A Price Peddler

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Money, Transportation

(I put a lot of newly built bikes up on the racks. A customer comes in wanting to look at one of the new bikes.)

Customer: “Can you pull that bike down? My son would like to try it.”

Me: *pulls bike down* “Here you go.”

(The customer’s son then rides the bike around the bike section for a minute and is pleased with it.)

Customer: “How much is this bike?”

Me: “It’s $79.99 in a box, or $89.99 assembled.”

Customer: “Why is it more when it’s already together?”

Me: “Well we have bike builders who put the bikes together. But we do have this bike in a box, so you can buy it in a box and then put it together.”

Customer: “I think I should get a discount on this bike since it’s all dirty.”

(The customer is talking about the tires since the bike has been ridden on the store floor, which has some dust on it.)

Me: “Your child was the first person to ride this bike since it was built; we can wipe off the tires so that the dirt is off.”

Customer: “No, it’s been used; look at it! I shouldn’t have to pay full price for a used item.”

Me: “The bike builders just built this exact bike not too long ago, and I know for a fact that your son is the only one to ride this bike.”

Customer: “So, you admit that it was used!”

Me: “Only by your child.”

Customer: “That’s why I should get a discount; it’s used! I want to see your manager!”

(I call my manager who comes back to listen to the issue. My manager backs me up. The customer does eventually buy the bike, already put together, paying the additional $10.)

The Thank You Was Complimentary

| NC, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids

(I’m shopping with my four-month-old daughter when we have an encounter with another customer. Usually, when someone compliments her, I thank them since she can’t, and I feel it’s only polite.)

Customer: “So beautiful!”

Me: “Thank you.”

Customer: “No, I meant her.”

Me: *pause* “I know…”

Gift Carded And Dearly Departed

| Tacoma, WA, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Awesome Workers, Health & Body, Top

(I am working as an assistant manager at a retail store. A customer comes in while it is slow, so I am able to pay a lot of attention to her, and find her exactly what she wants.)

Customer: “Is it okay to pay by gift card?”

Me: “Of course.”

(I start ringing her in.)

Customer: “I hate to use it though.”

Me: “Oh really? Why is that?”

Customer: “My mom gave it to me for my last birthday, and she passed away two months ago.”

(I pause for a moment to make eye contact with her.)

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that. I lost my own mom a little over a year ago, so I know what you’re going through.”

Customer: “Oh! I guess you do understand then. Does it get easier?”

Me: “No. I still miss her horribly, and still want to pick up the phone and call her every single day. But I suppose I’m not as raw as I was. You’ll get to that point too, though you’ll always miss her.”

Customer: “Yeah…”

(I finish ringing her up, and swipe her gift card, which pays for everything. Afterwards, I bring her bag around the counter for her, and hand it to her.)

Customer: “Can I… can I make a really strange request?”

Me: “Sure.”

Customer: “Can I keep the gift card?”

Me: “Oh, of course you can!”

(I hand it to her. She puts it back in the envelope that bears her name, and caresses it. I can see she’s on the verge of tears.)

Me: “Right before my mom died, she gave me the package she never sent me for my birthday, which had some Avon perfume in it. I like the perfume, but I hardly ever use it, because I don’t want to have to throw away one of the last things she ever gave me.”

Customer: “Oh, so you completely understand why I want to keep this!”

Me: *eyes filling with tears* “Oh yes, ma’am, completely!”

(We wind up chatting for close to 45 minutes, sharing stories about our moms. By the end of it, we’re both crying openly, but they’re good tears.)

Customer: “I’ve taken up so much of your time; I’m sorry.”

Me: “No, don’t apologize. I’m so glad you came in, and that you were willing to share with me!”

Customer: “Can I… can I hug you?”

Me: “Of course you can!”

(We hug for a long time, with both of us still crying. She thanks me profusely, and vows to come back and ask for me especially. I never did see her again, as I quit not long after that, but it was a wonderful experience. I hope wherever she is, her grief has become less raw than it was when I saw her. I’ll always, always remember her as being one of the best customers I ever had.)