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*

Taking His Wife’s Baggage Out On You

| Nanaimo, BC, Canada | At The Checkout

(I am working as an assistant manager at a department store and have been called to the refund desk. The clerk explains that a man at the desk wants to pick up some shopping that his wife has apparently left to be picked up. Unfortunately, we can’t find the packages.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We can’t find the purchases. Do you know what register your wife went through?”

Customer: “The one up there.” *points to the entrance to the mall*

Me: “Okay, I’ll call up there and see if the bags are there.”

(I call up to the register area and ask the cashiers if there are any bags left for pickup; none are left.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. There are no bags at the checkouts either. What time was your wife here?”

Customer: “About 10 am…”

(I know we only had one cashier on at 10am, and that her shift had already ended. I try and call her, but am unable to reach the cashier and verify the story.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t reach the cashier.”

Customer: “I don’t give a s*** whether you reached her or not. Just go and get me what she bought and give it to me”.

(Obviously, I don’t know what she bought, nor am I giving him anything for free until I can verify his story.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t do that until I can find out what has happened.”

Customer: “Give me my stuff!” *starts swearing*

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that right now.”

(Suddenly, the customer takes a roundhouse swing at me. He does this a few times, when another customer behind him grabs the first customer by the shoulders, spins him around, and shoves him away.)

Other Customer: “Get out of here before you get into trouble!”

(The customer stomps off, and out of the store. A few hours later, I’m on the floor with my manager. I happen to look down the aisle, and see the same customer staring at me. Thankfully, it’s about 75 feet away so I have some time to think as he’s coming towards me. Anticipating another confrontation, I prepare to defend myself and tense up for a fight. The customer approaches me.)

Customer: “Hey, I wanted to apologize for the way I acted this morning. My wife had already picked up the stuff!”

Still Staying Strong

| Long Island, NY, USA | Uncategorized

(My area was hit hard by Sandy. Way too many of my friends and family have lost their homes and/or personal belongings. None of us, including myself, even have gas in our tanks or electricity. It is two days after the storm. Nevertheless, I am on the phone with a customer.)

Customer: *over the phone* “Excuse me, but I tried to get a refund over the phone for products I purchased on Sunday, and you guys never answered.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we’ve been closed for a couple days because of the storm. We will try our best to get to you as soon as we possibly can.”

Customer: “So, when did you reopen? You’re there now, aren’t you? Why did you not contact me?”

Me: “We reopened today, but our manager is unfortunately draining water from our other store right now, so he will be unable to contact you until early tomorrow.”

Customer: “But I emailed you Sunday night! I want you to refund me my money!”

Me: “Have you returned the products to the store Sunday or today?”

Customer: “Are you kidding?! I don’t have gas to come there with the products.”

Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot refund you until I physically have the products and a manager here, and since unfortunately he is busy due to the hurricane, it will be a few days until I can help you.”

Customer: *starts cursing me out* “How dare you not be open the last few days? Do you know what it’s been like for me?! I haven’t had electricity for the last 24 hours! I only got it back today! And you won’t return my products for me?! And you talk too fast, slow down! Tell me your name right now! I’m going to get you fired! This is ridiculous! I lost my power!”

(I hung up the phone right in her face. Normally, I’m not so rude, but I had no patience that day. I have taken off of work every day since to volunteer at shelters for free, meeting the most humble people who have lost their entire homes and everything they own, and they are still so polite and grateful. I love NY so much. Stay strong, beautiful people!)

Editor’s note: Although this story tells the lighter side of things, the devastation caused by Sandy is very serious. Click here to visit FEMA’s dedicated Sandy page and learn how you can donate and volunteer.

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