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Don’t Discount Their Commitment To Entitlement

, , , , , , , | Right | August 24, 2023

To this day, this is the most ridiculous (and thankfully final) customer encounter of my entire retail career.

Customer: “I called ahead to pick up [mildly heavy hardware item].”

Me: “Ah, yes, I see that in the system. I’ll go get that from the back for you. The total will be [total].”

Customer: “I won’t pay a penny until I have seen the item.”

Me: “Absolutely, sir. I will go fetch that for you.”

Customer: “I’ll need you to carry it to my car for me.”

I bring the item out to the desk, and the customer looks at it disapprovingly.

Customer: “It’s dirty!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, where is it dirty?”

Customer: “All over! It’s filthy!”

Me: “There’s some dust from the warehouse, but I can wipe it down for you.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t want you to touch it!”

Me: “I just carried it from the warehouse.”

Customer: “Don’t touch it!”

Me: “You want me to get this into your vehicle, but you don’t want me to touch it?”

Customer: “Wear gloves.”

Me: “I can do that.”

Customer: “And try not to breathe on it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what? You want me to… not… breathe while I am carrying an eighty-pound item to your car?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “I can’t do that, sir.”

And then we get to the reason why the customer is behaving this way.

Customer: “Then I’d like a discount.”

Me: “You’d like a discount because I will breathe on your item?”

Customer: “Yes!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that!”

Customer: “Then get me someone who can.”

Me: “No manager is going to give you a discount because we breathe, sir.”

Customer: “Get your manager!”

I call the manager over, and the ridiculous complaint is carried through.

Manager: “What if [My Name] wears a mask?”

Customer: “Not good enough! I want a discount!”

Manager: *Sighs* “I can give you a 5% discount, sir.”

Customer: “Hmm. Fine.”

I swear silently at my manager, but I run through the total and get ready to don gloves and a mask and carry the item to the customer’s car.

Me: “Okay, sir, if you pull up to the front of the store, I can carry the item to you.”

Customer: “Pardon me? You expect me to drive over to you! I’m paying for a service; you bring [item] to me!”

Me: “It’s more convenient to—”

Customer: “I don’t care about your convenience. I’ve paid, and I expect to get what I paid for.”

I sigh but carry the item over to the car; I work out regularly, so it’s not too onerous, but it’s the principle of the thing. Then I find that he’s parked at the far end of the almost-empty lot, and his trunk is already full of messy items. He is just standing there staring at me expectantly.

Me: *Still holding the item* “Sir, I need you to move some of your things so I can place the [item] in your trunk.”

Customer:Excuse me! You expect me to move my things around for you?! Who do you think you are?!”

Me: “Sir, the item will not physically fit.”

Customer: “I have paid for a service—”

Me: “Sir, I don’t care if you’ve paid your body weight in gold; I cannot physically fit this item into your trunk.”

Customer: “Make it fit.”

I put the item on the ground so I can move some of his things around, and—

Customer: “You put it on the ground! How dare you?! I should get this item for free for this—”

I clap my hands together.

Me: “Sir, you asked me to bring this [item] to your car. I have done so. The rest is up to you.”

I washed my hands of it and walked back to the store. The customer, enraged, followed behind me and started shouting at my manager when we both got back to the store. The manager giving the customer a voucher to appease him was the last straw for me, and I put in my two-week notice before the end of that shift. 

I never went back to retail. It’s not worth it.

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