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    Category: Bad Behavior

    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 3

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

    (Our card readers are different from a lot of other stores. If you swipe a debit card, it asks for a pin number. To use it as credit, the cashier has to push a button on the register. Pushing ‘cancel’ does not change it to credit; it cancels the card, and the customer has to swipe it again. A customer approaches my register with a nearly-full cart.)

    Me: “Hello! Did you find everything okay?”

    (The customer ignores me, and starts putting items on the counter. I start to scan and bag as usual. However the customer does not remove the bags, and instead continues unloading her cart. Eventually, I have scanned and bagged everything; however all the bags are still sitting on the counter.)

    Me: “Your total is—”

    (The customer tries to swipe their debit card, cannot do so as the bags are blocking the card reader. Rather than place the bags in the empty cart, she shoves them out of the way, sending two bags to the floor and knocking over a third. After sighing loudly, she puts the bags back on the counter, swipes their card and pushes ‘cancel’ when it asks for a pin.)

    Me: “Did you want that as credit?”

    Customer: *annoyed* “Yes!”

    Me: “Could you swipe your card again, please?”

    (The customer grumbles, swipes the card, and immediately pushes cancel again.)

    Me: “Could you swipe your card again and not push ‘cancel’ this time, please?”

    Customer: “Your stupid card reader isn’t working!”

    Me: “Ma’am, pressing ‘cancel’ does not switch it to credit. Swipe your card again and don’t push ‘cancel’.”

    (She swipes her card, and pushes ‘cancel’.)

    Me: “Sorry, it’s not reading your card. Could you swipe it one more time please?”

    (This time, I’m mashing the ‘credit’ button on the register. Fortunately, I manage to get it to switch before the customer hits ‘cancel’ yet again.)

    Customer: *sees that it switched to credit* “Why didn’t pushing ‘cancel’ work before?”

    Me: “I have no idea.” *completes transaction* “Have a nice day.”

    (At this point, the customer finally takes the bags off the counter and puts them in their cart. After they exit, I call my manager over, who witnessed part of the exchange.)

    Me: “Can I go on break?”

    Manager: “Yep. Take a few extra minutes if you need to.”

    Related:
    To Give Credit Where Debit Is Due, Part 2

    Some Only Live For The Olive

    | Twin Cities, MN, USA | Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

    (I’m a shopper at a high end grocery store. I stop at the olive bar to get olives for a party I’m having tonight. I’m blocked by a shopper who is grilling a store employee about something. She apparently isn’t happy about the selection and wants the store employee she’s talking to do something about it.)

    Store Employee: *to a shopper* “…I will let the manager know.”

    Shopper: “Well, what good will that do?! Can’t you just let the company know that customers want these kinds of olives?”

    Store Employee: “I don’t have a way of contacting the supplier, so my only option is to contact the manager and have him pass on your request.”

    Shopper: “This isn’t good enough! Why can’t I contact the supplier myself?”

    Store Employee: “Ma’am, I don’t have that information. I can only talk to my manager and let him know what you want and hopefully, he’ll be able to get the olives you want.”

    (The old woman chews her out and walks away. The employee just looks DEJECTED on a Friday afternoon, so I put my arm around her, and tell her…)

    Me: “When you get home, look up notalwaysright.com, and know that you are not alone. I’m not in the service sector, but I appreciate all you do for us, despite crabby old bats like that woman. Thanks for working and helping us out!”

    This Employee Isn’t Par For The Course

    | Canada | Bad Behavior

    (I work at a store that sells clothing for casual wear and work wear. On random occasions, customers mistake our store for the sports store next door. On this day, an elderly lady is just such a customer, as she wants to find something we definitely don’t carry.)

    Elderly Customer: *yelling at a male employee* “You d*** kids don’t know anything these days!”

    Me: “Excuse me miss, can I help you?”

    Elderly Customer: *whirls around, clearly angry* “You! You are too young, too! You won’t know what I’m looking for!”

    Me: “If you would just tell me, I’m sure I can help you.”

    Elderly customer: “I’m looking for a tam! Do you even know what a tam is?! You don’t! You’re too young!”

    (I actually know what a tam is, because my grandfather golfs all the time.)

    Me: “A tam is a slouched hat for men to wear while golfing. It has a small bill and a loose cap, and sits on your head like a French beret.”

    (I’ve clearly surprised the customer, as she remains silent.)

    Me: “Try the store next door, ma’am.”

    (I calmly escort her out, all the while, my other coworkers stare. I had a bit of a tough time explaining it to my manager though. I never expected a tam to be something so few people knew of.)

    Smaller Box For Smaller Minded

    | IA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bad Behavior

    (I am working a Saturday before a holiday and am extremely busy. I have also been at work since 5 am. I am the only teenage guy allowed to run a cash register.)

    Customer #1: *to her cohort* “I f***ing hate this store, and hate these prices.”

    Cohort: “Mhmm.”

    (I finish ringing up everything.)

    Me: “That’ll be $245.15 today, ma’am.”

    Customer #1: “No, I am on [government program providing food to women with kids for the kids' nutritional needs].”

    Me: “Oh, I am sorry. Ma’am, you need to let me know that before, but don’t worry: I can rescan it and make sure it’s all right.”

    Customer #1: “D*** right.” *returns to talking to cohort*

    Me: *to person bagging groceries* “I need to redo this order.”

    Coworker: “Okay.”

    (My coworker unbags the groceries and helps me sort them out. At this point, I begin scanning items through. The computer lets me know if the items count for the program or not. A box of cereal doesn’t count and cannot be rung up for the government program.)

    Me: “Oh, I am sorry, ma’am, this cereal doesn’t count. I believe it has to be the smaller size.”

    Customer #1: “Are you f***ing kidding me? I just bought this same box of cereal with my last check.”

    Cohort: “Yeah, the female cashiers always ring it up right for us.”

    Me: “I am sorry, but the program just changed. You should have received a packet in the mail telling you what is now accepted. Would you like me to have someone get you the size that counts?”

    Customer #1: “Just because you have a penis means you think you can tell me what I can and can’t do! I just want cereal!”

    (Her rants continues for about five more minutes with a large number of customers all staring at us waiting to see what is going to happen.)

    Me: “I am sorry, ma’am. Would you like the smaller size?”

    Cohort: “Fine, go get the other box!”

    (I finish ringing up the lady and tell her to have a nice day, receiving a scowl and a middle finger in return. Customer #2, after standing in line behind during the whole ordeal, pushes her cart up to my stand. I recognize her but am to upset at this point to think twice about it.)

    Customer #2: “Well, that was unpleasant.”

    Me: “A little bit. How are you doing?”

    Customer #2: “Well, I am just fine. I want you to know something, though: you are my favorite cashier and I always come to your line. You have always been nothing but sweet to me and you ring me up quickly. As far as that lady goes, don’t worry; I will make sure she doesn’t bother you again.”

    (She proceeded to offer me a hug which I took. Later my boss came up to me and told me he received two reports about me. The first was a screaming call about the sexist employee. The second was about a ranting and raving customer. My manager banned the rude customer and gave me a raise for biting my tongue through it all.)

    Piecing Together An Apology

    | FL, USA | Awesome Workers, Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests

    (I’m the assistant manager currently helping out on the registers, when one of the new hires flags me down for help.)

    Me: “Hello. How can I help?”

    Coworker: “Yeah, she was wondering how much it would cost for us to put together everything.”

    (I glance at the cart and see that the customer, a woman in her early 40s, has a total of 11 furniture pieces, all of which require a lot of time to assemble.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but unfortunately we don’t offer that particular service at this time.”

    Customer: “You’ve got to be kidding me. [Competitor] would put all of this together for me no problem. Main reason I’m coming here is because you all are cheaper.”

    Me: “Yes, and I thank you for choosing to shop with us today. I also know that [competitor] offers an assembly service and that they staff people who do nothing but assemble furniture for their customers. Unfortunately for us, we simply don’t have that kind of manpower or the space to take on that particular service.”

    Customer: “I don’t really care if you have the manpower or not! I have f***ing arthritis in my wrists. You honestly think I’d be asking for help if I could do it myself?”

    Me: “Of course not, ma’am. Before I go and ask the store manager if there is something that can be done, let me ask you something: are you needing these pieces assembled right away?”

    Customer: “Not really. How long would it take you think?”

    Me: “I imagine that we could do all this in a little over a week. Reason being is that we’d have various people working on your furniture in between customers. With 11 pieces here, it will take some time to put everything together.”

    (The customer reluctantly agrees on the wait time and the store manager agrees to have us assemble everything for free. I take her information and promise to call her whenever her furniture pieces are completed. The following day, she calls in and asks if we’re done yet. This repeats every day for the next four days. Finally I end up taking her phone call on the fifth day.)

    Me: “Hello, this is [me], how can I help you?”

    Customer: “You can help me by getting my damn furniture finished already. I bought everything last weekend and I have company coming in two days. What the h*** is taking so long? What do you think I’m paying you all for?”

    Me: “Ma’am, as I explained to you then, it will take some time for us to put everything together for you because we are low on staff and that it could take a little over a week. You said that that was fine. Secondly, we offered to do this for you free of charge, so you aren’t actually paying us to assist you. But on the positive side of things, we currently have more than half of your furniture assembled and I believe that we’ll be able to have everything put together in two more days if you’re willing to remain patient with us.”

    Customer: “You’re all lazy and incompetent! I’m going to have you all fired!”

    (The store manager, who has been sitting next to me the entire time, has heard all of this and immediately grabs the phone.)

    Store Manager: “Hi, this is the store manager. Now listen here, we have been more than patient with you. Just about every single employee I have, including myself, have agreed at one point or another to take time out of their incredibly busy schedules just to help you out because we value all of our customers. Not once from you have I heard a ‘please’ or a ‘thank you’, yet we still are willing to help out. However, I will not tolerate you berating my employees who are actually completing this project ahead of schedule. Now, if you still feel that we are not moving fast enough for your liking, you are more than welcome to come to the store, pick up your furniture and assemble the rest yourself. I’ll even help you load your car if you need the help.”

    (After more incoherent yelling, the customer hangs up. The next day she came in and apologized for her behavior, saying that it was uncalled for. She then went around the store and thanked each employee for being so helpful. Can’t say that I was expecting that.)

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