November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Hideously Illuminating

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Bad Behavior, Home Improvement

Customer: “I’m looking for a light for over my dining table. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure!” *we determine how big her table and room are, and set off to look at our stock* “Did you have a particular style in mind?”

Customer: “Well, what are people buying these days?”

Me: “It varies with personal taste, but…” *I gesture to one particularly popular modern chandelier* “…this one has been a good seller for us recently.”

Customer: “That’s awful! Who would buy that?”

Me: “Okay, well, did you have something more like this in mind?” *I lead her to another very popular piece, this one quite classic*

Customer: “It’s so ugly. I’d never have that in my house!”

Me: “Would you mind if I asked what in particular is turning you off? I’d like to get a better feel for your style.”

Customer: “I don’t know. I just hate it!”

Me: “Okay, how about this one?” *this goes on for a while, with me pointing out lights of various styles and colours, and her harshly vetoing all of them without giving any reasons*

Customer: “These are all hideous! I don’t understand why you’re showing these to me. Where are your nice ones? Do they only make ugly chandeliers these days?”

Me: “Well, it seems like the best idea would be to let you browse, and see if anything catches your eye. Even if something is close to what you’re looking for, it will give us a jumping-off point. We also have lots of catalogues too, if you’d like to take a look there.”

Customer: “But you’re supposed to be helping me! What kind of salesperson are you? I didn’t come here to look at some stupid catalogues. I don’t know what to pick! You’re supposed to tell me! What would you pick for your house?”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but I only like ‘hideous’ things, so I doubt my advice would be helpful. I have other things to attend to, but I’ll be just over here if you need me.”

Customer: *storms out*

Your Part In This Is Over

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Technology

Me: “Morning, sir! Can I help you find anything?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a part for a lamp.”

Me: “Well, we don’t carry a lot of parts, but there’s always a possibility that I’ll have it. What is it that you’re looking for?”

Customer: *describes part*

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry but we don’t carry anything like that. Unfortunately it’s not even something I can order, since our suppliers wouldn’t carry anything like it, either. I’m not even sure where to send you for it since it’s a bit unusual. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help!”

Customer: Oh. Well, see, it’s…” *describes part again*

Me: “I’m sorry if I was unclear. I know what part you’re looking for, I just don’t have it.”

Customer: “Maybe you have one in the back. It looks like…” *describes part again*

Me: “I know exactly the piece you’re describing. I’m sorry, but I’m 100% sure that we don’t have it. I can show you our parts department if you like. It’s pretty limited since we don’t do our own repairs here.”

(I take the customer to the back, where they look for the part themselves.)

Customer: “I don’t see it here. It’s…” *describes part yet again*

Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t know what to tell you. You don’t see it because I don’t have it. I have never had it. I will never have it. If you do ever find a place that carries it, let me know so that I have somewhere to send people in the future. Right now, I can’t do anything for you.”

(The customer gears up to begin their description again. My manager has witnessed the whole exchange and speaks up:)

Manager: “You should go to [Big Box Chain].”

Customer: “Oh, wow, thanks!” *leaves*

Me: “I didn’t know [Big Box Chain] carried things like that! Thanks, [Manager]!”

Manager: “Oh, [Big Box Chain] won’t have it either. I just figured he could go bug them for a while.”

Dim And Dimmer

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid

(I notice a customer seems particularly interested in a light.)

Me: “Can I answer any questions for you?”

Customer: “Nope, I think I’ve found the light I’m looking for! Can you ring me up?”

Me: “I’d be glad to! But because of the type of fixture, I should ask you. Are you going to be using it with a dimmer?”

Customer: “Of course.”

Me: “Do you happen to know if that dimmer is compatible with these kinds of fixtures? Sometimes there can be issues, and I’d want your light to work properly for you.”

Customer: “I don’t know what kind of dimmer we have. It was there when we bought the house. Is the compatible dimmer more expensive?”

Me: “Yes, which is why I wanted to warn you before you bought a fixture that might need it. You may even have a compatible dimmer already. Many homes do. But you may want to check first.”

Customer: “You’re just trying to sell me something useless to get a bigger commission!”

Me: “Well, we don’t work on commission. I just didn’t want you to run into a nasty surprise. If you like, I can write down the code for the light if you want to go home and check before you buy. Then you could purchase at a later date. Or, if you wanted to buy the light and then go home to check, you can return the light for a full refund if you don’t want to replace the dimmer.”

Customer: “I can’t believe you call this customer service! I just want to buy this light! Why is that so difficult? I don’t believe for a second that you don’t work commission! I don’t think you know what you’re talking about at all! I want to talk to your manager!”

Me: “Of course, I’ll see if he’s available.”

(I go and find my boss.)

Manager: “Hi, I’m the manager. Can I help you?”

(The customer is now completely calm and pleasant.)

Customer: “Yes, I understand that this type of fixture might work better with a certain type of dimmer.”

Manager: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Customer: “And the dimmer we might need is more expensive?”

Manager: “Yes.”

(He begins to explain technical details I went through before.)

Customer: “Oh, yes. We know all about that. If we purchase this, take it home, and our dimmer isn’t compatible, could we return it?”

Manager: “Absolutely.”

Customer: “Thank you so much, you’ve been so helpful! Could you ring us through?”

(My manager rings them through, and they leave.)

Manager: “They seemed very nice. Why did you call me out here? I was busy!”

Guess Who’s Flapping To Dinner

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

Customer: “This may sound odd, but we’re looking for a light with a finish that’s resistant to…um…bird poop.”

Me: “I’m guessing you have a pet? Well, no finish is going to stand up completely to that kind of thing, but we can look at a few things. What kind of light are you looking for?”

Customer: “It’s for over our kitchen table.”

(I proceed to find them some lights. Later on as I’m helping them out to their car…)

Me: “Oh, I never did ask the name of your bird!”

Customer: “Well, we have about 70 of them. Bye!” *drives off*

Coworker: “Remind me not to accept any of their dinner invitations.”