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    Why Working Retail Isn’t A-pee-ling

    | California, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (It’s the holiday time and our store is very busy. There must be 40 people in the store, plus their children. One of the seasonal help comes up to me looking afraid.)

    Coworker: ”So, um… there was this women, and she um, she took her son over to a corner and well… she um had him pee in a bottle.”

    Me: “As long as he didn’t pee on the merchandise, then I don’t care.”

    Coworker: ”What should we do? I mean, who does that?”

    Me: *shrugs* “I don’t know!”

    (I investigate, and sure enough there is pee all over the floor. We clean it up best we can, but people roll their strollers and walk right through it. This is not the first time kids have peed in our store, but at least it wasn’t a full diaper left under a rounder!)

    Cooking Up A Storm

    | MD, USA | Family & Kids, Holidays

    (A confused woman and her child, about nine years old, approaches the counter.)

    Customer: “Whole lot of people here today, isn’t there? Never seen it so busy.”

    Me: “We get quite a crowd for Black Friday sale, yeah.”

    Customer: *confused* “Black Friday?”

    Me: “Retail nickname for the day after Thanksgiving.”

    Customer: “Oh, I know, but that’s today? Yesterday was Thanksgiving?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: *looks down at her daughter* “Why didn’t you tell me it was Thanksgiving? Your grandmother is going to have my hide for missing dinner!”

    (The sweet looking little kid looks back and smiles.)

    Daughter: “Well, nana’s cooking sucks anyway.”

    Before Black Friday Comes Brainless Thursday

    | Long Island, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Holidays

    (Our store is open on Thanksgiving, and I’m one of the unlucky few scheduled to work. This means I don’t get to go to the traditional feast. Nobody is happy, and the store is mostly dead. We have more or less the same exchange with the few customers who come in.)

    Customer #1: “Dear, you shouldn’t be working on Thanksgiving! Do you get to see your family at all today?”

    Me: “No, we close too late. But it’s not really that bad in the end.”

    Customer #2: “That’s still awful. You girls should all be home eating and enjoying yourselves!”

    Customer #1: “It’s shameful they make you come out and miss a holiday just for money and greed.”

    Customer #2: “I know! Why in the world would anybody be open on Thanksgiving?”

    (At this point I am bored, depressed, tired, as well as hungry.)

    Me: “If people like you did not insist on shopping today, we wouldn’t be open. Everyone would be at home where they wish they were.”

    (Surprisingly I was not fired, or even written up. The manager was just as annoyed at having to work as I was!)

    They Got Owned

    | Greenwich, CT, USA | At The Checkout, Liars & Scammers, Top

    (I work in a very affluent part of town at a very well-known clothing store. The owners are known around town and come into the store very often. We get a lot of wealthy and prominent customers who are used to getting what they want, no matter what. Because of this, we try do everything we can to satisfy them the best we can.)

    Me: “Hello there, can I help you with anything today?”

    Customer: “Yes, I am looking for [item], and I need it in this size.”

    Me: “Okay! Let me go check for you. I’ll be back in a moment.”

    (Meanwhile, one of the owners walks in and starts talking to my manager.)

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, we don’t happen to have that item in stock. I can check another store for you if you like, and we can ship it to you free of charge.”

    Customer: *screaming* “THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE! I WANT THIS ITEM NOW! I KNOW YOU HAVE IT SOMEWHERE!”

    Me: “I am very sorry, ma’am, but we do not have that item. We don’t have it in any sizes. We unfortunately sold out. But I can call a few of our other stores and get it shipped to you.”

    Customer: “NOT ACCEPTABLE! I WANT THIS NOW!”

    (She sees another customer who is wearing what she wants. This ‘customer’ just happens to be the owner.)

    Customer: “This is the item I want. GIVE IT TO ME!”

    Other Customer/Owner: *winks at me*

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you cannot ask this customer to give you his shorts. I can check another store for you though.”

    Customer: “No! I want his shorts!” *turns to the owner* “Give me your shorts! I know the owner personally. He says I can do whatever I want!”

    Other Customer/Owner: “Oh, I had know idea that you knew the owner. What’s his name?”

    Customer: “Um, his name is Paul! Now give me the shorts!”

    (Meanwhile, a few other customers and the manager walk over to see the fuss.)

    Other Customer/Owner: “Huh, that’s weird. My name isn’t Paul. Welcome to my store. Now, get out before I press charges.”

    Customer: *freezes and runs out of the store*

    (I unfortunately didn’t get a raise. I’m only a seasonal employee, but I did end up being able to get a huge discount on clothes for the rest of my life and I even got to pick out a few outfits free of charge!)

    Thicker Coat Required

    | USA | Top, Wild & Unruly

    (One of my coworkers has a really beautiful full-length black wool coat that’s lined with a very soft faux fur that, despite being fake, feels real. She gets questions about where she got it from our clientele a lot, but she actually made it herself. It is really cold outside.)

    Customer: *spotting my co-worker on her way to her lunch break* “Oh. My. God. That coat is gorgeous!”

    Coworker: “Oh, thank you.”

    Customer: “Give it to me.”

    Coworker: “Ma’am, the coat is not for sale.”

    Customer: “Bulls***! Everything in this store is! Now give me that jacket! I’m more smarter than you, I know how everything works! If you want something in your store, you can only buy it after us real people are done shopping and only if it’s something we don’t want!”

    Coworker: “Um… ma’am, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, but this jacket didn’t come from this store. I made it at home.”

    Customer: “No you didn’t! It’s mine! *tries to snatch the back of the coat as my coworker dodges her*

    Coworker: “Ma’am, this is my jacket that I made for myself. We do not sell this jacket in the store, although we have some similar ones. I will not just give you my jacket.

    Customer: “It’s mine! Not yours, mine!”

    Manager: *to me* “What’s going on?”

    Me: *I explain*

    Manager: *to the customer* “Ma’am, that is my employee’s jacket. It’s not for sale.”

    Customer: *stamps her feet and screams* “BUT I WANT IT!”

    Manager: “Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. You can’t have my employee’s jacket. She needs it herself. It’s too cold. If you want a jacket, you can come back another time when you’ve calmed down.”

    (She leaves, but comes back about ten minutes later with the police. They have a department on the other side of our parking lot. She points at my manager, my coworker, and me.)

    Customer: “Those worthless pieces of trash are trying to steal my jacket!”

    (My manager explains the situation, and they take a statement from my coworker, who had proof that she had actually handmade the jacket in the form of a series of photographs on her phone that detailed the ‘work in progress’. In the end, it was the customer who was arrested for creating a disturbance!)


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