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?

She Prefers A Male For Her Mail

| TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Holidays

(I have worked at another location for many years, but am on my first day at this particular location, a notoriously rich part of town. It is Christmas and we are loaded down with customers. The other workers are taking addresses and boxing things up. I am helping other customers but not using the machines to process orders. An older and very well-dressed lady comes in and stands at the end of the counter. I go and ask:)

Me: “Good afternoon; can I help you with something?”

(She looks down her nose at me, literally, and says:)

Lady: “Who are you?”

Me: “I am helping these guys for Christmas. As you can see, they are very busy; is there something I can help you with?”

Lady: “Where are you from?”

Me: “From [Another Part of the City]. I worked down there at the sister store to this. Is there something you need?”

Lady: “I prefer the gentlemen to help me.”

(There are probably six people in each line and the “gentlemen” are swamped. There are packages to be wrapped, and boxes and packing labels everywhere.)

Me: “They are so busy they won’t be able to get to you for quite a few minutes; are you sure I can’t do anything for you?”

Lady: “I prefer the gentlemen to help me.”

(All this happens while I am going back and forth moving boxes, and the mail carriers have just come in for the PO boxes we have. There’s a ton, plus more boxes to go into the mail room. The woman is in the way; there is only so much room here. She is obviously irritated at being asked, by the not so refined USPS guy, to “Move it, lady.” She forces her way down the counter and is in the way of just about every person in the shop.)

Lady: “Ahem!”

(No one notices her. I come back around again, now going to do the mail, putting it in all the PO boxes, and putting in notices if they have packages to be picked up.)

Me: “Ma’am, are you SURE I can’t do anything for you?”

Lady: “I prefer the GENTLEMEN to help me.”

Me: “Okay.”

(I do finally get a chance to tell the guys that she is waiting for them, which at this point they are acutely aware, but she’s always a bit nasty so they let her wait a bit more. The store quiets down at last and I am still in the mail room.)

Lady: *to the gentlemen* “Well, FINALLY! I know you were busy but you saw me here minutes ago and you should’ve asked me what I wanted!”

Guy: “I’m so sorry, but these Christmas rushes, you get into a groove and you can’t stop. [My Name] could’ve helped you; she’s from the other store.”

Lady: “I prefer you gentlemen helping me.”

Guy: “Yes, ma’am, what can I do for you today?”

Lady: “Please check my mail.”

(We all look at each other.)

Me: *in the mail room about eight feet away**snort*

Guy: “Hey, [My Name], Does Mrs. [Lady] have any mail?”

Me: “No!”

Guy: “There ya go”

Lady: “Well, I never!” *she turns and glares at me and stomps out*

Us: “Oh, my god! What a horrid woman!”

(She came back in almost daily, of course, to check her mail and do little business. I never waited on her or even acknowledged her presence again. But she did bring in a tin of cookies, for “Everyone.”)

The Christmas Gift Card That Keeps On Giving

| Jacksonville, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays, Money

(I work in a bookstore. It is Christmas Eve, an hour before we close. The most important part of our customer service policy is fast cashiering. We have a huge line and only three cashiers, including myself, when an elderly couple comes to my register.)

Woman: *puts a pile of magazines down, and hands me two of our membership cards and a printout slip for a gift card saying it has 23 dollars on it* “We’d like to get these, please, and we want to pay with the gift card.”

Me: *rings up the magazines* “Okay, ma’am, you have two membership cards here… Do you know which one you want to use?”

Woman: “What? No. Those are gift cards!”

Me: “No, ma’am, those are membership cards. They give you ten percent off your purchase.”

(I ring in one card and find that it’s expired. I don’t know why they had two, as we could have just renewed it, but I use the second and give them both back to her anyway. I show her on the screen where she got ten percent off)

Woman: “Fine. Pay with this.” *she hands me the slip for the gift card, which only tells me the last four digits of the card, and the amount; it is worthless as payment*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t use this. Do you have the actual card with you?”

Woman: “No. I don’t understand! The manager last time slid the card in the machine and gave me the slip and then kept the card. He said I could use this instead!”

Me: “I’m sorry… You say our manager took your card? Do you know which manager this was?”

Woman: “It’s the younger man.”

Me: *knowing who she’s talking about, and knowing that there’s no way he would take a card away and tell her to use the slip* “I’m sorry, ma’am, he’s not in right now. Let me call another manager over.”

(I call another manager over, who is equally confused. She then calls a second manager over. At this point all three of us are trying to calm the woman down.)

Woman: “So you can’t use that slip? Why would we even get a gift card anyway, if you’re just going to tell me I can’t use it? That’s just stupid!”

Man: “Just leave them; I don’t want them anymore if we can’t use the card.”


(The managers calm her down and run to the back office, leaving me there at the register with them. Using the two membership cards, they eventually find out what happened.)

Manager: *showing her the receipt they found on file* “Okay, ma’am, according to our system, you used that gift card over two months ago, on a cookbook. You completely used it up, which is why the other manager took it. When a gift card is used up, we throw it away to avoid exactly this confusion.”

Woman: “Well, I’m glad we figured this out. Pay them, honey.” *she then walks away, leaving her husband and the rest of us, guffawing*

Man: *pays and takes the bag from me* “Merry Christmas!”

(The whole ordeal took a half an hour; definitely not fast.)

Driving This Return Backwards

| Oshawa, ON, Canada | Holidays

(It’s a couple of days after Christmas and we’re getting a lot of items returned to our store. A man comes up to me holding a small car – only a few centimetres long – and a remote control.)

Man: “Hi, my kids got this for Christmas, but it doesn’t work – it only drives backwards. Can I switch it out for another one?”

Me: “Of course! Right this way.”

(I take him to our section of remote controlled toys. We sell a few cars that are the same size as the one he’s carrying and I start looking at these, picking them up to identify which one he has.)

Man: “No, it was a car from this.”

(To my surprise, he points to a large set which includes tracks, two cars, and two controls, which goes for $120. My eyes widen.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to bring the entire toy in to exchange.”

Man: “What? But why?”

Me: “Because it was sold as one unit, sir; it needs to be returned as one unit.”

Man: “But it’s just the car that doesn’t work.”

Me: “I’m sorry; we need the whole thing to return it.”

Man: “Can’t you just open this box and give me one of the cars from it?”

Me: “No, sir, I cannot. You’ll have to return the entire set to exchange for a new one.”

(He walked off looking annoyed that he couldn’t just get the car itself. I laughed about it with my coworkers afterwards.)

Refunder Blunder: Christmas Gift Special

| ON, Canada | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Holidays, Money

Customer: “Can I return this item without a receipt? It was a Christmas gift and I don’t want it.”

Me: “You can, but it’ll ring up at the lowest price it’s been over the last 90 days, and I know that was on sale a few weeks ago, so you’ll be getting that sale price back for it.”

Customer: “But I’m pretty sure he paid full price for it. It’s not my fault your store doesn’t issue gift receipts.”

Me: “We still issue regular receipts, and we let people go past the regular 30 day return policy if it was a Christmas gift.”

Customer: “Yeah, but I don’t have the receipt, so why can’t you give me the full price for it?”

Me: “Because that’s how our system works. Without a receipt, it comes up at the lowest price it’s been sold at, whether it was from a sale or a price match to a different store.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! I don’t want it!”

Me: “Can you ask the person who gave it to you for the receipt?”

Customer: “No!”

Me: “Then that’s all we can do.”

Customer: “This is so STUPID! I’m going somewhere else to take it back.”

Me: *to myself* “And that’s why return policies are a thing.”

Has Some Holiday Baggage

| New Zealand | Holidays

(It is my second week at my first ever job at a cosmetics and body products store. It is a few days before Christmas, and we are running out of carrier bags. Our manager has told us only to give people a bag if they desperately need it, as we won’t be getting any more in until after Christmas. A customer comes up to the till with only one shower gel, also holding a massive bag from another store.)

Me: “Hi! Is this all today?”

(The customer grunts. I begin to put through the sale.)

Me: “Do you have a loyalty card with us?”

Customer: *grunts and throws a card onto the counter*

Me: “Now, we’re running very low on bags at the moment, so would your shower gel be all right to go in your other bag?”

Customer: “WHAT?!” *slams hand down onto the counter* “This was going to be a gift, but I guess that’s ruined now! I’ll have to go and BUY some wrapping paper!”

Me: *shocked* “I’m sorry; I can give you a bag if you need.”

Customer: “No, I wouldn’t want to waste your time! And I will be talking to your manager about this!”

(She snatched the shower gel and stormed over to my manager at the gift wrapping station. As it was only my second week, this was the first time a customer had shouted at me and I was terrified I had done something wrong. Luckily, my manager came over after she’d left and reassured me I’d done nothing wrong. She also told me that she was a regular difficult customer and seemed always find something to complain about!)

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