It Stocks To Be You!

, , , , , | Right | July 5, 2018

(I am a travelling manager for a clothing store chain. I fill in after managers have been transferred to other stores. I cover the next three to six months while a new manager is sourced to the store before moving on to another one myself. One of the key parts of my job is turning the stores around. Nine times out of ten, the previous manager is being relocated for not following policy. This means I often have to start enforcing rules that might have previously been ignored. I’m working at one store which has had its entire management staff fired. Two church ladies walk in together.)

Customer #1: “Can I return an item from layaway? I’ve decided that I can’t really afford it.”

(The item is a dress she wanted to wear for Easter church services, and while it’s very nice, she’s found something cheaper. I agree to this, pull up her ticket, and start working through the return.)

Customer #1: “How long have you been here? Are you the new manager?”

(I explain the issue, dodging around why the previous management team were fired, and hand her back her money. [Customer #2] steps up at this point.)

Customer #2: “I also want to return my dress on layaway.”

(The process begins again. This time, however, I see that there’s going to be a snag. The company has a policy where you can place something on layaway for up to 60 days. During the first 30 days, any item on layaway can be returned for the full price you paid. From 31 days forward, you pay a restocking fee. On the 61st day, regardless of how much you have paid, the items will be restocked and your money — minus the fee — set aside. Problem one: [Customer #2] is thirty-five days in, four days past the cut-off for a full return. Problem two: [Customer #2] only put the minimum down, which, with tax, works out to about five dollars and some change. Problem three: The minimum restocking fee is five dollars. I realize this, and try to explain to the woman.)

Me: “Uh, there are some problems, just so you know. There will be a restocking fee.”

Customer #2:Oh, that’s quite all right. I know, I read that little card of yours.”

Me: “You’re sure? I mean, it’d probably be better to pay it off and return it then.”

Customer #2:Sweetie, I’m a lawyer; I read all the fine print.”

Me: “Well, if you’re sure.”

(I do the return, with the system forcing me to do the restocking fee automatically. It then tells me to give her all of seventy cents in change back. I hand her a card that she must sign to acknowledge that I’ve done the return. She signs it with a flourish and then holds out her hand. I drop the coins into it.)

Customer #2: “What’s this?”

Me: “It’s your return.”

Customer #2: “It’s not enough.”

Me: “It’s what you get back, after the restocking fee.”

Customer #2: *changing her tune 180-degrees* “No one told me about a restocking fee!”

Me: “You signed the paper, right under the bold black letters that warn it. You also signed the layaway ticket saying you’d read and understood the policies.”

Customer #2: “No one reads those things! I want my money!” *her voice rising at this point* “Give me my g**d*** money!”

Me: “I can’t. You signed the paper, and you said you were a lawyer and understood there would be a fee.”

Customer #2:F*** your restocking fee! I thought it’d only be a few cents.”

Me: “The contract you signed notes the minimum fee is five dollars.”

Customer #2: *screaming and yelling* “I’m calling the police! You’re cheating me, you thief!”

(She whips out her phone and calls 911, claiming she’s just been robbed. It doesn’t take long for two police cars to pull up and the officers to head in. They try to sort out what’s going on, at first thinking I am a witness, until the woman screams that I robbed her. I calmly explain the contract to the officer, and show where she signed off on it. The police tell her that she signed the paper saying she understood and accepted the fee, so no crime was committed. What’s more, they tell her that it isn’t something to waste their time with a false 911 call for, so she is going to be getting a ticket for that. All the while, the lady is screaming at the police, and then at me.)

Customer #2: “You smug little a**, standing there with a smile on your face. You’re happy for yourself, aren’t you?”

Me: “I’ve had better days.”

Customer #2: “Always with the smart comments. Got anything else to say?”

Me: “Have you considered Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior?”

Customer #2: “F*** Christ!”

(With that, she stormed out, while the officers stood around dumbfounded. I never saw her in the store again, though the pastor stopped by about a week later to apologize for the actions of one of his flock.)

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