The saying “the customer is always right” is maybe one of the most frustratingly misconstrued idioms in history.
Originally, it meant simply that if the customer said they wanted thing A, you shouldn’t try to convince them they want thing B. Just sell them the thing they want, make them happy, and get your money.
Simple enough. It definitely should NOT mean that whatever a customer happens to spout is correct.
Because. I mean. Just look at this:
You’re not gonna believe some of these. Or maybe you will.
Either way, get ready to roll your eyes and laugh out loud.
1. What’s the problem?
-Can you photoshop some pictures for me?
-Sir, this is a bookstore.
-Yeah, but I see you have a computer right here.
2. You prevented something unbearable.
I worked at REI a few years back (large outdoor sporting goods co-op, just in case you haven’t heard of it), and we sold bear spray (pepper spray for bears).
A woman came in with her two kids one day and bought a canister because they were going camping.
She gets to the front door, then comes back to the register as an afterthought, and asks if she’s supposed to just spray her kids from head to toe with it.
3. Size does matter.
I very briefly worked at a Wendy’s some years back and I was working the drive through.
A woman ordered two meals, one with a small drink and one with a large.
As I handed her the drinks she asked, “which one is the large?”
4. That’s what I want too.
Worked at a fried chicken place. Lady calls and says that her daughter is going to order. His daughter sounds about 5 years old and orders 500 pieces of chicken.
I say ok laughing. The mom gets on and asks how long. I tell her that her daughter just ordered $1000 dollars in food. Does she really want that. The lady goes nuts screaming at me asking if I think her daughter is dumb.
Me “so you want 500 pieces of chicken?”
Her “My girl wants what she wants, make it and stop making fun of her”
Me” It is going to be at least an hour and 1000 dollars”
She shows up 10 mins after looking for her chicken. I explained to the manager about the call. She freaked out when the cashier told her it was over $1000.
The lady refused to tell us how much chicken she really wanted while the little girl stood there screaming she wanted 500 chickens.
5. Can’t fix what you can’t see.
This was few years back, customer (very chill guy) called in saying he recently bought a new MacBook Pro and it’s not working.
I asked him “What happens, when you press the power button”
he said ” I don’t know where that is”.
6. Something’s fishy about this.
About a decade ago, I used to work doing customer service for a power company in Texas. As you can imagine, a great number of my calls involved late bills and disconnections. And it’s not like the company was ruthless – due to Texas regulations and the general PITA of disconnecting/reconnecting someone, it generally required being 3+ months overdue to actually get shut off. So it was hard for me to work up much sympathy for anyone who was disconnected for delinquency.
But the absolute best was the guy who called up screaming at me about his power being off, because he’d just bought a whole load of rare exotic saltwater fish who have to be kept temperature-controlled. And (of course) he was totally unwilling to pay anything towards his bill either, because he’d spent his money on the fish.
So yes, I DID say exactly what any reasonable person would be thinking at that point.
I feel bad for the fishes tho.
7. Bills come due.
Ughhhh there was a girl at work who drove me nuts about this.
Her: OMG I’m soooo scared! I don’t know how to use my credit card!
Male Co-worker: What do you mean you just swipe it.
Her: I didn’t know I had to pay the bank! How do I read this statement? I’ve never used a credit card before.
Co-worker: It says payment due.
Her: Nooooo but how do I pay? Omg I’m so scared can I just give them 10k? Is that enough?
Repeat for half an hour.
Keep in mind our office is a pretty big well known organization and her job involves verifying important information.
Because she was also flirting with the guy I wasn’t sure if she was legitimately stupid or faking it because she thought it was “endearing”
8. I’m sorry, are you five?
“Can you aerate that for me?”
He wanted me to stir his apple juice. Technically his word choice was applicable, I guess, but wtf, dude? He had a straw ready in his hand and he could damn well have aerated that juice himself. I admit it took me 2 seconds of staring at his serious face before I reached for a straw, unwrapped it, and stirred his drink. I did it all without breaking eye contact with him, and he was satisfied.
Also I think about him now every time I stir or shake my chocolate milk to make it frothy.
9. Right is right.
I used to work in IT and one of my jobs was to support some of the security software we offered to customers. We had a package for secure data transfers and people often had to call up to be taught how to use it.
I was helping a woman use the software over the phone and I had a Remote Assistance connection to her PC so I could see her screen.
Me: “Okay, so find your name in the list of users”
Her: “I’ve found it! What do I do now?”
Me: “Right click your name, and then choose log in from the menu”
Her: “Is it my right, or yours?”
10. The embodiment of entitlement.
I’m a cashier at a grocery store and one time I had a lady ask me of I could “tell everyone else to let her go first.”
Like, she expected me to force everyone who had been patiently waiting in line to let her cut them. It wasn’t like she only had 1 or 2 items either; her cart was packed.
11. Maybe he’s not a strong reader.
I work at a small outdoor restaurant that sells wings and fries. Nothing else, just those two things (as far as food goes).
About a week ago, a man walked up to my counter, took a menu, proceeded to read the entire thing in front of me, and then put down his menu to ask, “Can I get a cheeseburger combo?” After taking a minute to wipe he ‘wtf’ expression off of my face and telling him no, we only sold wings and fries, he says, “What about a hot dog? Let me get a hot dog!”
My mind was blown after that conversation.
12. You’re too sweet.
Customer: Where’s the sugar?
Customer: I ordered sweet corn, this is just corn.
13. Case closed.
Back when I did tech support, I received a call from a customer with a peculiar keyboard problem. It seems that he was having trouble with the shift key.
When he typed a letter with the shift key pressed it gave him the upper case letter, but when he typed a number, it didn’t do that.
Didn’t do what?
Type the upper case number.
I had to break it to him gently.
14. Very poor judgement.
Working at callcenter, asking people to pay their old bills. Naturally some responded angrily.
‘So this is what you do all day? You just call people who haven’t paid their bills?’
‘So if I paid my bills you’d be out of the job?’
‘If everybody paid their bills, then yes.’
‘Ha ha! Good. You just f*cked up by telling me this. I’m going to pay my bills right away. When you’re unemployed then see how you like getting calls about your bills!’
The futility of eradicating a job that relies on the existence of poor people by making me poor escaped them.
15. Knock on wood.
Worked on a Christmas tree farm over winter break in college.
One time I had a lady ask me, “so, what are these trees made out of?”
16. Just plane wrong.
I fly private jets. Once we were flying east early in the morning so the sun was directly in our eyes.
A passenger was sitting directly behind us on the jump seat. He leaned forward and asked “is there any way we can just climb and get above the sun?”
17. This is VERY alternative medicine.
Once, while working at an eye doctors office, a woman was upset because we were charging her to make new lenses with an updated prescription and asked “why do you have to make new lenses, just inject some more medicine in the ones I already got?”
18. This guy’s running on low.
I was working at a car battery store, when a customer came in with a receipt for a battery he had bought a couple weeks ago, asking for a refund. I asked him if he had the battery with him, so that we could take the battery back and refund him the money, when he said, “No I don’t have it anymore, I put it in a car I just sold.” Confused, I replied, “You want us to refund you for a battery that you don’t have anymore?” He responds, just as confused, “Yeah well I don’t have the battery anymore, so why should I have to pay for it? You need to refund me.”
He did not leave the store happy that day.
19. Gotta love modern conveniences.
I work for a major wireless cell carrier in the US.[…]
“How do I make a phone call?”
Me: “Just press the application labeled phone.”
Me: “On the phone.”
“Right here? The one that looks like a phone?”
“Nothing is happening!”
Me: “Normally when you want to make a phone call and you don’t have any contacts programmed into the phone, dialing a phone number is required.”
“If I wanted to waste time dialing numbers, I would have stuck with my land line!”
20. How does it know?
“Hey, the bathroom door is locked. Can I get a key?”
“There’s no key, if it’s locked there’s someone in there”
“How does it know?”
“How does… what… know… what?”
“How does the bathroom know someone is in there?”
“People…. people go in and then they lock the door while they’re using it.”
[5 second pause]
21. It’s time they were party trained.
“What do you mean I can’t bring my 6 month old baby into the nightclub?
22. The cycle continues.
“Yes, I understand I haven’t paid my credit card bill in 3 months. But why can’t I use my card?”
“Because you haven’t paid your bill in 3 months.” repeat
23. You don’t have to apologize. We know we’re dumb.
I worked in a heritage park in Ireland and we had a group of Viking re-enactors in one weekend, putting on a really good show of crafts, games and a trial.
This American (sorry) tourist came up and asked us “Do you guys have reservations for your Vikings like we do for our Indians?”
24. Well, there’s your problem.
Customer screaming: “MY NEW CAR’S BACK WIPER DOESN’T WORK!!!”
we walk outside, look at back window
Me: you don’t have a back wiper blade.
25. A prehistoric appetite.
Working at a museum where the main attraction is the dinosaur exhibit, we sell a lot of cheap products aimed at children. And we sell a lot of them.
Especially “Dino Eggs.”
A grandfather (I presume) and his grand-daughter (once again, I presume. And hope.) came into the shop, always busy, always cramped. And he picks up a Dino Egg for her.
Hands it over. Pays quickly. “No bag, no need.” Lovely, simple transaction.
But just as the till drawer has closed and I am pulling out his receipt to hand him, I’ve seen him in the corner of my eye tear open the packaging of this “egg”, smash open the lovely plastic shell and taken a big shard to his mouth.
He begins to chew, turns slowly to me and only then does he think to ask, “Is this edible?”
“No…!” I gasped. “No, sir. That… that’s not edible. You really shouldn’t eat that.”
The little grand-daughter’s face sinks further watching her grandpa spit out bits of plastic into her broken dinosaur egg. A fake dino-egg designed to be immersed in water so that the rubbery-dino toy on the inside can “grow and hatch.”
I gave him another. Well, I gave it to his grand-daughter. Best to keep it away from him, he was clearly ravenous.
26. Everything the light touches is yours.
I work in a liquor store whose inventory is 80% wine. You literally have to walk past aisles of wine to get to the hard liquor near the back.
I was in the scotch aisle in the back of the store when a customer approaches me, looks me me dead in the eyes and asks “Hey, where do you keep the wine at?”
I took a few seconds to react, not sure at first if the guy was f*cking with me or not, but upon inspecting his sincerely frustrated gaze I arrived at the conclusion that the man was indeed serious.
I responded by simply pointing behind the gentleman and then sweeping my arm from one side to the other like I was showing my lion cub all of the land that would one day be his to rule.
27. Harry who?
Today a customer asked me if I was the same Harry as the Harry she spoke with yesterday.
My name is not Harry and I wear a name badge at work..
28. Freaky fast and just plain freaky.
I work at jimmy johns. All jimmy johns have a sign that says free smells. Had a lady come through the drive thru one day while me and my manager are running it. She asks about the free smells after her order and my manager tells her okay you can pull up. She gets to the window, gets her food then proceeds to look through the bag. She eventually looks up all confused and asks where her free smells are? My manager jokingly says “oh yeah come inside and you can smell all you want for free!” She then says “ok *sshole!” And then speeds off.
To this day i have no f*cking clue what she though would be in that bag.
29. Again, American tourists making us all look bad.
My dad used to work at Windsor Castle, built in the 11th century, home to the Queen and nearly 1,000 years old.
An American tourist saw a plane flying nearby, and walked over to him.
“Why’d they build it so close to the airport?”
30. Time zones are fascinating.
Spoke to the tour guide at the lodge I stay at (wild game lodge) and he said he had been asked:
Do giraffes hunt in packs?
If it’s October back in the USA, what month is it here? (South Africa)
31. The life of a bike messenger.
“I worked as a bike messenger for a legal service for years. I made so many ‘super special hot rush’ deliveries to locked or completely empty offices.
The worst was being told to ‘stay dry out there.’ Too late, bruh, I’ve been wet since 8:30 and its unlikely I’ll dry off until 7.”
32. Please return the magazines.
“When someone brings a magazine they took from the waiting room into their appointment room, then leaves it there after the appointment is done.
Even though they’re headed directly back to the waiting room to pay.”
33. Time to do some detective work.
“When someone doesn’t write their name on a test or paper, leaving me to try and figure it out based on handwriting.”
34. Fix it!
“When someone says, ‘I was sick of my hair, so I did it myself. Now fix it.
And if you can’t fix it the way I want it due to the massacre I performed, it’s all your fault.'”
35. A major no-no.
“At a piano bar:
Setting a drink on the grand piano and inadvertently knocking it over inside the case so that it ruins the soundboard.”
36. That’s really rude.
“Deciding not to buy something and just leaving it on any random shelf.
Extra demerits if it’s left in the wrong temperature zone and has to be thrown away (like that ice cream someone left on the pasta shelf).”
37. The delivery blues.
“When someone lives in a gated community and doesn’t leave an access code in the delivery notes.
Then, when they don’t answer their phone.”
38. Clean it up, people.
“When people expect their grass to be cut/mowed but have hundreds of stuff all over it and expect me to spend my time tidying up too.
I’m not there to tidy up after you! Oh and dog sh^t too. I don’t wanna go blind. Pick your dogs sh^t up!”
39. The bait and switch.
“Baiting and switching.
I work in fashion and I sell for a lace company. When we get orders , people give us a standard to follow. When the bulk order is done you present it to the customer and they compare it to the standard . If it matches , you ship it . If it’s way off you have to re-handle it.
Some people present bulk yardage that is really from the original sample dye-lot so it matches the standard but the bulk may actually be off. Once it’s shipped people generally don’t question it unless it’s drastically off.
It’s a cr*ppy thing to do.”
40. A useless mess.
“People shredding coasters, peeling labels off of bottles, or breaking tabs off of cans and throwing them all over the floors and tables.
If you’re old enough to drink, you should be old enough to manage your own hands and not make a useless mess that someone else will have to clean up.”
41. Gimme that number.
“Someone telling me they need a specific part for their vehicle without giving me the VIN number to look it up.
The customer gets angry and proclaims, “They’re all the same! Don’t matter what vehicle it is!””
42. Sorry, it’s closed.
“Driving around the road closed sign and being pissed at me that they have to turn around, because yes, the road is actually closed.”
43. Don’t waste their time.
“Calling and ambulance only to refuse to transport once paramedics arrive.
It’s a waste of time and resources. Sometimes multiple times a day.”
44. That’s mine!
“I’m a barista.
Plenty of people will take drinks that were meant for someone else, even if they’re very clearly marked.
Gets on my nerves every time.”
45. That’s really gross.
“Eating immediately before your dental cleaning.
Come on people! You’re going to a dentist. Brush your teeth for us!”
If you’ve had a day that’s made you feel like not the sharpest tool in the shed, I hope these stories have boosted your esteem just a bit.
Have you had an experience like this?
Tell us about it in the comments.