Can’t Get A Pan Handle On The Situation

, , , , , , , | Working | June 8, 2018

(Our store allows for product exchanges on the condition that the item hasn’t been used and is still in good condition. We sell a lot of pots and pans, and the best way to tell if they’ve been used is by smelling them for the scent of any food. A lady comes up to the register with an expensive frying pan that has been removed from the packaging. This brand is exclusive to our store and is known to have quite bulky packaging.)

Customer #1: “I just want to exchange this for a different size, if that’s okay.”

Me: “Yup, that shouldn’t be a problem! Just making sure, has it been used?”

Customer #1: “No, I just took it out of the packaging to see if it would fit in my cupboard.”

(I let her go to find a smaller pan, and examine the one she left. It seems to be in perfect condition, but I give it a sniff and swear I can smell just a hint of spices, indicating that it may have been used. One of my coworkers is working the register with me.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker #1]! Can you take a look at this pan? I think it’s got a smell on it.”

([Coworker #1] comes and stands on my left and takes a whiff.)

Coworker #1: “Um… I’m not too sure. It seems to be fine, though.”

Me: “I don’t know.” *takes the pan back and smells it again* “I swear I can smell chili, or pepper, or something.”

(A second coworker comes to my right side.)

Coworker #2: “What’s going on?”

Coworker #1: “[My Name] thinks this pan’s been used; what do you think?”

([Coworker #2] gives it a good sniff, putting her face up close to it, then shakes her head.)

Coworker #2: “Nah, it’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Me: *takes another sniff* “Are you sure?”

Coworker #1: *takes a sniff up close* “Yeah, I think she’s right.”

Me: *takes it back and sniffs again* “Okay, maybe I’m just imagining it, then.”

Coworker #2: *double-checking, smells the pan again* “Yeah, it’s fine, hasn’t been used.”

Customer #2: “Um… Excuse me?”

(All three of us look up and see a man waiting to be served, standing there with an odd expression on his face. It’s at that moment we realise he has been watching the three of us standing at the counter in a huddle, passing around a pan and taking turns to sniff it all while talking in hushed voices. Immediately, [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2] scatter off in opposite directions and I quickly place the pan to the side and plaster on a big smile.)

Me: “Next waiting!”

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