There are valid reasons to call for a manager, however these aren’t it. Employees share the stupidest reason an entitled customer asked for a manager. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“I worked in web-chat sales for a major online retailer. When customers went to the website and a chat window popped up and ‘Jessica’ asked if they needed help, that was me who they spoke to. Usually, the customers were excited to get a new iPhone, laptop, or whatever, and just pleasant in general. I thoroughly enjoyed it most of the time.
Other times, people who needed customer service for things like de-activating service, changing a bill cycle date, making a payment without a purchase, and a million other things I couldn’t do from the sales department, ended up in sales chat because it was the easiest thing to find on the website. The customer service chat link was hidden a few links away from the home page. No big deal, I just cheerfully explained I was the wrong department and offered them a transfer or the phone number for customer care. But that simply wouldn’t do for all the Karens of the world.
I have a running joke with my co-workers that all Karens are born 38 years old with three kids and want to see a manager. Sorry, Karen.
See, Karen thought I could do it, but I was just not willing to bother. She was right about the second part, because my job was to sell. But any issues I could resolve, I went ahead and got the customer squared away rather than explain all the ins and outs of what was whose job. It was quicker than politely getting the customer to understand. But some things I simply couldn’t do from the sales system. This was where the fun began.
I should preface by saying the chats would come in and a bot would answer until an agent was available. Frustrated customers would often talk (scream) at this poor robot for a full three minutes before getting ‘transferred’ to me.
The really pricks would use this to point out, ‘I was just transferred to you. Why do you have to transfer me again blah blah I suck blah’ even though the thing said ‘Virtual assistant, connecting to live agent now.’
So customers would understand what was happening if they pulled their head out of their rear and read for once.
Karen: ‘No, I don’t want to be transferred. I just want to cancel the line ending in -1666.’
Me: ‘We don’t have access to cancel a line here in the sales department. Customer care can get you taken care of in no time. I have a live transfer available, will that work for you?’
Karen: ‘No. Can I speak to your supervisor?’
Me: ‘Of course! Bear with me while I track her down!’
Then I sat there and chuckled for a moment.
Supervisor: ‘Hi, this is Ryan, I’m the sales chat supervisor. What seems to be the issue today?’
Karen: ‘I just wanted to cancel the line, but your employee keeps trying to transfer me.’
Supervisor: ‘We don’t have access to cancel lines here in sales chat. You’ll need to contact customer care.’
Basically the same thing I told her.
I laughed every time I got to do that and those of you who do that, just know there was a whole cubicle farm laughing at your lack of reading comprehension skills and overall lack of understanding of the words ‘sales’ and ‘service.'”
“There was a long line and a guy asked me if we would accept an expired coupon.
I asked, ‘How long has it been since the expiration date?’
CVS usually accepted store coupons if they were only a day or two past the date. Basically, if the register accepted it, we took it, otherwise no.
He said, ‘A week.’
I said, ‘No, the register won’t take it.’
I couldn’t actually scan it to check because the register didn’t validate coupons until the end of the transaction. And I knew it wouldn’t take things that were more than two or three days past the expiration date.
He argued and wanted a manager. I told him the manager would say the same thing and I was not going to bother him over something stupid when he was busy in the office. Plus I had already a long line. But of course, I said all of this in a more polite manner.
He just stood there next to the line for a while until the manager came up front to help with a different issue. Then the customer asked him about the coupon. The manager told him we couldn’t accept it if the register wouldn’t take it. The same as I’d told him.
Some people seem to think that ‘Can I talk to a manager?’ are magic words to get them whatever they want. News flash! That’s not how businesses work. Ninety-nine percent of the time, what the cashier or customer service person tells you is accurate. If we don’t know the answer to a question or aren’t authorized to do what you need, we’ll tell you that and ask you to wait a minute while we get someone else to help you.
If the guy had caused a scene I would have called the manager up to deal with it, but he certainly wouldn’t have gotten what he wanted if he did that. He’d just have two frustrated employees and a line of customers wondering why he was acting crazy. Fortunately, he didn’t do that.”
A Closed Bike Path
“For the fourth of July, we used fireworks, lots of fireworks. We closed off the bike path at each end for about two hours so the technicians could set up the show. In this way, the public wouldn’t get killed in the event of a serious accident.
So, one day the powers at the command post decided we would shut down the path a few minutes before the posted close time. Most people took it in stride, but we had a group of wasted millennials on bikes who had to go through.
Biker: ‘We need to get through.’
Me: ‘Sorry, the bike path is closed.’
Biker: ‘We need to get through!’
Me: ‘Sorry, the bike path is closed.’
Biker: ‘You closed it early.’
Me: ‘We closed it for your safety. If the fireworks blow up and you are killed, it would be my fault.’
Biker: ‘It would only take a minute.’
Me: ‘Sorry, the bike path is closed.’
At this point, five of the six bikers figured out they weren’t going to ride down the bike path. However, this one wasted biker didn’t want to go along with the program.
Biker: ‘Just because you couldn’t get down there fast doesn’t mean we can’t get through.’
Me: ‘If you go down the bike path, I will have you arrested when you get to the other side.’
Biker: ‘I want to talk to your supervisor!’
Me: ‘Ok, see that roof over there? That’s the station, you can go there with your complaint.”
Bike: ‘You have to get a supervisor here NOW.’
Me: ‘No, I don’t.’
She then scoffed and went with her friends in the opposite direction of the path. She didn’t ride through. Nor did she make a complaint.”
“I was the manager when this incident occurred. For all of an hour and a half or so, I had to fill in as a temp for the Domino’s store I worked at. Why my manager picked me, a kid who had just turned 18, to be her fill-in is beyond me, but I guess she trusted me more than I thought she did.
Apparently, she had a doctor’s appointment to attend to and the assistant manager was unable to clock in early, so it was up to me to hold down the fort. Even under unusual circumstances, I was determined to perform well in my new role, even if it was only temporary. I did perfectly fine for the first hour, as business was going well as usual. That was, until some kid wearing a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) blues uniform walked in and told me he had somehow ‘earned’ some free cookie brownies.
The uniform looked similar to Air Force blues, but without the ribbons, the lapels, and the rank.
And how did the kid supposedly earn free brownies?
According to him, he was walking down the street when one of the delivery drivers pulled up next to him and told him he could have some free brownies solely because he was wearing the uniform and the driver wanted to thank him for his ‘service to the community.’ I knew that was false immediately because I personally knew all the drivers on shift, and none of them would ever hand out free brownies to anyone, no matter who it was. And they definitely weren’t going to pull up to some kid and tell him to walk to the store for some free brownies. That sounds really stupid, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I told the kid he had to pay for whatever he wanted or he wasn’t getting anything. With that, the kid left. Or so I thought.
A couple of minutes later, his mom walked in and demanded I give her son his free brownies because of his service to the community or whatever. There was no way I was going to be a pushover for some entitled boy scout and his even more entitled Karen of a mother. I told her I wasn’t going to just give anything out for free and that they would have to pay for what they ordered, or else they had to leave the store. The lady didn’t seem very pleased with that, so she told me to ‘get’ my manager so that she could further ‘negotiate’ or really just demand.
I told her no because I was the manager at the time. Then I told her to leave or else I would have to call the cops and whoever else I saw fit. That scared away the mom and her kid, so they left the store, and I told them to have a nice day.
I was shocked to see that two people could have such an irrational sense of entitlement, and it still bothers me that people like them are out there.”
“I used to work in a casino in Australia. Part of my job was to work the Service/Information desk.
One New Year’s Eve, I was rostered on and was relocated to work the desk with three others as the one in charge. I was put in nominal charge as I had years of experience, and I was older, bigger, and ugly-er than the other three. It was New Year’s Eve, one of the busiest nights in hospitality. Occasionally we had to deal with problems, but most were easy fixes like directions, what entertainment was being offered, or an issue that needed one of our vouchers.
One enterprising person was noted to be a little too attracted to one of the girls working with me and tried to grab her arm. Not cool!
I moved to her side and told her it was her break and called one of the security guys over to walk her off the gaming floor. He was very happy to do this as he got the message there was a problem brewing.
The wannabe Romeo was not happy and loudly told me, ‘I want to talk to the Manager!’
I told him, ‘That’s me tonight.’
He then leaned right into my workspace and snarled, ‘I want to talk to your boss then!’
I replied, ‘Not going to happen as he is too busy to talk to you tonight.’
I did not say it aggressively, but firmly, to let him know his bluff had failed. The security and surveillance team had been monitoring and recording evidence of his behavior and were ready to evict him for the night. Aggressive or threatening behavior is not to be tolerated or allowed in licensed premises by both State and Federal Laws.
He stood up to his full height and asked what was I going to do.
Then he jumped a mile when one of the security guys said in his ear, and I quote verbatim, ‘He will do nothing, You will come with us.’
He was removed loudly proclaiming we were going to miss out on the thousands of dollars he was going to spend that night.”
Past Due Bill
“I was the general manager of a small electronic manufacturing company. We had just purchased another small company several months earlier. The person handling A/R (Accounts Receiveable) told me a particular customer was 60 days in arrears, and refusing to pay.
I called the customer’s accounting department and asked why they would not pay. I was told they had already sent a check to the ‘original’ owner of the business and we would have to collect from them. I asked to speak with the general manager of the company.
He got on the line and repeated the story, ‘We paid that 30 days ago. If you want the money, then collect it from them.’
I explained to him that when we purchased the company, we sent out statements with the new company’s name, address, and payable information. I continued, ‘Additionally when you sent the order in, we confirmed with the same information.’
His response? ‘Well that’s too bad, you will have to figure it out on your end.’
Knowing they ordered these parts on a semi-regular basis, I dropped the conversation. Fast forward a couple of months.
They sent in a new order, to which we re-sent the new billing information and asked to have it confirmed. When the parts were ready, we sent a statement for the last order and the new order COD (cash on delivery).
The next day I got a call from the general manager asking why the account was now COD, and the previous invoice was still not his concern. I explained to him, legally the ‘old’ purchase order was a binding contract with our company, not the old one. I also informed him we would not be sending any parts until the matter was cleared up. He demanded that he speak to my supervisor. I politely informed him that I was the general manager, and my decision was final. He told me if they paid the previous invoice, when they were audited, it would come up.
I politely told him, ‘That is not my concern’, and then we ended the call.
A couple of days later, the COO (chief operating officer) of the corporation called me and said the prick tracked him down and demanded we ship the parts.
I asked my boss, ‘What did you tell him?’
His response to me, ‘I asked him what your stance was, and told him my stance was the same, pay your dang bill.’
A few days later we got a check for the past invoice and the new invoice. Never heard from the general manager again.”
“Free Meals To Any Vet”
“On Veteran’s Day two years ago, our restaurant gave out free meals to any vet with an ID. It’s really created monsters. Thank God, these meals are dine-in only.
This early morning, a lady came in, who looked like a crazy bag lady with all her restaurant bags. She came to the carry-out counter, where I happened to be working. She ordered five ‘vet’ meals to go. I reminded her that 1) it was dine-in only, and 2) it was one per person.
She flapped the six military IDs she had around her neck at me and dismissively said, ‘I have the IDs. We’ll take them to go.’
I said, ‘No. Dine-in only and the vet must be present.’
She repeated that she had the IDs. I repeated ‘NO’.
She asked if there was a manager she could talk to, and I said, ‘Of course. You’re talking to her. One meal, dine-in only.’
She said, ‘OK, I’ll take one meal.’
When I brought it to her, she opened it, took a bite, waved her greasy fingers at me, and said, ‘I’ll take a box now.’
I said, ‘No. Sit down, have your meal. It’s dine-in only.’
She said, ‘But it’s 11:00 in the morning. I don’t want chicken fingers until dinner.’
I said, ‘I’d be happy to take the meal back and you can come back and see me tonight. I’ll be here until we close.’
She ate her meal.
When she left, I saw her hook up with three other people in the parking lot, who suspiciously had a bunch of lanyards around their neck with cards on them, a lot of restaurant bags, and hats that matched the ones sold at the nearby gas station, where I filled up every couple of nights.
It’s people like this who spoil things for the people for whom the entire gesture is intended. I appreciate vets. I don’t owe them, but I appreciate the people who made the choice to go into the military. There are a lot of gracious vets out there and I do military discounts all day long. Those aren’t the people who come out on Veteran’s Day.”
“When I worked for a bank, I had to answer phone calls most of the day. One day, I got a call from a customer, I believe from Connecticut. I introduced myself and asked for her verification information, like her full name, last four digits of SSN (social security number), etc. This lady, who was in her mid-30s, interrupted me and asked if she could speak to a native English-speaking supervisor. For a second I was a little confused because I speak English fluently.
It was a very odd request, something I didn’t expect. But whatever, according to the rules, I was supposed to ‘de-escalate’ by basically asking her for the reason, as I might have the same instruments to help her.
She said, ‘No, I want to speak to a supervisor who speaks English without an accent.”
I said, ‘Sure ma’am, would you mind if I will put you on a brief hold?’
She said, ‘Go ahead.’
As soon as I transferred her to my supervisor, I turned my chair and looked at him with a big, evil grin. Do you know why? Because the only supervisor on the floor was Ganesh, who happened to be from India.”
Bathroom Stall Issue
“One night, I was working in the fitting room area of a department store, and this woman came through to use the bathroom. At this particular store, the bathroom is across from the fitting rooms in the same area. Well, next thing I know this same woman came out of the bathroom mad because she tried to push the stall door in instead of pulling it out (or maybe it was the other way around, don’t quite remember exactly). Anyway, she somehow conked her head on the door.
She came out screaming at me about her ‘problem’ and demanded I call the manager on duty that night on the store intercom. I looked at this woman like she had to be bonkers while resisting the urge to laugh at her antics. There was nothing either me or the manager could do about her anger over which way the restroom stall door opened.
I almost told her to forget it and if she wanted the manager she could march herself upfront and talk to him herself. Needless to say, unlike some people I have a filter on my mouth so I don’t just blurt out what I’m thinking.
After her little rant at which I had to struggle to keep a straight face when I felt like laughing my insides out at this drama queen, I called our manager who was working that night. He told me that was her problem, not ours. Then drama queen came back into the fitting room area to try on some clothes, ranted at me again about how no one cared she conked her head on the door. Like what the heck was I supposed to do? I didn’t build the stalls so the doors went the way they did.
Later the manager came back to where I was after the drama queen had left and wanted to know what she said to me about her ‘accident.’ I repeated the general gist of drama queen’s little hissy fit but as far as I knew it never got anywhere.”
Things Got Personal
“I worked for a cellular phone company as one of the people you might call if your phone bill was too high, you wanted to change your plan, or your phone ended up in an impromptu episode of ‘Will It Blend?’
One customer called me, already cussing up a storm. I got him to calm down, and fixed his problem—his phone wouldn’t stop sending the same text repeatedly. After I solved his phone’s issue, I asked him if there was anything else I could help him with. Oddly, he made some disparaging comments about my mental health and asked me if I’d taken my medication. He then demanded to speak to the manager. I had politely asked him to refrain from insulting me, but he kept on, so I hung upon him.
If you called me up and cussed up a storm, I generally didn’t care. Cuss about your phone, your phone bill, my employer, whatever. I got it. You were mad. I was not going to stop you from expressing yourself. However, the second you made it personal for me, then we had an issue.
When ‘To heck with this phone and the phone bill it rode in on’ turned into ‘To heck with you, Mr. Customer Service Representative,’ I would politely ask you to refrain from insults.
You would get two more strikes, after which I would disconnect from the call and document everything in the notes on your account. That way, the next time you would call in, your next victim would get a little pop-up on their screen that would let them know you were a problem child.”