the missing page. i wasn’t comfortable with her just walking out with unpaid merchandise, but i was the only one holding down the fort at that time so i didn’t know what to do and i didn’t have anyone to ask.

this lady was a total hippie, with this long, thin, stringy hair, and this long flowy skirt and this crazy croceted vest. she also happened to have a rather large bird sitting on her shoulder, pooing down her back. she offered to let me hold her bird as collateral while she ran over to sav-on to make said copy. i just blinked at her for a bit, and looked at the bird, then looked at the poo, before i grabbed my keys, locked up the store, and ran over to sav-on to make the copy myself.

Donna
Donna
16 years ago

In the early 90s, I was doing typing from home (the days before everyone had their own computer!) and ran a small ad in one of the local papers under “Business Services”. (Call me naive but I was ALWAYS surprised when I got an obscene call!) Most people, after I gave them my address, would drop off the work they wanted typed and I’d call them when it was ready to be picked up. I had a call one morning from a guy named Bill who said he didn’t have a car and asked for advice on which bus to take. . . and oh, could he wait while I typed some excerpts from his journal. Hmmm . . . not crazy about someone sitting in my living room and waiting, but okay. It was a hot summer day and we had an intense thunderstorm before he arrived. By the time he knocked on my front door, it was not only hot but very muggy and he stood on my front step (having walked about 4 blocks from the nearest bus stop), wearing a long sleeved shirt and a long-sleeved acrylic cardigan. He came into the living room, handed over the hand-written pages of his journal and then asked if I minded if he took a bath to cool off. “Uh. . . . . I don’t think my husband would exactly like coming home to find a stranger in our bathtub. . . but feel free to wash your face.” I typed madly, praying that my husband would be home soon — he was and I hauled him into the spare room, explained Weird Bill in the living room and said, “Don’t you dare leave the house until after he’s gone!”

And I threw out the facecloth, too.

Sonia(DDM)
16 years ago

I thought of another couple of stories.
Pharmacy related-Nasty, crotchety elderly ‘lady’ (pshaw!) accused my counter help of purposely opening up the lid on her rx bottle so the pills would spill all over the bag. She came in and pointed her finger accusingly, gave The Stink Eye and decided that of the 10 people working in the pharmacy that day, the nicest employee we had MUST be the one who did it to her.
Waitress Related-I worked for a small fish & chips restaurant that was frequented by Yacht owners during the summer. I was the counter help/waitress and my best friend was the cook. As I was helping a particularly rude woman one day, my friend was behind the counter, taking it all in. Once I turned in the order, I stepped back in the kitchen to help so we could get the wretched bitch out of there. I found my friend crouched on the floor, ceremoniously swiping the woman’s fish fillets on the floor before dipping them in batter and then the fryer. SO MUCH satisfaction out of watching her twitter out the door with her ‘special seasoning’.

Holly
Holly
16 years ago

I worked as the receptionist at a medical software company a few years ago. At this particular company they thought it would be a fabulous idea for the “corporate receptionist” to screen all the tech support phone calls and essentially run tier 1 support.

This meant that when our tech support line rang (which it did about a million times a seconed) we were supposed to answer the phone, look up their tech support “call” in the queue, give them a status update if there was one and take a message. Someone from our tech support group would return their call.

What really happened was anyone sitting at the reception desk was screamed at all day long for getting in the way of our customers getting their problems fixed. Understandibly when your medical software is “down” this can cause all kinds of problems for your patients, but it was always the retarted problems where the people made the biggest fuss. Plus they would always tell us they were “down” and then TS would call them right away only to find out that they couldn’t figure out how to change the font or something equally lame and then reception would take shit for that too!

One time I actually had a guy threaten to Bomb us! Because I wouldn’t “let him” talk to tech support. It was completely out of my hands, all I could do was take a message and assure him (for the billionth time) that someone would get back to him. So he said “You’re just a little bitch! I should just bomb you guys!” This was a Doctor too, mind you! I totally hung up, reported it straight away to anyone who would listen! The own of our company called the guy and freaked out on his ass! He had to call me personally and apologize. The best part was his problem turned out to be so freaking stupid! He had hired some new nurse or something and wanted to know how to add access for her to his files. Granted, maybe that is something to take care of upon hiring someone new, but certainly not an emergency of bombing proportions!

Jenny J.
16 years ago

I too have more than enough nasty customer service stories to choose from, but here is one from today! I work in the box office of a theatah and our patrons are mostly snooty. A lady called today and asked (demanded) if she could use a certificate that she had for ‘The Glass Menagerie’ for ‘The Two Gentleman of Verona’. Who DOES that? Not only that, Glass Menagerie was TWO years ago. I admitedly gave her a little bit of attitude because sheesh! We are a struggling non profit arts organization for godssakes. Demand a bargain somewhere else. The worst part? I let her, because that is what we do, but she still pulled the ultimate asshole customer move, ‘and what is your name?’ Awesome. She is going to complain, arrarently, because I didn’t kiss her ass enoough while she robbed us blind. When she came in to pick up her tickets, the certificates said Jenny – RUDE, underlined.

Rage
Rage
16 years ago

Well admittedly this didn’t happen to me, but I witnessed it firsthand. When I was in high school and working at Burger King one of our cashier was working the drive through and made an off color comment to a woman who was apparently very unhappy about the speed at which her order reached her, so she decided to demonstrate appropriate speed by hurling two shakes back at him (I saw them fly by my head just in time) and then literally tried to pull this kid through the dive thru window (which is about 8inches by 8 inches) and drive away with him. Thank God it wasn’t me because that was some funny shit, I doubt it would have been as funny if it was me.

Capica
Capica
16 years ago

Forgive me for telling this story. And I swear it’s true.

I was working in a small coffee shop in college when a woman came in and ordered a mocha. We made her drink, she left.

Two minutes later, she comes back in and complains that the whip cream tastes salty. I take her drink and look in it, and there’s a foamy white stuff in the drink. My coworker leans over and says, “that doesn’t even look like whip cream.”

The woman starts screaming “It’s not whip cream, is it?! One of you put semen in my drink!!”

We stared at her.

“Who did it? Which of you put semen in my drink? I’m suing! You’re all going to *@^#! jail!”

Shocked, we began to realize that the cup we were holding did, in fact, have semen in it.

Horrified, I looked at the woman and suddenly realized what was going on.

“Ma’am,” I said, gesturing to my two coworkers, “there are no men working here. None of us have semen.”

“I demand to speak to a manager! I’m suing!”

“Did you go outside and put semen in your own coffee?” I asked.

With that, she grabbed the cup from my hand, threw it on the floor (!) and ran out.

We had to do rock-paper-scissors to see who had to clean it. I lost.

Donna
Donna
16 years ago

I work security for the city of — and had a cop come in to drop off his car for preventive maintenence. I waved at him as he came in, and his wife drove in after him to pick him up. She thought my waving at him meant that we were having an affair, and he brought her back several hours later to confront me about it. (Screaming cursing swinging etc etc) After finally having to threaten to have her arrested, they left, I advised my supervisors, told them I wanted an apology from him because he brought her back in to confront me. He refused. Apparently everyone in the dept knew she was a nut job already.
Several years later after he’d retired, I ran into her at another city facility while on duty and she didn’t remember me. She tells me my husband used to be an officer, but he’s retired now. I said really, who is he? She tells me, and I go, oh, I used to date him I guess before you married him, back in oh, (a year after the original incident). I really liked him but it just didn’t work out because I think he had another girlfriend, (they were already married), so I broke up with him. Tell him I said hi though.
The look on her face was priceless. I walked away before she could say anything else. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to dick with the people that are just trying to do their job.

christen
16 years ago

Okay okay this is the last one I promise. I worked at a YMCA in the Bible Belt (they really emphasize the *Christian* in Young Men’s Christian Association down South) and I had both my best and worst experiences working in the weight room there.

Worst: Sleazy big hulky black man used to come work out there every.single.time.I.worked. Like clockwork. He would get there, get on a cardio machine, and I was walking around cleaning he’d purposely “forget” to have gotten himself a towel and say something like “hey sweet thing, go get me a towel” just to watch me have to bend over by the towel bin (in front of all the cardio machines) and bring him one. Used to ask me to “help” him work out, toss a medicine ball to him or whatEVER, just to be able to ask me sleazy questions like did I like black men, had I ever been with a black man, what did my boyfriend look like, was he a big boy, etc etc. Guy was a SLEAZE and all this at a YMCA? Man. Finally it got so bad that every time he’d come in I would disappear to go do laundry or sweep the stairs or whatever. The security guard, an even BIGGER teddy bear of a black man, once asked me why I was so shaken up. I told him about Sleaze Man and he immediately took him to the office, explained the situation and asked him to leave. Sleaze threw a FIT and started screaming that he was a PHARMACEUTICAL REP, he was not sexually harassing me, and yadda yadda. He never came back, but just to be safe his membership was revoked.

Best moment? I showed a fairly overweight lady who had NEVER worked out before how to use every piece of equipment in the gym, and she was amazed at how easy it was. She told me that I motivated her to change her life for the better that night, and thanked me. I saw her in there every single week, twice a week, and she even made some friends to work out with. Awesome.

Michelle
16 years ago

I spent last summer as a manager of a video store. There were a lot of bad customers, but I think the worst was Friday or Saturday night, with five lanes full of people, and having to tell someone their account had been turned over to Collections. Once an account reaches that point of LateFees, no one has the clearence to rent on the account. I can’t begin to remember how many times people would yell at me for their late fees – as if yelling at me in front of other people would up my security clearence, and I could/would erase fees for them.

A couple of the most memorable:
– Habitual fee-fighters. The ones that would deny ever renting X, or blame their children for hiding the videos. (Okay. That’s fine. You still have to return them on time.)
– We did Buy Backs, where you could trade in your old stuff for something new. My first Buy Back transaction, and I messed it up, and the customer ended up not being able to trade for what he wanted to get. Understandably, he was upset. I apologized, and offered him what I could – free concessions, a free rental. Instead, he insisted on “what I owed him”. I eventually had to call over the General Manager, who for once backed up an employee. The two of them shouted at each other for half an hour, until the guy gave up and stormed out. He forgot to take his trade-ins, and never came back for them.

Susie
16 years ago

Long story short, working at Perkin’s in my 20s. Graveyard shift. Nothing but drunk assholes after 1 AM.

Some guy tries to trip me as I am delivering a LARGE food tray. Luckily, I see it, and escape harm. But I am fucking FURIOUS that someone would even attempt to that.

I deliver the order, and march over to the offending table.

“Were you trying to trip me?”

*snicker*

I proceeded to bash the offender over the head with my LARGE oval tray.

I walked into the manager’s (a great guy) office and said, “George, I just hit a customer.”

G: “Susie, you’re fired.”

Me: “No, I’m not George. I’m going to have a smoke in the back room.”

Still one of my favourite moments. EVER.

Sara
Sara
16 years ago

Um….one why would you laminate an antique? Even if it is a map? He deserved a fly on it.

Also….this is a story of bad customer service, where I was the customer. My point in telling it is, it’s the only time you could possibly lose your shit (oh man that will be funny later) in a justifiable manner.

Our paperboy took a shit on the side of our house (reasons still unknown, I assume he just couldn’t wait any longer) and used our paper to clean himself up. The weird part is he always gives us cards on holidays so we’ve never been able to get all that mad about it. I’ve always been more confused.

Jay
Jay
16 years ago

I’ve done my best to avoid customer related jobs – and therefore have worked nothing but. One of the experiences that stands out is when I was working for this liquidation company – liquidating bankruptcies for the courts. We were liquidating this one nursery and garden center in a nice little college town and our advertising was really paying off. We had so many customers that we couldn’t fit them all in the parking lot, and had to set up parking restrictions so that people could load their purchases. The deal was that people were only allowed to park in the parking lot after they had paid for their goods, and then an employee would help them load up their stuff so they could expedite the whole process. My job was to make sure that only paid customers made it into the lot. There was a lot of screaming and obscene gestures from people who were seriously pissed when they realized they would have to park next door or across the street. There were also several near traffic accidents as people stopped in the middle of the street to argue the system with me. It was all very noisy and busy and distracting. The incident that took the cake, so to speak, was this little old lady in a beat up brown Toyota. I’d explained the parking situation, and then turned away to deal with another issue, assuming that she’d carry on. About 20 seconds later, I feel this nudge against the back of my knees – just hard enough to make me stagger forward. I turn around and it is the lady in the brown Toyota. She’d just bumped me with her car. I didn’t know whether to laugh or flip out – one thing about liquidations is that you don’t have to be nice – there are no “return” customers to worry about.

I did make her park across the street though.

At that same liquidation, a guy came in with his toddler in a stroller to see about a gift certificate he had never redeemed. He’d had it for over a year, but never used it. When he found out that the bankruptcy laws made the gift certificate worthless, he lost it on the girls working the registers. He passed me at the gate on the way out, and as I had no idea how he had just acted to my coworkers, I wished him a good day. He turned to me and screamed “Yeah, Fuck you. Fuck all of you, fucking assholes.” I was stunned. Mostly though, I felt sorry for his child. If he lost his temper like that over a stupid gift certificate that he didn’t even care enough about to redeem, what did he do when the kid spilled juice on the rug or dropped the decorative soaps in the toilet?

dresdend
16 years ago

Because there are so many video-rental related stories….

When I was young and irresponsible and would go out of town for weeks at a time without remembering to return my videos, I was certainly eligible for those “late-video” calls…. except I never put my correct phone number on my account.
So one day, I get a “late-video” call — from my ex-girlfriend. Who is now working at at same video store. Who decided she should just go ahead and call me because, y’know, she knew my number.

Ugh — so embarrassing.

Maggie
16 years ago

I am feeling the “the world will end if you do not validate my point, BITCH!” attitude that people seem to like to give people who are simply on the clock.
I know that people can flip the fuck out anywhere from a restaurant to a radio station. I’ve worked a lot of strange jobs to wind up with the one I have now. Not stripping yet, but I may soon go that route.
I am a nurse. I work in the emergency room.
Let me start this clip of my life by saying that one thing I have learned as an ER nurse is that contrary to popular belief, there are really not too many real emergencies. There is, however, a personal perception of each and every “emergency” and how it should be addressed.
This story is about an ice emergency.
The other night, a patient’s sister slipped through our stellar security system from the waiting room and made it all the way to me in the heart of chaos. She asked me if she could please get a cup of that good ass, crushed ice that we always have in the hospital.
Now most of my seasoned co-workers have tried to teach me “not to feed the bears”, but I was not so busy that my arms were about to fall off. I quickly looked up the patient’s information up and saw that her complaint was that she (minus the throw-up in your mouth details) suspected that she had contracted an STD. Emergency.
Sidebar- I was just trying to be sure she didn’t come in with abdominal pain or some other reason she should not be eating or drinking before seeing the doctor- not trying to withhold our life sustaining ice and be the devil.
So I go all the way to the back, get a cup of ice for the patient and the sister just to be extra nice. I hand them to her. I smile and tell her it wont be long now and we will call her back to see the doctor.
She goes, “Don’t tell me you ain’t got no bigger cups back there.”
I’m like, “Well those are the first cups I found.”
Now her, “Why you wanna be so stingy, bitch?”
Me- You’re welcome. Go back to the waiting room if you are going to try to talk to me like that.
Her- Fuck you, you white trash, petty ass, cracker bitch. Fuck you- Fuck you- Fucken slut…
Until she was carried out by security.
I ask myself why…
Just, why?

Kristen V.
Kristen V.
16 years ago

When I was working in a pharmacy, my main job was to count/bottle medications, but all of us also had to take turns at the register. One day, a man came in, and his total was, like $8.73. He gave me a ten and a quarter, and I know from experience not to argue with the amount they give me (sometimes people are confused, but sometimes they want a specific kind of change), so I just typed in $10.25 and started counting out his $1.52 in change. Just then he says, “Oh, wait, I meant to give you THREE quarters,” and hands me another 50 cents. So, okay, I can do that in my head, but only because I happened to remember his original total–it’s not showing on the register anymore. So I start to give him his $2.02 in change–and he changes his mind AGAIN and says, “Wait, give me back the three quarters, I just realized I need those to make a call.” I pause, because now I’m a little confused and I want to make sure to give him the right change, and the woman behind him in line says to him, shaking her head, “They just don’t teach them math in school these days.” And he laughs along with her about what a sad state the country is in. WTF???? First of all, the cash register does the math for everyone’s protection, and to make things faster: no one wants to stand around waiting while I do math in my head. Secondly, I’d like to see HER do that math on the spot. Bitch.

Kristen V.
Kristen V.
16 years ago

Also at the pharmacy, we once had a pregnant woman freak out on us. I’m being gracious and attributing her bitchiness to hormones, but I suspect she was actually this much of a bitch. There are two ways to order a prescription to be refilled: you can call in ahead of time (either to a person or to the computer) and you get told a time the prescription will be ready by, or you can drop in and wait for it to be ready. The latter is more likely to take awhile: if ten people happened to come in right before you, it’s going to take a long time before it’s your turn.

So this woman comes in and asks for her prescription, and I can’t find it in the drawers anywhere. I look in the computer and see she’s called it in, to be ready at 2:00. It’s 12:30. I explain this to her. It’s something I have to explain all the time, totally routine, so I’m completely polite; I even have a special way of explaining it that makes it sound like anyone could make that mistake, as opposed to that the customer is an idiot. Thus begins half an hour of hell, in which she yells at me, tells me to stop arguing with her and go fill her prescription, threatens to call the customer feedback line, starts doing it at the register and blows a gasket when we ask her to move aside so we can wait on other customers, etc. Her main point seems to be this: that because drop-off customers are being told half an hour right this minute, but SHE called her prescription in this morning, she should get waited on first. But her point is also that we should have the prescription ready right now, like because we sensed she’d be coming in early for it. Then her point is that she WANTS it RIGHT NOW. Then her point is that we are stupid idiots who can’t even do our jobs, and that we obviously are just standing around chatting while she waits for her ESSENTIAL MEDICATION, and she is PREGNANT. I try to explain that by calling it in, she in essence made an appointment. If you make an appointment with the doctor for 2:00, you can’t show up at 12:30 saying that you called to make that appointment three months ago and therefore should be seen before the people who called this morning. She hits the ceiling. A co-worker tries to help calm things down, and the customer’s head starts spinning around and she yells, “I’m not TALKING TO YOU!!!!!!!” It got so bad that OTHER CUSTOMERS started coming over to help out.

Then, get this. I finally tell her that whatever she wished had happened doesn’t matter, because the prescription is NOT done, and that if she wants it done right now instead of at 2:00 when she asked us to do it, she has to stop arguing with me so I can go work on it. She, being of the “get flies with vinegar” persuasion, says she’s going to call to get me fired while I work on her medication. So I started to fill it, and guess what? It can’t be filled yet, because she still has a TWO-WEEK SUPPLY left at home.

I HATE working with the public.

Emblita
16 years ago

I worked at a Marriott hotel in the At Your Service department (a fancy way of saying customer service, room service and pbs all rolled into one, all done via the phone) for about 2 years… and as a result I have developed telephone phobia. And there are too many stories to tell really… and I think that people check into hotels and check their brains out.

But I think my favorite story has to be the lady who called me from her hotel room and started by screaming at me about how terrible the service was. I of course, being the consummate customer service agent, calmly ask her to tell me what the problem is (after apologising without knowing what I was apologising for…its an SOP). Turns out that the AIRLINE COMPANY lost her luggage…. so I’m like okey… I asked her that unfortunatly the hotel can not help with locating her luggage but we would be happy to check regularily with the airline, and let her know when it was on its way. She was still pissed but gave my the tag number so I could check.

SOoo for the next 4 days the woman would call me and yell at me for not having found her luggage…. finally the airline had tracked down the luggage …in Abu Dhabi… I called her, thinking hey… maybe she’ll be relieved that they actually know where it is. But NO… I call her to let her know and she cusses me out. “You should really double check your information because the airline told me the luggage will be here this afternoon, you stupid b***h.” Right… anyway of course the luggage did not show up that day… what with being in Abu Dhabi n’all.. but the lady calls AGAIN yells at me and insists on talking to a manager…. Like thats going to change anything… lol. This of course gets her nowhere because the manager had to ask me where the luggage was….
I was so relieved when she finally checked out… sans her luggage. What a moron.

The funniest thing is that all the really famous and fancy schmancy people… Saudi princes, rockstars, sportsstars and whatnot were the easiest guests … nice and polite… usually the people who were the biggest pains in the ass were the ones there on discount prices. Whaddayaknow.

Kristin
16 years ago

For the love of all things holy.

Holly
Holly
16 years ago

Okay, this happened to a friend of mine…

She was the manager of The Bon (before it was Macy’s) and was called down to a register in the front of the store because of some kind of disturbance.

She gets downstairs and there is a customer who has a finger cut off on one of her hands, bleeding everywhere, yelling in spanish (she didn’t speak any english) and pointing at this box. The box was full of hangers and apparently she had put her hand in the hole on the top of the box (lord knows why…) and cut herself. She had what looked like a bloody stump of a finger and it was bleeding all over the place. Everyone was understandably freaking out. They had already called an ambulance and were just trying to calm the lady down (though no one spoke spanish, how is that possible? I dunno) the hospital wasn’t far away so the ambulance finally got there and one of the EMT’s spoke spanish. They figured out that the lady already had a cut off finger and had just cut the stumpy end on the hangers, not actually cut off the end of her finger which is what they originally thought. Though why she put her hand in some random hole, is still a mystery.

Lisa Ann
16 years ago

All these stories make me glad I never worked in a video store.

I think the worst thing I’ve had happen to me was a customer called me a cunt. I really don’t remember why he did, just that he did. And the next year when I saw that his restaurant went out of business? I couldn’t be happier.

Sarah
16 years ago

Wow, I love this idea so so much.
The worst experience I’ve ever had, I won’t go into because listing all the things that were wrong with this customer would be a novel-length ordeal. But I will say the transaction ended with “fucking incompetent people-that’s why they work at Wal-Mart!” Mind you, I hadn’t actually DONE ANYTHING WRONG and I’ll be graduating college next year so I’m pretty sure I have more competence than that redneck cunt has seen in her LIFE. The worst part is, much like Dante in Clerks, I wasn’t even supposed to be there that day!
A couple of weeks ago, I was helping an elderly lady figure out how to work the machine where you swipe your card. I live in Florida, so I deal with old people all the time, so this didn’t bother me at all and I was happy to do it. What did bother me was the man a few spaces in line behind her who went “hey, we’re getting old back here!” Either she didn’t hear him or completely ignored him, but I gave him the Hate Eyes (tm Cookie). If I had any backbone whatsoever, I would have said what I was really thinking: “hate to break it to you sir, but you already are very old (which he was). Maybe if you’re in such a rush you could go to another register?”
Oh, and then there’s the regular we have who isn’t really a bad customer, but who makes all of us cashiers and anyone else in the store at the time extremely uncomfortable. You see, this man is an evangelical Christian who loves loves loves to sing oldies at the top of his lungs. He’ll serenade the cashier whenever he’s paying for his stuff, and he sings so loud that our entire college-campus sized store can hear him. The best part though is the nickname he has given himself: Elvis Priestly. Hee.
But for all the shit you get, sometimes you see something amazing that restores your faith in humanity. Like the guy who paid for the groceries(like, over $30 worth!) of a young couple who were very very pregnant. Awww.