Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yes, it was the same person


Angry Customer: Is somebody going to help me in the bakery or not? I need someone to write 'Happy Birthday' on a cake.

Me: Well, at this late hour the bakery is closed and with the bakery staff gone we are not able to do much other than supply bags and boxes. None of the front end staff have Food Handler certifications and we are not allowed to prepare food for anyone.

Angry Customer: So I waited in line all this time for nothing? Thanks for nothing! All I wanted was someone to write on a damn cake.

Me: Ma'am, the law states we can't. It's for your protection.

Angry Customer: It's just a cake! So you refuse to help me?

Me: It isn't that. Again, the law says no one not certified in food preparation can do that for you. Surely you wouldn't want someone not trained, perhaps careless with what they've handled to touch a cake.

Angry Customer: That's ridiculous! I just want someone to write on a cake! I'll get someone else to help me.

Me: I'm sorry. I won't allow anyone without certification to use the bakery equipment or go behind the counter. I'd feel terrible if some child became sick. We have many cakes in the case that already have 'Happy Birthday' written on them. Can I get you one of those?

Angry Customer: Thanks for nothing!


Angry Customer: You. I wanna talk to you. I have a complaint.

Me: OK. How can I help you?

Angry Customer: That girl in the deli. She touched the slicer without changing her gloves before helping a customer. That's disgusting.

Me: I'm very sorry. I'll take care of that right away.

Angry Customer: Don't they take a class or go to school or something to learn about that? Don't they need to pass a test or something?

Me: Yes, they do. I'll take care of it right away. I'm sure it was a mistake and it won't happen in the future.

Angry Customer: It better not! That's disgusting.

All this occurred without any apparent irony or self-awareness on the part of the customer.


  1. wow. Sounds like there is no way to make that person happy. They must be incapable of functioning unless there's something to complain about to someone

  2. Yeah, situational expectations. Not all customers are like that but there are enough that I always pause before getting out of the car and walking into the building.

  3. It took me years of retail to learn that adopting a serene, imperturbable air, sometimes accompanied by a slight beatific smile, makes this type of customer even crazier than they started off. They got no satisfaction whatsoever, whereas in my early days I'd get mad right back at them, giving them exactly what they wanted...


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