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Unfiltered Story #178342

, , , | Unfiltered | November 23, 2019

(The first part of this story comes from my coworkers. This middle aged man came in the store and was shopping, but one item he wanted was still unpacked and at the bottom of a shipment. He wanted my coworkers to dig to the bottom of this shipment and get it out of the box for him, but they simply could not even though he was mad. They wrote down the item number and sent him to the front to fill out a hold form so we could call him when the item was unpacked. I was the cashier he came to.)
Customer: *setting down four small tin boxes of tea* “I would like these to be separate from the rest.” *he indicates the tea and items in the cart he hasn’t taken out*
(Usually when a customer says this, it means that they want to make two separate transactions, so I wrap up the tea and get ready for him to pay. Before I hit Total, I double check.)
Me: “So, you want to make two separate transactions?”
Customer: “What? No! I want the tea to be separate from this!” *he holds up a very large, sturdy tea pot* “Those are metal! This is porcelain! Those will crush this!”
(I look at the tea tins, which weigh less than a pound a piece. Did he really think that these little tea tins would break his tank of a tea pot? I decided just to wrap everything separately and get on with the transaction. After handing him the bag of tea tins, he handed me the tea pot, which I scanned and wrapped. He proceeded to hand me a single item at a time, holding the rest hostage in the cart while I scanned and bagged the items. The last thing he has to do is write his name and phone number on the form with will tell us to call him when the unpacked items are ready for him. Out of curiosity, I looked up what the item was. It was a tea bag holder worth $8!! I thought he had been getting mad about a chair or something!!)
Customer: *finishes writing his number* “Do you know what’s different about the handwriting of my numbers?”
(I have absolutely no idea what he means. No one has ever asked me a question like this, so I ask him to repeat it. Then I look at the phone number he has written down. All I can think of is that the seven is crossed.)
Me: *going out on a limb* “….the seven?”
Customer: “Yes! Why?”
Me: “…it’s crossed. My mom does that.”
Customer: “Do you know why it’s crossed?”
Me: “…to make it different from the one?”
Customer: “Yes! Do you know why?”
Me: “No.”
Customer: “It’s from Germany.”
(He wrote down a long name that looked like it started in A, J, and K where I was standing. Finally we were done, he had paid in cash by tossing the money on the counter as if I had failed the handwriting test, and was about to leave.)
Me: “Have a lovely day!”
Customer: “Thank you!” *he paused thoughtfully, blocking my counter despite there being a line* “You know who says that a lot? ‘Have a lovely day?'”
Me: “Nope.”
(At this point my manager, who is standing at the opposite counter, is looking past this guy’s shoulder to smile knowingly at me. I send her a “shut up” look in return.)
Customer: “Do you know who Cruise’s first wife was?”
Me: *figuring he meant Tom Cruise* “No.”
(He couldn’t remember either, or even the name of the movie he was talking about, but he went ahead and tried to explain a bit of the plot and how the main character says “have a lovely day” various times.)
Customer: *as he finally walks away* “She also said ‘toodaloo!'”
Me: “Toodaloo!”
(After a minute or two of other customers, I signed off my register and told my boss I was going on break. She just laughed. In the break room I learned that this guy had been unpleasant to my coworkers earlier and we were all laughing about how ridiculous it was. They also informed me that Nicole Kidman was Cruise’s first wife. When my break was over, I headed back out and as soon as I stepped out onto the shop floor, there he was! All the way at the back of the store when I’d thought he’d left!)
Customer: *excited* “Hey! I remembered who that actress was!”
Me: *playing along* “Nicole Kidman!”
Customer: “And the name of that movie was Ms. Meadows!”
(He had come back to the store because he had forgotten something and had come all the way to the back to the office section where the globes are. He explained that he liked a blue one but it was slightly damaged and wanted to see if we had another one. My coworker, who was watching this conversation suspiciously since he is an older man talking a young woman like an old friend although he obviously just met her, helped me get a ladder. The guy pointed to another globe up top that was a brighter blue that he liked better, so I brought that down so he could compare it to a very large, very tall black globe. He asked about the prices to decide which was better and went with the black one, which was twice as expensive. I was under the impression that he thought it was better quality than the blue mostly because it cost more. That decided, I picked up the globe because I didn’t think he would and carried it to the lamp section. He launched into a long, confusing story about an Eiffel Tower lamp he had at home that was as tall as him and after a while I figured out that he wanted some sort of table lamp to match it. I led him to an Eiffel Tower table lamp.)
Me: “Here is an Eiffel Tower lamp. Was that the sort of thing you were looking for?”
Customer: “No, I saw you had ones that looked more like the base of the tower.”
(I spotted the lamp he meant and led him to it, but he didn’t like how low the lamp shade sat on it. We spent a while looking at the different shades before he spotted the exact same lamp with the exact same style of lamp shade on a different shelf.)
Customer: “This is the right sort of thing.”
Me: “Okay, I think that these are the same sort.”
Customer: “I really like this one.”
(After a while, I gave in to his rambling about liking that lamp better, since he seemed to always be saying something about something, and got down the lamp. It was exactly the same as the first one, but its cord was unwrapped and plugged in, and it had a light bulb screwed in that I had to take out. He then sat down in a nearby chair to consider his choices. I set the black lamp with its cream colored shade down next to the black globe.)
Customer: “The other thing I needed was bookends. I saw some mutt bookends while I was walking back here. Where were those?”
(I honestly had no idea that we had bookends of any kind. Our store carries so many things that it can be hard to know, but we don’t have enough books to really justify a lot of bookends. I also could not understand why he said ‘mutt’ bookends instead of ‘dog’ bookends. We ended up walking towards the front. He wandered off to look for the bookends and I carried the lamp and globe to the registers.)
Coworker: *dealing with the line of customers but concerned* “What is going on?”
Me: “I really don’t know.”
(The guy arrived at the registers with the pug dog bookends he wanted and I thought we could get on with the sale, but he wanted to see any other bookends we had. Since I did not even know where he got the dog ones, I asked all my local coworkers about it and they pointed me to the foreign themed kiosk. We walked back there and I found the elephant bookends they had suggested. They were massive and colorful, and not what he wanted. I also found some iron Eiffel Towers that could work.)
Customer: “No. They have to push against the books.”
(Desperate for other choices, I grabbed a passing coworker and asked about bookends. They were sure those were all of the ones we had.)
Customer: *incredulous* “Don’t you people read?”
Me: “Well, we don’t really carry a lot of books.”
Coworker: “You could try [large bookstore nearby].”
(The guy reacted as if this was the most novel idea in the world, that a bookstore might carry bookends.)
Customer: “I do get most of my books from there.”
(I waved my coworker off, who gave a “give up” sort of eye roll. The guy said he would just stick with the dog bookends and we headed back to the registers. Along the way he talked about how he had dogs, what kinds of dogs he had, what kinds of dogs he had met, and asked if I had dogs. I entertained him as well as I could as I tried to get him to the front, but he kept stopping to explain something to me. He actually thought it was necessary to explain that a b***ch was a female dog, as if that was better than just saying “female dog.” At first I tried to send him along in line, since we were pretty busy, but it was clear that he would not stop talking to me or leave my side, and we were blocking the way of other customers. I made the executive decision to simply check him out before anyone else in order to get him out of the store and out of my way. By now I had been helping him for about 30 minutes. I got his purchases lined up on the counter.)
Me: “Will that be all for you today?”
Customer: “Hmm, you know, I think this lamp shade looks brown in this light. I think white would look better with the black Eiffel Tower style.”
(I could hardly believe it. The lamp shade was a textured cream that is nowhere near brown. Determined to get through this, I suggested that we go look at a white one we had. I led him all the way back to the lamps. At this point he decided to quiz me on the name of the Nicole Kidman movie that he said I should watch. I couldn’t remember because I had been dealing with him for so long.)
Me: “…Mrs. Weathers?”
Customer: “Ms. Meadows! Like a meadow, with grass and flowers and open spaces and birds…”
(I could not believe that he had actually just explained what a meadow was to me, but I held my tongue and got him back to the lamp shades. I pulled a white one off of a stack and held it up to show him.)
Customer: *examining a lamp shade on a lamp* “I think I like this one.”
Me: “That’s the same as this one.”
Customer: “Really?”
Me: “Yes, the color and texture and hem are the same.”
Customer: *spotting the stack of white shades behind me* “Is it the same size as those?”
Me: “Yes.”
(We walked all the way back to the front and spent a few minutes trying one shade on the lamp and then another. After a while, he finally chose the textured cream one he had originally picked out, but only after I promised that he could return things if they didn’t work out. I set the white one aside before jumping back to my register.)
Me: “Does that seem like everything?”
Customer: “Yup, I think so.”
(Before we could get on with things, he insisted on showing me where Austria was on the map, along with Vienna. We had already established earlier that my name was Scandinavian, so I felt very peeved that he thought I didn’t know where these places were. I was also annoyed to see that most of his items were on sale, since I had hoped to at least get a lot of money out of this guy. After showing him the total, I realized that he would not pay until everything was wrapped or bagged. This is not an easy thing. He had a very large globe and a large lamp and a plastic wrapped lamp shade, which are all items that most people would simply carry to their cars. I had to get really creative with the tissue paper, taping it around the base and around the enormous globe. That was then unnecessarily double bagged. The bookends were easy, but when I came to the lamp I stopped. Did he actually expect me to wrap a fairly large metal lamp? He did, so I did my best to cover all of it and stick in a bag. The lamp shade went in another bag. When a shopping cart was all loaded up, he paid in cash.)
Customer: “What’s the name of that movie?”
Me: “Ms. Meadows! Here on your receipt is a survey you can take online.” *writing my name on the receipt for a good review*
(He looked at the survey, then gestured for my pen.)
Customer: “I have such a bad memory. I will forget.” *glances at my name tag*
(He wrote down my name at the top of the receipt since he didn’t see me write at the bottom, and then backtracked to put “Ms.” in front of it. I had a horrible moment of realization that if he came in the store again, he might request me. I learned later that he had asked about me when he returned and I was on my break.)
Customer: “Treelidoo!” (That is not a typo. He said it wrong leaving the second time.)
Me: “Toodaloo!”

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