Ticket To Italy

| Right | October 18, 2013

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How To Calm Upset Customers

| Right | October 18, 2013

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They Are Gnat Worth The Trouble

| Massapequa, NY, USA | Right | October 18, 2013

(I am working in a women’s clothing store. When an item is marked down, we put a red line through the barcode of the tag attached to the piece of clothing. A customer and her daughter in her 20s bring up a dress.)

Customer: “Hi, we found this on the sale rack.”

(I scan it. It comes up full price. Confused, I check the tag; there is a black line through the barcode, instead of a red one. Someone must have marked it down by accident, realized their mistake, and tried to correct it by drawing a black line over the red one, instead of just printing out a new tag for the dress. And then someone else misunderstood the black line and put it on the sale rack anyway.)

Me: “Ah. Okay, so I’m afraid this is actually full price—”

(The two customers’ eyes flash, and I know I’m in trouble.)

Customer: “But this was on the sale rack.”

Me: “I know. I’m so sorry for the confusion. I think what happened is, someone accidentally marked this down, but realized their mistake.” *I show her the tag* “See, we usually put a red line through it; this is black. It came up full price when I scanned it.”

Customer: “Well, that’s false advertising!”

Me: “No, no, it’s not. It was just a mistake someone else made when they put it back. I’m sorry about that.”

(The customer and her daughter exchange a look.)

Customer: “Well, it’s really your attitude that’s the problem.”

Me: *flabbergasted* “What attitude? I’m just explaining what happened.”

(The daughter laughs condescendingly.)

Daughter: “Come on. We don’t have time for—” *she gestures at me with a flick of her wrist* “—this little gnat.”

Me: “I was just—”

(Another customer at the other register chimes in.)

Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

(We all look over. The other customer is looking through her pocketbook for her wallet, but it’s clear she’s talking to me.)

Other Customer: “It’s not you.”

(My customer and her daughter shut up. They leave the dress on the counter and walk away. My manager walks up, and I wonder if I’m in trouble.)

Manager: “What was THAT all about?”

Other Customer: “It wasn’t you. Seriously, they were really mean.”

Manager: “Ah, okay. That’s what it sounded like. Don’t let them get to you.”

(To the other customer, thanks for putting in the good word for me! It made me feel less like a gnat!)

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A Happy Mood Beats The Mean And Rude

, | USA | Right | October 17, 2013

(At my workplace, I am famous for having a bright smile and cheery voice when speaking to every single customer. Even if it’s been a stressful and long day, I never give up smiling. A regular of mine comes in for her daily coffee and we stop to chat a bit.)

Regular Customer: “So are you on medicine or something? How do you stay so chipper all the time?”

Me: “Actually, I choose to act happy towards everyone. No medication required.”

Regular Customer: “So you are ALWAYS happy, no matter what? That doesn’t sound possible.”

Me: “Well, there are lots of reasons I keep smiling even if I am not having a great day. I know lots of people just need a sweet smile and some kind words to make a terrible day so much better and I like to think that’s what I do. Also, I learned from one of my psychology classes that the action of smiling releases chemicals in the brain that make you happier because the action of smiling is associated with happiness. Finally, when a customer is so persistent on being rude and mean to me it pisses them off when I continue to smile and be happy. It’s funny when they get upset that they couldn’t make me cry!”

(The customer is easily thirty years my senior, probably more. She stares at me in awe.)

Regular Customer: “I want to be like you when I grow up. Have a fantastic day Sunshine!”

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Purr-haps She Is A Dog Person

| Flint, MI, USA | Right | October 17, 2013

(The store works with an animal rescue agency that comes in on a regular basis for adoption events. A customer is talking to the agency, holding a cat. She grabs me as I walk by.)

Customer: “Excuse me. I have a question, and I know these nice ladies are really pushing for these cats to be adopted, so I’m afraid they won’t be honest.”

Me: “Oh, sure. What can I help you with?”

Customer: “This cat… it’s vibrating. Is that supposed to happen?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s purring. That means it’s happy.”

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