No Person At All Would Be Better

, , , , , | Working | January 21, 2020

(As the lead customer service associate, I am responsible for training new customer service associates as they are hired. One woman — not some airhead teen, but a woman in her 40s — seems to have the IQ of a bag of bricks. Everything I say goes in one ear and out the other. I ask my manager to speak with her, but shortly after every conversation, things go downhill again. About six months into her employment, I am sorting returns into their appropriate department bins when I come across an empty container of baby food with a competitor’s sticker on the lid.)

Me: “Hey, [Associate], what’s this?”

Associate: “Baby food.”

Me: “Okay. Um… We don’t take back open baby food.”

Associate: “Since when?”

Me: “Since… ever.”

Associate: “Why?”

Me: “There was a video about cutting drugs with baby food and other weird things addicts do with it. Do you remember that?”

Associate: “Oh, yeah! But it was empty. There couldn’t be drugs in it.” *laughs*

Me: “No, it wasn’t about leaving drugs in baby food. It was… okay. Regardless of why the customer purchased the baby food, they used all of it and you gave them their money back.”

Associate: “Oh.” *shrugs and walks away*

Me: “It also has a [Competitor] sticker on the lid.”

Associate: “Oh, yeah! I saw that.”

Me: *deep breath* “And you returned it because…?”

Associate: “Well, she said she took it to [Competitor] but they needed the receipt to give her her money back, but she already threw it away. I told her we didn’t need one!” *proud smile*

Me:Any food product needs a receipt. We don’t take back open baby food. We don’t take back items with stickers from competitors, and we definitely don’t take back things customers admit they bought from other stores.”

Associate: “Oh. I didn’t know that.”

Me: *trying not to yell at her* “Okay. That was all part of your initial training. Please be more careful with your returns.”

(I went to management and begged them to do something about her, but they basically told me that any person at the desk is better than no person at all. I quit the day we both applied for a loss prevention position and she got it.)

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