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Next Time, Use Carrier Pigeons

, , , , | Right | December 7, 2018

(My boutique store has a couple of locations, and our inventory system is fairly rudimentary, so we often have to text photos of products to each other to show customers. The owner also likes to give out assignments and miscellaneous chores via text, so we always have our cell phones nearby in case we need them. I am helping a lady who is looking for a specific color vase.)

Me: “Hmm, it looks like we only have the light blue and the burgundy, but I do remember seeing a green or teal one at the other location last week. Would you like me to check on it for you?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

(I call the other store and confirm they have it, and the customer asks if she can see what it looks like, so I ask my coworker to text me some photos. I pull my phone out and show the photos to the customer.)

Customer: “Yes, okay, I like that one. Can you have it sent here and call me when I can pick it up?”

Me: “Of course!”

(I begin to text my coworker to set it aside.)

Customer: “You know, you really shouldn’t be on your cell phone during work.”

Me: *pause* “Beg your pardon?”

Customer: “It’s very unprofessional; it makes you look like a millennial, like you aren’t present.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I was letting my coworker know to set the vase aside for transfer. I didn’t mean to offend you.”

Customer: “Well, you shouldn’t even have your phone with you.”

Me: “I was only able to show you photos of the product because of my phone. It’s one of the ways my coworkers and I communicate between stores, since our inventory system is pretty old-fashioned.”

Customer: “Whatever. You should just keep in mind that it’s rude, okay?”

Me: *another pause* “I will bear that in mind. Let’s get you rung up for that vase.”

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