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This is a question Customers from Hell

The customer is always right. And yet, as 'listentomyopinion' writes, this is utter bollocks.

Tell us of the customers who were wrong, wrong, wrong but you still had to smile at (if only to take their money.)

(, Thu 4 Sep 2008, 16:42)
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The worst customers in the worst bar in the worst part of the worst town on the planet
I used to work in a dockside bar that was, to put it mildly, a little rough.

It all began after I moved to this well-known (and utterly crap) port town. The town itself was bad enough, rammed full of ne'er-do-wells and a smorgasbord of freaks, but the closer you got to the port the worse the punters became. The vile clientele that poured through our doors was continuously topped-up thanks to the convenient location of the bar. It was the first watering hole the transients clattered into as they stepped off their ships onto terra firma. Some of our customers wouldn't have looked out of place in a zoo and a couple still make me shudder when I remember how nauseating they were.

The bar itself was a monumental shithole. The drab interior got wrecked most weeks by the locals fighting with the fleeting (then fleeing) masses. The owner had tried to add a pointless touch of sparkle by hosting live acoustic jazz bands most nights, but the contrast between the music and the atmosphere was laughable. Imagine a clarinet concerto in the aftermath of the Brixton riots and you'll be halfway there. My job as chief barman was without question the worst means of paying my rent I've ever had.

I'd only been working there for six months but I'd just about had enough, what with having to blindly ignore the constant criminal activity and put up with the ebb and flow of human detritus that wafted through. I’d developed a bit of a cunt's attitude to my customers, as it was the only way to get through the nights. The final straw came on a particularly busy shift. To give you some idea of the kind of bullshit I had to put up with, earlier in the day I'd endured a full sweep of the place by the authorities to assist them with a fucking manhunt. It was definitely not shaping up to be a good evening. I was serving a particularly short-fused customer with the motley jazz band in full swing when the door swung open. I knew at once we were due for big trouble.

It was a group of four drifters who looked *completely* out of place; that is, they looked relatively normal compared to our usual patrons. The first problem was that two of the members of this group were obviously flaming homosexuals and this was *not* a gay-friendly bar. The taller chap was a sight to behold. He was worryingly camp, wearing a lurid gold outfit that Liberace himself would have sent back to the shop for being too ostentatious. The short, fat one was relatively straight-acting but I’d already made my mind up. This feckless bling-clad mincer and his stumpy companion were attracting exactly the wrong kind of attention from the burly crowd assembled in front of the bar. I had to do something quickly, so I made it clear that I wouldn’t be serving either of them. The young bloke in the group had a quick word and thankfully, the sad-faced queers retreated rapidly towards the exit in order to avoid what otherwise would've ended with a merciless beating. I felt bad, but it was better than clearing up their body parts.

The other two gentlemen stayed in the bar. The old fellow wandered over to one of our regulars and started chatting, which was a little strange as I knew the guy couldn’t speak English at all. It seemed that they were acquaintances though, so I turned away from the bar for a moment to collect my thoughts. Almost as soon as I’d turned around, I felt a tug at my shirt. It was the young guy again. He gave me an understanding nod but didn’t actually say anything. I still felt rather grateful and relieved for his swift help a few moments earlier, so I handed over a free drink which he silently accepted.

Barely ten seconds later, it all kicked off. One of the foreign dockhands in the bar spotted my act of charity for this stranger and took exception to his special treatment. I turned to see this fearsomely-ugly thug march over to shove him hard and begin a drooling tirade of unintelligible drunken aggression. One of the dockhand’s mates joined in with the intimidation tactics. They were both very drunk, but I overheard him slur something about a criminal record followed by a death threat. That was par for the course in this place. The young stranger kept cool, but the altercation had obviously unnerved the poor chap. Before he’d had a chance to think about retaliation, his elderly friend had left the chit-chat with my regular customer and stepped into the situation himself.

The old man tried his best to calm things down, but by now it was too far gone and a fight was ready to break out. Without any further warning, the dockhand’s mate grabbed the younger guy and flung him across the room into a table full of drinks. I spotted a gun being produced so I ducked behind the bar, where I then heard a terrifying scream. The commotion died down and I re-emerged to find the assailant lying on the ground, one arm completely severed and the old man standing there wielding a glowing energy sword. I watched blankly as he returned it to his belt, my customers continued with their business and the band continued playing their god-awful music as if nothing had even happened.

Like I said, it was a fucking shithole.
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 20:59, 34 replies)
That is brilliant. Well done to you sir!
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:08, closed)
Oh God...

(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:09, closed)
you got me again!

ok smarty pants, we need an "I love horses" reference in the next one as well please!

ps clicketh!
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:15, closed)
nice one
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:16, closed)
I am a sucker
nice work
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:22, closed)
Oh ffs
Got me again.

(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:25, closed)
Very good
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:29, closed)
I've been had
and well done! Didn't realise until the severed arm bit. doh!
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:30, closed)
You sir
Spun that yarn expertly.
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 21:43, closed)
Had me too...
Amazing. Absolutely epic.
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 22:05, closed)
Clicketty click
Good work Fella!
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 22:16, closed)
I can't believe
I managed to get as far as the mention of an energy sword before I twigged. Genius. Have a click.
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 23:01, closed)
you had me right up to the energy sword.
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 23:15, closed)
Spang sandwidges

and fucking spang on toast.

have some clicks.
(, Mon 8 Sep 2008, 23:55, closed)
Didn't suspect a thing until the energy sword.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 0:31, closed)
For the win, surely
Had me up until the energy sword. I was even prepared to accept the severed arm...

(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 0:36, closed)
I fucking love this!
I was waiting for mon bison to do one so this caught me completely off guard.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 0:42, closed)
This story makes my head hurt
spare time, much?

still, it is brilliantly written
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 1:26, closed)
Complete genius
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 1:28, closed)
Caught me till the energy sword too.

Have click.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 4:38, closed)
Ya had me right till the last paragraph! Well done! :-)
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 7:23, closed)
sounds like a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 8:44, closed)
absolute genius
I must be a complete tit - until I read the comments it didn't twig what this was about.

First class story, VERY well told!
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 8:47, closed)
Sheer genius! Like others, the energy sword was my Keyser Soze moment. I was giggling as I re-read your story!
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 8:54, closed)
Well I spotted this right from the off
OK, I didn't. At all.

Great stuff CC
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 8:58, closed)
Feel I have to un-lurk to say this has nearly cost me my job, sat in the worlds most boring meeting reading on my phone, LOLed so hard I had to leave.
Had me until the energy sword.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 9:12, closed)
Oh sweet jesus!
That was brilliant. Had me up to "one arm completely severed".

Utterly, utterly genius.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 10:11, closed)
I was completely slack-jawed at the severed arm bit. A few words later, I spanged heavily!

Many, many points.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 10:55, closed)
If I could click eleventy times I would
Very well done sir.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 13:24, closed)
The very same night
there was an actual murder... a shooting at the back of the bar. Cold-blooded, it was. One witness said the shooter was returning fire, but I could swear he fired the first shot*

*version of events may differ depending on DVD boxset
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 15:26, closed)
That was brilliant - I was trying to guess which pub in Dover it was.

Then you mentioned the energy sword, and I knew it had to be Portsmouth.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 16:12, closed)
Had me too....
well done though! click
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 17:57, closed)
You got me. I didn't get it until the bit about the old man calming things down.
(, Tue 9 Sep 2008, 22:41, closed)
What's this all about, then?

Dockside bars, foreign people, 'jazz' bands...

What kind of crazy world is this?

Jazz bands, honestly. Now I've heard everything.
(, Wed 10 Sep 2008, 10:43, closed)

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