I Understand, ComCast: 5 Rude Nicknames I Gave Customers While Working In Retail

It came out today that ComCast has a really, really big problem with nickname leaks. As in, they nicknamed a customer “Super Bitch,” and then sent her a bill with “Super Bitch” printed as her first name.

So, first of all, who’s the ComCast fuck-up who went ahead and actually wrote “Super Bitch” literally ANYWHERE in the customer’s profile? Second of all, I do feel bad for this woman, not because she was called a super-bitch, but because she found out about it. Let’s be honest, she’s probably underselling her reaction to having to go through ComCast’s notoriously enraging customer service ouroboros, even having 39 technicians come to her house in the course of six months to get her cable working right. Um, 39 technicians! Yeah, I’d be past being a super-bitch to them by the time it was all said and done. I would not be saying, “I was a little hot and angry,” I’d be saying, “Of course I was a bitch to them, they were being incompetent as usual, and it’s still no justification for actually entering ‘Super Bitch’ as my name on my customer profile. If they don’t want people to be super bitches to them, they should probably stop fucking up.”

But — I don’t blame ComCast agents for giving their customers rude nicknames. It’s probably not that ComCast as a corporation is totally innocent and they just happen to keep hiring the absolute worst customer service agents in the history of all mankind; it’s probably that their customer service agents are regular people, trying to do a good job, who are stuck between a corporation with stupid policies on the one hand and a lot of angry customers on the other.

Lord knows, my bakery coworkers and I had plenty of nicknames for our bizarre-to-terrible customers back in the day. Such as:

  • Pepe LePieu: An elderly French man who complained to us every single frickin’ day that our almond croissants weren’t like the almond croissants in Paris, because we put powdered sugar on ours. We informed him that we were required to make them that way and that he could special order powdered-sugarless croissants, but did he? No, he just kept coming in, buying the sugared croissants, and complaining.
  • Bug Eyes: A woman who was obsessed with her kid and obviously very tightly-wound, which is my theory as to why her eyes looked like they were popping out of her head. She was one of those people who are too polite — as in, she was exceedingly, excessively polite so long as she was happy, but if you made one mistake, she would rain hellfire down on you (with some variation of “HOW DARE YOU DEPRIVE MY CHILD”). While bugging her eyes out. It was haunting.
  • The Banana Nut: The Banana Nut wanted banana muffins with pecans on top. We couldn’t just do this and put them out on the shelf for her to pick up whenever, because we had to include only ingredients that were on the label on the shelf, and that didn’t include pecans. Again, did she special order them? No, she’d just call and ask us to have them ready for her in 20 minutes. When we explained that the muffins took 40 minutes to bake, she freaked the fuck out. She wound up harassing us so often and wasting so much of our time that she got banned from the store — and we found out later that she had already been banned from the three locations closest to us, as well.
  • Granola Bitch: Granola Bitch liked to come in on her bad days to vent her frustrations and grill me about the nutrition information for the house-made granola, which I explained repeatedly we didn’t have. Finally, one day, I told her that it was probably comparable to other granolas. “No,” she said, proceeding to over-enunciate, as if I didn’t speak English. “This has flax seeds and almonds in it. That means that it has more fat in it. I know this, because I make my own granola at home.” I hope the dumbfounded stare I gave her was enough to communicate how deeply confused I was as to why, if she never bought granola from the store, she was so concerned about the contents of our granola.
  • Cupcake Bitch: This one was my favorite. There was a customer who would come in in the evening maybe three times a week, for about two months, to complain to us about our cupcakes, contending mainly that they were ugly or tacky. We made them to appeal to little kids, of course, because little kids were the main cupcake demographic, so yeah, they were kind of tacky. On one occasion, she said, “If this was ‘Cupcake Wars,’ you’d lose!” On another, she looked at a cupcake that had orange-colored frosting swirled into chocolate frosting (we were approaching Halloween) and told my coworker, “These cupcakes are disgraceful.” My coworker, fed up with this woman’s repeated visits, said, “Your ignorance is disgraceful,” and then let our store manager handle the rest of the conversation. That was (blessedly) the last time she came in.

So, ComCast customer service agents: I feel you. I understand. But did I ever once tell The Banana Nut that she was crazy, or Bug Eyes that her kid was not that special, or Granola Bitch that she could go stick some granola up her hoo-hah? No, of course not, because that wasn’t my job and it wasn’t what they deserved. Like Super Bitch Bauer, and like you, they were just trying to get through their days however they could. It’s totally understood that back-of-house nicknames provide a lot of catharsis for people who have to deal with customers, but really, they have to stay in the back of the house.

[The Verge]