Not Using Normal Customers

, , , | Right | January 21, 2020

(I am a personal shopper at a grocery store. Whenever we finish picking an order, we call the customer and tell them if we had to substitute anything because we were out of what they ordered. If they do not answer, we leave a message. The only things that are out on this particular order are four of the seven 24-packs of water and three of the six things of cat litter. However, this woman requested that nothing be substituted. A little while later, she calls the store back.)

Customer: “I missed a call from you guys earlier. I couldn’t understand the message because you didn’t use normal words.”

Me: “Um, okay, what was your name?”

Customer: “[Customer]. I didn’t understand your message because you didn’t use normal words when you were talking about my substitutions.”

Me: “Um, okay, it looks like the only things that were out were four of the [Water Brand] waters, and three of the [Litter Brand] cat litter.”

Customer: “You don’t have any more of the [Water Brand]?”

Me: “No, we don’t.”

Customer: “When will you get more in?”

Me: “I’m not sure. It’s a vendor item, so it will be whenever the vendor gets here, which might be tomorrow. Would you like another brand?”

Customer: “No! I can’t believe you’re out of [Water Brand]! You can substitute the cat litter for another one of [Litter Brand]. It has to be [Litter Brand]. I have a coupon that y’all gave me for buy one, get one, and it expires soon. I don’t want to waste the coupon on only three. My cats don’t care about the smell.”

Me: *realizes that she’s talking about a raincheck, not a coupon* “Okay, I will get you three more cat litters.”

Customer: “Are you sure you don’t have any more [Water Brand] in the back?”

Me: “I checked everywhere in the store where there might be some.”

Customer: “Because I have an adult son who carries in all the heavy stuff into the house for me, and I have to work around his schedule. Now, go ahead and substitute the cat litter. But you need to check for the [Water Brand]. My son is only available to help me today, and I need it and the cat litter.”

Me: “I will get you more cat litter. Don’t worry.”

Customer: “Transfer me to the manager.”

Me: *after I put her on hold* “What are normal words?”

(My manager was not happy about having to talk to her. This woman has a reputation for complaining to him whenever we are out of something on her order because we can’t make stuff magically appear in the store. Twenty minutes later, the vendor happened to show up, and my manager grabbed four cases of the water for me. I told my manager what the customer said about me not using “normal words” and they gave me grief for a week.)

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