Weeding Out The Bad Neighbors

(It is during summer and I am about nine years old. A few months prior, the city had decided to fix some nonexistent cracks in the sidewalks and make the residents pay about $500 each for it. Obviously, people complained, but the city informed them that the sidewalks were city property and that the residents had no right to decide whether the repairs were necessary. The residents tried to fight the cost being forced on them, but they lost. One of my neighbors is a bit of a grump who likes to turn tiny problems into huge issues. He also has a large garden, which he tends to obsessively. When I’m walking past his house on the way to a friend’s place, I see a tiny flower (clearly a weed) growing between the cracks of the sidewalk. I pick it and tuck it behind my ear before continuing on my way. My friend isn’t home, though, so I go back to my house. I find my mom and the grumpy neighbor arguing on the front porch.)

Neighbor: *pointing at me* “There! There it is! See? In her hair! That’s the flower she stole!”

Mom: “That little thing? The way you were going on, I thought you meant an expensive flower, like an orchid or something.”

Neighbor: “It doesn’t matter! She’s a dirty thief!”

Me: *thinking I’m about to get in a lot of trouble* “But it was just a weed! It was growing between the sidewalk cracks.”

Neighbor: “I don’t care where it was growing! You stole it from me.”

Mom: “What exactly is it that you want me to do? She can’t put the flower back.”

Neighbor: “I know she can’t put the flower back. Do you think I’m stupid? She destroyed it, and I want her punished! If you refuse to address this matter, I’ll have to involve the police.”

Mom: *pulling me behind her* “Go right ahead.”

Neighbor: *shocked* “What?”

Mom: *trying not to smirk* “As you well know after those repairs, the sidewalks are the property of the city, not you. The city has no laws forbidding children from picking flowers. Now, if that will be all, I think it’s time for you to leave.”

Neighbor: *sputtering* “But… but… she stole from me!”

Mom: “No, she clearly didn’t. But you’re on private property, and I’ve already asked to leave once. If you stay here, you’ll be trespassing, and I’ll have to involve the police.”

Neighbor: *leaves, looking like he just swallowed a lemon*

Me: *staring in shock at my mom, who’s normally very soft-spoken and non-confrontational*

Mom: “Never give in to people like that, honey. If you do, they’ll walk all over you forever.”

-> Weeding Out The Bad Neighbors

Can’t Refund The Police’s Time

(A customer is making a scene at the customer service counter. He wants a refund on a phone we don’t stock and has a receipt from another store with a name that sounds similar to ours but isn’t quite the same. I’ve had to call my manager over to explain we can’t refund products that weren’t purchased from us but this guy refuses to budge.)

Customer: “Listen, buddy, you are going to give me back the money I paid for this piece of s**** or I am going to dial the police right now and see how you like having to deal with them!”

Manager: “If you do that they’ll tell you they can’t do much. I’ve already explained, and my employee has already explained, that you didn’t purchase this from us so we can’t refund you for it.”

(The customer proceeds to pull out his phone and makes a show of dialing the police.)

Customer: “Yeah this is [Customer] at [Store] at [Address]… I need some boys in blue to come down and settle a dispute the s*** these employees are giving me! No… no, they aren’t armed… No, I’m not in any danger… Look, just send the d*** police, okay?! Thank you!”

(He turns and smiles smugly at us.)

Customer: “You two are in trouble now!”

Manager: “In that case, sir, please can you step aside so we can assist the customers behind you while we wait?”

(The customer does so but keeps smirking at us. Several minutes pass and he starts looking more unsure.)

Customer: “Well?”

Manager: “Well what?”

Customer: “Aren’t you going to try to get me to call off the cops?”

Manager: “Sir, I already told you they aren’t going to be able to do anything. Upholding our return policy is not a crime so all that’s going to happen is they’re going to come here, possibly take a statement, and tell you there’s nothing more to be done.”

(The customer’s smile slowly melts away.)

Customer: “You’re serious? You’re not going to do anything to stop the cops from getting involved?”

Manager: “I don’t know how else to say this, sir. You want to return something you didn’t buy here; we can’t do that because, as stated, you didn’t buy it here. If the only way you will believe me is if the police tell it to you then so be it.”

(The customer is now looking pale.)

Customer: “You… you a**-hole! I have unpaid tickets! I can’t talk to the police!”

(The customer bolted out of the store and quickly drove like a madman out of our parking lot. Several minutes later the police actually did turn up and confirmed the guy’s description and car matched that of a driver they’ve had to pull over multiple times for dangerous driving and who owed a fair amount.)

-> Can’t Refund The Police’s Time

Mom Is Giving You The Crappy Jobs

(One of our cats gave birth six weeks ago, and until the kittens are big enough to have the run of the house, they’re living in an enclosed area in our basement. They’re having a little trouble learning to use the litter box, so we sometimes find “accidents” on the floor. We’re also trying to get them weaned — right now they eat twice a day in addition to nursing. Normally Mom feeds them, and while she’s there she notices any problems in their enclosure and deals with them. One day she has to rush out of the house around their lunchtime. I volunteer to do several chores including feeding the kittens, but I’ve already committed to doing a job online for pay within the next hour and a half, so I’m in a hurry. When she gets home, we have this conversation:)

Me: “Okay, I did the dishes and fed the kittens. One of them pooped on the floor, and I wasn’t really confident in my ability to clean it up plus I was in a rush, so I thought you or [Brother] might take a look at it.”

Mom: “Did you even TRY to clean it up?”

Me: “Well, no. All there was down there was paper towels, I didn’t know what I was doing, and besides, like I said—”

Mom: “God-d***-it, [My Name]!”

(She stomps downstairs muttering about “delegating” and how “she has to do everything.” My brother suggests that next time, even if I can’t get it all, I should do my best to clean it up before saying anything. The next day, Mom hurts her knee and wants to rest it by not going down the stairs, so I feed the kittens again.)

Me: “One of them pooped on the floor again. I did my best to clean it up but it left a smear behind.”

Mom: “All right, we’ll get down there and clean it better tomorrow.”

(The next day, Mom’s knee is feeling better so we go downstairs to clean the enclosure.)

Mom: “Look at this! Someone did a half-a**ed job of cleaning this cat s***, and it’s left a stain. That’s going to be permanent! If you’re not gonna do it right, just come get me!”

(So… when I came and got her, I was a lazy good-for-nothing who wouldn’t even try. When I tried, I was an idiot who should have just gone and gotten her. I suppose what I should have done was magically found a way to make pooped-on blankets pristine again in five minutes using only a damp paper towel. From now on I’m not even saying anything. Let HER find it, and unless she can prove it was there when I fed them last, it’s her problem.)

-> Mom Is Giving You The Crappy Jobs

Digital Video Dumdums

(I used to work for a relatively popular video rental chain prior to it going out of business. I am pulling up my own account to see if I am about to have an overdue rental of my own. A customer in her late-40s or early-50s has been browsing the rentals.)

Customer: *approaches my coworker with a sealed new movie* “Hi, I’d like to buy this.”

Coworker: “Yes, ma’am, no problem. Just to let you know, we do have extremely high-quality used versions of this exact movie, and for what you’re paying for it new, you could get three used movies.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I don’t buy used movies.”

Coworker: “That’s understandable. Sometimes the quality of the DVD isn’t what you’d hoped, scratches, yadda ya.”

Customer: “Oh, no, not that. I just don’t want my DVD player to get a virus.”

(At this point, I stop what I’m doing, because I cannot possibly have heard that. I turn my head just a bit to look at her. Customer has the most serious expression I’ve ever seen, and my coworker is currently trying to see if she’s being legitimate.)

Coworker: “DVD… viruses?”

Customer: “Yes, like computer viruses. You don’t know what sort of nastiness people let get into their DVD player, and I don’t want mine getting corrupted by anything!”

(At this point, I have to turn away from the register I’m on, because I’m about to start chuckling, and I would prefer not to be rude. I busy myself with the rental drop box while my coworker continues the struggle.)

Coworker: “…absolutely, ma’am. Those DVD viruses can be an absolute hassle, and you’re doing well to keep yourself protected.”

(He finishes ringing her up as I finally get myself in check.)

Coworker: “You have a wonderful day, ma’am.”

Customer: “You too, young man!”

(She leaves. We just look at each other.)

Me: “If I hadn’t been here, I’d never believe this.”

-> Digital Video Dumdums

You Should Be Anniver-Sorry

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year, and we are coming up on our first anniversary. We don’t know the real “official” date of our anniversary, so we decided a while ago for it to be July 13th. We also have just moved in together and are starting a new job, where we both got hired.

I don’t want to go crazy because I know we are stressed and busy, so I buy him a little present and a card, and slip it into his work-bag for him to find later. Fast forward a few hours, and he has found the card and present, and thanked me. I patiently wait.

And then, nothing. No special dinner. No card. Nada. I am bummed. I don’t say anything because I just don’t know what to say. About a month or so goes by and things are rough between us. I finally crack and yell at him about him totally ignoring our anniversary.

His excuse? He thought it was a different day. In July. BOTH dates have already passed by now. So not only did he awkwardly accept my gift on the “wrong” date, but he then didn’t even bother to do anything on the date he thought was correct!

I’m still annoyed, but we’re coming up on year two, so he better not forget this time and hopefully goes over the top to cover both anniversaries!

-> You Should Be Anniver-Sorry

Something Fishy With Her Complaint

(I’m working as the front-end manager of a Japanese restaurant. We often have to explain the difference between nigiri sushi and sashimi. It is a busy Friday and a customer orders a sushi lunch for delivery. We have lunch specials and there’s an upcharge for any specific fish requested. She declines having specific fish. We close for a short period of time during the weekdays and the customer calls us during that close. We call back and leave a message saying we got their message and that they should call us back asap or come in before we close that night. They don’t call or show up till after eight pm the next day, which is Saturday. I am just about to cash out the customer picking up their order when this lady shows up and demands service.)

Customer #1: “Go ahead. I’m in no rush.”

Customer #2: “Yes, I ordered this yesterday but it wasn’t what I wanted. I asked for the sushi lunch with specific fish and it was supposed to come with rice. I did not receive any rice nor the fish I asked for.”

Me: “I’m so sorry. I could give you a rice on your next order.”

Customer #2: “No. I want a sushi lunch with rice like I ordered. I even brought my lunch with me.” *shows me her half eaten sushi lunch; this sushi is fish over rice*

Me: “Oh, well, I’m slightly confused. That is our sushi lunch. Our sushi lunch does not come with rice. Our sashimi lunch does, however.”

Customer #2: “That is not sushi. That is sashimi. Sashimi is with rice under it. I eat sushi all the time here and that is not sushi.”

(She shows us her tray of mostly eaten sushi. The sushi lunch is five pieces of fish over rice. There are only two pieces left. Customer #1 is trying not to laugh at this point.)

Customer #2: “I’d like a refund. I brought my food back in and clearly you have to refund me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but refunds are only for the first 24 hours and must not have been eaten. You have eaten more than half of the five pieces and soup and salad. We cannot offer a refund but I can discount your next order by 15%.”

Customer #2: “This is unacceptable. I order here all the time and every time I come in I get exactly what I want. If I order it for delivery you all screw it up!”

Me: “I am very sorry, ma’am. As I said that is the owner’s policy and my hands are tied. If you’d like to give me your name and number, I can put it in our system that you’ll receive 20% off your next lunch order for dine-in or as part of a delivery.”

(She throws her hands up and storms off saying she’s contacting the Better Business Bureau for a refund, leaving the uneaten sushi on a tray on top of the menus.)

Customer #1: “Clearly she’s never had sushi sushi.”

Me: *laughing* “That’s not the first or last time that’ll happen.”

(Yes, the lady did contact the BBB but lost her claim against the restaurant as we explained exactly what happened.)

-> Something Fishy With Her Complaint

A Live Picture Of Bad Customer Service

(It’s early 2002, and I’ve had a digital camera for about two years (1Mpix) that I paid over $300 for. At one point, as soon as I put it in “picture” mode, it beeps for two seconds and shuts down. I can use it to look at pictures already taken, but can’t take any pictures. Being a techno-guy, I do the first basic tests: clean the memory card, put in fresh batteries, and so forth, to no avail. I go on the Internet and find an e-mail support address. I write in the details of the problem, including all the tests I’ve made, and emphasising that I’ve had that camera for two years and have taken close to 2000 pictures with it, so I kinda know my way around how to operate it, empty the memory card, and replace the batteries. About half an hour later, I receive an email):

Tech Support: “Have you tried to put in fresh batteries? Is the memory card full?” *and so on*

Me: “Please, take the time to fully read the first e-mail before answering.”

Tech Support: *half an hour later* “Oh, this seems to be a more serious problem. Please call tech support at [number].”

(So I do. I explain the problem to the tech.)

Tech: “That’s impossible.”

(I put the camera next to the phone, press the button. The camera beeps for two seconds and you could hear the mechanism of the lens protector closing.)

Me: “You heard that?”

Tech: “Er… yes I heard that. Seems to be a very serious problem. You will probably have to replace it, but since it’s out of warranty, we have a fix repair price of $250, and you’ll get a refurbished one.”

Me: “Say what? It will cost me $250 to have a refurbished one? You do realize that this camera is two years old, and as of today, I can have a 2Mp camera with better zoom and features for $200?”

Tech: “I’m sorry, sir, but that’s policy.”

Me: “Okay then. I’ll throw this one into the garbage can and will get myself a new one, and I’ll make sure it’s not [Brand].”

Tech: “Whatever you wish, sir. Have a nice day.”

(After buying a new camera, having nothing to lose, I try some “percussive maintenance” on it, slamming it on a table, gently at first, with no results, then up to as hard as I can, until it works! My girlfriend has a good laugh about it. I throw it in the bottom of a drawer and forget about it, until a year later when a relative is visiting us and wishes she could get herself one of those new digital cameras. I fetch it from the drawer, put in fresh batteries, and turn it on. It fails. I slam it on the counter, and it works again. I hand it to my relative.)

Me: “Here, take that one. You see how it works? If it beeps, slam it.”

(She looked at me with wide eyes, but with her sister (my girlfriend) acknowledging that it was true, took the camera, which worked like that for a year or so. The last time she slammed it, the colours went greenish and she bought a new one. Not that brand, however.)

-> A Live Picture Of Bad Customer Service