Here’s My Two Cents… Plus Twenty-Seven More

, , , , | Right | July 6, 2018

(I work in a fabric store. I’m working at the cutting counter when my coworker calls for a price check. Since we’re not busy, I head over to the art canvases for her.)

Coworker: “This guest says that the 8×8 canvases are on sale for 29 cents.”

Me: “That sounds ridiculous; there’s no way that can be right. I’m looking forward to this signing error.”

(I go back to look, but the signs clearly say 40% off. Nothing says 29 cents. I scan the canvas.)

Me: “Yeah, it’s coming up $3.49.”

Coworker: “Uh, he’s headed back to—”

(As she’s talking, the customer comes around the corner. I show him the handheld.)

Me: “No, sir, these are coming up as $3.49. I don’t know where you’re getting 29 cents from.”

Customer: “No, the ones right here.”

(He leads me down the aisle to the same canvases that I scanned, just in a different place. In front of them is one of those signs that lists regular prices versus sales prices for the mathematically challenged, like myself. The first one on the list reads, “50¢ – converts to – 29¢.”)

Customer: “See? The canvases are right behind here, so that means they’re 29 cents.”

Me: *after staring at the sign, then back at him* “Sir, that sign just shows hypothetical sale prices. It’s not an actual sale sign.”

Customer: *points more aggressively at the sign* “But it says 29 cents!”

Me: “Sir, that is not the intended use of that sign.”

Customer: “Well, what in this aisle is 29 cents?!”

Me: “Absolutely nothing. These are our artists’ canvases, which run from about $3 to upwards of $20. The only thing in this store I can think of that is under $1 is our embroidery floss. The sale price on this canvas is already $3.49, and I absolutely know that our manager isn’t going to drop it to 29 cents.”

Customer: “But the sign—”

Me: “How about I call my manager?”

Customer: “Why would you—”

Me: “Because I’m not equipped to explain this, apparently. The canvas is $3.49. That sign is intended to help people calculate sale prices, not demonstrate sale prices. I don’t know how to make that clearer.”

Customer: “Fine. Thanks.”

(He walks off. I quietly get back on my radio.)

Me: “Well… that was the most pointless conversation of my life.”

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