It’s About To Get Rugly

| Liverpool, England, UK | Working | May 23, 2017

(I am checking out a customer with a large trolley full of stuff. She is on the phone the whole time, speaking French and practically ignoring me the as I scan and pack her bags. She has random bits and bobs, including some rugs. When I pick up one of the rugs she unloads from the trolley and unroll it get to the barcode I am shocked to see a competitors name on the rug tag. I have to leave the till a moment and show my manager that a competitor’s rug has shown up in our stock.)

Manager: “We can’t sell it to her. It’s not our stock.”

Me: “Can I just scan another rug and sell it to her at that price, one the same size or something? They’re not going to get this rug back and we can’t keep it.”

Manager: “No, we can’t sell it. Just tell her what has happened and get another rug for her that looks the same.”

(I sigh, knowing he is right but that it would just be easier for everyone, and go to explain to the customer what has happened.)

Customer: “Why can’t I have this rug?”

Me: “Because it is from a competitor’s store and I can’t even begin to explain how it got here.”

(I unroll the rug and show her the tag. It clearly says the competitor’s store name on it. All the while she is holding her phone to her chest as I speak to her. I set the rug aside and finish scanning all her items and put them in the trolley for her. She then goes to remove the rug and places it in the trolley.)

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t sell you that rug.”

(I pick it up and place it behind the till where she can’t get it; she gives me a dirty look.)

Customer: “Why can’t I have that rug?”

Me: “Because it is from a competitor’s store. I have no idea how it got here, but it is not our rug to sell. I’m sorry, my manager told me not to sell it. Can I get you another one, maybe?”

Customer: “Yeah, whatever.”

(She then goes back to speaking in French on the phone. I go and check the rug aisle but find there is nothing matching the rug in colour or size so I go back and explain to her the situation. She pulls the phone away from her ear.)

Customer: “Listen to me; I need that rug. Now just pick it up and sell it to me.”

Me: “I’m sorry. It’s out of my hands. Can I get you anything else?”

Customer: “Yeah, help me with my stuff to my car.”

(I do and find her trying to get a huge mirror and everything in a two-door coupe with the roof down. She doesn’t help me unload the trolley, doesn’t thank me at all or acknowledge me, so I sling the last bag on her seat and set off with the trolley back into my store. After I return to my till and served a few more customers she reappears.)

Customer: “Where the h*** is my rug?”

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