Oh My Gourd: Seriously?

, , , | Right | September 25, 2017

(I am team leader in the produce department. It is a busy Saturday, shortly before I am due to go home. The customer is an older lady, probably in her 60’s.)

Customer: “Hi. Do you have any half cucumbers left?”

Me: “Hi there! No, sorry. We have run out of those, I’m afraid; it’s been a busy day. I can find out when they are next coming in if you like, or we have whole cucumbers you could buy instead.”

Customer: “Don’t you have anymore in the back?”

Me: “No, sorry. We’ve completely sold out.”

Customer: “Aren’t you going to go and check?”

Me: “No, I know for a fact we don’t have any in the back. I’ve been here since 7 am, I worked the delivery that we had this morning, and I have personally been looking after this aisle today, so I know we don’t have any more. Sorry.”

Customer: “My husband and I couldn’t possibly eat a whole one; what do you expect me to do with a whole cucumber?”

(I could think of several possibilities as to where she could put it, but didn’t share these with her!)

Me: “Well, you don’t have to buy a whole one; you could come back another day when we have half cucumbers back in stock.”

Customer: “Oh, no, we definitely need one for tonight. Can’t you cut one in half for me?”

Me: “I’m afraid we can’t do that, as they are different products. The stock on the system would mess up.”

Customer: “How do you normally get half cucumbers?”

Me: “They are delivered to the store pre-packaged, whole ones and half ones in different crates.”

Customer: *turns to her husband* “Did you hear that? He thinks they come in like that.”

Me: “No, I don’t think that, I know that; I have personally taken produce deliveries off the truck and I know for a fact they come into the store pre-packaged like that.”

Customer: “This is outrageous, you wouldn’t get this at [Other High-End Supermarket]. The managing director himself would come down and cut a cucumber in half for you before he let you leave without one!”

Me: “I’m not saying you have to leave without one; I have offered you an alternative whole cucumber. Other than that, I can’t really help, I’m afraid. I can’t cut one in half, because it is essentially a different product. If you wanted a pint of milk, and we only had two-pint bottles left, you wouldn’t expect me to pour a pint out, would you?”

(She didn’t have much to say to that but then started complaining about the price difference, and asked if I could give her a whole cucumber for the price of a half. Half a cucumber was £0.39, a full cucumber was £0.69. But I’d be d***ed if I was going to cave into her. After getting nowhere with me, she approached other colleagues in my department, but they all told her the same thing and referred her back to me as the team leader. She then went to the customer service desk to complain, who, naturally, called someone from my department – me. She then asked to speak to a manager, and after I informed her I was in charge of the department, she stormed off, husband in tow. I thought that was the end of it, until I returned to my department a few minutes later to find her asking bewildered customers if they wanted to go halves on a whole cucumber. She found someone who agreed and snapped one in half, giving me a smug look as she walked away. The best bit, though, is that cucumbers are sold at the same price irrelevant of weight, and her half had the barcode on it, so she paid the full price and the other customer got half for free!)

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