13 Stories That Show How Much Patience It Takes to Work in Customer Service
Working with the public can be quite a difficult thing to do, and you only learn how to do it from experience. Generally, you might be lucky enough to deal with nice people who like to be welcomed and go on their merry way. However, from time to time, some employees have to deal with rude people who have not had a good day and who are ready to take it out on anyone who crosses their path. Even if those who work with the public can manage to get out of the sticky situations they get put in, there is usually a good story in tow that makes it all worth it.
- I was working at a bazaar. One day, a lady came in with a plastic bag full of coins. I showed her some coin purses that she could use to keep them in. She chose one, counted the money to buy the purse, and left all the coins at the store. In other words, she left with an empty wallet. Maria De Lurdes Fernandes/Facebook
- A customer called a restaurant where I work to find out if there was any broth. I told her yes and gave her the prices for 350 ml, 500 ml, and 1 liter containers. Then she replied: “But I don’t even know how much 1 liter is.” Total silence on the phone, I didn’t know what to say. Rose Leao/Facebook
- I once waited on an elderly lady at the fruit and vegetable market where I worked. She was accompanied by her 10-year-old grandson and asked me if there was any cut fruit to take away. I said yes, there was a little tray with sliced melon and watermelon. She replied that her grandson did not like those fruits and asked if I had another option. I said no.
— Can’t you sell me a peeled apple?
— Yes, but it would get brown very quickly. If you want, I can wash it.
— No, he only eats it if we peel it... What else can you offer me?
— Grapes, madam. If you wish, I can wash them for you.
— Could you also peel them and take the seeds out?
In the end, she didn’t buy anything, and I was left thinking about that poor boy. Mony Sousa/Facebook
- I think one of my best customer service stories was the day a gentleman turned to me and asked me (in a very rude manner) where the steroid section was. I said, “What section, sir?” He then replied, “That thing you put on your face and smoke comes out.” Then I understood, but to confirm I asked, “Ahh.... The nebulizer?” He, all embarrassed, replied, “That’s right!” Léia Dias/Facebook
- In the butcher shop at the supermarket where I work, a lady turned around and said to the butcher, who was wearing gloves: “Can you give me the meat without touching it with your hands?” Total silence. I sat down on the floor of the frozen section, which is my sector, and shouted, “DUDE, HAND HER THE MEAT WITH YOUR FOOT!” I couldn’t stop laughing. Adriana Fagundes/Facebook
- I used to work at night in a large supermarket. Once, a customer treated me very badly because he refused to pay for parking even though it was mandatory. And he spent hours in the store and didn’t buy anything. I had previously worked in security at a nightclub, so I knew how to handle this kind of situation, but he still treated me very badly.
On that day, I acted totally normal, and the manager even saw my reaction and promoted me a week later. Shortly afterward, the customer came back, apologized, and bought me a box of chocolates. We are friends to this day, even though I no longer work there. Mauricio Neto/Facebook
- Once, when I was a cashier at a supermarket, I felt sick. A lady noticed that I looked strange and asked me what was wrong. I told her I had a stomachache and she left. She returned about 15 minutes later with a cup of tea to try and help me feel better. Leandro Allison/Facebook
- Shoe department of a department store. The customer came to me with a shoe in hand and asked, “Do you have this model in my size?” I stood still, waiting for him to tell me his actual size. Nothing happened, so I answered, “Sure, I’ll look for it.” Keli Wolf/Facebook
- I work at a wholesaler and there are customers that come in every day (pizza makers, bakers, restaurateurs, etc.). So when I see that they are taking large quantities of a product that will be on sale the next day, I always let them know. I love doing that! Rose Rodrigues/Facebook
- When I was 19 years old, I started working in a diagnostic imaging clinic. This meant that many of our clients, for very diverse reasons, arrived worried and nervous. One fine day, a very “quiet” patient came in, talking loudly, laughing... She was a bit out of tune with the environment we were used to. She asked to use our phone to make an “urgent call” to someone in the family.
Well... we lent it to her (this was before everyone had cell phones), and she started chatting with the person on the other end of the line. Actually, she was using our phone to set up a date with someone. Result: So as not to bother the woman, we made up a story that we needed to use the phone to call a doctor, and she very reluctantly ended her flirty chat and hung up. To this day, I still have the impression that this woman was very angry with us — can you believe that!!!!
Have you gone through a similar situation? How did you cope? Were you sympathetic, or did the indignation show on your face? Tell us in the comments!