The store is a small establishment, and only had six or so employees at the time. I rarely had to deal with custys (unless I’d failed to do my job and had to explain my failure), but I was in the room right next to the shop itself where all the custys came in, and heard pretty much everything while remaining unseen.
My boss, who was also the owner of the establishment, was absolutely amazing. A really nice guy who had no tolerance whatsoever for crustys who threatened, yelled, made impossible demands or tried to pull scams. His motto was “the customer is barely ever right” – and he has successfully run a business for at least 15 years. He refunds and gives new products when it’s legit, and never for any other reason. Add to this that he’s a huge, muscular guy. I will call him Gringo, for reasons that would take too long to explain here.
We openly and honestly dealt in b-stock, which is used merchandise that has been repaired, looked over, and comes with a new warranty, in this case issued by us. If the item purchased at our store had a fault, we fixed it, refunded or replaced it. We got our fair share of people who haggled and argued about the prices, as well as some pure crazies. This story is about a favorite crazy.
I’m going to call him Basket Man, for reasons that will soon be obvious.
Basket Man comes in, wishes to purchase a 32’’ TV. Gringo is currently at the counter acting cashier. He gives Basket Man the price, which is, by the way, already clearly advertized on the item.
Gringo: No, the price is [XXX], As is says right there.
Basket Man: No! I know the owner! He promised me a discount!
[Gringo, boss and owner of the store, raises an eyebrow.]
Gringo: Did he, now? And you say you know him? So you know the owner [makes up a name at random]?
Basket Man: Yes, yes I do! [Random name] promised me a discount!
After Gringo tells him he will have to have the boss present (!) to give a discount, Basket Man gives up and pays full price. But it doesn’t stop here. He returns about a week later to complain about his TV.
Basket Man: My TV is broken! I want a new one!
Gringo: Well, bring it in, and let us have a look at it. It may be a quick and easy fix.
Basket Man: Bring it in?
Basket Man: But it’s broken! You don’t need to see it! It’s broken! I just want a new one! I left it at home because it’s broken! Why would you need to see it? Do you think I’m lying?
Needless to say, there’s no way he’s getting a new TV without letting us have the old one. We’d already caught him lying once, and this is probably one of the saddest attempts for a scam I’ve ever seen. However, the man does not give up and begins ranting, which is hilarious at first, but slowly becomes tedious.
It carries on for a good 20 minutes. He rambles something about how “you put too many buns and cans in a basket while walking and then the basket breaks which means you have no more buns” or something like that. Yup. Basket Man.
In the end, my boss loses his temper entirely and tells the crusty that he wouldn’t even sell him poop. Or, more precisely:
Gringo: I wouldn’t sell you as much as a pile of steaming poop, even if you asked me to! If you don’t leave now, I’m throwing you out!
The crusty got instantly banned from the store, and spent some time standing outside the entrance yelling and asking other customers to purchase another TV for him, as he was not allowed in the store. He never understood he’d been talking to the owner the whole time.
I do have many more stories from this place, but I thought this would be a good start.
Today we had a spill in the store. No big deal, life's a bitch and then you marry one, so I figure I'll clean it up. I get what I need and begin removing the spill from the floor. Along comes Brainless Bitch.
BB: "Hey, you!" [taps me on the shoulder] "I need help finding [item]!"
Me: "One of the other associates will be glad to help you, miss."
BB: "YOU can help me! You're not doing anything!"
Me: [looks at half-cleaned-up spill, at her, then back at the spill, in disbelief]
I continue to clean up the spill. I really don't want someone to come along and slip because it was left on the floor.
BB [as she's watching me clean]: "Get off your lazy ass and help me!"
Me: "One of the other associates can help you."
BB: "I'm going to report you to your manager! You're being a lazy, unhelpful brat!"
[Jerk happens to be standing 3 feet from us, watching me clean to make sure I am thorough. If I don't clean it well and someone slips in the residue, the store could be sued, which is why he's so concerned.]
Jerk: "I am the manager, and he is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing. If you're too stupid to see that, you shouldn't be allowed out of the house by yourself.."
BB: [spluttering incoherently]
I finish cleaning the spill and put away the cleaning supplies. BB is still standing there, stamping her foot and mumbling incoherent gibberish as Jerk waits patiently for her to say something intelligible.
Me: "I believe you wanted to know the location of [item], miss?"
May all your customers use their head for something other than a hat rack.
He's also a top-notch fisherman and is now starting a guide business. So far, he's been okay with talking to people, scheduling, and the like. He had his first trip last week and had a few questions for me when he got home. I tried to answer him to the best of my ability, but basically, some people just suck was my answer.
#1: Why don't rich people tip? This comes from a couple he took out who did not pay for their trip. It was a gift. So, they have absolutely no money into the trip what-so-ever. They made sure to tell him all about how much they travel, their new 200K motor home, fat house, etc. She caught the biggest (insert fish name here), they both received a care package with a map, spots pre-marked, and had a wonderful time! They also said they will book more in the future. Awesome right!!
The tip: $10
I know, I know, tips are not to be expected. I told him that some people just don't tip well, and he should be happy they gave him anything. No, he was not happy with that answer. BTW, that was a 7% tip but at least it was something.
#2: What could I have done differently to receive a better tip? He had their favorite drinks, the care package, he took them out for 2 extra hours, and was extremely customer service oriented. Again, I told him some people just don't tip or don't tip well. Asking for a tip is not allowed and adding a gratuity is the biggest way to make people ANGRY! I also said not to take it personally; how do you think they got rich in the first place?
Now for the last story he has. It was Saturday, and he was up at his dad's house helping him build a new deck. He received a call around 10 am asking him if he has a boat for rent (not uncommon, it happens).
My hubs, trying to make sure he was hearing him right, asked if he wanted a boat, or to go out on someone else's boat. Someone else's - he wants a guided trip, for that day, in the afternoon, on a Saturday.
Now, I know a lot of people have no idea about fishing guides and that's okay - how often do you need that type of knowledge right? But, most guides are booked up for the summer starting in late winter/early spring.
He told the guy I'm sorry, but I'm out of town. Then he gave him a few names and number of people to call. The guy already called 1 of them and he wasn't answering; probably because he was already out with someone.
The guy was upset that there was no one to take him fishing. But here's the kicker, he had this trip planned for the past 3 months and never called anyone in advance and now he's mad.
My hubs felt so bad he couldn't help him. And that pissed me off. Fuck that dude! He had 3 months to figure this out, and he didn't. It was his fault, not yours - do not feel bad for him.
I advised him to get a tougher skin and remember you can't make everyone happy all the time, but we'll see how this goes.
We all loathe Bullseye, and I had a brief stint under their poisonous thumb. But this isn't a story about that... It's about when Bullseye pulled me off the registers and threw me into the integrated pizza fast food court.
Now I had been hired on to be a cashier at Bullseye. I had been working with them for a few months, so I knew my way around their particular registers. Suddenly a wild manager appears out of the long grass, tells me to turn off my light and walks me over to the food court.
Manager: "We've got a problem. The cashier girls called out. We've got two experienced cookers, but nobody to run the registers. Guess where I'm putting you?" He hands me a food court labeled sun visor.
Me: "Hey! Wait! I've NEVER worked in ANYTHING related to food! Also...." I point to my long, straight, shoulder length blonde hair. "I'm pretty sure this should be put in a net or someth-"
Manager: "You won't do anything but take orders. The cooks will put it on the counter and call out the numbers."
Now RHU, I am well indeed ignorant of how many laws, health codes, hygiene requirements get shoved into the heads of fast food workers, but one thing I do recall is that hair tends to be tied or restrained or something. Perhaps I am foggy in memory, but even the folks at registers at Golden Arches had something, even if it was just a pony tail sticking out the back of a baseball cap.
Again, I've got a sun visor, and my Bullseye red shirt and khakis.
Feeling like a deer in the headlights, I'm deposited in front of a register that works completely differently from the standard Bullseye register.
One of the cooks comes out of the back, bedecked in all the proper hygeine head and hand gear, and gives me the ten second training montage.
Cook: "It's a touch screen. Push these for individuals, push this for a combo, drinks are over here. Hit the total, the tender buttons come up after that. Good luck."
Me: *out loud* B-B-But! (in my head) AUUUUGGGHHH!
I pride myself in being a quick learner. I even pride myself in making very few mistakes once I have the rough hang of any cash register. I absorb training efficiently. Today, I was just chucked off a cliff.
With the desperate speed of the cartoon character flapping two feathers in order to keep from falling off a cliff, I get through the first three custys without incident. They are kind, and patient, because I make it very clear that I am very new.
Then Captain Asshole of the Million Changes comes forth.
Captain Asshole: Okay I want a chicken basket with fries and a medium drink, a slice of pizza... no wait, take the fries off the chicken basket, I want a combo number 4, but substitute the drink for a shake, wait, that slice of pizza, make it the number six instead, hang on, axe the chicken basket and make it a number 1....
His changes are never ending, my fingers are flying trying to keep up with his changes, alterations and deletions, and I'm positive that I'm getting something wrong because he can't fucking make up his mind for longer than five seconds.
The lunch rush is in full fucking swing, people have now lined up behind this douchemobile so far that it's out of the fucking food court, I'm the only cashier, and there's an irate mob muttering behind him.
Captain Asshole: "Okay, that should be everything. What the hell?! It shouldn't be that expensive! What are you charging me for?!"
At this point I give up, poke my head in the back and yell for one of the cooks. She stares at the mess I've made on the screen, voids the whole thing and takes his order anew.
The new order is completely unrelated to anything I'd had on the screen, and he makes several changes while the cook rings him up. Finally, she tells him to get out of line and make up his mind before he approaches again.
I get through five people before Captain Asshole has made his decision, steps forward and orders. I give him the total. He swipes his card to pay. "That's better. I don't know why it was so hard for you to get it right."
My eye twitches and I reach for the nearest object to bash him over the head with, but he has already spun on his heel and walked away to sit with his four kids.
The entire lunch rush --three hours-- is just me, my flying fingers, and the lines. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder. The 2 pm shift has arrived, and a sweet-faced angel gently shoos me away.
My head is filled with an image of my glomping her and sobbing my relief into her comforting shoulder. Instead, I leave and return to the registers of Bullseye for another hour before my break.
May all your customers be nice,
Firstly- Had a customer a couple mornings ago, in drive-thru. I greeted him, and he said he needed to check the menu first. No problem, I got some stuff done while waiting- five minutes later, he says he's ready:
Custy- Okay, I'll have some french toast sticks.
Me- Excuse me, sir?
Custy- I said I'll have some french toast sticks.
For those of you who work at Golden Arches, you know we don't serve those, so I politely told him:
Me- I'm sorry sir, we don't serve those.
Custy- *pause* Oh. Okay, well, then I'll have a croissanwich.
Okay, first time didn't bother me because hell, it happens. Second time would NOT have bothered me if he didn't stare at the menu for FIVE FUCKING MINUTES!
Luckily, this was when we first opened, so he didn't cause a line.
I told him politely but firmly "Sir, this is "McD"s, not "Booger King."
Meanwhile, my manager had a headset on because apparently he likes to listen to my interaction with the freaks I seem to attract (I HEART my managers lol). At that, I hear him howling up front- evidently, my morning cheerfulness gave way to dead pan. The guy ended up thanking me and driving off. We had a chuckle about it with our SM later on ( my managers are friggin AWESOME ).
This one woman didn't answer my greetings or my offer for her to drive up and order. At first I figured she didn't hear me so I was pretty much shouting over the downpour, to the point that my mod hollered, "Are you sure your headset's working?"
Finally she starts ordering, then stops. I ask her if that was everything:
Custy- Oh, I'm still deciding.
Custy- I'm not done yet, I'm still deciding.
Finally, after racking up a $37 order, she's done. I tell her the total, and that I'll see her at the first window. She pulls up looking like a drowned rat. I feel bad for her until she utters these gems-
Custy- *scowl* You need to cover your menu and speaker.
Ok- first of all, I greeted you three times, shouting each time. Second, I offered for you to drive up so you wouldn't get wet. Thirdly, if you have a big order and not sure what you want, COME THE FUCK INSIDE, YOU CRAZY BITCH! IT' S DRY AND YOU CAN TAKE ALL THE FUCKING TIME IN THE WORLD!!
*deep breath, neck crack*
As you can tell, a major pet peeve of mine is when someone either gets a big order in drive thru cuz then they get pissed when we have to park 'em or doesn't answer me with "Just a minute" if they're not sure what they want.
If they don't eat a lot of fast food, that's fine, I'll wait til they decide. At least acknowledge the poor shit working pit. Anyhoot, after that, My mod took over so I could go on break, and you know, stick my head in the fryer.
Side note, thank you to all my regulars for making this not-morning-person happy and cheerful, even at ungodly o'clock in the morning. You guys ROCK!
I've got other stories but those will be next time. Til then, may all your custies have an inkling of a brain cell.
In this corner we have the huggable lovable Canadia eh. In the other corner we have a not so happy Crusty, unfortunately. The setting of this match takes place at P.C.C.C or Popular Canadian Coffee Chain for those that are unfamiliar. I've never had to deal with crusty's much, but like any other people I treat them as nice as I can.
This story takes place when I have about 3-4 years under my belt so by this point nothing really shakes me off my rocker.
I was working alone on counter, my supervisor was in drive thru and it was just us running the floor. This is a typical night for me, both of us are awesome at the job and we throw in some laughs here and there. I'm on counter happily taking orders when a girl in her late teens orders a sandwich.
Already I'm praying for the customers to please be patient as there is a line up of about 5 people still and it's slowly growing. I run over with her to the sandwich counter and start at it. I'm literally wrapping this ladies completed sandwich in a good amount of time when all I hear from the cash is;
"CAN YOU SEND ONE OF THE OTHER GIRLS DOWN HERE TO THE CASH?!"
Everyone in the store turns to stare at him and I politely call back with a normal tone of voice, because by now the entire restaurant is silent;
"I'm sorry sir I'm just finishing up her sandwich, I will be right there."
"NOT MY PROBLEM!"
In the next few seconds I hand her the sandwich, and she leans over and whispers; "Good luck..."
I nod with a smile and go right into it. The next orders are punched out in under 30 seconds. I get to the customer, and by now he's agitated.
"Make sure it's with MILK NOT CREAM!"
Okay normally I'm completely nice, this guy has been a complete ass. So I did a little revenge of my own. A common mistake that I've seen TONS of workers do at other branches. Not stirring coffee. I swirled it around with the spoon and put a lid on it. With the biggest smile I could give I handed it to him. What happens is if the coffee isn't stirred you end up with a huge pile of sugar at the bottom. Making it very sweet. I've never seen this guy before so I never expected to see him again. Guess again.
I spotted him in the line up again about a few days later and this time when he came up he gave me a knowing smile and happily placed his order which I gladly made correctly. Since then he requested me when I was on shift to personally make him his coffee if someone didn't make it to his standards. We have had friendly conversations and he became a regular at the store. I looked forward to seeing him everytime he came in and he would always have the biggest smile. A complete 180 from that night. Or maybe that swirl really was all his drink needed...
WARNING: Attempting revenge on a crusty is not recommended. I got lucky with a 1 in a million chance.
On Thursday night, the supermarket around the corner from where I was working was robbed by a man with a sawn-off shotgun, at 10.50, just ten minutes before they closed. No one was hurt, thankfully, but the man did get away and still hasn't been found. I was working when it happened and I have to say, I'm really glad that all we got were 4 bogans flashing people in the carpark.
So now (and for at least a week) we get a security guard at night. We close at midnight so it kind of makes me feel a little better but somehow I don't think he could do much if we do get held up. Thankfully nothing like that happened tonight but I'm closing Saturday and Sunday so I'm just hoping it stays that way.
Of course just because we weren't held up doesn't mean we didn't have our share of crustys.
First custy (Angry Ticket Man), came up to the service desk with a suspended sale, handed it to me and asked for $35 cash out. Angry Ticket Man didn't say anything else so naturally I just assumed that the other register must have been low in cash. I put the transaction through, gave him the cash out and waited for him to leave. Instead he stared at me and says "Where are my tickets?"
Apparently he had asked for two tickets at the first register and was sent to me as they can only be sold at the service desk. I explained that I hadn't realised he wanted any tickets and said I'd ring them through. Then explained it again as he didn't seem to understand.
Finally I scan the tickets and gave him the total.
It took ages but I finally got him to understand that the only way to do that would be to refund everything and put it all through again. Of course if his bank charges a fee for each transaction, that would probably just cost him more.
And of course I can't refund a cash out anyway. So either way it would still wind up as two transactions. Angry Ticket Man grumpily paid for the tickets (using the cash out as his card was declined when he tried to use it again) and left. Still pissed off, of course.
I'm really not sure why he thought the original $42.75 transaction (6.75 + $35 cash out) would include $30 worth of tickets.
Anyway, another hour or so of watching the self checkouts, and I see three people in their early twenties come in. Immediately I get the feeling that they aren't exactly upstanding citizens, so when they headed down the health and beauty aisle, I went and played with the drink fridge nearby so that I could watch them. Sure enough, one of the girls picked up a box of hair dye and as they walked towards the opposite end of the aisle it "magically" disappeared from the girl's hand. I keep an eye on them and tell the security guard that they are shoplifters.
What's funny, though, is that what made them put the dye down was actually the Duty Manager. He walked past the NATs, checking the aisles for out of place stock and, feeling guilty, they assumed he was watching them and promptly dropped the hair dye on the end of an aisle. DM picked it up to put it back where it belonged, and one of the girls got pissed and accused DM of following them (which just confused him) then they all stalked out of the shop. I checked their bags as the left but couldn't see anything.
Of course they probably went straight to another store. Bad night to try shoplifting in this town though, considering we're all a bit jumpy, worrying about another robbery occuring.
A short while later, yet another crusty (Bad Mum) was at the service desk and, as I walked up, clearly asked her son what type of cigarettes he wanted. As he went to walk away, I said I'd need to see his ID as he looked under 25 (looked under 18 actually). Bad Mum got extremely defensive and said that she was buying them so I had to sell the cigs to her. Then said she would just go buy them from somewhere else if I didn't. As I explained that it is illegal to sell or provide tobacco products to people under 18, her son told me to shut up and they both walked into the store to buy other stuff.
DM came up to ask me what had happened but, as I was explaining, they both came back to the front of the store and went to put their drinks through the self checkouts. Overhearing what we were talking about, Bad Mum told us that she's "37 years old, and his mum and its none of our damn business if she wants to buy cigarettes and share them with her son."
The idiot then got pissed off at the self checkout as she couldn't seem to figure out the whole scan-an-item-and-place-it-in-the-bagging-area process. Three items and I had to explain after each that they needed to be placed in the bagging area. I guess she didn't understand that what needs to happen for one item needs to happen for the other. Of course, Bad Mum got more angry with each word I said. They both stormed out swearing.
The last grumpy custy (Yoghurt Man) of the night started off reasonable but changed quickly. He came through my register 15 mins before closing time. Everything seemed to go fine, he paid and I continued to serve the other custys lined up.
However, instead of leaving, Yoghurt Man stood and stared at his receipt. He was patient and waited until the last custy had gone, then calmly claimed that the yoghurt was supposed to be $5 not $6.30. DM went to check the price and once again the man waited fairly patiently. When DM came back with the ticket, he told me that the $5 yoghurt was actually next to the one the man bought but, as the ticket was very close to the $6.30 yoghurt, I should just refund the extra $1.30.
I turned to explain it to the Yoghurt Man and got as far as "The yoghurt is actually $6.30, but…" before he got angry and started talking over me saying that we "have to give it to him for $5 because the ticket said $5."
The idiot wouldn't let me say another word, just kept talking over me. DM finally got him to partially listen to him, but the crusty was still arguing as I walked to the service desk to do the refund.
After he'd finally left Peter said that the whole time I refunding the yoghurt, the man was still complaining. DM kept trying to explain that there was no problem and he would get the refund, but the crusty just responded that, "It was our problem."
Thankfully by that point we were closing and I got to leave. And the kicker, I actually only worked for four hours tonight! So thats one set of crustys for each hour. Please just let the next two nights go more smoothly! For me and all the other retail slaves stuck working.
OK. End of rant. Its late and I'm going to bed.
This story is a little dated, as my last shift worked at the call center of a ticket monopoly we all love to hate and rhymes with "hamster" was in September of 2011 and I officially quit in December 2011. But I spent over 10 years there, so the stupidity I encountered was well worth the wait, you'll see.
I started working at Event Hamster in the summer of 2001, when I was 18. I thought it was only my student job while getting my degree. A literature degree.
So, you guessed it right, it soon became my full-time job. I stayed there so long for many reasons: lack of stable jobs in my field (I did combine it with a teacher-assistant contract for a couple semesters), the ability to make my own schedule every week (so no evenings or week-ends unless I wanted to), lack of better jobs (after all, it was still preferable to face-to-face retail), and lots of personal problems taking away the energy a person in her 20s is supposed to have to make her career move forward.
At 29, I was finally hired for an entry-level job in a government agency, after being on lists for years and never getting a call until that day. I'm still in a call center, but the callers are a lot nicer because they see me as an authority, not some ticket-crapping monkey whose sole purpose is to serve them.
Some of you may know that EventHamster is one of the most hated companies in North America, with its high service fees and shows that are sold out to scalpers 2 seconds after they went on sale. Probably each of you has at least one ticket-buying horror story involving them.
I did not agree with most of their policies, but as a phone monkey I couldn't do anything but follow them. So even if I was going above and beyond to give stellar service, custys were fuming before I even had the time to finish my intro: first the website was down, then they had navigated through the voice recognition system which didn't work either, to finally wait 30 minutes on hold to talk to a human from our ever shrinking staff. Sometimes, they were also dialing the number of the venue where they wanted to see the show, hoping not to do business with us. But because the venue's box office was closed, they were transferred to us. So no matter what we said, no matter how nice we were, most custys were angry to the point of throwing a tantrum as soon as they heard the name Event Hamster.
Also, it seemed that because they were buying entertainment, they had turned their brains off before calling. These were daily occurrences:
Custy: So I have to call that phone number? Why?
Custy: I'd like 2 tix for (concert).
Me: OK...the best we have is on the 2nd balcony, row 10, seat 15 & 16
Custy: Are there any on the floor in the front row?
Custy: I want 2 tickets for (concert).
Me: Unfortunately, it looks like all we have is scattered singles.
Custy: Oh no! Do you have 2 singles that are scattered together?
Me: (canned greeting)
Custy: 2 tickets!
Me: Ok, for which event?
Custy: Your show! Tonight!
Me: In which venue and which city ma'am?
Custy: Your show! The one you just announced on TV!
Me: We sell hundreds of venues in every US state and Canadian province here, so I'm going to need some information so I know what you want to see. If I don't have at least a venue name and date, I can't really help you.
Custy: But you people just announced it on TV!
Custy: My show is tomorrow and I chose the "will-call" option... but you people have not called me yet!
Me: Will-call is another word for box office. You have to pick up your tickets at (venue)'s box office an hour before showtime.
Custy: Why not just say that?
Me: Your total will be $xxx.xx. We accept Mastercard, Visa, and American Express. Which card will you be using?
Custy : Credit card? I don't have a credit card. I thought this was "EventHamster Charge-By-Phone"!
Me: It is.
Custy : Well I thought it meant you could charge your tickets to the phone bill.
Caller: Center? What does that mean?
Me: It means in the middle. Not on the side.
Caller: Oh, so you don't have any that are centered.
Me: I'm sorry, I don't have first row seats left for any Chipmunks On Ice representation. I do have 2nd row on (date).
Momzilla custy: But you don't understand! I'm going there with MY CHILD!
(I hope so, lady. I hope so.)
Me: Ok, the best tickets we have are for the Sunday 5 o'clock show.
Custy: Can't you change the time for 6 instead?
This one was a daily occurence in my early years there, when many people were not yet Internet-litterate. But it still happened from time to time at the end, mainly from callers who sounded very elderly.
Custy: What good shows are there in (city) tonight?
Me: Ok, what would you like to see. A music show? A play? Sports?
Custy: I don't know, isn't that your job to know what's good?
Me: Actually, not really. We at StubHamster are here only to take your order when you already know which show you would like to see. We sell too many events in too many cities to be qualified to make suggestions. (City) is big and there are many things going on. May I suggest you call their tourism office at 000-0000? They know every event, including ones I may not have listed here because they are free or in independent venues. They will even be able to suggest a restaurant to go before your event!
Custy: But isn't that your job to know what I want?
This one had us LOLing for days afterwards.
Custy: I would like to have my tickets reprinted please.
Me: Ok, were they stolen, lost, or never arrived in the mail?
Custy: Neither. They were a surprise for my wife's birthday, and I hid them in the toaster so she would see them in the morning before making her toast. She didn't see them. And she made her toast.
This one took place in 2003 during the war in Iraq.
Custy: Before I buy, I need to know, is the Cirque Du Soleil from France?
Me: No. The founder is a French-Canadian from Quebec, and their artists are from all over the world.
Custy: You people should be ashamed of yourselves! If it wasn't of us, you'd be speaking German! *click*
Me: If you give me a second, I can look it up on the weather network's website...
Custy: Oh, I already did. I figured you might know something more.
Other stuff I had to put up with daily:
- Custy freaking out about privacy when we ask for his phone number and e-mail... after he willingly and cheerfully gave us his credit card number.
- Custy saying they had some coupon (during my last couple years there, when things like Groupon became commonplace) without a code, and throwing tantrums when we said it was only exchangeable in person. Sorry, teleportation has not been invented yet. My fault.
- Asking for 1st row centered for a Saturday night show that same day, and not understanding why his request was impossible to fulfill.
- Calling me an incompetent because I didn't know the exact temperature inside a specific venue, or how many inches wide were the seats.
- Custy making you hear their children cry on the phone when a show like Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez was sold out.
- When a popular event was going on sale at noon, customers calling at 11:30 and asking to be put on hold for 30 minutes, and getting angry when we said we weren't allowed to do so. We weren't even allowed to put them on hold at 11:59.
- During those same sales, customers calling at around 11:50 and asking us questions about tons of random shows just to stay on the line because they knew we weren't allow to put them on hold. We could see what their little game was, but they were asking legitimate questions about shows already on sale, so we couldn't hang up.
And now, as a conclusion, some of the priceless reactions I got when I announced an event was sold out:
- "Even if we're just 2?"
- "You say that because you don't want to work."
- "But it's for a date! I guess you don't want me to get any lovin' tonight 'cause you're jealous."
- "But I'm an African prince!"
- "Can't you do a little special for me?"
- "But my husband is a doctor!"
My stories today involve one common denominator, and that is our shake machine. See, about two weeks ago, our shake machine broke. No one knew how, or why, or who's shift, but it did. It began to cry horribly when powered on and screeched if you tried to dispense any shake mix from it. Seeing as the brokenness of it was beyond my capabilities of fixing (as I am, for some reason, know all for the appliances), we called the manufacturer for some help. Apparently, the repairman informed me during his visit, the machine was broken.
The unfortunate thing, though, was that he didn't have the part in stock to fix it. It would take another week before he did have it, and a day or two more to fix it. With a sigh, a headache already forming, I signed the notice, clipped it to the status board in the office and went about my shift after posting a big, BOLD notice on the machine. It simply stated, "I'M BUSTED, SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE."
Not half an hour into my shift, two young ladies (Lady A and Lady B) walk in and take a moment to decide their poison. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the counter to serve them, as Lady B asked for a shake, only to be quickly caught by Lady A.
Lady B: "So, you can't sell any shakes at all?"
Lady A: "[Lady B], hon, there's a big ass sign that says it right there. Busted. Bust. Ed. Broken."
Lady B: "I just wanted to make sure."
Because, sure, maybe it is every day that we post a sign up saying something is broken, just so we don't have to serve you. But we'll immediately tell the truth if you ask.
In any case, Lady B wants nothing, but Lady A apologizes, orders a kid's meal for herself (she told me that) and asked for a smoothie instead. Relieved that I wasn't about to have a customer throw a tantrum, I started the smoothie process, only to have three other customers walk in, a woman and two guys.
Immediately, one of them comes right up to the counter as I turn around to serve him and states, without a stutter, "Can I have three medium chocolate shakes?"
I blink, then shake my head.
Me: "Unfortunately, no. We only have regular and large, but our shake machine is down."
Guy 1: "Are you sure?"
Me: *leans over and points to the sign behind her* "Very. Anything else I can get you?"
Before he can answer me, I notice that Lady A has returned for her smoothie (now melting on the counter, my bad) and Guy 1's buddy has come up to my counter, both hands on the surface, and slightly red faced.
Guy 2: "Busted? What do you mean busted?
Me: "Busted...? As in... it's broken? Like, I don't know what happened, a part broke and it won't keep temp."
Guy 2: *gives an angry huff* "Don't you have a second one? What's that right there?" *points to our smoothie machine*
Me: "Smoothies. They're pretty awesome. Not as thick, but still good. Yeah. Still good."
Lady A had apparently caught my Lilo and Stitch reference and begins to snicker behind my irate customers. I offer her a quick smile, apologetic, and silently decide to offer her a coupon for the wait and forgotten smoothie.
Guy 1 has now turned around and faces the female that walked in with them, I suppose to discuss the change of plans, but Guy 2 isn't ready to let this go.
Guy 2: "Well, what do we get now?"
Me: "Um... a smoothie?"
Me: "Well... I can give you a coupon, and there's two other [sister restaurants] that have working shake machines within five miles of us."
Guy 2: "NO, you're not listening. I came HERE. I don't want to go to any other [restaurant]. You can't just give me a coupon for my inconvenience, I want my shake or you give me something else for free."
Now, at my restaurant, we do have this weirdo policy called "Yes to the Guest," but thankfully we apply it under the conditions of A) The order was wrong (doesn't matter who's fault), so we replace the accident, B) You're dissatisfied with your item (for any reason), and C) We overcharged you by accident. As he fell under none of these conditions, I squared my shoulders and put on my best Mom Face.
I had been at this restaurant long enough that I had gone through 3 store managers, and the current one supported the decisions made by his shift managers (unless they were incredibly stupid). Suffice to say, I felt empowered.
Me: "Sorry, store policy states replacements happen because of A, B, and C. You haven't bought anything and though unfortunate that you came all this way down for one item, that item is served by another of our sister's not two miles away. I can give you a coupon for half off, otherwise, I am unable to ring up anything and give it to you for free. If I do, I will need your name and phone number."
Guy 2: "No, you can't ask for a customers name and number, that's illegal, that's identify theft."
Lady A: "Excuse me, you do realize that your credit card gives them more information than that, right? And she can take your name from your card unless you have the cash? She told you what she can do, take it or leave it, pal."
Guy 2: "Look, I don't see how that broken machine is my problem. I want my shakes."
Lady A: "And I want my smoothie that you've interrupted her making. You're being an entitled ass."
With that, the group of three head out, but not before flipping me off. Funny part, though, was that my heroine returned the favor with a double finger action and a smile. She made my night, and I refunded her order, upgraded her meal, and sent her with as many coupons as I could safely stuff into her lunch bag.
May all your customers be this wickedly awesome,
I have a ridiculous amount of stories fit for RHU (seriously, I've found my people) but this particular one comes from my last few weeks working at a Wendy's. It is sort of long, but I think worth the read. Little bit of background; I was what they refer to as a 'Team Leader', which is basically the last rung on the management ladder. I would get stuck up front with the regular employees while the real (aka salary) managers sat in the office eating, when one of them happened to be on shift with me. Since I was more responsible than some of my fellow Team Leads, I often got left alone to run shifts by myself (which Team Leads were not supposed to do.) This happened while I was on shift alone, as the only manager.
A well dressed man came in and ordered quite a bit of food fairly late in the evening (around 8:30pm). He was more or less polite, and it didn't take us long to get his food together. Seems like a forgettable experience, right?
It was, until nearly an hour later he came in, fuming, ranting, raving and just generally being a complete crusty. He cuts in front of the line of customers (a group of young-ish, built outdoorsy guys) and literally throws an old baked potato at my cashier's face. By the time I make my way from the drive thru (like, 4 feet away) he already has my cashier in tears.
I excuse her to the back to calm down and take over the conversation like the good fast-food robot I am. "I'm sorry sir, I'm the manager on duty. What seems to be the problem?" I ask, politely even though I really want to kick him out for making my sweet cashier (lets just call her Sugar, because she was a total sweetheart) cry.
"I JUST ordered this potato, look at it? Would you eat this? Do you expect me to feed this to my family? This is disgusting! What are you going to do about this!?"
Now, if you've ever been to a Wendy's you may know that they sell baked potatoes. Unlike some places that might microwave their potatoes, Wendy's actually does bake them - and they take a freakin' hour to bake, so we really had to plan the numbers ahead of time. That late at night, we stopped cooking potatoes because they usually just went bad, they didn't sell well at night. So by the time the crusty has come back, we didn't have any left.
Attempting to salvage the situation, I calmly look to the crusty's potato (which is pretty black and nasty, but.. it's been an HOUR!) and say "Well, sir, I'm sorry but we don't have any potatoes left. We don't cook them this late at night. I will, of course, be happy to refund the cost of the potato and get you a different side in place. Would you like french fries?"
Pretty good so far; I've kept my cool and not flown off the handle.
Then it goes from bad to worse, crusty explodes. "What do you mean you don't have any potatoes? I JUST BOUGHT THIS. I DON'T WANT YOUR NASTY FRIES. I AM GOING TO SUE YOU FOR TRYING TO POISON MY FAMILY. I AM GOING TO SUE YOU. I AM GOING TO SUE THIS COMPANY. I WILL OWN YOU."
This is where I start to lose my cool. I grab the receipt that he threw at Sugar with the potato, and hold it up for him to see, and in a very cold tone of voice; "You ordered this an HOUR ago. I'm sorry, but I do not have magical food that will stay good forever. You failed to consume the food in a reasonable amount of time. I cannot be held responsible because you let it go bad. I offered you replacements, and a refund. I don't know what you expect me to do for you."
Cue more ranting and raving about suing me, wanting my name and corporates number. Then crusty crosses my ultimate line. He gets millimeters from my face (leaning over the counter) and yells so vehemently he gets spit on me. That's it for me. "Sir, the door is right there. You have ten seconds to leave my establishment before I call the police and have you arrested. You spit on me, and that is considered assault. I WILL press charges. My name is WHERE'STHEBEEF, the number for corporate can be found on our website - Oh, and by the way, you can't sue me because you let your food go bad. Now. Leave."
Apparently the buff outdoorsy customers behind him thought he was being out of line as well, because when I mentioned the police they cheered and started pelting him with coins. "Really dude? Over a potato? Here's your refund!"
Crusty leaves, they smile at me and are freakin' awesome customers, and the night gets a little better. Seeing that man get hit with change was awazing. So... end of story? Not hardly.
Fast forward 3 weeks, and I am working drive through while an actual salary manager is running the floor. I've put in my 2-weeks notice (because I'm moving, but also because that place was greasy hell) so my give-a-fuck-o-meter is pretty damn low.
She sounds kinda terrified, and all of the other employee's freeze. I walk out front and guess who is standing there? Yeah, you guessed it. Crusty Potato Jerk. I walk up, very cautious and ready for another scene when he shocks me in to utter silence.
"I wanted to apologize for my behavior a few weeks ago. It was completely inappropriate, and I feel terrible. I know that my actions were reprehensible and I acted like a spoiled child. I just wanted to say that I am very sorry, I was completely in the wrong." He then offers his hand, for a handshake.
I have absolutely nothing to say at all. Did a crusty just.. apologize? What? Every single employee was just as stunned as I was; most of them had been working the night he'd made his scene. Later on, Sugar tells me he has apologized to her as well, just before she called me to the front. Apparently crustys can see the error of their ways.
Okay so to go ahead and confess: I've only had one retail job, for a short period of time, and unfortunately can't share the two good stories from it because they're a little too specific. As in, any involved/heard about it could read it and bust me. I've been job hunting, but no real luck on that front, typical crap of wanting someone with more experience and no one's willing to hire a newbie.
Anyway, I have been doing volunteer work for a local charity that's for special needs kids. It's sports themed and all inclusive. It's been in the off season for a while (we follow normal sport schedules more or less), so I feel it's safe to share some stories!
I work the merch table where I try to get people to buy our t-shirts, which are our main source of income. We get a lot of volunteers so that's my main customer base. I usually have no problem, aside from overdone explanations about why they can't buy a shirt just then or brush offs that range from 'Maybe later' to 'I like last year's shirt better'. I have had a couple people try to get me to break large bills for them early in the day when I have no way of doing so which either led to me managing to upsell them to a second shirt or they just left.
The attendees are a pretty okay group and so are the players. The only problems we normally have are when we're short volunteers and have to pull from the stands (we have a buddy system) or when a player gets frustrated for x reason and won't calm down.
Unfortunately, our play field neighbors an enclosed swimming pool (literally, they are side by side) and that's where this happened last summer.
So on this day, we're set up, ready to begin the games and hello, there's this large crowd of people. No problem, they're volunteers/attendees right? Nope. They're there for a swim meet that many of us had no idea about. Now, the enclosed pool isn't large enough for the whole crowd, so many of them are outside and wandering around, therefore encroaching into our space. Yes, encroaching.
They set up chairs in otherwise decorative space with many of them spilling over into the sidewalks, they hogged our bathrooms and constantly used our snack bar. Now, the snack bar thing shouldn't have been a problem (extra money and all that) but the snack girl, C, and I are friends and holy crap the things she told me afterwards. They whined at her about our 'lack of options' (no crap there's a lack, it's a SNACK BAR), kept changing their minds half-way through orders and poor C got constantly pestered about the nutritional crap of the snacks throughout all of this. The very snacks that have all that info printed on the packaging, but hey, that would require reading right?
I didn't fare too well myself either. A lot of the swim meet people kept wandering over to my table, which happens to be right next to our volunteer sign in table where we have a lot of info stuff placed. They didn't buy any shirts, kept asking what we were doing here/if we were there for the swim meet despite so many indicators otherwise and one woman even argued with me for a good ten minutes in a fashion that literally went:
'Hi, are these schedules for the swim meet?'
'No ma'am, they're for our games'
'Oh, well do you have any for the swim meet?'
'No, we don't.'
'Well what about these right here?' (rinse and repeat)
Thankfully they haven't come back yet, so maybe that one experience was all that they needed. Trust me, they won't be missed.
The one regret I have working here are the idiots we come across, but that's for a later story, especially since one still makes me extremely pissed.
(Discovering RHU was like discovering a support group of other damned souls, condemned to wander the earth with "Do you work here?" echoing into eternity.)
Since several of my stories revolve around my years in an ice rink, I'll dub myself FrozenTerror.
I was hired near the end of the hockey season, so my training was done on the fly. Basically, I was a warm body who could do menial tasks, and if I could actually last, that was an added (and unexpected bonus).
With the hockey season tapering down, the rink was closing down earlier in the day than usual. On one Saturday, I was there with two others about 20 minutes after the last event came off the ice. Our Zamboni driver was doing a final resurfacing before closing up, I was out front putting rental skates away, and the manager on duty (MoD) was finalizing office work.
There was a table in the lobby that faced a TV, and a man and his son (about 10 years old) were watching a basketball game while eating pizza and drinking pop. I asked if they were going to be heading out soon since we were closing up, and the dad said, "Right as soon as the game ends."
I glanced up at the TV and saw that there were 11 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Yeah, that wasn't going to fly.
MoD came out of the office to ask me something, and saw the guy and the kid sitting there. He asked me what they were doing, and I repeated the conversation that we'd just had.
MoD says, "Come with me," and we go over to where they were sitting.
MoD looks down at the kid and says, "Hey buddy, do you want a refill?"
No sooner is it in his hands than his dad grabs him and hustles him out the front door, muttering under his breath the whole time. The front doors slam, and MoD yells across the lobby that, "That took care of that!"
I asked him what had just happened, and he recounted the following conversation to me:
MoD: So how long are you staying?
Dad: Until the end of the game. Hey, can I get a refill too?
Dad: Why not?
MoD: I'm not a waiter, and we're closed anyway.
Dad: Why'd you give my kid a refill?
MoD: Because I didn't want him standing right here while I tell you to get the fuck outta here!
That's when the dad stood up, grabbed the pizza and his kid, and left.
I work in a smallish retail store. It's a huge company, but my particular store is a fairly decent sized shop in a mall. We get incredibly busy during peak times, i.e. Thursday nights and weekends, and normally we'd have four people on. However, the state manager decided a few months back that our hours would be cut way back, and now on a Thursday night we only have two people on.
The particular Thursday night when this first story occurred it was myself and the assistant manager. She was chained to the front of the store greeting people and doing bag checks, so I was left to run the tills and the changerooms. I'd been at the till for about 20 minutes due to there being a big line. There was also a line at the changerooms, but I knew that three of the five changerooms were unlocked so I wasn't paying much attention to it.
When I got to a couple of middle aged ladies in my line, they not so kindly asked if I would open up another changeroom. I was a bit annoyed that they were wasting my time because they couldn't be bothered waiting, but I happily agreed and walked over. I unlocked the fourth room, the fifth being full of stock due to our tiny backroom already being full, and noticed that the line at tills was huge again, so I quickly turned to go back to it. That's when the issue started.
"God, the service here is just SO great!"
"I know! The workers here are just SO attentive!"
The two women proceeded to mock me, as if I had purposefully created a huge mob of people to create lines within the store and made them wait. Then, laughing, they dumped their clothes and left the store. These women had nothing better to do with their time than dragging the overworked sales girl behind the till from her job, mock her, and then walk out. I was confused, but the incident didn't affect me and I went back to work.
This next one happened only yesterday. Again there were two people on but it was a Tuesday afternoon and we were really quiet. I was down the front unpacking stock when a middle aged lady and what I'm assuming was her elderly mother walked in.
"Do you have any more of that leather jacket?"
The jacket in question sells like hot cakes and is actually pleather, so it's quite cheap. We only had two left and they were both on mannequins.
"No, sorry. Those are the only two left."
"Oh, do you have any smalls?"
I checked the closest mannequin; it was a large. The mannequin in the window was wearing a medium.
"We've only got a large and a medium, sorry."
"Can I try the medium?"
"Yeah, sure." I turned and walked towards the mannequin. Just as I had reached the mannequin and was figuring out the best way to take the jacket off, the woman started screaming at me.
"Well, F*** YOU TOO! I can't BELIEVE you'd have such BAD ATTITUDE!!"
This woman was full on screaming, at the top of the lungs, for reasons I didn't understand. Due to some stuff in my past I can't handle being yelled at and I was already nearly in tears.
"What did you say to me as you were at the mannequin?!!"
"I... I didn't say anything."
She continued to rant about how rude I was and demanding to speak to a manager and how this was my job and I shouldn't say such bad things about having to do my job until the other girl working came over and I escaped to the back room. I still have no idea what made her start yelling.
She was accusing me of saying something to her, but I was several meters away and facing away from her, and our music is really loud, so even if I had muttered something there's no way she could have seen or heard it. That really shook me up and I couldn't leave the back room until she'd left the store.
She didn't even end up buying the jacket.
That's all for now, and hopefully forever. But I don't think I'd be so lucky as to go another almost three years without crazy custies.
Story number one:
We started a new program at our business for people who want to lose weight. Unlike some fly-by-night clinics, our program is very strict and requires tests and a physical. For people that are used to places that just hand you a prescription, this can get... annoying, I guess.
One particular client came in, got checked out, and started the program. She apparently had some "red-flag" issues that made the doctor want to be cautious. Doc put her on a trial med and asked her to come in bi-monthly to check-in. Cue nutso behavior: the lady called every 3-4 days saying she needed her dosage increased and trying to bully the front desk into getting her way (to no avail, obviously). Finally, it was time for her first check up.
She showed up half an hour early, got pissed that the provider was busy, and started laying in to my secretary. She obviously knew how to be as nasty as possible without actually violating any policies (no cussing, no physical intimidation), but even so she was so hostile that I almost kicked her out. Before I could, the provider came up and collected her, presumably calming her down.
Unfortunately, her progress did not merit an increase in dosage. When she found out she was still on the same dose, she LOST HER SHIT. Showed up at the clinic and drove around the parking lot threateningly, not letting any employees leave and making obscene gestures through her windows until the cops showed up.
We promptly banned her and sent a note to her insurance company, but jeez.
On a happier note, Story number two:
We have this one guy who's been coming here forever, and he LOVES to talk. Just chats nonstop every time he comes in, but he's adorable so it's cool. A lot of time he brings his "friend" (code word for boyfriend) with him. The boyfriend is an old-school hippy with tons of anecdotes about herbal medicine and holistic lifestyles, which is pretty sweet. I'll call boyfriend RM (for Reiki Master).
Anyways RM comes in by himself the other day, apropos of nothing, with a massive flat of herbs from his garden and tons of glass bottles full of seeds. Apparently he was harvesting last week and thought of us.
We're always tickled when patients bring us presents, but this was above and beyond. There was enough stuff for every employee to get seed packets and plants.
Thanks, RM. Next time a hosebeast comes in and makes our lives hell, we can go home to our gardens and make ourselves some herbal tea. You're the best!
May all your custies be sweeties!
Greetings Curious Scroller,
If you've never landed in this part of cyber space before, you have taken a hard, fast plunge into the fiery depths of work hell. RHU is dedicated to giving the service worker a voice. If you are an angry customer, a corporate suite, a homophobic race-hater, and you don't like skull masks or swear words, this blog isn't for you. Click away now, before your ears bleed and your eyes explode.
I'm Freddy, Crypt Keeper of Retail Hell Underground RHU -- a place for service slaves to have a voice, tell their story, support each other, or just have a chuckle about the insanity of working in the 10th Circle of Hell! I'm also the author of "Retail Hell," the funny memoir about life as a handbag sales associate at an upscale department store! The sequel, "Return To The Big Fancy," has just been released in hardcover and e-reader and is available wherever books are sold!