Bad Customers And The Stupid Things They Say

Our reader Eyebrows McGee pointed us to a fun, albeit slightly depressing (if you’re concerned about the future of the human race) website called NotAlwaysRight.com, where retail veterans post transcripts of their worst customer interactions. Read for fun, but also for examples of how not to behave as a consumer.

Me: “Can I help you?”
Customer:“I’m looking for non-fiction.”
Me:“What kind?”
Customer: “Just non-fiction.”
Me: “Okay…do you want history? Or science? Psychology??Business?”
Customer: “No, just NON-FICTION!”

Customer: “Tell me; is your cleaning solution toxic?”
Me: “You mean the stuff we use to clean fresh ear piercings?”
Customer: “Yah, that stuff.
Me: “Well no sir, I don’t believe it’s toxic. There isn’t really anything in here that–”
Customer: “–because I ingested a whole bunch of it!”
Me: “Why?”
Customer: “I was out of mouth wash. I needed mouth wash.”
Me: “But it isn’t mouth wash…it’s used to clean piercings…”
Customer: “I know, do you think I’m stupid?! That’s why I’m worried!”

Customer:“These things don’t work! They are hard to swallow and I nearly choked to death.”
Me: “Ma’am, they are suppositories. You don’t swallow them, you insert them rectally.”
Customer: “What does that mean?”
Me: “You unwrap them and insert them in your rectum.”
Customer: “What’s my rectum?”
Me: “Ma’am, please forgive me, but your rectum is your butt hole.”
Customer: “Well up yours too!” *stalks off*

(This is not the first time someone misunderstood when we explained how to use a suppository. It’s the only time we can tell a patient “up yours” and get away with it!)

www.notalwaysright.com

Comments

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  1. JDAC says:

    Good for a giggle, but surely these are about as believable as the apocryphal tale of using the CDROM drawer as a cup holder?

    Mind you, people are idiots, like Kevin James…

  2. Norcross says:

    I’m sure there are many, many more than that. Granted, most people who would say those things aren’t Consumerist readers who even understand things like math.

  3. Buran says:

    Link doesn’t work.

  4. ivanthemute says:

    Awesome. Chocked full of hearty win goodness.

  5. ShirtNinja says:

    Maybe we broke them. It comes up as the first hit on Google, but it doesn’t work.

    This has to be like, the first Consumerist ‘/. effect’

    Awesome.

  6. FreemanB says:

    I got through the first two pages, then it died trying to load the third. Looks like a lot of people are trying to get through their Monday workday just like me…

  7. monkey33 says:

    No, some of these are pretty accurate. I work at a college bookstore, and once had a customer say to me “The library has books?”

  8. DeadlySinz says:

    @Buran:

    Link works, Site is down

  9. macinjosh says:

    This is my new favorite site; I look forward to NAR (and Consumerist!) popping up in Google reader. I believe that many of them are real, because they’re just too weird to be jokes. However, some of them are essentially old jokes or at least old stories, like this one from today:
    Guy cutting the line at airport counter: Do you know who I am?
    Ticket agent, on PA: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have someone here who doesn’t know who he is. If anyone knows him, please come to the desk.

  10. homerjay says:

    @JDAC: I too would like to believe that these are fake, but I really can’t put it past people to say these things.

  11. Sugarless says:

    I’ve worked with the public for 20+ years (waiting tables, retail, call center, coffee shop) and I’ve gotten some silly and mean customers.
    Not one of them made me want to post online to some site showing how dumb or silly they were.

  12. satoru says:

    My own story comes from my brother who used to be a bartender at a Japanese club:

    Brother: Hey you’re that singer from Whitesnake
    Man: Why yes I am (very smug)
    Brother: Didn’t we kick your ass last week for getting drunk and abusing the bouncers?
    Man: Uh….
    Brother: Yeah, don’t do that again. Now what can I get you?

  13. Raziya says:

    The only person I have ever wanted to post online about was the lady who told me she shouldn’t be expected to read because she bought over the limit of soda (and I told her before hand 4 was the limit, and even told her to ring the 5th as a separate order so she could bypass the limit). I lol’d.

  14. There’s also customerssuck.com. Can we overload that one too?

  15. nonzenze says:

    STOP BLAMING THE CONSUMER. I AM SO SICK OF PEOPLE ON HERE THINKING THAT THE CONSUMER IS EVER WRONG OMG!!!

  16. I think this is a good dose of reality for a site like consumerist. It isn’t always the buisness that does wrong. People make mistakes, be them a consumer or a buisness. I while these postings are cute because they show off confused or ignorant customers, a lot of customer expirences I’ve had are with people who are irate, and think they are always right. I wish there was a site to rant about customers that are jack asses.

  17. I still recall the day one of the pumps at the station I worked at said it was leaking, so the Veeder-Root system locked the station down. Since we couldn’t pump gas, he put signs on every pump across the handles(used old dot-matrix paper) that said Pumps broken. This did not deter people. So we put trashcans/cones/displays in front of every pump. Yet again, not a deterent. So we place cans in the entrances. People drove OVER the curb. The funniest was I worked the overnight shift, so I had all the lights except the booth’s back office lights off, even the oval(amaco). Guy pulls up and wants gas. I tell him our pumps are down. So he asks where he can get gas. I point to the Exxon across the street, which is lit like a Christmas tree, and the guy is out pumping someones gas. His response? “They don’t look open”

    The all time best was when we ran out of regular. Someone came up and asked for regular. I said we’re out. He points to a different pump and says, “what about that one?”. I said they are all out, the main tank is empty. He looks at me a second, and goes “Even that one over there?”, pointing at another pump. I never doubt the stupidity of people.

  18. kc2idf says:

    I was in college from 1989 to 1994. During that time, I worked as a computer lab attendant. Part of the duties were the sales of floppy discs. (For those too young to remember, these are magnetic discs that are built on a very thin, flexible substrate, and then enclosed in a shell. The 5¼” held about 360kB of data and 3½” held 720kB, and later 1.44MB.) In this time range, the technology was in transition, and both the 5¼” and 3½” varieties were in almost-equal use (with a slight preference for 3½”).

    A frequent statement from people wanting to buy a 3½” floppy disc was “I need to buy a hard disc,” thanks to the fact that the exterior of these discs is a hard shell, versus the soft shell of the 5¼” variety.

    No amount of explanation would yield the desired semantic correction with some users. It was probably the wrong thing to do, but we had an old 5¼”, full-height, MFM hard drive that we kept in a drawer and would pull out in times of failure to get through, put it on the desk, where it would land with a thud, and declare the price to be $300.

  19. Balisong says:

    Having worked in many bookstores, I can personally vouch for the non-fiction section story.

  20. ptkdude says:

    Working at Kroger while I was in high school, I once had a woman ask for “paramecium cheese”. I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about, so I asked her what it was used for. Once she said you put it on spaghetti, I knew she was talking about Parmesan cheese. It took every ounce of restraint I had to keep from calling her a moron.

  21. @Balisong: You ever get the, “I’m looking for a book by that guy who wrote the book they made into a movie a few years ago?”

  22. SnickerDoodle says:

    [dtost.blogspot.com]

    And thats all I have to say about that!

  23. Angryrider says:

    I’ve seen plenty.
    I am proud to call myself a part of the Dogbert’s New Ruling Class, and as an “elitist” I laugh at what the In-duh-vidual spouts out of his mouth.

    “Man, I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous!”

    “You couldn’t pay me to work on commission.”

    “They’re going through paper like it grows on trees.”

    [www.unitedmedia.com]

    You’re only an elitist if you’re smarter than the average person…

  24. My favorite, from my occasional lunchtime hangout:

    Waiter: “Can I get you something to drink?”
    Customer, in to watch soccer during lunch while nursing a $1.50 coke: “No. I’d like a coke.”
    Waiter: “Arrrtrghgghg!”

  25. bonzombiekitty says:

    @JDAC: If you don’t believe stuff like that this is true, then you’ve never worked in retail (or haven’t worked in it for long enough).

    One of my favorite stories from being a cashier is when I was putting away returned merchandise. I was standing in the cereal aisle. The cereal aisle had one side of the aisle filled with nothing but cereal. As I’m putting a box of cereal away a guy taps me on the shoulder. I turn around so that my back is facing the massive wall of cereal. I ask the guy if I can help him, and he looks at me and asks me “Can you tell me where the cereal is?”. I simply didn’t know what to say. Somewhat blinded by the oddity of it, I pointed over my shoulder and said “right here”. He got all mad. “Well, you didn’t have to be so rude about it!” and stormed off.

  26. Televiper says:

    @Angryrider: You’re only an elitist if you think your little cesspool of knowledge is better than the next guys cesspool of knowledge.

  27. balthisar says:

    @ptkdude: heh, you remind me of when I was a bad customer at Kroger. Where’s the sesame paste? The helpful employees ran all over trying to help me. When we got to produce (no idea why it was in produce), the produce clerk said, yeah, it’s labelled “tahini.” Then the other two clerks said I should have said tahini initially; they’d have taken me right to it. I say I’m the stupid customer in this case, because it’s tahini that I wanted; I just stupidly assumed that they’d have no idea what I was asking for and though sesame paste would be easier for them.

  28. KassiaIdomeneus says:

    Working at a UPS Store, 2 common questions I got were:

    “Do you guys Fedex here?”

    and..

    “Do you guys ship stuff here?”

  29. Balisong says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Can’t remember that one, but I got a couple of “The cover is purple.”

  30. burgundyyears says:

    Regarding story #3, I had a friend who worked at a pharmacy for a while that made things like creams and suppositories for the nether regions. Apparently, there are a number of men out there that don’t know what testicles are or what the scrotum is.

  31. Wet_Baloney says:

    The average (median) IQ of a human being is 100. In my experience people with an IQ of 100 are only slightly brighter than a bowl of split pea soup. So…100 being average, it follows that half the people are even dumber than that.

  32. AnnC says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: I asked that question once. It was for a cookbook but I couldn’t remember the name of the book or author.

  33. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Worked in a bookstore, got this one fairly regularly:

    C: I’m looking for a book.
    M: Ok, what’s the title?
    C: I don’t know, but it’s new.
    M: Ok, who wrote it?
    C: I don’t know. I think the cover is blue.
    M: … Ok. What’s it about?
    C: I don’t know. I think it’s on the best seller list?
    M: Who’s best seller list? New York Times, Ophra, Amizon?
    C: I don’t know.

  34. ViperBorg says:

    @JDAC: You mean we can’t do that?
    [i161.photobucket.com]

  35. @Balisong: “The Cover Purple”? Didn’t that have Oprah Winfrey in it?

  36. The only “blubbering idiot” moments I have like this is due to the mouthbreather employees at places like Walmart. Then they act like I’m the idiot just because they failed 1st-grade enunciation and smoked a blunt in the parking lot before work.

    Most of the time, I just try to be extra-nice. In fact, I always try to one-up the niceness of the employee, which usually helps me get what I want.

  37. @ViperBorg: I see that picture, and I can hear the grinding gears when the computer tries to retract the tray.

  38. Cervantes3773 says:

    While working at a university library:
    “Hey, uh, where are all the books?”

    While working in a restaurant:
    “I don’t like my food, but I like his; and he doesn’t like his food, but he likes mine. We want a refund.”

    And while interviewing a clerk while doing some SOX 404 work:
    “So you take the average?”
    “No, we don’t take the average. We just add them all up and divide by however many there are.”

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  39. BlackFlag55 says:

    My darling bride operated an independent bookstore for years. Our favorite Stupid Consumer asked for photo-books on dinosaurs.

    “S’cuse me?”

    “Photographs of dinosaurs.”

    “We have illustrations of dinosaurs, but no photographs.”

    “Why not? I’m sure Barnes and Noble has them.”

    “Because dinosaurs lived about 45 million yars prior to the invention of photography ….”

    You’re right … can’t make up this stuff.

  40. nadmonk says:

    My favorite we had when I was in telephone tech support was the body shop customer that used his high pressure air compress (the same one used for the impact wrench) to “gently” blow the dust out of his computer…along with his graphics card, modem, network card, various cables, etc.

  41. I have fun issues like that at my gig (university A/V dept). Like the people who persist in calling LCD projectors “overhead projectors”. Just because some of them are mounted, quite literally, over head does not give them the same nomenclature as those transparency projectors. What happens when I wheel a portable one in on a cart? Is it still an “overhead”?

    Of course, the best one was when someone requested a “slide projector” from us. Silly me, I thought they needed a carousel projector…you know, the old school Kodak things. Delivered it and then the student actually asked, “Where do I plug in my laptop?”

    *facepalm*

  42. ViperBorg says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: HA! It’s already dead. I just put it in for the photo-op. :)

  43. Cervantes3773 says:

    @BlackFlag55: It’s strange how people read fewer books because of TV/internet/video games/work and yet more idiots come into book stores and libraries…

    @nadmonk: Hilarious!

  44. TheUncleBob says:

    “I need a wireless internet cable.”
    “Do you have ethernets?”

    And, my personal favorite… standing about 20 feet in front of a giant wall of display TVs… customer comes up..
    “Do you guys still sell TVs?”

  45. Ryan H says:

    It’s really a negative feedback loop caused by the fact that a certain number of people are fundamentally stupid and unpleasant.

    So, you get the sales people who are forced to deal with these assholes all day. You know, the ones who make stupid demands and then glare at you and say ‘the customer is always right’ with a look daring you to contradict them so they don’t feel bad when they make up shit to complain to your manager about.

    Bitter? Me? Never.

    Good consumers are really the exception rather than the rule. This site represents a severely self selecting group.

    So, pissed off sales people dealing with so many bad customers end up acting the same way with the few good ones. And the good customers get mad because the sales people are treating them the same way they treat everyone else. So they act pissed off with the next sales person who then treats them like one more dumb sheep.

    And the actual assholes in both groups keep the vicious cycle from breaking.

  46. nsv says:

    Not so much a bad customer as a not terribly observant customer:

    A few years ago I worked in the grocery department of a supermarket. I worked hard, so I was fairly well muscled, but had long hair and other… identifiable feminine objects. A customer walked up to me as I had a pickle jar in each hand, stocking the pickle section.

    “EXCUSE ME SON, WHERE’S THE PICKLES?”

    I turned and looked and there was nobody there but an old man, who was suddenly closely examining a jar of pickles and pretending that he wasn’t the one who asked me that question.

  47. sophistiKate says:

    @balthisar: I love your story. I am am frequently at the store looking for unusual ingredients and having to guess what strange description of something I barely understand will make sense to someone else who probably also barely understands it. (And, yes, I do cook dishes so complex I have no business cooking them.)

  48. @Cervantes3773:

    While working at a university library:
    “Hey, uh, where are all the books?”

    I had to ask this question once – it was a 5 story library, and apparently the books didn’t start until the 4th floor…after three floors I had given up and sheepishly asked. They didn’t look too surprised…

  49. pegr says:

    Long ago as a video store clerk:

    Customer: You got any f**k flicks?
    Me: What?
    Customer: You know, f**k flicks?
    Me: Oh. You need to visit our store in (less-uptight county next door).

    Before you ask, it was in Kenticky…

  50. @nsv: I worked in the booth at a supermarket, and had to answer the phone. So I would answer(and I can still rattle this off w/o thinking) “Thank you for calling Norkus Foodtown of Fischer Blvd, this is John speaking, how can I help you?” Invarabily, at least 1 in 10 people would refer to me a a woman, i.e. “how are you sweetie”(a lot of old people in NJ), or “yes miss, can you…..”, etc… It did get bothersome after awhile.

  51. tinky XIII says:

    Being able to fight back against deserving customers is one thing I really miss about my days at the porn store. My first day I was told by two other employees plus the manager to not take crap from anyone that came in. Customers, vendors, anyone.

    I miss that place sometimes.

  52. nsv says:

    @pegr: Kenticky? Is that anywhere near Ihoi?

  53. nsv says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Ha! Now you know how I felt all the time. My answer to “Hey honey, where’s the potato chips” was something like “Two aisles that way, sweetie.” It got me some funny looks. I don’t think they knew they were doing it.

  54. chiieddy says:

    Hrm. Link doesn’t work. Too bad.

  55. sp00nix says:

    Me “Thank you for calling Best Buy”
    Customer “Can you put me through to the electronics department”
    Me “Ma’am can you be more specific?”
    Customer “I just need to speak to a salesman in electronics!”
    Me “The whole store is electronics, what are you looking for in particular”
    Customer “give me the damn electronics department, PLEASE!”

    This customer got loud and rude. So i re routed them back to the menu.

  56. kepler11 says:

    as some other stories have demonstrated (such as the ones about banks cutting off customers who call too much), running a successful business isn’t just about pleasing and keeping your good customers, it’s about minimizing how much you have to deal with and spend money on bad customers…

  57. LogicalOne says:

    Speaking of bookstores, I always see signs that say, “Fiction and Literature.” Can anyone tell me the difference?

  58. @nsv: You have no clue. I apparently sound like a woman on the phone enough to confuse my boss(it CAN be fun sometimes). It’s great when I call up somewhere, give them all my info, down to shoe size and what I’m wearing, and they say “And who am I speaking to?” John “I’m sorry miss, I need to speak to the account holder, John.” This is John “Oh, I’m sorry” It’s OK ::teeth grinding as I try to send death through the phone line::

  59. Televiper says:

    @Ryan H: I might be weird, but I always believed the courtesy goes both ways, and courtesy includes being gracious with the rude. So if a CSR is short with me, I brush it off if they are ultimately helping me get what I want. I have better things to do than hissy it out with some dick at a department store.

  60. chiieddy says:

    @sophistiKate: Tahini is a main ingredient in hummus. Now I know why I couldn’t find it in the spice aisle with the sesame seeds.

  61. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Michael Belisle: I like to go back and forth between the two when I have time.

    To complete the cycle of suck: My Bad Boss

  62. Buran says:

    @ptkdude: I sure hope there are no paramecia in my Parmesan.

  63. JDAC says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Oh I can believe it, I just wish it wasn’t so!

    I have worked retail, once at an opticians in London (first ever job, fired after 2 months) then at a Whole Foods in Virginia. Somehow, I never got a bad shopper, except for those blowing their WIC in a Whole Foods…

  64. Nenne says:

    I often frequent that site. I like it a lot. It’s much better then the Livejournal community “Customers_Suck” where employees whine about actually having to do their job.

  65. @monkey33: Please tell me you are making that up!

  66. Glad I don’t work in retail anymore. Working the phones can be equally frustrating. I work in credit card collections and when someone calls in I usually ask for their CC number first. Once in a while I’ll ask for their account number, hear them pause a moment only to reply with: “I only have my card number”. Groan.

  67. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    that one had some sort of reorganization like 6 or 7 years ago that vastly reduced its readability, and I hadn’t noticed any updates any of the few times I’ve looked at it in the last several years. Did things actually pick up again?

  68. Brunette Bookworm says:

    @Ash78: I worked at Wal-mart when I needed a job. I think there are a lot more idiot customers than employees. Like the time I was closing my register and a woman came up, crawled under the rope with the closed sign on it and asked me if I was open. Um, no….see that obstacle you had to go under? Yeah, it says “Closed”, as does the sign on the belt and the fact that my light is off.

  69. Reason says:

    @nadmonk: Wasn’t that a scene in “No Country for Old Men”?

  70. Ann-Marie says:

    Next stop: coffee table book! What a great idea!

  71. mizmoose says:

    @blackflag55 – when the natural history museum in [my former city] had a “Dinosaur’s Alive!” exhibition with robotic/animatronic critters, they reported that they had to refund a couple of idjit’s money because, “these are FAKE dinosaurs, I paid to see LIVE ones!!”

    RULE ONE: PEOPLE ARE MORONS

  72. carbonmade says:

    As sad as these are to believe, if you’ve ever worked in retail or customer service they are all too familiar. I worked at Blockbuster in college and this is my favorite: a customer dropped their movie in the box sometime over night, but instead of the actual movie, it contained a personal porn movie. When the wife came in to rent a movie later that day, she was informed of this error. She immediately starts yelling about how there are no porn movies in her house, we confused her with another customer, we’re only doing this to embarrass her in front of everyone else (which, if she didn’t start yelling, no one would have known), we are liars, cheats and thieves, etc. She stormed out spewing hatred the whole way. A short time later her husband shows up, looks around and sheepishly hands me the movie from his briefcase. I hand him his porn movie, he mumbles sorry and quickly leaves.

  73. @mizmoose: RULE TWO: If you don’t agree withe Rule One, it applies to you.

  74. @carbonmade: What would have been better if the women in said movie wasn’t the one who showed up. Hilarity ensues.

  75. man_in_plaid says:

    I work in a cafe, and one day we were serving fresh out of the oven banana nut bread. A man walks in, looks at it, asks “Is that banana nut bread?” To which my co-worker replied “Why yes it is sir, would you like a slice?” The man than asked “Do you have any without banana?” We didn’t know how to answer that…

  76. B says:

    @carbonmade: Couldn’t you have saved her a lot of trouble by saying the movie that was returned was a home movie, and not a personal porn movie?

  77. ophmarketing says:

    I swear I waited on the ‘non-fiction’ guy from the first example back when I worked for Borders back in the early ’90s. Our conversation went something like this:

    CUSTOMER: Do you have a non-fiction section?

    ME: Anything in particular you’re looking for?

    CUSTOMER: No, just non-fiction. Where would that be?

    ME: See that section over there, the one marked ‘FICTION’?

    CUSTOMER: Yes.

    ME: Everywhere else.

  78. Rev-E says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts: oasted-peanuts:

    At the bookstore I worked at while going to school the official answer from our manager to any customer looking for “That book by that one guy” was “The guy who wrote the other one? I’m afraid we’re out of that one.”

  79. @man_in_plaid: Well, the banana nut bread ain’t got much banana ‘init. It’s got less than the Banana banana spam banana nut bread.

    But seriously, I’ll eat his banana’s. I love em. I ordered….OK, this is getting too silly.

  80. @B: Judging by her reaction, I’m sure he tried sidestepping it, but she probably MADE him tell her. Like “BTW, you returned a home movie by accident last night.” What kind of movie. “A personel one.” I don’t know what you’re talking about. What was in it. “Uh, two people engaging in adult activities”. WHAT! HOW DARE YOU SAY I HAVE PORN!!

  81. carbonmade says:

    @B: I didn’t tell her it was a porn movie. I just handed it to her. The title itself gave away the type of movie it was.

  82. carbonmade says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: Yes, that is pretty much what happened. I don’t remember the name of the movie, but it was pretty obvious it was “adults only!”

  83. humorbot says:

    Working at a UCLA coffeehouse in the early days of the frozen blended coffee drink phenomenon:

    CUSTOMER: Can I get an Ice Blended, please?
    ME: Sure.
    CUSTOMER: But can I get it hot?

  84. skatanic says:

    The best one i know of my old manager at CVS told me about. The dialogue isn’t exact but you can get the idea.
    (Customer walks into CVS and heads to the photo lab, manager walks up to assist her) *The names have been changed to protect all those involved.

    C: I want to pick up some pictures i ordered online.
    M: Ok, whats the name.
    C: Susan Myers*
    M: (searches for pictures) I’m sorry I can’t find any pictures with that name.
    C: (getting angry) Well i ordered them 2 hours ago and was told they would be ready!
    (Manager continues to search and turn up empty handed while the customer gets more and more upset)
    C:(irate) Thats it, I’m never shopping at Walgreens again!
    M: Ma’am, this is a CVS.
    (customer looks confused, then storms out)

  85. monkey33 says:

    @BeFrugalNotCheap: To the customers credit, she was just confused about the library having course required textbooks, not books in general.

  86. FreemanB says:

    While in high school, I worked at a local seafood restaurant. One night, I was working as the cashier when a man came in with his girlfriend to pick up a to-go order. I started looking for his name on tickets. I couldn’t find a ticket there or in the kitchen, and none of the waitresses had taken an order. When I asked if it could be in another name, he angrily insisted he had placed the order himself. After double-checking, I told him we simply didn’t have any record of it, but I offered to take his order and have it made as fast as possible. At this point, his face was very red, and I think he would have walked out, but his girlfriend talked him into waiting for the food.

    So he starts placing his order consisting of several different meals, and I have to stop him when he tries to order one particular plate, since we had been out of the main ingredient all day.(Everyone who could have possibly taken an order was aware of this) This was apparently the last straw, as he throws up his hands, yells “Forget it!” and leaves with his girlfriend.

    About 45 minutes later, the guy comes back in, alone this time. He waits quietly in line, then proceeds to place a carry-out order, looking very sheepish the whole time. I don’t make any remark about his previous trip. After placing his order, he asks “What’s the telephone number here?” I give him a carry-out menu with the number on it, and he says thanks. Then with a very embarrassed smile, he says he had accidentally called another restaurant with the same name. In a city about three hours away. With a different area code. At least he was both nice enough to apologize, but I can’t imagine the teasing his friends must have given him before forcing him to come back.

  87. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I’ve worked in several crappy retail jobs during my college years. If you really want to get a taste of wacky and absurd customer behavior, try working at a mall during the Xmas shopping rush.

  88. BlackFlag55 says:

    Mizmoose – Robert Heinlein “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”

    He was so fracking right.

    But then, high school first year Latin I was stupid enough to ask “What do they speak now in Italy, if they don’t speak Latin?” And yet, I finished three years of Latin.

  89. sodden says:

    @mizmoose, well to be fair, they did advertise them as alive.
    Idiot customer stories are great, but a lot of these customer bashing sites tend to forget that there are idiot clerks too.

  90. @LatherRinseRepeat: Try a supermarket when there is a rain storm or snow storm coming. The three items people buy most in those situations? Milk, bread, and toilet paper. If anyone else out there has cashiered, can you back me up?

  91. forgottenpassword says:

    I noticed a lot of these complaints about customers is because some clerk expected the customer to know as much about an item as the clerk knows. Its like a starbucks barista chastizing some customer because he didnt know all about the different kinds of coffee they have (or the special names for the sizes).

    “STUPID CUSTOMER!!!!!”

  92. Televiper says:

    @ophmarketing: I think there are people out there who honestly mix up Fiction and Non-Fiction.

  93. Woraug says:

    I used to work at Target, so I dealt with my fair share of retards.

    (Woman walk up, and literally leans on the iPod display)
    Woman: Where do you keep the f**king iPods?
    Me: *cough* *pointing behind her*
    Woman: Oh *dirtiest f**k you look I’ve ever seen*

  94. Joessandwich says:

    I worked at a bookstore and had that first conversation almost verbatim on more than one occaision.

  95. celestebai says:

    I used to work for Sprint PCS Collections. When people had been past due for 90 days, their service was shut off. Anytime they tried to dial a number, it would automatically route them to collections.

    I had one call that went like this:

    Me: I’m sorry, sir, I can’t turn your phone back on until I receive a least the 90 day past due amount of $35.11.

    Him: Are you kidding? Do you know how much I’m worth? I am not going to pay $35.11. Turn my f#*$@ing phone back on now.

    Me: I’m sorry, sir, I can not turn your phone back on until I receive the $35.11.

    Him: I am worth millions. $35 is like pennies to me!

    Me: Then let’s go ahead and take care of this small payment and we can get your phone turned back on.

    Him: I am on a private beach in Maui that I paid tens of thousands to rent. *rant, rant, rant* I am not paying a stupid $35.

    Me: Then I can’t turn your phone back on.

    Him: This is ridiculous! I’m canceling Sprint and switching services!! *click*

  96. @celestebai: Be funny if you said “Well, I can see that you’re not roaming, and since Maui isn’t in our coverage zone, I don’t know how you’re making this call. Can you let me speak to a cabana boy please?”

  97. trujunglist says:

    Yeah, me too, as a gas station attendant:

    Guy: WHERE’S YOUR WATER AT? (ignoring long line of customers requiring attention)
    Me: In the back case at the bottom.
    Guy: (wandering around) WHERE’S THE WATER AT?
    Me: Right in front of you.
    Guy: WHERE’S YOUR WATER MAN, I’VE ASKED SEVERAL TIMES NOW WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?
    Me: (to customer) Hold on a second. (walks over, points directly in front of guy) Right there man.
    Guy: OH!
    Me: (walking back) Sorry about that…
    Guy: DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER WATER, THIS ISN’T THE RIGHT SIZE!!!!!
    Me: No, sorry sir. All our water is right there.
    Guy: (shoving way to front of counter) I’LL BUY THIS AND THE CHANGE ON PUMP 5 (THROWS me something like $1.67 which I leave on the counter)
    Me: Excuse me, but these other people are in front of you. (ignores him and helps others)
    Guy: RAR RAR RAR BLAH BLAH BLAH YOU ARE STUPID ETC (as I help other customers who were in front of him)
    Guy2: You are really having problems today huh? (to me)
    Me: No, some people are just rude, I’m not having any problems.
    Guy2: Well, get it together! This is no way to run a gas station! (stalks off cursing at me)
    Me: Ok… (finally it’s Guy’s turn) Alright, you wanted this water and the change on pump 5.. So that means that you’ll get $.17 on 5.
    Guy: No, I want it on pump 5.
    Me: The water is not free, it costs money. Therefore, you will have .$17 on pump 5. Thanks, have a nice day. (turning to another customer)
    Guy: NO! I WANT THE WATER AND THE GAS, GIVE ME THE CHANGE ON PUMP 5 AFTER YOU RING UP THE WATER!
    Me: OK, done. You have $.17 on pump 5.
    Guy: ……. I just want the gas actually.
    Me: Get the fuck out of here before I pepper spray your ass. You have $.17 on pump 5.
    Guy: OK. (walks out of store, forgetting water)

  98. SexierThanJesus says:

    I once had a table I was waiting on leave no tip on “Donate Your Tips To Charity” day. I also had a table order two steaks, eat them, and then complain that they wanted a refund because they thought they were ordering cheesesteaks. We brought up the “eating the whole damn steak” incident, to which they replied…

    “Yeah…when I saw two expensive steaks come, I was very surprised”.

    I don’t doubt a word on that site.

  99. witeowl says:

    @CaliforniaCajun: Ha! I used to have customers enter my small store all the time to participate in this exchange. (Note that I am typically behind the counter or otherwise clearly occupied with some activity.)

    Customer enters.
    Me: Hi, how are you doing?
    Customer: I’m just looking.
    Me: Oh, um… that’s nice?

  100. @dry-roasted-peanuts: Lol, I’ve had something very similar to that happen to me. Someone called our store to see if we had a certain movie. Now mind you I’m not very much into movies for the most part (despite me working at a movie store), but someone called and it went like:

    C: Yeah do you have that movie with the Indians? It was on Showtime last night and I wanted to see if you had it.

    M: Could you be more specific? I’m not sure which movie you’re asking for.

    C: It had some Indians. They were sacrificing people.

    M: I’m sorry, it doesn’t really ring a bell to me. The only movie I’ve really watched all the way through with Indians was “The Last of The Mohicans”.

    C: Nah, it’s not that one, it’s the other one with (insert an actor’s name I wasn’t sure of).

    M: Hmm, I’m not sure I’ve seen it. The thing is if it was on Showtime it’s probably a semi-old movie, almost a year old.

    C: Do you have the number to Showtime?

    M: No I do not

    C: Do you think comcast will have it?

    M: I’m guessing they would since they provide that channel. You should give them a call and see if they can help you with the name and then call back when you find out

    C: *click*

    She then calls later and says her co-worker said it was Apocalypto, which we do have there in fact, but I haven’t seen it for myself and didn’t even know it was about Indians. And there’s been times where someone’s brought a dvd back either horribly scratched or damaged (cracked) and admitted that they accidentally did it and asked for a credit on their account for it. Now any normal person would know if someone damages something they would pay for it, or at least not ask for compensation for their OWN damages that they did to someone else’s property, but she was being persistent with it.

  101. witeowl says:

    Ooh, another one from my days as a shopkeeper.

    Scene: I’ve nearly finished mopping my way to the door at the end of the day. We’ve been closed for about an hour. A customer comes knocking on the door.

    …….Me: Sorry, we’re closed.
    Woman: Can’t I come in and look around?
    …….Me: No, sorry, I just mopped.
    Woman: No, it’s OK. I don’t want to buy anything; I just want to look around.

    Wow, what a deal. You mean I get to stay later, mop again, AND make no money?!?

  102. sponica says:

    Weirdest retail experience ever, I was working in the box office at a movie theater, when someone asked for two tickets to “The White Supremacy” obviously meaning “The Bourne Supremacy.” Her significant other gave her a hard time for that one…

  103. mattbrown says:

    How about the way it should have gone:

    Me: “Can I help you?”
    Customer:”I’m looking for non-fiction.”
    Me:”What kind?”
    Customer: “Just non-fiction.”
    Me: “Okay. Over there are history, science, and
business sections. Let me know if you need assistance finding anything in particular.”
    Customer: “Okay. Thanks! Did you want a blowjob for your trouble?”

  104. ClevelandCub says:

    @Git Em SteveDave:
    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that has that type of problem on the phone. To make it worse my name is Christopher, but typically I go by Chris, so there’s no help there. When I was younger I worked in a call center that did pharmacy fulfillment for AARP pharmacy services (no kidding). I once had a retired gentleman in Texas with a thick Texas accent reply to my closing “can I get you anything else” speech by asking me to box myself up and come on down to Texas, because I sounded so sweet and pretty over the phone and I had been so nice. It was, without a doubt, the most interesting compliment I have ever received.

  105. Shmonkmonk says:

    I used to work in a clothing store and had customers ask me if we sold pants or shirts or sweaters- very vague. When I try to narrow it down for them, because I’m not white, they just assume I don’t speak English (even though I don’t have an accent ’cause I grew up here…).

    Do you sell pants?
    Yes.
    Where are they?
    Well, they’re kind of spread out, what kind of pants are you looking for?
    … The kind I can wear. You know, PANTS.
    Are you looking for denim? Dress pants? Khakis?
    ~Sigh. Paaaaaants. You know, like *these* (points at her khakis). Like *those* (points at my jeans).
    So are you looking for khakis or denim…?
    ~Sigh. NEVER MIND! I’ll go find someone who understands.

    Jerks.

  106. @ClevelandCub: Actually, IIRC, Ben over at the consumerist did a story on a guy who had a problem w/BOA b/c they wouldn’t help him over the phone. He was featured on NPR’s Wait, Wait… I actually enjoyed doing phone work when I don’t have to call people. When they call you it’s just so much more fun. We had this one customer whom everyone called “Aunt Bea”. She was a little “off”. She would call and give these long tirades about how her neighbor and her son would sneak into her house and steal her stuff, like the things you use to sew up turkeys to hold the stuffing in. Whenever she called, they gave her to me b/c I just loved talking to her. The trick was that if you even slightly paused when talking to her, she would interrupt you. You had to just blurt out what you were saying and not stop until she stopped. I eventually learned her name and would address her as she came in the store and cater to her every whim. She loved me and would complain about everyone else. I even went as far as to crawl under her car to assure her that the puddle was water from her AC, not her neighbor(who killed her husband by the way) cutting her gas line. I still remember the look of fear that would creep over the girls faces when they realized they had her on the phone, and they would give me the “help me” look.

  107. PinUp says:

    After eleven years in the retail cosmetics industry, tried out various responses to people answering “Just looking!” when I ask “How are you today?” or even when I just say “Hi.” It seems women hear only a loud buzzing sound when I speak. That explains why I see the same blank, averted gaze whether I say back “…so you’re doing well then?” or simply “okay” and walk away. Maybe I would get a more lifelike response if I said “Hey, I’m being polite; stop acting as if you’ll be overtaken by my witchery if we make eye contact!”

  108. joellevand says:

    @JDAC: No, I believe most of them. Ask me some retail stories some time.

    My favorite is the woman who accused me of making her look stupid when I worked at Things Remembered. She came in for a graduation present, and I suggested the desk clock with pen holder (her son was graduating law school). She bought it and asked me to write “Congratulations Steve, Class of 2000″ on it.

    I wrote this down on the work order, but she started getting pissed off.

    CUSTOMER: “No, no, no, you spelled it wrong. It’s C-O-N-G-R-A-D-L-U-A-T-I-O-N-S”
    ME: “Ma’am, excuse me, but it has two ts. There is no D in congratulations.”

    There was a line behind her, so I figured she didn’t want to look stupid. Still….

    CUSTOMER: “Listen, I’m not taking spelling lessons from some high school drop out.”
    ME: “Ma’am, I assure you I have a high school diploma and an associates–”
    CUSTOMER: “I don’t care if you went to Harvard, I know how to spell congratulations, and there’s a D in it.”
    ME: “Ma’am, I cannot take a return on a custom engraving, so I’m going to verify in the dictionary the correct spelling.”
    CUSTOMER: “You’ll only see that you’re wrong.”

    Without saying anything, I simply pointed to the word in the dictionary.

    CUSTOMER: “Well, your dictionary is wrong!”

    My dictionary was wrong very often, such as when it said that millennium had two Ns in it, or when it didn’t show the word “alot”.

  109. Another thing that i forgot to mention that happened. My co-worker and I had already closed the store, and our store hours had changed some time ago. There’s one sign that’s built into the door with the old hours (which the owner is going to go back to the old hours eventually) and there was another sign with the new hours. Monday – Thursday we’re open from 10am – 9pm, Friday and Saturday 10am – 11pm, Sunday the same as mondays. Well there’s a guy who goes there regularly and he’s fully aware of our hours not only because of the sign on the door, but that when he was there with his wife at 8:50 pm one night he was teller her she needs to hurry because we were going to be closing soon.

    The guy gets there on a thursday at 9:10 one night while we were already mopping the floors and taking care of funds. The “Open” neon signs were off (which are clearly displayed in the windows) and all but two lights in the store were off. He first tries opening the door, but to his demise it doesn’t. He knocks and you can hear through the windows there I’m like “Sorry we close at 9″. He’s like “What?”, so I held up 9 fingers and said the same thing again. I thought he left but then he’s knocking again. So I go to open the door and tell him we closed at 9. He asks “Then why does your sign say 10?”. I then pointed at the other sign that’s just right above the old one that shows the store hours, but he continued on saying “Well you guys need to get rid of that other sign, it’s confusing.” So i had to explain to him the whole deal about the change of hours were coming anyways and we put up that 2nd sign so it won’t cause confusion, which it hasn’t for others (except another couple who apparently didn’t see the sign). He then said “I just wanna exchange these movies for two more”.

    Honestly I wouldn’t have had a problem letting him in to exchange them really quick if he knew which movies he wanted to get, but I had already cashed out all of the registers and done all of the nightly paper work, so there was no way for me to log everything back on without causing problems with the system, so I even went onto explain that to him. He still comes to the store as regularly as ever, but at least now he knows about the hours. It just gets annoying having to explain really simple things such as hour changes to someone that already knows about them.

  110. Nickzor says:

    [www.rinkworks.com]
    Here are some funny tech support calls.

  111. dragonfire81 says:

    Apocalypto is about ancient Mayans I think, not Indians, but I guess to some all native peoples are the same.

  112. MikeGrenade says:

    I’ll never forget this one woman who was speaking with one of our managers. In an effort to sound informed, she kept referring to a conversation she had over the phone with our “corporal” offices.

  113. joellevand says:

    @MikeGrenade: At my office, some people seem to believe they sound much more important, educated, and believable when they say “I was just conversating with So-and-so, and she told me I could just file X, Y, & Z papers for approval.”

  114. rlue says:

    I used to work at Barnes & Noble (forgive me), and once had a customer ask me where books on time travel were.

    “No, not your Lit/Fiction section, please.” Then, taking a note from the quote in OP, “Where are your non-fiction books?”

  115. nardo218 says:

    A lot of them are apocraphyl, yes. I’ve seen them on Snopes, etc.

  116. mythago says:

    Worse than retail is working at a bank. You know all those Consumerist posts about how banks treat their customers? They pretty much treat their employees the same.

    It is astounding how many people would get angry when they tried to cash a check and were asked (politely) for ID. Especially if they were partially depositing the check. “But I’m giving YOU money!” No, dumbass, you’re giving me a piece of paper.

    I always wanted to tell these people that we would put them on a special No ID list, so that if anyone claimed to be them or cashed a check made out to them, under no circumstances would we attempt to verify their identity. But we were not allowed to be rude :(

  117. CPC24 says:

    I used to work in returns, and the stories I could tell would go on for weeks. Probably the best one was when a customer wanted a reprint of his receipt. He was sending it in for a rebate, and thought it was too wrinkled. He had IRONED it, and being thermal paper, it turned solid black!

  118. thelushie says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: The happiest time of year brings out the worst in people. Been there, done that. Won’t do it again.

    Concerning the posting on the blog about the grandmother pissed that the store sold her grandson “porn” in the form of Maxim. I still wonder why Maxim and the like can be in full view but they must.cover.cosmo? Never understood it.

  119. thelushie says:

    @CPC24: I don’t know. I could see a store refusing a rebate because the reciept is too wrinkled. LOL They like refusing them for every other reason in the world.

  120. Channing says:

    Ugh, I’ve worked in retail and there are lots of bad customers. Once, a customer had a sixpack (bottles) of beer and wasn’t paying attention or has the worst motor skills ever and drops it on the ground. No, the handle didn’t break. They just dropped the whole thing. Glass and beer EVERYWHERE. The customer turns to me and gives me this look like “Why the hell didn’t you prevent gravity from letting that happen?” and proceeds to say “All this glass is really dangerous! You better clean this shit up right away before someone gets fucking hurt. I can’t believe you guys.”

    Making only enough money to drive to work and eat is not worth that kind of poo poo.

  121. RvLeshrac says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts:

    I’ve done that several times, usually when I’ve been on my way home from work and happened to drive by the bookstore.

    In our defense, we DO expect that, since you’re working in a bookstore, you’re likely to recall something you’ve sold a lot of (assumed when something is on a “Best Seller” list, as opposed to something stupid like “Oprah’s Reading List” or whatnot).

    On the other hand, I can see some people getting uppity and bitchy when you can’t answer. I feel your pain – just don’t assume we’re intentionally being obtuse!

  122. RvLeshrac says:

    @thelushie:

    People are stupid, religious, prudish, or some combination of the previous, and none of the magazines should be covered – that said, Maxim doesn’t usually run cover-blurbs about “10 Steps To A Better Orgasm” and “How To Please Your Sexual Partner,” so they don’t have to worry so much.

    @mythago:

    Banks are assholes, though. As are most of the tellers I’ve encountered. I used to make a daily business deposit when I was a manager, and they NEVER knew who I was. I know they see a lot of people every day, but I try to make it a point to remember people I see *every* day in the course of business. People get irritated when they’re asked for ID not because they’re being asked to verify their identity, but because it implies a lack of trust. Everybody wants to be well-known.

    That, and a lot of people in many parts of the country are still used to our small-town banks, where we’re not treated like criminals, never have to ask twice for something, and have to try really, really hard to get assessed some sort of “fee”.

    Oh, and they know our names, the names of our parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren.

    @The Marionette:

    Now that’s just stupidity on the part of the business. Any sign with new hours should be COVERING THE SIGN WITH THE OLD HOURS, not posted above the old hours. Don’t blame the customer on that one – you’re both wrong, but the business owner is more at fault here.

    ——————-

    Here are a few from me:

    I used to work at a deli, and we had double-doors at the front. We’d always lock one door during the summer, making an effort to keep the AC in and the bugs out. We’d place a sign on the door saying “Use Other Door.”

    When that didn’t work, we changed the sign to read “Use Other Door ——>”.

    When *THAT* didn’t work, we finally put up two signs. “Use Other Door ——>”, and “This Is The Other Door.” Yeah, still didn’t help. Our only consolation was that we’d get to see at least a dozen people slam into the wrong door every day.

    Story 2:

    After getting sick of so many people standing in line for ten minutes trying to decide what to order and holding up the other customers, asking us for items that weren’t on the menu (old specials, etc), asking for the ingredients of each sandwich on the menu despite having a detailed, well-organized menu in front of each register (I’m not talking about one sandwich, there are/were plenty of people who ask about EVERY sandwich on the menu), etc etc, one of the managers decided to try and do something about it.

    So he put up a sign. A sign which read “Don’t Be Stupid.”

    Inevitably, someone would take offense (OK, it was MEANT to be offensive to these people), and something resembling the following would ensue:

    “Is that s’posed to be about me?”
    “Are you being stupid?”
    “… … NO.”
    “Well, then, it isn’t about you. Next.”

    There was also the inevitable “What’s that supposed to mean?”, which resulted in a blank stare.

  123. RvLeshrac says:

    Oh, as a final note:

    Responses to sites like this are very telling. They act just like the “Don’t Be Stupid” sign.

    The only people who took offense at the sign are the ones at whom the sign was directed – the only people who take offense at these sites are the ones who do and say the stupid things.

  124. RvLeshrac says:

    @JDAC:

    I don’t know how I missed that comment, I think I’m trained by years of “First Post” to skip the first few.

    Those stories about CD-ROM cupholders and the “Any Key” aren’t myths, they’re folk tales. Decidedly unverifiable, but there’s more than enough anecdotal evidence.

    And even today, if you work long enough in a PC service facility, you’ll still run across enough broken CD-ROM trays to wonder if some people never got the news.

  125. mac-phisto says:

    a lot of good anecdotes here. i don’t know if i would classify all these people as stupid or bad customers. many of these situations just show a basic inability to communicate, or language barriers that exist. or even haste in the case of asking where the horseradish is only to have an employee point to the shelf right in front of you. i’ll admit that happens to me more than once simply b/c i’m rushing.

    but here’s my bad customer stories:
    -question. question. question. question. do you think they sell this cheaper at wal*mart? goes to wal*mart, comes back to tell you they saved $5 & then asks if you can help them set it up.
    -customer buys expensive electronic unit & return 2 weeks later. comes back in to buy again, you sell them the unit they bought the first time & they get pissed off. “but this was USED BY SOMEBODY ELSE. i DEMAND a new one!”. no sir, it was used by you & should serve your needs well. see you in two weeks.
    -customers with cellphones are always bad customers. put the goddamn phone down for 2 seconds & relate to the person standing in front of you. it’s rude, obnoxious & it slows everybody else down while we wait for you to say “buh-bye. uh-huh. i love you, too. ok, talk to you later. yup, later. ok. bye. call you soon. bye.” don’t do it.
    -or my personal favorite: woman comes in & asks to use the (not really public) restroom. we oblige (hoping we’ll see a sale). anyway, we all pretty much forget about her until about 30 minutes later when she trudges out the front door – w/o so much as browsing or even a thank you. one of my co-workers goes to use the restroom & comes back moments later whiter than a ghost. it took an entire bottle of bleach to clean that restroom – i still have nightmares. needless to say, the restroom was only open to little kids about to pee all over our floor after that.

  126. IrisMR says:

    Funny stuff. Heehee…

  127. mmstk101 says:

    this has brightened my day SO MUCH!!!

    for real.

  128. Yay, my thingie got posted!

    When I was managing editor on a newspaper, the #1 thing I got complaint calls about was crossword puzzle problems. (Do. Not. Screw. with crossworders!) But the #2 thing, which totally deserves to be on this site?

    PEOPLE COMPLAINING THEIR HOROSCOPE WAS WRONG.

    I mean, seriously, wtf, dude? It’s a NEWSPAPER HOROSCOPE. We had ten months of them after the woman who wrote them died! You could replace every third word with “fish” and it would make exactly as much sense. But people would call and just SCREAM at me when they, like, didn’t meet a tall dark stranger. Or tall dark fish, for that matter. They wanted to know what kind of crap operation I was running, the newspaper was for facts, and how could they possibly trust my front page if I couldn’t even get their HOROSCOPES right?

    Oy vey!

  129. PinUp says:

    The only way to stay sane in retail is to accept that it’s an inevitable part of your job to be involved in people’s mental disorders.

    One we see on an almost daily basis in cosmetics is the lady who has nothing better to do than continually buy/return/buy/return/buy/return. Of course this is totally legitemate because she keeps discovering that she’s “allergic” to the products, she just happened to not have a “reaction” until she had used over half of it. Right…

    My other pet peeve is that people don’t seem to get that we work on commission. Now I certainly have no issue with spending time with a customer trying to help her figure out what exactly she wants, but I feel no obligation spend an hour doing your makeup for a party/night out/prom when you are not a regular client and you’ve made it clear that you don’t want to buy anything, you just don’t want to pay the $30-$50 it would cost for a makeup application in a salon. Do you also expect someone to do your hair for free??

    Tips: If you want your makeup done, at least buy the lipstick (and do not return it the next day!), and please don’t show up on a Saturday afternoon and get pissy because I can’t accomodate you right that minute–there are lots of other people that want to shop on Saturday afternoon, too, so call the day before (even a few hours before!) and make an appointment.

  130. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    People get irritated when they’re asked for ID not because they’re being asked to verify their identity, but because it implies a lack of trust. Everybody wants to be well-known.

    @RvLeshrac: No, not everybody.

    I honestly don’t care if store or bank employees recognize me or not as long as they are polite. I also wouldn’t expect bank tellers to stop asking for ID even if they did recognize me.

  131. P_Smith says:

    I’ve been guilty occasionally of such stupidity, though I’ve also been a first-time customer in stores and been treated as if I were an idiot by the clerks because I don’t know where things are; they work there, I don’t. People should differentiate between inexperience and ignorance, which are excusable, and stupidity or not paying attention, which aren’t.

    The type of stupid customer that really gets my goat is the impatient idiots…you know the type, the morons who think pushing *you* from behind is going to make the checkout line and/or clerk in front of you move faster. It’s especially annoying when they shove a shopping cart into the back of your legs, in which case I usually put my foot on the bar between the front wheel and shove it back into said moron.

    Another form such idiots take are the ones who “think” that because you’re not standing close enough to hump the ass of the customer in front you, that they can somehow butt into the line. (I usually leave about two feet between myself and the person in front of me.) That sort of moron I usually grab by the collar and pull them back out of the line.

  132. qwijybo says:

    heres a site i ran across a while back, still fun to read [www.actsofgord.com]

  133. Balisong says:

    @pegr: For some reason, that reminds me of something a co-worker once told me about. She used to work in a porn shop, and once she got a guy who came in and asked if they have any snuff films. Just FYI, don’t anyone do that, they will call the cops.

  134. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Now any normal person would know if someone damages something they would pay for it, or at least not ask for compensation for their OWN damages that they did to someone else’s property, but she was being persistent with it.

    @The Marionette: I weep for humanity.

  135. NikkiSweet says:

    I worked tech support for a company that did Dell support. I worked specifically on desktops…

    I get a guy calling in, his desktop won’t turn on, it worked fine the day before… I start troubleshooting it, going through the basics, and then get to the point where I’m about to tell him that we’re sending a technician out the next day… when I get this -

    Caller – Hold on a minute, the power in my apartment just came back on.

    Me – Sir, do you have a battery backup or a generator?

    Caller – No, do I need one?

    Pebkac.

    I used to love dealing with the “IT Departments” that would call in… I’d start troubleshooting, and they’d immediately say “no that won’t work.” My response – “Have you tried?”

    “No, but I know it won’t work.”

    /eye roll

  136. Marce says:

    One I get all the time at work:

    “Do I have to pay back loans?”

    It’s pretty hard to say, “That’s the definition of a loan” with a straight face.

  137. Donathius says:

    I worked at KFC in high school and had this little gem at the drive thru:
    Woman: [orders a whole bunch of food] and a large chocolate shake.
    Me: I’m sorry we don’t have shakes.
    Woman: You don’t have shakes?
    Me: No, I’m sorry we don’t.
    Woman (sounding incredulous): You don’t have shakes?
    Me: No, we don’t
    Woman (just making sure): You don’t have shakes?
    Me: No.

    The third time I was tempted to say something like: “Let me check [pause]. No, in the last 4 seconds we have not started selling shakes.”

    I also had someone once who absolutely insisted that he bought a hamburger from us the week before. This was not an A&W KFC, I suggested that he had bought one from the A&W store across town, but he insisted that he got it from us. Then he demanded to talk to the manager. I informed him that I was the manager, he asked to speak to someone who had worked there longer, there’s a reason why I was the manager on Friday nights…

  138. FoxintheSnow says:

    @LogicalOne: I know our store has all the fiction/poetry/essay books in one section of the store. I think that’s why it’s not just “fiction.”

  139. queenofdenial says:

    Today at work we were discussing when we would finally receive the tax stimulus check. I turned and asked a co-worker if she got hers and she says “What check?” We explain and she says “I never heard of that.” And I have the pleasure of managing people like this.

  140. mcmg says:

    I have personally had the same “where is the non-fiction section” conversation, almost word for word.

  141. dveight says:

    While working at a restaurant-

    Customer: “What type of meat is in the sweet and sour pork?”

    Me: Thinking “Ok, is this a joke? Is she thinking that we don’t use real meat?” I look at the customer, nope she’s serious, and she has no clue what she just said.

    Customer: Wondering why I’m giving her a puzzled look. Suddenly dawns on her what she said. “Oh my God, you must think I’m an idiot!”

    While working at a call center-

    Me: “…I have you phone number as xxx-xxx-forty-five hundred.”

    Customer: “No it’s xxx-xxx-four, five, zero, zero.”

    Me: “Yeah, forty-five hundred.”

    Customer: “No, four, five, zero.”

  142. datafox says:

    Working a bookstore I have had that conversation but people are nice when I point out to there there is no place like that.

    I had a bad customer one day who complained about how things were setup I said I was sorry but would try and fix things but he said how our store was lousy and competitors were better than we are. That hurt since I was trying to help and get comments to improve things. But the day after I had four customers express a lot of thanks for me helping them and my friendly attitude and that made up for the guy.

  143. RvLeshrac says:

    @dveight:

    The caller was an English teacher. 123-456-4500 isn’t “one twenty-three, four fifty-six, forty-five hundred”, it is “one two three four five six four five zero zero.”

    (For the record, it isn’t “one two three four five six four five O O,” either. “O” isn’t a number.)

    I’m just sayin’.

  144. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    if you think any of these are fake, please keep in mind that any walt disney world cast member [employee] will confirm that the number one question asked at the disney theme parks in orlando is “what time is the 3 o’clock parade?”

    here are a few i keep on my website that actually happened to me or my coworkers at disney or from my hotel job

    ***
    (at the top of the stairs leading up to the 2nd floor)
    tourist: “Excuse me, where are the stairs that go down?”

    ***
    tourist: “Does my ticket work here?”

    cashier: “May I see your ticket and I can check for you?”

    tourist: “Oh, I didn’t bring it with me, I left it at the hotel for safekeeping.”

    cashier: “Well, can you tell me what kind of ticket it was and maybe I can help you answer that?”

    tourist: “It was the square one.”

    ***
    (at a counter to pick up prints of pictures you designed on a computer)
    fairly famous actor: [looks at printers and CD burner] “I’d like a coke.”

    ***
    Guest: “Why would I bring my driver’s license with me? I only drove a couple of hundred miles to get here, it’s not like I’m from another country”

    ***
    guest: “I’m booked for two nights, but I’m going to need to extend through tomorrow night too”

    clerk: “well, we are sold out at this time but I can take your name and if we have any cancellations we can extend your reservation”

    guest: “well, you’d better make sure someone cancels because I NEED to stay tomorrow night too.”

    ***
    guest: “yes, you have me in a room near other people. I need to be in a room with no one else around.”

    clerk: “I’m sorry ma’am, the hotel is sold out this week. any room I put you in will have people in the nearby rooms”

    guest: “well, why is the hotel sold out?”

    ***
    guest approaches the desk with a laundry bag full of clothes and a suit jacket over his arm: “i need to send all of this out to be dry cleaned and pressed “

    clerk: “ok, the jacket too? if so it needs to go in the bag”

    guest: “but if i put it in the bag it will get wrinkled!”

    clerk: “yes but the cleaners will press it for you”
    [he continued to argue so we just took it on the hanger and put in the bag after he left]