Fighting For “Equals” Rights

, , , | Right | December 11, 2018

(I am cutting fabric at the fabric counter, and I call for the next number to be served. A woman approaches with a bolt of faux fur, which is currently 40% off.)

Customer: “I would like one yard, please.”

(I scan the label on the bolt. Note: the original, non-sale price listed on the bolt is $14.99. We always let the customers know what the price is and if it’s on sale before we cut, in case they were planning on using coupons, etc.)

Me: *with my usual chipperness* “Okay, it’s $8.99 a yard, and it is on sale today!”

Customer: *suddenly scowling* “No, that’s not right. I thought you said it was on sale?”

Me: “Yes. It’s $8.99 on sale, normally $14.99.”

Customer: “It’s supposed to be 40% off!”

Me: “It is—”

(Before I can finish, she storms away, mumbling about finding the section to check the sale sign. She walks to the fur aisle, with the 40% off signs posted, and marches back, looking even more perturbed. At this point, I’m thinking perhaps she’s confused about what the original price was.)

Me: “Ma’am, $8.99 is the sale price at 40% off; it’s originally $14.99.”

Customer: *looking at me like I’ve just told her the earth is flat* “No, that’s not right! That’s too much!”

(She pulls out her phone to piddle on her calculator while I pull up the calculator on my hand-held and re-calculate it multiple times, coming up with the same figure. When I show her, she still doesn’t believe me, and smugly shows me her phone calculator.)

Customer: “See?! It should only be $5.97! You’re wrong!”

Me: “That’s not 60% of $14.99. Fifty percent of $14.99 is $7.50 if you think about it, so it would have to be more than that.”

(She starts punching numbers into her phone again. I’m biting back frustration and looking for a pen and a piece of paper to go full-on School House Rock on this lady and draw a diagram or something. Suddenly she stops and her face falls flat as she looks at her phone.)

Customer: “Oh. I see. I had, uh, just forgotten to hit the ‘equal’ button. Whatever.”

(I went on to cut her fabric without mentioning another word about it, and resisted the urge to bang my head on the fabric counter.)

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