July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Taking The Ham-Fisted Approach

, | Australia | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink

(I work in a supermarket deli, and whilst we’ve never had any real problem customers, we do get plenty who come across as a little dim. One of my coworkers is getting sick of it.)

Coworker: “I don’t get it. How many people can there possibly be who can’t just READ the labels?”

(At this point, a customer walks up.)

Customer: “I want that ham.”

Coworker: “Sorry, which one?”

Customer: *points* “That ham.”

Coworker: “I can’t see where you’re pointing.”

Customer: *points again* “That ham.”

Coworker: “I can’t see where you’re pointing. Which ham are you pointing to?”

Customer: *rolls eyes* “That ham.”

(My coworker indicates to the top of the case, which is metal, she starts talking very slowly.)

Coworker: “See this? This is metal. I can’t see through metal! You’re going to have to READ the label.”

Customer: *points frantically* “Right there! That ham!”

(At this point, my coworker gives up, grabs a random ham, weighs it up and hands it to the customer, who snatches it and walks away. My coworker turns to me, wide-eyed.)

Coworker: “I’ll be surprised if I don’t get a complaint for that…”

Me: *shakes head* “You’re crazy.”

(After that outburst she was in a much better mood. She never did get a complaint but she scared herself into being a little more patient after that.)

Please Use It Anywhere But Here

| NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

(I’m working as a cashier when I have a customer who is ready to pay for her order.)

Me: “Your total is [total].”

Customer: “I have this [Other Retail Store] gift card I’d like to use first.”

Me: “Does it say Visa, Mastercard, etc. on the card? Those kinds of gift cards you can use here, otherwise it’s just a card for [Other Retail Store].”

Customer: “Well, this thing says I can use this card anywhere for gas and groceries.”

(The customer has a MasterCard credit card from the other retail store and it looks as though she received the gift card as a reward for getting enough points on it.)

Me: “That gift card is only useable at [Other Retail Store].”

Customer: “It says right here I can use this anywhere.”

(I look at the holder that the gift card was in. While it says you can use your card anywhere, it obviously applies to the credit card, not the gift card.)

Me: “No, it’s saying you can use your [Other Retail Store] credit card anywhere. I’m guessing you got this gift card as a reward from getting enough points on your credit card.”

Customer: “No, I can use this anywhere. Get me your manager.”

Me: “Okay, but I’m telling you right now she’s going to say the same thing I’m telling you.”

(I call my manager and ask her to come over immediately. The customer explains what her issue is.)

Manager: “Ma’am, my cashier is right. You can’t use this gift card here. It says here you can use your MasterCard anywhere and you got this gift card as reward to use at [Other Retail Store].”

(They go back and forth for a minute and for a brief second I think maybe the customer gets it… I was wrong.)

Customer: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll call [Other Retail Store] and prove that I can use this gift card here!”

Scratch-Off Your Name On The Pool

| CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Money

(I’ve recently been promoted from cashier to the customer service desk, where all lottery tickets and tobacco products are sold. The coworker training me has just stepped away when a middle-aged woman comes up to the counter and is staring at the scratch-off tickets.)

Customer: “Give me twenty $5 scratchers, please. I don’t care which kind, just give me a variety.”

(She opens up a thick envelope full of cash and gives me a $100 bill. I tear off two each of the ten different games we sell and give them to her, wishing her luck. She takes a quarter out of her purse, moves to the end of the counter, and starts scratching off all her tickets, throwing the losers away and setting aside a winner. She holds it out to me silently and I scan it through the machine.)

Me: “Wow, you won $50!”

Customer: “Okay, give me ten more $5 tickets.”

(I’m surprised but I do as she asks. She scratches off all of those, too, wins $20, and uses it for more tickets. This continues twice more until she has no more winners and no more tickets. She slams down the stack of losers, yells ‘d*** it!’ and walks away with nothing. My coworker is returning from break just as she’s leaving.)

Coworker: “Was that the scratcher lady? Awesome, your first encounter!”

(My coworker reaches under the counter and grabs a little notepad and pencil.)

Coworker: “How much cash did she give you?”

Me: “Well, she won a few times but she gave me $100 that first time. What’s her deal?”

Coworker: *excitedly writing in the pad* “Until a few months ago, she didn’t come in here much. But then, one day, she won $10,000 from a scratch-off ticket!”

Me: “Wow, that’s pretty cool. So I guess she’s trying for more, huh?”

Coworker: “Yeah, you could say that. She does this a few times a week and every time she goes through all the winners until she’s lost it all. We’ve been keeping a running tally and had a pool going over when she quits. I bet on 2,000 but got eliminated a long time ago. Let’s see…” *looking at the notepad* “Of the $10,000 she won, she’s now spent $9,200 of it on more tickets!”

(By the time she stopped showing up months later, everyone in the pool had been eliminated, because no one came close to guessing that she’d spend over $13,000 on scratch-off tickets without bringing home a single winner.)

Having A Whine About The Wine

| Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Food & Drink, Time

(I work at the fish counter in a well-known supermarket chain. This exchange takes place just before nine am on a Saturday, one hour after opening. A well-dressed woman walks up.)

Me: *smiling* “Hi, there, what can I get you?”

Customer: “I’d like four of the salmon fillets in two oven bags with lemon butter.”

Me: “No problem.” *printing the barcode labels to stick to the bags* “I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but how much longer will you be in the store for?”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

Me: “It’s just that I notice you have milk, meats, and various chilled items, as well as your fish.”

Customer: *looking suspicious* “Does that matter?”

Me: “You also have several bottles of wine in your trolley.”

Customer: “I don’t see the problem here.”

Me: “Alcohol can only be sold during licensing hours, which here is 10 ’til 10. You’d have to be in-store for at least another hour before you can buy any.”

(By this point I have bagged the salmon, heat-sealed it and am now sticking on the labels.)

Customer: “But I need this wine today! I’m having friends round for dinner; that’s why I need the salmon!”

Me: “It’s no problem. You could leave the wines here at the counter. The aisle’s just there and we’re not busy yet, so I can put them back, or I can hold them here at the counter for you until you come to get them after 10.”

Customer: “I don’t have time for that! I’m having friends round and I need to cook!”

Me: “Well, nobody can sell alcohol before 10, so that’s really your only option, unless come back later and redo your whole shop, but that’s just inconvenient for everyone.”

(I hand her the bags of salmon, which she throws in the trolley.)

Customer: “Never mind, then.”

(She then flounced off, leaving the trolley parked in front of the counter, full of shopping. I called after her; she ignored me and left the store. I had to call colleagues from various other departments to take the trolley back, root through it, and take the items from their departments back to the shelves and fridges/freezers. I just cut open the salmon bags and put the fillets back on display.  The kicker, though? I came back from my hour lunch break a little after one, and she was having a go at the colleague covering me for “not keeping all her shopping aside for her, ‘like that stupid little kid promised.’” I took a great deal of pleasure informing her she’d have to redo the lot.)

Thank You For Coming In But Not Really

| GA, USA | At The Checkout, Holidays

(Our store, unlike our competitors, is open every day but Christmas. It is Thanksgiving. I’m the bagger.)

Customer: “What are you doing open on Thanksgiving?”

Me: “Well, this store stays open for normal hours every day but Christmas.”

Customer: “That’s not good; you should be with your family.”

(We have been keeping track of how many people say this, something that frustrates us as we would LOVE to be home.)

Me: “Well, as long as it is profitable to be open today, the store is open.”

Customer: “That’s too bad; its a shame they make you work today.”

Me: *to the cashier, after customer leaves* “I think my comment about the profitable was too subtle. Don’t these people realize we are only open because they come to buy things?”

(That day we counted around 200 people saying it was a shame we were working on Thanksgiving.)

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