Monday, April 5, 2010

Placing bricks atop an atom of air is not the correct way to construct a bridge. I shit you not!

The Reconciliation of Titania and Oberon. Oil ...Image via Wikipedia

There's been a fair number of obnoxious/horrible/mean customers at my job, but honestly the sheer stupidity I encounter on a daily basis is almost worse. Point of reference -- I work in a bookstore.
A few days ago, a woman walked up to me. "Hi, do you work here?"
Me, holding a phone, a stack of books, standing behind the customer service desk: "Yes, can I help you?"
Her: "Can you tell me where I can find the books written by people?"
Me: Bzzzzwhaaaa?
Her: "Where are the books written by people?"
Me: ... "Sorry, what?"
Her: "Oh, there they are!" Heads over to biographies
Orange, bottle-blonde mother/daughter pair walks up to me. Girl: "Do you have any books by Shakespeare?"
Me: "Yes, absolutely. Which play did you need?"
Girl: "I need the one that sophomores read."
Me: "Well... there's not just one play that sophomores read, do you know the title by any chance?"
The mom: "Can't you just show her the ones that sophomores read?"
Me: giving up Let me show you the section. Okay, usually early high school students read Romeo & Juliet, maybe Midsummer Night's Dream, maybe Macbeth... Do any of those sound right?
Girl: "Maybe Romeo & Juliet. I don't know."
Me: "Okay, maybe Julius Caesar, maybe Hamlet..."
Girl: "Um, Julius Caesar. Isn't that the sequel to Romeo & Juliet?"

I work at Sears, usually in hardware. A customer comes over and asks where we keep our batteries. I ask what the batteries are for. She freaks out. "Who gives a shit what they're for? I don't want to make small talk, I want to know where the god damn batteries are."
I point out that, as a department store, we have several kinds of batteries in a few different places. Camcorder and cell phone batteries in electronics, I point. AA and AAA batteries, and drill batteries in hardware, I point. Tractor batteries in Lawn and Garden, I point. Car batteries in automotive, I point.
She walks off toward automotive, embarrassed but still a bitch.

I used to work at best buy (yes, i know, i still cry myself to sleep at night as a result), and during my, oh how shall we say, uh, joyous time there, i had to deal with many a dumb-ass. now one particular piece of work one day called into the store and asked if we had a certain album in stock (it was something very obscure and i don't remember the name), which we did.
when she came to the store she was sent to the media department which was where i was working. she walks up to me and explains that she had called in about the album and that she would like my help in locating it, she told me the artist and album names, and i gladly obliged. well after about 5 minutes of digging through the rack, i couldn't find the album anywhere and she was becoming rather impatient. i apologize for it taking so long and suggest we try searching our system for the album as it may give us clues as how to locate it.
we walk over to a computer and i search for the album, nothing comes up. i try a few different spellings etc.. etc.. still no luck. it is starting to appear as though we didn't carry the album she was looking for. this whole time she is becoming more and more agitated. i once again apologize and explain that i am doing everything i can to assist assist her. any who, i go check in back to see if it simply hadn't been put out on the shelves yet. i go through everything we have, and i mean everything. nothing. i walk out and apologize again and explain that it appears that we simply do not have the album.
well she decides to flip out and start yelling at me. great. i begin to just start riffling though our most of our cd collection out of desperation and still cant find the fucker. in the mean time she is following me around yelling at me and making snide comments. well after a good 15 minutes i still cant find the damn cd (i had been working there for some time, i was pretty good at doing this quickly). i explain to her again that it appears that we don't carry the product. she flips out some more, i go to check in back again just to keep her happy, i look around back there for a good 10 minutes and check in the most ludicrous of places, nothing.
as i walk back out onto the floor bracing my self for the shit storm i know is rapidly approaching, a co worker walks up to me and tells me that the customer had found the cd! in extreme embarrassment i walk up to the register she is paying at and ask her if everything worked out okay and how she found the cd. she turns to me and smiles, and without the least bit of remorse for the way she had been treating me says that everything worked out fine, she had just confused the name of the cd. i just smile and walk away. i hope that bitch got hit by a fucking bus, with a bike rack in front.

I run a high-end bistro that specializes in wild game. One night I am serving Elk Tenderloin which is $48. At one point in the evening a server comes into the kitchen and tells me that a customer would like to order the elk. But the customer is saying that most places advertise elk but serve another type of meat or a less expensive cut. So in order to alleviate his suspicion and doubt he wants to see the raw steak to prove it is what is advertised. Normally I will go out of my way to appease customers. The problem is: Bringing raw food into the service/public area and then returning it to the kitchen to be prepared is a health violation. I inform the sever of this and she then relays the information to the customer adding that the chef would come out to his table to personally reassure him of the authenticity of the steaks origin. At this point the customer becomes irate and proceeds to start making a scene. Hearing this from the kitchen, I quickly plate a raw steak and carry it out to the table in order to appease and calm the customer down. This is where it gets interesting.
He picks up the steak with bare hands and sniffs it! Then he pokes and prods it a couple times. Now, pretty much the entire bistro is looking in our direction. A couple confused looks coupled with WTF mutterings are causing me to feel increasingly uncomfortable. After completing his USDA level inspection, he puts the steak back on the plate and pushes it towards me while licking the blood off his fingertips.
I ask him if the steak meets his expectations and he nods in the affirmative. Ignoring the other patrons quizzical stares I head back in the kitchen to prepare the fondled and molested steak. As soon as I enter the kitchen the server comes rushing in. She tells me that the customer has changed his mind! Now, I cannot in anyway serve this to another customer. So I head back into the dining room to explain to the guy that basically " you fondled it you bought it." Thus beginning the indignant/entitled restaurant patron rant (the IRPR or ERPR).
I tell him that he is going to pay regardless if he eats it or not, so he should probably have me prepare it. I wasextremely polite in our entire interaction. He then gets up to leave while swearing and berating me and my staff. I inform him that he is about to commit a crime (walking out on a bottle of wine and the steak he befouled). He gives me the finger and leaves followed by his mortified wife.
One of of my bussers follows him out to his car and writes down his license plate#. Now this is a very small tourist town, one square mile. After a quick search the police return with a now red-faced and humiliated steak raper. The police officer had let him know that our towns police force does not take theft/walkouts lightly. I went ahead and prepared his Elk Tenderloin with wild huckleberry demi-glace, roasted new potatoes and cumin scented baby carrots, placed it into a to-go box and wished him a lovely evening. I even apologized that it had to come to this.
The next day his wife returned to the Bistro, apologized profusely, gave me a huge gratuity and informed me that her husband had grudgingly admitted that his meal was excellent!

People can be stupid and other people can be awesome.