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Catnipping Away At Your Customer Service Smile

, , , , | Right | February 24, 2021

I work at a vet office inside a national pet store chain. Despite being inside a pet store, we are completely separate. I do not know where every single item in the store is. I do know some stuff because I shop there sometimes.

It’s almost closing time for the vet office and I am really busy doing work at the front desk. An older male comes up to the counter where reception is for the hospital. It’s not uncommon for people to think we’re together with the store. Most times, they understand why we direct them to find a pet store employee.

Customer: “Where can I find catnip?”

Me: “I’m not sure, but you can ask a pet store employee where it is.”

Customer: *Sarcastic tone* “Well, thanks a lot.”

Me: “Sorry about that. We are separate from the pet store and I’m not familiar with the item locations in the store.”

Customer: “So you can’t call someone over here to help?”

The vet office is in the back of the store. I am annoyed that I have to stop my tasks to help this guy when he can go to the front to ask an employee. I admit I do have a rude look on my face and an irritated tone of voice as I page on the intercom for a pet store employee to come to the hospital area.

Me: “Someone will be with you in a moment.”

I go to the back treatment area to cool off and rant to the remaining few nurses and doctor about this guy, thinking a pet store employee will be down shortly to help him and I can finish my tasks. This is not the case as I go back up to finish checking out the last patient.

Me: *To the patient* “Okay, the total will be—”

Customer: *Interrupting* “You know what? What is your name?”

I respond with the biggest customer service smile I can manage.

Me: “[My Name].”

Customer: *Continuing the sarcastic tone* “I am going to report you to corporate, because your customer service attitude just makes me want to spend my money here at this store! Here you go!”

He slams down a cat scratcher thing on the counter in between me and the client I’m checking out. I manage to keep a smile on my face the entire time because this whole thing is funny.

Me: “Okay! Have a nice night!”

I finish checking out the patient and continue with my tasks, mentally wishing good luck to that guy with complaining to corporate about a “pet store” employee with my name when I don’t even work for them. I think that is the end of things, but then he comes back with a pet store manager as my back is turned.

Customer: “Oh, there it is.”

I turn around and see it’s him and that he is grabbing the cat scratcher thing he slammed down on my counter earlier. He says in a sheepish tone:

Customer: “Uh, thank you, [My Name].”

Me: “Yeah, no problem.” 

I asked the pet store manager what he’d said. He’d tried to complain about me but did not get anywhere because she told him that I do not even work for the store. I guess he decided to spend his money at this store anyway!