Working in customer service exposes you to a variety of people. Unfortunately, wisdom seems to avoid most, and it shows in their bizarre ways of approaching life’s simplest tasks. Here, service workers cringe as they recall the most insane displays of customers’ lack of common sense.
“Years ago I used to work at a gas station.
One day a Dodge Caravan pulled up to the diesel pump. Two teenage girls hopped out and put the nozzle in their van before they hit the button for diesel and waited for me to approve it.
Now I’m definitely no car expert, but I had never seen a caravan that took Diesel so I turned on the intercom to get the girls’ attention.
‘Hey, just so you know you’re at a diesel pump,’ I warned them.
The girl standing at the pump cocked her head to the side and said, ‘So?’ with a major attitude. The girls started laughing as if I was the idiot that said something stupid.
So, instead of stopping them from filling up diesel, I approved the pump and watched them pump about forty bucks worth of Diesel. When they came in to pay, the girls threw their money at me.
I watched them drive off unfazed.
Thirty minutes later, I got a call from a furious lady.
Apparently, her daughter filled up their van with diesel and it stopped working while they were driving down the freeway. Now they had to get their engine replaced. The mom was screaming at me and asking why I allowed them to fill up with diesel.
She then demanded I pay for the replacement. I simply told her I warned her daughter that she was filling up diesel, but her daughter and her friend laughed and proceeded to do it anyway. It’s not my job to insure that everyone fills up the correct fuel for their vehicle.
The irate mother kept screaming at me, so I hung up on her and went about my day.”
“Way Too Complicated”
“I was working at a call center doing technical support for a computer manufacturer. A customer had just unpacked her brand-new machine and set it up. but wasn’t able to hear any sound from the speakers.
I thought it would be an easy call because the issue she was having was pretty common. Our setup guide was good, but not great. There were about five audio jacks on the back of the machine and only one of them was for sound.
‘No problem,’ I assured my customer. ‘We just need to double-check the connection.’ I started walking the customer through some troubleshooting techniques. Once the customer finished, I then instructed her to turn the green knob on the speaker to power it on.
I solemnly swear I am telling the absolute, straight, unvarnished truth:
After she heard my instructions, the customer asked me, in all seriousness and in the most exasperated tone imaginable, ‘Ugh. Which one’s the green one? I’m not a technical person.’
I was ready for a hundred different questions, but that sure as hell wasn’t one of them. I had about three seconds to come up with a response before the pause became unprofessional. In that brief instant, a million possible responses swirled around in my mind, and none of them were great. Somehow, I managed to pick this winner:
‘The one most closely resembling a frog in color, ma’am.’
As soon as I said it, I buried my face in my hands. I thought that maybe the customer misheard me. Nobody would take ‘green’ to be a technical term. I should have just said ‘the port with the green-colored plastic’, or even just ‘the green-colored one.’
But no. I had to go and tell her to think about frogs like she’s a friggin’ preschooler. I expected her to read me the riot act, but this is what I got instead:
‘Well, why didn’t you just say that in the first place? You people make everything way too complicated.’
I froze, unsure of what to say next. I had to say something reasonably intelligent, or at least justifiably professional, but I had nothing.
Fortunately, the customer finished the call for me: ‘Okay, it’s working now. Thanks for your help. Bye.’
I’m truly thankful she ended the call for me. This happened almost twenty years ago, now, and I still don’t know what I would’ve said.”
All The Difference
“Right after I got out of the Army, I worked at Carl’s Jr. for a few months. One of the items on the menu was a roast beef sandwich.
Most of the menu items were burgers that were cooked in a flame broiler. The roast beef sandwiches were heated in a microwave.
One night, a customer came in and ordered a roast beef sandwich. He demanded that we not microwave the roast beef and said he wanted it heated in the flame broiler.
Given the thinness and type of meat, his request was impossible to do.
Out of curiosity, I asked him why he wanted his sandwich done this way.
‘Because microwaves are made by nuclear energy, and radiation will make me sick,’ the man replied matter-of-factly.
I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing in his face. I was about to tell the customer how microwaves really worked, but I caught my manager’s gaze and decided against it.
So I walked around to where the cook was and whispered what was going on. I then said loudly, ‘He needs his roast beef cooked in the broiler.’
The cook responded, ‘Okay.’ He then fiddled at the back of the broiler for a few seconds and said, ‘Roast beef is in.’
I then put the sandwich in the microwave and heated it, then served it to him.
A few days later, the customer came back in and ordered another one. Once again, I made a big show of making his sandwich special. I asked if flame-broiled tasted better than a microwaved one.
He replied, ‘Yes. I can taste the difference.’
Yeah. Sure you can, dude.”
You Tell Me!
“Years ago I worked at Home Depot.
I worked in the Building Materials Department, where people could order custom windows and other similar items.
Many people came in for advice on their projects which wasn’t a big deal because most of us had backgrounds in construction.
One day, a man walked up to me and said:
‘Hey, I’m building a house.’
‘Okay,’ I reply. ‘What did you need help with?’
‘I’m doing all of the work myself,’ the man added. He had a blank stare on his face.
‘Okay?’ I repeated.
‘Well, how much is it going to cost me?’ The man amped his voice.
‘Well,’ I chuckled nervously. ‘How big is the house? I mean are you looking for a specific cost per foot based on a materials list or something?’
The man threw his hands up in anger. ‘What the hell! That’s what I need you to tell ME!’
‘You mean you need me to tell you the materials?’ I was so confused.
‘You IDIOT! I need you to tell me how much it will cost to build the house!’ The man shouted.
‘Sir, I would need to know some type of size or–‘
“Just forget it! You guys freaking suck. You won’t even help me!’ The man screamed over me. He then proceeded to confront one of my coworkers nearby. He was much older than me and much more experienced.
I couldn’t hear the initial exchange, but I heard my coworker tell him, ‘Buddy, I can’t help you because you’re a freaking moron. Nobody could help you. I feel sorry for your wife.'”