It’s About To Get Real Nutty, Part 2

, , , , | Right | July 21, 2020

I volunteer at a Fair Trade store for several years starting when I am sixteen. There is one overall manager and four assistant managers that are the only paid positions on staff. I am fortunate that the majority of customers are great; it is a store in an out-of-place area so most of them already know about our mission statement and everything before coming in. There are two incidents in particular that were interesting experiences:

We sell hazelnut chocolate bars that are pretty popular. Now, you would think, given that it says, “hazelNUT,” that customers would know that there are nuts in the bars. I’m restocking shelves when a woman walks in who bought one of these chocolate bars a few hours ago.

Customer: “I demand a refund for this chocolate bar!”

She shoves the bar at me, about three-quarters eaten. 

Me: “What was the problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “You didn’t tell me there were nuts in the chocolate! I had an allergic reaction and almost died.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but given that the name of the chocolate bar was ‘Hazelnut’ and there was no nut-free symbol, I didn’t see a need to tell you, especially since you gave no indication that you had an allergy.”

Customer: “B****! Get me your manager!”

I walk into the back room where the assistant manager for the day is making some hot chocolate. 

Me: “I’ll finish the hot chocolate; you’ll need after you deal with the crazy up front.”

The manager laughed before going up. The customer didn’t get her refund.

The other incident is near the holiday season, so we are actually pretty busy. It’s a small store with only one register; I am on cash, someone is bagging/gift wrapping, and two people are on the floor.

A lady comes up with piles of stuff. There are more than thirty items and several multiples — four or five of the same chocolate bars or bracelets. She insists that I scan everything individually instead of punching in how many; why, I don’t know. Her total is over $200, and she pulls out her debit and tries tapping it.

Me: “It won’t work for tapping anything over $100; you have to insert or swipe.”

The customer completely ignored me and tried tapping it multiple times while the machine was beeping. 

After several tries, she eventually inserted it, but then couldn’t remember her PIN. So, she called her bank; meanwhile, a line was forming behind her. They informed her that she did not have enough money in her account and she needed to come into the bank. I could hear her angrily yelling at them before hanging up and storming out, leaving all her items behind. I pushed them to the side and cashed out the remaining customers. When there was a bit of a lull, the other volunteers and I put all the items away.

Just before closing time, she reappeared and was beyond pissed that we had put away all her items, and she wanted a discount for her “trouble”. She glared at me the whole time she was being cashed out.

Holiday season can bring out the crazies.

It’s About To Get Real Nutty

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