A Time For Giving You Grief

, , , , , | Right | December 25, 2018

(I am working in a bookstore for the holidays. We’ve gotten our shipment of individual and boxed Christmas cards. A man comes up and hands me a card to purchase and an envelope.)

Me: “I’m having trouble finding the barcode on this card, sir.”

Customer: “Well, I want to buy it.”

Me: “Well, without that barcode, you can’t buy it. This doesn’t even look like any of the brands that sell individual cards. Where did you find it?”

(He walks over to one of the display tables and brings back a boxed set of cards. It has clearly been ripped open.)

Me: “Sir, you can’t do that. These cards are made to sell as a group. And the total for this box of cards is…” *beep of scanner* “[Total].”

Customer: “Well, I only want one, so just charge me for one.”

Me: “I can’t do that. We have an entire section of individually sold cards right over there. If you only want one, you’ll have to pick one of them.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t like any of them. I want one of these, and I don’t want to buy the whole box when I only want one!”

Me: *fed up* “Sir, you have two choices: buy the whole box or pick an individual card from over there. We literally cannot charge you for one card out of a boxed set.”

Customer: “THEN I DON’T WANT IT! THIS IS TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! IF WE WERE IN MY COUNTRY, YOU WOULDN’T TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THIS!”

(He storms off and I bite my tongue against the urge to say, “But you’re not IN your country right now, are you?” Instead, I sigh wearily and go back to ringing up customers. Just a few minutes later, two managers come over with a coworker, who takes over at another register as the two managers have me go into the back. Now I’m upset. As soon as the door closes behind us, [Manager #1] turns to me.)

Manager #1: “It’s okay, [My Name]. You’re not in trouble. Some guy complained to us that you wouldn’t let him rip apart a box of cards for one.”

Manager #2: “He actually demanded that we give you a public dressing down for your ‘bad customer service.'”

(I look at them both, horrified.)

Manager #1: “Obviously we’re not going to do something like that, even if you had done something wrong. He was going on and on about ‘in his country’ this and ‘in his country’ that and how we needed to fire you for such poor behavior. He’s not in his country now and that’s not how we do things here. Sooo we’re going to give you your fifteen-minute break about half an hour early today.”

Manager #2: “[Manager #3] is explaining that he has two choices and none of them involve buying the card individually from the box. He should be gone by the time your break is over, but if he approaches you again, call us. This is the ‘talk’ we told him we’d give you, and he has no further say in the matter.”

(Fortunately, Mr. In-My-Country was gone by the time my break was over.)

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