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    She Got Trumped

    | UK | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (We have a regular couple of customers: a mother and her young son. They come in predominantly to buy trading cards based on a popular hand-held game. The young boy is very polite and sometimes comes alone. The mother is loathed by most members of staff because of her critical attitude towards her son’s hobby and our stock.)

    Mother: “This store is just ridiculous. Why do you stock such crap? Children wasting their money! Parents wasting their money!”

    Me: “Well, if he’s saved his money up, it’s all his choice to buy these trading cards, isn’t it?”

    Mother: “Yes, but it’s just rubbish! Stupid drivel for STUPID people!”

    (My manager, who is nearby, and I are both irritated by this. This woman tends to bully her son every time they are here together. Her son is completely silent other than asking for what packs of cards he wants. As the receipt prints, my manager speaks up.)

    Manager: “You know, my colleague here plays trading card games.”

    Mother: “What? Why?!”

    (Note: I’m 23.)

    Manager: “So, by that connection, you’d be calling her stupid, for playing stupid games.”

    Mother: “Well, yes!”

    Me: “Stupid games that teach things like mathematical and tactical skills.”

    Mother: “Well—”

    Me: “And that you are, effectively, calling your money-managing, polite, patient young son stupid.”

    Mother: “Well—”

    Me: “Just remember that.”

    (The mother goes white and apologizes profusely, before leaving the store. The son ends up talking to me about some of the card games, and now still does every time he comes back. The mother might still make disparaging remarks about our other stock, but she’s never called anything or anyone ‘stupid’ since.)

    Ballerina Rex

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month, Top

    (I am in the toy store with my boyfriend. It’s a Saturday, so it’s pretty crowded with children and their parents. We’re looking at the display of a new dinosaur toy series, when a tiny little girl in a pink ballerina outfit enters the store with her mother. The girl spots the dinosaur display from about 30 feet away, and comes running over.)

    Little Girl: “Mommy! Mommy look! Dinosaurs!”

    Her Mom: “I see sweetie. Do you want to spend some of your birthday money on the dinosaurs?”

    Little Girl: “Yes! Can I have the T-Rex? Or the Triceratops?”

    Her Mom: “How about one like the one this lady is buying?”

    (The mom gestures to me and the velociraptor set I’m holding. I smile, and hold it at her level so she can see it. The little girl examines it carefully, and then slowly shakes her head.)

    Little Girl: “It’s a little too scary. Can I have the T-Rex?”

    Her Mom: “Sure sweetie, it’s your birthday money after all.”

    (She hands her daughter the T-Rex box, which is nearly as big as she is. Her older brother, who looks about 13, offers to carry it for her.)

    Little Girl: “AWESOME! Dinosaurs!”

    (Clutching the box, she starts skipping towards the cash with her older brother, twirling and spinning like a ballerina the whole way.)

    Her Mom: *sees us laughing* “My little ballerina. She’s been stealing her brother’s toy dinosaurs since she was one!”

    (The adorable, dino-loving ballerina made my day!)

    A Price Peddler

    | Philadelphia, PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Transportation

    (I put a lot of newly built bikes up on the racks. A customer comes in wanting to look at one of the new bikes.)

    Customer: “Can you pull that bike down? My son would like to try it.”

    Me: *pulls bike down* “Here you go.”

    (The customer’s son then rides the bike around the bike section for a minute and is pleased with it.)

    Customer: “How much is this bike?”

    Me: “It’s $79.99 in a box, or $89.99 assembled.”

    Customer: “Why is it more when it’s already together?”

    Me: “Well we have bike builders who put the bikes together. But we do have this bike in a box, so you can buy it in a box and then put it together.”

    Customer: “I think I should get a discount on this bike since it’s all dirty.”

    (The customer is talking about the tires since the bike has been ridden on the store floor, which has some dust on it.)

    Me: “Your child was the first person to ride this bike since it was built; we can wipe off the tires so that the dirt is off.”

    Customer: “No, it’s been used; look at it! I shouldn’t have to pay full price for a used item.”

    Me: “The bike builders just built this exact bike not too long ago, and I know for a fact that your son is the only one to ride this bike.”

    Customer: “So, you admit that it was used!”

    Me: “Only by your child.”

    Customer: “That’s why I should get a discount; it’s used! I want to see your manager!”

    (I call my manager who comes back to listen to the issue. My manager backs me up. The customer does eventually buy the bike, already put together, paying the additional $10.)

    The Female Of The Species Is More Playful Than The Male

    | Anchorage, AK, USA | Rude & Risque

    (Our store has a name that could easily be that of an adult establishment. I happened to be in the back room when a customer calls.)

    Me: “[Store Name], how may I help you?”

    Caller: “Yeah, do you have any male toys?”

    Me: “‘Mail’ as in toys that go in the mail, or toys for boys?”

    Caller: “Toys that go in the mail.”

    Me: “Well, we have a toy that can be sent like a postcard, otherwise—”

    Caller: “No, not toys that go in the M-A-I-L, toys that go in the M-A-L-E!”

    Me: “Uh… we sell children’s toys.”

    Caller: “Oh, oh darn! We’re looking for adult toys!”

    (The customer yells to someone not on the line.)

    Caller: “Hey Billy, they don’t have ‘em!”

    Me: “Good luck in your search!”

    (I am very glad it was me who answered, and not my younger, more innocent coworker!)

    Giving More Than His Two Cents

    | Hamden, CT, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

    (A male customer buys nothing but a water and is checking out with me.)

    Me: “Have a nice day!” *big smile*

    Customer: “You too!”

    (The customer leaves with no issue and is gone for perhaps a minute before he comes storming back in the exit door.)

    Customer: “Did you charge me 5 cents for this water?” *waving receipt in the air*

    Me: “The water itself is two dollars and then we have the deposit fee.”

    (There is a 5-cent deposit on all beverages in my state. Period. You get it back when and if you recycle it at a machine that gives vouchers. It has been this way for as long as I can remember in my 22 years.)

    Customer: “So you charged me 5 cents?!”

    Me: “It’s not an extra five cents, Sir, there’s just a deposit.”

    Customer: “I want my 5 cents back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, it’s a state law. All beverages have a 5 cent deposit.”

    Customer: “You can’t do that! It’s not displayed. I want my 5 cents back!”

    Me: “Sir, I can’t give you a nickel, I’d be a nickel short in my till.”

    Customer: “You need to give me my 5 cents back! It isn’t on a sign! You have to have a sign about it!”

    Me: *shocked pause* “Let me call my manager… one second.”

    (A new manager approaches and asks what the problem is. As the customer is obviously irate, he takes him back to his office to talk, something you really aren’t meant to do. When their meeting is finished, the customer storms out of the office.)

    Manager: “I should have just given him the five cents. I think we just lost a customer.”

    Me: “…I think we can survive losing that particular customer.”


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