I am the sports editor of a mid-sized newspaper, and we deal with more idiots on the phone on a daily basis than actually conduct journalism.
The three basic callers are:
1. Drunk frat boy/wrong-side-of-the-tracks crackhead who, with his buddies, have a $1 bet on who was the leading rusher in the 1971 Super Bowl. So we look it up, and invariably have to repeat it to the person on the losing end of the bet, get sweared at and hung up on.
2. The gambler. You know, the guy who "needs the score of the Gonzaga-Pepperdine hoops game" or the "halftime score from UTEP-North Dakota".
3. The woman who phones in nightly, whom we lovingly call "Crazy Question Lady." We had to spend a good 20 minutes early last baseball season explaining to her how half-games work in the baseball standings. My colleagues actually try to wear her down by putting her on hold for hours at a time while "researching" her queries.
Okay, I've worked two jobs in two years, both in retail, and I'm still working on finishing high school. I have 2 years left languishing in retail...kill me.
Now, a brief retrospective.
After a bunch of times babysitting, I deduce that babysitting sucks and decide to get a real job.
So, I got a job at Mac's (essentially Canadian 7-11). I got yelled at, threatened, stuff thrown at me... The night guy almost got robbed twice... The basic idiot customers were: 1) Stupid Kids (punk kids, aged 10-17); always trying to buy porn or smokes, and never having the correct change. Plus, they smell like ass. EVER HEARD OF BATHING, KIDS? 2) Old People (over 70); always have correct change, but never know what they want, how much it costs, or where it is. Plus, they pay in small coins... 3) Drunks/Stoners (18-33/15-35); drunken/stoned guys who stumble around falling into displays. They like candy and porn. And smokes. And they always reek. 4) Hung Over Guys (18-35); when I worked Sunday mornings, all I got were old people and hungover people. Always. They come in, buy bread, orange juice and cigarettes, and stumble away. At least they have correct change.
I also hated the whiny soccer moms who always bitched and moaned about the gas prices, and the cigarette prices... Also, the endless stream of pre-teen girls who giggle at the drop of a hat. I got tired of that job pretty quickly (1 1/2 years), so I got another job at the local movie theatre (owned by the biggest Canadian movie theatre company, Famous Players). We get the same clouds, usually based on ratings: G: Stupid little kids and parents either tagging along or just shunting them off on us to babysit them for a couple hours. PG: Same as above, but more stupid kids with no movie taste. 14A: Usually a barrage of 10-13 year olds trying to get in, but failing, usually because I like being a prick to little kids and not letting them in. Besides, if it's a really crappy show (and these kids usually go to crappy shows), I'm doing them a favor. 18A: Ahhh... The punk kids... Depending on the shit factor of the movie (Black Hawk Down was good, so we had less stupid kids trying to sneak in, whereas Not Another Teen Movie sucked, so everybody tried to get in), we get a lot of 14-17 year olds trying to sneak in. Of course, I stop 'em. My record for a single show is tossing 17 kids from the ticket-taking position alone. The most annoying thing is the parents who don't understand that 14A & 18A mean YOU HAVE TO BE OVER 14 or 18 or HAVE AN ADULT SIT WITH YOU. You can't sign a permission slip, or bribe me (they've tried...it's never over 10 bucks, so I turn 'em down), or sneak 'em through. So, I have to patiently explain the film board's policy, and the company policy, then try to withstand the barrage of stupid questions and shouting that follows. Usually, they swear at me, give up, and leave.
Plus, since our theatre lost a whole heap of money...our managers put in watchdog policies to make sure we don't steal... Luckily they trust me, so I can just relax...but the people who handle money are watched like hawks.
When I worked at a gas station, I had a guy come in and ask if our gas was leaded or unleaded. After the guy left, my manager was like "It's been unleaded since the Ford Administration." I laughed my ass off, but I guess you had to be there..
I had various soccer moms in subdivision sized SUV's bitching at me because they couldn't get their gas cap off. Then they would sit and call their husband on a cell phone so he could come out and do it. That's just pathetic.
Well unfortunately I have a college degree and still work in customer service, but at least I wallow CS management.
One of my favorite customers here at Amazon.com is the lady we affectionately refer to as "1 Click Double Click Lady." Basically any of you who ever bought from us before know we have a one-click feature. Basically you click the button and its bought. (This is a concept that blows customer's minds BTW. You would not believe how many people 1-Click thing to see "What it will do." Well dumb ass it will order it)
Anyway this lady in Beverly Hills calls in and gets me back when I whored myself on the phones and she launches into to tirade. As you know when you open a program in Windows you "double-click" to start. This lady double clicked everything. Consequently she double clicked 1 click. Thus she was receiving 2 of everything. To make a long story short this oriental lady demanded I make "1 Click, Double Click now!" I told her no and all she had to do was just click once from now on. But no she "I double click to start computer, I double click order or elses you die!" I told her to feel free to keep double clicking but it would order two. She then told me she was going to kill me and hung up. She calls evry now and then screaming about various things, she is a legend around here.
When I was in High School I worked at a gas station. Now here in KY the lottery is insanely popular amoungst the poor. So a welfare guy would come in $5. He would get $2 in gas, a $2 Bingo ticket, and pack of $1 bottom of the line "this is the shit that fell in the floor and we swept it up and wrapped it" cigarettes. Now those people were bad.
When you're riding in a time machine way far into the future, don't stick your elbow out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil.
I'm also a former gas station attendant. (U-Pump, Madison WI!). However, we're talking ultra-cheapo, bottom of the line station here. No credit card feature on the pumps. No cash register even. Round down to the nickle, because we had to make change ourselves.
Anyway, there was a regular customer we affectionately named "DMD" because he would come and buy about 6 or 7 Diet Mountain Dews a day, one at a time. I think he was just a lonely old guy.
There was also this guy who would come and buy cigarettes once a day or so. One day out of the blue he said "can I ask you a question? Do you ever say 'thank you?'"
What the fuck? This is a cheap-ass gas station here, not "The Body Shop." I mean, do you come here because we sell your nasty-ass Dorals for $.50 a pack less than the drugstore, or for the cheerful cutomer service? Since then I never said a damn word to that guy.
-I had a customer ask me if the "25" on the soda machine outside meant dollars or cents. She was serious, it wasn't like she was attempting to be funny.
The gas station had 2 pumps that were full serve. After I filled this person's car, I was walking back to the store, to ring it up, when she started yelling and waving me over. She said that she was still on empty. I told her to turn her car on.
Indeed. Nah. It was more like, "hey, I've heard those Wild Mountains are TASTY BURGERS. I think I'll try one." I'm not ashamed* to admit that I've tried a few sodas that I might not have otherwise without hearing about them here.