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Working in customer service or retail means anyone can walk in on you. Literally. Anyone. At any time. With all their problems and their issues and their bad days. They just walk right up to your counter and demand service from you. Unfortunately, that's the gig. You need to stick it out to serve, but sometimes the person who walks in or call you up is perhaps a little too odd.

That's when you go online to talk about it!


Reddit user, u/coldfoxy, wanted to hear the weirdest of the weird when they asked:

Redditors who work with the public, what's your most bizarre interaction with a customer?

The Laser's How They Read Your Mind

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Back when I worked at a hardware store, I had a woman scream and cry at me for using my item scanner on her items because its laser would "make [her] sick" and/or "make [her] sickness worse." Her basket was stacked and she was effectively asking me to hold the line up for a half hour to dial in her product codes manually. She also screamed if I made eye contact.

When she left she told me something to the effect of "I don't want you to get hurt, but if something bad happens to you, it's because I'm thinking about it."

Retail!

CaptainJenno

Pets Don't Always Look Like Their Owners

Worked as a dog bather- and had this corgi named potato. He was friggin adorable.

I don't know what I really expected but when the owner came to pick him up he was this big body builder covered in tattoos and he had this lime green leash and when potato saw him he got excited and this big Greek statue looking guy just yells 'potato! Stop that!' And I still think about it.

ApathyAndDepression

A Misplaced Ticket

I was a page at NBC Studios in Burbank in the early 2000's and part of our job was working the gift shop and ticket counter for the Tonight Show.

Two guys come in and say "We're here for the Lakers game." I was like "Uh... I'm sorry, that game isn't here, it's over at the Staples Center." One of them just gives me a look and says "It's NBC, right?"

I proceed to explain to him that while NBC is airing the Lakers game, we don't shoot it at the studio, and we take our cameras and crew and shoot it at the Staples Center where the Lakers play.

The one guy turns around and scribbles on a piece of paper and hands it to me. It says "2 Lakers Tickets for [Insert Random Name]" and he says like "What about this, huh?"

Thankfully my supervisor jumped in and said "Oh, you'll have to come back Thursday morning, we'll see you then, okay?" and that seemed to placate them and they left. My supervisor tells me this happened quite often and when you tell them to come back, they rarely do.

hotdoug1

You Can't ALWAYS Go To "Hitler" When You're Upset

I was a supervisor at a call center for a major online retailer who was involved in a data breach a few years ago. As usual, we required all of our customers to change their passwords.

I had to take over a call from a lady who was absolutely refusing to change her password. I tried to explain as nicely as possible and she kept me on the phone for an hour insulting me and screaming about how wrong this was.

Ultimately she told me that I, personally, was worse than Hitler and that making her change her password was an offense worse than the Holocaust.

No joke. I am not exaggerating at all.

kingmobisinvisible

When What You Order Isn't What You Get

In my first years in the Army I also worked a part-time job as an optician in the local mall.

One day a lady came in with her mother (about age 40 and 60) and they were quite hyper and giggling at each other. I asked if I could help them and they had a prescription for lenses. No problem.

She then asks if she can use her existing frames, and I was like "Sure, we can just do lenses." She proceeds to hand me a pair of extremely cheap sunglasses she got from a dollar store.

I told her that there was no way those glasses would stand up to having lenses changed out. She insisted that I "already said she could." I asked her if she was sure, because it was almost guaranteed they would be destroyed in the process. She still insisted. I pointed out the sign we had up saying we weren't responsible for damages (it was next to the register) and asked her one last time. She said yes again.

Ok, I put them in the hotbox (a box of heated sand you use to loosen up plastic frames to get the lenses out) and they melted into goo pretty much instantly, as expected. She was over my shoulder watching with these wild eyes, and when I pulled them out after a few seconds she started screaming about how we destroyed her glasses and now we owe her free glasses. Her mom got in on the action at that point and started shouting also about how I did it on purpose.

I handed them back to her and said something like "Ma'am, I told you so." They went into even more hysterics and by this time were attracting glances from passersby at the mall. I just walked into the back room to the lab guy and was like, dude, you deal with this, I'm done.

I then watched as he masterfully over-charged her about $100 for a $20 frame (it was on the display rack for $100, but we had a pile of the same frames in the discount drawer for $20), giving her a "20% discount" in the process. I was there when she picked them up in about an hour, acting like she won the lottery at my expense because I was so incompetent.

I was still young and had no idea the insanity people would go through to save a few dollars and "stick it to the man."

PolecatEZ

Latte Got Your Tongue?

At a coffee shop, we had a customer come in one day and tell us in a very awkward and stilted manner that he would like to become a regular, but that he wanted a wordless transaction. He would come every day at the same time and get the same drink, and he wanted us to ring him up and give him the drink without anyone speaking to him. It was definitely weird, but we did it for him, passing the info along to the other staff as a kind of tribal knowledge, and he did come every weekday and buy his latte, without speaking to or looking at anyone.

It worked very well until one day I was working with a new girl and I had stepped into the back room to get something, and I suddenly heard him screaming out front. The new girl had said, "Hi, what can I get you?" and he responded by screaming in her face, "What the f--- is wrong with you? I told you people not to talk to me!" and storming out.

We never saw him again.

ursoparrudo

A Difference Of Countries...Question Mark?

I used to work at an adult store. It was a clean and classy joint, mostly marketed toward female clientele.

One afternoon, an older Eastern-European customer came in asking for "the blue pills that come in the bottle." He was looking for Viagra.

I tried to explain that we didn't carry that, but he was insistent that I was hiding it from him. I told him he needed to speak with his doctor to get a prescription and he just got REAL mad.

It soon became clear that "blue pills" was code for something--sex worker. I told him we didn't have this either, and that what he was suggesting was illegal.

He got MORE angry, because "what I am wanting is to pay sex with YOU, stupid girl!" THEN HE STARTED TO COME AROUND THE COUNTER making a 'squeezy-squeezy' gesture with his hands. I flipped out on him, and ran him out of the store and called the police. He came back a few weeks later and I told him he was banned for seeking illegal services, never saw him again.

I'll just never forget:

"Give me your blue pills, you stupid girl! I pay for your sex, WHAT IS PROBLEM???"

PandorasBottle

You Can Actually Feel The Customer Smacking Themselves In The Face Over The Phone

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I work at a pizza delivery business. Had a lady one day call in and order for delivery.

Sure, what's the address?

"I'm not going to tell you."

I'm sorry? If you don't tell me the address, how are we supposed to deliver to you?

"I don't know what the address is!"

Well, if you don't know where you're at, again, how are we supposed to deliver to you?

"So you won't take my order?"

Not without an address.

"Well! I guess I'll just order somewhere else, then!"

I guess you will.

Tru-Queer

...Just...Wow.


One morning when cleaning enclosures, I saw a young man standing less then 3 feet from the bars of the lion enclosure (double-bars, so it's not dangerous, but you can get within 2 feet of a lion if one wanders up). When I circled back five minutes later, he was still right there.

"Watch out," I told him, "they can spray urine through the bars. You might want to back away." (For anyone curious, there are plenty of videos online of big cats spraying guests who get too close!)

He nodded, backed away a little bit. Fifteen minutes later he's right back up there, as close as you can possibly get, just standing there. "I'm not kidding," I told him, "if one sprays you you'll stink for the rest of the day."

Once again he nodded silently and took a few steps back, and as soon as my back was turned he got as close as he could get again. Whatever I thought, not my problem if he gets sprayed.

I didn't see it personally, but about an hour later a coworker told me that she saw a man get sprayed by a lion. Apparently he got sprayed, didn't react much, and just walked straight out of the zoo without evening visiting the bathroom, dripping with lion urine.

Unfortunately it did turn out to be "my problem" at least a little bit, because he walked through one of those outdoor patio restaurant places and we got comments all morning about the god-awful smell ("like a dirty litterbox from hell," one customer described it) in the vicinity.

omegadolphintezzy

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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