They’re A Proper Branded Idiot

, , , , , , | Right | March 26, 2019

(I work at a regional chain store near an attractions district, so tourists are always comparing us — usually negatively — to a better-known nationwide chain I’ll call “Brand X.”)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like a pound of [Brand X] turkey, please.”

Me: “I’m sorry; we don’t carry that.”

Customer: “You don’t carry it?! Well, what do you have?!”

Me: “[Premium Brand], [Store Brand], and [Bargain Brand].”

Customer: “I’ve never heard of any of that stuff. I only buy [Brand X].”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but we don’t carry [Brand X]. We have [Store Brand].”

Customer: “What the h*** is [Store Brand]?!”

Me: “That’s the store we’re in right now, ma’am.”

Customer: “This isn’t a [Brand X] store?”

Me: “No, it isn’t.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t see why you can’t carry [Brand X] turkey, anyway!”

Me: “Because [Brand X] is an entirely separate store from us, ma’am.”

Customer: “So, you’re not a grocery store?! There’s not meats and cheeses and wine and paper towels and stuff here?! Because it sure looks like it to me!”

Me: *screaming inside* “Yes, this is a grocery store. But it’s [My Store], not [Brand X].”

Customer: “Well, I still don’t understand why you can’t carry [Brand X]!”

Me: “Because we’re not affiliated with them.”

Customer: “But people like [Brand X]!”

Me: “Yes, I know, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re not affiliated with [Brand X].”

Customer: “But I want [Brand X]!”

Me: “There’s a [Brand X] store about five miles east of here.”

Customer: “I don’t want to have to drive all that way! Why can’t you give it to me?!”

Me: “Because we’re [My Store], not [Brand X].”

Customer: “I still don’t understand why you can’t give me [Brand X]!”

(I clap my hands together very loudly in frustration. The customer doesn’t seem to notice.)

Me: “Ma’am, basically what you’re asking is like if you went to [Burger Joint #1] and asked for a [Burger exclusive to Burger Joint #2]. One company can’t sell products owned and trademarked by another company just like that. If we wanted to sell [Brand X], we’d either have to let them buy our company, or we’d have to pay a huge amount of money to be able to sell their stuff here. That’s if they even let us, which they probably wouldn’t, because we’re their competitors.”

Customer: “Well… I still don’t understand why you can’t carry [Brand X]!”

Me: “I just told you why.”

Customer: “But people like [Brand X]!”



(She storms away to complain to the front desk.)

Manager: “And around and around we go.”

Me: “I’m not sure whether she was actually stupid enough that she couldn’t understand that [My Store] and [Brand X] are two completely separate things, or if she thought pretending to be that stupid would somehow manifest [Brand X] products out of the f****** ether.”

Manager: “Either way, she failed. Now she’s the front desk’s problem.”

Me: “They can have her. I’ve done my time.”

Peaches And Scream

, , , , | Right | March 26, 2019

(I work at the largest farm of an orchard chain. This season we have had to start charging a very small field pass to customers interested in picking their own fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, this change has not been the most popular and we have had to deal with several unhappy people as a result. I work in one of the inside portions, so I don’t get a huge amount of nasty people, but this older woman gave me a good laugh.)

Customer: *setting three plants down at my register, looking down and mumbling something I can’t hear*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I didn’t quite catch that. Could you please repeat?”

Customer: *sharply and still not looking at me* “What is your sale on perennials?”

(I happily explain the deal, which not only do her plants qualify for, but she has not reached the per customer limit and can get a few more at the sale price. Normally this would make the customer happy, but not her. She ignores my answer, spending almost the entire transaction refusing to look at me and giving off a generally negative vibe. I shrug it off and finish dealing with the plants.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, I have these three set. Is that all for you?”

Customer: *mumbles again*

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am?”

Customer: *finally looking up and in a tone that only peeved old ladies can conjure up* “You’re charging a field ticket, aren’t you?”

Me: “Uh, yes, ma’am. $1 per person.”

(Her expression twists like she has bitten into a rotten apple. She keeps it that way as I help her navigate our card reader. While she gathers her items I go through my normal “have a good day” song and dance, which is promptly ignored. Slightly fed up with her, I pull out my most polite, customer service voice and smile, and say:)

Me: “I hope you have a GREAT time picking your peaches!”

(Her face made my night!)

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 18

, , | Right | March 26, 2019

(I’ve worked for this store for around three years, in three different locations. Tonight was the first time I’ve ever encountered a customer that made me want to take a shower after speaking to him. About five minutes before my shift ends and the customer on the other side wants a kids book called ‘Trick or Treat.’ I know we haven’t received our stock of Halloween books yet but I figure I can go ahead and order him one.)

Me: “Do you know the author’s name?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Okay, do you know if there’s any special character or animal associated with it, such as [Popular Children’s Book Character #1] or [Popular Children’s Book Character #2]?”

Customer: “No, it’s just called Trick or Treat.”

Me: “Well, unfortunately, there’s many books with that title, so without a character or author I can’t order it for you.”

Customer: “Try [Author #1].”

Me: “She does have a book called Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet. Is that the book you’re looking for?”

Customer: “What’s the title?”

Me:Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet.”

Customer: “Wow, really? What’s the description?”

(I pull up the blurb and tell him the first couple of sentences. At this point, he asks me to repeat the title and then the description once more. Alarm bells start ringing in my head and I remind him that the book is not in store and that we won’t have any Halloween books for a couple of more.)

Customer: “Right, I guess I’ll try again in a few weeks. What about books on torture?”

Me: “In… the… children’s section?”

(Yes, I did say it exactly like that. This being my second day at this new location, my new coworkers definitely gave me some strange looks at this point.)

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Sir, the children’s section won’t have books like that.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. What about in your historical war reference section?”

(Those alarm bells from earlier are now a full-fledged siren. Around a year or so ago, I heard a story about a guy who would call stores until he got a female worker and then ask them to describe different books, which was later determined to be his kinks. These books included torture books, especially foot torture. Now I’m just looking to get off the phone in as quick as a manner possible.)

Me: “We don’t have any in the store, unfortunately. Do you have an author in mind?”

Customer: “What about [Author #2]?”

Me: “Unfortunately my system doesn’t pull anything up for that author.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s too bad.”

Me: “Have a great night, sir.”

(I hung up the phone, called my manager, and told him I was leaving, and clocked out before the phone could ring again.)


On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 17

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 16

On The Need For Hazard Pay, Part 15

Card Payments Are Basic Human Rights, Apparently

, , , , , | Right | March 26, 2019

(The credit card system breaks down due to a server error. We hang a sign outside apologizing and explaining the situation. A couple walks in.)

Customer: “I’ll pay with a card.”

Me: “I’m sorry, it’s not possible right now. The system broke down. Cash only.”

Customer: “But I want to pay with a card. Can’t you just let me do it?”

Me: “As I said, it’s not possible. The system is not running. I’m sorry—“

Customer: “Are you kidding me? You can’t refuse my payment, you idiot! Who’s the customer, you or me?”

Me: “I’m sorry. The system broke down. It’s just not possible. It’s not our fault. The company’s whole system has broken down.”

(The man walks away and joins the woman in the seating area. They are discussing for about ten minutes, constantly pointing at me and shaking their heads. Then I get a call by the company that they fixed the problem; the system is running again. I approach the couple.)

Me: “Excuse me. The problem was fixed. We can accept cards again.”

Customer: “Do you really think we still want to buy anything from YOU? I am a customer and you have to show me at least some basic human respect!”

(However, they stayed in the seating area for about one hour, just talking.)

Speed Rant

, , , , , | Right | March 26, 2019

(Because my daughter is waiting for me outside my home and I’m headed home from work, I am in a bit of a hurry to get a few items for dinner and go. I get into the “15 items or less [sic]” line where there are two cashiers. The guy at the near cashier has a mostly full cart, but fortunately he’s reached the point to have to pay so I figure this won’t be a problem. The second cashier tries to wave me over but I point to the other customer’s cart positioned so I can’t get past and I make a shrug and palms-up motion. I figure I’ll wait it out. But then I get frustrated as the other customer — who appears to be about my own age — is struggling with the credit-card reader. I sigh internally and wait for him to finally finish and go. I throw my four items on the counter and after he’s out of earshot and say:)

Me: “So how many customers come through who seem like they’ve never seen one of these before?”

Cashier: *laughing* “You would be amazed. It was just as bad before the switch.” *meaning adding the ability to read the chips in cards now, not just swipe*

Me: “And how many still use checks?”

Cashier: “Also way too many. I thought those were gone. I’ll take your rewards card.” *which she quickly scans and hands back*

Me: “Me, too. I guess they use the excuse that they are old.” *I pause* “I am old and I know how to use these things, so what’s their excuse?”

Cashier: *laughing* “You have a great day, sir.”

Me: “You, too.”

(The whole thing was done that fast. And who says you can’t have a friendly conversation in the fast lane?)

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