July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Out Of Print, Out Of Mind

| Cambridge, MA, USA | Extra Stupid, Musical Mayhem

(It is 1992. I am working cash register.)

Customer: “Can you guys order a disc if I don’t see it out here?”

Me: “Sure, I can make you a special order.”

Customer: “Great, what do I do?”

(We go through a form with the customer’s name, phone number, the band name and the album name.)

Customer: “They’re called Split Enz, and the album is See You Around.”

Me: “Oh, cool, I’ve heard of that band, but not that album. One minute…”

(I look up the album in our distributor’s catalog.)

Me: “Hmm, they don’t list that album here.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “So, I can’t place the order without the distributor’s catalog number. Hang on a second.”

(I phone the distributor and find out that the album is out of print.)

Me: “They say it’s actually called See Ya Round, but I’m sorry, I can’t order this for you. The album is out of print.”

Customer: “Of course it is! That’s why I need you to order it for me!”

Me: “If there aren’t any copies out in the bins, I can’t order you something that’s not being made anymore.”

Customer: “No, it’s out of print! Order me a new one!”

Me: “Sorry, it doesn’t actually work that way. If it’s out of print, the record company isn’t making it anymore. They aren’t sending us any more copies. It’s out of print.”

Customer: “Yes, I know it’s out of print. That’s why I have to order it, duh! Why can’t you get it?”

Me: “Because it’s out of print?”

Customer: “I just said that! Order one!”

Me: “Um, have you tried any of the used record stores in town?”

Customer: “Jeez! If it’s out of print, why can’t you just order me one?!” *storms out*

Wasteland Not, Want Not

| Ottawa, Canada | Bizarre

Me: “…and would you like to put a three year warranty on this product? It protects it with us so you don’t have to deal with the manufacturer. ”

Man: “Three years? I only plan on using this until December!”

Me: “Oh, okay. Are you moving or something?”

Man: “Uh, no. Didn’t you hear? The world is going to end in December. Your warranty is useless! You’re just trying to get more money out of me while we still have a system of value! I see what you’re doing!”

Me: *speechless*

Man: “You won’t survive long in the wasteland.”

Me: “Uh huh. You have a nice day, sir.”

Small Print, Smaller Minds

| IN, USA | At The Checkout

(I work as a manager at a large craft store chain. A customer comes in, wanting to return a clearance item she had purchased from another store in our chain.)

Customer: “I want to return this item, please.”

(I look at her receipt, and notice it is over 60 days old.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t take back clearance items on receipts that are more than 60 days old.”

Customer: “The cashier didn’t tell me that.”

Me: “Well, our return policy is right here on the back of the receipt.”

Customer: “Well, she didn’t tell me to turn it over and read it!”

Black & Blue Friday

| Natchitoches, LA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

(I normally avoid Black Friday sales because of the madness that ensues. However, a few years ago, a retailer put a sewing machine on sale and I desperately wanted a new one so I went with my aunt and cousins. Not wanting to be in the way, I put my machine in my cart and moved so that I was well out of the way while my relatives shopped.)

Woman: *rams the back of my legs with her heavily-ladened cart* “Watch it!”

Me: “Excuse you! There was plenty of room for you to get by! Why the h*** did you do that?”

Woman: “I didn’t see you there! You shouldn’t hide like that!”

Me: “I was right in front of you! How could you miss me?”

Woman: “Well, you’re just so short that I didn’t see you!”

Me: “Really? That’s the best excuse you’ve got? Lady, there’s NOTHING blocking your view of me and I’ve got BRIGHT RED HAIR! I’m also wearing a WHITE shirt that has a HUGE Mickey Mouse printed on it! So, how in the world did you NOT see me?”

Woman: *meekly* “I’m so sorry.” *runs off*

Likely Story, Unlikely Store

| Wayne, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(A woman walks up to the customer service desk.)

Me: “Hello, ma’am. How are you today?”

Customer: “I’d like to return these sandals. They broke when I was wearing them, and I fell.”

Me: “Okay ma’am, not a problem.”

(I look at the sandals, and they are not a brand that we sell.)

Me: “Ma’am, these sandals actually aren’t from this store.”

Customer: “Of course they are! I bought them just a few weeks ago, right on the rack over there!”

(Even if she had purchased them here, the rack she is pointing to is in the complete opposite direction of where are sandals are.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but this brand isn’t one that we sell here. I don’t know where you got them, but it wasn’t from this store.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I bought these from this store! And I fell in them and hurt myself! I’m going to sue you! I got hurt wearing a pair of your sandals!”

Me: “One moment, ma’am… I will call over a manager to assist you.”

(I call the manager, who heads over pretty quickly. The customer continues ranting in much the same manner.)

Customer: “I’m going to sue you and this store! I know for a fact that I got these here, and—”

(She has stopped mid-sentence because she is looking down at her sandals. As she does so, her eyes grow wide, and she becomes very pale.)

Customer: “…Oh. I don’t want to speak to the manager.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I don’t want to speak to anyone. I’m sorry, this is the wrong store!” *leaves*

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