Only Half-Listening To Half-Off

, , , | Right | June 27, 2018

(We cook rotisserie chickens all day. To try to keep from throwing away too many, if chickens have been out of the oven and on warmers for three hours, we mark them down to half-price. This particular customer is a semi-regular and is always looking for half-off chickens. She has on multiple occasions mentioned the three-hour limit, so she’s well aware of how the discount works. We’ve completely sold out of our older batch of chickens, so all that’s left are the chickens I’ve pulled fresh out of the oven. I see her walking up to the counter.)

Me: “Good afternoon! Sorry, I know you like the half-off chickens, but all we have right now are ones fresh out of the oven.”

Customer: “I’ll wait!”

Me: “Well, I just pulled them out of the oven a minute ago, so it would be quite a wait.”

Customer: “I’ll take from what you have in front of you.”

Me: “You’d like a fresh one? Sure!”

Customer: “No, I want a half-off one.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’ve sold out of the older batch; all we have are these ones I’ve just pulled out of the oven, no marked-down ones.”

Customer: “Oh, then just give me the cheapest, freshest ones you have!”

Me: “Sure thing!”

(I proceed to give her exactly what she requested: our smaller-sized, cheaper chickens, since all of them were pulled out of the oven at the same time. She walks away thanking me. About five minutes later, she comes back.)

Customer: “I think we misunderstood each other; I wanted the half-off chickens!”

Me: *stunned for a moment, wondering how there could have possibly been any misunderstanding, but quickly gathering myself* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but as I explained, we had, and still have, no chickens that have been out long enough to be marked down.”

Customer: “Then I’m putting the ones you gave me back!”

(She did exactly that and walked off. I really don’t know if she was just hearing what she wanted to hear or hoping her persistence would have me eventually mark down a chicken way too early, but I’m still contemplating how I could have possibly been any clearer.)

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