Travel Stop

Indiana

(There has been a bad wreck on the interstate. Traffic is being detoured onto the state highway and many are stopping for gas, snacks, etc. I am the only cashier working and there’s a line to the door. Most truck drivers are understanding and are just getting in line with everyone else instead of making me run between registers, except for one.)

Driver: (has been standing at other register for several minutes) Hello?

Me: Sir, I need you to get in line with everyone else. It’s very busy and I can’t run back and forth right now.

Driver: But I have already been waiting for five minutes!

Me: I know, and I’m sorry sir, but you can see the line I have and you have also seen me helping other drivers at this register.

Driver: But I just need my receipt!

Me: There’s only one of me, and I’m working at this register. I’ll need you to step over here and get in line with everybody else.

Driver: This is ridiculous! You have seen me standing here, why won’t you help me?! (he complains for a few more minutes, but eventually gets in line)

Next customer: Does that happen a lot?

Me: You have no idea.

Travel Stop

Indiana

(A customer comes in with a gift card he won at a convention. While it is a card we take, it is generally used for diesel purchases and he has already pumped his gasoline. This conversation happens after I’ve tried running it several different ways and calling the card company.)

Me: I’m sorry sir, it looks like this card won’t run. Do you have another way to pay?

Customer: This is bull****! Run it again!

Me: Sir, I’ve already tried every way I know to run it. I’ve called the issuing company and they couldn’t do anything either. Are you sure it had money on it?

Customer: Of course it did! I just won it in a drawing! How long have you even worked here?!

(Note: This question happens a lot when customers get mad and try and bully any of the girls working. I’m generally pretty easy going and soft-spoken, but this always gets me riled up.)

Me: (smiling) Five years.

Customer: Oh- well, fine, here’s the cash! (throws money on the counter).

(Unfortunately he came back the next night. A truck driver stepped in and bought the card off of him before he could get too mad. I always wondered if he got ripped off!)

Home Improvement Warehouse

Fort Worth, TX

(I usually work mornings in a big home improvement warehouse in the paint dept. It’s usually pretty slow with regular contractors coming in. One regular just placed his order and I’m in the process of making it as he talks to another associate.)

Contractor: He’s too young to be working here. How old is he, 12?

Associate: He’s actually the dept supervisor. He runs it pretty well.

Customer: Y’all must really be desperate. Shouldn’t you still be in school? Do you know anything about hard work?

Me: Sir, my father has a home remodeling company that I’ve been working with since I was 12. I took this job a year ago because I had to pick up some extra bills. I actually quit last month when I got this promotion.

Customer: Yeah, it looks like he fired you because you can’t handle it.

(Trying to hid my frustration, I spill a little bit of paint.)

Customer: Oh you f*****g moron. He fired you because you are clueless!

(The associate then steps back as the customer starts laughing.)

Customer: You know nothing, I can see it in your eyes. You can’t handle a real man’s work so you joined this cake job.

Me: Sir, not like it’s any of your damned business, but I took this job because my fathers business started to fail because of his failing health. I had to quit and find a more steady paycheck to help pay his bills. I am 20 years old, I live in my own house and pay all my own bills, manage a whole dept with 7 people in it, and completely self sufficient. I don’t do drugs or stay up all week partying, and I for damned sure don’t critique people I have never met before in my life. Now I would appreciate if you would stop trying to prove that you are some f*****g amazing person when you are just an asshole!

Customer: Where is your manager?! You can’t talk to me like this!

(The associate that was originally talking to him is wide eyed and the man starts yelling across the store. My manager comes running up to figure what is going and the customer then starts going off about how I cursed him out and how I give horrible customer service. Since he comes in everyday he was given a discount and sent on his way. I was lucky enough not to be fired since the associate vouched for me saying the man started everything and I was only given a write up.)

Fast Food

Nebraska

(Note: The first thing I was told upon entering the store this morning is that one of my coworkers pulled the soap dispenser off the wall of the ladies’ room while trying to refill it.  I am one of two females working this morning, and the kitchen staff for the shift is composed entirely of male workers.)

Customer: Excuse me, there’s no soap in the ladies’ room.

Me: Oh, uh, yeah.  One of my coworkers accidentally pulled it off the wall this morning while trying to fill it.  If you’d like, I could see if we have any pump bottles stashed somewhere, but I doubt we do.

Customer: (Suddenly angry) Well, I just don’t understand how CLEAN your kitchen could POSSIBLY be if there’s no soap for the employees to wash their hands.

Me: Actually, I know you can’t see it from this angle, but right through that door there into the kitchen is a hand sink and a firmly-mounted and filled soap dispenser for employee use.

(The customer humphs at me and walks away, and I notice one of the supervisors giving me a weird look from the kitchen, so I go to see what he wants.)

Coworker: What was that about?

Me: She wanted to know how our male kitchen staff was washing their hands since there’s no soap dispenser in the ladies’ room.

Security Guard

Atlanta, GA, USA

The company I work for was recently contracted to provide security for an apartment building in a low-income area. The managing company had had a real problem with trespassers and illicit activities.

Visitors must come to the desk and tell the guard on duty who they wish to visit. The guard then calls the tenant for permission to let the guest past the lobby. No answer? No entry.

For a while, I could have the following exchange:

Me: (after getting visitor’s name) Who are here to see?

Visitor: [Name of tenant]

I look up the tenant’s phone number and call. Phone rings. And rings. And rings.

Me: [Tenant] isn’t available.

Visitor: Can I go up and knock?