A Conversation So Painful It Needs A Band-Aid

, , , , | Right | March 24, 2019

(I’m working the front register at a pharmacy when an elderly man comes up to my lane with two boxes of band-aids.)

Customer: “The sign says if I buy two of these I’ll get a free first-aid kit.”

Me: “Oh, I actually haven’t had a customer ask about that promotion before. Let me check with a coworker and see where the kits are.”

(I go and ask the closest coworker.)

Me: “Apparently the first-aid kits are kept at the pharmacy checkout, right at the back of the store. So you can go ahead and take your—“

Customer: “No, they sent me over here. They had me walk all the way over here because they said YOU had them!”

Me: “Hmm, I’m not sure. Let me call my manager up…”

(The manager arrives.)

Manager: “I’m so sorry for this confusion, sir. We actually ran out of the first-aid kits a little while ago. Unfortunately, we do not have one we can give you.”

Customer: “Are you serious? Fine, put these ones back, then.” *he hands me one of the two boxes and I put it in our put-backs bin*

Manager: “I know, I’m sor—“

Customer: “You should give me these other ones for free, then!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, sir, we can’t do that.”

Customer: “Why not?! I don’t even want these; I was only getting them for the first-aid kit! These don’t even WORK! I bought them before; I have to TAPE the band-aids onto my skin because they don’t STICK!”

([Manager] and I kinda look at each other like “you know we don’t make the band-aids, right?”)

Manager: “That sounds really frustrating. Unfortunately, we do not manufacture these products and can’t really do anything about how they work. I’m sorry, but we can’t just give you a product for free.”

Customer: “All I wanted was this d*** first-aid kit! I don’t even want these bandages!” *he turns to speak to the next customer in line, a middle-aged woman he clearly doesn’t know* “Do YOU want a band-aid?!”

Woman: “Er… no, thank you.”

Customer: “SEE!”

Manager: “Okay, okay, tell you what.” *she grabs a little bag, puts the band-aids in it, and hands them to the customer* “You’re all set, sir. I’m so sorry for this hassle.”

Customer: “That’s all you had to do.”

(My manager walked away, and interestingly enough, before the customer actually left he talked to me in a significantly-less-angry voice for a few moments, telling me how it wasn’t my fault, I hadn’t done anything wrong, I handled it fine, etc. Most intense and strangest customer interaction I’ve ever had…)

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