No Need To Be Anal About It

, , , , , , | Right | January 17, 2018

(I work at a clothing store that markets itself as a family-friendly store with clothes for the whole family. We have a t-shirt in the boy’s department that says “ANIMAL” on it three times, with different letters a lighter color than the rest on each line so that it spells out “I’M AN ANIMAL” within the words. We’ve had the shirt for some time, and it’s one of our popular ones. A man and his son, maybe nine years old, come to my register with this shirt. The man seems a bit agitated.)

Customer: “Hi, I need to return this shirt. I don’t know what kind of business you guys are running, but it has a swear word on it.”

Me: “You mean… ‘animal?’”

Customer: “No, just look at it. My poor son wore this to a party.”

(I stare at the shirt for a good thirty seconds and can’t see anything other than the word “animal.” The customer then points to the top line, where the “IM” in the middle of the word is a different color. I still don’t see anything. The customer then points to the “AN” and “AL” on either side.)

Me: Oh… ‘Anal.’ I never even noticed that was there; I think it’s honestly just supposed to say, ‘animal.’ I don’t think they meant to do that on purpose.”

Customer: “Of course they did. They do it so unsuspecting people will wear the shirt and the smarter people will see it and be subjected to that kind of language.”

Me: “Okay, then. Let’s just get that returned for you.”

(The boy seemed unphased by the whole event, as if his father’s rationale was totally normal and he fully believed it. Of course, this customer also didn’t have his receipt, and expected me to give him cash back for the full price of the shirt when it had gone on clearance, and our policy is store credit without a receipt. Overall, he was a fun customer to deal with.)

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