November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!


| Ardmore, OK, USA | Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(I am working the self checkouts. A family has just voided an item off their ticket and I come over to see what’s up. They consist of a mother, a father, and a 6- or 7-year-old boy. They are of Hispanic descent and seem to speak primarily Spanish.)

Me: “Hi, is anything wrong?”

Mother: “This movie is ringing up for $16-something, but we got it out of the $5 bin.”

Little Boy: “Wait, no we didn’t! We got it off the shelf!”

(The mother hits the little boy admonishingly, says something in Spanish, and then hurries off. The father, however, lingers behind.)

Father: “I’m so sorry!” *leaves*

Do The Return, Feel The Burn

| Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I’m helping a customer, Customer #1, pick out a watch at a department store jewelry counter. Another customer, Customer #2, interrupts.)

Customer #2: “Excuse me, I have a return. I had to wait in line at Customer Service just to be told I have to come up here.”

Me: “I’ll be with you in a minute ma’am, I am helping this other lady at the moment.”

Customer #2: “Well! I don’t have all day!”

Customer #2: *to me* “You can return that for her.” *whispers* “Before she throws a fit.”

(I do the return and turn back to Customer #1.)

Customer #2: “EXCUSE ME! The customer service lady said you would ring this all out for me as well.”

(Customer #2 holds up 2 boxes of shoes, some shirts, jeans and under garments.)

Me: “Normally I would be able to, but as I said before I am helping this lady in watches. You can wait until I finish helping her or go up to the registers with your purchases.”

Customer #2: “Well, I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you!”

(Customer #2 storms off to the registers and stands in line, but continues to glare at me from afar.)

Customer #1: “Whoa! Someone needs a nap!”

One Good Deed Deserve A Blogger

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Theme Of The Month

Customer: “Hi, I was just in to get my vacuum tuned up a couple months prior. However, my roller brush stopped working.”

(I confirm it’s been less than three months, and upon inspection of the vacuum realize it’s likely a production error. Business is slow, so I fix her vacuum on the spot, all the while joking with her and her daughter. Here’s what happens after I finish.)

Customer: “What do I owe you?”

Me: “Nothing. It was a bad part, so it’s on me.”

Customer: “But I have to pay something! I thought you were going to stick it in back and call me next week!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s cool. It was a bad part issue, so I’m happy to make it right. Tell you what: tell your friends I was nice to you and we’ll call it even. I can just see it now: ‘Yeah, the guy at the Roseville store was super nice to me! He’s a total muppet, but he’s really good at his job!.'”

Customer: “I’ll do you better than that. I have a blog that I write and people pay $200 to advertise on it.” *she takes my business card* “Is this you?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, it is.”

Customer: “Okay, go to this blog (Google cached, Ed.) in a couple days. I’m going to write all about how [my name] the muppet took care of me and how everyone in town needs to come see you.”

Me: “That’d be great. You ladies have a great rest of your weekend.”

(A couple days later, I check the blog (Google cached, Ed.). There’s a lengthy write up explaining how I personally am one of the main reasons our brand is better than our next major competitor. Our store location is mentioned as is my name. She even included a picture of one of the muppets and darned if he doesn’t look like me! The best part? Home office got wind of it and the CEO emailed my District Manager asking that she please tell me how proud he is of me.)

Shatter-Resistant, Not Idiot-Resistant

| ME, USA | Bad Behavior, Wild & Unruly

Customer #1: “Hey, these bowls say shatter-resistant… that means that don’t break, right?”

Me: “Well, it doesn’t mean they don’t break. ‘Shatter-resistant’ just means they’re much harder to break.”

Customer #1: “Huh… that’s really neat.”

(Customer #1 and #2 seem fascinated by shatter-resistant bowls, and thus begin to experiment. They begin to tap the bowls, nicking the bowls with their finger. One even starts to lightly bang it on the shelf. Then Customer #1 nods to Customer #2, and then SUMO SLAMS the bowl at full force into the ground, shattering the bowl to pieces.)

Customer #1: “Wha… why did the bowl break?”

Me: “As I said, the bowls were shatter-resistant not shatter-proof.”

Customer #2: “But they broke!” *to Customer #1* “That’s false advertisement.”

Customer #1: “Yeah! That’s false advertisement! I want my money back.”

Me: “Um, you didn’t buy anything, though.”

Customer #1: “So! That’s false advertisement! I demand my money back or to talk to your manager.”

(I decide at this point that I doubt these customers will even listen to me, so I call down my manager.)

Manager: “Hello there. How may I help you today?”

Customer #1: “These bowls say they are shatter-resistant, but they still broke when I dropped it on the ground! That means it’s false advertisement.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but shatter resistant means it’s harder to break. It does not mean it’s shatter proof.”

Customer #1: “Well, I want my money back for this worthless product.”

Manager: “Well, we can do that if you have your receipt.”

Customer #1: “Oh, I didn’t buy any of them yet.”

Customer #2: “But it’s false advertisement. She deserves her money back.”

Manager: “Ma’am, I cannot refund you your money if you didn’t buy anything.”

Customer #1: “But it’s false advertisement! I want my money back.”

Manager: “Again, I can’t refund you your money if you didn’t buy anything…”

(These two customers went back and forth with my manager for at least a half hour. My manager had security escort them out because they began to break more bowls to prove their point!)

Closing Down But Lifting Up

| Milwaukee, WI, USA | Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month, Top

(The company I work for is going out of business, and it is my final day working. I’ve been chatting with a customer about how hard finding a new job is as I ring her up.)

Customer: “Well, thank you. We’re off to Starbucks now.”

Me: “Oh, I love Starbucks.”

Customer: “Really? Would you like me to bring you something?”

Me: “I… what?”

Customer: “Yeah, what would you like? I have a gift card so it’s not a problem.”

Me: “The closest one is fifteen minutes away.”

Customer: “I know. What would you like?”

Me: “Um… a caramel mocha?”

Customer: “Grande or venti?”

Me: “A… grande is good. Thank you.”

Customer: “It’s not a problem. Caramel mocha. I’ll be back with it soon.”

(True to her word, she was back later with the coffee. I’ve not had any luck in the job search yet, but her bringing me a free coffee on my last day really made me smile.)