Telling A Label Fable

| UK | At The Checkout, Money

(I am cashiering when a customer comes up to the colleague next to me. She has a barbecue set and is claiming that it is being sold for £19.99. It is actually priced at £89.99 according to the giant sticker, however the customer points to a small sticker on the side, which is reserved for clothing items only, and says so on the sticker itself. She doesn’t take no for an answer and asks for a manager. The manager weakly puts up a defense for not dropping the price, but I’m losing my patience with how dense the customer is being while carrying a smug grin. I kindly ask my customers to wait a moment.)

Customer: “BUT IT SAYS £19—”

Me: “Actually, that set is £89.99. I put that price on myself yesterday.”

Customer: “BUT THE STICKER—”

Me: “This one? It says ‘CLOTHING ONLY’ along the top. It has either has been incorrectly placed or someone else put it there to get a bargain.” *Customer blushes*

Customer: “But you have to honour it!”

Me: “No, we don’t. The sticker clearly does not belong on that item, and therefore we are not bound into sell it for that price. The whole reason for the labelled sticker is to protect against this happening. In fact, even if the sticker was the right one, but for the wrong price, we still reserve the right to refuse the sale if you don’t want to pay the actual price. So your choice is either pay £89.99, or get out.”

Customer: “YOU’RE LOSING A MASSIVE SALE!”

Me: “If we sold it to you at your price, we would lose £70 on a £90 sale. I can already see three customers in line with one, so I think they’re popular enough to be sold to people who are willing to pay what they’re worth.”

(The customer looks around, mouths “f*** you” and runs out of the store.)

Manager: “Well done! I was just going to lower the price.”

Next Customer: “And that’s why he’ll have your job someday. Loss prevention is a big deal when it comes to retail, and had it been me in charge you would have had to explain that loss. I might actually introduce a label system like that at my store. It’s genius!”

(I ended up getting written up for mouthing off to a customer and “losing the sale.” I didn’t really care as it was just a job until I went to university. I left shortly after a new general manager took over, and decided that the manager in the story wasn’t allowed to handle sales anymore, and she wasn’t allowed to be the only manager on duty because of it.)

Entitlement Can Be Found On Every Aisle

| MI, USA | Awesome Workers, Crazy Requests

(Working as a cashier for four years has taught me a great deal of patience, but one particular woman always tries to cause a huff when she comes into the store. Today, however, we are short staffed. I am at my register and can not leave the front end, my manager is unloading the truck by himself in the back of the store, and we have one person working in the print department, who also can not leave her station, leaving no one working on the floor. It’s beginning to pick up and I notice the offending woman entering the store. From my register I see her quickly pace up and down the front of the store a couple times looking increasingly irate. She turns around to look at me.)

Customer: *suddenly yelling* “Isn’t there anyone working on the FLOOR?”

Me: *having to speak much louder than normal due to the distance between us* “My apologies, ma’am. We are a bit short staffed at the moment, but I will see if someone is available.”

(At this point the customer forcefully sighs and throws her arms in the air but stays where she is. I radio to my manager that the customer needed assistance ASAP. Before I can even finish speaking over the radio she starts up again.)

Customer: *yelling to no one in particular* “I can’t believe there’s no one working on the FLOOR!”

(I radio again to my manager, sounding a bit more desperate to have this lady out of my hair, and try to explain the situation. Eventually my manager comes out from the back and walks right up to the customer.)

Manager: *very calmly and with a smile* “My apologies for the wait, ma’am. I have lots of other customers who think they are the most important thing in the world, too.”

(The customer and I kind of looked at him in shock. She mumbled to him the item she wanted and I rang up the transaction trying very hard not to laugh. She left without another word.)

Scoring Ten For Security

| MD, USA | At The Checkout, Money

(In our store, we are instructed to check any bill bigger than a $5 to see if it’s counterfeit. It takes about a second and people usually don’t care, but not everybody is so easygoing. This happens as I’m ringing out a customer who’s paying with a $10.)

Me: *checking the $10 bill*

Customer: *sneering, in the snottiest tone of voice I’ve ever heard* “Ugh. I can’t believe this. Who even checks tens?”

Me: *as I’m cashing her out* “People who have received counterfeit $10 bills in the past.”

Customer: *face falls; she then speaks with none of the snot in her previous statement* “Wait, really? You really get fake tens?”

Me: “Just last week, in fact.”

Customer: *sounding surprised, and somewhat pleasant* “Oh!”

(She gave me no more snot about checking for fake bills. I’m glad that went as well as it did. Some people take me checking bills as directly calling them a counterfeiter.)

I’m So Tolerant I Can’t STOP Talking About It!

| Cedar Rapids, IA, USA | At The Checkout

(I work in a flower shop. It’s shortly after Valentine’s Day, so we’re all recovering from the rush. I’m a woman in my twenties.)

Customer: “So, did you and your husband do anything for Valentine’s Day?”

Me: “I had to work, but my partner understands. I sent flowers and we had dinner when I got home.”

Customer: “Oh, is that what we have to say now? ‘Partner?’ Not ‘husband’ or ‘wife’?”

Me: *a little annoyed* “Well, considering I’m gay and I don’t always feel like outing myself to random strangers, yes.”

Customer: “Ha, sure. You know, we’re having training at my job for that. We have to use different words. Gotta make sure we don’t offend anyone who’s not heterosexual.” *laughs*

Me: “Mm.”

Customer: “You know, I’m fine with it.”

Me: “Okay, good.”

Customer: “As long as you’re happy.”

Me: “I am.”

Customer: “You should go to San Francisco. They’re so tolerant there. It’s crazy.”

Me: “…uh-huh.”

Customer: “So liberal. I mean, it’s insane. They kiss in public there and everything. The first time I saw that, I was like, ‘What the h***?!’ I couldn’t believe it! In public!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “You really should go there. You’d love it. You’d fit right in.”

Me: “Have a nice day, sir…”

(Whatever his training was, I think that customer needed remedial classes.)

Providing Out-Of-The-Box Service

, | TN, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology

(I am another customer in the store purchasing a new phone charger and I overhear this conversation between a manager and an older man. The older man had purchased the phone online from some website that’s not run by this service provider, but had it activated under them. The man’s phone rings; the ringtone is a popular rap song by a female artist. He answers his phone and can hear the manager who has called it but the manager can’t hear him.)

Manager: “I think the problem is the speaker on your phone. You can hear me, but I can’t hear you. And you said something about the ringtones?”

Older Man: “They were all just already on there. It came with them.”

Manager: “See, that’s not normal. Okay, what we can do for you in here today is cancel this phone line and you can purchase a new phone but—”

Older Man: “I don’t understand. If the phone is broken why do I have to pay for a new one?”

Manager: “Well, you can always contact whoever you purchased it from and see if there’s a warranty on it. But it wasn’t from us, so if you want us to fix it, there will be a charge. I can see if you’re eligible for your upgrade.”

Older Man: “I JUST bought the thing! It was brand new right out of the box! If you’re not providing me with a service then why am I even here?”

Manager: “Sir, we are providing you with a service. We are the phone company that you use, but we didn’t supply the phone. Whoever sold you that phone probably sold you a damaged phone.”

Older Man: “They couldn’t have! It was brand new right of the box!”

(Just then his phone rings and he answers it.)

Older Man: “Hello? Hello?” *hangs up* “THIS IS RIDICULOUS. YOU NEED TO FIX MY PHONE!”

Manager: “We can certainly do that, but there will be a charge, unless you contact whoever it was that you purchased the phone from. If it’s under warranty with them then they will send you a new phone for free.”

Older Man: “So I’m supposed to go several days without a phone?! This is ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to wait! I don’t know why I have you as a phone company when you won’t provide me service!”

Manager: “Sir—”

(At this point my transaction was finished and I walked out of the store this man cursing about needing to make phone calls. Somehow I don’t think Nicki Minaj comes standard on brand new out of the box phones, though….)

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