Category: Holidays

Even during the holidays, customers don’t seem to take a break. With that many extra light-bulbs around you’d think a few extra would appear above their heads?

Santa Wouldn’t Let The Slippers Slip

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(It’s about two weeks before Christmas, and I’m finishing up some shopping. I overhear this conversation between a mother and her very young (about two-and-a-half years old) daughter.)

Daughter: *sees a pair of fuzzy pink slippers with a popular princess on them* “Mommy! Mommy! These shoes! We have to buy these shoes!”

Mother: *clearly knowing what’s coming* “No, sweetie, not today.”

Daughter: “Mommy! We have to buy these shoes!”

Mother: *very patiently* “No, we’re not shopping for us today. Put them back.”

Daughter: “Then… I’ll buy them!” *takes a step towards the cash register*

Mother: *still patient* “Sweetie, you don’t have any money. Time to put them back.”

Daughter: “Oh… okay. You buy them, then!”

(They go around like this a few times, and the little girl is getting close to throwing a tantrum in the crowded store. The mother is sounding a little less patient.)

Mother: “Sweetie, we can’t buy them today because Christmas is coming! Santa might be bringing them for Christmas.”

Daughter: *not quite buying it* “Really?”

Mother: “Yes! Santa told me so. We can’t buy them now. We have to wait for Christmas.”

Daughter: “Oh! Okay! Here!”

(She gave her mom the slippers and skipped off to look at something else. I’m pretty sure “Santa” had already bought the slippers!)

Keeping The Holiday Spirit Refrigerated

| Belleville, ON, Canada | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(This is a number of years ago at a popular store call centre at Christmas time. I was in high school trying to make money for gas.)

Me: “Happy Holidays and thank you for choosing [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Well, I ordered a fridge from you a few weeks ago and they said it would be here by Christmas, but it’s not here yet.”

Me: “Okay, do you have your [Store] card on you?”

(I look her information up and confirm the security details.)

Me: “Okay, it says here that your order has been back-ordered, and unfortunately may not arrive in time for Christmas.”

Customer: “What? It has to be here for Christmas. When I ordered it the person PROMISED me it would be here by Christmas.”

Me: “Well, let me double check some things here, make sure there isn’t anything missed.” *I go through different paths coming to the same conclusion* “Unfortunately, the fridge may not arrive until the New Year. Apparently it’s a very popular model.”

Customer: “Well, that doesn’t help me! You guys PROMISED me it would be here!”

Me: “And it will be, but unfortunately—”

Customer: “No! You PROMISED it would be here, so what are you going to do to fix this?!”

Me: “I— uh, well, the only solution I can think of is you could try reordering it and return one when they both arrive for a full refund, bringing you back to as if you’d only bought one.”

Customer: “You think that would work?”

Me: “It could. I’m not making any promises, but it says here if you order this today it would get there just after Christmas. It’s not perfect, but it’s not the New Year, either.”

Customer: “Okay, well, do that then.”

Me: “Okay, so you’ll order another fridge and send one back when the other one arrives?”

Customer: “Yes, that will do.”

Me: “Okay, can I get your [credit card number] again?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “No, if I give you number you’re just going to charge it again.”

Me: “Yes, we have to charge the card to order a new fridge for you. We can’t send one to you for free.”

Customer: “Well, that’s what you said!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we cannot send you a free fridge on faith that you’ll send one back.”

Customer: “Well that’s just wonderful, isn’t it?! First you won’t send me the fridge YOU PROMISED would get here BY CHRISTMAS, then you want to charge me A SECOND TIME for the fridge YOU STILL WON’T SEND ME! Never mind, I guess I’ll just have to wait until AFTER Christmas and ruin it for them then. Thanks a lot!” *click*

A Time For Giving And A Time For Gift-Receipting

| PA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I am working Christmas Eve in a popular overstock store and have been there since 6:30 that morning. It is the mid-afternoon and I have about an hour left of my shift when a woman comes up to me, wanting to exchange a shirt for another one of a different size. She hands me a stack of receipts and I begin to process her order. I hand her the new receipt and the new shirt when she begins to glare at me.)

Customer: “Where’s my gift receipt?”

Me: “You didn’t ask me for one, so I didn’t think to print you one out. I’m very sorry.”

Customer: “Well, I need one. This is for my nephew and he can get very picky. Can’t you look up my sale and print it out?”

(Our registers can only reprint the regular receipt, not a gift receipt. I call my manager and ask her what I should do and she proceeds to tell me what to do. I look up at the customer and tell her what I was told to do.)

Me: “The only way I can give you a gift receipt is if I return the shirt, sell it to you again and reprint it. I’m very sorry.”

Customer: *huffs* “I guess.”

(I begin the return and, since it was less than 24 hours of the purchase, I need to see her driver’s license and put her state and number into the computer. She’s huffing at me the whole time as well as giving me nasty looks. I’m also beginning to get a line as well. Due to the volume of people starting to pile up, I call for backup and completely forget to print the receipt.)

Me: *feeling extremely embarrassed* “Ma’am… I’m so sorry. Because of all this craziness I forgot to print the receipt again. If you go around the other side, my coworker can help you and get this taken care of.”

Customer: “No! I’m already here and you’ll fix this for me! This is completely ridiculous! You shouldn’t even be working on register if you don’t know how to operate it! They should have people like you working in the fitting room!”

(I can feel my face getting hot as I’m utterly embarrassed and mortified, and I’m on the verge of tears because of her screaming at me and I can hear my voice cracking because of it.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to forget it and the only way I can get your receipt is to return it once more. Again, I’m very sorry. May I please see your driver’s license so I can return it?”

Customer: “No! Get your manager up here because you obviously don’t know what you’re doing! This is completely ridiculous and a complete waste of my time!”

(I call for my manager to come up and help me when the man behind her steps up to the counter and pushes the woman’s shoulder.)

Man: “Don’t you know it’s Christmas Eve? This woman’s probably been here all day, dealing with a***-holes like you and she doesn’t need you making her day any worse! Next time, don’t wait until the last minute to do all your f****** shopping and giving people like her a hard time!”

(The two of them begin to argue and my manager comes up to diffuse the situation and help ring the first customer out. Afterwards I’m sent to the break room to recompose myself after all of this. I’m back there for no more than 20 minutes when the assistant manager comes in to talk to me.)

Assistant Manager: “We just received a very interesting phone call.”

Me: “I’m fired, aren’t I?”

Assistant Manager: *smiles* “No. That guy called, the one who was behind that woman and tried to pick a fight with her. He called to say that he was very sorry about the way he acted and wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas.”

(I began crying all over again, but left feeling a bit better about the situation. Thank you dude, whomever you are, for making a young cashier feel better about her Christmas. You’re welcome back at our store anytime!)

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Five Coffee Ring (Stains)

| Australia | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I work in a cafe that is part of a club that also has restaurants and bars. People often come in for dinner and coffee, and then stick around for some drinks. It is just before Christmas, and two customers come to my counter looking very excited.)

Me: “Hi, welcome to [Club]! What can I get for you today?”

Customer #1: “Hi, I’d like to order two cappuccinos, four hot chocolates, and three flat—”

Customer #2: *very excitedly* “And a partridge in a pear tree!”

(Both of them pause, looking at me expectantly.)

Customer #1: “…I think we did that wrong.”

Customer #2: “And we’re not even drunk yet!”

Consoling At Christmas

, | UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I work in the call centre for a national supermarket. It’s six pm on Christmas Eve. It’s beyond busy. A customer calls to say that he collected his order from store, only he just noticed that the games console package is missing its games.)

Me: “I’m so sorry, sir. Give me a moment; I’ll call the store to see if it’s been left behind.”

(I put the customer on hold and speak to a female staff member on the front desk.)

Me: “Hi there, a customer’s missing part of his order. Could you go check it for me, please?”

Store Colleague: “Sure! Be right back.”

(I wait and try to get this increasingly irate customer to calm down.)

Store Colleague: “I can’t find it out back. It’s being shipped separately. What can I do to help this customer?”

(I’m stunned. This is the first helpful person I’ve spoken to all day.)

Me: “Uh, could you go get them off the shelf, if you’ve got any left? And then replace it with the shipped one when it gets there?”

Store Colleague: “Sure! Oh, bother, there’s only one of the two. Never mind, just tell him to ask for [Store Colleague] and I’ll get it fixed.”

Me: “Thanks!” *to customer* “Hello, sir, sorry about the wait. It looks like it’s being sent separately, so we’ve managed to pull one game off the shelf for you. I know it’s not much…”

Customer: “Are you kidding?! You’ve just saved my a**! If the wife found out I left it this late to get the presents, she’d kill me! Thank you so much!”

(Some months later, I happen to be in the store in question whilst on holiday. I notice the name badge on the girl at the desk and remember her. I thanked her and bought her some flowers. Even though we work for the same company, she was the only member of store staff that Christmas Eve who actually helped me out, and restored my faith in humanity.)

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