Customer Service Can Provide Some Near-Death Experiences

, , , , , , | Right | June 15, 2020

A customer places a houseplant on the checkout counter. It is a lovely dwarf jade with purple stems and light green foliage with yellow edges. I smile and start ringing his order when the customer says:

Customer: “I don’t suppose you offer any ‘Approaching Death’ discounts?”

No one has ever asked me that before and I am not really sure what he means. At first, I’m thinking that this poor man is inflicted with some kind of fatal illness. Realizing that this is a weird discount to ask for, my next conclusion is that he is using a funny way of asking for a SENIOR discount. The man only appears to be in his late thirties so that doesn’t really seem right either.

After an awkward amount of silence and solid eye contact, I finally say:

Me: “Um… well… we do have a senior discount… if that is what you are asking.”

Now the customer looks confused, and we share another few awkward moments of silence before he bursts out laughing and points at the jade and says:

Customer: “The plant! The plant is approaching death! Not me!”

I, too, burst out laughing and explain that the purple stems and yellow edges on the plant are, in fact, natural, and that the plant is healthy.

Me: “So, unfortunately, no, we cannot offer any ‘Approaching Death’ discounts at this time.”


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