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 Post subject: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:26 pm 
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So, I work in a law office with lawyers who mostly deal with criminal defense. We're also populated by fairly well-known liberal personalities who have worked on some landmark cases. Consequently, we attract a lot of unusually poor decision-makers, street people, and paranoids in addition to the usual bevy of friendly clients, curious admirers, and gregarious colleagues.

Oh, and did I mention that I am a secretary/receptionist? So I am usually the first line of defense when we get more... unusual visitors and callers.

I wanted to start this thread to share some of my more unusual stories but also because I know I can't be the only PPKer out there who deals with just plain bizarre customers/clients on a daily basis. I want your stories to keep me entertained in-between my own weirdos. I'll put up some of my own soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Oh here's a short one from a few weeks ago:

Me: "Hello, law offices."
Caller: "....such a forking dumb bisque."
Me: "Excuse me?!"
Caller: "Oh hey, XX, I had a question about the certified mail you sent me-"
Me: "this is Erika. I can put you through to XX's voicemail."

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:35 pm 
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OH and how could I forget about the client who, when his attorney wasn't able to talk on the phone, decided to describe his anal fissure to me instead.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:37 pm 
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when i used to teach in japan we had prospective clients come in to interview (really a level assessment and sales pitch) with the sales staff and the foreign teacher.
one day two older guys come in who were awkward, giggly and dressed very strangely (looked like classic yakuza low-level gangster with the weird jogging suits and too much jewelry [we had a lot of yakuza in that town but when they're older they wear suits, so it was weird]), they were evasive about scheduling and about what they did for a living. I was seriously expecting the hidden cameras to come out. But i was a good salesperson, so i did my job anyway, made them laugh, and they signed up (using the equivalent of "john doe" names to do the paperwork but leaving a large cash deposit).
They came for first class and it turned out they were actually monks from a nearby monastery that didn't want anyone to know they were studying (they were not vow-of-poverty monks, but they owed some obligation to another school or something and didn't want to cause problems), so they came in disguise. Which made them giggly. They were my favorite students, and I keep in touch with one to this day (he baptized my kids).

I have a lot of VSP stories that don't turn out so well, but this was the one time that did.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:48 pm 
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Oh my. I have tons of stories, I don't even know where to begin. Working in retail for way too long gets you a front row seat to crazyville!

This reminds me of a reaction I just had recently from a law office receptionist. I recently had an injury and decided to speak with an attorney about it. So I went to a biggish law firm in my building and when I walked in and requested to make an appointment for a consultation she looked at me like I had 5 heads and was from outer space. So I explained that I work in the building a few floors up and I figured it would be easier to walk down and speak with someone. But I guess that was so unheard of that I just blew her mind! She wouldn't let me speak to anyone, insisted on taking my info instead, and then I didn't hear from anyone for a few days. So I just nixed them all together. But, is what I did really all that strange?

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:08 pm 
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torque wrote:
when i used to teach in japan we had prospective clients come in to interview (really a level assessment and sales pitch) with the sales staff and the foreign teacher.
one day two older guys come in who were awkward, giggly and dressed very strangely (looked like classic yakuza low-level gangster with the weird jogging suits and too much jewelry [we had a lot of yakuza in that town but when they're older they wear suits, so it was weird]), they were evasive about scheduling and about what they did for a living. I was seriously expecting the hidden cameras to come out. But i was a good salesperson, so i did my job anyway, made them laugh, and they signed up (using the equivalent of "john doe" names to do the paperwork but leaving a large cash deposit).
They came for first class and it turned out they were actually monks from a nearby monastery that didn't want anyone to know they were studying (they were not vow-of-poverty monks, but they owed some obligation to another school or something and didn't want to cause problems), so they came in disguise. Which made them giggly. They were my favorite students, and I keep in touch with one to this day (he baptized my kids).

I have a lot of VSP stories that don't turn out so well, but this was the one time that did.

This is one of the best things I've ever read.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:15 pm 
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torque, that is such an amazing story! Reminds me of when I worked in retail at the Eaton Centre (huuuuge mall in downtown Toronto) and once a month, Tibetan Buddhist monks from a monestary near Chinatown would come in for a field trip. They'd gawk at all the displays and things to see, always giggling! Working there was a real low point in my life, but those guys coming through my shop were sort of lucid moments among the chaos.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:35 pm 
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I used to work in web and phone customer service for a personalized Christmas ornament web site...and I have ruined countless Christmases as a result. In fact, you would think it was my personal mission in life to ruin customers' Christmases, if you listened to the things they said. I swear I think some of them thought we picked out names at random to decide, "You know what, I don't like you...I think I'll snap the head off your ornament before I send it." As if we intended for the postal service to break it before it arrived, or intentionally mixed up the personalization that was entered by the customer into the wrong text field. As if it was my fault that we held the order due to a question about said personalization, called the customer at least 3 times over the course of a week, never received a call back, so took our best guess and sent it out...oh but it was our fault that it wasn't right. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:41 pm 
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"And how exactly did you get the 'exhibiting a deadly weapon' charge, sir?"
"well, I wanted to show them how I would defend my temple and my woman against intruders. So I had a sword- it was a Lard of the Rings replica sword..."

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:47 pm 
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I used to work as a receptionist at a university which had a large agricultural school. One time this woman phoned wanting to sell some goat semen to one of the university's farms (despite the fact that they did not have any goats, and I was working in the admissions office) and would not take no for an answer. I now know more than I ever cared to about the difficulties of harvesting, marketing and selling goat seed. Gross.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:48 pm 
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My most recent favorite happened just this week. I log onto my work email to find a request...Extortion, really.
I work for a magazine. We are small, niche and receive much of our content from submissions.
This e-mailer writer felt that we had slandered her boss in a mystery issue of the magazine and was wondering what my department (the advertising department )would like to do to "make it right".
When I was done giggling, I referred her to the legal department (really just our little editor who handles all the contracts) and we haven't heard from them since.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:49 pm 
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I encourage you to take a look at Not Always Right.

It is filled with larfs.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:02 pm 
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Also Clients from Hell

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:12 pm 
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When you arrange flowers for people, it's automatically assumed we want to know why you need the flowers.

"I want flowers that will get me laid" is a common one. Also way too much detail over random deaths is also common. I'm sorry that your coworker's whomever died, that's sad, but damn do I really need to know of how gruesome it was? No please.

There's also the customers who come in saying "I'm thinking something really simple, like just one type of flower, tulips or something", and then I wrap a whole bunch of tulips and maybe a little grass and when they take it they're all "OMG YOU'RE AMAZING! I COULD NEVER HAVE COME UP WITH THIS!" ...

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:40 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I encourage you to take a look at Not Always Right.

It is filled with larfs.


I am familiar. But it's not updated as often as the PPK!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Mars wrote:
When you arrange flowers for people, it's automatically assumed we want to know why you need the flowers.


Funny, people assume the same thing when I ask them if they'd like voicemail! They start giving me a big explanation about why they called, and I'm like "dude, I don't care. You made it past the gatekeeper, I'm transfering you now."

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:53 pm 
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That reminds me, I don't mean to say I don't ever want to hear why (the royal) you are getting flowers! It's just if it involves you talking about sex, let's nip that habit in the bud please. Unless you're really cute and it's about sex with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Do patients in a medical setting count? I hear the most amazing stories from patients. Someone recently told me about how they caught chlamydia from that bird that's spreading it around. They just would not believe me when I broke the news that there is no chlamydia bird.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:57 pm 
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mooo wrote:
Do patients in a medical setting count? I hear the most amazing stories from patients. Someone recently told me about how they caught chlamydia from that bird that's spreading it around. They just would not believe me when I broke the news that there is no chlamydia bird.

That's one slutty bird.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Oh man, many years ago I was a bank teller and we had some dumb campaign going on that involved having placemat thingies at our teller cages that said, "We'd like to get to know you." Tons of weird responses to that one like, "I have webbed toes." Thank you. Thank you for sharing. I don't want to get to know that much about you. I wish I could remember some of the others but it was 20ish years ago...

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:55 pm 
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mooo wrote:
They just would not believe me when I broke the news that there is no chlamydia bird.


I thought it was spread by horny bivalves.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:05 pm 
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I work front desk at a women's gym, and oh boy I've had some fun people. Overshares don't bother me much anymore. My favourite is when women want to show me their "problem areas", and jiggle them in my face, even if it means removing articles of clothing.

But the best was pretty recently, there was a gym member who had only been coming a few weeks. Partway through her workout (in an empty gym) she sat on a machine, closed her eyes and started moaning. I ran over and asked if she was alright. She opened her eyes and told me "I'm fine! You see, Abelskiver, I am an energy healer. I was working on a man's energy this morning and thought I'd check in with him to see how he was doing. I got a huge wave of negative energy back! But I'm ok." I smile politely and tell her to let me know if she needed anything. On her way out she stops to tell me, "I know I'm weird. I'll try and tone it down when other people are here though!" Haha she's pretty cool.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Abelskiver wrote:
I work front desk at a women's gym, and oh boy I've had some fun people. Overshares don't bother me much anymore. My favourite is when women want to show me their "problem areas", and jiggle them in my face, even if it means removing articles of clothing.

But the best was pretty recently, there was a gym member who had only been coming a few weeks. Partway through her workout (in an empty gym) she sat on a machine, closed her eyes and started moaning. I ran over and asked if she was alright. She opened her eyes and told me "I'm fine! You see, Abelskiver, I am an energy healer. I was working on a man's energy this morning and thought I'd check in with him to see how he was doing. I got a huge wave of negative energy back! But I'm ok." I smile politely and tell her to let me know if she needed anything. On her way out she stops to tell me, "I know I'm weird. I'll try and tone it down when other people are here though!" Haha she's pretty cool.

I want to hug her!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:31 pm 
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I had a lot of great ones when I worked at Starbucks. Like the woman who threw a black coffee at me because she wanted room left in the cup to add cold milk, and how could I have not known that even though she didn't ask for it? Or the guy who kept trying to freak me out with how 'super goth' he was, and got all surly when he came in dressed in a bear suit with a codpiece and a snake wrapped around his neck and I just responded with 'oh, hey Shaun, tall vanilla latte, right?'.

I work for the government now and we keep getting emails from this woman who apparently used to run a puppy farm and was raided by the RSPCA, who took all the dogs away. She keeps asking us to intervene and get her dogs and 'expensive breeding equipment' (cages) back. And she's getting progressively more hysterical with each email- in the last one, she called the premier of her state Hitler and said she's being unjustly persecuted like in the Holocaust. I don't even work in an animal- or legal-related department, I think she's just emailing every publicly available address that ends in 'gov.au'. I dream of emailing her back with a thoroughly bureaucratic list of reasons why she's awful one day.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:53 pm 
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I work in a library, so I get plenty of these, as you know.

At one library, I was working at the Welcome desk (where we just stood and greeted people as they entered the library, as well as directing them to which part of the library they needed). There was a slot in the desk which was a book return, with a sign saying what it was. A woman came in saying that she had an appointment with XX. I didn't know who that was, so I looked through the staff directory and still couldn't find the person. I asked what the appointment was about and she said "she's doing my nails." "Excuse me?" "Isn't this a nail salon?" Umm...

At that same library, we had a patron who we called "the Sheriff." He dressed like a cowboy and in his gun holster, he had a flashlight. He used to run for mayor every year, because he believed that people should be allowed to swim in swimming pools for free.

That library didn't have a porn policy. Anyway, no one gets paid after closing time in libraries, so we appreciate it when you leave by the time we close. One guy would not leave. Soon five of us were gathered around him telling him that he needed to get out. He was looking at porn, and we all could obviously see what he was looking at. He still kept looking at porn and was completely ignoring us.

I've talked about this one on here before. At this library, we had long rows of dim stacks, which got little foot traffic. We kept finding books that were sitting out that had ejaculate in them. One morning he was finally caught in the act (masturbating in the library, so that he could leave his gift in a book). While being arrested, he asked if we could call his work to let them know that he wouldn't be coming in (he worked in a DELI. I don't want to know what gifts he left there).

One library I currently work in used to be a funeral home (the teen section was the embalming room--not relevant to this story, but it amuses me and I enjoy telling people who know what the library used to be). One day, a man walked in wearing a suit and was very confused. He was there for his father's funeral. Strange though since the renovation probably took a couple years.

I could go on forever, so I've only told the ones that are the most bizarre. If I think of anymore this bizarre, I'll post! Tomorrow is a new day, so we'll see if I get to add to this then. May I just say that I love my job


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