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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:53 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
choirqueer wrote:
What I want to know is, who the hell buys a guitar and then never takes it out of the box?


I know this is really old, but I have to ask-- who the hell buys a guitar THAT COMES IN A BOX? That implies that you haven't tried it out first. That's just bizarre and alien to me.


I shudder to think! I had assumed it at least came out of the box and got put back into the box after they tested it but I guess I was probably wrong!

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:49 am 
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Why have I never opened this thread before? Some of these are scary and some are forking hilarious!

I've got a shiitake ton of these after years of working in a bookstore.

A very common variation on a theme is:
Customer: Hi, I'm looking for a book, I can't remember the exact title, but it's got "Rose" in it.
Me: Well, there are a lot of books with that word in the title. Do you know the author?
Customer: No.
Me: Well, what kind of book is it? Is it fiction, non-fiction, a kid's book?
Customer: I don't know. (Impatiently) So do you have it?

Why yes. Let me direct you to our special selection of books with "rose" in the title. *head desk*

The store where I work sells mainly English language books. For years we would repeatedly get a caller who only said "English women sleep with the dogs" over and over. It does freak new colleagues out but the folks who have been around for a while have some fun with him. Once, after his usual line, a co-worker asked him "Uh huh. Tell me more." Apparently the guy just started giggling and hung up. Another time, a colleague said to him "Hey it's you! You haven't called in a while." To which he responded "Yes, I've been on vacation." There are three other stores in town specializing in English language books and we found out not too long ago that they've all received calls from him. My hairstylist is Irish and advertises in expat circles, and I found out that he gets called by this guy too! I'm really curious what his deal is.

And what's the deal with people who don't want to leave at closing time? I've lost track of all the times I've gone up to people several minutes after we were officially closed and said "I'm sorry, we're closed now" and people just say "yeah, I know" and then keep browsing! GAH! This has even extended to having trouble clearing the building when it needs to be evacuated. We once had the police come and tell us to clear the building because of a gas leak at the bakery next door. This one asswipe got really angry because I told him that no, he couldn't stay and endanger his life and the life of my colleagues because he refused to leave without purchasing his porn. More recently, the fire alarm went off and despite the blaring alarm, and the mass of people being ushered down the stairs and towards the exit, we had to turn customers around who were actually trying to get upstairs. A bunch of people were standing in line to pay at the ground floor register and when I told one customer that we had to clear the building and that she could come back to buy her "Vogue" once the building was declared safe, she actually looked at me and said "Are you serious?"

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:26 am 
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I used to work in a bank in PA as a teller, and every Thursday (or every second Thursday? I dont recall) the workers from a closeby meat-packing company got their paychecks. They would storm into the bank by the dozens. Most of them were of Mexican origin, everybody would scream/laugh/holler at their colleagues in Spanish while waiting to have their checks cashed. Some of those would have blood on them. It was usually hilarious and fun, but in the beginning quite scary, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:38 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:


And what's the deal with people who don't want to leave at closing time?


This used to drive me up a wall when I waitressed! Like seriously, if you walked in anywhere else at 5 minutes to closing time, you would still be expected to be out at closing time. It's not like I could roll into my gym and tell them they had to stay open until I was done on the elliptical. But there are certain people who think that they could walk in 5 minutes to closing time and order three course meals and want several refills on coffee afterwards. I have no issue with people who had a long day and just need to grab something. But when we're clearly closed and only waiting on you and you keep ordering and ordering, you're a jerk.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:49 pm 
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This is the best thread! It cracks me up! I have worked in big corporations in a cube for 20 years = and being in IT everyone is a little odd. I have worked at home for several years and I miss the crazy.
We had one guy years ago that was a staunch libertarian with all these quotes in frames outside his cube. He would cut his hair in there. Pink slips were coming - and on the day they were coming (he wasn't getting one) - he made a bomb threat. He got fired. Sued AND got his job back.
He also claimed to be a battered husband - by a wife he ordered through an Indian bride catalogue.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:39 pm 
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gwenc02 wrote:
lepelaar wrote:


And what's the deal with people who don't want to leave at closing time?


This used to drive me up a wall when I waitressed! Like seriously, if you walked in anywhere else at 5 minutes to closing time, you would still be expected to be out at closing time. It's not like I could roll into my gym and tell them they had to stay open until I was done on the elliptical. But there are certain people who think that they could walk in 5 minutes to closing time and order three course meals and want several refills on coffee afterwards. I have no issue with people who had a long day and just need to grab something. But when we're clearly closed and only waiting on you and you keep ordering and ordering, you're a jerk.


A lot of people have the attitude that the customer has to be waited on hand and foot and I swear they get off on it. Once while closing a coworker told a customer that we were closed and he had to bring his purchase to the cash asap because we're closing down the cashes, and he was just like "you close when I'm forking ready."

When the closing announcements get made I've overheard people say things like "oh they can't kick us out, they won't close til we're done."

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:49 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
crazy book stories


Your stories remind me of the funniest stories from when my ex worked at a book store! One woman came in and said "I'm looking for a book. I don't remember the title, the author, or what it was about, but it had a plane crash in it, and it was about this thick."

I also liked the story about the kid who, excited about the book his mom had just purchased for him, loudly announced at the cash register, "All right! Now I gotta poo!"

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
gwenc02 wrote:
lepelaar wrote:


And what's the deal with people who don't want to leave at closing time?


This used to drive me up a wall when I waitressed! Like seriously, if you walked in anywhere else at 5 minutes to closing time, you would still be expected to be out at closing time. It's not like I could roll into my gym and tell them they had to stay open until I was done on the elliptical. But there are certain people who think that they could walk in 5 minutes to closing time and order three course meals and want several refills on coffee afterwards. I have no issue with people who had a long day and just need to grab something. But when we're clearly closed and only waiting on you and you keep ordering and ordering, you're a jerk.


A lot of people have the attitude that the customer has to be waited on hand and foot and I swear they get off on it. Once while closing a coworker told a customer that we were closed and he had to bring his purchase to the cash asap because we're closing down the cashes, and he was just like "you close when I'm forking ready."

When the closing announcements get made I've overheard people say things like "oh they can't kick us out, they won't close til we're done."


I actually discovered the secret to keeping a "problem local" out of our office without having to call the cops was to simply say "oh sorry, we're closing," the second I saw him walk in. This is a man who has called me a hors d'oeuvre, threatened that "someone's gonna pay in blood!" and put a colleague in a headlock-- and yet when I tell him we're closing he says "oh, okay!" and heads right back outside as pleasant as pie. 2:30 pm, 10:00 am, whenever. Thankfully I haven't seen him in a few months, I hope he's an inpatient rather than a prisoner right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:30 am 
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One of your stories just reminded me about a guy that used to call where I worked (the head office of a gym company). He'd start chatting away about whatever, and eventually he'd ask "how tall are you?", now my job was pretty boring so I'd indulge him: "well, I'm only 5ft". And he'd be like: "Oh, really.... my wife is quite petite, too. Hey... I bet you've got pretty small feet...."

If you ever asked him for his membership number or details, he'd say he didn't have that information at the moment, and hang up.

I had a few colleagues who said that after asking about their feet he'd go "cheesy feet... cheeeesy feet", but sadly he never did that to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:46 am 
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Ugh, there is this guy who has been calling regularly (not every day, but 2-3 times per day when he does) who cannot stop calling me 'sweetie,' 'honey,' 'sweetheart,' etc. I've told him not to call me that and he has asked my name but only to fork with me and play little games. As in, at the very end of our conversation, he'll say "thank you, Erika... sweetheart" and hang up, just to be a sandwich. Thankfully he didn't actually have me on the phone that time, it was my colleague! So I've decided to play little forked up mind games right back and whenever he calls and says "hi, Erika" I say "this isn't Erika."

Honestly, I just want him to call and say "hi, this is ____. Can I speak to ___?" or "I sent a fax, would you please check to see if it's come in?" I live for that kind of shiitake.* Five minutes of being talked down to like a little doll? Not so much.

*slight exaggeration.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:51 am 
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Ugh.

My group for today showed up with 47 people for a thing scheduled for 24. They were shocked - SHOCKED - that we did not have space and materials for all of them.

I know their upper management is partly to blame - they're the ones who do the booking, and probably passed along wrong information - except I also recognize the supervisors who showed up today. They were here in the fall with a different group. They have seen the exact room and event before.

Don't be like you didn't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:01 am 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
crazy book stories


Your stories remind me of the funniest stories from when my ex worked at a book store! One woman came in and said "I'm looking for a book. I don't remember the title, the author, or what it was about, but it had a plane crash in it, and it was about this thick."

I also liked the story about the kid who, excited about the book his mom had just purchased for him, loudly announced at the cash register, "All right! Now I gotta poo!"

I worked in bookstores for 12 years! We should chat.

My favorite was when someone called looking for aquariums. Not a book about aquariums.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:44 am 
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Haha, littlebear! People do ask for the weirdest shiitake.

One guy came in once and asked for a book with pictures of dragons, so I walked with him over to the Fantasy Art section and showed him some. He leafed through them and said "Actually, I was looking for a book with photographs of dragons."

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:15 pm 
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"So what are the charges you're facing, sir?"
"well, it all started when I stopped taking my medication..."

This guy was apparently represented by an attorney here back in 1978 and kept going on to me about the trial, with Judge So-and-So, The XYZ Case from 1978, you know the one. I just let him ramble for a while because I just didn't have the heart to tell him that the person he was talking to didn't even exist until a year later.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Is it weird that this thread makes me miss working?


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:26 am 
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Phone: ring ring!
Me: Hello, law offices
Caller: Heyyyy... uhhh.... I missed my court date this morning? And I think Jane Doe is my lawyer?
Me: ....you're not sure if Jane Doe is your lawyer or not? [I hear snickering from the other side of the office wall- my phone calls provide a lot of amusement in the office]
Caller: Well, I had a piece of paper in my wallet that says she's my lawyer, but my lawyer is some dude!
Me: OK... and what's your name?

I put him on hold and confirmed with Jane Doe's legal assistant that not only is that man not her client, but she didn't have a court date for that morning and to top it all off, she's currently 3,000 miles away on vacation. I returned to the phone but he had stepped away from the line and after getting no answer I had to hang up. We suspect that the 'piece of paper' that told him that Jane Doe was his lawyer was, in fact, a business card. The mystery may never be solved...

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Business cards are made of paper, though, right?

You owe him an apology.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:34 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
Business cards are made of paper, though, right?

You owe him an apology.


You're totally right. A business card is pretty much the same thing as a legally binding retainer agreement.

*hangs head in shame*

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Oh my, these are all awesome.

I sit on the phones all day for people wanting to buy clothing, and occasionally I get some silly people. I once got this older woman call in - she said she was 68 years old - and had previously ordered some "bloomers" from the company (don't ask my why she called them "bloomers" - no one younger than 90 calls them "bloomers!). Anyway, she proceeded to speak very highly of those particular garments, almost like she was professing her love for these bloomers.

She went on to tell me how horrible "modern" underpants were. Here are some quotes:

"Boyshorts... They're meant for boys but girls wear them! Ay yi yi..."
"Thong-thongs are only for women whose rear-ends are still firm"
"I tried a pair before, but I got cold back there!"
"Why do women like low rise? They don't cover where my bottom splits."

Okay... So after all the talk about underpants (about 20 minutes long), she proceeded to order 30 pairs of the bloomers that she loves so much and then have them sent overnight. She REALLY needed those bloomers!


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:32 am 
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It seems like once a week we get calls or emails from people that want to "donate" their "compost" to our gardens, by which they mean drop off their food waste, and definitely not help with tending the compost. That's not a donation, folks, that's just garbage.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:53 am 
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you can institute a drop-off fee. give them the option to drop it off and tend or to drop it off and pay a fee for someone else to tend to it. win-win?

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:09 am 
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We generally discourage food waste in community garden compost piles in general (rats can be a problem), and with 123 gardens, that would get too overwhelming for our small staff to manage. We offer free home composting classes twice a week, including worm composting for apartment dwellers, so between that and encouraging them to call their city council person about expanding the city's curbside composting program, we have solutions to offer. It just cracks me up that people feel so warm and fuzzy about "donating" garbage.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:54 pm 
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We actually had to close our dog kennel area to the public because people were so forking stupid. We used to let people in to look at the dogs. We don't have a separate area for stray/aggressive/unvaccinated/sick dogs, so it is really important that people not stick their hands in the cages. We would always say, "Please do not put your fingers and hands in the cages. Please do not open the cage doors. If you have any questions or want to see a dog out of his kennel, just come back out and ask us. We will have a staff member take the dog out for you." We also had these same rules posted on the kennel door, and bright orange signs posted inside the kennel area that said "NO FINGERS IN CAGES. DO NOT OPEN CAGES." These are some of the events that happened over the years:

- A woman opened all the cages and let all the dogs out. Luckily, there were no major dog fights. The woman was indignant when we told her she could not do that, and said that she "just wanted to see them all at the same time".

- Two teenaged girls went into the kennel. When my mom looked in to check on them, she saw one girl with her face pressed against a stray dog's cage, and her hands totally through the chain link. My mom shouted, "Miss, please get back from that cage!" and the girl freaked out. "You forking bisque, how dare you tell me what to do! I can do whatever I forking want! How dare you speak to me like that! fork you, you forking bisque!" and stormed out.

-A woman came into the shelter with her two small children. They were in the kennel for quite a while. When a staff member went in to check on them, she was horrified to see the two children locked in a cage with one of the dogs. The mother was standing outside the cage staring at them. The staff member yelled, "Ma'am! You can't do that! Get your children out!" The woman grudgingly let her kids out of the cage and said, "Well how else was I supposed to find out if the dog likes kids?!"

- At one point, we had a German Shepherd who was very nervous in the kennel. He was okay out of the cage, but when he was in his kennel, he was very frightened by strangers approaching, and would bark and lunge to try to scare them off. We put him in the furthest cage, and told visitors, "The dog in the last kennel is very scared. We are working with him, but for now, please stay away from the cage and don't look at him." So what did everyone do? Went right down to his kennel and stood in front of it while he barked and flipped out. They would stare him right in the eye, saying "What's wrong? Why are you barking?" as the dog whipped himself into a total frenzy. So we took several leashes and used them to make a barrier rope to block off that end of the kennel. We made a sign saying "Please Stand Back" and taped it to the rope. So what did people do? Went right to the barrier and leaned over it, staring at the dog while he flipped out. So we thought, okay, maybe we can get people involved in his training, and that will make them feel like they're doing something and they'll listen. We started instructing people to walk past his kennel and toss some treats in. We told them "Do not linger. Do not look at the dog. Just toss the treats in and then move away." Sooooo what did they do? Stood in front of his cage and tried to put their hands in to hand feed him. And so we closed the kennel to the public.


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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:15 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
A very common variation on a theme is:
Customer: Hi, I'm looking for a book, I can't remember the exact title, but it's got "Rose" in it.
Me: Well, there are a lot of books with that word in the title. Do you know the author?
Customer: No.
Me: Well, what kind of book is it? Is it fiction, non-fiction, a kid's book?
Customer: I don't know. (Impatiently) So do you have it?

Why yes. Let me direct you to our special selection of books with "rose" in the title. *head desk*

All of the time!

Patron: Hi, I'm looking for a book.
Me: Okay, what kind of book?
Patron: I don't really know. I'm not sure. I'm not sure what kind of book I'm looking for.
Me: Okay...do you know the subject?
Patron: Um, I'm not really sure. I'm not sure what kind of book it is. Or what it would be.
Me: Do you know what age group?
Patron: I guess what I'm looking for is [extremely general and ambiguous request here]. Do you have any books like that?
Me: Well, those are generally not found in this type of library; that is more of a higher reading level with more complex content. X library will probably have it, though. It would be in the X section of the library and they have a whole series called XXXX that deals with that content.
Patron: Ah, never mind.

or, the alternative ending which results in me showing them books and them immediately passing them up with just a fleeting glance.

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 Post subject: Re: Very Special Customers/Clients
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:23 am 
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Ahhh! Book worker solidarity!

Closely related to those scenarios:

Customer: Hi, I need a gift for my brother's girlfriend.
Me: Ok, what does she like to read?
Customer: I don't know.
Me: Ok, well, what kind of things is she interested in?
Customer: I don't know. I haven't met her. But she's turning 32. Any suggestions?

And the flip side of the specificity coin:

Customer: Hi, I'm looking for a specific book that was recommended to me. It's about business communication. I can't remember the exact title or author though. I think it's got the word "Yes" in the title.
Me: Getting to Yes?
Customer: I don't know.
Me: We've got that over here if you want to take a look.
Customer: Yeah, but I'm not sure that's it. Is there anything else it could be?
I check database.
Me: There are a few other titles it could be. Why don't you take a look at this list and see if anything rings a bell.
Customer continues to point at various titles and ask me: Is that it? Could that be it?
Me: I don't know sir. I'm not sure which title was recommended to you. Maybe you should ask the person who recommended it again.
Customer: Oh, I don't really know them. I wrote it down on a piece of paper, but I left it at home. *getting huffy* I thought YOU could help me.

_________________
Ain't no guarantees in life, and nothing that comes out of my vagina can change that. - Erika Soyf*cker

I'd rather have a cupcake and a matte stomach. - Desdemona


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