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Old 08-13-2009   #1
Zanahoria_Picante
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"The Customer Is Always..."

...well, the customer is always. That's for sure.

So yes, here is the place to tell your tales of customer-serving woe. Retail peons unite?!

I'll start with this true tale:

The other day, a customer comes up to the deli and says, "I'll have the pepperoni sliced on setting 2 (one step above the thinnest setting the slicer has before it's officially 'off,' mind you)."

I paused, "the whole thing?"
"Yeah."

So, I politely told him that it was going to take a while and suggested he finish his other shopping and come back.
A throbbing shoulder and partially-numb arm later, I finished slicing--shaving--the entire pepperoni: 3 lbs. total.
Half an hour goes by: No sign of him.
An hour, the large, toil-born heap of meat is still in the case.
After two hours, I decided the a...pparently rude guy was not coming back.
I wanted to kill him. Hunt him down and make him taste sweet, sweet pepperoni-rage-seasoned death.

So yes, just one, small example. There are many more.

Moonlight_serenade? <:D
Anyone else?
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Old 08-13-2009   #2
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Oh no, don't get me started. Okay.... but you asked for it. I work for a Floors 2000 which imports ceramic & porceline tile. Our biggest customer are a "Home Improvement" stores and our region is currently the South East states, we used to also do the North East but was replaced with another vendor. Now most of what we handle is over the phone as customer service reps. Due to the slow down of construction, we have down sized, leaving us with only 2 reps. Now these stores have our display samples so its very easy for them to have them in hand and READ the info that is printed on the label that is attached to every sample.
I cant tell you how many times tho they have asked me to identify the tile they are holding..... okay with a 3 second pause... I really feel like telling them to hold it up to the phone so I can see it but instead ask them to flip it over and read me the model ID.
Now the info that is on the label is in English and translated to Spanish directly under it, many will call and ask me to check stock on "Baldosa piso" um FLOOR TILE sure we have plenty. Its so hard not to be so sarcastic to them but honestly, they really make me wonder the state of American workers. Are they really so "simple" minded and not to mention lazy. I call to give them info regarding an order, and if its not that particular sales associates order they don't even want to take a message. Good Grief. Any how that's my rant for this morning.
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Old 08-13-2009   #3
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Alright, so we have this customer at Borders who comes in fairly regularly, and somehow manages to piss off everyone else who works there. He's kind of a grade-A dick, who's mouth is bigger than his brain.. but I'm, as of yet, gleefully unaware of this fact. He swaggers up to the counter and asks for a medium iced coffee with no ice. Simple... no. After I give him his receipt, on which a thirty percent coupon has printed, I go to make his drink. We have cups that measure out the appropriate amount of concentrated coffee & water that goes into each size cup before adding the ice. I pour out a little more than that amount, hand it to him, and thank him. He looks at me with disbelief, "this is a half a cup of coffee."

I say, "sir, that's the amount of coffee that goes into a medium without the ice. If you want more, I'll have to charge you for a large."

He promptly slams the coffee down into the trash can and huffs, "I enjoyed throwing that away almost as much as you enjoyed giving it to me," which I don't know how I'm supposed to take. He storms over to the information desk and proceeds to yell at my manager, ending with, "this is the last time I shop here, I'm going to Barnes & Noble. Take care Steph!" ..and my manager, who's name is Amy says, "uh, it's Amy." The guy doesn't know what to say, so he just makes a stupid face and walks out.

Not three minutes later he comes back in(apparently he didn't think he'd yelled at me enough) and says, "how come other times that I've come in here and asked for this same thing I've gotten a full cup of coffee?" I show him the measuring cups and say, "I don't know. Perhaps whoever helped you then felt like swindling the company out of extra coffee as much as you did," to which he responds by balling up his receipts, throwing it at my face, and shouting, "there's your thirty percent coupon! I'm going to get my coffee from Starbucks from now on!" So I tell him, "one, that's where I go too, and two, they own Seattle's Best Coffee. Your money's going to the same place." Another stupid face, and another storm out of the building.

The kicker? He tipped me a dollar fifty.
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Old 08-13-2009   #4
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

I would probably normally use this thread to vent, because there are a bunch of customers I just absolutely hate...but I've figured out that if I think about it outside of work, I just get angry for no real reason, so I've made it my policy not to think about them when I'm not at work.

I will say this though: it's amazing how customers are so picky and such assholes to people who make their food. I will never understand why people see those who work in the food or retail service industries as below them.
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Old 08-13-2009   #5
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

I figure that most people who act like that have never actually worked in food service/retail in their entire lives. Everyone should work in retail at some point, if only to understand how it feels to be yelled at for something over which you have little to no control.

It's either that explanation, or people are just stupid.. and we all know what Occam's razor tells us. Thank you, Jodi Foster.
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"I've defected."

-The Mars Volta

"I consider the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes. I observe treasures of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles. I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered rags. I see myriad worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil on my foot. I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians. I discern the highest conception of emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream, and view the holy path of the illuminated ones as flowers appearing in one's eyes. I see meditation as a pillar of a mountain, Nirvana as a nightmare of daytime. I look upon the judgment of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the rise and fall of beliefs as but traces left by the four seasons."

-Siddhartha Gautama
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Old 08-13-2009   #6
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

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Originally Said by Sytrohs87 View Post
I figure that most people who act like that have never actually worked in food service/retail in their entire lives. Everyone should work in retail at some point, if only to understand how it feels to be yelled at for something over which you have little to no control.

It's either that explanation, or people are just stupid.. and we all know what Occam's razor tells us. Thank you, Jodi Foster.
It's quite a bit of both, I think. And not that I think you're excusing their behavior, but just because a person hasn't done service/retail doesn't make it excusable to treat people like dirt.

And, gimme a huzzah if you agree with me here--religious Christians as a group are the worst about treating people in retail and food kindly.
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Old 08-13-2009   #7
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

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Originally Said by Jenn and tonic View Post
And not that I think you're excusing their behavior, but just because a person hasn't done service/retail doesn't make it excusable to treat people like dirt.
No, I'm not, but I feel like it would help their ability to empathize.

Also, I generally don't ask people about their religious tendencies in the workplace, so I can't really comment either way.
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"I've defected."

-The Mars Volta

"I consider the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes. I observe treasures of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles. I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered rags. I see myriad worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil on my foot. I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians. I discern the highest conception of emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream, and view the holy path of the illuminated ones as flowers appearing in one's eyes. I see meditation as a pillar of a mountain, Nirvana as a nightmare of daytime. I look upon the judgment of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the rise and fall of beliefs as but traces left by the four seasons."

-Siddhartha Gautama
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Old 08-13-2009   #8
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Okay so I am a full time student these days so i will give a story from about 2 weeks ago at the local McDonalds. I went in there to get an ice cream one day, made my order, paid and waited for them to whip up my hot fudge sundae. Meanwhile, an out of towner comes in and asks the cashier for 2 cold drinks. She rings him up, it was like 3 dollars, and she hands him two empty cups to fill at the drink machine. He stares at her and then the cups then back at her and says "why are you giving me these cups? I wanted two ice coffees." Then the cashier explains he said 2 cold drinks, not iced coffees. He then precedes to go into a rage claiming she should have known, she is apologizing but you can tell she wants to punch him. This goes on for a good 5 minutes. He bitches about the service and whatever, I am waiting for my ice cream, while kirk is impatient in the car, so i finally just blurt out, "she isnt a mind reader! If you want coffee say coffee!" The cashier looks at me like she wishes she could say that and the man gives me a eat shit and die look. Got my food and stormed out.

I hate when people talk down to fast food workers or waitresses. Its a tough job, i couldnt do it, and they are making your food. Some people seriously need to treat people better.
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Old 08-13-2009   #9
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

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Originally Said by Sytrohs87 View Post
No, I'm not, but I feel like it would help their ability to empathize.

Also, I generally don't ask people about their religious tendencies in the workplace, so I can't really comment either way.
The reason I know is we get a whole bunch of religious groups that come in together or call about 15 minutes before they get there, letting us know that we need to clear out space for them.

Oh yeah and I can't tell you how many times my tip has been a religious pamphlet.

edit: gah, I'm breaking my policy. That's it, no more.
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Old 08-13-2009   #10
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Ahhh, yes. Thanks, Zana. ;)

So, just to preface this: I quit my retail job today. Huzzah!

So the other night I'm the manager on duty at my (now-former) store, with one other part-timer closing with me. 20 minutes to 9 (we close at 9), some lady storms in wanting to return something. Okay, she's still within her return period, she's got the receipt, whatever. I look at the ring she's returning, and it's all scratched up at the bottom. She tells me that she wore it for a couple of days and decided she doesn't like it anymore.

My brain nearly exploded.

I told her I wasn't giving her the money back, cause the ring has been damaged, and can't be resold. She completely flips her shit. Screaming at me that nowhere in our return policy does it say that the stuff has to be returned in perfect condition, and that if she had known that she wouldn't have worn it.

This is where my brain *actually* exploded.

This woman just could not (or would not) understand why I wouldn't give her the refund. I had to call the store manager, who then called the regional manager, who ended up tearing this girl a new one, and telling her flat-out she wasn't getting her money back, but would be willing to exchange it for something else.

Honestly, people are stupid. Do you buy a pair of pants, wear them for a week, stretch them out, get them dirty, and then try to return them? Get out of my store.

****
I've got sooooooooooooooooo many of these... Countries should institute a mandatory retail/food service period for everyone after they finish high school (like military service in some countries). I'm sure we would all have less-douchey customers.
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Old 08-14-2009   #11
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Customers are ASSHOLES.
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Old 08-14-2009   #12
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Working as a lifeguard in an waterpark. This happened last year. I was cleaning up the tubes at the bottom of the runout for the tube slides since all the guests were being stupid and blocked the exit path by dropping their tubes in the way. They are supposed to return them to the designated pile for the next person. I've finally finished moving all the tubes and used up most of my break when an old black lady drops a tube in the area I just cleaned. I ask her to please place her tube in the pile as instructed by the safety signs. She flips a shit, calls me a little racist white boy. Would have loved to deck her on the spot but had to turn cheek and leave.

All the other lifeguards and I constantly get shit at the park. The guests think we are there to cater to them. NO! Our job is to make sure you don't drown, not entertainment. Stop talking to us.
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Old 08-14-2009   #13
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Working in a kitchen, whom don't I want to kill every single day?
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Old 08-14-2009   #14
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Alright, so a vet clinic isn't exactly a retail horror (we have kittens!), but we had some pretty big assholes come in. I'll also preface this rant by saying that we are the either the cheapest vet clinic in the area or close to it; most clinics charge two to three times as much for the same medications/procedures/anything, and people still bitch at us.


During my first week there, a lady called on the phone asking if we had Glycoflex (a joint pain medication for dogs) in stock. I responded that we did and gave her the price. She asked for the price again, so I checked the computer. There were three types of Glycoflex available (in different strengths): Glycoflex, Glycoflex II, and Glycoflex III. I asked her which one she wanted, and she said, "Glycoflex, damn it," so I gave her the price. When she came in to the clinic to pick it up, I rang her up and brought her the bottle. She exclaimed loudly and angrily that this didn't look like the bottle she already had at home, so I pulled out the other strengths. She picked up Glycoflex III and said she wanted that one, so I told her that it would cost $10 more (when her bill was already $30, I don't think that's an unreasonable increase for such a increase in the medication's intensity).

She flipped a shit.

Yelling, shaking her fist at me, loudly proclaiming to all the other customers that I had lied to her on the phone and that she was never coming back (she had never been there before, so this argument was stupid), that we charge amazingly high prices, etc.

The other clients just laughed it off, because they knew she was being an idiot.

She actually asked me to pay her the extra ten dollars out of pocket, because obviously I had tried to swindle her and she should be compensated.

She left, my boss laughed, and it all ended up fine... but it was a terrifying start to a summer job.
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Old 08-14-2009   #15
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

A customer told me to "get educated" the other day because her hotdog bun was apparently stale, and I told her that's the way hotdog buns taste.
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Old 08-14-2009   #16
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

I've hear a mother say to her daughter, who was around 12 or 13ish, to not clean up the pile of clothes she had just upended because "that's what they pay those people to do".

Is this really how people think, and by extension, raise their kids to think??? Yeah, I have nothing better to do for two hours after the store closes other than to clean up after your lazy ass.
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Old 08-14-2009   #17
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

On a good note: I made a sale to one customer today for 182 cartons of tile at $35.00 a carton = cha ching over $6,000 order at cost, with their 40% markup that sales associate is going to see a very nice commission check next payday, he better send me some chocolates. Just kidding Tom.
(its not on my diet).
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Old 08-15-2009   #18
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Do not piss me off at work. I will steal your credit card number.

I was working at Blockbuster once and this black lady dropped off some movies that were two days late. I told her she had an Extended Viewing Fee (that's what they were called back then) of $8.46 and she flipped out on me and called me a racist. So I called her a racist back. Then she wanted to speak to a manager, so I turned 360 degrees and asked "May I help you?" So then she wants the number of my district manager. I give it to her and when I opened the store the next day I hear from him and he says I have to apologize to the lady. He had her phone number. So I called her up and got no answer so I left a message on her voice mail saying that I was sorry she was a racist.

This started a chain of events that ultimately led to me voluntarily quitting my job so I wouldn't be fired (because my district manager was a dick but it's cool because he got fired two weeks later).
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Old 08-16-2009   #19
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

Quote:
Originally Said by moonlight_serenade View Post
I've hear a mother say to her daughter, who was around 12 or 13ish, to not clean up the pile of clothes she had just upended because "that's what they pay those people to do".

Is this really how people think, and by extension, raise their kids to think??? Yeah, I have nothing better to do for two hours after the store closes other than to clean up after your lazy ass.
So sad, but true. The way children behave--and, yes, moreover, the way parents allow their children to behave--in public (and in stores in particular) is somewhat disgusting. There's this thing, uh, not sure if you're familiar with it, moms and dads, it's called discipline. And respect, for that matter. It helps in raising your children to be more than slavering animals.

(Sorry. I'm extremely bitter and...disappointed, if you can't tell. *Continues to scowl*)

But yes, it seems people view those who work in food (and, really, any kind of) service (it seems) as slaves. Good to know. Good...to know. It certainly changes one's perspective; creates a new level of empathy towards others who...serve others.

Truly, I am shocked how condescending and insane people act over something as trivial as deli meat. Seriously, CALM DOWN. Your ham will be ready before your head explodes--hopefully.

Like a couple of days ago, a customer asks my co-worker, Bob (ahem), for 1/3 to 1/2 of mashed potatoes. Bob puts it on the scale and it's .63 lb. The guy says, "uh, that is CLEARLY over a half pound."

My question for that guy is, "are you real?"

*Sigh*
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Old 08-16-2009   #20
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Re: "The Customer Is Always..."

On the flip side, If I feel like I'm getting poor customer service somewhere, I will act like an asshole. I know what's it's like working in the industry. If you're having a shitty day, you plaster on a good face and don't let your bad mood affect how you interact with customers.

I don't fuck with waitstaff either. If they're acting like they don't have time for me, then maybe I don't have time for their tip.
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