Whoever coined the term “The customer is always right” probably never worked retail a day in his life. Setting aside my bad customer service experiences for the moment, let me be frank: The customer is NOT always right. A lot of the time, the customer is wrong and/or downright rude about it. Take today, for instance, when I was shopping at Safeway for canned pumpkin (it keeps the dogs regular). I was in the checkout line, standing behind a woman in early sixties. As the cashier rung up the sale, the woman snapped: “Bagels are supposed to be two forty-nine! Why aren’t they two forty-nine?!” The young cashier pointed out that she had, in fact, charged her two forty-nine for bagels. Rather than apologize or even acknowledge the fact she was in error, the customer quietly redirected her attention to the contents of her purse. Awkward. I turned around and started chatting with Akemi when I heard an outraged: “Excuse me!”. I turned back, wondering what was up. It seemed I was standing too close to the credit card reader. I stepped over and, after throwing me a baleful glare, Ms. Crankypants proceeded to swipe her card. As she finished up her payment, the cashier scanned my purchases. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched my fellow customer eyeing her bill with a frown. Then: “Hey! Why wasn’t I given air miles?” The cashier politely informed her that she received a $10 dollar coupon toward her next visit. She could have the coupon or the air miles but, unfortunately, not both. “I don’t want this!”said the customer, throwing the coupon back at her. “I want air miles.” The cashier apologized, told the customer she would make the change, and rang me through. I thanked the cashier with a: “You’re very kind.” And then throwing a look to the woman beside me: “And infinitely patient.” Ms. Crankpants stared back at me, outraged, her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water. And, while she was doing her goldfish imitation, I picked up my nine-pack of canned pumpkin and left.
Coincidentally, just this morning I came across this article (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-restaurants-band-together-to-stop-gift-certificate-scam-1.2617222) about a woman in Calgary who was calling up local restaurants to complain about poor service in order to score free meal coupons. Word got out. In one instant, she and her husband enjoyed a free meal – but then raised a huge stink because they weren’t comped their drinks as well. Finally, Teatro Restaurant (https://www.facebook.com/TeatroRestaurant?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline) decided to confront her. On camera.
Her response to being caught out is priceless. She’s sympathetic, shocked, and very disappointed.
So, do tell. I want to hear stories from the other side of the battlefield. Regale me with your “worst customer” experience.
Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve done a mailbag:
MFB writes: “About Delete: I saw “Delete” last year and liked it but I’ve always wondered why it wasn’t on your site under “Stuff I’ve worked on”. Is the reason that it was rewritten by Tim Phillips and barely resembles what you wrote?”
Answer: Never watched the finished product. If I do, and like it, I may well put it on the list. As for Tim Phillips, he was the music composer on the production. Paul and I wrote the script for the mini-series.
MFB also writes: “Anyway, I thought the premise was intriguing and it was decent except for some of the directing, cinematographic and special effect choices. Not that they were bad, just awkward and weird. But as a writer on this one I suppose you don’t have control over that type of stuff like you would have on “Stargate” as a writer/producer.”
Answer: Paul and I were only writers. We didn’t produce so had no say in prep, production, post, or any creative decision made after we delivered the script. Again, never saw the finished product.
MFB also writes: “About “Atlantis” in general: I’ve always wondered how the Atlantis crew interact with the Ancient consoles in the control room and I don’t remember an explanation for that. Are the displays holographic or something like that? I know it’s not practical for filming purposes to have stripped down LCDs like the one in the back of the control room in front of the actors, but I’ve always wondered.”
Answer: Hmmm. Not sure to what you’re referring to exactly? What we would affectionately refer to as “the pianos” that Chuck would work behind? In most instances, McKay (and the science team) would use a universal USB (literally, universal) to hook up Earth tech (ie. their laptops) to alien consoles.
Sparrow_hawk writes: “Regarding the George RR Martin Song of Ice and Fire books: The most recent two books were supposed to be one book. He had too much stuff to publish in just one book and it was split into two.”
Answer: If true (which would imply he had an enormous chunk of the second book already written when he published the first), then it’s mind-boggling that there was a six year gap between their publication dates.
whoviantrish writes: “Sushi for dogs? Mine would love that!”
Answer: How about bento-style dinner for dogs? Check it out.
Today’s entry is dedicated to whovian. Condolences on your uncle’s passing.