Category: Holidays

Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

In A Happy Holi-daze

| MI, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

Cashier: “Will these books be all for you today?”

Me: “Yep!”

Cashier: “Well, you have a very Merry Christma—”

(The cashier peers at my Star of David necklace with Hebrew engraving.)

Cashier: “—AND I hope you had a wonderful Hanukkah!”

(The cashier then waves to everyone waiting in line to get their attention.)

Cashier: “Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Spiritually Fullfilling Equinox, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!”

(The whole line applauds and laughs.)

Me: “That was awesome!”

Cashier: “I know that Happy Holidays covers everything, but wouldn’t it be awesome if I knew all of them just in case?!”

The Sale Hasn’t Got The Green Light

| Daytona, FL, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(It is just after we’ve marked our Christmas merchandise down 50%. This covers everything except items we carry year round, even if they have a winter paper tag decorating them. The customer has a plastic mug.)

Customer: “Could you tell me how much this costs?”

Me: “$4.97.”

Customer: “It should be about $2.50, dear.”

Me: “No, ma’am, that particular item is $4.97.”

Customer: “It’s a Christmas item, dear. It’s about $2.50.”

Me: “Actually we carry those year round so it hasn’t been marked down.”

(The customer clears her throat and points out the paper tag with a snowflake on it. We put those on ourselves to mark holiday gift ideas, not just winter merchandise.)

Customer: “Clearly you’re missing something, dear. It’s clearly a Christmas item. Just look at the color.”

Me: “It’s green, ma’am. We sell green mugs all year. It’s $4.97. Those mugs are always $4.97.”

Customer: “Well that’s just RIDICULOUS! I demand you give it to me for half price!”

(When I refused her again she threw the mug and stormed off.)

Christmas Is Engrave Danger

| FL, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(It’s December 23rd, and due to the amount of engraving orders that were placed during the day, a seasonal and I are working well into the night. Before we know it, it’s 7 am and the rest of the mall employees are coming in to open their stores. In fact, there are already customers waiting outside our store to pick up their items. I point this out to the seasonal with me.)

Seasonal: “Watch as the first customers we get are for items we haven’t gotten to.”

Me: “Don’t jinx it.”

(At this point, I’ve opened the gate and the lady who has been waiting outside for about fifteen minutes comes in to pick up her order.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, when did you place the order and what was the item?”

Customer #1: “Oh, it was just a card holder.”

(The seasonal and I look at each other.)

Me: “Like on a plate?”

Customer #1: “Yes.”

Me: “I’m extremely sorry, ma’am, but we haven’t gotten to your order yet but we can pop it in the machines and have it done as fast as we can.”

Customer #1: “Oh, that’s fine. How many people are here as soon as you open?”

Me: “Ha ha…”

(I grab her work order and item and place it on the machines so the seasonal can do it. Seeing as the assistant manager isn’t there yet, I have to act as the manager on duty.)

Seasonal: “Actually, we haven’t even gone home. We’ve been here all night.”

Customer #1: “That’s insane!”

Me: “We can’t leave until everything is engraved and unfortunately—” *I point at the large pile of plated items* “—we haven’t even touched the plated items. But no worries, we’ll get your item done pronto.”

(At this point, another lady comes in, and I greet her.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am, how can we help you today?”

Customer #2: “I’m here to pick up my item.”

Me: “Well what was the item?”

Customer #2: “It was four small clocks and a big clock.”

(The seasonal and I share another look.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but unfortunately we haven’t had a chance to get to the plated items yet but we can do it for you right now.”

Customer #2: “WHAT?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S NOT READY?! I WAS TOLD IT WOULD BE READY AT 7 AM AND I HAVE IMPORTANT STUFF I NEED TO DO THIS MORNING. HOW CAN IT NOT BE READY?!”

Me: “…well, as you can see, we have a big pile of items we have yet to touch, and if you don’t mind waiting a few minutes we can quickly put the plates in the machines and engrave them. No problem.”

Customer #2: “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT READY ON THE TIME! I WAS TOLD IT WOULD BE READY! 7 AM! IT’S 7 AM AND IT’S NOT COMPLETED.”

(I take a breath, look over at the seasonal who is staring at me with wide eyes. Luckily, no one else has entered the store during this.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am, no worries. We’ll knock this out for you right now.”

(I get the items on the counter, give the bigger clock to the seasonal to do while I get started on the four smaller clocks. As I’m setting up the first plate, the first customer comes over to me.)

Customer #1: “I’ll just be back in a few minutes. Take your time with my order.”

(I nod and she leaves. I get the machine all ready to go, and the second customer is still screaming her head off. I hear the bell at the entrance go off, look over, and my manager is walking in. I greet him, and as soon as I do, the second customer turns her screams on him.)

Customer #2: “YOU SAID MY ITEM WOULD BE READY AT 7 AM AND HERE I AM AND MY ITEM ISN’T READY THIS IS VERY UNPROFESSIONAL WHY ISN’T MY ITEM READY YET?!”

Manager: “Well, ma’am, I do apologize but these ladies have been here all night and they’re trying to engrave as fast as they can.”

Customer #2: “IF MY ITEM WASN’T GOING TO BE READY ON TIME I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A CALL AND THEN I WOULDN’T HAVE WASTED MY TIME COMING HERE.”

Manager: “… You wanted them to call you at 3 am?”

Customer #2: “WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?! I WANT A REFUND.”

(At this point, I’m literally holding back sobs cause I don’t want the customer to know she’s made me cry. The manager turns to me to ask how much of the order I’ve already done and I tell him I already finished one plate and the seasonal is already engraving the other plate. He turns back to the customer.)

Manager: “Okay, since we already started your order, how about you give us ten minutes? Ten minutes and your items will be completed.”

Customer #2: “…fine. BUT THEY BETTER BE READY.!”

Manager: “Yes, they will be.”

(The customer walks out of the store and we all take a big breath and I finally let my sobs out. At that moment, our assistant manager comes in, looking really confused.)

Assistant Manager: “Hey, guys?” *pointing at me* “Why is she crying? Why is there a customer outside screaming?”

(The manager begins to explain what happened and I finish up the order with the clocks. We get all the plates put on and the seasonal throws her hands up.)

Seasonal: “Okay, I’m going home.”

(She takes off and it’s just the three of us, I’m still sobbing and the manager gives me a pat.)

Manager: “Go home and get some sleep.”

Me: “I can’t. I have other things to engrave I can’t leave until they’re done.”

Manager: “We can handle it.”

Me: “I’ll stay until 8 am.”

Manager: “Fair enough.”

(Finally, after about 15 minutes, my manager calls the lady back in because her items are ready.)

Customer #2: “Huh. Okay, they’re fine. Thank you for doing them so quickly.”

Manager: “You’re welcome, ma’am. Have a good rest of your day.”

(The customer leaves, griping under her breath about a snowball effect, and as soon as she’s out of the store she’s yelling and screaming again. Customer #1 walks in again.)

Manager: “Hello, ma’am. How are we doing today?”

Me: “Oh, oh, I’m so sorry, ma’am. We haven’t— I’ll do that right now.”

Customer #1: “Don’t worry about it!” *she waves her hand* “I’m just so sorry you had to deal with that one lady. What is her problem?”

Manager: “Happy holidays?”

Putting The Grin In Grinch

| WI, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I do chat support for a major mobile device manufacturer. A customer comes in to chat all upset:)

Customer: “Christmas is ruined! I spent $180 on a cell phone and it isn’t going to be delivered in time.”

Me: “That is unfortunate, sir. I see we shipped it on time, and it is in the shipping company’s possession. But for some reason the tracking shows that the package had been diverted, causing a delay in delivery. I apologize.”

(I try to explain that it is not something I have any control over, but he isn’t having any of it. Finally, there is a pause, and then he tells me:)

Customer: “Okay, I just called my son over to the computer. He is here now. Go on… explain it to him. Tell my 12-year-old why you ruined his Christmas.”

(I was stunned. There were a few false starts where I started typing a reply, then deleted it and tried to gather my thoughts. I was SO glad this was a chat and not a call, or things would have probably gone downhill very fast.)

Me: “I am very, very sorry that the package did not arrive on time. I promise you, it is on its way and you will receive it soon. In the meantime, I want to ask you to please be patient, and to be grateful that you have a dad that would buy a cool phone like this for you, because there are a lot of children who have to make do with much less. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a good night.”

(The chat suddenly terminated a few minutes later, when he disconnected without a word.)

Customers Can Be Both Naughty And Nice

OH, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I am working at a very popular toy store around the Christmas holiday. Naturally, we are very busy. As a result, we run out of our larger size bags. A man comes up to the counter with two smaller building sets and a very large one. I have a very long line behind him.)

Me: “Would you like bags for these?”

Customer: *rudely* “Of course I would!”

Me: “Well, we have unfortunately run out of the larger bags, but I can bag the small boxes for you.”

Customer: “What kind of f****** store runs out of bags? You are a s*** employee! It’s f****** snowing out there! My toys are going to be ruined!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. We have been extremely busy this week. I can do my best to cover your box so it doesn’t get ruined.

(I take two smaller bags and place them on each end, covering a majority of the box. By this time, people throughout the store are staring.)

Customer: “What the f*** is this going to do?! You piece of s***! How f****** useless are you? Who the h*** hired your dumb a**, b****?”

(He throws the boxes over the counter back at me. I have never worked retail before, so I am very overwhelmed and begin to cry as he screams at me in the middle of the store. I’m trying to not be confrontational and just get him out as quickly as possible. He continues to throw things and swear loudly. My manager comes over and tells him that the authorities have been called and that he should leave the store immediately.)

Customer: “Fine! F*** all of you and f*** this store! I don’t need this s***!” *storms out*

(I quietly begin to check out the next customer, still crying slightly and shaking. She looks at me and says:)

Next Customer: “Don’t worry about him sweetie. He’s a d***.”

(She handed me a candy cane before she left. For twenty solid minutes I had people coming to my register so they could apologize for his behavior and make me feel better.)

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