October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Customers Like A Fish Out Of Water

| Sunnyvale, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

(I work in the animal department of a big pet store chain.)

Me: “Hi, I hear you’re looking to buy a fish today!”

Customer: “Yeah, I wanted to get my friend one for her birthday.”

Me: “Okay, did she already buy everything she needs? Tank, filter, bubbler?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

Me: “How big is the tank? Just so you know these guys can get really big, up to two feet sometimes.”

Customer: “I don’t know.”

(I show her an aisle of some different tank sizes, and she points to the 10-gallon. It’s technically enough for a small goldfish for a while, and at this point I can’t say no. I’m asking a few more questions about the setup when she starts to look impatient.)

Customer: “I’m sorry, but, can I just get the fish already? I’ve got to get back to work.”

Me: *I stare at her, confused* “Work?”

Customer: “Yeah, I’m on my lunch break.”

Me: “Uh, how long until you will be off of work? You should probably just come back to buy the fish later.”

Customer: “Like, three hours. It’s fine, I’ll put it in the car.”

(It’s the middle of a heat wave in California, at least 90 degrees outside.)

Me: “Ma’am, you can’t just leave the fish in the car for a few hours. Even if I could sell it to you, it would probably die and you’d be right back in here.”

Customer: *doesn’t even look annoyed, just… kinda blank* “Oh.” *after a few moments* “What if I take it with me?”

Me: “Into your work?”

Customer: “Yeah, I can put it in the break room.”

(I proceeded to explain to her, again, that the fish would probably die in the bag before she even got it to her friend’s tank. After a few more minutes of her still trying to get the fish, she left. I didn’t see her again.)

The Weight Of Being A Woman

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

(The inventory manager is going through the overstock carts of dog food and, though I don’t normally work in that department, I’m helping him put them out. I am female. I am carrying a 40lb bag of food when I notice a male customer in the next aisle.)

Me: “Hello, are you finding everything all right?”

Customer: *gesturing to the bag of dog food* “Do you need help with that?”

Me: “Uh, no, that’s okay, thanks. Did you need help with anything?”

Customer: *looking unconvinced* “No, I already found it.”

(Five minutes later, I’m rearranging some large bags to fit another one in when a different male customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Do you want some help with that?”

Me: “No, thanks, I got it. Do you need help finding anything?”

Customer: “No, I’m good.”

(My manager comes over shortly after the customer leaves to check on my progress.)

Manager: “How are you doing?”

Me: “Almost done with the cart, but if one more guy asks if I need help doing my job I’m going to hurt someone.”

Not Very Cagey About Their Drinking

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Pets & Animals

(A woman has come in looking for a hamster for her seven-year-old daughter’s birthday the next day. I’ve gone over the basic care instructions and all that’s left is to pick out the cage.)

Me: “Okay, so the dwarf hamster is pretty small, and any of these cages will be big enough. I would recommend this one, since it comes with food, bedding, food dish and a water bottle.”

Customer: “Which one is the easiest to put together? I’m gonna be pretty drunk tonight when I set this thing up.”

Me: “…Let me show you the pre-assembled cages.”

Nothing You Can Do To Get Out Of This Loop

| NY, USA | Extra Stupid

(My store has recently started a new ‘Store Pick-Up’ option where customers can order items online and then pick them up at a local location the same day. Corporate is running several different sales that can only be applied to these online orders. This is turning into a problem since many customers are seeing the low prices online and get angry when they come into the store and see a higher price tag. A customer calls me over and starts to complain about this discrepancy. I explain the special sale, but she isn’t having it.)

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: “There’s actually a lot we can do! We can process your purchase online using the store computer and it can be ready for you, at the sale price, in about 10 to 20 minutes.”

Customer: “20 minutes?!”

Me: “Yes, that’s one option. If that doesn’t sound good, remember that this sale will be going on for a few weeks. You’re welcome to go home, purchase as much as you’d like online and then pick it up the next time you’re in town.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just go up to the register and give me this price today? You’re going to lose a lot of business this way!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this sale is specifically meant to encourage people to shop online and use the in-store pick up. I’m not allowed to manually adjust any of the prices to this level.”

Customer: “So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

Me: “…Ma’am, there are still several ways that we can get you this sale. We can use a store computer and process an online order within about 10 minutes, or you can put in the order at your leisure and pick it up another time. Are you interested in doing either of those?”

Customer: “Just change the price for me at the register; I want these items right now.”

Me: “I can’t do that, I’m afraid. These prices are only for people who use the online ordering system.”

Customer: “…So there’s nothing you can do for me?”

The Amphibious Ambiguous Government

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Bizarre, Pets & Animals

(I am ringing a customer out for some products for her turtle.)

Me: “Would you like your receipt?”

Customer: “Ha! And let the government know I have a turtle? No, thank you!”

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