Giving Staff Discounts While You Can

, , , , | Right | January 29, 2020

(We are closing down and our “reduced to clear, everything must go” sale has started. All staff in the store are losing their jobs so the mood is not great, on top of having to manage the chaos that is happening all around. The store is a mess and the line of customers is going out the door. The owners of the company want to take all the full-priced stock off the shelves so people don’t try to get it at the sale price. A customer comes in with her two daughters and husband.)

Me: “Hi! How are you today?”

Customer: “Good, just wondering if you have some shoes for me that are for my daughters? I put them on hold last week and [Coworker] said I could pick them up today.”

(We are not supposed to hold shoes longer than two days, but I check in the office anyway. There are two pairs but they are full-priced stock. I go back to the customer with the shoes.)

Me: “I think I found the ones you are talking about; are these the ones?”

Customer: “Yep! That’s them.”

Me: “Excellent, and they fit well?”

Daughters: “Yeah, we tried them last week.”

Me: “Great. I’ll just let you know now: these will not be on sale like the other stock. Because you put them aside before the sale started and they are the core range, I can’t put them through at the sale price.”

Customer: “Oh, no, that’s fine, just put them through at the staff discount price.”

Me: *confused* “I’m sorry, but as store policy, I cannot do that. As I explained—”

Customer: “I don’t want them at the sale price; [Coworker] said I could have them for staff discount.”

(This is very unlikely, so I check with my coworker.)

Coworker: “Oh, yeah, I remember her. I never told her that; she asked me about six times, though. I said if she needed them to be put aside a while until she had the money I could; that’s why they’ve been out here so long. Maybe I should talk to her.”

(She leaves to talk to them while I tend to another customer. When I return to the customer, she is shouting at my coworker. Her husband is looking very embarrassed.)

Customer: *to me* “SHE LIED TO ME! SHE SAID SHE WOULD DO IT AND NOW YOU WON’T DO IT FOR ME! MY KIDS NEED THESE SHOES FOR SCHOOL! THIS IS POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!”

(She continues to complain about how she’s getting ripped off. I think about it for a minute, weighing up the fact that we’re losing our jobs and I don’t have the patience today to deal with this kind of customer, and make a snap decision.)

Me: “F*** it. You can have them for the staff discount.”

(She goes quiet, shocked at either my outburst or the fact she’s getting her way. The husband takes a chance to speak up.) 

Customer’s Husband: “Really, you don’t have to. Won’t you get in trouble? Isn’t it store policy?”

Me: “What are they going to do? Fire me?”

(At this remark, my coworker bursts out laughing.)

Coworker: “Good point!”

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