Driving You Around The U-Bend

, , , , , | Right | April 17, 2018

(I’m the manager of the plumbing department at a hardware store. I’m also female, which has lead to some customers thinking I couldn’t possibly know anything about plumbing. Often, I pull out some knowledge so that they actually ASK their questions instead of grumpily sending “the girl” away. One day I walk up to one of our customers in the PVC pipe-fittings area. He’s holding an object wrapped in a plastic grocery bag.)

Me: “Good morning! Is there something I can help you with?”

Middle-Aged Man: “No. You wouldn’t know the answer. I can find it.”

Me: “Well, sir, you’re looking through our toilet flanges. Do you know if you have 3″ or 4″ PVC? Are you replacing a cast iron flange?”

Middle-Aged Man: “No! It’s not iron! It’s plastic!”

Me: “Okay, so do you know if it’s 3″ or 4″? We have one right here that will fit either, if you’re not sure!”

Middle-Aged Man: “No, that one won’t fit! It doesn’t match this one!”

(He holds up the item in the grocery bag. It’s a used toilet flange. Toilet flanges are what sit underneath the drain from your toilet. All of your waste passes through it.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I have to ask you to take that item outside. It’s a biohazard.”

Middle-Aged Man: “No! They said I could bring parts inside! They said it was okay!”

Me: “Sir. We sell food here. That is a biohazard. It has been in contact with human waste. You have to take it outside.”

Middle-Aged Man: “They told me it was okay to bring parts in. Where is your manager?”

Me: “Sir. I am the manager. You still have to take it outside. Now.”

(At this point, he storms over to the Guest Services desk. I calmly follow him.)

Middle-Aged Man: “I NEED THIS HERE TO MATCH IT UP. IT CAME FROM MEXICO. I WRAPPED IT IN A PLASTIC BAG SO IT’S FINE, AND YOU SAID I COULD BRING IN MY PARTS!”

Me: *staying calm* “Sir, you can bring in a part, but the poop has to stay outside.”

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