They Are Gnat Worth The Trouble

| Massapequa, NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Money

(I am working in a women’s clothing store. When an item is marked down, we put a red line through the barcode of the tag attached to the piece of clothing. A customer and her daughter in her 20s bring up a dress.)

Customer: “Hi, we found this on the sale rack.”

(I scan it. It comes up full price. Confused, I check the tag; there is a black line through the barcode, instead of a red one. Someone must have marked it down by accident, realized their mistake, and tried to correct it by drawing a black line over the red one, instead of just printing out a new tag for the dress. And then someone else misunderstood the black line and put it on the sale rack anyway.)

Me: “Ah. Okay, so I’m afraid this is actually full price—”

(The two customers’ eyes flash, and I know I’m in trouble.)

Customer: “But this was on the sale rack.”

Me: “I know. I’m so sorry for the confusion. I think what happened is, someone accidentally marked this down, but realized their mistake.” *I show her the tag* “See, we usually put a red line through it; this is black. It came up full price when I scanned it.”

Customer: “Well, that’s false advertising!”

Me: “No, no, it’s not. It was just a mistake someone else made when they put it back. I’m sorry about that.”

(The customer and her daughter exchange a look.)

Customer: “Well, it’s really your attitude that’s the problem.”

Me: *flabbergasted* “What attitude? I’m just explaining what happened.”

(The daughter laughs condescendingly.)

Daughter: “Come on. We don’t have time for—” *she gestures at me with a flick of her wrist* “—this little gnat.”

Me: “I was just—”

(Another customer at the other register chimes in.)

Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

(We all look over. The other customer is looking through her pocketbook for her wallet, but it’s clear she’s talking to me.)

Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

(My customer and her daughter shut up. They leave the dress on the counter and walk away. My manager walks up, and I wonder if I’m in trouble.)

Manager: “What was THAT all about?”

Other Customer: “It wasn’t you. Seriously, they were really mean.”

Manager: “Ah, okay. That’s what it sounded like. Don’t let them get to you.”

(To the other customer, thanks for putting in the good word for me! It made me feel less like a gnat!)